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thermal paste breakdown

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Mar 5, 2001
Ok here's the deal.

I run my duron @ 2.12V to get 1041 with temp of 32C with case temp of 24C, but after a week it starts to have lock-ups. I clock down to 1035 and it is ok for one more day. I have to continue to clock down daily to stop the lock-ups. Re-applying the thermal paste will bring it back to 1041.

The problem is the thermal paste is not white anymore, it's clear and runny.

Has anyone had this problem?
Does the Artic Silver or quicksilver have the same problem?
Not only does Arctic Silver transmit more heat, it does not break down like the generic zinc oxide pastes.
'Regular' zinc oxide paste DOES NOT break down. I have seen 4-year old thermal paste on my old Pentium being as runny and white as the newly squeezed-out ones. Maybe what you have here is water-based thermal paste. I used that sort on my GF2MX GPU and it dried-up and changed colour somewhat. The clue I had that something was wrong was the continual downclocking of my GPU core speed to avoid visual oddities and stability problems. I think you've been sold the wrong kind of zinc-oxide thermal paste.
vmsrules (Jul 30, 2001 08:30 a.m.):
I use the RadioShack thermal paste.

I'm not sure about Radioshack items as I don't have one where I live but I have used two brands of white, ZnO2 thermal paste and they are as generic as these things can get -one of them is just in a clear 4cc syringe with no labels, and no nothing -just had to trust the shopkeeper that it's really thermal paste and not toothpaste- and so far both have been reliable. If your Radioshack paste smells strongly ('fresh dew' kinda smell), chances are that it's water based or it evaporates fast -otherwise why would it smell so much? See the label for temperature tolerances. Maybe it's not meant for today's high-performance CPUs.
RadioShack thermal paste (part no. 276-1372) ingredients:


Thermal Conductivity, K Factor, cal/cm squared/degrees C/sec/cm.....0.0010
Did it come in an applicator pen or blister pack? If it was in the pen, did you give it a good shake before using it? Maybe you might wanna check out the composition of other 'regular' thermal pastes online but I think it should be the same stuff in the very same mix.
It is in a squeeze tube. I am going to order some of the silver stuff and try it.