cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Thermal Paste: Best Brand & Application Techniques

wtm9tails
Level 9
Hello Rogger's
Looking for advice on Thermal Paste Brands and which Application Techniques are best. I have a Corsair H100i Cooler.
I have been using Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste and applying it in X shape pattern.
Thanks all
Tiger
MB- Asus RIVE
OS - Windows 8.1 Pro
CPU - I7 3820 @ 4.4GHz
Cooling - Corsair H100i w/4 Fans Push Pull Set Up
Main Drives - 256 GB 0Raid w/2 x 128 GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD
BkUp HD's - 2 x Seagate Baracuda 500GB HD
RAM - 32GB (8x4GB) G.Skill RipjawsZ DDR3-2133
Graphics - 2xMSI N780 Lightning

Monitors - 2xAsus VS248H-P
Optic Drives - 2xLiteOn iHAS424
Tower - Thermaltake Armor Revo Snow

14,243 Views
24 REPLIES 24

Dr__Zchivago
Level 12
Ahh... this old and exceedingly tired discussion - the answer to your question is going to differ from one person to another (although AS 5 is probably the most common). I use Arctic Silver 5 (also cross-pattern method) on my research computer, and Noctua's NT-H1 (dot method) on my gaming rig and all GPUs.

There are many different TIMs, and there are some that have been tested to be more effective than those two, but only by a degree or so - I just don't feel like spending twice as much on other types.

Z

Necrosan
Level 12
I use IC Diamond paste: http://www.innovationcooling.com/

I follow their recommended one drop application method: http://www.innovationcooling.com/application.html
MB: ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition
CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 (Cooled by Corsair H100i w/ Noctua NF-F12 fans)
RAM: 64GB G.SKILL RipjawsZ 1600 (10-10-10-30)
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX Titan X Hybrid
TV Tuners: 2 * Hauppauge HVR-1800
Case: CoolerMaster Cosmos 2

abvolt
Level 11
I've used arctic silver for years works great with a liberal cross pattern.
Current: MSI Xpower Gaming Titanium | 7700K | G Skill Ripjaws V 3000 16Gb | 960 EVO 500Gb | Intel 730 480Gb | Seasonic 1000 Platinum |
NZXT X62 | Acer XB270HU | EVGA 1080 ti FTW3

Secondary: R4BE | 4930K | G.SKILL 2400 16GB | Corsair AX 1500i
Intel 730 240GB + 480GB | EVGA GTX780 ti sli kpe | Custom H20

Myk_SilentShado
Level 15
I also use IC Diamond, saw a 10 Deg C drop in temps, just by switching from Noctua's NT-H1 to IC Diamond 24.

Arne_Saknussemm
Level 40

Melting_Point
Level 10
Been looking at this myself recently. Here's a pretty comprehensive comparison, it's from 2011, but still probably quite relevant. Results are on page 3, with some nice graphs (I like graphs).

Note: The overall winner - Indigo Xtreme - Isn't a paste. It's more like a sheet of TIM material that you apply to your CPU much like a mobile phone screen cover. But it's quite expensive.

http://skinneelabs.com/2011-thermal-paste-review-comparison/

As for the application method, I've always used the dot method myself. Some say it's not as effective because it doesn't go all the way to the corners, but I'm not so sure that matters, as the die doesn't go all the way to the corners either.

Here's a good video that shows the differences in application methods, using MX2, which isn't the best, but is probably the best value for money.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffK7L0Qj13Q
Motherboard: RIVE (3602 bios)
CPU: Intel 3930K @4646MHz
OS Drive: 2 X Samsung 840 PRO (Raid 0)
Storage Drive: 2 X 1.5TB WD Caviar Black RAID 0, 2 X 3TB WD Caviar Red, Kingston V100 256GB SSD
Memory: 64GB G.SKILL Ripjaws Z (F3-12800CL10Q2-64GBZL)
GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GTX580 @795MHz - 1536MB GDDR5
PSU: OCZ ZX1250
Cooling: Phantek PH-TC14PE
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64. (EUFI)

jab383
Level 13
The best TIM taken on its performance alone is liquid metal - Coolaboratory Liquid Metal Pro -- thermal conductivity 9 times better than the others. It works really well between chip and IHS of a delidded CPU. The survey that Melting Point cites didn't get far enough into their process to cover liquid metal, but others have.

The maker's instructions discuss the drop technique and brushing the liquid on. I use the brush to be sure the CPU chip, lid and waterblock are wetted.

There are downsides, of course. It's expensive and it's electrically conductive. You really don't want a drop of that among the pins of a CPU socket. (I have had to clean up spills in more accessible places and alcohol works.)

Jeff

Melting_Point
Level 10
Coolaboratory Liquid Ultra is their latest, which is even better (and I forgot to mention). However, I've heard that once it's on, it's difficult to get off.

Have you used either of these jab383? If so, how do you go about removing the HS or water block at a later date? Also, with the brush method, if you take it al the way to the edge as per the many instructional videos, wont it extrude out when pressure is applied to the cooler or water block? I'd be very interested to know, as these are the reasons I've not tried it thus far.
Motherboard: RIVE (3602 bios)
CPU: Intel 3930K @4646MHz
OS Drive: 2 X Samsung 840 PRO (Raid 0)
Storage Drive: 2 X 1.5TB WD Caviar Black RAID 0, 2 X 3TB WD Caviar Red, Kingston V100 256GB SSD
Memory: 64GB G.SKILL Ripjaws Z (F3-12800CL10Q2-64GBZL)
GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GTX580 @795MHz - 1536MB GDDR5
PSU: OCZ ZX1250
Cooling: Phantek PH-TC14PE
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64. (EUFI)

Melting Point wrote:
Coolaboratory Liquid Ultra is their latest, which is even better (and I forgot to mention). However, I've heard that once it's on, it's difficult to get off.

Have you used either of these jab383? If so, how do you go about removing the HS or water block at a later date? Also, with the brush method, if you take it al the way to the edge as per the many instructional videos, wont it extrude out when pressure is applied to the cooler or water block? I'd be very interested to know, as these are the reasons I've not tried it thus far.


In my experience leaving liquid metal pro in place for months, it remains liquid. The CPU and waterblock separate very easily. I have replaced my CPU twice -- from bad to good, then back to bad with the good one died. Twice, I removed the liquid metal from the CPU and block face by scraping it off with a razor blade. The liquid came off cleanly, but the metal of the block felt unusually smooth where the TIM had been -- the TIM was still filling voids.

Liquid metal does squish out from between the CPU and block. In both installations I took up, there was a little running down the edges of the CPU's IHS. It did no harm there. The trick is to use enough to spread and wet the contacting surfaces, to fill any concavity in the CPU lid, but not too much.

I have also had the syringe squirt liquid metal under the VRM heatsink when it slipped while applying to the CPU. I had to remove the board from the case, take off ROG armor, take off the VRM heatsink and clean out the liquid metal. Alcohol worked great. The M6F is still working as I write this. I don't think there's any cleaning techinque that wouldn't wreck the pins of a CPU socket, so that's where great care is needed.

LIquid Metal Ultra is supposed to be a gel that is less likely to run or squirt. I understand that it - Ultra, not Pro - hardens as it ages. Yes, BOLTS4BREDFAST, both are metal and highly electrically conductive. You should have heard the vocabulary lesson I gave the M6F when the stuff went in the wrong place.

Jeff