Best heat sink compound?

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by DaveC, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. DaveC

    DaveC Guest

    White "tooth" paste kind, or clear greasy "hair stuff" kind?
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    DaveC

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    DaveC, Dec 1, 2003
    #1
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  2. In article <>,
    mentioned...
    > White "tooth" paste kind, or clear greasy "hair stuff" kind?



    Most of the stuff I've seeen recenlty uses neither. They use a piece
    of gray rubbery fabric, which looks like it's pre-cut, with holes etc.
    in it. The T's/FETs/diodes are clamped to it with a springy clamp, so
    that as they heat up, the parts can move somewhat. I like that idea,
    because I've had to replace devices that failed because they were no
    longer making good contact with the heatsink. Some of the worst
    failures were the ones that used nylon screws. Once they get loose,
    the device gets hot and melts the screw, and then it's all over very
    quickly. That's probably why many equipment makers put loktite thread
    sealant on the screws and nuts to prevent the loosening.

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    Watson A.Name - Watt Sun, Dark Remover, Dec 1, 2003
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  3. DaveC

    cpemma Guest

    DaveC wrote:
    > White "tooth" paste kind, or clear greasy "hair stuff" kind?


    Unless you're on forced-air cooling there isn't a major difference, as the
    junction-package and sink-air thermal resistances are so much more than the
    package-HS figure. Better to make sure the mating surfaces are both flat,
    especially round the mounting holes. I think the white goo creeps less so is
    cleaner long-term than silicone grease, silver types are snake-oil in most
    applications.

    Heatsinks-On Semiconductor AN1040-D:
    https://www.onsemi.com/pub/Collateral/AN1040-D.PDF worth a read

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    Correct address is cpemma at mexbro dot co dot uk
    cpemma, Dec 1, 2003
    #3
  4. This question is timely for me. I'm about to build my own (first time) and
    have bought an Intel P4 2.4 /heatsink pack. Having researched a fair bit
    before starting the job, I discovered thermal paste. Is it really necessary?
    I don't intend to overclock, so will the thin film already attached to the
    base of the heatsink do the job adequately?
    Miles

    "DaveC" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > White "tooth" paste kind, or clear greasy "hair stuff" kind?
    > --
    > DaveC
    >
    > This is an invalid return address
    > Please reply in the news group
    >
    Miles Golding, Dec 1, 2003
    #4
  5. "Miles Golding" <> wrote in message
    news:bqfkqe$j2m$...
    > This question is timely for me. I'm about to build my own (first time) and
    > have bought an Intel P4 2.4 /heatsink pack. Having researched a fair bit
    > before starting the job, I discovered thermal paste. Is it really
    > necessary?
    >
    > I don't intend to overclock, so will the thin film already attached to the
    > base of the heatsink do the job adequately?
    > Miles



    If there is a thin rubbery film already there on the heatsink surface, then
    you don't need to add anything else, it will work fine. But if the heatsink
    is bare (i.e., a plain metal surface), then it's absolutely necessary to use
    some kind of thermal paste between heatsink and CPU. No matter how smooth
    the surfaces are, there will always be small imperfections and particles
    that will not allow a good thermal path between the two. That's the purpose
    of the paste. But in your case it's not necessary as your heatsink already
    has thermally conductive film on it.

    cheers,
    Costas
    _________________________________________________
    Costas Vlachos Email:
    SPAM-TRAPPED: Please remove "-X-" before replying
    Costas Vlachos, Dec 1, 2003
    #5
  6. DaveC

    Jim Weir Guest

    You will get many answers to this, and as usual, "best" is a function of several
    variables.

    However, if you are out in East Undershirt hicksville some day and just HAVE to
    get the job done, go down to the drugstore and get a small tube of that white
    stuff you rub on your nose in the summertime (zinc oxide). It isn't the BEST
    thermal conductor you can find, but it will do a fine job in most instances.

    BTW, the "thin rubber fiber" that some other folks are talking about are from a
    company called Bergquist if I'm not mistaken. Expensive, but damned good
    thermal conductivity.

    Jim
    Jim Weir, Dec 1, 2003
    #6
  7. DaveC

    DaveC Guest

    On Mon, 1 Dec 2003 7:37:23 -0800, Floyd Davidson wrote
    (in message <>):

    > NAPA Item# 765-2569
    > Copper Anti-Seize Lubriant


    and you recommend this as a head-sink compound for semiconductors?
    --
    DaveC

    This is an invalid return address
    Please reply in the news group
    DaveC, Dec 1, 2003
    #7
  8. "Michael A. Terrell" () writes:
    > Guy Macon wrote:
    >>
    >> DaveC <> says...
    >>
    >> >White "tooth" paste kind, or clear greasy "hair stuff" kind?

    >>
    >> Neither.
    >>
    >> http://www.ksbrainstorms.com/index.php?pagename=Arctic_Silver_5_Review
    >> http://www.xbox-connection.com/hostedsites/hotlinesrc//reviews/arcticsilver5.php
    >> http://www.overklokking.no/annet/arctic_silver_5/eindex.html
    >> http://overclockersclub.com/reviews/articsilvercermaiquereview.php
    >> http://www.modsynergy.com/Review 109.htm
    >>
    >> --
    >> Guy Macon, Electronics Engineer & Project Manager for hire.
    >> Remember Doc Brown from the _Back to the Future_ movies? Do you
    >> have an "impossible" engineering project that only someone like
    >> Doc Brown can solve? My resume is at http://www.guymacon.com/

    >
    > Make sure you use all the other over hyped crap so it doesn't get
    > lonely.


    Considering the question, and the large cross-posting, I kind of
    expected a computer newsgroup to be included. And the threads over
    there about heatskink compound can be somewhat amusing. They range
    from "Do I really need heatsink compound" to debate over the brand name
    of the compound.

    It strikes me that it's right up there with the audio consumers
    and gold plated cables and ten dollar capacitors.

    Michael
    Michael Black, Dec 1, 2003
    #8
  9. DaveC

    John Larkin Guest

    On Mon, 1 Dec 2003 0:10:21 -0800, DaveC <> wrote:

    >White "tooth" paste kind, or clear greasy "hair stuff" kind?


    The white thermal compound stuff is better. For serious heat sinking,

    both surfaces must be flat; *very* flat. Most extruded heat
    sinks aren't unless they are machined after extrusion.

    don't use an insulator. If you must, use 0.5 mil
    hard anodize on the heat sink.

    *don't* use a silicone sil-pad or phase-change stuff.
    They are both awful thermally.

    Apply high, uniform mounting pressure. Belleville washers
    and clamps are good.

    Make sure the heatsink baseplate is thick enough to spread
    the heat laterally; otherwise there will be a hot spot under
    the device and all this effort is mostly wasted. Use a copper
    heat spreader if needed.

    If this is for a CPU, forget the whole thing.

    John
    John Larkin, Dec 1, 2003
    #9
  10. DaveC

    John Larkin Guest

    On Mon, 1 Dec 2003 15:05:10 +0000 (UTC), "Costas Vlachos"
    <> wrote:

    >"Miles Golding" <> wrote in message
    >news:bqfkqe$j2m$...
    >> This question is timely for me. I'm about to build my own (first time) and
    >> have bought an Intel P4 2.4 /heatsink pack. Having researched a fair bit
    >> before starting the job, I discovered thermal paste. Is it really
    >> necessary?
    >>
    >> I don't intend to overclock, so will the thin film already attached to the
    >> base of the heatsink do the job adequately?
    >> Miles

    >
    >
    >If there is a thin rubbery film already there on the heatsink surface, then
    >you don't need to add anything else, it will work fine. But if the heatsink
    >is bare (i.e., a plain metal surface), then it's absolutely necessary to use
    >some kind of thermal paste between heatsink and CPU. No matter how smooth
    >the surfaces are, there will always be small imperfections and particles
    >that will not allow a good thermal path between the two. That's the purpose
    >of the paste. But in your case it's not necessary as your heatsink already
    >has thermally conductive film on it.
    >
    >cheers,
    >Costas
    >_



    The 'thin' rubber films are typically 5-10 mils thick, which is huge
    in this game. They are rotten thermal conductors, even if you believe
    their published specs. They dominate thermal resistance except for the
    wimpiest of heat sinks.

    John


    ________________________________________________
    >Costas Vlachos Email:
    >SPAM-TRAPPED: Please remove "-X-" before replying
    >
    John Larkin, Dec 1, 2003
    #10
  11. DaveC

    Ed Anderson Guest

    DaveC <> wrote in news:0001HW.BBF0376D003D7AA4F0080600
    @news.individual.net:

    > White "tooth" paste kind, or clear greasy "hair stuff" kind?



    I use thermally conductive glue or arctic silver compound.
    Ed Anderson, Dec 1, 2003
    #11
  12. "John Larkin" <> wrote in
    message news:...
    >
    > The 'thin' rubber films are typically 5-10 mils thick, which is huge
    > in this game. They are rotten thermal conductors, even if you believe
    > their published specs. They dominate thermal resistance except for the
    > wimpiest of heat sinks.
    >
    > John




    Agreed, I don't like them either... I'd avoid using them for any serious
    heatsinking work. But for standard CPU usage they seem to be adequate. If
    the guy isn't going to overclock anyway, then why bother at all? But yes,
    they are to be avoided for serious work. What I use for power BJTs/MOSFETs
    etc., is good quality thermal paste and clips to ensure even pressure. And I
    try to insulate the heatsink instead of the device(s) if possible.

    Costas
    Costas Vlachos, Dec 1, 2003
    #12
  13. DaveC

    DarkMatter Guest

    On Mon, 1 Dec 2003 14:56:14 +0000 (UTC), "Miles Golding"
    <> Gave us:

    >This question is timely for me. I'm about to build my own (first time) and
    >have bought an Intel P4 2.4 /heatsink pack. Having researched a fair bit
    >before starting the job, I discovered thermal paste. Is it really necessary?
    >I don't intend to overclock, so will the thin film already attached to the
    >base of the heatsink do the job adequately?



    Yes, it will. Quite adequately, in fact.
    DarkMatter, Dec 2, 2003
    #13
  14. DaveC

    DarkMatter Guest

    On Mon, 01 Dec 2003 06:37:23 -0900, Floyd Davidson <>
    Gave us:

    >First, if you saw that much difference, then it is *obvious* that
    >the initial installation with OEM heat sink compound was flawed.
    >10C is *way* too much!



    Exactly. 2 or 3 degrees is the most one will see, at best.

    Hardly worth the price or the benefit.
    DarkMatter, Dec 2, 2003
    #14
  15. DaveC

    DarkMatter Guest

    On Mon, 01 Dec 2003 15:44:04 +0000, Guy Macon
    <http://www.guymacon.com> Gave us:

    >
    >Point well taken. The OEM heat sink compound was applied at a
    >Compaq factory in 1996, and I replaced it in 2003, so age is
    >almost certainly a factor.



    It's a quad CPU unit from over 7 years ago? HAHAHA!

    The CPUs of today exhibit more heat than those old suckers do.

    Bet my Dually beats it on the benchmark too!
    DarkMatter, Dec 2, 2003
    #15
  16. DaveC

    DarkMatter Guest

    On Mon, 01 Dec 2003 08:11:23 -0800, Jim Weir <> Gave
    us:

    >
    >BTW, the "thin rubber fiber" that some other folks are talking about are from a
    >company called Bergquist if I'm not mistaken. Expensive, but damned good
    >thermal conductivity.


    They are impregnated with the silicates for gap filling and actually
    have better dissipation numbers than pastes do.
    DarkMatter, Dec 2, 2003
    #16
  17. DaveC

    DarkMatter Guest

    On Mon, 1 Dec 2003 8:12:04 -0800, DaveC <> Gave us:

    >On Mon, 1 Dec 2003 7:37:23 -0800, Floyd Davidson wrote
    >(in message <>):
    >
    >> NAPA Item# 765-2569
    >> Copper Anti-Seize Lubriant

    >
    >and you recommend this as a head-sink compound for semiconductors?



    You have obviously not been around very long.

    The discussion is centering around a silver based media, so if
    conductivity is what has your bloomers in a bunch, it is not an issue.

    The material he mentions isn't a lube, it's a spray used to seal
    high pressure metal gaskets, like a head gasket.

    It works absolutely flawlessly.
    DarkMatter, Dec 2, 2003
    #17
  18. DaveC

    DarkMatter Guest

    On 1 Dec 2003 16:34:34 GMT, (Michael Black)
    Gave us:

    >It strikes me that it's right up there with the audio consumers
    >and gold plated cables and ten dollar capacitors.



    No. There are actually measurable differences in this case.

    The thing is whether those minuscule differences are worth the extra
    cost.

    To me... they are not. I know that my *normal* heat sink compound
    is just fine for the job.

    Hey... look at toilet paper. To me, the industrial/institutional
    variety is the best value, as it has the most paper on the roll. and
    is quite adequate in the "softness" realm. Consumer TP is designed to
    be used up quickly on a loosely filled roll, that has little on it,
    marked with "Extra Fluffy" or some such stupidity. Consumers are not
    the best analysts of quality, unless challenged. THEN they wake the
    **** up... maybe.

    All it is is another way for them to sell us LESS for MORE.

    The heat sink cream is better... about one or two percent better.
    Hardly worth the cost.

    If I OC my PC, it will have an active cooling method employed on it.
    DarkMatter, Dec 2, 2003
    #18
  19. DaveC

    DarkMatter Guest

    On Mon, 01 Dec 2003 08:35:25 -0800, John Larkin
    <> Gave us:

    >
    > *don't* use a silicone sil-pad or phase-change stuff.
    > They are both awful thermally.


    Yer an idiot.
    DarkMatter, Dec 2, 2003
    #19
  20. DaveC

    DarkMatter Guest

    On Mon, 1 Dec 2003 18:24:28 +0000 (UTC), "Costas Vlachos"
    <> Gave us:

    >
    >Agreed, I don't like them either... I'd avoid using them for any serious
    >heatsinking work.


    They ARE in use, across the industry... for "Serious heat sinking
    work". Doh!

    > But for standard CPU usage they seem to be adequate. If
    >the guy isn't going to overclock anyway, then why bother at all? But yes,
    >they are to be avoided for serious work. What I use for power BJTs/MOSFETs
    >etc., is good quality thermal paste and clips to ensure even pressure. And I
    >try to insulate the heatsink instead of the device(s) if possible.


    Hahaha... The industry uses them, on a regular basis. Large and
    small package form factors, large and small wattages.

    You are both fucking nuts.
    DarkMatter, Dec 2, 2003
    #20
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