Something to think about, liquid metal compatibility with copper heat sinks

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Tishers, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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  2. Kana Chan

    Kana Chan Notebook Consultant

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    You could replace the nickel plated IHS for a full copper one if you wanted. Is there a need to remove the heatsink that much though aside from cleaning/removing dust?
     
  3. Sacco

    Sacco Notebook Enthusiast

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    So. I checked my LM application after only two months.

    Between a Ryzen 1800x and an asetek Gen 4 pump (copper plate)

    The CPU IHS was literally glued to the plate, I needed to pull the CPU out of the socket, thankfully the puppy still works fine.

    Tried with car polish and while it helped it was too darn slow and I switched to sand level both surfaces until I got rid of the residues on both surfaces.

    Not worth the effort IMHO, not if you need to pull the CPU out of the socket like that. The temps however were fantastic all this time, I could of leaved it alone but prefer to be safe than sorry.

    So, no I wouldn't advice to use LM, period. Even the IHS got compromised.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
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  4. Falkentyne

    Falkentyne Notebook Prophet

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    You're not supposed to use Liquid Metal on desktop CPU's between CPU and heatsink. It's really not worth it at all.
    That is usually done on laptops because laptops are already bare die, and need all the help they can get, with their weak heatsinks.

    You're supposed to use it on DELIDS. E.g. removing the Intel pigeon poop *under* the IHS. That is 100% safe and has been time tested by the very best overclockers in the world. The only time liquid metal should NOT be used on delids is under subzero. And you wouldn't want to anyway, since the power of LN2 > anything else--just use the basic pigeon poop.

    For IHS to heatsink attachments, just use Kryonaut. If Kryonaut has pump-out issues on your system, use Coolermaster Gel Maker Nano.

    Ryzens don't need to be de-lidded.
     
  5. Sacco

    Sacco Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yeah, I came to the same conclusion too. Only good on delidded chips.

    Right after checking my system and fixing the mess I ordered some Kryonaut. :)
     
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  6. Sacco

    Sacco Notebook Enthusiast

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    Pump-out issues?
     
  7. Falkentyne

    Falkentyne Notebook Prophet

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    Paste dries out with repeated heat/drying stress sessions (thermal stresses), especially on uneven heatsinks (this is very common on laptops). The performance is excellent but the durability is quite low. The heatsink must have high static pressure and must not have air gaps or convex/concave fits that will cause the paste to dry out in areas.
     
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  8. bennyg

    bennyg Notebook Deity

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    There's not much point to that, the ihs is already copper with nickel plating, but Ihs is only a thing with the few LGA (desktop) socket CPU laptops, notebook cpus are bare die even in the ye olde before times of the PGA mobile socket

    Flatness is more the issue IMO you can see where this 6700k ihs was higher on the edges where the nickel wore off first then with a few more mins effort was flat (ish, that shot is what it looked like after the 240 grit sandpaper before finishing with 1200grit)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Liquid Metal alloying with copper is a surface reaction only, it is very quick to sand off, I reckon the layer depth would be in the tens of microns. If you're reapplying liquid metal again it's actually a fairly pointless thing to do.

    I have noticed that reusing liquid metal many times leads to "grit" building up, this must be the non Gallium constituents coming out of a eutectic state as the Gallium is consumed or the whole mix is oxidised. Oxidation is not a big issue really, if contact is good it is restricted to the edges. As I showed in my video hmscott posted above, if you have crappy gappy contact, air may dry out the mix and shrink the contact area leading to die hotspots. Galinstan actually almost instantly oxidises in contact with air, this is what gives it a surface tension and causes it to bead in its droplets, but once the surface layer is oxidised what is inside is insulated from air, like a water balloon.

    I would advise any liquid metal application be checked within 3 months to see if its lost volume by gallium alloying into a copper heatsink or oxidation. Thereafter it can last a long time, I opened up a Clevo with copper heatsink after 15 months and it looked and performed the same as it was applied, but this was not an initial application (the heatsink had already absorbed what it would)
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
  9. Papusan

    Papusan JOKEBOOKS = That sucks!! STAHP! Dont buy FILTH...

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    Sir, never sand of all Liquid metal with next re—application of Liquid metal. I know you know all this:) But many don’t know this. Sorry if this is is replicated.
     
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  10. Sacco

    Sacco Notebook Enthusiast

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    To me, if the CPU solders itself to the cooler is not a good thing. Does anyone knows if reapplying without sanding the alloy completely prevents the CPU from sticking?

    After sanding down my cold plate and CPU I think it would be pointless to re apply liquid metal. It will glue itself again. However I'm still considering it, I can pull it once more carefully (maybe even loosening the retention arm first) if I have proof that subsequent applications aren't gonna be a mess.

    Is a bit frustrating for me at this point. Just applied some Kryonaut and gosh my temps are so bad (+10c), much worse than when I was using Noctua paste.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
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