What is the recommended thermal paste to use with the Phenom II X4 965 AM3 processor?
Hi Richard Barkow
I would recommend Gelid GC Extreme, as it gives the lowest temperatures and it easy to use. However, you should be fine to use any thermal paste as long as it's a reputable brand.
IC Diamond is the best, but the difference between the top tier and the tried and true Arctic Silver 5 is only about 5°C, even less under liquid.
I'd have to agree with amdmatt . Not only is Gelid GC Extreme the best available thermal interface material option overall for heat transfer in even the most high performance situations, it also has a multitude of positive aspects such as ease of application, it's non-conductive, non-curing and it can be applied to both CPU's and GPU's removing the worry of incompatibility.
Although technically, Cool Laboratory's Liquid Pro Extreme performs the best by roughly 0.3-0.5 degrees Celsius under load during my tests, it's conductive, difficult to work with even for the most seasoned user and incredibly difficult to remove within seconds after application. So, one mistake during the application could lead to a disaster, ruining components and creating a dangerous situation in the wrong hands. Simply put, this stuff isn't worth the headache, trust me.
So when it comes to thermal paste, there's really only one hands down winner that offers so many positive elements and that's definitely Gelid GC Extreme. Make sure if you do decide to purchase it, that you buy it from an authorized dealer and not from the many sellers offering it from Korea or China. Many of those sellers are simply printing the Gelid GC Extreme applicator covers stickers and within the applicators is nothing more than the lowest grade thermal paste available.
So check out their site before purchase, they have a complete list of worldwide authorized merchants, along with links to their sites. It generally costs no more than $11.50-$12.99 for the 3.5g syringe + applicator or no more than $29.99-$36.99 for the 10g jar + applicator. It's a touch more pricey than other lower performing thermal pastes, but is well worth it for the heat transfer performance you receive in return.
Good luck and have a nice day.
Like I said, IC Diamond is better than Gelid GC. But also like I said, the temperature difference between either and AS5 is fairly negligible, and under liquid even thermal tape is only 5°K warmer.
Here is an image with most of the TIMs in it (IC Diamond is not, but as you can see in the chart above, under liquid, it has a delta of 31.20°K)
So really, just use cheap AS5 and put your money on a good cooler like the Corsair H80i or, if your case has dual 120mm fan ports, the Corsair H105, because the TIM doesn't make a difference (yes they came out with this AFTER I spent $25 on IC Diamond 24). AS5 can also be used on GPUs without worry as well, unlike diamond based TIMs.
And read the two articles in full below. Part 1 talks about how to apply TIM and the difference between high and low mounting pressure systems, while Part 2 is in depth testing.
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