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Do you buy new thermal grease or not?

Last response: in Overclocking
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Which TIM did you use on your cpu cooler?

Total: 27 votes (4 blank votes)

  • I use the TIM that came with my cpu cooler.
  • 35 %
  • I bought separate TIM in addition to my cpu cooler.
  • 61 %
  • What's a cpu cooler?
  • 5 %
a b K Overclocking
February 16, 2012 11:58:45 PM

I am often hearing people say that some coolers come with their own TIM.

Just wondering how many people use the TIM that is included with their cpu cooler (stock or aftermarket), or how people end up buying separate thermal interface material (like Arctic Silver 5, etc.)?

If no TIM came with your cooler and you had to buy it, just choose the '...bought separate TIM...' option.


Sorry for the double post, Mods!

More about : buy thermal grease

a b K Overclocking
February 17, 2012 12:19:21 AM

bought arctic mx 4 after the original buy next gone be new cooler
a b K Overclocking
February 17, 2012 3:30:22 AM

I've always used AS5, until recently. I bought some MX-4 and used that with my Antec 920. Although I have heard that the pre-applied thermal paste is fairly high quality when you buy a cooler with a known name brand.. can't be certain though I've always applied my own.
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February 17, 2012 11:20:44 AM

I bought a Corsair a70 at Microcenter for 45 bucks and paid another 16 bucks for a tube of MX-4 :D .

I found it funny my TIM was 1/3 the price of the cooler.
a c 239 K Overclocking
February 17, 2012 12:44:25 PM

Pre-applied TIM may in some cases actually be too much thermal compound, and in some situations doesn't properly melt and spread like it should, I would much more want to know the application was as I want it to be, than take a chance and guess.

When it comes to overclocking and getting the best cooling performance you can out of your cooling solution, thermal compound is very important.

Some of the high performance coolers like the Noctua NH-D14 come with supplied TIM the NT-H1 is a very good high performance TIM, definitely worth using.

The thermal roundup I did covers a lot of TIM that were all tested equally under the same circumstances, all the higher performers are definitely worth spending your money on, unless otherwise noted.


a b K Overclocking
February 17, 2012 4:36:38 PM

oste0130 said:
I bought a Corsair a70 at Microcenter for 45 bucks and paid another 16 bucks for a tube of MX-4 :D .

I found it funny my TIM was 1/3 the price of the cooler.


I had the same experience when I bought an air cooler. At the time everyone here was recommending the Gaia sd1283 so I decided to try it out.

I think that I paid $26 for the cooler and then another $12 for the AS5 that was recommended to go with it. :pfff: 
a b K Overclocking
February 17, 2012 6:47:28 PM

got myself some AS5 to go along with my cooler too. initially found it weird, but then got a stable OC of 4.7GHz on my i5 2500k with all cores below 60C so no regrets here. not sure how much the AS5 actually contributed to that tho...
February 20, 2012 1:30:11 AM

I recently learned a valuable lesson about thermal grease. What you buy may not always fit your application. I spent good money on expensive Zalman thermal grease and in the end it did me a huge disservice. Try several if you are going to go the third party way... It may not give you a huge edge over what came with your cpu.

I wrote about what happened with my Noctua cooler and third party grease here:

http://www.raphaelprotti.com/2012/02/noctua-quality-is-worth-the-price/
a b K Overclocking
February 20, 2012 11:30:43 AM

Recently I gave a shot at overclocking since I got a decent overclocking CPU (Celeron e3400).
I got it up to 3.0ghz but the temperatures were way too high for me. It would easily reach 90º on Prime95 :o 
So I decided to use the stock speed of 2.6ghz but it would still get too high (around 70º on Prime95) so I decided ''screw it'' and bought some cheap random thermal paste. Revoltec something never even heard of it. The temperatures went down by 15º on load. Its currently running at 3.0ghz and Prime95 can't make it go hotter than 70º and it's got the stock cooler.
Now I wish I had bought some Noctua or AS5 just to see how much difference would it make
a b K Overclocking
February 20, 2012 11:43:44 AM

My Phanteks cooler came with some killer TIM.

Then again for a £70 Cooler I would hope the TIM was of high quality.

I remember when I got my Zalman 9700 LED and it came with the STG-1 TIM. I thought it was excellent until I cleaned it off and put MX-2 on there, 7C Difference. It was insane.

From now on I'm only going to be buying expensive cooling systems for my PC, so I don't think buying extra thermal paste is going to be needed. I'd like to see my temps drop from what they are right now with my Phanteks, I'm guessing this stuff trounces AS5.
February 25, 2012 3:55:31 AM

For some reason I'm always swapping coolers, so I have to buy my own. Hmmm, I've tried AS5, MX-2, Shin Etsu, and IC Diamond. IC Diamond is my favorite. It does a better job than the other TIM i've tried, even though you're looking at -1c to -3c

Even if I bought a new cooler I always use my own stuff. Yes, sometimes these companies glob a thick layer on. It's like an old woman from an upscale burb and her makeup.
February 25, 2012 12:41:19 PM

I imagine that on your first build, you might want to use up the stock paste (assuming a decent cooler) because you are probably going to install/remove that thing quite a number of times anyway.

Bought MX-2 when there was a sale.
a c 190 K Overclocking
February 25, 2012 1:47:46 PM

Mate gave me a tube of some silver paste and I just used that
Spire sp700, found it hehe
*Edit, I'm the 'whats a cooler' vote btw :) 
Moto
a b K Overclocking
February 26, 2012 2:38:24 PM

I just roll with MX4. When that runs out I will just use the TIM that came with my XSPC kit.
!