Thermal compounds - who uses what

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Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by *Pilgrim* »

I had a look through the forums and can't really find one specific topic dealing with this.

What I would like to know is:

1) Who uses what thermal compounds/ what would you recommend?
2) How does it perform; is there a noticible difference in temps (did it meet your expectations)?


This goes for CPU's and any other hardware that would require thermal paste.

Some input in this regard will be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by THE_STIG »

I use either Arctic silver 5 (for my main rig)or the cheap R30 tube form the local matrix(for old pc's and unimportant stuff). The difference in temps is not massive, but the more expensive stuff does keep things a little cooler during the hot summer months so I guess it meets my expectations :) .

I did a test on an old hot running AMD Athlon xp 2500+.

Arctic silver :

35 at idle and 56 at full load.

Cheap stuff:

38 at idle and 60 at full load.

This was done during probably the hottest day in summer(think it was 35 or something). So I would go for the Arctic silver(there is an expensive Alumina version which goes for around R195 :shock: ) or one of the equivalents :wink: .
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by *Pilgrim* »

I'm currently using Zalman ZM-TG2 and I'm very disappointed with it, ok so it only cost me R37 but I needed it.

Long story short; RMA'd my mobo, received a new one on Friday and reassembled everything. Cleaned off all the old thermal paste and applied the Zalman paste, ran Prime95 and temps jumped up to 87 degrees. :shock: My CPU is running at default clocks with the stock cooler, so I wasn't expecting very low temps, but this is scary. Even with the thermal compound that came pre-applied to the cooler my temps never went over 80.
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by THE_STIG »

^^ wow, i think you might want to invest in some better stuff. I actually have a similar problem, my core 2 E7500 runs at 40 idle and 60-65 under full load according to core temp. But the bios repports it running at 35 idle and 48 under full load. So I think the bios is more acurate but I am going to get a new cooler.
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by IcePick88 »

*Pilgrim* wrote:I'm currently using Zalman ZM-TG2 and I'm very disappointed with it, ok so it only cost me R37 but I needed it.

Long story short; RMA'd my mobo, received a new one on Friday and reassembled everything. Cleaned off all the old thermal paste and applied the Zalman paste, ran Prime95 and temps jumped up to 87 degrees. :shock: My CPU is running at default clocks with the stock cooler, so I wasn't expecting very low temps, but this is scary. Even with the thermal compound that came pre-applied to the cooler my temps never went over 80.
Strange. I use the TG1 from Zalman and even with my "not so smooth" TX3's underside, my cpu temps never go over 45, and that is with a 600MHz overclock. :?:
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by Stuart »

*Pilgrim* wrote:I'm currently using Zalman ZM-TG2 and I'm very disappointed with it, ok so it only cost me R37 but I needed it.

Long story short; RMA'd my mobo, received a new one on Friday and reassembled everything. Cleaned off all the old thermal paste and applied the Zalman paste, ran Prime95 and temps jumped up to 87 degrees. :shock: My CPU is running at default clocks with the stock cooler, so I wasn't expecting very low temps, but this is scary. Even with the thermal compound that came pre-applied to the cooler my temps never went over 80.
That's just not normal. Cooler must not be seated properly or temp reading must be faulty or something. What is the reading in the bios?
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by naughty »

you have to clean the old stuff out properly - and maybe lap the cooler too to get rid of the residue of the old stuff before you apply any new compounds - it helps a lot

i use the coolaboratory pro stuff - one syringe lasts at least 10 applications and even though i purchased this syringe a long time ago its lasted a long time ..... temps would be around 3 to 4 degrees cooler than with arctic silver 5 when properly applied .... we used it on my buddies i7 990 and the temps were around 40 degrees at idle - remember though that this is a 6 core cpu - i also have arctic silver 5 and also lots of arctic silver ceramique - i had purchased 33g tubes of those and theres so much left i could probably do at least 30 or 40 coolers yet
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by Prime »

I use the zalman stuff. my screwy 9300 runs noticeably better on it. check you cooler seating...

In fact I use the zalman stuff on my eletronics too :whistling:
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by Brad2.0 »

Im using very cheap stuff at the moment, I needed it urgently. I got it from Matrix, it was R15 rand.
But it is working!
My idle temps are 26'c and when maxed under load goes to 61'c average.
When gaming it goes to 58'c. Im using the corsair H50 on a 2600k clocked to 4.6ghz. Im happy with that.
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by Monty »

I use Chuck Norris's Piss. Has to be handled very carefully, and if you put too much on, it melts the CPU, but it works very well.

I definitely rave about Arctic Silver, that stuff rocks! Did a PC remake for a friend, he saw temps drop from 50s to 20s with Arctic silver and a little case management
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by *Pilgrim* »

Cleaned off all the old thermal paste and reapplied new paste. Used slightly more pressure when I mounted the cooler and ran Prime 95 again. This time my max temp went up to 75 degrees, which is about 3 degrees less than what I got with the pre-applied stuff from intel. Idle temps are also about 3-4 degrees lower than previously. :D

On this subject, here is some interesting reading with regards to thermal compounds:
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?o ... &Itemid=62
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by THE_STIG »

Monty wrote:I use Chuck Norris's Piss. Has to be handled very carefully, and if you put too much on, it melts the CPU, but it works very well.

I definitely rave about Arctic Silver, that stuff rocks! Did a PC remake for a friend, he saw temps drop from 50s to 20s with Arctic silver and a little case management
Yea that stuff is really good :D . Been using it for a long time now(since the Athlon XP days I think)
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by KillerByte »

I use Noctua's NH-1 miracle stuff at home and Artic Silver 5 (a big tube from Landmarkpc.co.za) at work.
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by Stuart »

THE_STIG wrote:
Monty wrote:I use Chuck Norris's Piss. Has to be handled very carefully, and if you put too much on, it melts the CPU, but it works very well.

I definitely rave about Arctic Silver, that stuff rocks! Did a PC remake for a friend, he saw temps drop from 50s to 20s with Arctic silver and a little case management
Yea that stuff is really good :D . Been using it for a long time now(since the Athlon XP days I think)
You were using Chuck Norris' piss in the Athlon XP days? But that was before everyone realised how über1337 he is!
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by Hman »

How big is your tube KB ?
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by KillerByte »

its the 12g tube
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by Hman »

That's dissapointing.
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by KillerByte »

I was ignoring your sexual innuendo.
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by StarPhoenix »

On the one ocassion that I bought a second hand CPU and needed to buy a third-party cooler for it [Zalman 9500 LED - boy did I go overboard], I bought Arctic Silver thermal paste....from The Prophecy Shop, I think. Since I find it difficult to apply the stuff without making an unsightly mess, I'm much happier using the thermal pads that are affixed to the coolers that come with a new CPU.
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by KillerByte »

I know a few guys will probably not like my method of application but I squirt out a small amount of compound on to the CPU then press it against the heatsink and twist and turn it so that it spreads over the surfaces of the CPU and heatsink.
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by THE_STIG »

Stuart wrote:You were using Chuck Norris' piss in the Athlon XP days? But that was before everyone realised how über1337 he is!
:lol: His piss is expensive but it will cool everything :lol:
KillerByte wrote:I know a few guys will probably not like my method of application but I squirt out a small amount of compound on to the CPU then press it against the heatsink and twist and turn it so that it spreads over the surfaces of the CPU and heatsink.


That is actually not a bad idea :) That little plastic spreader thing that thermal paste sometimes comes with just seems to make a mess :(
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by StarPhoenix »

KillerByte wrote:I know a few guys will probably not like my method of application but I squirt out a small amount of compound on to the CPU then press it against the heatsink and twist and turn it so that it spreads over the surfaces of the CPU and heatsink.
Hey if it works and you processor hasn't spontaneously combusted yet, why not? I may try that again should I ever need to buy an aftermarket cooler.
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by THE_STIG »

Which you will because the stock Intel ones are absolute rubbish :x :x :x
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by KillerByte »

considering that the CPU goes from being installed to running at 100% load I need the paste to be on good and proper first time round.
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Re: Thermal compounds - who uses what

Post by IcePick88 »

I normally squeeze a bit out and sommer spread it with my finger until I get a even spread. Not smooth I might add, but then the pressure from the cooler flattens it for me. I never have paste coming out the sides. And my temps are good. Checked again last night after a BFBC2 session and the max temp was 40.
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