Best thermal compounds to use for gpu/cpu?

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by hc2995, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. hc2995

    hc2995 Notebook Geek

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    I'll be receiving my m17r3 in a few days with a NVIDIA 580m, I plan to do a repaste of the gpu and probably the CPU within the first week or 2 and wanted some input as to what kind of thermal compound works the best in this situation?

    Regards,
    Howard c
     
  2. kent1146

    kent1146 Notebook Virtuoso

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    Most name-brand thermal pastes will perform about the same. Proper application technique (read the instructions for the paste) has a much larger impact than the actual material / composition of the paste itself.

    Don't kill yourself trying to specifically buy one brand / type of thermal paste over another, because the performance differences are so small that they might as well be within a margin of error. If you really have no idea what to buy and are starting completely from scratch, just buy a tube of Arctic Silver 5. It is the "gold standard" against which all other thermal pastes have been compared for the past several years.
     
  3. widezu69

    widezu69 Goodbye Alienware

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    Artic Silver 5 is ancient. If you can get Prolimatech PK-1, get that, if not, the Artic Cooling MX-4 is probably the benchmark in reliability and performance nowadays.

    I use IC Diamond but I'm extremely careful and it does stain the die a bit as it has diamonds inside which scratch the hell out of anything.
     
  4. tommyxv

    tommyxv Notebook Evangelist

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    I could not agree more. I follow the small grain of rice size method for CPU's.
     
  5. SlickDude80

    SlickDude80 Notebook Prophet

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    I will compress 6 months of discussion, research and experimentation here. I've used PK-1, AS5, MX-4, OCZ FREEZE on my laptop and IC7 in desktops in the last 6 months. The winner: PK-1

    I agree with both Kent and Beaverman

    Very important to apply the paste well...so from that perspective, the application of the paste is really important. Don't use the creditcard spread method, let the heatsink spread the paste via compression. Also ease of use is important. IC Diamond is a real pain the behind to work with. It doesn't spread easily. However, MX-4, AS5, PK-1 spread easily

    SO...going further to this, it is really important to get a paste that will work well regardless of how you apply it. The best one available right now that works well with moderate contact between CPU/GPU die and heatsink is Prolimatech PK-1 (which is what i use)

    My GPU runs 67c in Furmark after 10 mins
    My CPU cores hover between 71c - 73c after 20 mins, completely 100% loaded with prime95

    AS5 is still decent, but only works well under the most optimal spread/contact situations between heatsink and CPU/GPU die.

    IC Diamond works well under bad contact situations, but it doesn't improve much when the contact improves. and like Widezu alluded to, IC Diamond will scratch the heck out of your CPU and GPU dies so avoid this one

    Here is the bible of cooling as far as i'm concerned. Click on moderate contact for what you might expect in a laptop:

    2011 Thermal Compound Roundup – Results Compilation | Skinnee Labs
     
  6. hc2995

    hc2995 Notebook Geek

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    So pk - 1 seems to be the winner here. Ive installed/repasted so many heat sinks over the years i have gotten pretty good at installing them, never used the credit card method, always seemed more of a hassle than it was worth.

    Regards,
    Howard C
     
  7. darkloki

    darkloki Notebook Deity

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    I personally think OCZ freeze is the best, and this is largely in part because of the thermal compounds it's among the Easiest to use/apply.
     
  8. superdave643

    superdave643 Notebook Geek

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    Cool, did you buy the PK-1 in Canada? I am lost here in Quebec. I might wait until my next trip down to Ontario over Easter to obtain a tube somewhere.

    Thanks!

     
  9. nayilalien

    nayilalien Notebook Evangelist

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    I've used pk-1 and AS-5.

    PK-1 wins hands down. I never exceeded 65 deg C on the gpu with pk-1.
    With AS-5, I've hit 67 deg C.

    I will be going back to PK-1 shortly.
     
  10. GeoCake

    GeoCake http://ted.ph

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    Plus 1 for team PK-1!
     
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