Exchanging thermal paste?

Discussion in 'Switch - Console, Accessories & Hardware' started by Clydefrosch, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. Clydefrosch
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    Clydefrosch GBAtemp Psycho!

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    I recently read that the switch might profit from replacing the factory applied thermal paste and thermal pads to better get rid of the heat, preventing framedrops in some games like Zelda.

    Generally sounds logical, cheap paste doesn't take away the heat as effective and whatnot and it also doesn't seem to be very hard to pull off if you have the right screwdrivers either.

    I'm sure some have tried and I'd be interested in experiences?
     
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  2. gameboy

    gameboy GBAtemp Maniac

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    funny i was going to do this two days ago, bought the mx-4 and thermal pads but i didnt buy any triwing screwdrivers... i had a pair but they went missing
     
  3. nero99

    nero99 GBAtemp Addict

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    Replacing the paste helps keeps temps lower. I replaced mine with MX-4 and have had no heat issues after changing it. My system used to get quite hot when playing BOTW in handheld mode. but now it barely gets warm in handheld mode with the MX-4
     
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  4. MrBland

    MrBland Member

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    I'm planning on tackling the project next week. Just ordering all the supplies now. What size thermal pads did you use? I was going to buy 1mm pads, did you notices places that need thicker?
     
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  5. gameboy

    gameboy GBAtemp Maniac

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    nvm, i ordered 1mm too but havent gotten to open it yet
     
    Last edited by gameboy, Jun 7, 2018
  6. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat USB and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    Don't use pads, use liquid metal paste. My silver paste keeps mine from thermal throttling in Zelda. Docked or handheld modes be damned.
     
  7. MrBland

    MrBland Member

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    Well I plan on using liquid metal on the GPU/CPU, Arctic Silver between the cooper sheet and the heat pipe plate, and Arctic Silver between the heat pipe plate and the metal casing. However there are several other places between the metal casing and the internal components where there are thermal pads that I'm going to replace that I don't believe thermal paste would be appropriate; thus thermal pads. Just wasn't sure what size, I would hate to have bulging.
     
  8. linuxares

    linuxares GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Do you really win any big performance boost from the Switch with liquid metal? It feels iffy to put it on a handheld that will move around as well. I rather just have plain old artic silver on the heatshield instead.
     
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  9. MrBland

    MrBland Member

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    From what I've read (I haven't done mine yet) yes. But you need to be cautious not to put too much, just like in a laptop or PC. A small drop spread thinly around with a fine paint brush or Q-tip. I also am only going to use the liquid metal directly on the GPU/CPU and Arctic Silver and thermal pads everywhere else. There is always risk when using liquid metal, but if used correctly the risk is low.

    Mostly I'm doing this because it's fun, I don't see it as nessecary for normal gameplay, however I do plan on eventually overclocking my Switch at which time this mod will definately prove its worth.

    I am considering some over modifications to help with airflow too, maybe more vents in the outer case and a fan in the dock.
     
    Last edited by MrBland, Jun 7, 2018
  10. guily6669

    guily6669 GbaTemp is my Drug

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    Artic Silver is not liquid metal... Though going to liquid metal which is the best option under the copper sheet won't probably lower much the temps than using AS5 and is more dangerous too...

    And yeah, some parts are better with thermal pads...

    There is a video on youtube of a heavily modded cooling Switch, he had thick thermal pads and ended up opening again and using thinner thermal pads, I can't remember the video, but you can search and ask him what thickness is the best as he already had to open his console again to change them and he surely will know the answer...

    And you can get an idea of cooling mods... He also removed the copper sheet and modified the cooler mounting a bit to direct touch the SOC die with no sheet in the middle. On his video he shows the Zelda forest part and he completely removed all the FPS drop on that part which is the worse of all ZELDA and lags there.

    I have a huge syringe of MX-4, but I only have thick thermal pads from a old GPU, I will probably just waste 20gr of thermal compound on my Switch all over the place :)
     
    Last edited by guily6669, Jun 7, 2018
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  11. nekojosh

    nekojosh GBAtemp Regular

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    I'd be great if someone made a tutorial about this. I'd like to do this but not sure which brands of thermal paste or pads to buy and such. Also having a visual guide of the internals of the switch and where to apply it would be helpful to have before starting a project like this.
    Just sayin'. :)
     
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  12. guily6669

    guily6669 GbaTemp is my Drug

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    Ask that guy
     
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  13. nekojosh

    nekojosh GBAtemp Regular

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    Nice! this is helpful. Thanks.
     
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  14. guily6669

    guily6669 GbaTemp is my Drug

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    Oh and dont forget to also check his 1st video.



    (This one shows the first part, but doesn't explain as good as the other, however there's a missing part on the other video which is here. And it is the thermal pads+thermal paste above the memory chips under the metal cover).
     
  15. Viri

    Viri GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    This thread makes me wish we had a homebrew app that allows us to monitor temperatures. I'm not even sure if that's possible. And yea, compared to the 3DS and Wii-U, taking apart the Switch is piss easy.
     
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  16. guily6669

    guily6669 GbaTemp is my Drug

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    I also can't wait for something like that... Eventually someone will probably add it to atmosphere with time. Actually after backup loading that's the number 1 feature I would want, having temps on the main atmosphere menu and on the power menu while in-game (the menu with LCD brightness control).
     
  17. CallmeBerto

    CallmeBerto Vigilante

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    I have.

    I used AS5 and it was really easy. My switch used to get hot to the touch while playing Botw in dock mode and now it gets warm.
     
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  18. Clydefrosch
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    Clydefrosch GBAtemp Psycho!

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    I hear liquid metal doesn't play nice with copper pipes in the long run.
    and it's also not the safest in a mobile system due to it leaking and all
     
  19. Viri

    Viri GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I don't like the idea of using liquid metal in a console that you're going to move around a lot. Same reason why I refuse to put liquid metal in my Laptop.
     
  20. guily6669

    guily6669 GbaTemp is my Drug

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    Liquid metal actually can only be used with copper, it eats the aluminum and other metals that it touch, if it touches aluminum, you can completely break it with your fingers without even making any strength (it gives you super powers :) ).

    So beyond being electrically conductive it destroy a lot of stuff and yeah Switch is portable so you will carry it with you, walking, running, shaking all over the place, I wouldn't also recommend liquid metal on it.

    Artic MX-4 is 100% safe and also safer than AS5, easier to apply and it doesn't require any kind of baking while AS5 is said to only get full efficiency after around 200 hours of heat.

    Artic MX-4 also claims to last 8 years and I bet it does as I have used MX-2 for 5 years and wasn't that bad after re-pasting with MX-3 and then to MX-4 on my Xbox360.
     
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