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Do I need to change my thermal paste

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
a b U Graphics card
March 15, 2011 12:54:41 AM

So recently my 5850 has been getting very hot. It boots at system and from there just goes up in temps from there. However, in the few weeks before, the 5850 would be able to hold a low 30-40 idle w/o the fan going off. Now I'm forced to open Afterburner and turn the fan up to 40-50% to keep it cool. I mean it's not getting EXTREMELY HOT, it doesn't get passed 50*C when I game either (Fan turned on to 50%).

The end question is, do I have to replace the thermal paste? Has it dried out?
If I do have to replace the paste, is it safe? I've never taken apart my GPU and I don't have the money to buy another one.

More about : change thermal paste

a c 172 U Graphics card
March 15, 2011 1:18:02 AM

Check the cooler for dust first and then replace the compound. The stock compound typically dries out after a few months depending on use.
a b U Graphics card
March 15, 2011 1:22:50 AM

OK, I've had the card for over a year. I'll check for dust first.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
March 15, 2011 2:32:25 AM

Yea dust can build up very quickly depending on use of the card. Blast from the vent first and not from the fan until you have done the vent. That will push the dust back towards the fan making it easy to remove much of the fluff.
a c 500 U Graphics card
March 15, 2011 2:56:16 AM

Remove the shroud. That way you can ensure that the cooling fins are properly cleaned.
a b U Graphics card
March 15, 2011 3:58:56 AM

The shroud being the batman reference cover? There is no danger to removing that correct? I remember seeing on a review of the Arctic Cooling kit, the user broke off part of the plastic. Which meant no turning back.
a c 500 U Graphics card
March 15, 2011 4:51:52 AM

As long as you're careful when removing the shroud you shouldn't break anything. Just don't forcefully rip it off.
a b U Graphics card
March 15, 2011 5:20:06 AM

Alright I'll try tomorrow. Fry's was closed and they got the cheapest dust-off. I like to buy in packs =P
a c 243 U Graphics card
March 15, 2011 5:39:35 AM

Aftermarket TIM can make a huge difference. I used IC Diamond 24C on my EVGA GTX460 EE SC and it lowered temps over stock 4C at idle and 7C at load.
a b U Graphics card
March 15, 2011 8:32:18 AM

i used IC Diamond 24 too on my 5850 and got about 10C drop on load, its amazing stuff :) 
March 15, 2011 6:21:28 PM

I don't see a problem here. That card can handle much higher temps than you have described.
a b U Graphics card
March 15, 2011 9:24:31 PM

Well I have IC24 from the last time they did a giveaway. I just wanted to see if I had any other options before removing the cover off the 5850.
a c 535 U Graphics card
March 15, 2011 10:02:06 PM

If you go for replacing the TIM, be careful with the screws on the heatsink. Use the right size screwdriver and use gentle force. The whole point is you don't want to strip the screw sockets (where the screwdriver makes contact with the screw head). I used Arctic Cooling MX-4, and lowered temps and fan speed.
a b U Graphics card
March 16, 2011 3:51:08 AM

^ Well I did use a normal Philips head until I reached an impasse. The back plate screws for the heatsink use, I believe, 00# Philips head screws. So Would I need to remove those before the shroud can be removed? Because I was trying to remove the shroud with out removing those 4 back plate screws and it didn't really work out. I stopped and just re-installed the card into the computer for fear of forceful removal.
a c 500 U Graphics card
March 16, 2011 4:13:31 AM

There's 16 screws holding the heatsink, fan and shroud assembly to the card.

Once the heatsink, fan and shroud assembly is removed, you can then undo a few more screws to remove the shroud that is covering the heatsink and fan.

You can see the 16 screw holes in this picture:

The blower fan and cooling block can be seen in this picture:

a b U Graphics card
March 16, 2011 4:16:17 AM

Ahhh So I do have to remove the heat sink back plate screws. They are basically the four screw holes around the chip. I'll go down to Harbor Tools and pick up a 00# Philips head screw driver. That'll let me unscrew the heatsink letting me take the shroud off.