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Thread: Intel's heatsink paste or Artic Silver?

  1. #1
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    Question Intel's heatsink paste or Artic Silver?

    I've seen similar stuff on some small chipset coolers and I don't mean to be insulting but it kind of looks like dried bubblegum from under a high school desk top. Anyway I like the looks of the fan and heatsink that came with the i7 I just received but there are three strips of this paste on it and now I can relate to a comment I think I saw the other day about burning in the CPU and I'm assuming that when the CPU heats up then these strips will maybe flow into one solid slab.

    The thing I want to know is should I scrape it off and replace it with some Artic Silver II or 3 that I have on hand or not??

    Thanks

    Wild Willy the Wacko

  2. #2
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    I've often used Arctic Silver. That said, after the items were firmly in place, I'd make sure to get the excess off from around the edges. If it isn't hot, soft, and running a muck, I'd not worry too much, but keep an eye on it.
    Take temp readings of your CPU. If it is running hotter then you think it should be, maybe things are not seated properly, and some home repairs may be necessary.
    I'm sure others will have comments that may also help.
    Neil

    Here at home, in the railroad mayhem capital of the world.

  3. #3

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    Since it seems that your investigation has exposed the thermal heat transfer compound, and I am guessing that it has the appearance of dried bubble gum, I myself at this point would clean off the goo (there are commercial cleaners available) and apply a new, uniform layer of thermal heat transfer paste. I have used many different brands of the white goo, but cannot attest that one brand was better than the other. I have never seen the compound melt or flow...If it did, I would investigate the thermal properties of the stuff. I also have never seen it take on the consistency of dried gum. Being hard, again would raise my curiosity as to its ability to transfer heat. I have exchanged cpu's in computers that were five plus years old and was able to smear the thermal compound around.

  4. #4
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    Check at Tom's, Anandtech, and similar sites for reviews, but from what I remember the Intel stuff is rated as working as long as you don't use it too hard in a difficult (read: hot) environment. And one story noted that it goes on hard but softens and bonds well when it gets hot. Many hobbyists clean it off and use a normal thermal compound - it probably works as well or better if done right, especially if you do gaming or modeling that pushes the CPU hard for extended periods of time.

    My ambient is 30-35C in summer, so I use a bigger heatsink than the standard Intel one. Which means I have to use normal compound (I think I did use Arctic Silver once - worked well). With a 135W TDP chip, CPU temps are usually close to ambient unless running ORTS on a detailed route (can push up into the low 50s in summer when doing that) - but then ORTS uses all the cores and the GPU, pushing continuous CPU use to 70-75% which most of my other workloads don't.

    Speedfan is good, cheap (free) temperature and fan speed monitoring software.

  5. #5
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    Cool This is a brand new CPU and heat sink from Intel just arrived!

    Quote Originally Posted by ckawahara View Post
    Since it seems that your investigation has exposed the thermal heat transfer compound, and I am guessing that it has the appearance of dried bubble gum, I myself at this point would clean off the goo (there are commercial cleaners available) and apply a new, uniform layer of thermal heat transfer paste. I have used many different brands of the white goo, but cannot attest that one brand was better than the other. I have never seen the compound melt or flow...If it did, I would investigate the thermal properties of the stuff. I also have never seen it take on the consistency of dried gum. Being hard, again would raise my curiosity as to its ability to transfer heat. I have exchanged cpu's in computers that were five plus years old and was able to smear the thermal compound around.

    I was surprised that the thermal paste seemed so thick and was applied in three strips instead of a thin even layer covering the whole contact area of the cooler. If it isn't a manufacturers defect then they must expect it to melt and flow to make proper contact.

    If you believe the hype about Artic Silver, it seems intuitive that the little particles of a superior heat transferring metal would work better than something that just looks like plastic glue ( or dried bubble gum ).

    I've been divesting of old comp parts and just the other day I took a really nice copper heat sink off a MOBO and the Artic silver was still smearable after, I'm guessing 10-12 years?? ( has it been around that long? )

    The thing is that we are coming up with miracle products every day and I would hope that Intel would provide the best there is to make their product perform to our expectations and looks can be deceiving especially when talking about " HI TECH " products us common yellow hound dogs don't fully understand.

    Thanks

    Wild Willy the Wacko

  6. #6
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    Cool Well, things are not always as they seem!!

    I went to Tom's Hardware and read many posts and I made the decision to re-do the compound.

    I had till then been very carefull not to touch the compound and from appearance I thought I would have to scrape it off with my fingernail but much to my surprise it was totally soft and spreadable. However, I still didn't like the way the factory applied it to the heatsink. I liked and agreed with the single blob, air pocket eliminating theory espoused in the following quote:


    "That's the thing. It says to dab in the center and NOT TO SPREAD AROUND, just set the processor and it will spread itself out. They said that way you are not introducing air that you might by spreading.

    <i>Copied from article:</i>

    For ALL Arctic Silver versions:

    Put a small amount of Arctic Silver onto the center of the heat spreader/CPU Cap as shown in the photo.

    Only a small amount of Arctic Silver is needed

    P4- About the size of an uncooked grain of short-grain white rice or 2/3 of a BB.

    Athlon64- About the size of one and a half uncooked grains of short-grain white rice or 3/4 of a BB.


    8. RECHECK to make sure no foreign contaminants are present on either the bottom of the heatsink or the top of the CPU core. <b>Mount the heatsink on the CPU per the heatsink's instructions. Be sure to lower the heatsink straight down onto the CPU.

    Once the heatsink is properly mounted, grasp the heatsink and very gently twist it slightly clockwise and counterclockwise one time each if possible. (Just one or two degrees or so.)</b>

    Please note that some heatsinks cannot be twisted once mounted.

    DO NOT REMOVE THE HEATSINK FROM THE CPU TO LOOK AT THE COMPOUND ONCE YOU HAVE MOUNTED THE HEATSINK. This will introduce air into the interface layer and require a fresh application.

    <b>Our testing has shown that this method minimizes the possibility of air bubbles and voids in the thermal interface between the heat spreader and the heatsink. Since the vast majority of the heat from the core travels directly through the heat spreader, it is more important to have a good interface directly above the actual CPU core than it is to have the heat spreader covered with compound from corner to corner.</b>"

    This is the part that cinched it for me:

    "Since the vast majority of the heat from the core travels directly through the heat spreader, it is more important to have a good interface directly above the actual CPU core than it is to have the heat spreader covered with compound from corner to corner."

    the tricky part may be: in an i7 quad core, what is " directly above the actual CPU core" I always thought the whole flat surface was covering core!

    Wild Willy the Wacko
    Last edited by CWA13000; 07-18-2015 at 09:09 AM.

  7. #7

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    The Arctic Silver website has PDF instructions for various processors.

    The i7 application method is a verticle stripe.
    http://www.arcticsilver.com/intel_ap...on_method.html

    Don't know if this picture is of an i7, but the principle is the same.
    UWZb1zD.jpg


    trainbrain.

  8. #8
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    Cool AAH, the extreme merits of the art of procrastination!!

    Quote Originally Posted by trainbrain View Post
    The Arctic Silver website has PDF instructions for various processors.

    The i7 application method is a verticle stripe.
    http://www.arcticsilver.com/intel_ap...on_method.html

    Don't know if this picture is of an i7, but the principle is the same.
    UWZb1zD.jpg


    trainbrain.
    Thanks for the tip! I'm off for a week vacation but I made note of the i7 application method and now I'm glad I waited. I will do it that way when I come back!

    You da man!

    Thanks

    Wild Willy the Wacko

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