i posted in your anandtech thread. I'm always searching on this topic, glad someone finally tested it.
Can you not use the rice grain method with liquid ultra/pro? I know the company says use the spread method, but every time I've done the spread method, my temps were about 5*C+ over rice grain method, and that's with multiple spreads and mounts. I know the company says to do it one way, but Prolimatech says you should use the spread method too and it just completely messed up temps.
Rice grain is so much better, unless Liquid pro/ultra viscosity in some way prevents rice grain (maybe it's super liquidy? I mean i dont have any so i dont know how it acts) I can't see spread being better than rice grain. All you need is enough to cover the die (when put on the IHS), everytime I used enough paste using rice grain method to spread out to cover the entire IHS, it ended up being way too much thermal paste.
I think it was hardwaresecrets that did a spread method comparison (without even testing temps...) and they concluded certain methods being better than others based on how well it spread out and covering the underside of the heatsink block, but the optimal amount in my tests was always when the TIM just barely covered over the die, like a circle half the size of the total area of the IHS.
edit: some guy on spreading liquid ultra saying spread is better than ricegrain but... doesnt really sound like he knows what he's talking about:
edit2: sounds like he shorted out his system by lapping a piece of metal into his pinsEdited by Belial - 1/23/13 at 12:03pm