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Thermal compound lifespan?

MattPrime
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Hi folks,

Does anyone know if there is a "lifespan" of thermal compounds applied to processors in a system?

 

My gaming rig has been in storage for three years after around a year of constant use, and I believe now I'm seeing worse overall performance from the stock Intel cooler than I did when the system was new. I saw a thermal throttle in AIDA64 when running Cinebench at stock speeds! Surely this should happen? Could this be because the thermal compound has dried up or perished in some way, reducing it's efficacy?

 

I plan to replace the stock cooler anyway, so will be applying fresh compound (recommendations please!) anyway but am wondering if this is why i'm seeing such poor thermals currently.

 

Cheers

Matt

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9 minutes ago, mhammonde said:

Hi folks,

Does anyone know if there is a "lifespan" of thermal compounds applied to processors in a system?

 

My gaming rig has been in storage for three years after around a year of constant use, and I believe now I'm seeing worse overall performance from the stock Intel cooler than I did when the system was new. I saw a thermal throttle in AIDA64 when running Cinebench at stock speeds! Surely this should happen? Could this be because the thermal compound has dried up or perished in some way, reducing it's efficacy?

 

I plan to replace the stock cooler anyway, so will be applying fresh compound (recommendations please!) anyway but am wondering if this is why i'm seeing such poor thermals currently.

 

Cheers

Matt

it really depends on the compound. some last a few years and dry out. some last 5-6 years.

it also depend on the load on the compound. heat, humidity....

 

I mean, it costs 5$ anyways. so why not ?

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Hee Matt,

 

I think you are right! your thermal compound is probably dry and replacing it will greatly reduce your thermals.

I think Artic silver is one of the most populair compound but the difference in brands is not that big. If you get some compound together with a new cooler i would just use this. :)

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Over a certain amount of time, the thermal compound will eventually dry up. Depending upon the type of thermal compound, some last a couple of years while others will last longer, but it is very common to see dried up thermal paste in older systems, so reapplying the thermal paste is ideal once in a while. As I mentioned earlier, depending upon the type of thermal compound, the temperature reduction is very minimal by a small margin, like a reduced temp by a couple of degrees. While a "couple" of degrees, isnt a major improvement in terms of temp reductions, adequate cooling can help with keeping the CPU nice and cool when under load. If temps are too high and your not comfortable with them, delidding is an option to reduce temps as well as the growing popularity in liquid metal formulas have proven to have significant temperature decreases.

 

The cooler master hyper 212 evo is a good budget cooler, combined with some arctic silver thermal compound should se a good temperature reduction, giving you more overclocking headroom at much more succeptable temps when under load and at stock speeds.

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I dust my pc about every year or so so I put some new thermal compound on when I do 

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Thanks TheBeastPC. It just so happens I was looking a review of thermal compound performance and the Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra came out on top but reading into it a little bit there is concerns over it eating away at CPU heat spreaders.

 

Would you say it was safe enough to delid my i5-2500k and use some of this Coolla stuff, or should I play it really safe and go for what you suggested - a decent cooler and Arctic Silver?

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rule of thumb is 2~3 years at max , i use MX2 and MX4 and after 2~3 years it gets hard , not dryed out yet , but play dough level 

so just replace it every other year , a tube of MX4 is 5$ and lasts your for 6 or so applications 

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Noctua recommends 2 years for their paste. But having used their paste for past 9 years, I'd say it can take much more than that. On my main rig it has been on 3 years at most and I haven't noticed any change. On another rig which is used less frequently, its been on for 4 years and not any major change (I checked it few weeks ago under normal load, but it also needs dusting so...).

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Linus loves ic diamond, quite honestly a hyper 212 and the cooler Master thermal paste is quite good for the meantime if you want better results while you research more, i plan to go back to my hyper 212 on my cpu after i use the h115i for my gpu

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