Thermal Compound Poll

What is your preferred thermal compound?


  • Total voters
    64

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
8,310
1,371
96
Question is simple, what is your preferred thermal compound and why?
I usually use the paste that come on the stock HSF of the retail processor I buy when doing a build. I have only brought thermal paste once when I had a board died on me.
 

Rayman30

Member
Mar 7, 2019
60
11
16
I usually use the paste that come on the stock HSF of the retail processor I buy when doing a build. I have only brought thermal paste once when I had a board died on me.
Yeah I unfortunately had to omit stock thermal compounds due to poll size limits. I use the included paste on my Corsair H115i Pro, works great!
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
4,457
98
91
Why dont you just tell us what's the best ;) I use mx4 / grizzly / as4 / anythin can get hands on. I remember even using white thermal paste on xbox 360s . But really I dont know which is best grizzly is 10$ for 50 applications worth so... I'll check again when I get a 16+ core processor
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
4,704
280
126
Anything synthetic oil based so it doesn't dry out over the lifespan of the system, though that was a lot more important on open cores where the thermal density was higher. These days, meh I grab whatever goop I have lying around that looks like heatsink grease... think I bought a big tube of something from an electronics supplier a decade ago (which I also use on transistors/diodes/etc in electronics work) and then the next time I was at a hospital I swiped syringes out of their disposal bin - discarded the needles - and filled them with grease. Those big metal grease tubes get cracks in them and start leaking eventually, plus they aren't the slightest bit precise about how much grease comes out with each squeeze.

SO, IMO one of the multiple choices should have been "Whatever I have lying around."
 
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ehume

Golden Member
Nov 6, 2009
1,427
50
91
Gelig GC Extreme is the best of the old school TIMs, so that is my go-to TIM. But Noctua NT-H1 is only a degree C behind, and I like its viscosity a lot. I have no experience with NT-H2. As for the Kryonaut, it has been reviewed as the best, but apparently it is difficult to work with.

I have left GC Extreme on systems untouched for years, and it showed no signs of reduced cooling.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
18,346
5,673
136
I never buy any, but most of my current coolers are Noctura, so I chose that. (the NH-D15 TR4)
 

IEC

Super Moderator
Jun 10, 2004
13,750
3,212
136
If money was no object, Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut on everything.

As it is, some applications I'd prefer non-conductive. For that I have plenty of MX-4 for air coolers and TG Hydronaut for water blocks.
 

WilliamM2

Golden Member
Jun 14, 2012
1,663
65
91
Arctic Silver Ceramique 2. Why? Beacause I already have it. If it ever runs out, I'll try something else. I think I've had the same tube for 8 years or so.

I have an older tube of Artic Silver 3 too, but I don't like that it's conductive, and it's probably 16 years old.
 
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Thunder 57

Senior member
Aug 19, 2007
800
480
136
Arctic Silver Ceramique 2. Why? Beacause I already have it. If it ever runs out, I'll try something else. I think I've had the same tube for 8 years or so.

I have an older tube of Artic Silver 3 too, but I don't like that it's conductive, and it's probably 16 years old.
Agreed. I remember many years ago it seemed to be "Arctic Silver or bust". As such I have a tube of Arctic Silver 5 that I've had for probably 10 years. These days it seems it doesn't matter so much.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
44,757
3,813
126
I had been a dyed-in-the-wool AS5 fanboy, even defending it against newer greases, but I've switched to MX-4, partially because AS5 is capacitive, and MX-4 is non-conductive and non-capacitive, and secondly, it's cheaper per-application, and thirdly, it's newer.

I may re-consider, however. I had some disturbing events with MX-4 paste, using it on AM4 rigs, and then trying to "cold pull" a Ryzen CPU with the screw-on stock heatsink. The CPU came right out of the ZIF socket, and was virtually GLUED-ON to the heatsink. Took a risky "chipping" manuever that led to the CPU landing on my carpet, to break it free. (Probably should have just dissolved the TIM with isopropyl alcohol, in hindsight.) So MX-4, lends itself to becoming "glued". Not that this is isolated to MX-4, I've read quite a few accounts that this happens to AMD's larger-heatspreader CPUs and APUs, with multiple paste types. Thus far, though, for as long as I was using AS5, it tended to remove more cleanly. Probably due to the oil suspension.
 

Ranulf

Golden Member
Jul 18, 2001
1,511
108
106
I've had cold pull trouble with the stock AMD paste before. If possible, just run the cpu for 5 minutes to heat up the paste before taking it apart.

Paste wise I prefer Noctua's stuff, mostly because I have a bunch of it from using several of their heatsinks. Next is MX-4 and I think I have some Prolimatech and Kyronaut around but I haven't tried them yet.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
13,026
2,694
136
Kryonaut is the best one on your list. But you left off Conductonaut, which is my current favorite paste.
 

Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
3,627
395
126
Been using AS5 for, what, 20 odd years already. Mostly because I bought a few 12g tubes, and only recently got through them.

What can I say? It works.

While I chose the Arctic Silver, because that's just what I have laying around it seems the application is more important than the brand.
Same issue here. You use what you have.

I had been a dyed-in-the-wool AS5 fanboy, even defending it against newer greases, but I've switched to MX-4, partially because AS5 is capacitive, and MX-4 is non-conductive and non-capacitive, and secondly, it's cheaper per-application, and thirdly, it's newer.
I can't say I've ever had trouble with either. It's just something to keep in mind when applying.

Price-wise, MX2, MX4 and AS5 cost about the same here. Guess I'm lucky.

I may re-consider, however. I had some disturbing events with MX-4 paste, using it on AM4 rigs, and then trying to "cold pull" a Ryzen CPU with the screw-on stock heatsink. The CPU came right out of the ZIF socket, and was virtually GLUED-ON to the heatsink. Took a risky "chipping" manuever that led to the CPU landing on my carpet, to break it free. (Probably should have just dissolved the TIM with isopropyl alcohol, in hindsight.) So MX-4, lends itself to becoming "glued". Not that this is isolated to MX-4, I've read quite a few accounts that this happens to AMD's larger-heatspreader CPUs and APUs, with multiple paste types. Thus far, though, for as long as I was using AS5, it tended to remove more cleanly. Probably due to the oil suspension.
That also seems to happen with a lot of the "stock" paste pre-applied to manufacturer provided heat sinks. Intel is generally a bit better in that regard. Whatever AMD uses is almost glue, hence I make it a point to remove and reapply to avoid ripping the CPU out of the socket. AS5 is pretty well behaved in that regard.

Come to think of it, perhaps that's the glue Intel was referring to when Epyc launched...? :D
 

zrav

Junior Member
Nov 11, 2017
16
15
41
Do you use it as thermal paste as well? I thought that people predominantly just used to replace stock TIM.
I use it for that and for mounting waterblocks, but I'd use it for any heatsink as long as its not made of aluminum. Apart from excellent conductivity it never dries out.
 

SnooSnoo

Member
Jun 14, 2011
30
8
81
I may re-consider, however. I had some disturbing events with MX-4 paste, using it on AM4 rigs, and then trying to "cold pull" a Ryzen CPU with the screw-on stock heatsink. The CPU came right out of the ZIF socket, and was virtually GLUED-ON to the heatsink. Took a risky "chipping" manuever that led to the CPU landing on my carpet, to break it free. (Probably should have just dissolved the TIM with isopropyl alcohol, in hindsight.) So MX-4, lends itself to becoming "glued". Not that this is isolated to MX-4, I've read quite a few accounts that this happens to AMD's larger-heatspreader CPUs and APUs, with multiple paste types. Thus far, though, for as long as I was using AS5, it tended to remove more cleanly. Probably due to the oil suspension.
You have to twist the heatsink a bit (left-right) before pulling on it. Even if it moves just slightly, you will avoid pulling the cpu out with it.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
13,026
2,694
136
You have to twist the heatsink a bit (left-right) before pulling on it. Even if it moves just slightly, you will avoid pulling the cpu out with it.
MX4 shouldn't be difficult to disengage from the IHS. If you want a challenge, try removing a lapped IHS bonded to a lapped copper HSF by a liquid metal TIM that's set in for awhile through many temp cycles (CLU, I'm looking at you). It was like solder.
 

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