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Toms Thermal Paste Review(2017) with 85 products tested!

Maxxtraxx
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Hi all,

 

I feel as though the forum tends to see a decent number of questions regarding thermal paste:

 

Which ones are the best?

How do I apply it?

What about Liquid metals?

What about all the factors I didn't even know existed?

 

Toms Hardware Guide did a pair of large reviews several years ago and the results of which determined my personal choice of thermal paste being Noctua NT-H1 due to a combination cost and performance.

Well, The guide has been updated and now showcases many newer products and still contains a great guide to give anyone a shot at picking a good product and applying it correctly.

 

The article can be found: HERE

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No mayo? No toothpaste? NO MAYO?!?

Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down. - Adam Savage

 

PHOΞNIX Ryzen 5 1600 @ 3.75GHz | Corsair LPX 16Gb DDR4 @ 2933 | MSI B350 Tomahawk | Sapphire RX 480 Nitro+ 8Gb | Intel 535 120Gb | Western Digital WD5000AAKS x2 | Cooler Master HAF XB Evo | Corsair H80 + Corsair SP120 | Cooler Master 120mm AF | Corsair SP120 | Icy Box IB-172SK-B | OCZ CX500W | Acer GF246 24" + AOC <some model> 21.5" | Steelseries Apex 350 | Steelseries Diablo 3 | Steelseries Syberia RAW Prism | Corsair HS-1 | Akai AM-A1

D.VA coming soon™ xoxo

Sapphire Acer Aspire 1410 Celeron 743 | 3Gb DDR2-667 | 120Gb HDD | Windows 10 Home x32

Vault Tec Celeron 420 | 2Gb DDR2-667 | Storage pending | Open Media Vault

gh0st Asus K50IJ T3100 | 2Gb DDR2-667 | 40Gb HDD | Ubuntu 17.04

Diskord Apple MacBook A1181 Mid-2007 Core2Duo T7400 @2.16GHz | 4Gb DDR2-667 | 120Gb HDD | Windows 10 Pro x32

Firebird//Phoeniix FX-4320 | Gigabyte 990X-Gaming SLI | Asus GTS 450 | 16Gb DDR3-1600 | 2x Intel 535 250Gb | 4x 10Tb Western Digital Red | 600W Segotep custom refurb unit | Windows 10 Pro x64 // offisite backup and dad's PC

 

Saint Olms Apple iPhone 6 16Gb Gold

Archon Microsoft Lumia 640 LTE

Gulliver Nokia Lumia 1320

Werkfern Nokia Lumia 520

Hydromancer Acer Liquid Z220

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1 minute ago, revsilverspine said:

No mayo? No toothpaste? NO MAYO?!?

There is toothpaste present in the roundup... it came last.

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Just now, Maxxtraxx said:

There is toothpaste present in the roundup... it came last.

BUT FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS DECENT WHERE IS THE MAYO?!

Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down. - Adam Savage

 

PHOΞNIX Ryzen 5 1600 @ 3.75GHz | Corsair LPX 16Gb DDR4 @ 2933 | MSI B350 Tomahawk | Sapphire RX 480 Nitro+ 8Gb | Intel 535 120Gb | Western Digital WD5000AAKS x2 | Cooler Master HAF XB Evo | Corsair H80 + Corsair SP120 | Cooler Master 120mm AF | Corsair SP120 | Icy Box IB-172SK-B | OCZ CX500W | Acer GF246 24" + AOC <some model> 21.5" | Steelseries Apex 350 | Steelseries Diablo 3 | Steelseries Syberia RAW Prism | Corsair HS-1 | Akai AM-A1

D.VA coming soon™ xoxo

Sapphire Acer Aspire 1410 Celeron 743 | 3Gb DDR2-667 | 120Gb HDD | Windows 10 Home x32

Vault Tec Celeron 420 | 2Gb DDR2-667 | Storage pending | Open Media Vault

gh0st Asus K50IJ T3100 | 2Gb DDR2-667 | 40Gb HDD | Ubuntu 17.04

Diskord Apple MacBook A1181 Mid-2007 Core2Duo T7400 @2.16GHz | 4Gb DDR2-667 | 120Gb HDD | Windows 10 Pro x32

Firebird//Phoeniix FX-4320 | Gigabyte 990X-Gaming SLI | Asus GTS 450 | 16Gb DDR3-1600 | 2x Intel 535 250Gb | 4x 10Tb Western Digital Red | 600W Segotep custom refurb unit | Windows 10 Pro x64 // offisite backup and dad's PC

 

Saint Olms Apple iPhone 6 16Gb Gold

Archon Microsoft Lumia 640 LTE

Gulliver Nokia Lumia 1320

Werkfern Nokia Lumia 520

Hydromancer Acer Liquid Z220

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Pretty much what we've known for several years: mounting pressure matters more than the thermal paste.  I've been using a big 50g tube of GC-Electronics white paste on everything for years.   Cost me $6 and lasts a thousand applications.

 

Thermal paste only matters if you're doing bare silicon mounting with your heatsink or waterblock.  Total thermal transfer rate is a function of the weighted average of thermal conductivity and material thickness, and if you have an IHS taking up 99% of the stack thickness then the paste itself being 1% of the stack won't matter.  If you have no IHS, the paste becomes ~100% of the thickness and then it matters a lot more.

Workstation: 10850K @ 5.1Ghz || Gigabyte Z490 Ultra || ASUS TUF 3090 650W shunt, active backplate || G.Skill 3866 4x8GB || Corsair AX1500i || 11 gallon whole-house loop.

LANRig/GuestGamingBox: 9900nonK || Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Master || Gigabyte Gaming G1 1080Ti || Corsair SF600 || CPU+GPU watercooled 280 rad pull only // 11 gallon whole-house loop.

Server Router (Untangle): 8350K @ 4.7Ghz || ASRock Z370 ITX || 2x8GB 3200 || PicoPSU 250W, running on AX1200i || 11 gallon whole-house loop.

Server Compute/Storage: E5-2696v4 || Asus X99 mATX WS || LSI 9280i + Adaptec + Intel Expander || 5x10TB Seagate Enterprise Raid 6, 4x8TB Seagate Archive Backup, Corsair AX1200i (drives)  || 11 gallon whole-house loop.

Laptop: HP Elitebook 840 G3 (Intel 8350U) + 3060 Thunderbolt Dock, Razer Blade Stealth 13" 2017 (Intel 8550U)

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5 minutes ago, AnonymousGuy said:

Pretty much what we've known for several years: mounting pressure matters more than the thermal paste.  I've been using a big 50g tube of GC-Electronics white paste on everything for years.   Cost me $6 and lasts a thousand applications.

 

Thermal paste only matters if you're doing bare silicon mounting with your heatsink or waterblock.  Total thermal transfer rate is a function of the weighted average of thermal conductivity and material thickness, and if you have an IHS taking up 99% of the stack thickness then the paste itself being 1% of the stack won't matter.  If you have no IHS, the paste becomes ~100% of the thickness and then it matters a lot more.

You've likely heard this many times before... but i couldn't help but smiling and laughing a bit when I saw in your list at the bottom of your post:

 

On the Shelf: 5960X, 7700K @ 5.3, Gigabyte Z270 Gaming 9., Zotac GTX 560Ti AMP custom BIOS

 

The GTX 560Ti is great! Just seems so out of place and unexpected... like a nautical cruise ship horn on a honda civic... its just not what you were expecting.

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2 minutes ago, Maxxtraxx said:

 

You've likely heard this many times before... but i couldn't help but smiling and laughing a bit when I saw in your list at the bottom of your post:

 

On the Shelf: 5960X, 7700K @ 5.3, Gigabyte Z270 Gaming 9., Zotac GTX 560Ti AMP custom BIOS

 

The GTX 560Ti is great! Just seems so out of place and unexpected... like a nautical cruise ship horn on a honda civic... its just not what you were expecting.

It was in my HTPC for a month or so (picked it up for $35 shipped and spent $7 on a new fan).  Needed something that could handle 8K video playback.  Custom BIOS was to set the minimum fan % to 10 instead of 40% to get the noise down.  I think the fan bearing is just inherently noisy by design, and I have the thing next to my bed.  I ended up getting a rocking deal on a GTX 680 with a preinstalled waterblock for $95 shipped, so that's what is in there now.  The 560Ti may live on as a gaming card for a parent's desktop.

Workstation: 10850K @ 5.1Ghz || Gigabyte Z490 Ultra || ASUS TUF 3090 650W shunt, active backplate || G.Skill 3866 4x8GB || Corsair AX1500i || 11 gallon whole-house loop.

LANRig/GuestGamingBox: 9900nonK || Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Master || Gigabyte Gaming G1 1080Ti || Corsair SF600 || CPU+GPU watercooled 280 rad pull only // 11 gallon whole-house loop.

Server Router (Untangle): 8350K @ 4.7Ghz || ASRock Z370 ITX || 2x8GB 3200 || PicoPSU 250W, running on AX1200i || 11 gallon whole-house loop.

Server Compute/Storage: E5-2696v4 || Asus X99 mATX WS || LSI 9280i + Adaptec + Intel Expander || 5x10TB Seagate Enterprise Raid 6, 4x8TB Seagate Archive Backup, Corsair AX1200i (drives)  || 11 gallon whole-house loop.

Laptop: HP Elitebook 840 G3 (Intel 8350U) + 3060 Thunderbolt Dock, Razer Blade Stealth 13" 2017 (Intel 8550U)

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Awesome, first graphs with KPx. Usual suspects Kryonaut, Gelid, IC D.. but that Cooler Master Nano is a surprise.

.

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55 minutes ago, AnonymousGuy said:

Pretty much what we've known for several years: mounting pressure matters more than the thermal paste.  I've been using a big 50g tube of GC-Electronics white paste on everything for years.   Cost me $6 and lasts a thousand applications.

 

Thermal paste only matters if you're doing bare silicon mounting with your heatsink or waterblock.  Total thermal transfer rate is a function of the weighted average of thermal conductivity and material thickness, and if you have an IHS taking up 99% of the stack thickness then the paste itself being 1% of the stack won't matter.  If you have no IHS, the paste becomes ~100% of the thickness and then it matters a lot more.

Paste matters a lot more when you go cold.

.

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Lets see... Artic Silver 5 doesn't do too badly, and the differences between it and other things is rather insignificant.
Thats all I need to know, cause I just got a lot of the stuff for some reason... I don't even know why.... but I won't argue with free thermal paste thats apparently still quite alright.

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OT: does anyone else get redirected to scam/malicious sites when trying to accesss tomshardware from chrome mobile? .-.

On a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam

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Kryonaut ftw!

CPU: Intel Core i7 7820X Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H110i GTX Mobo: MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 (3000MHz/16GB 2x8) SSD: 2x Samsung 850 Evo (250/250GB) + Samsung 850 Pro (512GB) GPU: NVidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FE (W/ EVGA Hybrid Kit) Case: Corsair Graphite Series 760T (Black) PSU: SeaSonic Platinum Series (860W) Monitor: Acer Predator XB241YU (165Hz / G-Sync) Fan Controller: NZXT Sentry Mix 2 Case Fans: Intake - 2x Noctua NF-A14 iPPC-3000 PWM / Radiator - 2x Noctua NF-A14 iPPC-3000 PWM / Rear Exhaust - 1x Noctua NF-F12 iPPC-3000 PWM

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19 minutes ago, VagabondWraith said:

Kryonaut ftw!

Pretty much this

 

Also wrong section

Ketchup is better than mustard.

GUI is better than Command Line Interface.

Dubs are better than subs

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Surprised no NT-H1.

"You don't need headphones, all you need is willpower!" ~MicroCenter employee

 

How to use a WiiMote and Nunchuck as your mouse!


Specs:
Graphics Card: EVGA 750 Ti SC
PSU: Corsair CS450M
RAM: A-Data XPG V1.0 (1x8GB) (Red)
Procrastinator: Intel i5 4690k @ 4.4GHz 1.3V
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (Black)
Speakers and Headphones: Monitor Speakers and Phlips SHP9500s
MoBo: MSI Z97 PC MATE
SSD: SanDisk Ultra II (240GB)
Monitor: LG 29UM68-P
Mouse: Mionix Naos 7000
Keyboard: Corsair K70 RGB (2016) (Browns)

Webcam/mic: Logitech C270
 

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42 minutes ago, BingoFishy said:

Surprised no NT-H1.

It is on there. They even tested an old tube vs a new one.

 

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6 hours ago, AnonymousGuy said:

Pretty much what we've known for several years: mounting pressure matters more than the thermal paste.  I've been using a big 50g tube of GC-Electronics white paste on everything for years.   Cost me $6 and lasts a thousand applications.

 

Thermal paste only matters if you're doing bare silicon mounting with your heatsink or waterblock.  Total thermal transfer rate is a function of the weighted average of thermal conductivity and material thickness, and if you have an IHS taking up 99% of the stack thickness then the paste itself being 1% of the stack won't matter.  If you have no IHS, the paste becomes ~100% of the thickness and then it matters a lot more.

Interesting.  So, then, if paste makes little difference in temps when applied properly when new ...

 

I'd like to know how they hold up over time.  Like, maybe you have a Pentium II and a Riva TNT running a personal web server / NAS, and are still on the original paste application.  Or for an intermediate age, a system with an E8400 and 7800 GTX.

 

How would we find out which paste lasts longest (assuming set-&-forget), or at least predict/project that?

 

My minimum would be long enough so that if it was on my dad's Dell D830 (bought Aug 2008), it wouldn't have degraded more than a couple °C under Prime95 Small FFT or Aida64 FPU test.  And, hopefully it'd still be good enough to keep a 4790K from thermal throttling with P95 28.10 SmallFFT under the stock heatsink in a 50°C ambient environment a few minutes before the CPU dies of old age (not "dies of heatstroke"). :D

 

I think I saw somewhere in the article that Arctic MX-2 & MX-4 didn't hold up well over time.  Makes me glad I didn't get it when I was upgrading my laptop CPU last December.

Although, that 6700K is now idling at 75-80+°C with Chrome in the background, and hits 100°C & throttles at 35-50% (according to Aida64) when opening Chrome and restoring previous session, while it's loading everything.  Shutting off Chrome only brings temps down to ~65°C.

 

Maybe it's time to reapply the NT-H1...and maybe use a bit less next time? (Was trying to do the "X" method for max/even coverage, maybe I need a different application method as well.)

 

The GPU does keep cooler than the CPU, though.  That 970M only barely hit 77°C at the end of SuperPosition 8K Optimized.  (Started at around 69-70°C at the beginning and crept up over the course of the benchmark.)

 

5 hours ago, dexT said:

Paste matters a lot more when you go cold.

What do you mean by that?

 

3 hours ago, Agost said:

OT: does anyone else get redirected to scam/malicious sites when trying to access tomshardware from chrome mobile? .-.

I sometimes do. >:(

 

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How interesting, I was at Overclockers on Tuesday to buy paste as I was draining my loop, flushing it out, adding my GPU to the loop and refilling it and the tube of AS 5 I had was waaaaay past it's best. The guy there recommend Kyronaut to me (I asked for more AS 5) as it was only £1 deerer and then today I find out it beat out 80 other pastes to be the top performing paste of the bunch.

 

Thanks dude at OCUK ;)

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4 hours ago, PianoPlayer88Key said:

Interesting.  So, then, if paste makes little difference in temps when applied properly when new ...

 

I'd like to know how they hold up over time.  Like, maybe you have a Pentium II and a Riva TNT running a personal web server / NAS, and are still on the original paste application.  Or for an intermediate age, a system with an E8400 and 7800 GTX.

 

How would we find out which paste lasts longest (assuming set-&-forget), or at least predict/project that?

 

My minimum would be long enough so that if it was on my dad's Dell D830 (bought Aug 2008), it wouldn't have degraded more than a couple °C under Prime95 Small FFT or Aida64 FPU test.  And, hopefully it'd still be good enough to keep a 4790K from thermal throttling with P95 28.10 SmallFFT under the stock heatsink in a 50°C ambient environment a few minutes before the CPU dies of old age (not "dies of heatstroke"). :D

 

 

I recently re-pasted a 560Ti that was on the original paste from 2012.  Made zero difference in temperature.  I don't really believe much in the theory that paste needs to be replaced from old age.  Certainly not within a few years.  Only reason I repasted the GPU was because I was taking the thing apart anyways to clean dust out of it and figured might as well.

Workstation: 10850K @ 5.1Ghz || Gigabyte Z490 Ultra || ASUS TUF 3090 650W shunt, active backplate || G.Skill 3866 4x8GB || Corsair AX1500i || 11 gallon whole-house loop.

LANRig/GuestGamingBox: 9900nonK || Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Master || Gigabyte Gaming G1 1080Ti || Corsair SF600 || CPU+GPU watercooled 280 rad pull only // 11 gallon whole-house loop.

Server Router (Untangle): 8350K @ 4.7Ghz || ASRock Z370 ITX || 2x8GB 3200 || PicoPSU 250W, running on AX1200i || 11 gallon whole-house loop.

Server Compute/Storage: E5-2696v4 || Asus X99 mATX WS || LSI 9280i + Adaptec + Intel Expander || 5x10TB Seagate Enterprise Raid 6, 4x8TB Seagate Archive Backup, Corsair AX1200i (drives)  || 11 gallon whole-house loop.

Laptop: HP Elitebook 840 G3 (Intel 8350U) + 3060 Thunderbolt Dock, Razer Blade Stealth 13" 2017 (Intel 8550U)

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1 hour ago, AnonymousGuy said:

I recently re-pasted a 560Ti that was on the original paste from 2012.  Made zero difference in temperature.  I don't really believe much in the theory that paste needs to be replaced from old age.  Certainly not within a few years.  Only reason I repasted the GPU was because I was taking the thing apart anyways to clean dust out of it and figured might as well.

I thought you were supposed to clean and repaste every time you took the heatsink/waterblock off?  That's why, when I applied mine (both with my laptop CPU + GPU and with my desktop i7-4790K CPU), once I put the heatsink down I immediately clamped/screwed it.  Although I wanted to take it back off to check my application, I didn't want to have to clean that paste off and do yet another application. :/ 

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7 hours ago, PianoPlayer88Key said:

I sometimes do. >:(

I've been experiencing that for months, don't know why. On the Italian site too.

On a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam

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8 hours ago, ravenshrike said:

It is on there. They even tested an old tube vs a new one.

Oh my bad, didn't see it.

"You don't need headphones, all you need is willpower!" ~MicroCenter employee

 

How to use a WiiMote and Nunchuck as your mouse!


Specs:
Graphics Card: EVGA 750 Ti SC
PSU: Corsair CS450M
RAM: A-Data XPG V1.0 (1x8GB) (Red)
Procrastinator: Intel i5 4690k @ 4.4GHz 1.3V
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (Black)
Speakers and Headphones: Monitor Speakers and Phlips SHP9500s
MoBo: MSI Z97 PC MATE
SSD: SanDisk Ultra II (240GB)
Monitor: LG 29UM68-P
Mouse: Mionix Naos 7000
Keyboard: Corsair K70 RGB (2016) (Browns)

Webcam/mic: Logitech C270
 

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where is the semen tho... well... anyone that knows that thread knows how that goes...

 

anyway this is awesome, its really nice to see an up to date thermal paste review to base your pick on!

I spent $2500 on building my PC and all i do with it is play no games atm & watch anime at 1080p(finally)...

Builds:

The Toaster Project! Northern Bee!

 

The original LAN PC build log! (Old, dead and replaced by The Toaster Project & 5.0)

Spoiler

"Here is some advice that might have gotten lost somewhere along the way in your life. 

 

#1. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

#2. It's best to keep your mouth shut; and appear to be stupid, rather than open it and remove all doubt.

#3. There is nothing "wrong" with being wrong. Learning from a mistake can be more valuable than not making one in the first place.

 

Follow these simple rules in life, and I promise you, things magically get easier. " - MageTank 31-10-2016

 

 

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