Alternatives to thermal paste:

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by Celice, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Celice
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    Celice GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    A bit ago, there was a thread where some members were discussing the merits of tried-and-true thermal pastes, going commando, and then some other "alternative" pastes. This thread popped up on r/GamingPC, and it details a variety of kitchen condiments that, supposedly, rival some Arctic Silver compounds.

    (found it as a Google Translate, shared it as a Google translate)

    A bit of a fun read, considering they try things from ketchup to caviar to wasabi to minced meat. I've got to say though--though using the oil as a "paste" wasn't the best solution (let alone a soaked cloth), I've seen some rigs with some sort of cooking oil waterfalling across the vertical surface, where it was then filtered and recycled back to the top of the waterfall, and I gotta say, they had some nice temps for what was happening.

    Like hell I'd ever do that though >.>
     
  2. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Fact is they dry out quicker and can possibly do damage against the contact surface. Any PC DIYer is going to want to stick with a proper TIM. Though these days I can't recommend Arctic Silver since it is capacitive. If you happened to use too much of it and it spilled on the motherboard it can damage it.

    My recommendation goes to MX-4.

    @Celice
    When you say water falling, do you mean submerged cooling like this?



    Mineral oil is used here since it does not conduct electricity. They look cool, but a pain to clean up if you want to change equipment. Also traditional HDD cannot be submerged.
     
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  3. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    Interesting. None of them would work over time though, the oil could've had potential if it actually worked.

    You can submerge a traditional HDD if you cover up the small hole on it, this may have unknown side effects though as HDD manufacturers don't recommend it.
    Anyway it sure would be awesome to have a mineral oil cooled rig :) Great way to make your friends go WTF :wtf:
     
  4. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    But what's the thermal capacity of a mineral oil cooled rig, and how much heat does it dissipate?

    I'm sticking to traditional liquid/air cooling.
     
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  5. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    They are good for average setup (APU, SB/IB i3, i5, i7), in that you don't need a radiator loop. But once you run say overclocked FX-8xxx or i7-39xx setup, you will want to add a radiator loop to cool the oil down.

    And mineral oil does dry up, so you do need to do refill from time to time.
     
  6. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    Sounds like it wouldn't take too kindly to a 3 or 4 way GTX 690 SLI setup.
     
  7. Kouen Hasuki

    Kouen Hasuki Kouen the Cyber Husky

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    MX-2 is about the same in thermal efficiency to MX-4 and found it a bit better than AS5 in my experience at least
     
  8. marcus134

    marcus134 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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  9. Celice
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    Celice GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    No! It's actually cascading oil across the face of a mobo, held fairly vertical, where the oil will run down into a sort of base, the run through a filtering of sorts, from which it's then rerouted back to cascade on the mobo again.

     
  10. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    First time for everything. :blink:

    Reminds me of evaporative cooling. You still use water block, but instead of radiator you let water fall from the top to the bottom in a semi-closed tower. Fan blows air into the tower to cool the water. Pump at the bottom to circulate the system.

    http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?&m=126464&mpage=1
     
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  11. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    Now that I've researched a little more, oil cooling seems fairly viable. Oil really does have a rather large thermal capacity, although I still can't find anything solid on thermal dissipation rates. I still can't find out if its safe enough for use with multiple GTX 690s.
     
  12. marcus134

    marcus134 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html

    to give you an idea, here are some conductivity coefficient:

    air (atmosphere) 0.024
    oil 0.1 - 0.15
    water 0.58
    glass 1.05
    acrylic 0.2
    aluminum 205

    I guess that what you need to find out is what amount of surface your case need for your expected tdp.
     
  13. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    What's wrong with Arctic Silver? Why is it so popular and recommended among computer hardware/IT experts if it's so "dangerous"? I have it and it's actually helped my laptop CPU run at lower temperatures. You do know why it uses silver, right? I made sure that there was an even layer on the die and not the PCB itself.
     
  14. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Yet I already answered your question. I don't recommend it because it is capacitive. You spilled it on the motherboard it can damage the board.

    Also, AS5 needs a one-time curing time. Curing time refers to the time needed for TIM to reach its peak performance. It takes about 200 hours for AS5 to reach its peak condition.

    These days aluminum-based TIM like MX-2, MX-4, PK-1, etc have negligible difference then silver-based TIM like AS5. Aluminum-based TIM is not capacitive, and does not have curing time.

    AS5 is not a bad paste, I simply don't recommend it because there are better paste out there.
     
  15. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Well, I made sure it wasn't on the PCB, though the paste Lenovo used was, who knows what they used. I wasn't aware of the curing time prior to when it was applied, but now that it's already on the CPU die, I sure as hell aren't going to bother dissembling the chassis to reach the CPU or GPU dies. The paste hasn't made anything worse, if anything, I'm starting to notice a decrease. But I digress, someone would have to be pretty stupid to have the paste spill on the PCB in the first place:rofl:
     
  16. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    OEMs like Lenovo, HP, and even Intel/AMD all use top quality TIM on their products.

    Biggest mistake these OEM make are either using too much (like you said, it spilled over), or cheapen out and use thermal tape instead. Use too much TIM and it becomes an heat insulator instead of conductor. Using thermal tape instead of TIM and you are not even conducting heat in an efficient manner.
     
  17. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    I had to redo the paste since they butchered it big time, and I was getting hotter temps than I liked to (such as 90 Celsius under load, with a cooler). It looked like wadded gum on the heatsink, yeah, it was bad.