It never ceases to amaze me just how much overclockers agree on virtually nothing. Not ever it seems. From motherboard insulation, to simple CPU pot mountings and even paper towels, consensus is pretty damn hard to find. One such topic of debate is the simple act of thermal paste application. There are different ways to apply thermal paste to a CPU or GPU before mounting the cooler; a small ball, long strips, crosses etc are all techniques favored by some overclockers, and equally derided by others. One man who is never short of an opinion or ten is Buildzoid. Today we bring you the Buildzoid way to apply thermal paste to a GPU in preparation for some LN2-based, subzero overclocking.
The graphics card in question is the latest AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 card, but in fact the advice Buildzoid has to share would I’m sure be applicable to most high-end, full bore GPUs. The GPU LN2 pot he uses is the ECC Raptor 4 from der8aeur which as Buildzoid notes, offers sufficient clearance for the chokes on the PCB. Buildzoid has successfully got his Vega GPU down to temps of -130 C without cracking and reckons thermal paste application is a major factor in making this happen.
His thermal paste of choice is the popular Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut. He starts by applying direct from the tube to the GPU Vega core, dabbing a small amount to each of the corners. He then mounts the LN2 pot briefly so that he has an outline of where the paste connected with the pot. He then applies paste to the LN2 pot in a relatively thick lines from corner to corner to the other, then spreading it out to cover the surface of the pot. He then goes back to the GPU, adding plenty of paste to the edges of the GPU. He is very generous with the paste.
He goes on to reveal plenty of techniques that he’s picked up from other overclockers and offers plenty of advice along the way. Thanks for sharing as ever Buildzoid. You can catch the video here on the Actually Hardcore Overclocking YouTube channel where there’s a ton of live extreme OC sessions, PCB breakdowns and more.You can discuss this post in the HWBOT Community Forum here.