I've never used thermal compounds outside of what was already put onto and done on a product that I've bought. So I have a few questions that could potentially be good advice to those who haven't done so already.
What is a good thermal paste to use on the GPU?
What is the best way to apply thermal paste to the GPU?
After this article was first published, there was an immediate backlash from some of the manufacturers listed in this review. The primary argument was the lack of cure time. Here is the Arctic Silver 5 recommended cure time instruction from the manufacturers web site:
"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."
So by my estimation of this statement it would take almost a year of normal use to properly cure the AC5 compound, or almost nine days of continuous power cycles to meet their recommendation
Shin Etsu you will notice has exact same thermal properties as AS5 but no curing time
I need it to reapply after putting on a water block. I have always used the heatsink pressure to spread thermal paste for CPU's. I didn't know if it was the same for a GPU or if it was better to spread it manually with a finger in the plastic bag or a credit card. I know that method is not recommended for CPU's because it can cause air bubbles. So that's why I didn't know of it was a good idea to use that method on a GPU.
Even though we all have our preferences, I've only used two after market pastes; Cooler Master, and Arctic Cooling MX-2. MX-2 exceeded my expectations and dropped the temps on the GTX 295 I had about 8c, and the 9800GX2 about 10c.
I was wondering if anyone has used IC Diamond. I was going to use Diamond next time I clean the CPU but I didn't know if it was good for GPU's too.
Here is an interesting thread if you are considering using IC Diamond. They did a giveaway to those of us on the forums with a certain number of posts who agreed to test their product. They actually did this on several websites. You can see the full results on their website.. I used to use Artic Silver Ceramique but these tests made me change. IC Diamond is also non conductive unlike Artic Silver 5 so no risk of shorting out your board/card.