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Best thermal paste

Soldato
Joined
28 May 2007
Posts
18,580
AS5 is engineered so that as long as you put a reasonable amount in a blob or line it will structure itself under mounting pressure and thermal cycles to achieve optimal coverage, or as close as possible, with imperfect surfaces - hand spreading works against the way this paste works and risks having too much or too little where needed or not. On larger surfaces and/or with complex layouts below the IHS it isn't able to properly structure itself and you will need to manually spread it as a second best option - in which case another paste is a better option. On very flat surfaces with a high quality finish it matters less as as per the documentation all you need is a light haze of paste in those circumstances. It is all documented in the product datasheet/notes and promotional material.

Not in my experience. You can’t define terms like “reasonable blob” but you can judge the amount when spreading across and area and notice any high or low spots which will greatly impact performance.

Any structure is at micron scale so I’m not sure it matters a great deal. I’d imagine any disturbance spreading caused would be difficult to measure. If I had to hazard I’d say the directions are there to avoid air being trapped between the surfaces.
 
Soldato
Joined
30 Dec 2021
Posts
3,641
Location
Yorkshire
That is the whole idea of the product. One and done solution and provides great temps. (The phase change material)

doesn't really tho over standard paste
and if you have to reseat you cooler for any reason... you have to buy a new one.

on the 6950xt it was a thing, replacing with MX5 would drop the hotspot temp
 
Soldato
Joined
30 Jul 2012
Posts
2,774
doesn't really tho over standard paste
and if you have to reseat you cooler for any reason... you have to buy a new one.

on the 6950xt it was a thing, replacing with MX5 would drop the hotspot temp
On direct die it is unbeatable as it avoids pump out. I have changed my mind about using it on a heat spreader, it will not provide any better temps than normal pastes, but it will be a one and done solution if you do not need to move the heat sink, as mentioned above.
 
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Soldato
Joined
30 Jan 2012
Posts
2,522
Location
Stoke On Trent
I'm using Hydronaut on my 5800X3D/Corsair AIO, spread evenly with the tip of my finger, then i wipe the outer edges of the chip around less than half a millimetre as that tiny gap is filled when the pressure is applied.

Temps right now are 30c Idle and after just doing a CPU-Z bench test it maxed at 66c.. (this is 4450Mhz on all cores) similar temps to when i use Fast preset in OBS for streaming. Mid 50's playing DayZ.

Very happy with this solution after seeing other 5800X3D owners talk about much higher temps. I use MSI Kombo Strike 3 setting with a -0.0875v offset in the BIOS, which helps a lot.
 
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Associate
Joined
13 Sep 2010
Posts
2,070
Have no idea what the absolute best is, but I've been using MX4 for years and it's always been fine, plus dirt cheap (just coming to the end of an 8g tube that I've used on mine and friends builds since 2017, will probably buy a 20g for £15 next time around which will likely last me until almost retirement age!).

Most of that has been AM4 builds though, I have no experience with any recent Intel chips, which I understand run a lot hotter.
 
Man of Honour
Joined
13 Oct 2006
Posts
91,675
second this. its good and cheap and thats what you need

As before I'd caveat that in that with a cooler running chip you likely won't see a difference between MX-4 and MX-6 but on hotter running chips while they'll have similar idle temperatures MX-6 can result in a couple of C lower load temperatures which on stuff like the higher 13th and 14th gen tiers can make a critical difference in whether you can sustain boost clocks or not especially if using air cooling.
 
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