Which Thermal Paste to buy and apply (Traditional and Liquid Metal)

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Vasudev, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. Papusan

    Papusan JOKEBOOKs Sucks! Dont waste your $$$ on FILTHY

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    Sure. Don't compare liquid metal with ordinar thermal paste.
    upload_2019-12-25_3-19-27.png
     
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  2. Felix_Argyle

    Felix_Argyle Notebook Consultant

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    Why are you copypasting these garbage "advices"? The manufacturer only cares if you will save a few seconds when spreading the liquid metal alloy but it does not give a **** about compromised thermal conductivity which is caused by every tiny imperfection you will add by scratching the surface. If you care that you will spend few seconds less when applying liquid metal alloy (which, by the way, WILL "wet" or in other words stick to the metal surface of heatsink and CPU no matter how much you polish them, go read up on properties of Gallium and its alloys) - sure, put as many scratches as you want. If you care about actual temperature decrease - manually scratching the surface is not only unnecessary but irrational to do since you are decreasing direct metal-to-metal contact between solid metal parts and any thermal paste including liquid metal alloy will have worse thermal conductivity and since liquid metal alloy WILL spread and stick to the surface of heatsink and CPU without doing this (once again, go read up on properties of liquid metal alloys based on Gallium). If you are afraid that liquid metal alloy will "leak out" when transporting laptop - just do not apply too much of it (practice your spreading until you'll learn how to do this) and clean the surface of the CPU and heatsink properly and it will NEVER leak if you do both of these properly. Once again, there is absolutely no NEED to damage in any way (including the way described in "suggestion" you copypasted) the surface of heatsink or CPU by manual scratching when applying liquid metal or any other kind of thermal paste, for any purpose other than MAYBE potentially saving a few seconds while spreading the liquid metal alloy (which will spread anyway).

    P.S: I know that once again, people WILL have reading comprehension issues and WILL ignore each and every fact that I stated but hey, at least I have tried ;-)
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2019
  3. Papusan

    Papusan JOKEBOOKs Sucks! Dont waste your $$$ on FILTHY

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    Not so sure how familiar you are with Liquid metal, longevity and end results but I and a few have used it a very long time. And with temps and performance results none can beat. Not even close.

    Another thread with about same topic. Read also bro @Falkentyne’s posts http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...r2-owners-lounge.829502/page-32#post-10978040
     
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  4. seanwee

    seanwee Notebook Deity

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    I've used LM for a few years now and I've never had to rough up any surface, they've always held on well.

    I'm not sure how long a mirror finish to mirror finish application will last but the temperatures do seem to be ever so slightly better. More direct metal to metal contact is always good.

    Though as my results showed, even a mirror finish to mirror finish contact still has enough micro gaps for there to be a sizeable temperature difference going from regular paste to liquid metal.
     
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  5. Falkentyne

    Falkentyne Notebook Prophet

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    I've experimented with multiple methods on my 9900k. Over 10 delids and relids and also experimenting on heatsinks. Roughening the surface gave me best results. Mirror finish gave me bad longevity.
    Take a mirror finish surface and then try to spread the LM *very thin* and watch what happens. Most people don't do this.
    It will start streaking and collect to itself leaving exposed copper/nickel. Even if you put enough that it doesn't do that, if you then put it under high pressure and heat, if there is any tiny imbalance (like a convex CPU die), you can check in 1-2 days and unlid your CPU and see an exposed part without any LM. That's because it pooled to the side and towards itself because there was no traction or micro-ridges and your temps will be higher from this. This effect is greatly reduced by using a surface roughed with 1500 grit sandpaper, and the 'imperfections' you created simply get filled up by the LM absorption. This helps maintain temps. If you do the above spread thin test on 1500 grit buffed surfaces, you will notice the 'streaking clear' issue stops much sooner. And the LM adheres better also.

    A fully mirror surface works if both surfaces are very flat with perfect contact pressure. But you're only going to get that on a sanded flat CPU and custom bought IHS. The problem is if there is any convexity or concavity at all, even a tiny bit, I found 1500 grit buff sanding works the best.

    I've spent many, many hours testing such things on both CPUs and Video cards (Vega 64, etc).
     
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  6. seanwee

    seanwee Notebook Deity

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    Lapped and LMed my GS75

    20200106_022330_compress82.jpg

    Stress testing with prime 95 small fft + heaven 4.0

    Edit: used 1500 grit all the way up to 7000 grit wet/dry. Spent 30 mins each with 7000 grit on the cpu/gpu heatspreader.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
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  7. seanwee

    seanwee Notebook Deity

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    I didn't make a detailed record of the per core temperatures on my first fresh LM application but the max was 86°C cpu and 72°C gpu

    Post lap 30 min stress

    https://i.imgur.com/o5NTstA.png

    Not sure why this forum is so finicky when it comes to uploading pictures.

    A much larger gain than I expected. Might be due to MSI's rougher than usual heatsinks.

    20190627_163305_compress38.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
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  8. Xharos

    Xharos Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi guys, I repasted my GE65 Raider 9SF (i7 9750H, RTX 2070) with Artic MX-4 thermal paste because, as a desktop PC guy, it's what I usually use (my current lifestyle forced me into buying a laptop instead of upgrading my PC). I did it today and Apex Legends doesn't make my CPU heat up to 95ºC anymore, it stays at low 80s / high 70s, and at a stable 4 GHz with ocassional drops to 3.9 GHz.

    The thing is, after the fact I've seen some posts online about how MX-4 is terrible for laptops because of low mouting pressure, and will degrade super fast after a few weeks. Is this true?

    If my MX-4 application will really degrade fast, what other thermal paste would you recommend for my laptop so that I can replace it before it happens? I'm not ballsy enough to use liquid metal. Purchasing a 2000€ laptop was absolutely insane on my part and the biggest risk I'm willing to take is the act of opening it up and repasting it in itself, but there's no way in hell I'm going to risk applying liquid metal on it. If this laptop dies I die along with it, it just can't happen under any circumstances, it's not an option. So yeah, traditional thermal paste only please. Thanks!

    EDIT: Also, another question. I decided to ignore the...stuff that was on the VRMs, since it didn't look like regular thermal paste. So, I just left it in there and pretended it didn't exist. But eventually I'll have to replace that stuff... What is it? Do I just replace it with regular thermal paste? Thanks

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  9. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    It does happen, I've worked with guys / gals trying to get control over their quickly deteriorating temps - repaste and a few months later it's already to go again.

    I've had good luck with keeping the paste away from the edge of the CPU / GPU - the part where it meets the air seems to cause wicking away of the moisture, drying out quicker.

    I am weird, I apply my paste by hand - no simple X or dots, I use a cut card to squeegee the paste as thin as I can across the whole surface meeting the heat plate, then use an xacto knife to cut away a perimeter about an 1-16th" - 1/8th" of cleaned surface - so no paste will squish out or "oreo" around the edges.

    I've also suggested and people have tried sealing around the edge with K5 Pro or another high temp sealant - to keep air from getting in under the edge between the CPU and heatplate. This has worked reportedly for some, but I haven't needed to try it.

    I've used AS5 / MX4 and NT-H1, but today I'd use Kryonaut:
    https://www.amazon.com/Thermal-Grizzly-Kryonaut-Grease-Paste/dp/B011F7W3LU

    There are lots of pastes that will work, but all tend to pump out or dry out over time, more or less fast depending on the thermals and exposure to air. If you need to pull apart the heatplate from the CPU / GPU once seated fully, you need to clean the old paste and re-apply.

    Use common sense though, I've recovered by re-smoothing out the paste with a card to a thin covering and made that clean lip around the join edges and it's been fine.

    If you can do just the CPU or GPU independently, I'd do one at a time, they need different techniques - you need to check the fitment of each separately - usually the GPU is larger and has more "slop" in the fitment, so it may take a thicker application of paste to get a good mating.

    One last thing, perhaps it should be the first thing, I don't recommend re-pasting for most people. It's just not needed. As long as you aren't thermal throttling constantly - to the point where your CPU is losing performance - it's not really needed.

    A lot of people get sucked into reducing temps when it's really not *required* to do so. They justify it as lengthening the lifetime of the CPU / laptop, but I've seen people's old laptops that have been running at high temps for years perform just fine and other parts - like the battery - die long before the CPU / GPU.

    Also, the thermal paste that comes from the factory is designed to last a long time with stable temps - not provide great temps, but stable temps. That's because they can't have their laptops needing repasting every 3-6-12 months like enthusiast pastes require so they optimize the paste for longevity, not peak efficiency.

    So, is it better to enjoy the laptop as is, undervolt perhaps, tune the fan curve for better cooling, FPS limit your games to the refresh rate (this works wonders), lift up the rear of the laptop higher than the front to start convection cooling - can provide great results simply by lifting the rear quarters off the table to allow better intake of cool air and venting the hot exhaust up and away from the table surface.

    All those tricks and more will result in better temps without needing to re-paste.

    Please let us know what you do and how it works for you. And, if you have any more questions come back - there are lots of people here that can help you. :)

    Edit1: Oh yeah, that other paste, it's likely a thick paste meant to replace thermal pads in applications that don't need that much thickness to mate the chip and the thermal plate, K5 pro works as a replacement for that:
    https://www.amazon.com/viscous-thermal-paste-replacement-Aspire/dp/B00UTX7K2E

    K5 Pro will "harden" over time to a plasticky consistency - it seals against moisture / air - which is why I suggested it for around the edges of the CPU / GPU to act as a barrier to air which dries out the thin enthusiast paste. I wouldn't use K5 Pro as the CPU / GPU paste, although people have successfully done so. It's easy to remove when it has set, you may have to apply lifting pressure to unseat it from the heat plate later, but don't be alarmed it peals right off or rolls up into little balls - it's easy to clean up.

    Edit 2: Wow, missed this one, "MX-4 2019" - a new formulation "better than liquid metal"... IDK anything about it, but may be worth a try? Here's some info lifted from the Amazon product page:
    https://www.amazon.com/ARCTIC-MX-4-2019-Performance-Durability/dp/B07L9BDY3T
    on newegg:
    https://www.newegg.com/arctic-cooling-ac-mx4/p/2MB-000S-00016
    • The new version of the #1 bestseller: the MX-4 Edition 2019 convinces everyone with its usual quality and performance, that have always distinguished it
    • Better than liquid metal: composed of carbon micro-particles which lead to an extremely high thermal conductivity. Its that heat generated from the CPU or GPU is dissipated efficiently
    • Thermal compound: The MX-4 Edition 2019 formula S exceptional heat dissipation from the components and supports the stability needed to push your system to its limit
    • Safe application: The MX-4 Edition 2019 is metal-free and non-electrical conductive which eliminates any risks of causing short circuit, adding more protection to the CPU and VGA cards
    • High durability: in contrast to metal and silicon thermal compound, The MX-4 Edition 2019 doesn't compromise over time. Once applied, you do not need to apply it again as it will last At least for 8 years
    Will wonders never cease, I'm gonna have to try it myself :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  10. Xharos

    Xharos Notebook Enthusiast

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    Unfortunately, I already repasted lol. That's why I'm asking if I did well in applying MX-4 or if i should start thinking about yeeting it and replacing it with something better. But if it's good then I'll just leave it there.

    Regarding your advice on how to keep the temps down, I'm already using a cooling pad with adjustable height, and the limiting the FPS to the refresh rate thing... my refresh rate is 240 Hz... so yeah... lol

    Thanks for all the advice though!
     
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