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Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Silver AS5-3.5G Thermal Compound 3.5-Gram Tube thermal grease paste Made With 99.9% Pure Silver
- 99.9% pure micronized silver
- Non-electrically conductive
- Will not separate, run, migrate or bleed
- Thermal conductance: >350 000W/m2 degreesC (0.001 inch layer)
- Easy to apply and remove
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Fast forward to a month ago (August 2018). Have about a year old custom PC. PC freezes during a stress test just after overclocking the CPU. First mistake: I used a stress test that tests the CPU and GPU, so it makes it difficult to determine if it's due to the CPU overclock, the motherboard, or just the GPU failing (which has happened to me a few times. Learn from this mistake and use Prime95). I just think it's a bad CPU overclock. I set the CPU back to normal settings. The PC still freezes periodically (maybe once every hour?) It drives me insane for a few weeks of troubleshooting, cleaning out my case, reseating the graphics card in the other PCI-e slot, reformatting, etc. I can't pinpoint what it is without $200 technician software. No thanks.
I order a new PSU thinking maybe I screwed up voltages and fried my power supply (over $100) and I order this thermal paste. Thermal paste arrives first. I very thoroughly clean the CPU of any year-old thermal paste with coffee filters/Q-tips and 91% isopropyl alcohol, re-seat and apply the small pea-sized bit of paste to the CPU.
The PC hasn't frozen since. What did I learn? Make sure your thermal paste is thorough but not too thorough (lesson learned 2004). What was my most recent lesson? Remove and reapply at least once a year, even if the paste says it lasts multiple years. I had ARCTIC MX-4 on the CPU for a year, and it said it is supposed to last for at least 8 years. With how dry it was (a layer was dry and really hard to remove from the CPU) I respectfully disagree. You could end up spending $6 versus hundreds (2018). The learning never ends.
Remember, less is more but also make sure you cover the whole thing. It's a thin line. Watch the Youtube vids I didn't have back in 2004. They help a ton.
After powering up my PC with this product on my CPU(i7-6700k @4.6hz & 1.35v) it was ramping up to 75C just on start up(previously it would never get above 45C on start up). While only running chrome I was seeing temperature spikes from 32C to 65C in quick intervals and up to 80C during gaming, something my CPU has never done before. I took my water block back off to find the compound had essentially disappeared from the CPU and had also almost glued my block to the CPU. I reapplied the compound a few more times just to triple check and had the same issues over and over again. Finally I decided to go back to AS-MX4 and luckily still had a little left in a tube in a drawer. Now my CPU is back at 25C during idle and max of 50C in gaming.
Stay away from this product on Amazon. I trust Arctic Silver to not make a terrible product and so can only assume there are knock offs floating around here. If you are looking for this pick up from New Egg or your local PC component supplier to make sure you're getting the real stuff.