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[Q] Replacing TIM and Thermal Pads in PS4

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
So my PS4 was getting super loud playing Bloodborne (which apparently isn't uncommon) but it was annoying. Also my console is only 2 weeks old so it wasn't dust or anything.

Yes, I know this voided the warranty.

Took it apart, it was fairly simple and the interior is a lot like the PS3's which I've replaced the TIM of too so that was handy, plus I watched a couple of teardown videos first too.

Board image for some context / visualization:

Anyway, the TIM on it was allover the place, really poorly applied, and also on all of the chips (GPU-related? GPU memory?) around the CPU were tiny thermal pads (highlighted in orange in the image, on both sides of the board), some less than half the size of the chip they were on, and it looked like a 4 year old had placed them on the chips and some were half hanging off. I cleaned it all up, gave the heatsink a clean and scrub + clean again then primed it with some MX-4 (it had a rough sort of texture to the sink), placed some on the CPU, placed the pads on the center of them all as best I could, put it back together, 1 spare screw - ****. Oh well, works fine and nothing sounds loose if I give it a shake, so I'll keep a hold of that for when I next take it apart.

So anyway this leads me to the point of the topic, apologies for rambling.

I'm going to replace all the thermal pads with properly-cut sized Fujipoly Ultra Extreme, which I used in my R9 290 Tri-X and had them work amazingly well, so hopefully that will help the fans be less agressive in their cooling.

Also, I've got some spare Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra, can I use that on the PS4s CPU? I know it absolutely can't touch metal so I'm thinking no because the area around the PS4 has metal? Or would MX-4 likely just work better? Would like to hear some thoughts on that.
I didn't use the CLU on my R9 290, I used MX-4 for the GPU die and the Fujipoly pads for the ram chips and VRMs.

Also I believe MX-4 requires no curing time but can't find anything definitive on that, is it as good as it will be after the first bootup as it would be a week later?

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 
Maybe this could be moved to "Other Cooling"? Might be more appropriate place.

post #3 of 10
CLU reacts with aluminum, so it CAN NOT be used if there's any direct contact with aluminum plates or fins. That being said, if the heatsink is copper or even nickel plated, it's fine. Even if the cooling fins are aluminum as long as the landing plate where the paste is applied is not, it should work no problem.

Check out their install guidelines
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
This is the best image I could find of the chip itself:

I can't find any info on what metal the heatsink is made out of, but I can tell you it's light silverish with a rough texture, at least the part that contacts the chip itself.


According to comments here a few people mention the heatsink not even touching the chip properly/making contact, so I wonder if using one of those solid copper plates or whatver they are would be good there?
post #5 of 10
Hmmm, it looks like nickel plated copper, but it's hard to be sure. That chip design isn't a flat die either. See in the picture on the right how that install has thermal paste in one of the holes on the right containing surface mount chips? If that were Liquid Ultra, it would definitely be causing a short, whereas that white thermal paste is non-conductive, so runoffs aren't a huge issue.

If it were a big flat die and an equally obvious place on the heatsink, I would use Liquid Ultra. In this case if it were me, I would probably play it safe and use MX-4. Especially since you say there's the chance of a gap. I've usually had to paint the CLU on both chip and heatsink surfaces to get good contact on a normal PC mount. You can never be certain if you put some on the heatsink bit, and it mounts slightly off center and you get some thermal paste in those holes next to the chip, it's over.

Any paste you pick up aftermarket is going to be better than that generic white stuff they slap on there by default. MX-4 is one of the better pastes too. It's cool how you're using better thermal pads for the ram. Let us know how it goes! thumb.gif
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
See in the picture on the right how that install has thermal paste in one of the holes on the right containing surface mount chips? If that were Liquid Ultra, it would definitely be causing a short, whereas that white thermal paste is non-conductive, so runoffs aren't a huge issue.

This was my worry here really. I think I could probably do it safely, but since my warranty is void why take that risk now?

Unfortunately since frozencpu are closing I can't find anywhere else that stocks the "Fujipoly / ModRight Ultra Extreme System Builder Thermal Pad Blister Pack - 1/2 Sheet - 200 x 150 x 0.5 - Thermal Conductivity 17.0 W/mK" etc thermal pads, specifically the "Ultra Extreme" ones that are 17.0 W/mK.

I bought some 11 W/mK ones since that's the best I could find, I'll use those unless anyone knows where you can get the others now frozencpu are closed?

I had insane temperature reduction using the 17.0 W/mK ones on my R9 290 and I have absolutely none of it left frown.gif that stuff is going to be like gold now unless another retailer gets the stock.

How about these pads?
If the size is appropriate (or could be cut to fit) would using that on the main cpu be better than MX-4 but not as risky as the liquid CLU?

How about for the ram chips etc all around it, instead of the fujipoly pads? or would them being metal be a problem? The chips have tiny pads on them that directly touch the sheet of metal in the middle of the console.
post #7 of 10
It looks like Performance-PCs has what you're looking for.

I think I found the pad you mentioned HERE at 17W / mK? Wow these pads aren't cheap!

Whoa, CoolLabs makes metal pads too? biggrin.gif Reading a bit further, it looks like these pads work similarly to Indigo Xtreme. They're designed for CPU or GPUs and you need to stress the chip and generate heat for the pad to melt to conduct heat properly. Without enough heat to melt it properly, you can see worse performance than paste. I don't know how well these would work for the RAM chips, it doesn't seem like the pads are designed for it. They do however say that the pads are fully safe to use with any metal, so there's no worrying about it touching aluminum. It's probably still conductive though.
The Liquid MetalPad can be used with all on the cooling market commercially available materials, for instance aluminum or copper! It doesn't age and doesn't have to exchange regular. The Coollaboratory Liquid MetalPad is certainly RoHS conformable and absolute nontoxic.

The Coollaboratory Liquid MetalPad consists of only metal and no non-metallic additives. The situation when the Liquid MetalPad changes’ (melting) is at approximately 58°C from solid to liquid. When you are using the revolutionary Liquid MetalPad, it has to melt only once with a “BurnIn” process to achieve full performance.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot man. I'll see if any of the metal pads match the size of the cpu and use one of those with it.

and yeah, the fujipoly ultra extreme (hardcore!xxXxx!) 17w/mk are expensive but they are amazing, plus you can buy different sized sheets and usually you can get enough to cover a whole GPU for maybe $30, you don't need to buy the massive sheets as you just cut it to size to fit on the chips etc.

There was a thread a while back where I posted my results doing it with my R9 290 Tri-X OC, watercooled and overclocked/volted the mem/VRM temps stay around 60c and never go higher than mid 60c when stress testing, so yeah if you can get some they are awesome.
post #9 of 10
I realize it's been a while since this thread has been active, but thought I would share my current plans for my PS4.

I have a launch day PS4 with a fan that is going insane. I can hear it from upstairs and 40 feet away in the kitchen. Needless to say, gaming in front of the console isn't even worth it anymore. Immersiveness = gone. The fan really got bad right around the time Rocket League came out. I cracked the PS4 open, cleaned it out and replaced the thermal paste with Arctic Silver 5. I thought it sounded ok afterwards but within the day, the loudness came back full force.

So, here's the plan: I've purchased some new, very nice thermal paste, a new fan (why not?), and Fujipoly thermal pads (0.5 and 1.0mm thickness). Also in my reading, I've discovered that some folks might have issues with the CPU contacting the heat sink poorly, or not at all (although this topic isn't spoken about often, I'm suspecting it to be a problem). So I purchased some different thickness copper shims, should they be necessary.

Once all of my parts arrive, I'm going to open up the PS4 again and see how well the thermal paste spread out the last time I replaced it. I used the pea method; I might use a different method next time. If it turns out that the thermal paste spread poorly, I can come to the conclusion that the heat sink isn't pressing onto the CPU well enough. That being the case, I'm going to use a very thin copper shim (0.5mm maybe?) to close the gap between the CPU and the heat sink.

If I end up having to use a copper shim between the CPU/heat sink, I bought some thermal pads in two different thicknesses to compensate for the small difference in height that occurs when adding the shim. Let me know if you guys have any input on this; I haven't done anything yet.
post #10 of 10
@jdrednation Amy updates? What happens?

Btw I'm ordering 6watt Arctic thermal pad 1mm thick. Gonna replace ps4 pads with that and then replace the thermal paste with noctua again.

When I replaced the thermal paste yesterday I saw the ram chips have horribly applied thermal pads but nobody sells high performance thermal pads in my country.

So.. Probably my thermal pads will arrive in a month or two.
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