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Thermal paste lifespan

Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:38 pm


I have a 6 year PC that i often remove the dust, but I never changed the CPU thermal paste. Idle temps are 40C and load temps when video encoding are 95C. The ambient temperature is about 30/35C.

Would it make any difference if I changed the thermal paste? Im using the i5 2500k non-OC with stock cooler.

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Re: Thermal paste lifespan

Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:56 pm

It certainly is possible that the paste has dried out. If you're familiar with how to work inside a computer case (and you're on these forums, so the odds are good), it certainly won't do any harm to pull the heat sink and check.

Understand that pulling the heat sink means that you absolutely will need to clean off the heat sink face and the CPU and apply a new bead of thermal paste. Again, that doesn't do any harm.
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Re: Thermal paste lifespan

Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:07 pm

The stock stuff Intel uses is pretty good. I wouldn't be too worried about it. Have temps increased lately to make you think something's changed?
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Re: Thermal paste lifespan

Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:07 pm

I'm with Chuck, replace the TIM.  Some TIM dries out, others don't.  Stock Intel heatsinks probably aren't going to give you 60C under load like an aftermarket tower heatsink, but 95C sounds pretty high even for the stock heatsink, and likely the CPU is throttling itself at that temp.  
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Re: Thermal paste lifespan

Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:35 pm

I would also check the TIM, but at the same time, 30-35C is a pretty hot ambient temperature.  If you do video encoding or other CPU-intensive tasks regularly in those conditions, you might need a more efficient HSF and possibly better case ventilation.
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