What are folks using for thermal paste these days?

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by heelix, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. heelix

    heelix [H]ard|Gawd

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    Just finished off my last tube of Artic Silver, after having ordered several big tubes a few years back. What is the current 'goto' thermal paste for builders these days? (Took me way too many years to burn through what I had).
     
  2. Shadohh

    Shadohh Gawd

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    I am using Noctua NT-H1, Its atleast 3 years old, still works great.
     
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  3. Bandalo

    Bandalo [H]ardness Supreme

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    Another vote for the Noctua paste...works well, cheap, and seems to be in the top-tier on all the roundups.
     
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  4. Xaeos

    Xaeos [H]ardness Supreme

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    If you're talking about "standard style" thermal pastes (ie no adhesive, not the kind that are full on metal plates that need to be "melted on" a la Indigo Xtreme), the new top of the line is apparently Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut. Right below that are some of the older top spot holders such as Gelid GC Extreme and Prolimatech PK-3. There are also some of the solid offerings from Noctua, IC Diamond, ShinEtsu, ArcticCooling MX-4 and plenty of others that have long been on the market. Most of these are fairly inexpensive and easy to work with and in many cases the difference between one past or another may be within 1 or 2 degrees or less.

    Hell, the Kryonaut, GC Extreme, PK-3, and Noctua can be found on Amazon for between $8-15, so its pretty affordable to go for it!
     
  5. Susquehannock

    Susquehannock 2[H]4U

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    Shin-Etsu x23-7783d on CPUs.

    Arctic Silver 5 on automotive ignition coil packs.
     
  6. GlacierNine

    GlacierNine Limp Gawd

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    Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut is the generally-accepted KOTH these days, albeit it's not very widely distributed.

    There's also the Coollaboratory liquid stuff, and Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut, if you want to deal with their hard-to-apply nature and definite safety disadvantages.

    Also mentioned earlier was the crazy EKWB Indigo Extreme - it's literally a metal with a low melting point and an applicator. you run your CPU to it's thermal throttle to "reflow" it evenly across the CPU die and then it solidifies again. It won't melt again under normal use and is, apparently, pretty crazy good at what it does.
     
  7. ir0nw0lf

    ir0nw0lf [H]ardness Supreme

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    Ask Kyle for his pick. :p
     
  8. Emission

    Emission 2[H]4U

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    Arctic Cooling MX-4. Relatively inexpensive, easy to spread, great performance.
     
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  9. silent-circuit

    silent-circuit [H]ardForum Junkie

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  10. kyriptic

    kyriptic Limp Gawd

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    I normally use arctic silver 5, but this time around going to try out MX-4. Not really expecting much difference though.
     
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  11. Mr. Bluntman

    Mr. Bluntman [H]ardness Supreme

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    Arctic Silver Ceramique/Ceramique 2. Works just as good as (or slightly better than) AS5 but non conductive. With an application on my GTX 960 2GB the average boost clocks in the most intensive titles are up by a good 30-50MHz. Just from changing the paste on a shitty aluminum heatsink. The best part is the price. ~$7 for a 25g tube of the stuff. That's a whole lot of applications.

    These fancy liquid metal TIMs are way beyond my needs. :cat:
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
  12. Outlaw85

    Outlaw85 Limp Gawd

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    Been using Arctic Silver's Arctic Alumina for a couple years now after switching from Arcitc Silver 5.
     
  13. Nebulous

    Nebulous [H]ard|Gawd

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    AS Ceramique & Noctua NT-H1. Both work really good.
     
  14. arestavo

    arestavo [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut for the jobs that I want the best, long lasting TIM for, and ICDiamond that was leftover from a few years back for backup systems.

    I'll never use another liquid metal TIM after I had two different applications of Coollabratories Liquid Ultra dry out after ~9 months. Temps went up ~10C on my old laptop's 3920XM, and they went up 20C on my old 3930K - both well into the 90C range which was not acceptable.
     
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  15. Napoleon

    Napoleon Gawd

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    gave my tube of AS5 to a friend and bought a giant tube MX4 to try out. I was using IC Diamond 7 for my CPU but it's hard to apply and I want to start messing around with GPU cooling; I figure might as well give the MX4 a try, especially since I've been ripping my waterblock off more and more often
     
  16. WhoBeDaPlaya

    WhoBeDaPlaya 2[H]4U

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    ICD for fancier builds, MX2/4 for standard builds, Kraft singles for hobo builds ;)
     
  17. Pandur

    Pandur Limp Gawd

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    Been using Noctua NT-H1 for years now. It's still performing excellent.
     
  18. NukeDukem

    NukeDukem [H]ard|Gawd

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    I recently used GELID GC Extreme for both my 7700k and my 1080 Ti. Easy to apply, great thermals, would spread again!
     
  19. rgMekanic

    rgMekanic [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    Using THermal Grizzly Hydronaut on mine right now, based on all the reports and tests I've seen, Kryo does beat it, but it's a small amount for a pretty large price jump imo.

    Everyone elses junk gets Xigmatek PTI-G4512, works good and can be had on sale for really cheap.
     
  20. Gulvan

    Gulvan [H]Lite

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    Ive only used arctic silver 5, lol. Aint broke, dont fix it.
     
  21. GlacierNine

    GlacierNine Limp Gawd

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    You're posting this on a forum where people routinely take razorblades to hundreds of dollars in CPUs that aren't broken, solely to be able to cool them better. Are you lost?
     
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  22. wizzi01

    wizzi01 [H]ard|Gawd

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    You areally posting in a thread asking for an opinion. Dude gave his opinion. Are you lost?
     
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  23. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Noctua NT-H1. IC diamond when I can get it.
     
  24. Aluminum

    Aluminum Limp Gawd

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    Noctua mostly because they give you a tube good enough for at least a dozen mounts and I have a lot of their heatsinks. I have a mini toolchest bin full of unused ones.

    Did some delidding recently and used gelid extreme for that, used it for some mounting too because it was right there. Delids definitely bring back some of the old school fun feel.
     
  25. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Ceramique 2. Cheap as dirt, and works well enough. Simple to apply, no potential conductivity problems.
     
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  26. STR

    STR Gawd

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    Prolimatech PK-3, because of all the "good" stuff, theirs was the cheapest, mostly because they sell units smaller than 3g. A 1.5g mini syringe was $6.50 on Amazon and has lasted me through about 5 applications and it's still not empty. I figure I'll loose the thing before I'll need more at this point.
     
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  27. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Ain't broke, don't fix it is the antithesis of progress in a community that is always looking to progress.
     
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  28. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

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    Just reminded me...I'm out of Noctua! Off to Amazon I go.
     
  29. Nebell

    Nebell Gawd

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    I bought their best cpu block which came with Indigo Extreme. I attempted to use it, followed the guide to the point but it didn't melt. CPU had insane temps as the water block was not in contact. I even contacted EKWB and asked if I did right, they confirmed. Anyway something was wrong so I had to disassemble everything and then just used normal paste which worked perfectly.
     
  30. housecat

    housecat Gawd

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    I just spent hours researching this. See my recent post if you haven't bought anything yet where I did an info dump on what I found and my takeaways. I'm air cooling and went for MX-4.
     
  31. Keljian

    Keljian Limp Gawd

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    Having tried a few of the best, my favourite is NT-H1. Currently going through a syringe of MX4, stuff is really hard to clean off completely.
     
  32. Napoleon

    Napoleon Gawd

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    I noticed my brand new tube of MX4 had some extra oil come out when i first used it. I cleaned that application up, reapplied, and am using that now. Anyone else experience this?

    I never had any separation issues with AS5
     
  33. Sulphademus

    Sulphademus Limp Gawd

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    Mayo for Intel, Ranch for AMD.
     
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  34. rehab

    rehab Gawd

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    I use the Gelid Solutions GC-Extreme because it reminds me of a DJ Keoki album due to the turn of the century techno rich font on the tube. Also, that Grizzly shiz is hard to catch in stock.
     
  35. housecat

    housecat Gawd

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    Where the initial bit coming out is runny like a ketchup bottle when you don't shake it up first? Yes. But not with MX4, as I haven't used that yet.. but I'll let you know Tuesday if the compound seems off.
     
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  36. ewb302

    ewb302 Gawd

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    I have been using NT-H1 recently. Temps seems a few degrees better than the old AS5 I was using. Also much easier to apply compared to AS5. I don't have experience with anything else, but I would definitely recommend NT-H1 based on my current experience.
     
  37. Killahurtz

    Killahurtz Gawd

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    mashed potatoes.....excellent heat absorption...ever burn you mouth with a spoonful?......see
     
  38. Kamber

    Kamber Limp Gawd

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    NT-H1 is definitely a solid top-tier-bang-for-your-buck choice. Thermal Grizzly products are currently the best performing, with CoolLaboratory products coming in a close second; both are WAY more expensive than NT-H1 from a cost per gram perspective.
     
  39. housecat

    housecat Gawd

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    So I said I'd followup on this. My machine is all together now. I put my heatsink on a total of 3 times, I didn't notice anything different about the very beginning of the tube. It might have been a tad different consistency at the very start, but it was not easy to tell either way. I've seen that before though with different stuff, actually had that with my AS5, but not enough that it was easy to notice either.

    I found it easy to cleanup with 91% isopropyl alcohol (and found they must've stopped selling the 99%, Walgreens didn't even have it behind the pharmacy counter). My temps are better than anyone else online that I've found for my particular CPU + heatsink. While I think I got a decent mount, the MX4 isn't hurting anything. Works great and according to Arctic I got 8+ years if I don't want to fiddle with it again, with user accounts on this forum stating many years ago that vouched they've pulled heatsinks off after 6 years and the paste hadn't dried up. 20gram tubes available for $25 too. Pretty impressive stuff.

    People should be very careful about the pastes meant for sub-ambient cooling like much of the Thermal Grizzly stuff, it's formulated for -0C cooling and that's largely what you're paying for. CoolLaboratory and Indigo Extreme, all that liquid metal stuff is a mess and needs reapplied more often than not. ICDiamond can or has scratched peoples heatsinks and CPUs, I passed on taking that chance at all.

    After a full review of the market myself, I've concluded a proven longlasting paste based on multiple datapoints, with no electrical conductivity that comes in larger sizes than the 4G (as which NT-H1 is limited to) and has top performance (depending on what review you read), no curing needed and non-corrosive. If you're interested in all that, MX4 is a top choice. I'll be using it from here on out unless there's some sort of breakthrough in thermal pastes, which at this point in the market I doubt.

    If I used something else, I landed on Gelid GC-Extreme as a 2nd choice for certain uses, but MX4 is my new goto.
     
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  40. Armenius

    Armenius [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I've been using MX-4 for everything the past 5 years.
    Agree with this. I think the TG stuff in particular is only good for up to 80C, so if you're doing any kind of extreme overclocking on water you might want to go with something else like the MX-4 or NT-H1 (if you don't mind reapplying it every 3-4 years). I've also read that Gelid dries out pretty quickly and doesn't have a long shelf life.