Generally a positive experience with graphite pads. I think they are worth it depending on your needs. In the end though I went back to the paste. Overall, I like the graphite pads. They truly maintenance free, reusable, and saves you money and time, especially when you have a terrible AIO like the defective enermax TR4 series that I ended up having to replace 2x before I gave up on it and went with an air cooler. The reason for the switch was because I went back to an air cooler and even though the graphite pads are decent they are still always just a little hotter than the usual AS MX4 that I am currently using.
Thanks, Lurker - that's what I was trying to find out. All the reviews I've seen seem to be one and done and not long term. I'm running the stock cooler on my 3900x build right now - since I just wanted to get the build up and running to make sure everything was working (i.e. before return window for parts closed) - but am doing a rebuild this weekend to put in vertical GPU kit.
I figured while I had it all apart, I would swap in my H100i to save some room (I forgot how tall and bulky air coolers were).
The Noctua NT H1 I'm using now has been working great with no issues but seeing the vids on graphite pads had me thinking of testing it out but I figured I'd check with the [H] first before jumping on it.
My use case is bone stock + stability (no OC) - games, word and lots of spreadsheets.
For those that might be interested - here's what I bought:
I actually got one of these pads the other day for the test bench. If they work out, they'll save me some effort and a little money on thermal paste. So far, I'm having good results with the one I got. It's about one or two degrees off the basic thermal paste I often use on the bench, so not too bad.
Are thermal pad going to be come the new go to thing to use now? Seems it is starting to get popular. Hell AMD is using it on gpus. I doubt it will beat LM but seems like a good substitute over your standard paste.
I just finished my rebuild - thermal pad + Alphacool Eisbaer 360 AIO. I'm going to run it for a bit to get some baseline numbers /bed everything in - then take it apart and rebuild it with the goo. I've still got some NTH1 as well as some of the goop that came with the Eisbaer (not sure how good that stuff is, but we'll see).
Been there, done this, pads only reduced temps by 1-2 degrees on my [email protected] & H115i with 2x 140mm ML fans.... left them in there for a few months, but then went back to Grizzly goop during my regular maintenance sweep, since I had almost everything else taken apart anyways