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RX580 - 11 months on Conductonaut. Feedback needed

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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RX580 - 11 months on Conductonaut. Feedback needed

I'm using Conductonaut as nt TIM for my RX580 since January. When tearing down the PC to swap cases, I thought of checking on the TIM to see how its doing.


Opening the card greeted me with this sight. the liquid metal looked completely dried up.





Closeup of the die. Rubbing on the liquid metal with my finger tip only made tiny parts fluid again ( visible in the pic)





Cooler close up. Same observations as with die, only tiny spots appeared to become liquid when rubbed with finger. It also looked like a part of liquid metal disappeared from the top? I have been running the card in vertical mount for the past month. Heatsink base is nickel plated.






Rubbing the die with acetone left behind these spots. I could pick them with my finger nails with some effort though





Rubbing the cooler surface hard with acetone and rags left behind this. I couldn't shift anything with finger nails.





Added liquid metal again and assembled the card. I probably have used way too much this time, sigh.






Temps have gone down by a degree but no major change to speak of.


My questions :



1. What happened here with the liquid metal appeared to have dried off? Is it normal behaviour?



2. Is re-pasting liquid metal after sometime necessary, if yes how often should I do it?



3. I cleaned the die thoroughly with acetone and then IPA, used the included applicator ( black q tip) to spread the liquid metal as thin as possible on both die and heatsink. Did I make any mistake, should I have done anything differently here?



4. Considering there was no difference in temperature, was it have been okay to leave it as-is?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 09:46 AM
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This is not the first time people have complained about Conductonaut drying up in less then a year. Although it does not seem to have effected temps and you could have kept the application for the life of the card.

With CLU, after 6 years, the liquid kept its viscosity and it was very easy to wipe away without any encrustation. See last page of build log of sig rig and temps did not budge in those 6 years either.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 09:59 AM
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I've had similar, but not as bad experiences with Coolabs pro on cpus. Usually after some impulsive 1.45+v benchmarking where the cpu got pretty hot. It isn't so bad if I keep the cpu cool (low 60s for the high end of temps). But with an AMD gpu, it's generally going to get hot so liquid metal would be more prone to oxidize, or segregate or whatever it is doing. I imagine it would clean easier if it were warmed with a hair dryer or something.
Also this isn't the first time I've heard Coolabs Ultra holds up well. I'll probably pick some up if I ever run out of clp.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 10:23 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Gunderman456 View Post
This is not the first time people have complained about Conductonaut drying up in less then a year. Although it does not seem to have effected temps and you could have kept the application for the life of the card.

With CLU, after 6 years, the liquid kept its viscosity and it was very easy to wipe away without any encrustation. See last page of build log of sig rig and temps did not budge in those 6 years either.
is CLU dead and gone or something? Not sure why everyone is switching to modern LMs, when we know how well CLU worked. I assume someone benched out a 1-2 C different for grizzly products or something

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 10:28 AM
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Yeah, it starts turning into that dry material pretty fast. I noticed it was already annoying to clean after just two weeks, there were already some hardened spots that were hard to clean and had to be scratched off to make things smooth again.

This drying out seemed to happen faster on the cooler of my RX580 compared to the Noctua NH-D14 I have on the CPU in the same PC. Maybe the nickel plating on the NH-D14 was better, and that was the reason for it happening slower there?

The way I understood things is, the drying up happens because the "gallium" part of the liquid metal is bonding with the material in the cooler's base plate. Gallium is a metal that can create an alloy with other metals without the need of heat or anything, it can do it by itself at room temperature. The gallium atoms will move inside the other metal. This happens at different speeds depending on the metal. It happens faster with pure copper and it happens more slowly if it's nickel plated.

The liquid metal looks dried up because gallium is what keeps it fluid, and the gallium is now gone.

That NH-D14 I had on the CPU, there was a time where I kept it on the CPU for five years without touching anything. The temperatures were fine for a pretty long time, for I think more than three years. After five years, the temperatures were bad. At that point, things were totally impossible to clean. I had to use sandpaper.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 11:17 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by jingalalahoe View Post
I'm using Conductonaut as nt TIM for my RX580 since January. When tearing down the PC to swap cases, I thought of checking on the TIM to see how its doing.


Opening the card greeted me with this sight. the liquid metal looked completely dried up.





Closeup of the die. Rubbing on the liquid metal with my finger tip only made tiny parts fluid again ( visible in the pic)





Cooler close up. Same observations as with die, only tiny spots appeared to become liquid when rubbed with finger. It also looked like a part of liquid metal disappeared from the top? I have been running the card in vertical mount for the past month. Heatsink base is nickel plated.






Rubbing the die with acetone left behind these spots. I could pick them with my finger nails with some effort though





Rubbing the cooler surface hard with acetone and rags left behind this. I couldn't shift anything with finger nails.





Added liquid metal again and assembled the card. I probably have used way too much this time, sigh.






Temps have gone down by a degree but no major change to speak of.


My questions :



1. What happened here with the liquid metal appeared to have dried off? Is it normal behaviour?



2. Is re-pasting liquid metal after sometime necessary, if yes how often should I do it?



3. I cleaned the die thoroughly with acetone and then IPA, used the included applicator ( black q tip) to spread the liquid metal as thin as possible on both die and heatsink. Did I make any mistake, should I have done anything differently here?



4. Considering there was no difference in temperature, was it have been okay to leave it as-is?
Yes it was ok to leave it as is, if there was only a 2-3C heat increase over a year. That's less than what some people get with Kryonaut needing to be repasted after a year.

LM with the gallium partially absorbed still transfers heat. How good the heat transfer is depends on the static pressure on the initial fresh application and evenness, so a tight (but not enough to crack the die obviously), firm, fully even fit will do better here.

If the pressure is good, there should still be decent transfer. Problems happen on heatsinks with low pressure, since when the gallium is absorbed and the indium and tin hardens, if you have uneven hardening and spots with bad contact --even if its something like a 0.05mm variance between partially hardened spots and liquid spots, that will make temps bad in a hurry. This is a far bigger issue on laptops.

Many desktop video cards are thermally limited by the cooler itself getting heat saturated so applying LM gives you lower idle and initial temps but the max temp winds up not far away from Kryonaut. Cards with good custom cooling solutions benefit far more than reference blowers.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 04:28 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by skupples View Post
is CLU dead and gone or something? Not sure why everyone is switching to modern LMs, when we know how well CLU worked. I assume someone benched out a 1-2 C different for grizzly products or something
I think what happened is that the Grizzly products got advertised hard and pushed hard by the high profile youtubers whether in adverts and or just when making videos and using the products in front of the camera. It also helped that der8auer is one of the investors. I even watched a video with Steve (Gamers Nexus), where der8auer also explained the process they use and loosely the formula (although top secret) that goes into making the products. You also see it topping the charts when it comes to thermals - by 1-2 degrees. Although, this is not the first thread I see questioning the longevity.

It may be that these products shine short term but long term... Mind you, I've seen long term testing on some products from Steve and Linus but that is indeed rare.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-29-2019, 05:59 AM
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liquid metal and nickle plate doesn't go well together.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-01-2019, 02:26 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by poah View Post
liquid metal and nickle plate doesn't go well together.
LM and anything dosent go well together. u just fck urself up in the long run, if u intend to keep ur hardware and not resell each year.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-01-2019, 03:00 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Zfast4y0u View Post
LM and anything dosent go well together. u just fck urself up in the long run, if u intend to keep ur hardware and not resell each year.
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