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Which thermal paste to use?

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May 12, 2010 8:38:18 AM

i just recently lapped my cpu waterblock and my cpu which took HOURS!!!!

so now that i have 2 surfaces that are perfectly flat and has a mirror finish...what brand thermal paste should be used to utilize those lapped surfaces? when my off brand thermal paste is applied, its so thick that theres actually a slight gap between the HS and the CPU.

is there a thermal paste thats actually better for lapped surfaces?

More about : thermal paste

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a c 100 K Overclocking
May 12, 2010 3:03:49 PM

If you're certain they're perfectly flat and mirror finishes, you can try not using any paste. Every extra layer reduces heat transfer, and the point of paste is to fill up those little gaps that might contain air. If you have the time, I would really suggest trying both with and without paste - and let us know the results!

I don't know if you've used or even heard of gauge blocks, but they're extremely tight tolerance, perfectly finished blocks for exact precision measurements to calibrate metrological equipment. Anyway, my point is, the blocks are so precise that you can literally stick them together by pushing down and a slight twist (start at 90* off, then twist with pressure till they're parallel) and they hold because they completely force the air out. Perfect surfaces.
"Wringing gage blocks together, which means combining them end-to-end to add their measurement values, is the real key to accurate gage-block setup and use, and it's also the most misunderstood concept. The phenomenon of wringing gage blocks so they seem to "stick together" occurs for two reasons. First, there is an adhesive action because of an ultra-thin film of oil or moisture between the blocks. Second, there is a molecular attraction or bonding, between the blocks because of the very flat and parallel mating surfaces. That's why the better the block geometry, the better the wring will be."

So anyway, based on that theory, if you really went to a fine polish then no paste might be the way to go. I guess it just depends on how far you went. You can get a hazzy reflection with only 1000 grit paper, and in that case, use some paste ;) 

And my recommendation would be Arctic Silver, I've read good things and also at the local PC store, they said "want the best stuff?" I said "yea, Arctic Silver" and they said "Of course, it's the only one I recommend" lol.
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May 12, 2010 5:36:59 PM

i went 400 grit up to 1500 and to 2000. i should have gone 600 or even 800 but i was lazy and 400 grit took up to much time. the secret to the mirror reflection that i use is the 2000 grit sandpaper WITH a machine finish polish lube. what this lube does is it helps lube the two surfaces smoothing out any little bump and imperfection. what it also does is that it has VERY VERY VERY small particles of material in it that actually helps sand down the surface even more.

it kinda works like those facial wash creams with those beads in them. but yea i got a mirror finish on both sides and they are pretty dam flat. i was thinking about the liquid pro thermal paste...the viscosity of it looks really low.
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a b à CPUs
a c 100 K Overclocking
May 12, 2010 5:40:09 PM

i4yue said:
i went 400 grit up to 1500 and to 2000. i should have gone 600 or even 800 but i was lazy and 400 grit took up to much time. the secret to the mirror reflection that i use is the 2000 grit sandpaper WITH a machine finish polish lube. what this lube does is it helps lube the two surfaces smoothing out any little bump and imperfection. what it also does is that it has VERY VERY VERY small particles of material in it that actually helps sand down the surface even more.

it kinda works like those facial wash creams with those beads in them. but yea i got a mirror finish on both sides and they are pretty dam flat. i was thinking about the liquid pro thermal paste...the viscosity of it looks really low.

Ah ok so you went full out. I work in a mettalurgy lab so I polish samples all the time, with diamond suspenion (the lube). So yea, I'm no pro on thermal pastes but I'd be really happy to see some results with and without paste, since the contact should be excellent.
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May 12, 2010 6:29:02 PM

would it be a problem if i were to dilute the thermal paste with some alcohol?
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a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
May 12, 2010 7:01:59 PM

i4yue said:
would it be a problem if i were to dilute the thermal paste with some alcohol?



Not the best idea, first it will reduce performance of the compound and just isn't worth it till you want to clean it off. A small will do in your case, the secret to good thermal compounds is the oils used as well the metals. Most compounds use silicone, aluminum oxide, and some low grade oils which typically is bad before it is even used. The thicker the better for performance and longevity, I have in some cases seen 20 year old compound that was still good. When applying it the trick is to use as little as you need and having the very thin layer. Credit card to the plastic label on a pop bottle will do which limits waste as well better thermal performance. You also want quite a bit of pressure on the block and the cpu its self which improves thermal conductivity. For the water setup you want flow compared to pressure since you don't want to wear out the pump and tubing to quickly. Good airflow over the rad is all or nothing or it wont perform as it should. Clean the dust from the rad regularly as well top off the coolant. Good airflow with in the box is very important for components that aren't cooled by the liquid & blocks like power stages.
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May 12, 2010 8:38:16 PM

i wish i could delete your last entry...you pretty much said alot of general stuff that doesnt help the main problem at all.
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a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
May 13, 2010 1:22:00 PM

i4yue said:
i wish i could delete your last entry...you pretty much said alot of general stuff that doesnt help the main problem at all.


Fine don't post threads again, you get what the people give you....



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May 13, 2010 6:35:14 PM

what you gave me didnt even have to do with the original post. you should learn to read to read the problem before you go on a tangent about stuff that doesnt even have to do with thermal paste effecting lapped surfaces
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Best solution

a c 133 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
May 14, 2010 5:03:55 AM

Artic silver 5 is your best bet or Tuniq TX-3 Extreme is good too I find I can get AS5 thin real thin when its warm it spreads alot easier and can get it really thin since you really need just a very thin coat with a lapped CPU. Put the Tube in a hot glass a water for 10 minutes it will make it a hell of alot easier to spread.

Tuniq TX-3 Extreme
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This stuff is also really good and its a little thiner than AS5
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May 14, 2010 5:30:23 AM

Best answer selected by i4yue.
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a c 233 à CPUs
a c 166 K Overclocking
May 15, 2010 2:22:33 AM

AS5 takes 200 hours to cure which equates to up to a year or normal use. Here's some comparisons:

http://www.hwreviewlabs.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/therma...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Maybe there's still time left to get in on this freebie:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/280452-28-diamond-car...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/282002-28-diamond-tes...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/281732-28-diamond-res...

Performance as well as ease of application must be considered .... I', partial to the IC Diamond and when ya can't get it, OCZ Freeze

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a b K Overclocking
May 15, 2010 3:05:47 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
AS5 takes 200 hours to cure which equates to up to a year or normal use.

Yes, if you only use your computer for a little more than half an hour a day.
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May 15, 2010 4:54:53 AM

BUT LAPPED SURFACES!!! i cant use a thick THICK thermal paste and achieve better performance on my lapped surfaces. im getting ready to try it without thermal paste
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