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Thermal Pad vs Paste

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January 10, 2012 5:39:15 AM

Not sure where to put this. Please place in right section if I am wrong.

anyways, I want to buy some sinks for random chips on video cards and mobos. I dont want to use thermal adhesive directly on the chip so my question is what is better at conducting heat, a thermal pad or thermal tape?

my idea is to place a thermal pad sticky side down on a chip, then apply thermal adhesive to it and slap on a sink so when i were to salvage the part later, the adhesive isnt stuck to the chip and I can just sand away at the sink when I need to reuse/replace, griding away the adhesive..which would only be stuck to the sink.

im assuming the thermal pad's sticky side isnt a strong adhesive like epoxy...so when i were to yank it off...it will be reletivly clean,,,just a quick cleaning with iso alcohol right?

does anyone have any thoughts on this? Im just trying to find a way to have good thermal conductivity without sacrificing my mobos chips. and I hear that a lot of the tapes/pads arnt that reliable...now thinking about that would the additional layer of thermal stuff really help out or would it be like placing too thick a layer of compound on the cpu/sink causing a lack of thermal preformance....i think I might have just made this complicated...im thinking too fast.

More about : thermal pad paste

a b V Motherboard
January 10, 2012 6:12:51 AM

I have heard that the tapes and pads suck for transferring heat. Only stuff that doesnt get that hot gets taped/pads. Or its real ghetto. In all cases I myself would use either a good thermal paste or the ceramic paste, its easy as pie to remove the sinks and it will perform much better.

$.02
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a b V Motherboard
January 10, 2012 6:29:57 AM

^100% agree. if you are buying custom sinks for GPUs/chips and then using thermal pads or tape that seems to defeat the purpose. if you can screw it down use thermal paste. if its a small chip heatsink you may need to use adhesive but I can't see a small heatsink being worth enough to try to take it off later.
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a b V Motherboard
January 10, 2012 6:31:58 AM

Video cards use pads on things like voltage regulators when paste is not possible. Some things do not have smooth surfaces or do not make sufficient contact with the heat sink. Thermal compounds are meant to be applied in very thin layers. When used on cpu or gpu they are meant to fill the almost microscopic irregularities on the contact surfaces. For your use on a chip (cpu or gpu) only use some type of thermal paste or liquid. Removal has never been a problem and the surfaces usually clean easily with alcohol. What chips are you talking about?
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January 10, 2012 8:32:12 AM

the chips i want to put them on, are the random chips throuout the mobo, as well as the memory chips on the gpu. I saw this removable adhesive. i think it was called artic-g1. there was a youtube link let me see if i can find it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZaef91JiIw

he peeled it right off but im not so sure if it would have the same effect once its fully curred. Im not sure but this seems to just be thermal grease and adhesive mixed. would say a 3/4grease to 1/4 adhesive have the same effect?
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January 10, 2012 8:36:16 AM

and to clarify. Im looking to watercool my gpu, but the preformance increase from buying a full shroud waterblock is miniscule. like 5% compared to say putting a waterblock on only the processor and putting sinks on all the memory chips. thats waht i hear anyways. but the gpu im buying is a gtx560 by evga, I wont be doing this mod for awhile as ill use the stock cooler as much as I can but once say the warrenty goes out Ill probably spring for water cooling and thats when ill need a solution to this.

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a b V Motherboard
January 10, 2012 1:17:46 PM

The pads and tape will not support the same thermal transfer as hard contact with a paste type solution. Heat sinks on the chips will not do any good unless you have proper air flow to remove the heat from the case (just like any air cooling solution). I do not know what you think you will gain from performance with this mod. plan. Since new cards are due from both Nvidia and AMD why not put your money into a better card with a factory over clock? Is you cpu water cooled as well?
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a b V Motherboard
January 10, 2012 1:43:37 PM

Keep this in mind as you proceed: Not every chip on every board will benefit from a heatsink. Personally, I think you're spinning your wheels.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
January 10, 2012 2:17:31 PM

+1 to @DogSnake

I agree the Thermal Pads are best for GPU blocking, and leave Thermal Paste to the CPUs. For CPU's either AS5 or AMX-4, for the most part and for sometime I've migrated to AMX-4 (Arctic Cooling MX-4) electrically non-conductive, no curing time, and performance is the same as AS5. I've seen several tests, ±0.5C depending on who posted the graphs.
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January 10, 2012 11:57:38 PM

my cpu will be watercooled. I use AS as the medium between the sink and HS. My budget gives me about 200 for a card. so currently im looking into the superclocked 560gtx by evga. 1gb ram. I saw a video where this guy replaced the stock cooler with a complete shroud cover water block. replacing the thermal pads and what not. instead of a full shroud, just putting a block on the processor and sinks on the memory is what I would be tryint to do. same some money and acheive roughly the same amount of preformance gain.

but what about thermal "glue"? or is that just another term for epoxy adhesive. artic g-1 is what I was looking at but Im not sure if it will have the same effect as the thermal "adhesive"

what new cards are being releaced? a new series? like gtx600? gtx590's are slight jump up in price compared to a 560 with only a minimal preformance gain. keep in mind I probably wont be doing SLI. the 560 is the best bang for my buck that ive found so far. I just dont want to place a fullshroud waterblock on it...too expencive(extra $80 to do so.) Im open to any suggestions/ideas people may have to help me out.
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a b V Motherboard
January 11, 2012 1:33:21 AM

GTX590 is roughly equal to GTX570 SLI.....far from a "slight jump up in performance" from a GTX560 there. It's up to 100% faster....and roughly 3x the price.
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January 21, 2012 11:34:01 PM

I dont think im being very clear on this. I know what thermal paste is. but it cannot go on a vertically placed gpu unless its bolted down. Im going to bolt down a gpu water block to cool the proccessor. but that leaved the RAM exposed and with no wayh to cool itself. so Im going to place heatsinks on the chips. grease cant work because ti will just slide off once it gets too hot... I tried this when modding an xbox and the heatsink just slid around. so I need a way to attach the heatsink to the chip without using the impossible to get off thermal adhesive. If i were to pull the sinks off later down the road I dont want the ram chip to come with it. so I need some sort of glue that conducts heat like grease...that wont rip the chip off with it if I want to remove the sink.
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a b V Motherboard
January 22, 2012 12:48:32 AM

I understand now. I had success with the exact same issue by using a paste that was ceramic. There are a number of companies that make it, I don't know who makes the best one.
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January 22, 2012 7:04:11 AM

festerovic said:
I understand now. I had success with the exact same issue by using a paste that was ceramic. There are a number of companies that make it, I don't know who makes the best one.



can you give any suggestions? is the ceramic paste like removable glue? the video card will be sitting vertically so it will need enough strength to keep the sink on the ram chips
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a b V Motherboard
January 22, 2012 3:59:11 PM

This may work for you. Note the heat sinks will be permanent http://www.arcticsilver.com/ta.htm). This will set up sort of hard but is not intended to hold something in place (http://www.arcticsilver.com/cmq2.html). It may keep the heat sinks attached but may not. Even after curing it may not be stiff enough under load to act as an adhesive. Since it is not a big dollar investment, you might try the second one first. Then you can always use it on the GPU as it is an excellent thermal compound. The adhesive version will do what you want but the installation is described as permanent (it is a 2 part epoxy type system).
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January 23, 2012 9:07:55 AM

Dogsnake said:
This may work for you. Note the heat sinks will be permanent http://www.arcticsilver.com/ta.htm). This will set up sort of hard but is not intended to hold something in place (http://www.arcticsilver.com/cmq2.html). It may keep the heat sinks attached but may not. Even after curing it may not be stiff enough under load to act as an adhesive. Since it is not a big dollar investment, you might try the second one first. Then you can always use it on the GPU as it is an excellent thermal compound. The adhesive version will do what you want but the installation is described as permanent (it is a 2 part epoxy type system).



thankyou for your reply, however A permenant adhesive is something I dont want to do. I looking to salvage this part later down the road. so strict thermal adhesive is out of the question. the ram heatsinks dont weigh that much so it doesnt need to be super strong, just something to keep it on the chip.

Maybe a mixture of thermal grease and a tiny TINY amount of adhesive, has anyone experimented with this?

I dont mind the material sticking to the heatsink, not to the ram though.
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a b V Motherboard
January 23, 2012 2:57:09 PM

If that is what you need I would try the ceramic type paste. They sell 5g tubes for about $6. Get one and see if it holds the sinks in place. I would not mix compounds. Also even a small amount of adhesive will make a strong bond. It is like and epoxy system.
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a b V Motherboard
January 23, 2012 6:18:59 PM

Dogsnake said:
If that is what you need I would try the ceramic type paste. They sell 5g tubes for about $6. Get one and see if it holds the sinks in place. I would not mix compounds. Also even a small amount of adhesive will make a strong bond. It is like and epoxy system.


+1.


To answer the question of does it hold well or not, it held my GPU's heatsink (older card) in place without anything holding it to the card. If you are mostly concerned about the vram and other smaller chips that you plan to add sinks to, they will probably be fine with the ceramic stuff. The blocks may be too heavy to just secure them with paste. You may consider using a tiny amount of the 2 part system to hold it but not make it impossible to remove. Not sure how that stuff works.
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January 23, 2012 11:39:16 PM

Best answer selected by igotperks.
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a c 329 V Motherboard
January 23, 2012 11:40:52 PM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr
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