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How to remove old, hard thermal compound from GPU die

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 02:55 PM
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Hardened, dried thermal paste comes off very easily if you let it soak with rubbing alcohol.


take a few q-tips, dunk them in the rubbing alcohol, and roll over the dried paste. Just cover the paste continually until it falls off nearly.


It takes less than 5 minutes.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I was able to get the old thermal pad removed from the die by soaking paper towel in isopropyl alcohol and let it sit on it for 5 minutes, then used a plastic putty knife and a q-tip. Then used a razor blade to remove it from the heatsink.

Is there a way to check die temps on these older cards? I tried using HWinfo32 but it doesn't tell me the temp.

The card is a ATI Radeon 9700 128MB AGP video card.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 04:00 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by johnvosh View Post
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I was able to get the old thermal pad removed from the die by soaking paper towel in isopropyl alcohol and let it sit on it for 5 minutes, then used a plastic putty knife and a q-tip. Then used a razor blade to remove it from the heatsink.

Is there a way to check die temps on these older cards? I tried using HWinfo32 but it doesn't tell me the temp.

The card is a ATI Radeon 9700 128MB AGP video card.
damn AGP... so old. GPUz might work. If not, probably nothing will.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 04:21 PM
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Would brake cleaner or throttle body cleaner cause any problems if applied to a q-tip and used to clean off the dried TIM?
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 05:38 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by 8051 View Post
Would brake cleaner or throttle body cleaner cause any problems if applied to a q-tip and used to clean off the dried TIM?
Why wouldnt you just use cleaning alcohol?

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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 08:19 AM
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brake cleaner and throttlebody cleaner are not only much more expensive in relation to rubbing alcohol (which is like $1 at walmart), but far more corrosive to plastics and adhesives.


You run the risk of damaging other components, and even the PCB itself.


The most aggressive I would get is electronics cleaner, such as what partsstores offer for cleaning alternators and starters. They generally specify safety for rubber and plastics.




Still, rubbing alcohol is the safest, you could even dump a bottle over an operating computer, and be safe.


Then, something simple like a duster air can, or TIME, to get stuff dried out!
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