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View Full Version : Best Thermal Paste EVER



HyperMatrix
03-14-2013, 02:36 AM
Ok so I had read up on different thermal paste/compound/interfaces and I decided on getting the Indigo Xtreme. I had my doubts as I had heard it was hard to get it to do its phase change or "reflow." Essentially it is a piece of metal that you stick between your CPU and your Heatsink, turn off your fan/pump, let the CPU burn at 90-105c for a few minutes. That metal will melt, and create a perfect thermal link between your CPU and your Heatsink.

Up until now, I had been using Arctic Silver 5, which is a very highly recommended product. There are definitely some better ones out there, but this is still a pretty darn good one. Here is a picture I took of me running IntelBurnTest at 5GHz with Hyperthreading, at 1.46v.

900

So I went about installing the Indigo Xtreme. Was a little worried that I didn't get my reflow done properly as my heatsink is extremely tight, not giving it room to properly flow after melting. I figured I'd test it by turning on my pump instead of removing the heatsink and looking at it with my eyes. Here ius what I ended up with:

899

Yes. You're seeing that correctly. From 79c average to 68c average. An 11 degree Celsius temperature drop average running the same test, for the same duration. Mind you, this is intelburntest. A ridiculous test that heats up beyond what Prime95 would do. Prime95 on the In-Place Large FFT test came in at an average of 63c. And running the Prime95 Blend test came in at an average of just 60c.

So I'm definitely very excited to see these results and thought I'd share!

HyperMatrix
03-14-2013, 02:45 AM
I seem to have messed things up when I tightened the cpu block afterwards. Not sure how/why that would affect it after the reflow. Will test more and follow up.

Sneaky
03-14-2013, 03:27 AM
The Indigo extreme hardens after reflow, not sure of it's exact compound but it is like a thin sheet of metal once hardened.
It is so effective because when it melts, it flows into all the indents/pits/undulations of the CPU and Block you are using
creating an almost perfect fusion between the CPU and Block.

You are not supposed to touch the block once reflow is complete, this includes tightening the mounts, as doing so can 'break'
the contact between the Indigo Extreme and CPU/Block.

I have always wanted to use it but I tend to be swapping and changing stuff all the time and it is pretty expensive per application.
Seriously considering it now after seeing your results though ... very nice ;)

HyperMatrix
03-14-2013, 03:34 AM
Issue resolved! I was concerned that maybe the indigo xtreme did not do a proper reflow the first time around since I could no longer get temps under control. So I decided to lift up the heatsink and see what all the fuss was about. I was pretty impressed with what I saw....

901

The metal that melts is inside that blue pouch. You place that over top of your CPU, and clamp down your Heatsink. As you can see...the imprint of the writing on the intel CPU are visible on this thermal material! So the reflow was successful.

So what was the problem? Well...changing the tightness of the heatsink ended up damaging the perfect contact that had been formed. Luckily, I had ordered a two-pack of Indigo Xtreme as I had heard people had trouble with installation. As did I! Simply because it's not a common method that most people would have experience with. So I went to work with the second one. It was much easier this time as I fully understood how it worked. I was still worried that maybe the temperatures I got last time were a fluke. Fortunately that was pointless worrying on my part. With the new/better application, going through the same test I was now 1 degree Celsius lower than what I had before. I am back to being absolutely amazed by this product.

It's not the easiest thermal material to install....but if you have an aftermarket cpu cooler worth its weight...you're not getting maximum use out of it if you don't have good contact for thermal transfer. Get this! It's not expensive, per se. More expensive than other options. But not expensive compared to other cooling solutions. I think I paid $18 for the 2-pack which includes 2 pads, 4 cleaning cloths, bottle of cleaning solution, and instructions which were good enough to get me through it!

I'm more impressed by this than I was with my water cooling setup. It was really incomplete until this was added to it.

foana
03-14-2013, 03:47 AM
Impressive results indeed. How easy was it to clean the cpu and block after the first run?

HyperMatrix
03-14-2013, 03:57 AM
Impressive results indeed. How easy was it to clean the cpu and block after the first run?

the middle parts just peeled off. The material feels like a plastic/metal hybrid. It's stretchy, slightly. Small parts on the very edges were not easy *at all* to remove. I ended up gently scraping them off the heatsink and the cpu with a flatheat screw driver. I'd recommend using a very fine 2000+ grit sandpaper though. Will do a better job with less damage. The cleaner it comes with works great as well. I wasn't too worried after I saw the imprint of the cpu data on the thermal material. I figured any scratches would easily be filled in on the second try. I was right.

As for temperatures...the beauty of overclocking...because this new thermal material helps keep the CPU so much cooler, I was able to drop the voltage and still remain stable. This means at 5GHz with Hyperthreading enabled, running Prime95 for a couple minutes now, the average max temperature across all cores is just 62 degrees Celsius. And they're averaging 57 Degrees Celsius.

Shadman
03-14-2013, 04:01 AM
I wasn't aware of this stuff...I'm definitely impressed! I'll keep this for later ;)

HyperMatrix
03-14-2013, 04:50 AM
And now I'm upset again. This thing may be a little too sensitive to movement. I didn't touch the cpu block but simply lifting the computer and placing it back on its feet sent the temperatures back up. While it was on its side from the original placement, the temps were beautiful. I'm wondering if that means I should have tightened the block even more before allowing for reflow, or if something else is up...

Edit: Nevermind. I was being stupid. I forgot I had a kink in my water loop that I was waiting to fix at the same time as the gtx titan water blocks. When I sat my computer on its side and pulled the pump out there was no kink. And I forgot to adjust it when I stood the case back up.

That was a close call though...as I went about re-tightening the cpu block. Could have messed it up like I did the first one. All is well. Temps back to exactly what they were before. No more complaints from this guy. :P

BlackOctagon
03-14-2013, 05:44 AM
Fascinating! Is this TIM just for CPUs that are on water or does it work on air too?

HyperMatrix
03-14-2013, 05:55 AM
Fascinating! Is this TIM just for CPUs that are on water or does it work on air too?

It works on everything. It allows the heatsink to transfer more of the heat away from the CPU. How much that translates into temperature drops depends on how well the fan can cooldown your heatsink. I think when I switch to the dual-pump reservoir I may see another 2 or 3 degrees drop in temps. All in all I never imagined I could get these kinds of temps at the voltage I'm running this chip at.

BlackOctagon
03-14-2013, 06:54 AM
Ah ok thanks. Probably not that good for me then unless I get a better cooler fan. I'm just on a CM 212 Evo, which has a reasonable HSF for the price but not the best fan out there

Gazza
03-14-2013, 07:18 AM
Liquid pro is the best as far as I know in terms of both performance and ease.

It's basically just pure metal particles, it comes in a tube and you put a bit on your CPU then squash it down to even out then burn it in.

It's a right mess to clean up afterwards though, but of course we don't care about that :)

HyperMatrix
03-14-2013, 07:25 AM
Liquid pro is the best as far as I know in terms of both performance and ease.

It's basically just pure metal particles, it comes in a tube and you put a bit on your CPU then squash it down to even out then burn it in.

It's a right mess to clean up afterwards though, but of course we don't care about that :)

coolab's Liquid ultra is what I have under my IHS after delidding. But for contact on the outside with the heatsink from every single bench and review I looked at, this blew away the competition.

Scopey86
03-20-2013, 02:12 AM
I've used indigo xtreme before and like you the first time I had an issue. For me though the reflow wasn't adequate (should have left it a bit longer maybe) and peeling it off was annoying. Second time was just fine, and temps were great. However, the temps were not very far off from the Prolimatech PK-1 I was using before that (within 2 or 3 C). When it came time for me to replace the h100i I had (RMA for LEDs), I went back to PK-1 and am still very happy. That stuff is really good though no arguments there. Just don't know if the price difference, limited quantity (2 mounts for 20 bucks), and installation procedure warrant 2-3 C lower than some of the competition.

HyperMatrix
03-22-2013, 06:56 AM
It really just comes down to what you're looking to do. If I were using an h100 I wouldn't care and would just use a regular high end paste. In fact, that is what I was doing. But I figured if I'm spending hundreds on a water cooling setup, and can get even 3c lower by simply spending $20, I'd say heck yes. The cooler you run, the more stable your OC. The less power it requires. And the more bragging rights. :P gotta say I love being at 60c on a 5ghz 3770k during load.