Originally Posted by claes
Wow, this thread is horrible!
Repasting your GPU shouldn't yield more than 5*, assuming the manufacturer put paste on the card, and unless you remove the IHS.Less thermal paste is better - always. The point of a paste is to fill the gaps between two surfaces. In an ideal scenario, you would not want to use any paste at all and allow the two perfectly machined surfaces to adhere together in their ideal design. This is impossible, so we use paste to fill the gaps.
With a bare die it is important to cover the entire surface with as little paste as possible because the die itself is outputting heat across its entire surface. With an IHS this is less important because the die (the actual heat source) is only making contact with part of the IHS - the rest of the IHS is merely capturing heat from the point where it makes contact with the die.
Finally, for the OP: as you've seen, thermal paste will help but it is not your solution. You need to purchase a new chassis,
or heavily mod the one you own.
Without any intake fans to draw cool air in to the chassis, you essentially have a heat trap - components get hotter and hotter during use and recirculate that heat again and again, while your tiny exhaust fan tries to push heat out. In this way, components never get cool, fresh air to breathe and are instead left to choke on their own heat.
For example, you are comparing your card's temperatures to another user and are confused by how much better their results are. It is true that a difference in ambient temperature accounts for basically that exact difference in ambient temperature, but as math explains, that is not the whole story, as somehow your temperatures are still worse despite accounting for the difference in ambient temperatures.
Why? Because the other user has a much more open chassis with several intake fans in what looks to be a positive air pressure setup. This ensures that components are fed cool, fresh air and that heat is directed outside of the chassis before it has the opportunity to recirculate/reheat in the chassis.
Long story short: even a Fractal Core 1000 or similar low-end case with stock fans will probably knock at least 10* off of that card. With some thoughtful planning and decent fan purchases you can probably do even better.
P.S. Removing the side panel is not enough! All this does is open up the chassis so that the GPU has access to cooler air - it does not create an environment in which cool air enters and hot air leaves nor does it ensure that the GPU is getting a great enough volume of cool air to stay