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Old March 12, 2009, 05:26 AM
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Default Thermal Compound: All that and a bag of potato chips?

So I am still using my stock heatsink and was considering a new after market heatsink, but after dropping most of my money I had on a new video card, PSU, RAM and case fans, I think that idea will have to wait. However, while I was researching different heatsinks I came across a few people saying that simply applying new thermal compound on their stock heatsinks gave them drops of up to 10 degrees celcius. Is there any truth to this? Did the manufacturers really do that poor of a job with their own? If I can expect to see even a 5 degree drop I'd go out and pick out a tube.

This leads to another question. What thermal compound do you all recommend getting? I remember when I first built my computer two years ago arctic silver 5 was the shaz! But is it still what I want to be getting? I notice arctic silver has a few more compounds out there now incorporating fancy words into their names such as: ceraminque, ceramic polysynthetic and high-density polysythentic. Is all this just marketing hype and plain ol' arctic silver 5 is still leading the pack, or should I actually look into picking up something with a fancy name?

Just so you know, I'm running an athlon 64 x2 3800+ on a MSI K9N Platinum mobo.
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Old March 12, 2009, 05:38 AM
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First of all, what HSF are you using? The stock one? What are your temps?

Second, No, you won't notice a 10 degree drop. 5 degree MAYBE depending on what thermal compound was used originally. AS5 is no longer the top dog (but still a decent compound). Try some Artic Cooling MX, it works better and spreads easier. There are diamond based stuff as well that is better but super expensive.
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Old March 12, 2009, 05:53 AM
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Yeah, still using the stock fan as well. I get 33 degrees idle, haven't tested full load temps yet. I used to use nvidia's ntune monitor program to keep an eye on my temps, but lately the window doesn't open to the full size so I can't see the temps or the voltages, and it won't resize. So I just recently downloaded speedfan to control my fans and something else (the name eludes me at the moment, and I'm at work so I can't check) to check my temps. Thus, I haven't really had a chance to do a full load test yet.

Last edited by floodx; March 12, 2009 at 07:04 AM.
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Old March 12, 2009, 06:28 AM
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The stuff on the STock Intel/Stock AMD Cooling Fans is not the best stuff out there.
The people posting 10 degree differences probably didn't have their HSF seated right to begin with.

It does make a difference, though using a good quality thermal Paste.
My favorite is from OCZ, their OCZ Freeze variety.
I have had no issues using it, and it never needs to cure to be effective.
Remember , if you are replacing your Original Thermal Grease, to use rubbing alcohol to clean the surfaces (the Heatsink and the Processor). But, use something that does not leave lint or anything of that sort (an example, I use the same cloths that clean my Oakley Sunglasses) so that way you don't damage the Processor or anything else when you are done.

Good Luck,
ST
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Old March 12, 2009, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soultribunal View Post
The stuff on the STock Intel/Stock AMD Cooling Fans is not the best stuff out there.
The people posting 10 degree differences probably didn't have their HSF seated right to begin with.

ST
The stuff intel uses has been said to be up there with the qualities of Arctic Silver 5 and works perfectly fine for stock to VERY mild overclocks.

But regardless of any situation if your thinking of doing major overclocking you need to get a new hsf.
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Old March 12, 2009, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floodx View Post
Is all this just marketing hype and plain ol' arctic silver 5 is still leading the pack, or should I actually look into picking up something with a fancy name?
Take a look.
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Old March 12, 2009, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enaberif View Post
The stuff intel uses has been said to be up there with the qualities of Arctic Silver 5 and works perfectly fine for stock to VERY mild overclocks.

But regardless of any situation if your thinking of doing major overclocking you need to get a new hsf.

Maybe they have changed it since I had my experiences with it. I haven't used a Stock HSF in a long Time Enaberif, so I could very well be mistaken on that one.
Still, I am a Fan of the one I use.

Regards,
ST
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Old March 12, 2009, 07:02 AM
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Where you really notice the difference is often in the chipset. Especially on cheaper boards, manufacturers are often sloppy with how they stick their heatsinks on the regulators and chipset spots, so in some cases, I could see 5-10 degrees improvement being possible. On the CPU itself, probably not so much, but still posible to see a few degrees improvement. Most important is getting a good spread of paste - not too much, not too little. If you're serious about temperatures, you should be making multiple attempts,.

As for AS5, still good stuff, but it's not uncommon to see the newer compounds edging it out by a degree or two. One of the big advantages of many newer compounds are that they're non-capacitive, which is some peace of mind if you manage to get some where it shouldn't be (i.e. CPU socket).
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Old March 12, 2009, 02:21 PM
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I dont think youd see a whole lot of difference, its not going to be the same as going from a good aftermarket cooler from the stock, id expect maybe a couple of degrees at best. One nice thing about it though is I find that the Core 2s 3 line application on the bottom of their coolers didnt make the best contact for me? I much rather applying it in my own pattern so i know its spreading evenly.
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