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How long can unused thermal grease last?

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#1
Was digging for misplaced instruction and parts that belongs to the stuff I am selling in the FS section, I found 2 unused tubes of MX-4. I think they are around 3 years old and has not been in sunlight (stored inside box) but I've experienced temp swing from high of 110F to low of 40F where it was stored. (for Non-Americans that is 5C low to 43C high)

Any way to tell if they are still OK or do I pitch it? It does feel "soft" on the inside but I don't have a cheap hardware to test with to verify thermal conductivity.
 
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#2
Not sure, if its spreadable I think its usable.
 
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#3
MX-4 says its durability is 8 years!:roll:
 
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#4
Fourstaff should be about on the money.

Its transitioned a fair few thermal phases with that kinda temperature fluctuation but the grease has not had chance to make contact with air so it should still be applicable.


If it is/you do manage to spread it OK, then you should report the temps you get..... I'll anticipate that it will be within a few fractions of a degree from fresh MX-4. :p
 
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#5
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#6
For silicone-based products, Aavid says indefinite, Dow Corning says 2 years. I don't know about the silicone-free stuff, which uses PAG oil instead, something that absorbs water a lot.

I'll bet any shelf life rating is based mainly on how long it takes for the silicone and powder to separate, so just massage the tube to mix them again.
 
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#7
Thermal paste is really cheap, why don't you buy some new thermal paste when you need it?
 

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#8
For silicone-based products, Aavid says indefinite, Dow Corning says 2 years. I don't know about the silicone-free stuff, which uses PAG oil instead, something that absorbs water a lot.

I'll bet any shelf life rating is based mainly on how long it takes for the silicone and powder to separate, so just massage the tube to mix them again.
Mx 4 comes in a syringe
 

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#9
I would not use it after 2 years as i bet it settles after so long.

Mx 4 comes in a syringe
maybe pull it out and use a long pin to mix it again or even maybe though the tip
 
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#10
How long can unused thermal grease last?
Please, consult the manufacturer's product expiration date. It is there for a reason.
 
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#11
it's a 1.5g styringe, the label is only 1" wide.



Even after checking with magnifying glass, there is no listed expiration date. Since they are small and cheap I'll probably save myself the aggravation later and discard them. I already got new PK-3 to build my computer. All I need now is a few SATA cables and some extra money in case I break something expensive.
 
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#12
Not sure, if its spreadable I think its usable.
yep, and i still use my > 2 years paste, old paste may get thicker a little so you need to spread it right to apply
 

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#13
if you keep it in the sealed pack it came with, indefinitely.
 
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#14
there is no listed expiration date.
Report the manufacturer to authorities then. I don't know there, but it is a crime in my country and such products wouldn't pass the validation to be sold legally.
 
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#15
Report the manufacturer to authorities then. I don't know there, but it is a crime in my country and such products wouldn't pass the validation to be sold legally.
its ok if it has no expiration date, if the paste change, get thicker, oily or not usual, you shouldnt use that
but if everything is ok you can use that

its safe
 

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#16
I've got some AS5 that's over 7 years old that I use. Fourstaff said it best. :toast:
 
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#17
I'm curious about this also. I just recently changed out heatsinks from a Corsair H60 with a 2nd fan to my current Noctua NH-D14. To be perfectly honest, I'm kinda disappointed. My temps with the NH-D14 are literally the same as with the H60(max temp around 72ç). This is with my 2600k system at full load, OC'ed to 4.5ghz w/ 1.344 volts in my Lian Li case with the side removed and the room temp around 22'c (72'f). Honestly, with such a high end air-cooler, I was expecting around 60'c since the H60 was giving me 72'c max temps.

I can only figure it's one of two things. I was expecting too much from the D14, or the paste I used was no good. I did use a tube of 2 year old, unused paste that came with the A50 heatsink in my i7 860 rig. Granted, it's not a "top of the line" grade paste, but I wouldn't think it would be this bad. It did seem thick when I applied it. I used about equal to a gain and a half of rice. I spread the paste by just seating the D14, and to make sure it had a good spread, I seated the heatsink once, removed it, checked the paste spread(it was perfect), cleaned the CPU and heatsink, and reapplied more paste and reseated the heatsink again.

What do you people think? Are my temps what they should be or do I need to reseat the heatsink with new paste?
 
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#18
Id say you were expecting too much from the D14.

Your temps appear just fine to be fair.... but if OCD or worry sinks in too deep; just remount the cooler. :)
 
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#19
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#20
Id say you were expecting too much from the D14.

Your temps appear just fine to be fair.... but if OCD or worry sinks in too deep; just remount the cooler. :)
Well I'm not one to be affected by OCD, and I'm aware my temps are fine by Intel's recommended thermal specs. I was just curious if the D14 is performing like it should. I mean, I wouldn't mind being able to bring the OC up to close to the 5ghz mark since the CPU is capable of clocking that high. 4.986ghz at 1.37 volts is as high as I've had it without a crash, but it was hitting +80'c with the H60 at full load crunching.
 
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#21
I'm curious about this also. I just recently changed out heatsinks from a Corsair H60 with a 2nd fan to my current Noctua NH-D14. To be perfectly honest, I'm kinda disappointed. My temps with the NH-D14 are literally the same as with the H60(max temp around 72ç). This is with my 2600k system at full load, OC'ed to 4.5ghz w/ 1.344 volts in my Lian Li case with the side removed and the room temp around 22'c (72'f). Honestly, with such a high end air-cooler, I was expecting around 60'c since the H60 was giving me 72'c max temps.

I can only figure it's one of two things. I was expecting too much from the D14, or the paste I used was no good. I did use a tube of 2 year old, unused paste that came with the A50 heatsink in my i7 860 rig. Granted, it's not a "top of the line" grade paste, but I wouldn't think it would be this bad. It did seem thick when I applied it. I used about equal to a gain and a half of rice. I spread the paste by just seating the D14, and to make sure it had a good spread, I seated the heatsink once, removed it, checked the paste spread(it was perfect), cleaned the CPU and heatsink, and reapplied more paste and reseated the heatsink again.

What do you people think? Are my temps what they should be or do I need to reseat the heatsink with new paste?
yea, i just do the same, first drop thermal paste then put the heatsink. then i check it again, clean it up and reapply it again and done

its thermal paste, if it expire it wont transfer the heat nicely but it wont kill your hardware :D:D
 
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#22
No downside to trying old paste. If it doesn't give you good temps then buy new paste, otherwise once its cooked on there nicely and gets good temperatures its probably no different.
 

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#23
Report the manufacturer to authorities then. I don't know there, but it is a crime in my country and such products wouldn't pass the validation to be sold legally.
Exactly what products are you talking here? Foodstuffs, medicine and the likes sure, but thermal grease?
 
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#24
I think it's legal over here. Thermal grease don't go in the mouth or on the skin so it wouldn't need any use by date or expiration date.
 
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#25
are pastes 'toxic' to dispose of?
I've got some AS5 that's over 7 years old that I use. Fourstaff said it best. :toast:
same, think my AS5 is from 2006, i last used it in may 2013? it used to be THE paste that everyone talked about, but over the years it sounds like there are some serious competitors