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Thermal pad or Paste for MOSFET ?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Thermal pad or Thermal paste for MOSFET ? sabertooth X79 mobo.?

What brand do you guys recommend for either the thermal paste or pad?
Edited by charlievoviii - 4/10/12 at 5:15am
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post #2 of 36
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post #3 of 36
What is a thermal pad? It's a pad on the PCB with VIA's to the ground plane that the MOSFET is soldered to during manufacturing, right? Not sure that you can change that easily. Soldering is always better than heatpaste. Are we talking about a TO-220 package, right? *confused*

Noctua makes pretty good heatpaste.
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post #4 of 36
Thermal Paste will always be a better heat conduit. The question you should be asking is... "Is the block design made for thermal pad or paste?", as most MB blocks are designed and comes with pads, you should follow the manufacturer spec and use the pads.

For pads, it really does not matter what make.. As for paste, Arctic Silver Ceramic gets the job done and also pretty easy to clean up, also it's advertised as non-conductive, which is also the same paste I use on my ram for my GPU block. You may want to avoid paste that is conductive.
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post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by frank anderson View Post

you should follow the manufacturer spec and use the pads.

Not the motherboard manufacturers spec, but the manufacturer of the MOSFET. They will produce a data sheet and application notes. In those notes will be best way to cool it.

I work for a electronics company, and engineers don't always read the datasheet for the best way to cool the FET when designing a product.

EDIT: Most FET's are rated to go up to insane temperatures. Many go up to 150 C or even higher. They arn't like CPU's and GPU's where they have tiny little transistors that burn out easily. FET's have big beefy high-current transistors with big thick leads. Give me the part number of the FET that is of concern, and we should pull up the data sheet before we go any farther. The part number should be stamped on the FET in little white writing.
Edited by crimsontears809739 - 4/10/12 at 9:16am
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post #6 of 36
some heatsinks are designed to sandwich the thermal pad. you can't substitute paste in that case. because there will be a gap.
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post #7 of 36
Pads if you want to stick anything to it or paste if not. thumb.gif
post #8 of 36
I recommend "pad" or "tape" However..thermal compund yields better temps..i've read.
Then there's thermal adhesive..where you could bork up the works if you mess it up.
 
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post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by greed View Post

some heatsinks are designed to sandwich the thermal pad. you can't substitute paste in that case. because there will be a gap.

+1

Also all thermal pads are NOT alike as someone suggested earlier. Thickness, compressibility and thermal transfer are the key qualities to look at when selecting a pad. And just like with paste, some perform better than others. Higher end pads have thermal transfer characteristics comparable to some of the best pastes.
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post #10 of 36
I'm using thermal paste on the mosfets of most of my boards right now; makes good contact and works fine, but liberal amounts of very thick paste were used.

Some applications require pads or gap fillers for good contact, but this is not an absolute necessity on most motherboards, as the components cooled by each heatsink tend to be of the same height.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crimsontears809739 View Post

What is a thermal pad? It's a pad on the PCB with VIA's to the ground plane that the MOSFET is soldered to during manufacturing, right?

No, this is not what is being talked about.

You are thinking of the solder pads used to ground and conduct heat into the PCB.

In common parlance a thermal pad is TIM in the form of a flexible pad or gap filler.
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