[Questions] About Liquid Metal

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by lokoroxbr, Apr 23, 2017.

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  1. Spring1898

    Spring1898 Notebook Consultant

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    Just wondering why the paint method vs the "pea" and squish? Just to avoid spillage/leakage/wastage?
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
  2. Jayce 71

    Jayce 71 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I was able to use a bb sized drop on both proc and heatsink sides. Painted on carefully, and seems to work wonders. Be careful when applying pressure to the syringe plunger, as it would be very easy to squirt lm all over your motherboard, and that wouldn't be any fun to clean up.
     
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  3. bennni

    bennni Notebook Evangelist

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    Liquid metal doesn't work like a regular TIM. If you just put a 'pea' on there, it will slide off the die and onto your CPU and likely your motherboard. You have to spread the liquid metal until it bites into the CPU die and sticks. This applies to CLU and CLP gallium - I'm not sure about the other brands. If you ever apply it, you'll find out why a pea method simply isn't appropriate with CLU CLP.
     
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  4. Papusan

    Papusan JOKEBOOK's Sucks! Dont waste your $$$ on FILTHY

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    All brands bruh!!
     
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  5. tijgert

    tijgert Notebook Evangelist

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    So my $0.02 worth on all this then.

    I LM'ed (Conductonaut) my P775 last week after I delidded 2 7700K's and a 6700K for the first time (one a day since I relidded them again as well). Delidding is easy so there's no real challenge there.

    LM'ing the laptop was more... interesting. The heatsink seemed quite even but with a regular repaste (as a trial) I got a very poor connection between both the cores and the heatsink. I found that the cooling pads are quite thick, which is fine as a good pressure on those is better for heat transfer, but the poor clamping mechanism of the heatsink onto the cores means the cooling pads basically overpower that mechanism and keep the heatsink slightly off the core, partially. Compressing all the cooling pads at once by pushing down on the heatsink doesn't work, it takes too much force. So if you run into this problem the way to fix this is by shortly before mounting the heastsink again to press down hard on each individual cooling pad and squish it flat. Don't worry, it'll bounce back once mounted and still create a good seal between the chips and the heatsink. (also I added some sturdy foam behind the GPU board to push it up a little bit).

    So the challenge is for a first timer like myself to LM the cores (CPU+GPU). People say 'don't use too much'. Great, not too much but not too little, what am I, Goldylocks? I don't mind taking risks but if I can I like to have insurance, especially if it's basically free insurance.
    In another thread several people scoffed at my idea of using a dam, saying the LM won't run off... if done right, and that it'll just create backpressure onto the heatsink. Don't mind the big companies using a barrier of sorts as a safeguard when applying LM, but MY idea was stupid. Of course.

    My idea was technically sound so I went ahead with it anyway. I found out through baking several foams in the oven for a while that most (in my case all) foamy material will withstand temperatures in excess of 100 degrees Celsius. So I simply chose the softest foam I could find, It was 27.5m thick to start with and would compress down to 1.2mm, that seemed all right (dunno where I sourced it, I just had it laying around, I like to have raw materials around that might come in handy). So I cut core outline shaped pieces of just slightly thicker than the GPU core (above the substrate) and a little thicker than that for the CPU as it had to go to below the substrate and fill up the gap around the socket to just above the IHS.

    I nailpolished and taped the little SMD components around the GPU and 'glued' the foam on with a swab of nail polish just to keep it steady. For the CPU I simply stuck it in around the socket and made sure it was surrounded on all sides and about 1 to 2 mm above the IHS (but to the side of it, not directly over the IHS of course!).

    The first LM attempt worked fine, buffing the heatsink to a mirror finish and then rubbing LM good onto the core and the heatsink first to create two shiny surfaces that would link up real well as liquids do, but temps seemed more like that of regular TIM. I wasn't impressed. So I opened it up again and added a drop, spread it out and closed it up again.

    From the CPU delidding I learned what using too much LM would look like before I put the IHS back on, but that was with a great contact between the core and IHS where excess LM would simply be pushed out. This hesatsinks contact was however less than an absolute perfect fit (thanks to the cooling pads for one) and required more LM.
    The second time around temps were crazy, 26c ambient and 65c at 4GHz with fans on auto, not even full blast. Another try at 23c ambient gave me 73c at 4.6GHz, also fans on auto and they were not screaming at all. So much headroom!

    Playing Doom for a while and some other games at 23c ambient the GPU (+120core +120ram) got to 74c and CPU at 4.6GHz to slightly above 80c, fans on auto and not very audible. Again so much headroom left for cooling if it were needed, just a crazy difference that LM made...

    Now, I haven't checked for any LM runoff yet so technically I cannot be sure the dam worked as intended, but there's no reason to doubt it gives that little extra peace of mind when traveling. (I am typing this by the way after a long trip with the laptop vertical and handled several times and all is well and working.

    So, pics. The pics I added still need to be approved but in the meantime I have an alternate host.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  6. shadowyani

    shadowyani Notebook Deity

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    You guys are ballsy. That stuff is made to be inside the IHS.

    Temps are amazing though. Risk reward I guess lol.
     
  7. bennni

    bennni Notebook Evangelist

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    I guess the foam dam won't hurt. For heatsinks that fit well and have good pressure, I just haven't noticed any movement of the LM TIM that justifies concern in the systems that I have applied it to. One system didn't have good mounting pressure from the heatsink and LM was, as expected, pretty terrible in this instance - I found a conventional paste to be better for that system.

    The foam dam idea doesn't deserve to be scoffed at but I'd personally use LM where possible and regular TIM in instances in which the heatsink fit/material makes this difficult/impossible. LM wil be absorbed by porous material when spread thinly but I do wonder whether any solid balls that roll off of the die will also roll clean over the foam material - if memory serves, LM balls are quite good at going where they please.
     
  8. tijgert

    tijgert Notebook Evangelist

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    I see that we think alike. You see, I too realized that LM balls could bounce around if not actually blocked in 3D. That's why the foam dam isn't just a thin low layer to trap 2D moving balls, it's an actual wall from the substrate of the GPU up to and against the heatsink. It's an actual barrier. That's why the foam had to be raised to above the GPU core and be very compressible. That way the backpressure from the foam would be negligeble when the heatsink would compress it and create an impermeable wall.

    Same goes for the CPU though that's a bit more tricky if you look at the pics. You don't want the foam to get caught between the IHS and the heatsink and you can't venture away from the core too far or it'll just run down the side of the IHS onto the motherboard and not even be bothered by some distantly placed foam when it can destroy stuff right there underneath the socket!

    As far as properly fitting heatsinks; you can bend the heatsink and heat pipes quite well usually and MAKE it fit better if you have to. Just keep in mind that heat pipes can bend REAL quick and when they fold over and dent, they're ruined and you're F'd.
    Just keep bending it slightly and gently and keep refitting it onto the cores until you get good contact all over the cores.
    But don't waste LM or regular TIM, use toothpaste! All you need is a smooth layer to see where it makes contact, you don't use it on a running machine. Toothpaste is very useful and cheap and we all have plenty to keep trying until you get the right fit.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2017
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