renew heatsink transfer compound/thermal greese

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by seano2101, May 24, 2010.

  1. seano2101

    seano2101 MDL Novice

    May 24, 2010
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    I was told by a tech guy that heatsink transfer compound on the CPU should be renewed every year or so.

    I have not found a lot of evidence to support this, although I have done it myself on a couple of machines as part of cleaning out the heatsinks, but the heatsinks was so dirty that it would be impossible to say what was the cause of the positive results. (I dropped one machine from around 80C to around 40C but like I said the heatsink and fan were pretty full of dust etc)
     
  2. alextheg

    alextheg Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 7, 2009
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    Well IMHO, if you feel the need to remove the heatsink for cleaning then renewing the thermal paste would have benefits. A very important part of the heat transfer process. Most compounds have a lifespan, thermal paste cant really be any different. My advice, dont buy cheap thermal paste.
     
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  3. starams5

    starams5 MDL Member

    Feb 5, 2010
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    If the temps are decent with a clean heatsink don't worry about.
     
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  4. 2centsworth

    2centsworth MDL Senior Member

    Feb 12, 2008
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    Ah-HA....20 years I've been dicking with thermal compounds....got some opinions......hehehe

    Short answer yes and no......some thermal interface compounds, specially older (or cheap knockoffs) formulations like the early arctic silver carrier would "pump" out from between the cpu/heatsink over time as the heating and cooling cycles actually squeezed it out. Some Zinc based ones dry out over time.
    Some thermal interface compounds like the older bubblegum consistancy TIM used on FCPGA like Athlon XP Pentium 3, improves the bond with repeated heat and cool cycles and should never be removed or changed.
    Some others like todays Arctic silver actually improve their bond and thermal transfer efficency over repeated heating and cooling cycles.

    If you question the TIM you have, replace it once with a high quality TIM and forget about it. 2 cents worth today.
     
  5. Hotrod74

    Hotrod74 MDL Novice

    Feb 12, 2010
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  6. burfadel

    burfadel MDL EXE>MSP/CAB

    Aug 19, 2009
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    Yeah there's a few types! I've used OCZ freeze myself as that was the best one available in the store. Pretty much all the good ones that are safe to use are based on aluminium oxide it seems.
     
  7. starams5

    starams5 MDL Member

    Feb 5, 2010
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  8. kingedwards

    kingedwards MDL Junior Member

    Mar 17, 2010
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    I like to buy thermal paste from component vendors like mouser.com. They sell top brand and quality and it is dirt cheap. Just make sure you buy plenty of it or plenty of other items because the cheapest shipping they offer is around $7.50 USD. I bought a bunch of 1oz tubes at 19 cents a piece and they have a 10 year warranty. The only thing I have noticed with thermal paste is that it expires faster if it is not heated on a regular basis. If for any reason you decide to look at your CPU or upgrade your heatsink ALWAYS completely clean off the old thermal paste and apply new paste. The good thing about mouser is that the more you buy the cheaper it is.
     
  9. sandipandi

    sandipandi MDL Novice

    Jun 6, 2010
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    Omg

    Good thing....by older you mean like, older than 2 years ago, right? I really don't want to go replace all the arctic silver and arctic paste.... :eek: