Liquid Metal TIMs experiences

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by Gman1979, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. Gman1979

    Gman1979 Gawd

    Messages:
    637
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    I've been using the same tube of Mx-4 for years now. But it gets more irritating every time I use it as it's so thick and hard to spread thinly. So now I'm looking into trying something different.

    It looks like liquid metal TIMs offer the best temps but I'm not one to really trust the numbers manufacturers put out.

    What have your experiences been like when using any of these liquid type TIMs, especially on an AMD FX CPU?
     
  2. primetime

    primetime [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,012
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    All the articles i ever read was with in a couple of degrees. Unless you have very high end water shooting for a world record....i personally dont think its worth the higher cost for liquid metal. Use Gelid GC-Extreme and am pretty happy with it install and performance wise but then again it might not be much different to what your using already.

    How often are you having to reapply it? Havent had to change mine in years:)
     
  3. Gman1979

    Gman1979 Gawd

    Messages:
    637
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    I haven't had to reapply it due to age. Just with hardware changes and my recent jump to a custom loop for cooling. I'm not really worried about a degree or two, but was wondering more about user experiences with the liquid TIMs as far as ease of application, and how long they last before needing to be reapplied.

    The MX-4 I have stayed on my old Phenom II system without a change for almost five years without temps getting worse that I could notice. It's just such a pain in the rear to get spread as thinly as I would like. It got on my nerves enough for me to just say screw it this past weekend and just use AS Ceramique instead. I think the seasonal temps have made the MX-4 thicker than I'm use to as my office got shoved into an auxillary room when my daughter was born, and it's several degrees cooler than the rest of the house due to a giant window.


    How easily does the Gelid GC-Extreme spread during application?
     
  4. baii

    baii Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    165
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Maybe you can try not spreading it.
    I have a tube of pk3 back I play with laptops since those are all direct die cooling. Now I play with desktop I just grab that huge tube of creamique 2, I don't need to worry using 2 much or getting a bad mount since it is not expensive. If thing go wrong I just wipe it and go again. 2-3 degree is not going to break anything.


    Spreading liquid metal don't sound too "safe", accidently drop the spreader or a drop on the board or chip. Just saying.
     
  5. Stereodude

    Stereodude 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,285
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2000
    I used Indigo Xtreme on a Sandy Bridge and a Haswell. Installation was a bit more tricky than normal thermal compound since you have to let it get really hot and reflow. Ultimately, I have no idea if it really made that much difference in temps. I probably would stick to a more conventional thermal compound in the future.
     
  6. SolidState

    SolidState n00b

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    I've only used arctic silver 5 and never been disappointed.

    Get the bigger syringe tube.
     
  7. Gman1979

    Gman1979 Gawd

    Messages:
    637
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Yeah I remember the Indigo thermal pads ddn't work with AMD chips because they'd crash before they got hot enough to liquify it and mate the cooler to the cpu.

    The newer liquids are actual liquid at room temp. Looks like you just put a proper sized drop in the middle of the chip and it spreads out when you seat the cooler.
     
  8. mrluckypants96

    mrluckypants96 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    431
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2015
    All the reviews I've seen say that the difference between liquid metal and some of the top standard pastes is just a few degrees. If I was going to get new paste, I'd use a tube of Gelid GC-Extreme or Prolimatech PK-3.

    AS5 is outdated and outperformed by most of the cheap pastes OEMs ship with $20 coolers nowadays. That's not to mention that it is also dangerously conductive to electricity (compared to the non-conductive modern pastes) and can take 200 hours to cure properly (compared to the 0 hours of modern pastes).
     
  9. arestavo

    arestavo [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,429
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2013
    Used that liquid metal crap on my laptop's 3920XM and my old desktop's 3930K. Within a year both were COMPLETELY DRIED OUT and were having temperature issues.

    Do NOT USE THAT CRAP. (*unless you plan on changing it out every 6 to 8 months).
     
  10. GeneO

    GeneO Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    234
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Try thermal grizzly kryonaut. It goes on easier than mx-4 and will cool better by a few degrees. Liquid metal stuff is corrosive.
     
  11. mnewxcv

    mnewxcv [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,470
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    i really liked one of xigmatek's TIMs. I forget which one it was though. It was SO easy to spread. I ran out and picked up Gelid TIM, which is way harder to spread.
     
  12. mrluckypants96

    mrluckypants96 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    431
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2015
    The trick is not to spread it out yourself, you risk getting air bubbles in the paste that way. The best way to use heavier pastes like GC-Extreme is to put a rice-grain-sized blob in the middle of the heatspreader and let the mounting pressure of the CPU cooler coldplate spread it out for you.
     
  13. horrorshow

    horrorshow [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,193
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Use this.

    It's the best you can buy.
     
  14. -Dragon-

    -Dragon- 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,318
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Well IX isn't that much better than an ideally applied paste, but tests have shown it is better, where it really shines though is that you can't really apply it wrong, it either reflows or it doesn't, so in test where they poorly applied paste vs an attempt to poorly apply the IX, the bad IX was the same as the good IX but the pastes were all much worse.
     
  15. Stereodude

    Stereodude 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,285
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2000
    Indigo now has a new version, Indigo XS which they claim is twice as good as moving heat as Xtreme (~40W/mK vs. ~20W/mK). I can't find a single review of it though. I was tempted to try it on a new i3 build (HTPC), but the instructions are very clear it's only for i5 and i7 processors. I guess an i3 can't generate enough heat to make it reflow or something.

    The older Indigo Xtreme is okay for i3, i5, and i7, but isn't supposed to be used on LGA 1150 or 1151. Of course I used it on a Haswell i7 without any issue before I knew you weren't supposed to. It installed fine for me though.

    I found This roundup interesting.
     
  16. SolidState

    SolidState n00b

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015

    Huh, didn't know that it was so obsolete. I just ordered another tube of it though. I'll try something else next time around.

    I really don't care too much about temps as long as they're well within where they should be.
     
  17. ColdRush

    ColdRush n00b

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    A bit late to this post but I've had Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra on my primary desktop for a couple months now. It was pretty expensive and a pain to apply, I probably won't opt for it again and only did because I bought a delidded chip.
     
  18. Gman1979

    Gman1979 Gawd

    Messages:
    637
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Thanks all for the input. I got some Thermal Grizzly in the mail today.

    After switching out the MX-4 to the TG, my temps have come down almost 2 degrees Celcius in a few of the Prime95 tests and a little over 1 degree in others.

    I followed the directions about the amount to use and how to spread it, but it's like spreading wet sand and a lot of what I used ended up on the spreader edge by the time I was done. What I ended up with was almost a "haze" of the TIM over the entire heatspreader with a slightly thicker "haze" in an X pattern across the CPU. You can see right through it but it seems to be working well.

    I'm going to pull the block and check the contact pattern to see if I need to apply more TIM or not to make sure I'm not leaving any improvement on the table.
     
  19. n=1

    n=1 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,388
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2014
    Liquid Ultra did wonders for my Clevo P370SM laptop with a 4900MQ. The difference between Gelid GC Extreme and liquid ultra under load was 7-10C, and allowed me to up my OC another +200MHz. Ran it that way for 8 months, and when I took the heatsink off, the part firmly in contact with the die still had a nice metallic shine to it, but the periphery had definitely oxidized into white gunk.

    IMO liquid ultra is only worth it for delidded chips or GPUs that don't use a headspreader due to the hassle of applying and removing. But if you're trying to squeeze every last C out of your custom loop, then liquid metal paste is definitely the way to go.
     
  20. Eldata

    Eldata Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    366
    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Just get a new tube of MX-4 or Noctua NT-H1 and apply using the "rice grain" TIM application method. I've used Liquid Ultra in two delids, and it works great, but would never use it between IHS and cooler for the reasons stated in this article (reapplication is a royal PITA if needed);

    http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2285595

    BTW, even though the article is about a bare-die application, way too much TIM is being used in every case.
     
  21. SomeGuy133

    SomeGuy133 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,447
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2015
    U dont spread mx-4 that is an old method of spreading and doesn't lasr long due to air bubbles. Use the ICD method of ball or line depending on your ihs/die shape. Mx-4 should be non conductive IIRC so leakage from too much tim isnt an issue.

    But mx-4 sucks and icd is better...at least in terms of longevity. I would have to repaste mx4 every month or two because its junk. Icd lasted forever in my 920xm oc f@h laptop
     
  22. Dayaks

    Dayaks [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,206
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Gelid for sure. I don't mess with anything conductive, not worth a degree or whatever.
     
  23. MaZa

    MaZa 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,719
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008

    Yes, unless you have a cooler where heatpipes directly connect to the CPU do NOT spread the TIM. It leaves airbubbles easily. Rice/pea blob or a cross at the center are better methods. The heatsink presses the TIM down and squeezes it evenly from the center towards the edges, leaving no air bubbles behind.

    Regarding liquid metal TIM's, arent they something you have to reapply quite often? If so then they are automatically out in my book. If TIM cannot last many years without drying up and losing efficiency then its shit and unreliable. I have better things to do than screwing out the heatsink, carefully cleaning the gunk and reapplying just to keep my temperatures safe on my overclocked CPU.
     
  24. Gman1979

    Gman1979 Gawd

    Messages:
    637
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    The reapplication was my biggest concern previously. But now that I'm back on custom water, it literally takes less than five minutes to swap out TIM since the block clamps down onto studs and I left myself just enough extra hose to allow for removing the cpu block without taking any hoses off. The issue that made it a no-go for me was cleaning the old liquid metal off without sanding seemed next to impossible.
     
  25. MaZa

    MaZa 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,719
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    My HR-02 Macho is a pain in the ass to install, not to mention slightly dangerous to the chip since its so big and heavy so less reinstallations the better. But wait, the TIM it solders itself onto the chip and it needs mechanical removal? Thats even worse! :eek: