How durable is a liquid metal repaste from a reseller?

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by trias10, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. trias10

    trias10 Notebook Consultant

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    Putting aside the question of using liquid metal on bare copper for a moment, I am hoping to learn more about how "shock resistant" a liquid metal solution on the CPU+GPU is when done by a tier 1 reseller like HID or GenTechPC?

    I've read the massive thread about using foam barriers to ensure that LM doesn't spill onto the board, but I'm not sure how bulletproof a solution is from a place like HID (who won't tell me anything about their methodology, since it's secret). I tend to abuse my laptops a lot, in terms of keeping them in backpacks for long periods of time, and then those backpacks are subject to a lot of shaking/jolting and being thrown around or generally poorly handled (military). Hence I'm quite nervous about ordering a laptop with LM since reading that thread about foam barriers and how easily the LM can escape.

    Also, and perhaps a more important question to ask is, does anyone here have any stories about LM from HID/GenTech which failed or leaked? Any bad experiences at all with a reseller applied LM solution?
     
  2. Felix_Argyle

    Felix_Argyle Notebook Consultant

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    Liquid metal should not leak out past the GPU and CPU area if the correct amount was applied, it tends to "stick" to metal surfaces after you spread it, especially copper. I did not have any issues with it even without using foam barrier. If you are really nervous - just stick to pastes with high viscosity which would resist any pump out or leaking, like IC Diamond or Kingpin kPx.

    As for resellers applying it - you never know how well they applied it until you will actually check it yourself ;-) This is why I would never order any repaste option. Of course not everyone is willing to repaste themselves, but I would suggest finding a friend who can do this or reputable local repair shop (keyword is "reputable", someone who will not shift their own fault onto customer).
     
  3. Biker Gremling

    Biker Gremling Notebook Consultant

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    My experience with liquid metal on laptops is that the cost and effort isn't worth it, and the gain is quite small compared to the risks involved.

    Even repasting and re-padding isn't worth it on most laptops as well.

    Enviado desde mi GM1913 mediante Tapatalk
     
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  4. Felix_Argyle

    Felix_Argyle Notebook Consultant

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    The gain depends on the quality of original thermal paste. On my laptop I have seen 20c difference between liquid metal and stock thermal paste, I can find other similar examples.
     
  5. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    The gains are tangible only if the paste was the bottle neck. If the rest of the cooling system was subpar the only difference will be quicker temp drops to idle.
     
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  6. trias10

    trias10 Notebook Consultant

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    I'm honestly not too fussed about the gains of liquid metal; I'm much more interested to know how shock/abuse proof LM is when applied by a competent reseller. Even assuming a laptop's LM application has some kind of foam barrier around the die, does that 100% mean you will never leak LM during intense shaking/jolting of the laptop in a backpack?
     
  7. Felix_Argyle

    Felix_Argyle Notebook Consultant

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    It should not leak if there is no excessive amount applied. Of course, it is hard to do that when you cannot see how much heatsink will squeeze it out, so there is always a chance some inexperienced person will apply too much and some will drop outside of CPU area.

    And yes, the barrier should work well against excessive application. I do not know if any reseller uses it.
     
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  8. yrekabakery

    yrekabakery Notebook Virtuoso

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    HID uses a custom RTV silicone gasket sandwiched between Kapton tape, while other resellers who offer LM such as Eluktronics use foam.
     
  9. trias10

    trias10 Notebook Consultant

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    Interesting, many thanks! Apologies for asking this, but how do you know this if their technique is supposed to be secret?

    As far as techniques go, I'm so new to all things LM that it's hard for me to understand how good a technique the custom RTV silicone is compared to foam. I do know that silicone is a pretty good sealant, as it's even waterproof (or at least the stuff I use in my shower is), so that seems to indicate that the HID solution is indeed incredibly durable? I mean, if HID are basically creating a ring of silicone around the LM, much like one uses silicone to seal a shower, then that sounds like there is absolutely no way that LM could ever escape, even under extreme jolting and shaking of the laptop as a whole?
     
  10. yrekabakery

    yrekabakery Notebook Virtuoso

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    I have seen recent examples of units purchased from HID with the bottom cover removed.

    Yes the RTV method should work quite well.
     
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