Thermal pad or paste?

Discussion in 'Asus' started by DaveJr, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. DaveJr

    DaveJr Guest

    Well group...what's in gonna be? Thermal pad or paste?

    AMD Athlon 950Mhz on Asus A7V mobo. No overclocking.
    DaveJr, Apr 1, 2005
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  2. DaveJr

    Tom Guest

    My vote is for paste. I usually remove the pad and apply a good thermal
    paste. I've had couple of cpu's fry from people using the oe pad. But,
    that's just my opinion.
    Tom, Apr 1, 2005
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  3. DaveJr

    Gordon Scott Guest

    paste is only recomended for short term, and a good one will cost you
    alot, so you will only need 1 teensy tiny splurge for 1 cpu. Get a pad.
    Gordon Scott, Apr 1, 2005
  4. In the past, for the "lower-end" AMD CPUs (950 MHz Athlon and 1.4 GHz XP), I
    would buy the official AMD + fan kit, which always included a pad. I feel
    that if AMD supplied a pad, the AMD engineers must be pretty sure that a pad
    was adequate. The AMD fans were modest but effective; I've had two going
    for 3.5 years each, without signs of a glitch. Uusally I don't overclock,
    but one CPU (a 1.4 GHz XP) has been overclocked by ~7% for periods of days
    while I ran calculations, and it survived.
    H.W. Stockman, Apr 1, 2005
  5. DaveJr

    Chuck Guest

    Quick answer, paste, but not any generic paste, get Artic Silver 5
    Chuck, Apr 1, 2005
  6. DaveJr

    Paul Guest

    A pad can stay in place for a long time, depending on
    which type of pad you are using. Finding good
    replacement pads is usually a problem, so that is
    an incentive to use paste.

    Paste needs yearly maintenance. To predict when maintenance
    is required, install your processor with fresh paste, operate
    the computer a couple of days, to allow time for the paste to
    "settle". Then, record

    Room temperature
    Case internal air temperature (so-called mobo temp)
    CPU temperature

    CPU minus case = delta_T = measure of goodness.

    In a year's time, check the temps again. Measure CPU temp
    and case temp, subtract, and compare the new delta_T. If
    your new delta_T is 5-10 degrees C warmer than the value of
    delta_T was two days after installation, then it is probably
    a good idea to remove the CPU and redo the paste.

    Instructions on installing paste can be found here:

    When redoing paste in the future, it is a good idea to
    "heat the computer up", before shutting down and trying to
    remove the heatsink. Run Prime95 for half an hour, and let
    it get good and warm. Quit Prime95 and immediately shut down.
    The purpose of getting the heatsink/fan warm, is to make it
    easier to remove the heatsink. Some people have managed
    to pull the CPU right out of the socket, while attempting
    to remove the heatsink/fan for yearly maintenance. Some
    paste products dry out, and can make the heatsink/fan difficult
    to remove. Even some pads can do that.

    BTW - Taking (case - room_temp) = goodness of computer cooling
    Taking (CPU - case) = goodness of heatsink/fan/paste

    Paul, Apr 1, 2005
  7. DaveJr

    NoNoBadDog! Guest

    If you don't want to be replacing it every 10 to 12 months, then the pad.
    Paste will eventually dry out and become ineffective, and need to be
    reapplied. While things like Artic Silver 5 can go longer between
    re-application, all paste will eventually need to be reapplied. Not so with
    the pad.

    NoNoBadDog!, Apr 1, 2005
  8. I'd suggest using whichever you happen to have on hand. Since you
    aren't overclocking, and assuming you are using an adequate heat sink,
    either will do the job effectively.

    The most important thing is to apply whichever you use according to the
    directions - follow them to the letter. The biggest difference is in
    how they are applied.

    Currently, of the 4 computers I have running in my home, three run 24/7.
    One uses AS5, the other 2 are using the generic white paste. The
    fourth is using Radio Shack heat sink compound (a silicone based one
    designed for transistors) All of them run fine. 3 of the 4 are
    overclocked. (including the one with the Radio Shack stuff) and all
    show no ill effects.

    "Outback" Jon |
    1986 Kawasaki Concours |1976 Honda CB750F (needs work)
    2003 Kawasaki Concours (wreck)|1972 Yamaha DS7 (project)
    |CQ CQ CQ de KC2BNE
    ASHI Certifed CPR / First Aid Instructor
    AMD XP 2400+ @ 2.18 GHz and 3.5GHz of other AMD power... - got folding? Team 33432
    \Outback\ Jon, Apr 1, 2005
  9. Either generally works well if undisturbed. If you plan to put the
    system together and then leave it alone it until it wears out, use the
    pad that (presumably) came with your heatsink. If you expect to change
    the processor and/or heatsink in the reasonably foreseeable future, or
    you are changing processors now and have to buy either a new pad or
    some paste anyway, I would buy paste. Pad residue can be more
    difficult to remove from the CPU and/or heatsink if you need to change
    something in the future. If you buy paste, get Arctic Silver.

    Please respond to the Newsgroup, so that others may benefit from the exchange.
    Peter R. Fletcher
    Peter R. Fletcher, Apr 1, 2005
  10. DaveJr

    w_tom Guest

    Your question cannot be answered without defining which type
    of thermal pad. Older technology pads are nothing more than a
    solution to badly machined heat sinks. No reason to machine
    the heatsink thermal interface when using thermal pads. They
    just stick a thermal pad on. Another type thermal pad
    provided significant improvements. Numbers are required to
    better understand this.

    Those recommending Arctic Silver are promoting classic
    myths. They provide no numbers - for thermal compounds or
    thermal pads. Arctic Silver's thermal conductivity numbers
    are no significantly better than any other brand name thermal
    compound sold at much less price. Arctic Silver has simply
    discovered and cultured a market where computer assemblers
    forget even the principles taught in junior high school
    science. They assembled a computer, therefore they are
    experts? Most damning symptom is they don't cite specs - the

    First and most important number would be the 'degree C per
    watt' number for that heatsink. This is where most of the
    thermal solution and thermal problems lie. Just because one
    heatsink is made in copper does not mean it is better
    cooling. And yet so many computer assembler will just assume
    that to be so. Up front, suspect the worst if that
    manufacturer does not provide a 'degree C per watt' number.
    These are often heatsinks so poorly machined as to require
    thermal compound or thermal pads. These heatsinks are why CPU
    manufacturer just dumb it all down and say all should use
    thermal pads or compound. Easier than trying to get a
    computer assembler to first learn numbers.

    Some just assume the best heatsink is lapped perfectly
    flat. Again wrong. Properly machined heatsinks are curved so
    that proper pressure is optimized in the little spot where
    heat actually transfers from CPU to heatsink. Yes, a little
    spot. Almost no heat is transfers in those outer edges.

    Which raises another important fact. One must apply minimal
    amount of thermal compound. So little that it does not spread
    out to the outer half of a CPU to heatsink surface. If
    thermal compound leaks out the side, then electrical problems
    can result. Worse, excessive thermal compound will actually
    decrease thermal conductivity.

    Every change of medium only decreases thermal
    conductivity. A 'CPU direct to heatsink' conductivity is more
    conductive than one 'from CPU, through thermal compound or
    pad, and then to heatsink'. Appreciate what thermal compound
    does. It only fills the dispersed microscopic holes between
    heatsink and CPU. Now even those holes will conduct some
    heat. Most of the heatsink makes a best thermal contact -
    direct contact between 'CPU and heatsink metal'. Applying too
    much thermal compound only impedes where the heatsink would
    directly contact the CPU - causing less thermal conductivity.

    More numbers. Apply a heatsink directly to CPU. If the
    heatsink is properly machined, then this is a perfectly good
    thermal interface. Execute a fixed program and measure CPU
    temperature. Then shutdown and apply a minimal amount of
    thermal compound. Repeat the execution temperature test. If
    thermal compound reduces CPU temperature by more than single
    digit degrees, then either the human improperly installed a
    heatsink OR the heatsink is not properly machined. Numbers
    demonstrate the minor advantage is in thermal compound.
    Minor. But you would never know this from the hype (always
    posted without technical numbers) from those who just know
    Arctic Silver saves the world.

    Another myth. Thermal compound does not dry out in a year
    no matter what Arctic Silver hypes to increase sales. Twenty
    years later and the better thermal compounds (that cost less
    than Arctic Silver) are still good. Listening to myths
    promoted by Arctic Silver fanatics is like listening to
    Geritol commercials that *prove* Geritol is necessary for
    health. Or that *prove* Listerene is effective. BTW, Doc
    Slater's Magic Potion is also important to protect computer
    users from the dangers of electrons. We know this because
    others also say so. We need no numbers because so many others
    just say its is so. Welcome to the world of Arctic Silver

    Be most wary of those recommending Arctic Silver. They also
    swore Saddam attacked the WTC and Pentagon. They just know.
    They don't need no stink'in numbers. But you first need
    numbers for those various types of thermal pads. No numbers
    is why responsible answers are so few and so subjective.
    w_tom, Apr 2, 2005
  11. DaveJr

    DaveJr Guest

    This is an AMD 'factory' alluminum heatsink with 'factory' fan for 950Mhz
    DaveJr, Apr 2, 2005
  12. DaveJr

    Gordon Scott Guest

    go to any small pc builder shop that has a service dept and give them $1
    for a pad.
    Gordon Scott, Apr 2, 2005
  13. DaveJr

    Chuck Guest

    If the Heatsink you have doesn't have a thermal pad attached, just use Artic
    Silver 5.
    Chuck, Apr 3, 2005
  14. In your situation, either should work just fine, as long as it is properly


    Jay T. Blocksom
    Appropriate Technology, Inc.

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    Jay T. Blocksom, Apr 3, 2005
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