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What the best thermal paste in 2019?

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#1
Hey guys, what is the best current thermal paste? I have been a long time user of Artic Silver 5, but I want to know what is the best right now. Note I don't want to use liquid metal.

Thank you.
 

hat

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#2
Still rocking MX-4. There's a Thermal Grizzly... Kryonaut? That's supposedly a smidge better.

Neither are electrically conductive (or capacitive, whatever) like AC5 and similar pastes. I haven't used Thermal Grizzly, but MX-4 is easy enough to apply and clean up.
 
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#3
I use MX-4 because it doesn't separate like Arctic silver and its pretty cheap.
Everything but garbage OEM paste and liquid metal are within 3* of each other in most tests that I've seen so I don't see the point in spending more money.
 

hat

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#4
But, damn man, now I want to try liquid metal on my 1070s... :banghead:
 
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#5
I've taken a liking to Thermal Grizzly's Kryonaut recently. Have re-pasted CPUs and GPUs in both desktop and laptops and I have been thoroughly impressed. MX4 is another one I have used in the past and would not hesitate to use again. Both are very easy to apply and remove and rather fairly priced. As already mentioned, once you get to a certain tier, thermal pastes are all within a degree or two of each other anyway...
 
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#6
But, damn man, now I want to try liquid metal on my 1070s... :banghead:
Liquid metal achieve great temperatures, that's a given, but it's a pain in the ass to clean when you remove the heatsink after some time.

The liquid is sticky, it will coalesce into micro droplets than hides on every gaps if you are not carefull when you clean it. It can go as far as shorting some components if the liquid sneak under the cpu socket (that's my own experience of thermal grizzly on an overheating laptop, i had to use a compressed air can and a powerfull vaccuum to remove everything)

And after sometime, the cpu/gpu die will be tarnished and no longer smooth to the touch, because there's some chemical reactions between the different compounds.
 
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#7
I use the Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut and the Gelid GC Extreme, both very good pastes. But as others have said, most reputable pastes are within 3° to 4°C of each other. So pick the one that is cheapest.
 
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#8
by performances order :
Cooler Master Master Gel Maker Nano (what i use actually)
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut (what i used previously )
Gelid GC Extreme (cheap and good performances still have some aside, just in case )
Arctic (ex Arctic cooling, nothing in common with Arctic Silver ) MX-4 (what i still use for generic repast outside my own personal rig ) and that one was the one that dethroned the AS 5 long ago :laugh:

all 4 are quite good and cheaper than most of their concurrents and most of the time better performing.
 
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#9
Don't over-sweat it @stoggs1 :) Over the years I have tried ultra-cheap stuff like "Evercool" pastes and what not. I'd say get what's in your budget. My default choice these days is MX4, but I was pretty happy with Arctic Ceramique as well. Anyhow, personally I don't think a degree or two is ground-breaking. I wouldn't mind better fans though.
 
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#10
It can go as far as shorting some components if the liquid sneak under the cpu socket (that's my own experience of thermal grizzly on an overheating laptop, i had to use a compressed air can and a powerfull vaccuum to remove everything)
I am not sure this is what happened. Thermal Grizzly is non conductive. It also does not cure, or turn hard.
 
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#11
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#12
That I've used. Listed in order of their thermal conductivity, which also reflects the performance I've observed using them(1 is significantly better than 2, 2 is possibly slightly better than 3, though 2 and 3 might as well be tied, 2 is definitely not worse than 3, and 3 doesn't seem to be any better than 2).

1. Phobya NanoGrease Extreme(which I'm pretty sure is a JunPus DX1 rebrand) 16W/mK
2. Kryonaut 12.5W/mK
3. Cool Silver G4 >12W/mK

Phobya NanoGrease Extreme and Kryonaut are diamond-filled, which I don't recommend using because they damage mating surfaces(though their performance is unbeatable in my experience). Cool Silver G4 is the best silver-filled paste you can get(but is slightly conductive).
 
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#13
Grizzly Kryonaut gets my vote. Only drawback is the price.
Been testing a lot of Xeons in used Dell workstations last several months. So took the opportunity to try some TIMs as well. Real standout was the Kryonaut. About 3-4 degrees C cooler than good old AS5 and Shin Etsu at same load. Also noticed the Kryonaut has excellent viscosity and spreads very well under install pressure. Liked it so much that I bought a big tube and applied it to my GPU and chipset coolers as well.

grizzled.jpg
 
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#14
I use MX-4 because it doesn't separate like Arctic silver and its pretty cheap.
I've used A5 for years and never had it separate on me ever

Neither are electrically conductive (or capacitive, whatever) like AC5
AS5 is non conductive and only very slightly capacitative
 

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#15
I've used A5 for years and never had it separate on me ever



AS5 is non conductive and only very slightly capacitative
Really? iv had it seperate on me numerous times, with that nasty yellow oil substance.
 
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#16
I'll also vote for Arctic MX4. Best price-per-performance ratio on the market. It might not be the best thermal paste, but it's certainly a among high-end ones considering its characteristics.
 
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#17
Really? iv had it seperate on me numerous times, with that nasty yellow oil substance.
Same here. Which is why a big AS5 tube is in my garage. Separated but still useful as TIM on automotive ignition modules.
 
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#18
Arctic mx-4 between IHS and cooler, Conductonaut for delidding
 
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#19
Kryonaut for sure. I noticed better temps comparing to NT-H1
 
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#20
Phobya NanoGrease Extreme and Kryonaut are diamond-filled
dunno about the Phobya but for the Kryonaut : NOPE... "Kryonaut uses a special structure, which halts the drying out process at temperatures of up to 80° Celsius. This structure is also responsible for the nano-aluminum- and zinc-oxide-parts included in the grease to compound optimally, to compensate for unevenness of the component (i.e. the CPU) or the heat sink, thus guaranteeing remarkable heat transfer. "

on the other hand the cooler master master gel maker nano is a nano diamond past ... but hey ... not everyone is IC and act like a IC 24 (Antec also has a nano diamonds past that act quite nicely ... opposed to ICD past )
 
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#21
Used Kryonaut on my latest build, but the effect of paste is much overrated. It is the least important part of your cooling system, as long as the application is done proper. Then again, for the minor price increase, why not get good stuff... I think that is mostly emotional in the end, a peace of mind kind of thing.
 
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#23
Hey guys, what is the best current thermal paste?
It doesn't really matter. Even plain ol' white silicone grease is better than nothing. What matters most is having clean surfaces and applying the TIM (thermal interface material) properly - that and good case cooling and a decent CPU cooler. Oh, and keeping the interior clean of heat trapping dust.

If you look at most reviews, there typically is only a few degrees difference from top to bottom. And the fact is, if you need those few degrees to keep from crossing into the "too hot" zone, you have other cooling issues that need addressing first - like better case cooling

I like AS5 and MX4 but frankly, not too picky.

As for separating, it is important to note TIM is in liquid form only to make it easy to squeeze out of the tube and to spread evenly and smoothly across the die (or pipes - if that is your method). It is the solids in the TIM that do the displacing of air and transfer of heat. That's why it does not matter if the TIM dries out years after application - the solids left behind are still there doing their job. As long as the cured bond is not broken, it does not need to be replaced.

Remember, there is not a single TIM maker, cooler maker, processor maker, motherboard or graphics card maker that says TIM needs to be replaced because it is x number of years old, or that it has dried out.

So if it separates in the tube, and the solids are still spreadable and don't contain dried chunks - no worries. I would not go out and buy more just because of that.
What about this NT-H2 stuff?
Like its H1 predecessor, it supposedly has no curing time - that is, it has maximum efficiency right out of the tube. I never found that too important but I supposed if someone is going to start "folding" with their CPU at maximum overclocked settings right from the first power up, that might be important to them.
 

eidairaman1

The Exiled Airman
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#24
Thermal Compounds I have used.

Antec Aluminum, Arctic Silver 5, Arctic Cooling MX 4.

Ones I haven't tried but heard are good.

Geil GC-Extreme
Cooler Master Gel Maker
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut.

Thermal Pads-
Akasa Shinetsu

Thermal Epoxy
Arctic Silver Thermal Epoxy.

If you have AS5 still just use it via the pea method on the IHS.

The only one to be wary of is the Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut, or any compound like it for that matter.
 
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#25
Thermal Epoxy
Arctic Silver Thermal Epoxy.
I have used Arctic Silver Thermal Epoxy and it works great. However, it is extremely important to remember this, as the name implies, is an "adhesive" TIM. It, like all "adhesive" TIMs is NOT to be used between CPUs and heatsinks. At least not CPUs that are mounted in normal motherboard CPU sockets. If you use them there, you will not be able to remove the cooler without risking damage to the CPU, the CPU socket, and the CPU mounting mechanism. I have seen adhesive TIM used with surface mounted (soldered) processors in some budget notebooks, netbooks, and tablets.

These adhesive TIMs work great for gluing heatsinks to chipsets, some VRMs and some memory modules in PCs. They are meant to permanently attach the heatsink to the device.
The only one to be wary of is the Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut, or any compound like it for that matter.
Why? Grizzly Conductonaut has received good reviews. Yes, it is a metal based TIM, and yes, it can react with aluminum heatsinks. But with careful application and the use of copper heatsinks, unless there's something I missed, it can be a great alternative option.
 
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