Best current TIM?

Keljian

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Big fan of NT-H1 here, might not be the absolute best, but is easy to spread and does a stand up job.
 
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I agree, but for most part, PC enthusiasts tend to swap/upgrade hardware every few years anyway, making this issue somewhat of a low end of the spectrum concern. I've been building rigs for over 30 years now and have yet to see a paste I have applied/used "fail" or dry out to the point of causing any real issues. I simply don't feel there is a big concern over thermal paste longevity issues when using and working with top quality/brand products like those at the top of the heap. I think most of these "longevity issues" stem from the fact that they were poor applications to begin with - either from a prior user or one poorly executed by a manufacturer/vendor using a no-name/generic product to begin with.
 

wirk

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I agree, but for most part, PC enthusiasts tend to swap/upgrade hardware every few years anyway, making this issue somewhat of a low end of the spectrum concern. I've been building rigs for over 30 years now and have yet to see a paste I have applied/used "fail" or dry out to the point of causing any real issues. I simply don't feel there is a big concern over thermal paste longevity issues when using and working with top quality/brand products like those at the top of the heap. I think most of these "longevity issues" stem from the fact that they were poor applications to begin with - either from a prior user or one poorly executed by a manufacturer/vendor using a no-name/generic product to begin with.

True, it might be the TIM longevity is non-issue but people are reporting problems and some are doing repasting yearly or so. Fact is it is very difficult to collect reliable information on this.
 

WangChung

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+1 for just using AS5. I have a tube that I bought from Newegg when they were still giving out free gifts with their orders (so, 2003?). Otherwise I use Ceramique if it's a situation where I'm worried about a short.
 

spugm1r3

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Are there oils which do not degrade with time? Are there TIMs not containing degradable oils?

I think it would be safe to say that, since all accepted theories suggest all oils are organic, and organics break down under heat, the likelihood of a TIM that does not degrade is slim.

NOTE: I can't hedge that claim any further than I already have.:)
 

wirk

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I think it would be safe to say that, since all accepted theories suggest all oils are organic, and organics break down under heat, the likelihood of a TIM that does not degrade is slim. NOTE: I can't hedge that claim any further than I already have.:)

Maybe there are nonoorganic TIMs ???
 

KingRaptor

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Jul 24, 2012
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I've always used AS5 until I tried Arctic Cooling MX-4 which gave about the same temps but without the risk of shorts or time for curing. I just applied some Cooler Master paste that came with my 212 today. Honestly, I don't think there's that much of a difference across pastes. The purpose of TIM in my mind is to make sure air (a bad heat conductor) is not present. So as long as you have decent, non-dried-out paste applied properly, you're probably fine.
 
M

mls1995

Guest
When I researched the topic recently I found that Gelid's GC-Extreme was consistently rated at the top of the bunch of 'normal' thermal compounds. 'Normal' meaning excluding fancy liquid metal or diamond compounds...

Yeah I used Gelid on my last 2 PC builds. Consistently top rated.
 
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Used NT-H1 for a few years now, highly recommended. For delids I've used CLU (cool labs liquid ultra)
 

dragonstongue

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What about Indigo Xtreme and their new Indigo XS?
well according to them IndigoXtreme it is better then all their other formulations.
probably expensive as well, but, if it truly is a no muss no fuss application if one is looking for "the best" this would probably be it, thing I read awhile back is with their other "2" options one was best for on heat spreader, other was best for de-lid use. I just find it funny in Intel's case, they sell these things at such a high cost(probably cost them little to produce in comparison considering how many they sell annually) you figure they would have the creme of the crop for thermal interface/solder or whatever from the factory, having to de-lid or whatever would be for the realm of "the other guy" sort of speak.

I myself use MX3/MX4. They are easy to use, work well, easy to clean, lower cost than many others they are as good as or better, and last quite awhile on a normal heatsink or for GPU core/mem chip usage in my experience.
(I found AS5 dries/flakes and becomes far harder to clean up for reapply compared to MX4 performance over time I did not find as good either though I used many times for many years....Though the crazyg;uy with AS5 for ramsinks works exceptionally well)

I know there is better, but that better generally costs a fair amount more for only a small amount extra potential(the exotics while good most are a pain in the ass to clean up)
for me hardly worth it seeing as every cpu/gpu I have had over last 10 years, AS5(now replaced with MX4) drops idle/load in the range of ~6-18c(compared to the crud they use in the factory or the stock wax type) I am ok with that :)
 

HeavensCloud

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I love when day one, single post noobies bump an old thread and the conversation just picks right up where it left off.

That said I still use old ass AS5 and haven't seen any temp issues. Still nice and gooey coming out of the tube.
 

Nobu

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I have XSPC K2, AS:Ceramique 2, and (somewhere) some generic grey paste from either coolermaster or arctic, forget which. So far, I think the AS:C performs the best of the three, but I have no data to back that up.
 
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This just reminded me that I've been running the same AS5 on my office PC for damn near 6 years now, still holds under 50C with a crappy old Antec cooler.

That old core duo has been running almost 24/7 with a significant overclock without any problems, however I haven't run a stress test in years.
 

Pillars

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I just switched from MX4 to IC7 and saw huge gains. The MX4 only lasted 1 month on GPU before temps started to rise.
 

arestavo

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I just switched from MX4 to IC7 and saw huge gains. The MX4 only lasted 1 month on GPU before temps started to rise.

ICDiamond right? It works well, but it scratches the GPU die which is why I switched to Kryonaut - but will still use ICDiamond if I run out (its cheaper, lol!).
 

rat

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Still on my first application of NT-H1 without any remarkable changes in temps since curing. Since nearly everything else is +/- 3c degrees, I hardly think it's worth the trouble. Noctua put some good shit in their kits, that's for sure.
 

DrLobotomy

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I haven't changed TIM since I installed my Thermax Eclipse 3 about 4 or 5 years ago. Just used whatever it came with. Guess I need to change that stuff out!!!
 

Pillars

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I'm not worried about scratching, I'll be replacing my GPU well before the paste goes bad.
 

imre

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I used Cooler Master E2 whatever it is called and it says gold in color at the back , and guess what , it came out gray.
So weird, anyways, what i hear about these pastes is that they make no difference in dropping your temperatures by even 2 degrees.
 

cyclone3d

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General: Ceramique 2
High Performance: IC Diamond/Shen Etsu

This right here.

Ceramique is easy to spread, doesn't seem to break down over time, and is cheaper to buy.

IC Diamond - a bit better temps when it is really "needed" - maybe 2-3c max.
 

drklu

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Diamond 7 is my favorite. Lasts a long time as well as performs great. Be sure to put the tube in a cup of warm water before applying, its pretty thick at room temperature.
 

newls1

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So many TIMs are within 1-2C of each other, it actually matters more how you apply the TIM than which TIM you use. I still have some AS5 from over 10 years ago (have yet to run out) and it still does a good enough job for me.
Me too. The tried and true AS5 has never let me down. Its on all my pcs
 

jarablue

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May 31, 2003
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AS5 and MX4 is what I have and use. MX4 though as of late to get rid of it. After I use it once, I keep it on for about a year before I retreat my cpu.
 
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Using Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut on both my CPU and GPU waterblocks. Love that stuff. AS5 is always a standard backup if I ever run out.
 

Pillars

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I can't warn strong enough against using MX4 on your GPU. It degraded very quickly and did not work well. It did 'ok' on CPU.
 

Eric1285

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I don't think I've ever actually finished a tube of thermal paste. I think my first ever purchase was a tube of AS Ceramique (the original) which I still have in my toolbox. Probably 10+ years old. From there I moved to Shin Etsu, which I still have a large syringe full of. Then swapped to MX-4, and a few months ago I picked up some Gelic GC Extreme to try. Haven't tested it out yet, but from the research I did it was consistently rated the best performing paste with reasonable cost / difficulty of application.
 

paco2013

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I use cooler master mastergel and i have to say it works great, keeping my 4670k at 4.5ghz 1.25v under 80 degrees celsius during stress test with cooler master seidon 120mm
 

pendragon1

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aaronspink

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well according to them IndigoXtreme it is better then all their other formulations.
probably expensive as well, but, if it truly is a no muss no fuss application if one is looking for "the best" this would probably be it, thing I read awhile back is with their other "2" options one was best for on heat spreader, other was best for de-lid use. I just find it funny in Intel's case, they sell these things at such a high cost(probably cost them little to produce in comparison considering how many they sell annually) you figure they would have the creme of the crop for thermal interface/solder or whatever from the factory, having to de-lid or whatever would be for the realm of "the other guy" sort of speak.

Intel's priority is probably a little different. They likely picked a thermal compound that was extremely stable with both long shelf life and long active life (after all their target design goal is 10+ years life). So, the TIM they use could very well be the creme of the crop...
 
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