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Guy Marshall

Water as thermal paste

the water would evaporate. and pure water isnt a good conductor only when it gets contaminated with metals. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I have googled to see if anybody has used water as thermal paste, and of course the search algorithm finds results like "use water to remove thermal paste" etc.

 

Due to water being a good conductor of heat, surely dropping a few drops of water between the IHS and copper baseplate and having the mounting pressure spread it around would be good? I haven't tried it and I don't want to risk it but I am confused as to why there is no information about this!


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Posted · Best Answer

the water would evaporate. and pure water isnt a good conductor only when it gets contaminated with metals. 

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1 minute ago, Guy Marshall said:

I have googled to see if anybody has used water as thermal paste, and of course the search algorithm finds results like "use water to remove thermal paste" etc.

 

Due to water being a good conductor of heat, surely dropping a few drops of water between the IHS and copper baseplate and having the mounting pressure spread it around would be good? I haven't tried it and I don't want to risk it but I am confused as to why there is no information about this!

And how exactly do you intend to stop the water from evaporating? Or to keep it on the CPU in the first place without it just spilling on the mobo?


Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Genwyn said:

It would evaporate off within a day tops, and water really isnt that great in the aspects of thermal conductivity and especially not the physical characteristics that make thermal compounds good. Water has a very high surface tension and does not like to fill very small gaps unless its under substantial pressure.

 

But all that is moot when you consider the first point, it would evaporate. Rather quickly at that. Its not going to be boiled away by the CPU but a cpu under load will likely cause it to diminish within minutes.

Ah thank you! I'm just bored and thinking of different ways to cool my CPU lol xD


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Even if you somehow got that to work, your cpu will be throttling to moon. Water is significantly less thermally conductive than thermal paste.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, WereCatf said:

And how exactly do you intend to stop the water from evaporating? Or to keep it on the CPU in the first place without it just spilling on the mobo?

I was thinking liquid metal (although more viscous) can be applied and used for quite long periods of time without any degredation


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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Levent said:

Even if you somehow got that to work, your cpu will be throttling to moon. Water is significantly less thermally conductive than thermal paste.

Ah okay! I thought water was pretty good but they must just be better then


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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Plutosaurus said:

Avatar is appropriate

I love yours tbh ahaha


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14 minutes ago, Guy Marshall said:

I was thinking liquid metal (although more viscous) can be applied and used for quite long periods of time without any degredation

because it's metal. Liquid metal thermal paste is a gallium mixture, and gallium is liquid at room temperature.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Fasauceome said:

because it's metal. Liquid metal thermal paste is a gallium mixture, and gallium is liquid at room temperature.

True you're making nothing but good points!


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29 minutes ago, Guy Marshall said:

Ah okay! I thought water was pretty good but they must just be better then

Water is actually not very heat conductive, using it to dissipate heat on a CPU isn't the best idea for several reasons, the main one being water is a very thin and fluid liquid and more than likely will be completely squished out the sides from the pressure of the cooler being mounted to the CPU and into the socket(dead motherboard) if it hasn't just naturally flowed off already, thermal paste and liquid metal are both much thicker than water and aren't as fluid or as runny as water they're more like a gel or as the name suggests paste and more or less just spread out when pressure is applied, liquid metal being exactly what the name suggests liquid metal isn't as thick as thermal paste but is still more controllable than water. Water isn't actually that heat conductive, like others have said water with a high concentration is more thermally conductive than just pure water, the heat from a CPU would just evaporate the small amount of water that may or may not be left on the IHS therefore you'd have no thermal compound at all. It's all in all just a bad idea. The risk for the system components is too high and if you were to even get it to slightly work it wont work for more than a few seconds and not well at all, you'd more than likely see the same temps as if you had nothing on it at all.


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You are better off with using engineering fluids.


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Water may conduct heat relatively poorly, but that isn't a big deal. It certainly doesn't stop water from being used in almost all high-end cooling systems, whether air coolers or liquid coolers.

 

Thermal paste doesn't have great thermal conductivity either, but it doesn't matter - what matters is getting something better than air, which is an absolutely terrible thermal conductor.

 

By the way, the thermal conductivity of water isn't affected much by the presence of salts. That just greatly increases its electrical conductivity, as charged ions are what transfer electricity through water. Pure water only has a concentration of charged ions of about 2*10-7M, which can be increased greatly by dissolved salts - or by dissolution of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

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