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Old 07-06-2011, 10:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Question about thermal paste usage on a GPU, and others.

So last week I bought a Zalman VF3000F cooler for my GTX 570 GPU. Having had trouble installing my Hydro H50 correctly first time (I drilled a hole straight through the heatsink, has had no noticeable effect yet) I read through the entire instruction process before starting. However, I have never encountered thermal paste before so I was relatively unsure as to how to correctly apply. To that end, I used the entire tube on the GPU chip, and left the FET chips dry.

While my GPU is now a breezy 15C less under load (hovering around 60C, give or take 5C), would it be necessary for me to strip it back down and apply themal paste to the FET chips to get a better cooling result, or can I feasibly get away with leaving them untouched?

Also in the process it occured to me that I never had to thermal paste the CPU. Is this necessary, or merely an option?

Many thanks
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about thermal paste usage on a GPU, and others.

...you used the whole tube on the chip? Holy ****... Yeah, you're only really needing to put a small drop (pea-sized or so).

And there was either thermal paste pre-applied on the cooler you used or something otherwise if there was no thermal paste at all, your temps would be crazy high and you would be having stability issues.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about thermal paste usage on a GPU, and others.

Ummm... You used too much paste on the GPU... Also, CPU requires paste.... Also, a FET doesn't REQUIRE thermal paste, but, you should use a slight bit of high quality NON-conductive paste on them to help bring the heat off faster.

Also, no thermal paste on the CPU won't cause CRAZY high temps, I have gone with out thermal paste before, but the temp was higher than... Desirable.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about thermal paste usage on a GPU, and others.

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...you used the whole tube on the chip? Holy ****... Yeah, you're only really needing to put a small drop (pea-sized or so).

And there was either thermal paste pre-applied on the cooler you used or something otherwise if there was no thermal paste at all, your temps would be crazy high and you would be having stability issues.
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Ummm... You used too much paste on the GPU... Also, CPU requires paste.... Also, a FET doesn't REQUIRE thermal paste, but, you should use a slight bit of high quality NON-conductive paste on them to help bring the heat off faster.

Also, no thermal paste on the CPU won't cause CRAZY high temps, I have gone with out thermal paste before, but the temp was higher than... Desirable.
Lol, well at least thats another learning curve encountered. I had plenty of issues with GFX related crashes after OC'ing the card too high (obviously) but after benchmarking FurMark and Unigine's Heaven repeatedly with no problem I think I'm relatively safe. Temps for both gfx card and cpu under load seem normal, but I'll keep a closer eye on them for a while.

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Old 07-06-2011, 11:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about thermal paste usage on a GPU, and others.

Too much thermal paste can cause problems, just so you know.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about thermal paste usage on a GPU, and others.

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Too much thermal paste can cause problems, just so you know.
This is true I have fixed pc's that were damaged from this.

And to the poster that said not having any on the cpu will cause crazy high temps, this is true and not true. If its a cheap sink and depending on the surface of the cpu it might. But if the cpu and sink are both well lapped the difference between having paste and not having any would be so minimal it might not even be a full degree.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about thermal paste usage on a GPU, and others.

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This is true I have fixed pc's that were damaged from this.

And to the poster that said not having any on the cpu will cause crazy high temps, this is true and not true. If its a cheap sink and depending on the surface of the cpu it might. But if the cpu and sink are both well lapped the difference between having paste and not having any would be so minimal it might not even be a full degree.
The OP most likely didn't lap their heatsink/cpu though. Not saying people don't do it, but I'm doubting OP did in this case. It was probably a matter of using a heatsink that had pre-applied paste.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about thermal paste usage on a GPU, and others.

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The OP most likely didn't lap their heatsink/cpu though. Not saying people don't do it, but I'm doubting OP did in this case. It was probably a matter of using a heatsink that had pre-applied paste.
Totally agree. My ex employee used never-seize from the auto parts store on his own systems, it actually seemed to give similar results to as5.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about thermal paste usage on a GPU, and others.

AS5 isn't that great anymore though. TX-2 and MX-2 (IIRC, those are the iterations) are some of the better ones. TX-2 is even cheaper than AS5.

But yeah, I've heard of people doing stuff like that lol.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about thermal paste usage on a GPU, and others.

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The OP most likely didn't lap their heatsink/cpu though. Not saying people don't do it, but I'm doubting OP did in this case. It was probably a matter of using a heatsink that had pre-applied paste.
Correct, I didn't lap it. The heatsink didn't have any preapplied paste on it either. The actual aftermarket cooler itself came in two sections, one part dedicated to the GPU and the other to the various other chips on the card.

Youtube unboxing video may or may not help understand where I'm coming from; at 4:30, the copper-based GPU heatsink is where the entire tube of paste went; at 5:08, the big black heatsink is what touchs the FET chips and VRAM, and has no thermal paste at all.

Opinions please?
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