Originally Posted by Nukemaster
Wonder how the die holds up over many uses. Scratch up a heat spreader, ok. scratch up the die...that may not be good.
A die is mostly empty silicon. The actual metal layers containing transistors and interconnects are extremely thin, the die is only as thick as it is because the wafers they are cut from need a certain minimum thickness not to collapse under their own weight when being manipulated.
With the sort of fineness of the diamond particles used in most TIMs with diamond filler, I wouldn't expect any harm. The chances of such tiny scratches becoming dangerous cracks seems small.
Originally Posted by Red1776
I have applied it several more times since that pic was taken during 'scratchgate' and the the lettering is starting to fade, but certianly none of the scratches that that group was claiming. ZI do take great care to align the block and drop it straight down on the IHS so I dont end up with a big bead of compound on one side or the other.
Minimal movement surely means minimal scratching. Next to no sliding/rotation is not always viable with all coolers, however.
Originally Posted by TheLAWNOOB
AS5's quality is horrible IMO.
I bought a 5g tube in Feb this year, I opened it up last month and water came out. The actual TIM part is probably too concentrated to be any good anymore.
That wasn't water, it was the polysynthetic oil binder.
Anyway, binders have near universally poor thermal conductivity, and it's the filler that does the real work. There is no such thing as "too concentrated" as long as the filler particles can fill gaps effectively and make a thin bondline.
This is why thicker TIMs have a general tendency to perform better; they tend to have proportionally more thermally conductive filler.
AS5's propensity to separate is one of it's biggest failings though.