Best Thermal Compound for Laptop CPU and GPU

I have always used AS-5 as my "go to" TIM for years now.. Just recently, I have been impressed to change the TIIM on my laptop and used AS5 and ArctiClean. However, the internet has me to believe that there are better TIMs and every degree counts in my book. So I'm wondering what would be the best TIM for laptop use? I'm talking BEST compounds. Not best bang for the dollar, but the absolute BEST TIM.

Thanks! :)
8 answers Last reply
More about thermal compound laptop cpu gpu
  1. All the top brands/types are pretty good. I like MX-4 over AS-5 because it isn't electrically conductive. Something more important in the close confines of a laptop.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186038

    From my limited testing, it also seems to do a tad better than AS-5... 2-4 degrees C.

    But in all honesty, I haven't tried the über high-end brands.
  2. This thermal paste round up from 2011 should help you out. I have been thinking about applying some IC Diamond to my Lenovo Y470 after the warranty expires next year (3 years). Note Do not use chocolate since it is worse than having no thermal paste at all. I wonder if they used Hersey or Godiva...

    http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/printpage/Thermal-Compound-Roundup-December-2011/1445
  3. Damn...

    I just noticed that the tried and true Arctic Silver 5 is basically tied for 2nd place along with all the other thermal paste able to get 33C. I still have some AC5 from about 3 years ago. Maybe I should just stick with it rather than trying out the more expensive IC Diamond.
  4. I use Collaboratory Liquid Ultra on laptops. MX-4 dropped my temps 5C over stock paste, and CLU dropped my temps another 10c, making a 15c drop over stock paste using CLU. Good luck finding any without outrageous shipping prices depending on where you live though. If you're in Canada the best bet is using eBay and finding one of those Hong Kong sellers that ship for free. It may take 3 weeks but hey I'd rather wait 3 weeks than pay 20$ shipping for a 20$ product.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention AS5. I got a 2c drop after the curing process on my laptop. Before it cured, it gave me the same exact temps as stock paste. AS5 is outdated now, I wouldn't use it anymore.
  5. marshal11 said:
    I use Collaboratory Liquid Ultra on laptops. MX-4 dropped my temps 5C over stock paste, and CLU dropped my temps another 10c, making a 15c drop over stock paste using CLU. Good luck finding any without outrageous shipping prices depending on where you live though. If you're in Canada the best bet is using eBay and finding one of those Hong Kong sellers that ship for free. It may take 3 weeks but hey I'd rather wait 3 weeks than pay 20$ shipping for a 20$ product.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention AS5. I got a 2c drop after the curing process on my laptop. Before it cured, it gave me the same exact temps as stock paste. AS5 is outdated now, I wouldn't use it anymore.


    I've been looking into CLU and CLP. Both seem to show great results. What scares me is the electrical conductivity and the fear that it will leak once heated and short things out. I've also read that both basically require lapping to fully remove, which also doesn't settle well with me... Any comments on these points? Also, what's the major difference between CLU and CLP?

    Update: it seems that CLU is the latest, easier to apply, easier to remove product. Laptop CPU/GPU generally don't have IHS so it would have to be applied to the bare die (which I assume is of much higher grade than IHS). Anybody have experience with removing CLU from a bare die? Does is just wipe off or would lapping be required? I would hate to ruin the shiny die
  6. It came off fine for me after a year of heavy use. I like to replace my thermal compound yearly, including the CLU I'm using on my delidded 3770k. I don't know where the rumour came from about having to lap the heatsink and IHS to remove it. Some 99% alcohol and a lint free cloth work wonders with me. If anything, it's much easier than wiping off that gooey MX4 and AS5 paste. And CLU doesn't really spread and spill like normal thermal paste does. It spreads in a much different way than normal thermal paste. You use a VERY little amount and spread it with a small paint brush which is included with the paste along with some wipes soaked in rubbing alcohol to remove your current paste or the CLU after you've applied it. You don't have to worry about it spilling onto electronics. It acts sort of like mercury. It's like a liquid/solid hybrid. It's a extremely dense liquid and therefore it sticks together very intensely. Even if you use too much and it gets squished out the sides by the heatsink, the chances of it dripping down onto the motherboard are very slim. Just use much less than you normally would compared to normal pastes and there's absolutely nothing to worry about :)
  7. Here's how to apply and remove CLU:

    http://www.coollaboratory.com/en/products/liquid-ultra/

    I have read somewhere though that it is not recommended for aluminum heatsinks though. I guess that means it is not as effective with aluminum heatsinks as opposed to copper heatsinks.
  8. No, it's not just not recommended for aluminum heatsinks, you're absolutely not supposed to use it on any aluminum at all because it will attack aluminum, ruining the heatsink. Never put CLU on aluminum. It will destroy the heatsink. Don't confuse nickel plated copper/aluminum heatsinks with aluminum though. Many heatsinks have nickel plated copper and it's safe to use it on nickel so do your research on your heatsink if you're not sure if it's aluminum or nickel plated :) I haven't ever seen an aluminum laptop heatsink though, so in your case everything should be fine.
Ask a new question

Read More

Laptops Tim Thermal Compound CPUs