Thermal Compounds

  johndrew 16:43 26 Jul 06

I have seen two types advertised, Silver Ceramique (manufacturers spelling) and Silver Thermal.

Is there any difference between them or is it the same thing by another name?

Thanks in anticipation.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:09 26 Jul 06

To compare you need to look at the :- (good values in brackets)

Dissipation factor (0.002 at 100kHz)
Dielectric Constant (4.4 at 100kHz)
Dielectric strength (550 volts/mil;2.17 kV/mm)
Thermal conductivity (0.8 watts/meter- degrees C)

  Belatucadrus 17:16 26 Jul 06

There are way more than two brands and varieties available, some contain silver others don't. In the case of Ceramique click here ( My compound of choice ) it's a non metallic compound that's non electrically conductive, which makes it rather safer for the amateur to use. The silver in the name comes from the manufacturer Arctic Silver click here for more info on their product range.

  Diemmess 17:19 26 Jul 06

Less is better!
The best junction would be metal to metal.
The paste's only purpose is to fill any micro gaps and exclude air which is a very poor heat conductor.

  johndrew 10:06 27 Jul 06

Thanks for responding people. Having looked again at the specifications and materials used and read your comments I feel the consensus here is:

* an oxide base is better as it is less electrically conductive (less chance of a short circuit)

* look for good thermal and low electric conductivity

* be `stingy` when applying it to avoid extrusion and maximise metal/metal contact.

Does that sound about right? If so it looks as if you are all pointing me toward the Ceramique compound.

Presumably, anything that is on the CPU can be cleaned away with either isopropyl alcohol or click here?

  Belatucadrus 11:22 27 Jul 06

I'd say you've got it pretty much nailed, the only thing I can add is a link to the Ceramique Instructions page click here which is well worth a read before you start.

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