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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 9th October, 2002, 03:06 PM
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Copper grease - What a difference!

I run a near silent radial CPU fan from quietpc.com so my temps have always suffered a bit as a result....Anyway I was running at about 73C full load until yesterday, when it was recommended to me that I use copper grease instead of the thermal paste that came with the heatsink.

Basically I scratched off all the old crusty thermal paste with a butter knife and coated the bottom of the heatsink with a very thin layer of copper grease...hey presto! My temps are now 60C full load, a saving of 13C :-D

Cheers
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Old 9th October, 2002, 03:33 PM
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Umm 60 is still pretty high. But I see that you have a Duron, so it just might be your onboard thermister reading wrong.

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Old 9th October, 2002, 03:42 PM
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I take it you had a pad of TIM on the HSF base? Try a proper thermal grease, AS3, nanotherm blue etc, should shave off another few degrees!
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Old 9th October, 2002, 04:18 PM
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Butterknife?
Well, try acetone then progressively higher grades of wet sandpaper to say 800 grit at least. Remember that air is an insulator, scratches act as airpockets. Also put a small amount of thermal compound on the sink, rub it in till it dissappears. This will help as well. I'd bet with lapping, a high performance grease (Nanotherm gets my vote) and proper application, you will drop quite a bit more.
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Old 9th October, 2002, 04:30 PM
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The other thing we are overlooking is that he may just have not had a good seat originally. The other ideas expressed are legit. but a proper, level, accurate seating is paramount for any of them to work. Heat Sinks can be tricky to seat properly in the first place. I always try and do it out of the case on a horizontal surface. That way you can get even pressure on the clips, easy access to them, and gravity helps you out.
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Old 9th October, 2002, 06:03 PM
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Glad your getting your temps down, as the guys are saying the cooler the better!":O}
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Old 9th October, 2002, 06:16 PM
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Install the HS while the mainboard is outside of the case. You got it, Southern Man. And it's APITA to remove a mobo just to put a new HSF on it, too!

Maybe I'm blind, but I simply can't see if a HS is on the CPU correctly while the mainboard is installed. With P3's, there was a margin of time to shut down the box if the CPU temperature headed for the sky. AMD K7 processor's? No way, the things will burn up(assuming that the HS doesn't even contact the CPU) long before you can get to the BIOS screen. This is fine if you have an ample supply of CPU's at hand. Some folks don't.

As to copper thermal paste. The stuff works well. HOWEVER, it's both a thermal and electrical conductor. Slathering it willy nilly all over the bottom of a HS is not good methodology. When the HSF gets hot, the copper thermal paste can get lively and decide to visit new places. Places where it is NOT wanted.

I suggest removing the HSF ASAP. Then clean up all traces of the copper glop. You simply don't want it to explore new frontiers. Plain old Radio Shack thermal paste won't work as well as a metal bearing paste. But it's safe. Save up the moolah and order some Arctic Silver. This is an amazing product because it conducts heat---but not electricity, unless it's under extreme pressure that it won't see inside of a PC.

If you get a HS that comes with a square of pre-applied thermal phase change material in the future, remove it with a plastic picnic knife. This won't scratch or mar the business side of an aluminum or copper heatsink. Followed by rubbing alcohol to remove the last pesky traces of the glop. Phase change material works pretty well, but not well enough for OCer's.
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Old 9th October, 2002, 10:41 PM
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The problem with copper grease is the copper.... automotive copper grease (such as I assume you're using) uses very large copper particles. While in the majority of cases you'll have no problem, one time in ten you'll have a gifted copper grain that either dents your heatsink or smashes your core. The rest of the time, the stuff will work fine for a while, but the heat of the core will cause the grease to creep, leaving you with copper bits and air cooling your CPU. Not a nice recipe.

While I don't endorse them per se, the likes of Arctic Silver use micronised silver. This means that even with gifted silver particles, you'll never have enough space for the oil component to flow out due to skin/surface tensions, so have a nice chilly core at all times.

Actually, though, if you use thermal paste properly, it makes little difference whether you use AS3, Nanotherm or el cheapo silicone grease.
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Old 11th October, 2002, 10:10 PM
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I use copper grease and have done for at least 2 years, never had a problem.
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Old 12th October, 2002, 06:30 AM
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Any method of handling the pesky CPU/HS interface that works to one's satisfaction---who's to argue? He says potato, I say tomahto. We're all dust in the end.
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Old 12th October, 2002, 01:52 PM
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While I agree that copper grease could be conductive, I don't think I'll be removing it. As long as your'e careful not to go mad with the stuff (a very thin layer will do) it seems to be very effective. Also Loop's experiences with copper grease have been so far excellent, as I have witnessed myself. At £6.00 a throw for a massive tub of the stuff, I'd say its much more cost effective than "proper" thermal pastes such as arctic silver.

Temps wise, I could go much lower. I have my PC sat inside a closed cupboard to reduce the noise even further (Other wise I wouldnt be able to sleep with it on ) When it's out of the cupboard, the CPU temps fall to about 53 full load.

Cheers
John
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Old 13th October, 2002, 12:18 AM
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Hi,Slack. there's an excellent article at www.arcticsilver.com site on the whole subject,and if you are worried about conductive properties,or the mess silver can produce,try their alumina compound.
i got it in UK from www.grafixcomputers.com for £5.45 inc VAT and postage.
BTW what are you planning to do with your "cost-effective, massive tub" - set up a countrywide,cooling franchise? :-D
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Old 16th October, 2002, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by loop
I use copper grease and have done for at least 2 years, never had a problem.
Yup, I've been using the same copper grease as loop - the heatsink has been seated on my duron for at least 6 months, and the CPU temps are usually between 55 and 60c (the heatsink is for an s370 and is TINY but its all that will fit) and I've had no creep problems... just don't put gobloads on! a tiny blob is enough, i usually get a little bit on the end of a screwdriver and dab it in the center of the core, seating the sink forces it outwards and makes a good job if making sure there are no air pockets
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