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 Post subject: does thermal paste/grease ever "expire"?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:54 am 
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I have some old Zalman thermal paste in the original tube and wondering if it is still good to use. Probably going on 7 years old now. This is not for an expensive new system or anything, just a heat sink swap on an old system.


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 Post subject: Re: does thermal paste/grease ever "expire"?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:25 am 
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Yes, most pastes have a definite shelf life. As it's not going into a high-performance system, however, I would be tempted to use it anyway and only change it if issues arise.


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 Post subject: Re: does thermal paste/grease ever "expire"?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:28 am 
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I just used some stuff from a tube that has been open for over years. Still works fine.

Think about it. Under the heatsink it doesn't decrease in performance over the years does it? There might be some difference if the stuff is exposed to direct sunlight perhaps but in the tube it would be fine. There is also no expiry date on the tube and as thermal paste is a consumable with a relatively high value per weight, if there was an expiry date, you can guarantee that the manufacturers would be making it obvious to get you to buy more!

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 Post subject: Re: does thermal paste/grease ever "expire"?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:01 am 
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Old paste can sometimes separate a bit. But I would not hesitate using it anyway, just mix it around a bit before applying it.

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 Post subject: Re: does thermal paste/grease ever "expire"?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:11 pm 
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Thanks. I used the old Zalman stuff. The cap on the tube was cracked so I squeezed out some of the initial grease that might have dried out, and then used what was further down in the tube. I hope it's OK. It seemed the same as when new except that it seemed like I needed to use a bit more than I usually use. Not really sure.

Had a spare Zalman CNPS7000B-AlCu and it seems to be working OK on a old PC with a P4 2.4 GHz. With the FanMate 2 turned all the way down it idles a few degrees warmer than with the stock cooler, and under load the temps seem to rise rapidly. I don't plan on stressing the system much, so I'm not going to worry about it too much. I finally have this system at a very quiet level now (all other components besides CPU cooler were already quiet) and I am enjoying the lack of noise. It is now my second quietest PC.


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 Post subject: Re: does thermal paste/grease ever "expire"?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:59 am 
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i just used a 8+ year old tube of Arctic Silver 5, and it performed, at least to me (unscientifically), as well as the tube i just bought last month.

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 Post subject: Re: does thermal paste/grease ever "expire"?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:59 am 
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xan_user wrote:
i just used a 8+ year old tube of Arctic Silver 5, and it performed, at least to me (unscientifically), as well as the tube i just bought last month.

I can vouch for this. My AS5 was "good as new" for several years - it worked and performed well on platforms from the first A64s to the last Core 2s. As I can't remember when exactly I bought my A64 CPU, I can't say I used it for a decade... but that's pretty much what happened. :D

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 Post subject: Re: does thermal paste/grease ever "expire"?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:11 pm 
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As a slightly off-topic aside.... which paste/grease do you guys find is easiest to work with and spread on (including after a few years of sitting in the tube)?

I've found that the white Zalman grease was easier to use (even after several years) than the stuff that came with my new Mugen 3. Or maybe I'm just not skilled in this area. I really don't like putting on the messy paste. It's my least favorite part of working with computers. I tend to obsess over getting it to exactly the right thickness/evenness on the CPU heat spreader.

Is Arctic Silver any easier to use?


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 Post subject: Re: does thermal paste/grease ever "expire"?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:24 pm 
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OT / re: thermal goop

The cheap "white" (I forget what they're made with) TIMs have been the messiest for me to work with, hardest to clean too. AS5 has been alright, and their Ceramique is supposed to be even easier. The Noctua stuff comes in a syringe like AS and that was very nice too - gotten two samples with my two coolers, both very nice to use, almost identical to AS5.

Did not like the Scythe stuff that came with my Ninja Mini. It was sticky and you can't reuse the bag, since it can't be sealed back up. Took more effort to clean too when I changed coolers.

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 Post subject: Re: does thermal paste/grease ever "expire"?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:39 am 
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OT;
but does mayo go bad when used as thermal grease?

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/ ... 012/1468/5

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 Post subject: Re: does thermal paste/grease ever "expire"?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:37 am 
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xan_user wrote:
OT;
but does mayo go bad when used as thermal grease?

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/ ... 012/1468/5

Love that one. Shows you that you just need an interface. :D

Also, a lot of stuff did worse than household condiments. I am not surprised.

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 Post subject: Re: does thermal paste/grease ever "expire"?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:51 am 
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xan_user wrote:
OT;
but does mayo go bad when used as thermal grease?

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/ ... 012/1468/5


They should include the environmental impact... It's kind of funny to think that there are companies that would be better off giving you a jar of mayo rather than their "thermal paste" (I hope they're not paying people to come up with those products :) )

back OT : I have a little syringe that came with my HR-05 IFX and I'm still using it (about 5 years later)

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