Cheap thermal pastes any good?


Ian

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I'm building a project which requires me to cool down lots of large aluminium heatsinks, which requires a lot of thermal paste. I've got a little bit of Arctic Silver thermal paste, but it's really expensive to buy in large quantities for bigger jobs.

I had a hunt around, and AliExpress has GD900 thermal paste for a fraction of the cost. I'm pretty sure it'll do a decent job (with minimal difference), but I wondered if anyone here has experience of how cheap thermal pastes perform?
 
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floppybootstomp

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I've mostly used Arctic Silver for computer CPUs but when I've used the pastes that come with coolers - Noctua and Coolermaster for instance - they've done a good job.

For large areas, such as in audio projects, I've used a large hypodermic type container of thermal compound from RS which also does a fine job.

Arctic Silver may be overhyped and is certainly too expensive for bigger projects. And remember, the idea is to spead it very thin, it is not applied to join two surfaces, merely to fill in the microscopic indentations in each surface.
 

V_R

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I doubt its a huge difference tbh.

If you were overclocking to within an inch of the CPU's life and you needed to squeeze every last ounce of cooling performance out then yeah, maybe. But if your that close to your limits then maybe you should back of the clocks a little anyway!

But for everyday applications, I'd say get which ever one suits your needs at the time.
 
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Ian

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For large areas, such as in audio projects, I've used a large hypodermic type container of thermal compound from RS which also does a fine job.

That sounds similar to what I've bought, so hopefully it'll do the trick. I found a tube of AS Ceramique that I will use to compare how the two perform, just out of curiosity.


I tried thermal tape/pads at first - as it keeps the heatsink in place which is ideal for this project, but the cooling performance was quite a lot worse than some really old left-over thermal paste I had. I think it may be because I need to get temps down to -26C that it didn't perform as well (I will happily use thermal tape on most electronics components).

I doubt its a huge difference tbh.

Yep, I suspect you're right - I can't imagine that GD900 can be all that different to the stuff that's 10x the price. It may work 99% as well, as that's good enough for me!
 

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