Bulk thermal paste? Favorites?

duronboy

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Feb 1, 2003
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549
I need paste. I figure I may as well get a fair bit more of it than I need for my current PC project as I have some LED lighting projects lined up that will need paste. Some of these lighting projects could be fairly high-power, outdoor, and present more heat per MM than a typical desktop CPU.

Looks like chinese GD900 and arctic MX-2, MX-4 are the two contenders for sub $1/g. Arctic is like 66 cents and GD900 is just 15 cents. Any opinions on MX-2 vs MX-4? The quality control of the GD900 is likely pretty poor and as such reviews are all over the place. Not unlike some of the better known brands, but I think this may be more due to the differences in review methodology?

At less than $2 per gram we have Noctua Noctua NT-H1 at $1.5/g for 10g. Hard to go wrong with Noctua. Also arctic silver 5 which looks like is about $1.5/g.

Reeven RT-Pro is supposed to be a good value paste, but I can't find any anywhere, not even on the manufacturer's site, or any of the links they provide.

Scythe, at about $2/g is, according to Tom's Hardware roundup, decent paste. But as they say it's what's bundled with Scythe coolers, it's unclear if their Thermal Elixer 2 on Amazon is the same stuff Tom's tested.

Any other options?

Any anecdotes on your favorite paste's longevity? I wish I remembered what the hell I put under my Thermalright Silver arrow 11 years ago. I haven't noticed a performance difference in all this time. It's either what came with the cooler or arctic silver 5. I didn't OC very long so max temps were mostly in the 50s.
 

daglesj

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I just buy the 20G tubes of MX-4 but now I get MX-5.

Nowadays it's more the luck of the draw how you get it all put back and tightened that makes a bigger difference than the pastes themselves IMO.
 

kirbyrj

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Feb 1, 2005
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30,100
For the price of MX4, I wouldn't look elsewhere unless you wanted to try the GD900. I'm almost 100% sure you're not going to see double the performance for double the price once you go above $0.66/g.

I don't have an opinion on MX2 vs MX4 as I've always just had MX4 around since I bought a big tube a couple years ago. Prior to that, I used AS5, and that's ok, but MX4 is a lot easier to use and cleanup.
 

duronboy

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Feb 1, 2003
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Can't be that bad since it's Arctic Silver, but not too many roundups or reviews of multiple pastes include it.
 

chameleoneel

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Can't be that bad since it's Arctic Silver, but not too many roundups or reviews of multiple pastes include it.
Its an old product. It used to be my go-to, between like 2002 - 2012. I even used it to re-paste a PS3.

IIRC, its a degree or two behind MX4. But, its supposed to last a long time---longer than some other pastes.
 

duronboy

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Feb 1, 2003
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Do you know where they say that? That's it's supposed to last longer? Looked at the product page, but maybe I'm missing it.

I did notice where they say AS5 takes 200hrs to "burn in" at which point the temps were supposed to be several degrees better. If that's true, then it could be pretty amazing compared to most pastes, if given the time.
 

duronboy

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I think I'll probably get MX-2 because price/performance is better.

I don't know if I'm an arctic silver fanboy, I know that's a thing. But if it works it works.

Although it's clear Arctic Silver stopped innovating. I think Arctic let everyone down when that youtuber made their own thermal adhesive that just spanked the crap out of the arctic silver. Turned out the arctic silver was only barely better than just straight epoxy! They could have made something better at this point. Literally anything. But apparently they just make the same old formula. Sad.
 

AlexisRO

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Feb 27, 2014
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Arctic is good. For the prices you're posting here it's the clear winner.

At some point used MX2 and 4 back to back. Both were good but i kinda liked the 2 more just because it was more easy to spread (5 is somewhere in between them on ease of spread). If that's not an issue for you go with the 4. But yeah as other already stated the differences between good TIM's these days are more academic than anything.

If money is no issue you can go with the Noctua or Thermal Grizzly.
 

duronboy

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Feb 1, 2003
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Any one with an opinion on Gelid GC Extreme? It's topped a couple of charts I've seen and they offer 10g for $22 on amazon. Might give that a whirl.
 

motqalden

[H]ard|DCOTM x5
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I have been pretty happy with my mx5. Have used half a tube of 20g so far. Spreads really nice compared to mx4.
 

duronboy

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Feb 1, 2003
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I kept reading that mx 4 had lower viscosity than mx 5? One poster on reddit is quoted as saying mx 5 is think as hell.

I guess it's not too bad.

 

Nenu

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Apr 28, 2007
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Any one with an opinion on Gelid GC Extreme? It's topped a couple of charts I've seen and they offer 10g for $22 on amazon. Might give that a whirl.
Yes, great stuff.
Its pretty thick and pumps out much slower than pastes like MX-2 or Arctic silver.
I've used it on CPUs and GPUs with very good results.

You dont need to apply it thick unless you have an uneven surface on your heatsink - which increases pump out.
A very thin sliver is all thats needed.
To do this, warm the paste by mashing a small blob a lot with the provided plastic flat edge tool on a none absorbent surface (ie metal or plastic), scraping it up to a blob again and mashing it more.
Another flat plastic edge may be needed to gather up the paste ready to be mashed again.
Then drag the paste with the flat surface of the tool along the CPU/GPU.

Note:
I didnt mean only use the flat edge to drag the paste, put the paste at the flat edge and flatten it with the flat surface of the tool and drag it across the core with only a slight angle or no angle at the flat edge.
This will give you a very thin coating if the paste is warm enough.
Repeat in strips if it cant cover the whole area.
If it looks like a corner or an edge of the core has no paste, repeat the process from there or reverse the direction.
Works very well for me and uses little paste.
 
Last edited:

duronboy

Gawd
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
549
Came across this accidentally while researching thermal pad replacement. Seems Gelid GC Extreme could be better in the short-term, but have a shorter life-span than MX-4?

 

Nenu

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20,185
Seems Gelid GC Extreme could be better in the short-term, but have a shorter life-span than MX-4?

Not sure if this helps you but my 1080ti had GC Etreme applied about a month after I bought it when changing the cooler to an Arctic Accelero Xtreme III in April 2017.
It still performs just as well and has been in use 24/7 since then.
Thats over 5 years so far with no sign of a problem, good enough?
 

duronboy

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Feb 1, 2003
Messages
549
Could be the mining is what brings on the alleged breakdown. I assume you're not mining.
 

Dan_D

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Feb 9, 2002
Messages
61,200
1658502397859.png
 

Nenu

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Could be the mining is what brings on the alleged breakdown. I assume you're not mining.
It was my main gaming machine until Nov 2020.
Now its still used for security cameras, browsing and games that work ok on a 1080ti.
 

Falkentyne

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 19, 2000
Messages
1,844
I need paste. I figure I may as well get a fair bit more of it than I need for my current PC project as I have some LED lighting projects lined up that will need paste. Some of these lighting projects could be fairly high-power, outdoor, and present more heat per MM than a typical desktop CPU.

Looks like chinese GD900 and arctic MX-2, MX-4 are the two contenders for sub $1/g. Arctic is like 66 cents and GD900 is just 15 cents. Any opinions on MX-2 vs MX-4? The quality control of the GD900 is likely pretty poor and as such reviews are all over the place. Not unlike some of the better known brands, but I think this may be more due to the differences in review methodology?

At less than $2 per gram we have Noctua Noctua NT-H1 at $1.5/g for 10g. Hard to go wrong with Noctua. Also arctic silver 5 which looks like is about $1.5/g.

Reeven RT-Pro is supposed to be a good value paste, but I can't find any anywhere, not even on the manufacturer's site, or any of the links they provide.

Scythe, at about $2/g is, according to Tom's Hardware roundup, decent paste. But as they say it's what's bundled with Scythe coolers, it's unclear if their Thermal Elixer 2 on Amazon is the same stuff Tom's tested.

Any other options?

Any anecdotes on your favorite paste's longevity? I wish I remembered what the hell I put under my Thermalright Silver arrow 11 years ago. I haven't noticed a performance difference in all this time. It's either what came with the cooler or arctic silver 5. I didn't OC very long so max temps were mostly in the 50s.

Best bulk paste is either GD-900 or GD-007 from GD's own official web store (to avoid getting any counterfeits)
https://ourgd.aliexpress.com/store/1100612092
 

duronboy

Gawd
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
549
MSNancy's the official store, huh. I mean, why not. lol

GD900 4.8 w/m
GD900-1 6 w/m
GD007 6.8 w/m

007 even has a gold label. Maybe it's orange. Maybe it's Maybellene.
 
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