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Can thermal pad replace thermal paste on laptop

kronkdark

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I just found out about thermal pad like this one GP-ULTIMATE THERMAL PAD, it has 15 W/mK, similar with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut, but the problem with Kryonaut on laptop is it will pump out when the temp get above 84 celsius and it will get degrade fast, so i usually have to repaste to get decent temp and im pretty not enjoy doing it every couple of months.

Anyone try thermal pad on CPU/GPU yet ?, is thermal pad good for laptop ?
 
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Note that pumping out is most commonly a problem when too much is applied. The layer of TIM (thermal interface material) should be as thin as possible, while still providing thorough coverage. Too much TIM is actually in the way and counterproductive to the most efficient transfer of heat.

And TIM does not readily degrade, unless exposed to the air. So as long as the cured bond is not broken, it can easily last 5, 10, 15 years or even longer.

But to answer your question, as noted in the description, those pads are typically used "to provide perfect thermal contact to heatsinks when installed on PCB with height differences and uneven surfaces". The mating surfaces of the CPU die and heatsink tend to be very flat and even, so the purpose of the TIM is simply to fill the microscopic pits in valleys in those surfaces.

Another problem is those pads are thick (to even out those uneven surfaces) and notebook cases tend to provide very little clearance between the top of the cooler and the case. There might not be enough clearance to allow for proper ventilation.

That said, you can always try it and see what happens. Just watch your temps.

You might also want to look into a cooling pad to sit your notebook on.
 
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I use arctic silver 5 in my laptop. Yes my laptop does overheat, but only when the air vents are partly blocked by dust. Simply compressed air is all that is needed to restore all back to normal. No need to change thermal paste.
 

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I just found out about thermal pad like this one GP-ULTIMATE THERMAL PAD, it has 15 W/mK, similar with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut, but the problem with Kryonaut on laptop is it will pump out when the temp get above 84 celsius and it will get degrade fast, so i usually have to repaste to get decent temp and im pretty not enjoy doing it every couple of months.

Anyone try thermal pad on CPU/GPU yet ?, is thermal pad good for laptop ?
Use a thin layer, do a hs fitment check.
 
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I just found out about thermal pad like this one GP-ULTIMATE THERMAL PAD, it has 15 W/mK, similar with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut

That does not make it equivalent as the pad thickness will be greater than the paste by maybe a factor of 10

One can actually take their data to calculate a 5°C drop across their pad and this is for an enormous area (90 x 50 mm); if it was 30 x 30mm this would be a 25°C drop.

A graphite pad might be a better option (35 W/K-m)
Amazon.com: Innovation Cooling Graphite Thermal Pad – Alternative to Thermal Paste/Grease (30 X 30 mm) : Electronics
but even that does not beat thermal paste initially (for the reasons given above).

Some thermal greases are good to 260°C or above, so will not degrade at 100°C; but pump-out might still be a valid concern and reason to go with the graphite pad.
 

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I just found out about thermal pad like this one GP-ULTIMATE THERMAL PAD, it has 15 W/mK, similar with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut, but the problem with Kryonaut on laptop is it will pump out when the temp get above 84 celsius and it will get degrade fast, so i usually have to repaste to get decent temp and im pretty not enjoy doing it every couple of months.

Anyone try thermal pad on CPU/GPU yet ?, is thermal pad good for laptop ?
Hi,
I've got ic graphites at 35 w/mk supposedly and i can safely say they aren't very good at all if you had a server they might be okay other than that a total waste of money
 

kronkdark

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That does not make it equivalent as the pad thickness will be greater than the paste by maybe a factor of 10

One can actually take their data to calculate a 5°C drop across their pad and this is for an enormous area (90 x 50 mm); if it was 30 x 30mm this would be a 25°C drop.

A graphite pad might be a better option (35 W/K-m)
Amazon.com: Innovation Cooling Graphite Thermal Pad – Alternative to Thermal Paste/Grease (30 X 30 mm) : Electronics
but even that does not beat thermal paste initially (for the reasons given above).

Some thermal greases are good to 260°C or above, so will not degrade at 100°C; but pump-out might still be a valid concern and reason to go with the graphite pad.
Note that pumping out is most commonly a problem when too much is applied. The layer of TIM (thermal interface material) should be as thin as possible, while still providing thorough coverage. Too much TIM is actually in the way and counterproductive to the most efficient transfer of heat.

And TIM does not readily degrade, unless exposed to the air. So as long as the cured bond is not broken, it can easily last 5, 10, 15 years or even longer.

But to answer your question, as noted in the description, those pads are typically used "to provide perfect thermal contact to heatsinks when installed on PCB with height differences and uneven surfaces". The mating surfaces of the CPU die and heatsink tend to be very flat and even, so the purpose of the TIM is simply to fill the microscopic pits in valleys in those surfaces.

Another problem is those pads are thick (to even out those uneven surfaces) and notebook cases tend to provide very little clearance between the top of the cooler and the case. There might not be enough clearance to allow for proper ventilation.

That said, you can always try it and see what happens. Just watch your temps.

You might also want to look into a cooling pad to sit your notebook on.
Use a thin layer, do a hs fitment check.

Thank you for enlighten me, now i know i applied thermal paste wrong way, it was too thick, i though the more thick the better the heat spread.

Hi,
I've got ic graphites at 35 w/mk supposedly and i can safely say they aren't very good at all if you had a server they might be okay other than that a total waste of money
Thank you for sharing me this, i just cancel my order lol, you saved me a lot of money
 
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Thank you for enlighten me, now i know i applied thermal paste wrong way, it was too thick, i though the more thick the better the heat spread.


Thank you for sharing me this, i just cancel my order lol, you saved me a lot of money

Don't use Kryonaut for laptop, because that one pumps out quickly no matter what you do, as does any other low viscosity paste.
I recommend these following paste for laptop usage because of their high viscosity and high performance:
SYY-157
Thermalright TF-EX
Thermagic ZF-EX

For these high visocity pastes, you need to heat them up with a hair dryer before mounting the cooler (to reduce the gap between chip and cooler as much as possible)
 

kronkdark

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Don't use Kryonaut for laptop, because that one pumps out quickly no matter what you do, as does any other low viscosity paste.
I recommend these following paste for laptop usage because of their high viscosity and high performance:
SYY-157
Thermalright TF-EX
Thermagic ZF-EX

For these high visocity pastes, you need to heat them up with a hair dryer before mounting the cooler (to reduce the gap between chip and cooler as much as possible)
Tks, i'll try them out
 
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, i though the more thick the better the heat spread.
Sadly, this is common misunderstanding. The most efficient transfer of heat occurs with direct metal-to-metal contact. But we humans are incapable of producing perfection 100% of the time. So neither the heatsink's nor the CPU's mating surfaces can be perfectly flat, nor can the materials to make them be 100% impurity or defect free. Hence the microscopic pits and valleys that need to be filled with TIM to push and keep insulating air out.

There are lots of good TIMs out there and everyone has their favorite they all swear by. Arctic Silver 5 is a perennial favorite. Lately, I've been using Arctic's MX -4. But typically, there is just a few degrees difference from the least efficient to the most efficient. And if you "need" those few degrees to prevent crossing over thermal protection thresholds, you have other, more urgent cooling issue to deal with first!

That said, much more important than which TIM is used is that it is applied properly. That starts with clean surfaces. Never, as in NEVER EVER put new TIM over old. ALWAYS thoroughly clean the surfaces first. I use 91-93% Isopropyl alcohol which you can get at your local pharmacy. The typical 73% works, but may leave a film. Acetone works too - but the fumes are very toxic.

So 91% alcohol on a cotton ball works great. Then I typically give it quick blast with compressed dusting gas to ensure no dust (or cotton fibers) settle on the die right before applying the TIM.

To apply the TIM, I snip off the end of a plastic shaft Q-Tip (cotton swab) then bend about 1/2 inch of that end over to form a tiny hockey stick. That's my applicator. Then a tiny dab of TIM on the CPU die (its easy to add more, very difficult to remove excess) and use my applicator to spread it all over - like icing a cake. Again - thorough coverage, but as thin as possible. Carefully place the cooler on top of the CPU, give it a tiny back and forth twist to evenly distribute the applied TIM, then CAREFULLY secure the cooler in place.

And remember, many TIMs take a little time and few heat up/cool down cycles to cure and reach maximum efficiency. But again, if you "need" those few degrees to get out of the danger zone, you have bigger issues to deal with first.
 
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Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but thermal pads are ideal for pc's and gpu's which will spend time on their side. It causes the thermal paste to move to one side over time. Ive seen this when replacing the tim on customers notebooks over the years.
 
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Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but thermal pads are ideal for pc's and gpu's which will spend time on their side. It causes the thermal paste to move to one side over time. Ive seen this when replacing the tim on customers notebooks over the years.

Jup, I had that problem with my laptop.
Repasted with Kryonaut, temp was good, shut down the laptop and immediately stored it in the backpack, next day temp became much worse.
So you need to cool down the laptop before storing it vertically, kinda make sense because the thermal paste can just drip down when it's still warm and its viscosity is reduced.
 
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If the TIM is running out and drips down, there is WAY too much TIM applied. Most will soften when heated but should never become so thin it runs and drips.

There is such a thing as pumping caused by repeated and rapid heat up and cool down cycles where the matter in the mating surfaces expands and contracts causing the "excess" TIM to squeeze out. But if applied properly in the first place, this should not be a problem.

Once again, it boils down applying the TIM properly in the first place. And that means to apply as little as possible while still achieving complete coverage. The goal is to fill the microscopic pits and valleys in the mating surfaces that may trap insulating air. Any excess TIM is in the way and counterproductive to the most efficient transfer of heat.
 
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I just found out about thermal pad like this one GP-ULTIMATE THERMAL PAD, it has 15 W/mK, similar with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut, but the problem with Kryonaut on laptop is it will pump out when the temp get above 84 celsius and it will get degrade fast, so i usually have to repaste to get decent temp and im pretty not enjoy doing it every couple of months.

Anyone try thermal pad on CPU/GPU yet ?, is thermal pad good for laptop ?
Late to the party again, but my 2cents, this is a solid maybe. If the laptop CPU is a low TDP part(35w or less) then yes, this can work fine. If your laptop has a higher TDP CPU, then a quality TIM is the best option.
SYY-157
Thermalright TF-EX
Thermagic ZF-EX
Tks, i'll try them out
You may wish to try Arctic MX-5. I've been testing it for a long time now and have had great experiences and no problems with it in laptops & desktops alike. It's also less expensive than the others mentioned.
 
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Thermal pads are good when you can provide the pressure required by the manufacturer or the pressure they conducted their tests at , I am not sure if such information is available in the product description on say Amazon or newegg, but you can definitely find some information online , the pressure is so high that you can actually crack the die ( especially on laptops with exposed dies) ,,,. This is part of the reason why people mentioned that the pads they got are not worth it and it’s a waist of money , it’s just a wrong application scenario imo, you can’t get the pressure needed on a desktop or laptop heatsink mounting mechanism, they are still great for other industrial applications where you are mating metal with metal and nothing will crack under pressure, again those numbers (w/mk) are real , only under specific conditions , conditions that are rarely possible in the pc world
 
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the pressure is so high that you can actually crack the die ( especially on laptops with exposed dies) ,,,. This is part of the reason why people mentioned that the pads they got are not worth it and it’s a waist of money , it’s just a wrong application scenario imo, you can’t get the pressure needed on a desktop or laptop heatsink mounting mechanism,
What you described may have been correct 15 - 20 years ago, but not today.

Why on Earth would AMD or Intel use a pad with one of their CPUs and OEM heatsinks if such pressures were needed? That makes absolutely no sense. And why on Earth would AMD or Intel use a pad with one of their CPUs that comes with an OEM cooler is that pad was incapable of performing its basic duty?

They wouldn't and they don't!

Do you not realize that not all pads are created equal? There are superior pads and their are inferior pads and contrary to what you seem to be suggesting, both AMD and Intel use high quality pads.

Why? Because it would be STUPID, from a simple marketing and PR point of view, for them to use pads that cannot even keep their CPUs properly cooled with their own coolers! And contrary to what you seem to be suggesting, AMD and Intel are not stupid. They shareholders, which includes me, BTW, would not put up with it.

In any case, the vast majority of the content of those pads is rapidly melting paraffin (wax) specifically designed to melt away and evaporate when first heated, leaving behind only the TIM. The pressure required is simply that needed to hold the heatsink stationary in place during normal use. It is not an exact science because it does not need to be. And contrary to what you seem to want every one believe, the mounting mechanisms that come with OEM coolers, and essentially every other aftermarket cooler from any reputable brand, apply a proper pressure.

And crack the die? Seriously? How? It is inside the metal IHS. You can crack the motherboard substrates around the mounting screws by grossly incorrectly/unevenly tightening the mounting screws, but that's a different issue.

The problem is NOT thermal pads - especially those supplied by AMD and Intel with their OEM coolers. And the problem is NOT thermal pads that come pre-applied to aftermarket coolers from the reputable brands. It is nonsense for you to suggest otherwise.

And for sure the problem is not in PCs in a properly cooled case - if not doing extreme overclocking.

BUT - there could be a problem with laptops that are being marketed as gaming machines, or when overclocking, or with an improperly cooled case. But those are exceptions and NOT rule-defining norms.
 
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What you described may have been correct 15 - 20 years ago, but not today.

Why on Earth would AMD or Intel use a pad with one of their CPUs and OEM heatsinks if such pressures were needed? That makes absolutely no sense. And why on Earth would AMD or Intel use a pad with one of their CPUs that comes with an OEM cooler is that pad was incapable of performing its basic duty?

They wouldn't and they don't!

Do you not realize that not all pads are created equal? There are superior pads and their are inferior pads and contrary to what you seem to be suggesting, both AMD and Intel use high quality pads.

Why? Because it would be STUPID, from a simple marketing and PR point of view, for them to use pads that cannot even keep their CPUs properly cooled with their own coolers! And contrary to what you seem to be suggesting, AMD and Intel are not stupid. They shareholders, which includes me, BTW, would not put up with it.

In any case, the vast majority of the content of those pads is rapidly melting paraffin (wax) specifically designed to melt away and evaporate when first heated, leaving behind only the TIM. The pressure required is simply that needed to hold the heatsink stationary in place during normal use. It is not an exact science because it does not need to be. And contrary to what you seem to want every one believe, the mounting mechanisms that come with OEM coolers, and essentially every other aftermarket cooler from any reputable brand, apply a proper pressure.

And crack the die? Seriously? How? It is inside the metal IHS. You can crack the motherboard substrates around the mounting screws by grossly incorrectly/unevenly tightening the mounting screws, but that's a different issue.

The problem is NOT thermal pads - especially those supplied by AMD and Intel with their OEM coolers. And the problem is NOT thermal pads that come pre-applied to aftermarket coolers from the reputable brands. It is nonsense for you to suggest otherwise.

And for sure the problem is not in PCs in a properly cooled case - if not doing extreme overclocking.

BUT - there could be a problem with laptops that are being marketed as gaming machines, or when overclocking, or with an improperly cooled case. But those are exceptions and NOT rule-defining norms.
Why wouldn’t be correct today?

I don’t think intel and and are using pads on their cpus last time I checked they included a thermal paste

I think I do realize that thermal pads are not equal

Contrary to what I am suggesting? What did suggest exactly I didn’t touch on oem’s choices of thermal pads I have no idea where that came from

Vastly made of melting wax ! Ok I thought it’s vastly silicone polymer , maybe that was the case 20 years ago ?

Yes crack the die if you apply the pressure required for the thermal to offer the rated w/mk , IHS ? I thought op was asking about a laptop , do laptops CPUs come with an IHS nowadays ??


I was replying to OP about a laptop , and I did suggest him to look at the specs of the specific pad he was using for further details because I know they’re made differently, I honestly don’t think you got the point , for the pad to be able to transfer heat at the rates numbers ( 35 w/mk for example) there is a pressure requirement to be met , regardless if it’s intel or amd or anyone else using it , if you see it working on a gpu for example, that doesn’t mean there no pressure requirement, it means that for that application they did not need the full potential of the pad and got enough transfer at a given pressure, if they were using a 30w/mk pad for example, they are only getting 10w/mk due to lack of pressure but that’s enough for them because they are only cooling a memory module or a vrm generating 8w of heat , once you wanna go to a cpu or gpu die generating 100 watts of heat , pressure becomes a necessity and due to silicon’s fragility it is not feasible, thus the use of a thermal paste
 

kronkdark

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One of my preferred TIMs, for sure! :)
Late to the party again, but my 2cents, this is a solid maybe. If the laptop CPU is a low TDP part(35w or less) then yes, this can work fine. If your laptop has a higher TDP CPU, then a quality TIM is the best option.


You may wish to try Arctic MX-5. I've been testing it for a long time now and have had great experiences and no problems with it in laptops & desktops alike. It's also less expensive than the others mentioned.
Thank you very much, im using Acer Nitro 5 with I5-10300H.
But now i want to replace paste for VRM and VRAM too, Acer uses a Pink Paste which is a mess now with a lot of air bubble on VRAM. I searched around and people say i can use K5 Pro to replace Pink Paste cuz the gap between VRAM and heatsink are different for each VRAM chip, using Thermal Pad on this laptop maybe not a good idea. But unfortunately K5 Pro isn't available in my country. Do you know any alternative option for this kind of paste ?
 
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Why wouldn’t be correct today?
I already explained it. If this was a problem years ago, why would the entire industry, that is the processor makers, OEM coolers and all of the aftermarket cooler makers, continue to use inferior products that could not even stand up to normal, expected (not overclocking) use? Common sense needs to kick in here. If thermal pads could not properly cool a CPU during normal use (that is, for whatever the computer was marketed for, and at default clock settings), that clearly would make those manufacturer's products look bad. They would get bad reviews, upset customers, and sales would plummet. If they did nothing, the competition would move in. So the CPU and heatsink makers started using better solutions.

What did both AMD and Intel do after everyone complained year ago the OEM coolers they provided with their CPUs failed to properly cool their CPUs? Or even if they did provide adequate cooling, it sounded like a jet engine in the room? They included much better OEM coolers that had bigger heatsinks, bigger and quieter fans, and better quality TIM.

What does AMD and Intel do for their high-performance CPUs that cannot be properly cooled with their OEM coolers? They don't include coolers in the packaging - forcing us to buy aftermarket coolers.

That's just simple Marketing 101. If technologies did not allow for superior pads, they would have all started using pastes.

The TIM makers, CPU makers and aftermarket cooler makers have not been sitting on their thumbs for the last 15 years. That's why it is not correct today.

You made the statement as a blanket statement. Therefore, that includes OEM coolers that came with pads, as well as aftermarket coolers that came with pads.

The same applies to graphics card makers. No card maker is going to use a thermal solution that cannot adequately cool the processor on their cards (when the card is used as advertised - that is, with default settings).

It has always been paraffin. Silicone polymers do indeed make up a large portion of the solids that are left behind once the paraffin melts away. But the paraffin is what allows the thermal pads to rapidly melt and distribute the actual TIM components across the IHS and heatsink mating surfaces the first time the CPU fires up,
Yes crack the die if you apply the pressure required for the thermal to offer the rated w/mk , IHS ? I thought op was asking about a laptop , do laptops CPUs come with an IHS nowadays ??
Huh? No! You crack the die if you don't have a clue what you are doing, fail to learn proper procedures, do something stupid when you had no business being in there in the first place!!

Of course they use an IHS. It seems you are unclear what the IHS (integrate heat spreader) is. The IHS is that metal cover as seen below. The actual CPU die is under that cover.
See the source image

You might want to read up on delidding a CPU.

that doesn’t mean there no pressure requirement
I never said there is no pressure requirement. I said, "It is not an exact science because it does not need to be." It is not like applying proper torque to an engine bolt so it never works its way loose. Why do you think heat sink mounting mechanisms commonly mount with 1/4 turn mounting screws? It is because the springs in those mechanisms apply the needed pressure. How exact to suppose those springs are? Not very, that's for sure. And that pressure just needs to be enough to keep the heatsink fixed in place. If it is able to move, it will break the cured bond and that will allow insulating air to get in between the mating surfaces - a bad thing.

Silicon, as used in TIM, when properly applied, is NOT fragile. This is why TIM can easily last 10, 15 years or even longer AS LONG AS the cured bond is not broken.

I think you misunderstand the purpose of TIM in the first place. The most efficient transfer of heat occurs with direct metal to metal contact. But Man cannot create perfection 100% of the time. The IHS and heatsink mating surfaces are NOT perfectly flat and totally free of imperfections. So as noted in Posts # 10 and 13 above, the purpose of TIM is to fill the microscopic pits and valleys in the mating surfaces that may trap insulating air. Any excess TIM is in the way and counterproductive to the most efficient transfer of heat.

Now for sure, if the user is modifying the voltage and clock defaults to increase performance, thus increasing heat generation and the requirement to extract that heat, then a good quality TIM "paste" is universally accepted to be the better option.

But now i want to replace paste for VRM and VRAM too
Why? Are you having heat related problems?

"If it's not broken, don't fix it!"

Let me add one more thing. Proper cooling is absolutely essential. No disputing that. Achieving the coolest temperatures possible is not - except for bragging rights.
 

kronkdark

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Why? Are you having heat related problems?

"If it's not broken, don't fix it!"

Let me add one more thing. Proper cooling is absolutely essential. No disputing that. Achieving the coolest temperatures possible is not - except for bragging rights.
After the 2nd time repaste it got a lot of air bubbles and yes im having heat problem
 
Last edited:

Lei

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Don't use Kryonaut for laptop, because that one pumps out quickly no matter what you do, as does any other low viscosity paste.
I recommend these following paste for laptop usage because of their high viscosity and high performance:
SYY-157
Thermalright TF-EX
Thermagic ZF-EX

For these high visocity pastes, you need to heat them up with a hair dryer before mounting the cooler (to reduce the gap between chip and cooler as much as possible)
Yep, I don't like Kryonaut. wet at the beginning, dry like glue later. Thermalright TF7 I use now.
 
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After the 2nd time repaste it got a lot of air bubbles and yes im having heat problem
Air bubbles would suggest too much was applied. After thorough cleaning (I use 91-93% Isopropyl alcohol), apply a very small amount of TIM - the size of a small grain of rice is often suggested. It is always easier to add more than to take excess off. I snip off the end of a plastic shaft Q-Tip (cotton swap), then bend 1/2 inch of the cut end over to make a little hockey stick applicator. Then I spread the TIM across the die with the applicator, like spreading icing on a cake - as thin as possible, but complete coverage. Then I remount the heatsink and leave it alone.
 
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Do you know any alternative option for this kind of paste ?
Can you get MX-5? If you can, give it a go. It's inexpensive and excellent.
 

kronkdark

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Can you get MX-5? If you can, give it a go. It's inexpensive and excellent.
Yes i just ordered but it'll take month for it to be arrived because of COVID in my country.
I have a question. When my CPU is only 86 degree celsius max but on ThrottleStop there are Thermal and BD Prochot tags still popup at the same time, is that mean my VRM overheating ?
 
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