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Old 01-28-2009, 07:49 AM   #1
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Default Tech geeks: What is the best thermal grease?

I know it seems small but the place that is building my mother board, case and processor combo uses crappy grease so I told them to send it to me I'd put the grease in my self. I keep hearing about Arctic silver as the good stuff. I just don't want some crappy stuff in there. The last computer I got lasted me ten years and I only had to upgrade the processor once. I want this one to last at least half as long as that.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:51 AM   #2
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you really didn't just ask this, did you?

oh well, you asked for it




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Old 01-28-2009, 07:54 AM   #3
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:57 AM   #4
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you really didn't just ask this, did you?

oh well, you asked for it




Better
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:58 AM   #5
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Better


I had no idea
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:06 AM   #6
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Arctic Silver is probably the preferred high end brand. Arctic Silver 5 would do you just fine:
LINK

If you want an alternative I've had good experiences with Zalman products as well. Like this one:
LINK

If there is going to be any residual paste on the chipset when you get it you also might want to pick up a cleaning solution:
LINK

If you're putting on the thermal paste paste though why are you paying someone to build the rest of it? Everything else is damn near plug and play after you mount the mobo, socket the CPU, paste it, and mount the fan, and it sounds like you'll be doing at least half of that yourself.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:08 AM   #7
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Arctic Silver is probably the preferred high end brand. Arctic Silver 5 would do you just fine:
LINK

If you want an alternative I've had good experiences with Zalman products as well. Like this one:
LINK

If there is going to be any residual paste on the chipset when you get it you also might want to pick up a cleaning solution:
LINK

If you're putting on the thermal paste paste though why are you paying someone to build the rest of it? Everything else is damn near plug and play after you mount the mobo, socket the CPU, paste it, and mount the fan, and it sounds like you'll be doing at least half of that yourself.
Thanks. I assume I want to go with a metal in a suspended medium over a ceramic then?

Also why would I need to clean it that thoroughly? Why would residue from their crappy compound matter if I'm just going to ooze a bunch of my own on it?
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:42 AM   #8
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:42 AM   #9
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I use arctic silver 5, and I never had any problems with it.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:46 AM   #10
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I had no idea such a thing existed.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:48 AM   #11
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WTF is motherboardz?
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:48 AM   #12
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Generally a good brand ships with the chip. I think you are being too geeky!
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:48 AM   #13
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Arctic Silver 5.
That's what all the folks who are repairing Xbox 360's are using.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:53 AM   #14
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:58 AM   #15
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I think you are being too geeky!


There's no such thing as being too geeky - by definition... (ie. being obsessed with details, inordinately dedicated to and involved with whatever subject it is, etc.)

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Old 01-28-2009, 09:03 AM   #16
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Since all the nerds are coming out in force, I am looking to upgrade my system, right now it seems like the best investment to get an AMD phenom x4 (value for money) with some PC2-6400 memory. However I need to find a good motherboard and a good graphic card, that are good value, so if you know any online store that will ship to Canada and has a good prices I would appreciate some help.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:06 AM   #17
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:10 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crawdad
Generally a good brand ships with the chip. I think you are being too geeky!
You're wrong and you're right. I buy my PC's in parts and assemble them myself. I got the PC/motherboard I wanted through a bare-bones deal off pricewatch. The thing is they are cheap that way. I got a Phenom x4 9950 with an Asus Asus M3A78-CM motherboard for $240. The thing is they try and up-sell you on the other stuff. It comes with a crappy fan, not case fans, a decent case but a 400w power supply. They over-charge for the add-ons and that's how they "get you" as it were.

So i took their crappy free heat sink and bought a better version elsewhere and will be installing it along with all the other add-ons myself for less. Since I'll be taking the heat sink off for a new one, I'll need to re-apply the thermal grease.
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Arctic Silver 5.
That's what all the folks who are repairing Xbox 360's are using.
Then it must be good!

Last edited by Kaylore; 01-28-2009 at 09:16 AM..
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:13 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyldenlove View Post
Since all the nerds are coming out in force, I am looking to upgrade my system, right now it seems like the best investment to get an AMD phenom x4 (value for money) with some PC2-6400 memory. However I need to find a good motherboard and a good graphic card, that are good value, so if you know any online store that will ship to Canada and has a good prices I would appreciate some help.
http://www.pricewatch.com/public/
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:14 AM   #20
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Dear lord I have no clue what you guys are talking about.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:20 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by gyldenlove
Since all the nerds are coming out in force, I am looking to upgrade my system, right now it seems like the best investment to get an AMD phenom x4 (value for money) with some PC2-6400 memory. However I need to find a good motherboard and a good graphic card, that are good value, so if you know any online store that will ship to Canada and has a good prices I would appreciate some help.

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I use Newegg or MWave alot. They have great return policies and are fast and generally have good prices. I have never had any problems with any order I have placed with them or any problems returning a product.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:29 AM   #22
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I use Newegg or MWave alot. They have great return policies and are fast and generally have good prices. I have never had any problems with any order I have placed with them or any problems returning a product.
Pricewatch isn't a site that sells things. It's a site the categorically lists things for sale by all online vendors and then sorts them by price, including shipping, least to greatest. MWave and Newegg are on there. It's just a price comparison search engine. It also rates vendors by review so if someone is cheap but sells you crap or ships it late you can tell the community.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:30 AM   #23
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Thanks. I assume I want to go with a metal in a suspended medium over a ceramic then?

Also why would I need to clean it that thoroughly? Why would residue from their crappy compound matter if I'm just going to ooze a bunch of my own on it?
Depends if you plan to upgrade the processor at some point. I believe a high quality ceramic actually gives better heat removal (never used it myself) but the entire point to ceramic is that they'll cure and be a hardened bounding.

So obviously you can't really upgrade when your CPU and heat sink are locked together with cured ceramic. Unless you remove the whole bound component (CPU and heat sink) and pitch it. Not great value if you're buying a quality heat sink to pair with your CPU.

Also, if they're using some crappy stuff and you don't clean both contacts before application of the quality grease/paste the crap will remain what is primarily in contact with your CPU and heat sink, so the good stuff is basically relegated to second string as it where, waiting for the crap to move heat up to it before it can then move it up to the next layer of crap, which again will take its sweet time (comparatively) before letting heat travel into the sink and out of the hot zone of your system.

That and it doesn't take much grease/paste to do the job and piling more on can just cause problems. Your goal is the shortest distance with the best conductivity from point A (CPU) to B (heat sink) because the sink is what really removes the heat. High quality thermal greases or pastes offer the best heat conductivity (hence why you started this thread) but if you load a ton on you're effectively increasing the distance from point A to B and therefore marginalizing its effects.

Another reason to avoid overloading and why its best to start with a clean surface on both ends is because unless you use ceramic a silver grease or paste WILL conduct and therefore can cause shorts and the like if you have goo balls squeezing out an dribbling down the sides of your CPU. Thats a real b**** to clean.

Last edited by Drek; 01-28-2009 at 09:33 AM..
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:32 AM   #24
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Pricewatch isn't a site that sells things. It's a site the categorically lists things for sale by all online vendors and then sorts them by price, including shipping, least to greatest. MWave and Newegg are on there. It's just a price comparison search engine. It also rates vendors by review so if someone is cheap but sells you crap or ships it late you can tell the community.
Pricewatch is a great resource but I find 70% of the time the price difference isn't enough to chase me away from Newegg and TigerDirect (former for most things, later for value purchases like a barebones).
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:33 AM   #25
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I thought ceramic was mostly for the non-conductive properties. I'm pretty sure it dries and never gets hot enough to melt glass like a real ceramic kiln. But I get your overall point. I'll get some cleaning solution. Thanks Drek.
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