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Making a custom TIM

Poll Results: What paste do I use?

 
  • 52% (28)
    Give my stuff a shot and replace it soonish.
  • 15% (8)
    IC Diamond (Wait a week)
  • 15% (8)
    Arctic Silver (Wait a week)
  • 7% (4)
    Factory Silicone Stuff (Wait a week and save $2)
  • 3% (2)
    None
  • 5% (3)
    Whatever is left on the heatsink from last time
53 Total Votes  
post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 
Update 1/12: This morphed into a full fledged quest for the best homebrew TIM. Check out the results here

Hi everyone!

I should be receiving a new processor soon, and unfortunately, I have no extra thermal grease laying around... At all.

So I decided to make my own, just something to sit in for a week or 2 until I can get some IC Diamond or AS5.

Just looking around my house I found 2 pretty obvious picks. White Lithium Grease and Copper. Lithium Grease repels water, doesn't run when hot, it a decent conductor of heat, has dielectric properties and is non-corrosive. It also lasts a long time without drying out.

Copper is obviously a great conductor of heat, (just barely worse than silver) and should work pretty well.

I filled down some stranded copper wire I had laying around into a very fine dust, and then mixed it with the WLG to get a brown paste that feels very smooth to the touch, not abrasive at all. I figure that as long as I only apply a little, I won't risk shorting out anything due to copper's electrical conductivity properties.

Do you guys think I will run into any problems? Obviously my temps won't be optimal, but I think this should work better than nothing. Please vote and let me know what to do biggrin.gif If you have any other ideas please comment.

-Dtfgator
Edited by dtfgator - 1/12/12 at 8:18pm
Da Derp
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Da Derp
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post #2 of 73
That actually... might work! All you're risking is a thermal shutdown anyway, not permanent damage. I say give it a shot and post the results here

If you're motivated, it might be fun to try different ratios of copper dust to lithium grease to see how your temps work out.
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post #3 of 73
Hmmm... part of me says give it a go but thats easy to say, coz its not my setup tongue.gif

If I was going to get a new CPU within a week, I dont think I would want to risk anything with it... Id be waiting or making a special trip to go and buy some proper stuff.
post #4 of 73
Actually that copper if its ground fine enough might be a great TIM. Wouldn't surprise me if you get great results with it.
 
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post #5 of 73
I'd give it a try, but use a guinea pig computer first.
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post #6 of 73
mayonnaise
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post #7 of 73
As long as you can monitor your temps and this TIM will not melt because of the heat creating a mess on your motherboard and cards sure why not.
post #8 of 73
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post #9 of 73
mayonnaise is actually a great tim, i am not joking

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Thermal-Compound-Roundup-October-2011/1396
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Thermal-Compound-Roundup-October-2011/1396/5
Quote:
"Conclusions
The big surprise of this month was the performance of the mayonnaise as a thermal compound. It worked superbly, showing better performance than some well-known high-performance thermal greases. Again, we cannot determine how long it should remain effective, but in the short term, mayonnaise was the best alternative thermal compound we have seen so far. "
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post #10 of 73
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies guys. Unfortunately I don't have a usable test system laying around. The paste seems to be thick enough that it won't just slide off, but I'll probably run the rig on its side during 3DMark 11 just in case. Also, white lithium is used on engine parts and is very durable under heat, i.e it shouldn't get too soft and ooze out. To be on the safe side I will only use a little, because copper is electrically conductive and I don't want to fry my mobo.

I will absolutely be monitoring my temps -- If I get above 70 at any point I'll probably call it a day and stop using it.
Edited by dtfgator - 1/8/12 at 3:15pm
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Da Derp
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