View Full Version : Can Artic Silver fail?

11 November 2003, 11:06 PM
I have been noticing that my CPU temps have been steadly rising over the past year, approx 10 degrees Celcius. Is it possable that my artic silver is going bad? Or did i just not apply it correctly? Or should I scrap my ThermalTake Volcano 7 and get something else?

I replaced the stock ThermalTake fan for an adjustable Enermax 80mm and even with it turned all the way up the coolest that I get is 50.

I have a AMD Athlon 2000 XP on an Asus A7V333.

11 November 2003, 11:12 PM
The heat increase could be due to a number of issues going on. The intake fans for your case could be slowing down due to gunk and grime buildup, also the exhaust fans should be checked as well. If you notice excess buildup around any of your fans in your case or on the CPU, a quick cleaning with some rubbing alcohol and cue tips should fix that up. It could also be the location of your case in relation to proper overall ventallation to the system. Any one of those factors could cause issues, so do an overall check of the components.

You can usually tell if your thermal grease is not working by testing the temperature of the CPU heatsink. If it's cool to the touch, then no heat transference is occuring and something is going on with the contact of the CPU and the thermal grease not doing it's job of transfering heat to the heat sink.


11 November 2003, 11:24 PM
like any and all matter, it is not forever stable. Artic Silver can wear down with regular heat. I re-apply it every 3 months or so. I use a latex glove and smudge a small quarter size pea drop on a finger and rub it over the CPU die and rub it evenly over. Then I do the same with the contact area on the heat sink. My heat sink has a nice copper area on the bottom that is set apart from the rest of the heat sink so you know exactly where to apply the stuff. With that, my temps went back down 10*C.

11 November 2003, 11:26 PM
The dirt was my first thought as well. But I spent the morning cleaning all of the fans, the heatsink, everything, but it didnt make a difference in temp. My case temps are the same as always its only the cpu temp that has been changing. I will check the feel of the hs here in a sec.

just felt the Heatsink and it was warm but not hot.

Sing didnt see your post there, that is what I was affraid of. dont want to have to take it apart if I dont have to, this thing is a bi*** to get off, not to mention removing all of the other componets.

To anyone building a computer, get a case with a slideout motherboard tray! You'll thank me.

11 November 2003, 11:41 PM
it can't be that bad. :thumbsup:

Just keep a very clean case and it should be all good (by clean, I mean bundle the wires well... damn well.). I have a sliding motherboard case too and it's not too bad. Maybe get a new case? Can u post a pic of it?

11 November 2003, 12:06 AM

That is basically the case, but with a better PSU. Most of the cables are tucked into the empty 5.25 bays. I have an 120mm up front with an 80mm in back. Both enermax adjustables at their lowest settings. Case temp is 32C.

If I could buy a different case I would get this one:

I think this is like the one greg has and with led case fans in the front it looks awesome. he posted a pick of it once.

I think that I will just have to talk my wife into letting me buy a Thermalright SLK-947-U ( and make do with my case.

11 November 2003, 12:25 AM
lol how ironic! you have that case I used to have! Man I hated that thing!! FREAKING DIFFICULT TO WORK WITH!!!!!! On top of that, the steel frame was hard as heck to work with... cut myself who knows how many times... No matter where I worked on that thing, it was cumbersome simply because of it's size. All in all, the CPU was easy access.... it was just the size of the case that was difficult. That extra few inches from a taller tower make a big diff in terms of getting ur hands in there.

I have this one:

But the vanilla/chocolate color w/out the clear side.

11 November 2003, 02:36 AM
I was told that artic silver can be conductive at times and is not certified by amd. My reciept seems to be misplaced off hand but there is a thermal compound that has a japanese name that is certified by AMD.

11 November 2003, 03:15 AM
Originally posted by MimikOctopus
I was told that artic silver can be conductive at times and is not certified by amd. My reciept seems to be misplaced off hand but there is a thermal compound that has a japanese name that is certified by AMD.

I would bloody hope its conductive, else it won't be much good...

Replacing the thermal paste every 3 months though..... jebus you need something better to fill your time with.

11 November 2003, 03:17 AM
yah, 3 months isn't all too bad. That's the approximate length of a school quarter. So during that time, I do all my cleaning and such including dusting out the computer to make sure it's all good to go for the next quarter. :thumbsup:

In anycase, I think what Mimik means is that it's electrically conductive. From what I've read on reviews here and there, it is designed to be electrically non conductive though it does have slight conductivity because of its water content as well as metal content. However, it is so low, you'd be hard pressed to actually get a current through the material.

And as for heat conductivity, it works great. :thumbsup:

11 November 2003, 03:25 AM
amd also doesnt certify many of the best heatsinks either, I think they have more to on their hands then to spend time testing every aftermarket cooling product that comes out.

11 November 2003, 03:37 AM
Every 3 months is MAJOR overkill. I'm running on 6 months and still using whatever goop game with my Swiftec MX603s with basically no change in temperatures.

I have to remember to clean my intake filter more often though. A few weeks ago I was trying to figure out why my system was running too hot and pulled the front of the case off. There must have been about 4mm of dust jam-packed into that filter!

11 November 2003, 04:48 AM
hheheeheheh I have 3 cats and have to clean my fans about once a week, I get what my girl calls "dust buffalos" in em, far too big to be dust bunnies i guess.... kind of annoying but they are too cute to make me mad. They good people. *meow*

11 November 2003, 06:42 AM
Yes, artic silver and any fluid based thermal grease can and will fail.

The biggest reason is because of "pumping." If you turn your computer off occasionally and don't leave it on all the time the CPU and heatsink will have big temperature swings. These temperature swings cause the die and heatsink to expand and contract which actually causes them to squeeze tighter or become less tight against each other. This process will literally pump out the thermal grease from between the die and the heatsink over time.

This is the main reason the CPU manufacturers do not use, recommend, or support thermal grease. In fact, most of them say it voids the warranty and I think AMD is pretty emphatic about this.

The reason people use thermal grease is because it conducts the heat from the die to the heatsink better but it requires strict maintenance and requires you to replenish it over time. It is also recommended that you leave the computer on to help reduce the pumping aspect (although it will not remove it since their will still be temperature changes).

11 November 2003, 07:11 AM
ah, that makes sense CgFX! thanks I shut my computer off every night because of the noise (its in my bedroom) Well I shall replace the grease soon.

11 November 2003, 07:20 AM
also get a new heat sink and case. It'll make ur life easier. :wavey:

11 November 2003, 07:46 AM
Originally posted by singularity2006
also get a new heat sink and case. It'll make ur life easier. :wavey:

you have no idea how bad I want to. But because I quit my job and moved myself and my wife 300 miles away so I can spend $21,000 a year to go to school, my wife is being a little tight with the money.:D

11 November 2003, 04:04 PM
I guess that's why my system still runs well, it is always at 100% CPU and I have probably only turned it off for an extended period of time no more than 10 times so far. I was originally going to use thermal pads, knowing that thermal grease does occasionaly need replacing but they were too small. :shrug:

MimikOctopus: Get yourself some intake filters!

11 November 2003, 05:55 PM
I originally used those green scour pads used for washing dishes as my filters. =)

But then when I got a new case, I replaced the front fans with the blue LED ones and took out the filters because they blocked the light. :applause:

My case looks cool, finally. ^.^

11 November 2003, 06:37 PM
you can always get these

you screw the fram onto the back of you fan and then the filter snaps on and off of that so you can clean them easly. And they wont block the light.

CGTalk Moderation
01 January 2006, 07:00 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.