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What the best thermal paste in 2019?

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I'm running AS5 on my videocard with an Arctic Mono Plus, the videocard never exceeds 50*C ever no matter the game. I know its fashionable to bash on AS5 now because its the mainstay for the past two decades but the stuff is still fine to use, never had an issue with it. Using it on my CPU too. CPU idles at 27 and rarely gets over 55*C in games. Run the stuff until the system is taken apart. It stays potent forever. I also found a 15 year old tube of it in my attic and tried it out and it works just as well as the newer tube without any separation.
 
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I'm running AS5 on my videocard with an Arctic Mono Plus, the videocard never exceeds 50*C ever no matter the game. I know its fashionable to bash on AS5 now because its the mainstay for the past two decades but the stuff is still fine to use, never had an issue with it. Using it on my CPU too. CPU idles at 27 and rarely gets over 55*C in games. Run the stuff until the system is taken apart. It stays potent forever. I also found a 15 year old tube of it in my attic and tried it out and it works just as well as the newer tube without any separation.
Always interesting to hear differing experiences and opinions. Never bashed AS5, nor was I ever a fan. Hard to clean and got better temps from Shin Etsu X23 back in the old days, much to the shagrin of some. My large tube started separating badly after only a couple years at room temp. So the AS5 stays in my garage and is used on automotive ignition modules now.
 

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TG Kryonaut is diamond based? Worried about scuffing surfaces? Better not use any aluminum oxide (a common abrasive) products either as it is just below Diamond on the Mohs hardness scale. Which leaves out virtually all the ceramic based TIMs.
It's not as damaging as other pastes. Personally, I still have some IC Diamond 7 from that debacle we had with them here at TPU, and I'll use it on some applications, but not others. I wouldn't use it on a bare die, or in a situation where I want a better paste (like on my 2600k), or on a HDT cooler (because the heatpipes are already thin, so I don't want to risk damaging them with such a paste), but I'll use it for basic applications... I believe I have some on my Athlon II x4.
 

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i was told that watercooling paste is the best thermal paste for air heatsinks, is this true?
 
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i was told that watercooling paste is the best thermal paste for air heatsinks, is this true?
nope, all the same
just use what you trust, with water block or just HSF, no big deal
 
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I never had a problem with AS5. Put a grain of rice (or so) on the center of the CPU, plant your cooler on top, give it a titty twister, then clamp it down. Its good stuff. Swore by it for years.. Honestly, I mounted so many times over the years, it does take a bit to perfect your technique, I can see why guys don't like it if you have only used it a few times. Clean up is super easy too, the key is 99% iso alcohol. I ran out of AS5 last year and haven't bothered to replace it yet. I am using the Chill Factor 3 that came with Le Grand Macho RT and True Spirit 140 Power. Its actually pretty decent. I usually don't use anything except AS5. I've tried the Noctua paste when I owned D14, it was ok, but I went back to AS5 lol.. ICD7 was ok, I tried it during their beta test. It was a bit thick, and scrubbed the ihs a bit. I didn't use it for too long.
 
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I never had a problem with AS5. Put a grain of rice (or so) on the center of the CPU, plant your cooler on top, give it a titty twister, then clamp it down. Its good stuff. Swore by it for years.. Honestly, I mounted so many times over the years, it does take a bit to perfect your technique, I can see why guys don't like it if you have only used it a few times. Clean up is super easy too, the key is 99% iso alcohol. I ran out of AS5 last year and haven't bothered to replace it yet. I am using the Chill Factor 3 that came with Le Grand Macho RT and True Spirit 140 Power. Its actually pretty decent. I usually don't use anything except AS5. I've tried the Noctua paste when I owned D14, it was ok, but I went back to AS5 lol.. ICD7 was ok, I tried it during their beta test. It was a bit thick, and scrubbed the ihs a bit. I didn't use it for too long.
I put a tiny blob in the center, put a thin plastic bag on my finger and then spread the AS5 smooth over the top of the surface until it has a thin but very uniform coating of grey paste, and then install the heatsink on top, seems to give me really consistently excellent results, rarely need to re-do.
 
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+1 Ceramique Got a giant tube many years ago. Will buy the same again unless something fantastic comes along.
 

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MX-4 is easy to apply but temps are 3-5C higher when I'm using that compared to Kryonaut or Gelid CG Extreme for example.
 
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I wonder. How much better is the best/most $$ paste compared to the worst/cheapest paste??

Do they have like "English racing paste" ? (<- attempt at humor!) (when I was a kid, they/we had 3 speed bikes refered to as 'english, & english racing bikes') (actually made in England), the q above is serious, tho , ,
 
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I'm currently using Arctic MX-4 but I am a huge, huge fan of the Noctua NT-H1 (and H2) paste. :D

Kryonaut for most applications is fantastic, too. I don't use liquid metal anymore as I don't need to de-lid my current CPUs for 24/7 use. The 6700K that I do have in my bench rig is de-lidded using MX4 in the middle.
 
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I wonder. How much better is the best/most $$ paste compared to the worst/cheapest paste??

Do they have like "English racing paste" ? (<- attempt at humor!) (when I was a kid, they/we had 3 speed bikes refered to as 'english, & english racing bikes') (actually made in England), the q above is serious, tho , ,
Define better... its like those 3 speed bikes, all it takes for worse paste is that you'll have to apply more force (fan speed) to get on top of the hill ;)
 
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Define better... its like those 3 speed bikes, all it takes for worse paste is that you'll have to apply more force (fan speed) to get on top of the hill ;)
Better, more efficient heat transfer? Isnt that what the paste is there for in the 1st place?
 
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I'm surprised they still make AS5, after it was 3rd party tested and it was actually very middling paste, think it tested at 3.1 or 3.2mw/k, not the much higher advertised number. It also suffers from temp degradation, because it ages badly. It was easy to get but Shin Etsu was better back then. Now it's easily available but much better options are too.

I've got a box of pastes Kryonaut, CLU, CLU Extreme, MX4, NT-H2, Ceramique 2, even some really spiffy german industrial pastes... Oh and a very old tube of AS5.

Kryonaut gets used but it's painfully expensive. Derpier is part owner of Thermal Grizzly, so I don't trust him to honest about his 'reviews'. Steve at GN slurps hard, when KNaut fails it's because of anything else. I do have it on my Fury X and the full cover block, and it performs well there.

MX4 though in my testing gets within 1-2'C using my preferred installation method. It's so much cheaper and it's rated for 8 years. Have computers with their coolers still installed 4 years later and the temps are still like they were.

NT-H2 is a long life H1, it's good for at least 5 years, and it's a bit better than MX4 but it's more money.

I've got some viciously expensive silicone free german certified 10mw/k stuff. It works a treat, but it's use is limited because money is real.

The Liquid Metals destroy standard TIMs. But they have conditions... conductive, very conductive. Do not use on or near enough to contact aluminium, it will corrode it. Also nickel plating seems to make it less reactive. Conductonaut is wild money for difference in the noise from Coolaboratory Ultra aka CLU, which makes me think Conductonaut is CLP, because Ultra has things that lessen the thermal performance but make it nicer behaving. The Extreme seems to dial back on the niceness a bit for higher performance.

Graphite pads are... handy in places. LoL

In summary... for ambient cooling, air/water:

For most people: Arctic MX4 or Noctua NT-H2, pick by price. Arctic Silver Ceramique gets the honourable mention, as a direct AS5 upgrade.

For those who want to be flashy: TG Kryonaut, IC 24, Gelid Extreme

For the those who know what they are doing... liquid metal.
 
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You are all wrong, the best is the pre applied one on stock coolers. It's free.
 
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Arctic mx-4 here too. I tried a couple others like noctuas nt-h1 but I like the arctic. I also prefer the non conductive pastes even though the crystal and fuses now are covered which minimizes the risk of zapping your cpu with silver or other metal conductive paste.

Mx-4 spreads easily and spreads thin and is sticky which you want in a thermal paste. Stock thermal paste depending on your heatsink manufacturer may be ok but many pastes have been tested objectively and results don't lie. Toothpaste and denture cream can be substituted in a pinch but they'll never be as good as proper thermal paste.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/thermal-paste-comparison,5108-9.html
 
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I am using Thermalright TF8 right now. I really like it. Its probably the best I've used so far in my limited experience.. I liked it so much I put it on my wife's laptop :kookoo:
 

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MX-4 for 99% of things. NT-H1 or H2 for anything beyond.
 
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I'm surprised they still make AS5, after it was 3rd party tested and it was actually very middling paste, think it tested at 3.1 or 3.2mw/k, not the much higher advertised number. It also suffers from temp degradation, because it ages badly
This is all pretty much nonsense, and inaccurate too.
  • Is AS5 the absolute most efficient TIM? No. Does it need to be? NO!!!
  • Does it suffer from temp degradation over time? Yes. Do all TIMs? YES!!! Does it matter? NO!!!
  • Does it take longer than many to "cure"? Yes. Does it matter? NO!!!!
  • Does it age badly? NO!!!!!!! It will easily last 5, 10, 15 years or longer AS LONG AS the cured bond between the mating surfaces is not broken - just like other TIMs!
Way WAY too much emphasis is put on which is "best". The most efficient transfer of heat occurs with direct metal to metal contact between the mating surfaces. The purpose of TIM is to fill the microscopic pits and valleys in those mating surfaces. So any excess TIM is in the way!

So what matters most is (1) TIM is used, and (2) that it is applied properly!

If you "need" the few extra degrees a higher rated TIM provides to avoid crossing over-heated thresholds and preventing the processor from activating thermal protection/safety measures, then YOU have failed to properly configure your case cooling and/or YOU have failed to properly set up your overclocking, if applicable.

As long as the processor is operating comfortably within its normal operating range, all is good. Cooler does NOT automatically mean better. That is, a CPU running at 30°C will NOT be more stable, perform better, or have a longer life expectancy than a CPU running at 50°C.

All that 30°C (or 20°C) gets you is bragging rights.
You are all wrong, the best is the pre applied one on stock coolers. It's free.
I agree. Today's OEM TIM and OEM coolers are vastly superior to those provided years ago by the CPU makers.
 
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Aging badly because it starts temp degradation after a year, sooner all to often. It also requires set time, and it's fussy about how it's installed. Set time is also a pain because you have to 'burn in' every time to see if it is working right, unless you mess up bad. It's also veeery pressure sensitive, so lower pressure mounts don't do well with it.

AS5 is old, overpriced, and performs like a mid-grade OE paste. It's out performed by Ceramique, and Ceramique is cheaper.

The only reason AS5 is still sold is because enough people settled on it when it was the best thing easily available, and like that reply, refuse to accept that it's simply 'ok' now, and won't move on.

Why buy AS5 when there's better available and that better is cheaper? Brand loyalty? Get Arctic Silver Ceramique, it's more efficient and it lasts longer before degrading too.

I used a lot of AS5 back in the day, but it got retired like my Radeon 9800 XT for the same reasons. I used to review thermal goop in a past life, so it forced me to keep an open mind. I miss the phase change liquids, that worked great until they oxidized the surfaces.... that was aging badly. LoL
 
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MX4 is best for the $ hands down. You'll only see ~1% gains spending more on thermal grizzly products.

If you want to be really cheap. There is stuff from chinese ebay sellers called GD900. It's like $2 for a big a$$ tube of it. Some youtubers have proven it to be very good and very close to MX4 performance.
 
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I am using Thermalright TF8 right now. I really like it. Its probably the best I've used so far in my limited experience.. I liked it so much I put it on my wife's laptop :kookoo:
Same. TF8 is my favorite paste by far. Easy to spread, high performance, it lowered my GPU temps by 4 C (was using some paste I got at Best Buy before b/c I ran out of GC-E). Also relatively good value for high performance paste.
 
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