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Thermal paste round-up: 85 products tested
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-08-07 20:14:39

Several years ago, we published a round-up of thermal pastes that started with Thermal Paste Comparison, Part One: Applying Grease And More and concluded with Thermal Paste Comparison, Part Two: 39 Products Get Tested. Since it's so hot outside (at least in our U.S. labs), we're trying to cool so many new CPUs and GPUs, and readers keep asking for it, we decided to combine and update those stories, adding a range of new thermal pastes and pads.

Thermal paste and how to apply it are probably more divisive than anything else in technology. So many different methods, old wives' tales, folklore, and god knows what else.

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RE[8]: Comment by grandmasterphp
By Alfman on 2017-08-10 00:15:25
Megol,

> I actually knew someone that tested toothpaste for a short while. It worked reasonably well and better than using no paste at all. However even toothpastes have different formulations so one can't make a general claim. The layer used in the above case was very thin and it was tried for some hours IIRC which means outgassing wasn't a significant factor. Using it for longer periods will probably reduce the paste to a dry powder with little heat conduction.

Yes, it's not much good if they evaporate at normal CPU temps.


I finally found a guy who compared with and without thermal paste! Among his tests: nothing at all, artic silver, toothpaste, vegimite, and just water.

http://www.dansdata.com/goop.htm

It turns out that plain water was a clear winner by a large margin. It suggests that many of these "homebrew" compounds work because of their water content, and any compound with water will probably do fairly well in the beginning... obviously though water is short lived as it evaporates pretty quickly.
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RE: Comment by grandmasterphp
By bassbeast on 2017-08-12 01:56:19
I have to disagree as I've worked on several systems that were being refurbed after years in some of the worst conditions you can put a PC in, working in warehouses and construction zones where there is tons of dirt and crap clogging up fans and I've been able to tell those that used Arctic Silver pastes versus the generic stuff because over time the generic quickly loses its ability to cool while the Arctic Silver brand pastes keep on chugging.

I've used both the regular and the ceramic and while I personally prefer the ceramic (its easier to remove the cooler down the line if the unit gets an upgrade and I've found it keeps it a couple of degrees cooler than the AS regular) I've found both kinds work VERY well and more importantly KEEP working very well years down the line.
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