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Many Cooling Questions - Arctic Silver 5

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  • CPUs
  • Arctic
  • Thermal Compound
  • Silver
  • Product
Last response: in CPUs
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May 19, 2012 12:54:40 AM

Arctic Silver 5, I've heard, is the best thermal paste around. I will purchase some from Amazon, but I would like to know what the difference is between ones with "3.5g" or just "3.5" in their title.
For example, this one with "3.5g," http://www.amazon.com/Arctic-Silver-Polysynthetic-Therm...
Versus
This one without "3.5/g" in its title:
http://www.amazon.com/Arctic-Silver-5-Thermal-Compound/...

Well, it's probably a very ignorant question on my part, but I would also like to know, how does the thermal paste work?
My father, me being only twelve years old, makes all the "executive" buying decisions, and strongly believes thermal paste is not necessary. I believe otherwise, and I know it is crucial to transfer heat from the CPU to the heatsink. But, that's all I know. How exactly does it work? My father's argument is "Jason, metal against metal are the best heat conductors. Placing an organic material between them would make them perform worse, if not the same." Usually, I would not argue with my father, but I'm beginning to surpass him, even if I am twelve years old. I've built a computer, know the ins and outs of the computer, but both he and I still have much to learn.

Alright. After I purchase the paste, I'm obviously going to remove the existing heatsink/fan and use Isopropyl Alcohol 70% (it's the best I've got) to remove the current thermal compound. Then, apply Arctic Silver 5 on the cpu by squeezing a little grain of rice amount and spreading with a business card. Finally, put it together. So, here are the steps I am taking, please check if they're correct:
1. Remove heatsink. Unlatch the "cam" hook and turn the heatsink clockwise and counter-clockwise to break thermal seal. Pull vertically.
2. Clean CPU and Heatsink of thermal compound, using Isopropyl Alcohol 70%.
3. Apply AS5. Squeeze grain of rice amount and spread with credit card.
4. Put heatsink back on, latch the "cam" hook securely.
5. Check connections.

Thanks, I'm looking forward to all your answers!

- Jason

More about : cooling questions arctic silver

a b à CPUs
May 19, 2012 1:19:20 AM

artic mx4 is probably better than artic silver

and you are correct that thermal paste is necessary

your father could probably also be correct if the two pieces of metal being put together were absolutely perfectly machined
with not even microscopic defects


but the thermal paste fills in the tiny defects and prevents air pockets--and as you probably know as you sound a very

intelligent young man air is a very poor heat conductor

its only a very thin coating of thermal paste--too much would have a negative effect and start acting as a insulator

all your steps look correct--though some people dont spread with a credit card--the pressure of the heatsink being clamped

down on a rice sized amount of thermal paste will spread the paste

hope that helps answer your questions

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a c 238 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 3:36:04 AM

Mcnumpty23 is absolutely correct as are you that thermal paste is necessary.

Just to add my two cents. There is no single correct way to apply thermal paste due to the fact that no two pastes have the same viscosity or thickness. It is best to go by the manufacturer's recommended method for each individual paste. Even Arctic Silver recommends different methods depending on the CPU you are applying it to.

http://www.arcticsilver.com/methods.html

Manufacturers do extensive testing to see what method works best with thei product. Always go with what they recommend.

I agree that Arctic Cooling MX 4 is probably better than Arctic Silver. Arctic Silver has a 200 hour cure time that newer pastes do not have. I use IC Diamond myself.
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a c 283 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 3:38:52 AM

I think the 200 hour cure time for AS5 is over rated, lol. A POSSIBLE 1-3C difference after curing isn't a make or break thing. That's just MY two cents...
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a c 238 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 3:43:26 AM

DJDeCiBeL said:
I think the 200 hour cure time for AS5 is over rated, lol. A POSSIBLE 1-3C difference after curing isn't a make or break thing. That's just MY two cents...



http://www.arcticsilver.com/as5.htm

" Important Reminder:
Due to the unique shape and sizes of the particles in Arctic Silver 5's conductive matrix, it will take a up to 200 hours and several thermal cycles to achieve maximum particle to particle thermal conduction and for the heatsink to CPU interface to reach maximum conductivity. (This period will be longer in a system without a fan on the heatsink or with a low speed fan on the heatsink.) On systems measuring actual internal core temperatures via the CPU's internal diode, the measured temperature will often drop 2C to 5C over this "break-in" period. This break-in will occur during the normal use of the computer as long as the computer is turned off from time to time and the interface is allowed to cool to room temperature. Once the break-in is complete, the computer can be left on if desired. "


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May 19, 2012 3:43:57 AM

mcnumpty23 said:
artic mx4 is probably better than artic silver

and you are correct that thermal paste is necessary

your father could probably also be correct if the two pieces of metal being put together were absolutely perfectly machined
with not even microscopic defects


but the thermal paste fills in the tiny defects and prevents air pockets--and as you probably know as you sound a very

intelligent young man air is a very poor heat conductor

its only a very thin coating of thermal paste--too much would have a negative effect and start acting as a insulator

all your steps look correct--though some people dont spread with a credit card--the pressure of the heatsink being clamped

down on a rice sized amount of thermal paste will spread the paste

hope that helps answer your questions


Oh, alright! Thank you. I'll probably purchase Arctic MX-4 due to its non-capacitive properties, unlike Arctic Silver 5.
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a c 283 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 3:47:18 AM

anort3 said:
http://www.arcticsilver.com/as5.htm

" Important Reminder:
Due to the unique shape and sizes of the particles in Arctic Silver 5's conductive matrix, it will take a up to 200 hours and several thermal cycles to achieve maximum particle to particle thermal conduction and for the heatsink to CPU interface to reach maximum conductivity. (This period will be longer in a system without a fan on the heatsink or with a low speed fan on the heatsink.) On systems measuring actual internal core temperatures via the CPU's internal diode, the measured temperature will often drop 2C to 5C over this "break-in" period. This break-in will occur during the normal use of the computer as long as the computer is turned off from time to time and the interface is allowed to cool to room temperature. Once the break-in is complete, the computer can be left on if desired. "


I know what THEY say, I'm just going from my own experience, which tells me that it's nowhere near a 5C difference. I usually never see a difference at all, in fact.
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a c 238 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 3:51:51 AM

I never use Arctic Silver 5. I used to use their Ceramique product due to it being non conductive and for the last 2 or 3 years I have used IC Diamond. I just figured their own website would know what it was talking about. ;) 
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a c 283 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 3:53:19 AM

I've been thinking about switching over to IC Diamond myself, actually.
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May 19, 2012 4:29:14 AM

Awesome! I'm going to order Arctic Cooling MX-4 with my mother's credit card (of course with permission) tomorrow. Newegg Free Shipping is 4-7 business days, but I always get it next day (monday in this case) because I live a few miles away :D . I'm in East Brunswick, while their headquarters (I think, it might just be a warehouse) is very close.
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a c 186 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 5:17:42 AM

Newegg Warehouse: 5 hours away
Me: Orders Power Supply
Mail: 5 Days Later Power Supply Arrives
Me: FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!
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a c 283 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 5:19:13 AM

amuffin said:
Newegg Warehouse: 5 hours away
Me: Orders Power Supply
Mail: 5 Days Later Power Supply Arrives
Me: FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!


:lol:  :lol:  :lol: 
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May 19, 2012 5:31:06 AM

I have another question: Should you spread the thermal compound? I plan on using the dot/rice method (drop a grain of rice/dot of Arctic Cooling MX-4). According to some people, spreading will create air bubbles and degrade thermal paste performance. So, for Arctic Cooling MX-4, or many thermal pastes in general, should I put a grain of rice and let the heatsink spread the paste itself?

Thanks.
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a c 186 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 5:32:52 AM

Use the weight of the cooler to spread the paste.
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May 19, 2012 5:35:55 AM

amuffin said:
Use the weight of the cooler to spread the paste.

Alright, thank you! Also, I'll make sure to follow your guide if I have any questions, apart from the AS5 specifics.
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a c 186 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 5:40:31 AM

My guide is there just in case you screw up! :D 
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a c 238 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 5:53:19 AM

amuffin said:
My guide is there just in case you screw up! :D 



It's a good guide but it's kind of incomplete as Arctic Silver only recommends the line method for some CPUs.

http://www.arcticsilver.com/intel_application_method.ht...

http://www.arcticsilver.com/amd_application_method.html...

You also have to take in account that is ONLY correct for Arctic Silver as well. Different pastes have different viscosities and spread differently. What works for Arctic Silver will not be correct for the very thick IC Diamond.
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May 19, 2012 6:39:02 AM

anort3 said:
It's a good guide but it's kind of incomplete as Arctic Silver only recommends the line method for some CPUs.

http://www.arcticsilver.com/intel_application_method.ht...

http://www.arcticsilver.com/amd_application_method.html...

You also have to take in account that is ONLY correct for Arctic Silver as well. Different pastes have different viscosities and spread differently. What works for Arctic Silver will not be correct for the very thick IC Diamond.

I will be using Arctic Cooling MX-4. Is the dot/grain of rice method best with that kind of thermal compound and my Amd Phenom II x6 1055t?
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a c 186 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 6:59:32 AM

Yup!
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May 19, 2012 1:11:35 PM

Awesome :D . Then I'm all set! I just ordered the thermal compound from newegg.
I will get it on Monday.
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May 19, 2012 1:47:16 PM

I'm going to apply new thermal paste because of my temps. I doubt these are normal:
1. When I boot up my PC after being shut down overnight, it is actually 35C.
2. After idling for a little bit, the temps are 40-48C. It increases Celsius by Celsius over longer periods of time.
3. But, after playing BF3 or something else CPU intensive, the CPU stays at a CONSTANT 45-50C depending on the program.

This is not normal, correct?

EDIT: Here are my temps during the first Prime95 Test (maximum heat) I stopped before it could rise higher:

This isn't good...right?
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a c 238 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 4:55:55 PM

A Phenom II X6 should max out at ~60C at load. So yeah that is too high. Are you overclocking ?
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May 19, 2012 4:57:44 PM

anort3 said:
A Phenom II X6 should max out at ~60C at load. So yeah that is too high. Are you overclocking ?

Nope. Everything is stock.
This is why I'm going to use new thermal paste. But, should I use Paper Towels + Isopropyl Alcohol 70% or Q-Tips + Isopropyl Alcohol 70%?
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a c 238 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 5:00:42 PM

If you have a coffee filter I would use that. Something lint free is best. Q-tip would be my second choice.
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a c 238 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 5:02:52 PM

You are using stock cooling? Do you have decent case airflow?
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May 19, 2012 5:07:55 PM

anort3 said:
If you have a coffee filter I would use that. Something lint free is best. Q-tip would be my second choice.

amuffin used paper towels, but some people use q-tips.

To answer your second question, I'm using stock cooling, and I have no idea how to measure my airflow.

EDIT: I don't exactly have Q-Tips. I have cotton swabs made from 100% cotton. So, should I use paper towels?
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a c 238 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 5:21:43 PM

Be very careful not to leave lint behind. Use some compressed air to blow off the heatsink when you are done.
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May 19, 2012 5:33:25 PM

anort3 said:
Be very careful not to leave lint behind. Use some compressed air to blow off the heatsink when you are done.

So which would be better, paper towels or the 100% cotton swabs?
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a c 283 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 5:39:42 PM

Just use a paper towel (I usually do). It'll be fine, as long as you watch out for lint.
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a c 238 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 5:40:02 PM

Either. As I said just be careful about lint. If there is any use some compressed air to blow it off.
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May 19, 2012 10:21:57 PM

Alright, I'll use a paper towel and use a flashlight to check for lint before applying the paste.

I have a question though: After like 6 hours of the computer being on, the CPU is at a constant 58C.
Is it supposed to raise after long periods of time?
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a c 186 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 10:45:33 PM

Your processor should be IDLE when you are doing internet browsing, probably 20-30C depending on room temp!
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a c 238 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 11:09:56 PM

^ This.

You should only be at 58C if you are stress testing the computer. Even for normal use, browsing and gaming and videos you should be at more like 50C.

What kind of case airflow do you have? Front intake and rear/top exhaust fans?
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May 19, 2012 11:36:31 PM

anort3 said:
^ This.

You should only be at 58C if you are stress testing the computer. Even for normal use, browsing and gaming and videos you should be at more like 50C.

What kind of case airflow do you have? Front intake and rear/top exhaust fans?

But, should the temperature rise like that?
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a c 238 à CPUs
May 19, 2012 11:48:18 PM

Only if you are running Prime 95. You should be able to browse and watch videos all day long and never hit 50C. Gaming for hours you might hit 50C depending on the game.
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a c 186 à CPUs
May 20, 2012 12:09:44 AM

What case do you have?
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a c 154 à CPUs
May 20, 2012 12:19:55 AM

Artic Silver 5 is a very good thermal paste but it's starting to lose it's popularity in favor of other thermal paste like Diamond 7, MX-4 and a few others. While AS5 is good you can get other thermal paste that give the same performance and doesn't have a 200 hour cure time. Most like MX-4 have pratically no cure time.
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May 20, 2012 12:38:33 AM

anort3 said:
Only if you are running Prime 95. You should be able to browse and watch videos all day long and never hit 50C. Gaming for hours you might hit 50C depending on the game.

You mean after playing the game? The idle temp will be around 50C if you play for a long time?
My pc has a constant 50 C IDLE TEMP AFTER playing battlefield 3

You're saying, it should hit 55C or so, but drop down to around 35-40C AFTER playing?
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a c 283 à CPUs
May 20, 2012 12:42:19 AM

digitalhardware said:
You're saying, it should hit 55C or so, but drop down to around 35-40C AFTER playing?


Yep.
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a c 238 à CPUs
May 20, 2012 1:02:41 AM

Yes. Within seconds it should drop to more like 30-35C. Maybe even upper 20s - 35 depending on case cooling.

Edit: Maybe not upper 20s with a stock AMD cooler. The only AMD based computer I am around much is the X3 440 based computer I built for my sister. It has stock cooling but is in an Antec 300 Illusion so it cools very well. I am not sure how low the X6 Thubans idle.
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a c 186 à CPUs
May 20, 2012 1:04:56 AM

After because the parts aren't under load.
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May 20, 2012 2:38:48 AM

Well, instead of cooling down all the way, it only cools down to around 50C after playing CPU intensive games (BF3).
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May 20, 2012 2:05:50 PM

Hmmm...
This is weird. Now it cools all the way down to a 38C idle temp from 64C in 30 seconds of Prime95.
Well, I still need thermal paste for reduced full load temps.
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May 20, 2012 4:01:12 PM

Okay...this is weird. If I wait for 2 hours, the constant idle temp will go from 40C to 50-54C.

What the?
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a c 238 à CPUs
May 20, 2012 5:07:01 PM

You should not let your CPU go over 60C. You never answered about your case.

Take the side off the case and see if temps still go that high. If not then you know your case is the problem. If they do then you should think about aftermarket cooling. The Hyper 212+ or Evo are both good low cost options.

What voltage is the CPU at? In my opinion you are still about 10C too hot at idle.
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a c 283 à CPUs
May 20, 2012 5:14:34 PM

anort3 has a good point about it possibly being over-volted slightly, and a 212+/Evo would be a great low cost way to improve your temps.
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