Search our partners

Find the latest content on electronic components. Datasheets.com

Homemade replacement for the processor paste

ghost666 24147 48
This content has been translated flag-pl » flag-en View the original version here.
  • The material most often called thermal grease is probably one of the most important, but often overlooked, components of the cooling system of a PC and other devices. However, we often forget to buy this measure, after spending hundreds, if not thousands, of zlotys on new computer equipment. Without it, however, we cannot assemble a computer. So what can be used instead of thermal paste? Are there any home made alternatives that can function as a temporary replacement for thermal grease.

    Thermally conductive paste is a thermal interface material - it is essential because it fills in microscopic imperfections on the surface of the heat sink and the element being cooled that would otherwise trap air molecules in between (which is a heat insulator), preventing proper cooling. This increases the thermal resistance of the circuit-heat sink junction, which translates into a reduction in cooling efficiency.

    Typically, this interface uses special pastes designed to properly conduct heat. They generally have an oily consistency which ensures optimal gap-filling. Additions of materials, such as silver, for example, reduce the thermal resistance of the connection. But can't other materials replace thermal grease? Google tells us that this is a real problem for many people - as we know, computer stores are only in larger cities in Poland, which means that you cannot just go out and get thermal paste. ;-)

    However, if for some reason we are forced to stay at home (maybe we are waiting for the courier with the paste?), But we need to start our new computer to check if it works, there are several alternatives that we can test. As Internet searches show, people have tried almost everything here - Nutella, toothpaste, cheese spreads (I do not know what the key to selecting these samples is - the visual resemblance to the paste, or maybe the contents of the cupboard to which to get to, there is no need to ask for mom's consent - editor's note).

    Jorgen Elton Nilsen from the Norwegian technical service Tek.No, tested a number of alternatives to the thermal paste with the Innovatek KT-3 simulator. It is an industrial heater for analyzing the efficiency of cooling systems. Devices like this are better suited for this task as it is difficult to standardize the thermal power of a processor solely by software. You can't just activate the maximum heat output by running a 3D rendering demo because of other devices in the system or the operation of the operating system, for example. However, manufacturers provide the thermal parameters of processors (as TDP, but the method of its administration and the lack of standardization, that this parameter is not very suitable for serious applications - editor's note).

    Nilsen assembled a kit consisting of the Innovatek KT-3 heater with a heat spreader and an Asus Triton 77 heat sink mounted on a "processor", and then tested materials such as toothpaste, cheese and creams. The system was tested with each material for 15 minutes with the heater power equal to 90 W. The results may be surprising (but not as much as the fact that someone is seriously considering inserting a slice of cheese between the processor for 1000 PLN and the heat sink - editor's note). Here they are, ranked from best to worst result:

    1. Butter 53.2 ° C
    2. Moisturizing cream 54 ° C
    3. Hair wax 56 ° C
    4. Toothpaste 57.1 ° C
    5. Banana 58 ° C
    6. Paper 67.2 ° C
    7. Yellow cheese 67.9 ° C

    At first glance, butter and moisturizer seems to be the best short-term solutions to no thermal paste, but here's another problem. Both of these paste replacers liquefied before the allotted 15-minute testing interval had elapsed. There is usually the motherboard under the processor, which means that in such a situation the melted butter will drip onto it ... The best practical - if practical - solutions turned out to be hair wax and toothpaste. These materials showed a relatively low system temperature, and at the same time, the thermally conductive material did not dry out completely and cracked.

    So if you are extremely impatient or otherwise in a rush and want to squeeze a few extra hours of work / play out of your computer, consider toothpaste or hair wax when nothing else is available and stores have closed. When it's time to replace it with thermal paste, use a sharp scraper to remove any dried paste before applying a small amount of isopropyl alcohol to the cloth to clean the CPU of any substitute residue. You can then apply real thermal paste, which - which is worth remembering - also needs to be replaced periodically, because it dries up under the influence of temperature and loses its properties.

    To answer the curious - it doesn't work the other way - thermal paste is a very bad replacement for hair wax, and even worse for toothpaste or butter (but it will certainly ensure your toast is evenly heated).

    Source: https://www.powerelectronicsnews.com/household-substitutes-for-cpu-thermal-paste/

    Cool? Ranking DIY
    Can you write similar article? Send message to me and you will get SD card 64GB.
    About Author
    Translator, editor
    ghost666 wrote 11015 posts with rating 9359, helped 157 times. Live in city Warszawa. Been with us since 2003 year.
  • #2
    Level 17  
    Interesting test. I am thinking of doing a paste test with the heater and comparing whether it is worth adding. I wonder what the result would be, for example, construction acrylic or a piece of food aluminum foil.
  • #3
    Level 25  
    I wonder how technical petroleum jelly or a simple lubricant would turn out. (these materials are usually also at hand)
  • #4
    Level 23  
    ghost666 wrote:
    and the like
    I wonder if the testers from this website, apart from the thermometer and other meters, also used another device - the head?
    Test time 15 minutes , banana (fresh) - nevertheless - contains a lot of water and it can be the main conductor of heat from the "processor" to the heat sink. And what will happen - when the residual water evaporates?
    Banana chip - as THERMO-CONDUCTIVE paste ???
    Fats - also under the influence of temperature change their consistency - and they will simply leak out.

    By the way - I wonder how a copper grease would behave?
    - thermal conductivity?
    - no electrical conductivity?
    - thermal durability - OK
  • #5
    Level 9  
    I used a thin layer of engine oil for four years and the computer worked normally and didn't overheat and still works
  • #6
    Level 30  
    The point is that the surface of the processor and heat sink should be smooth and even and provide good heat dissipation themselves.
    The paste is used to cover minimal unevenness and it is enough when there is very little of it.
    Recently, I used a minimal amount of Teflon lubricant when it turned out that the patch was over.
    On the old E8400, at 100% load, the maximum temperature is 42 ° C.
  • #7
    Level 21  
    A great replacement is the assembly paste for sealing mufflers and exhaust pipes.
    You can buy it anywhere and it costs almost nothing.
    In the past, due to the lack of the "right" one, I used it and until today I do not use anything else.
  • #8
    Level 32  
    mmm777 wrote:
    Recently, I used a minimal amount of Teflon lubricant when it turned out that the patch was over.

    When the "pata" ends it's all good ... even the banana :) and even a Minion
  • #9
    Level 23  
    And if you add aluminum dust to the oil, it would probably be better than the popular "H" paste
  • #10
    Level 12  
    Tomek515 wrote:
    And if you add aluminum dust to the oil, it would probably be better than the popular "H" paste

    The only question is what if the paste with aluminum dust gets between the tracks and legs of the elements. A short circuit may occur. There are a lot of videos of this type of crash on YT.
    I myself wonder if the silver paste will do more harm than good.
  • #11
    Level 43  
    I would also try sardine oil, along with sardines. What a dumb subject ... For cooling such precise integrated circuits, dedicated preparations should be used. Nothing else.
  • #12
    Level 23  
    You are right, yes.
    I remember from the old days, when the processors were probably built differently than now, that you had to be careful with the silver paste because it could have caused a short circuit. Now I know processors that they have a steel casing on them, but probably not all of them. This problem seems to have somewhat lessened.
    yogi009 wrote:
    I would also try sardine oil, along with sardines. What a dumb subject ... For cooling such precise integrated circuits, dedicated preparations should be used. Nothing else.

    Remember that the paste is used not only for such precise solutions. In electronics I use for transistors or leds I use this well-known cheap "H-type" paste, as many people think. Yes, when I read about this butter, I caught my head, but I think that a synthetic preparation with Alu / silver dust will be as good or better than cheap toothpastes.
    I agree with you that using such replacements for a PC is absurd.
  • #13
    Level 31  
    Old topic, but when there were no processors, the transistors were lubricated with a thin layer of engine oil.
  • #14
    Level 43  
    klamocik wrote:
    the transistors were lubricated with a thin layer of engine oil.

    Yes, preferably 15W40 ... These are all methods based on the so-called Russian mentality. There is no point in writing about them today, because we're teaching the wrong things.
  • #15
    Level 35  
    I thought it was an April Fool's joke, but the date of the original text doesn't match. If someone has a bit of brains, he buys more paste in stock, it is only a few zlotys more and does not lubricate the Nutella processor. Has anyone tested the CPU temperature without paste?
  • #16
    Level 23  
    And did you think you should treat it as a curiosity? Nobody here writes how much you can save or what will be better butter or professional paste. Take it easy a little ;)
  • #17
    Level 43  
    Tomek515 wrote:
    And did you think you should treat it as a curiosity?

    Not. This is spoiling the heads, not a curiosity.
  • #18
    Level 33  
    If you put a sufficiently thin layer of paste even with Al or Cu dust, then due to the capillary effect nothing should drip onto the plate.
  • #19
    Level 43  
    What is the cost of the simplest thermal paste?
  • #20
    Level 12  
    Somewhere I saw a table where, like mayonnaise, works best. Anyone wanna check it out? The previously mentioned copper grease also makes sense
  • #21
    Level 30  
    Są ciekawsze pomysły:
    Pasta do zębów też się może przydać :)
    To fill the minute flaws between CPU and the heat sink you make use of thermal paste so that CPU can properly cool down. Many users take help of thermal paste alternatives to carry out their work smoothly. In this article, you will get information about thermal paste substitute which will guide you in making the thermal paste at home. For thermal paste alternative, the items you need are as follows-
    Toothpaste (mint or cold fluoride), mucaine, Vaseline, baby nappy rash cream and hair wax. Now let’s proceed further to know how to make the household thermal paste.
    Mix half teaspoon of toothpaste and mucaine in the vacuum-packed container. To enjoy substitute of thermal paste, you can keep it in the fridge.
    Make use of Vaseline (petroleum jelly) and blend it with toothpaste. Now take a syringe to fill it with the mixture and then you conceal it on the heatsink. It will serve you as the great replacement for thermal paste.
    You can make use of baby nappy rash cream which contains zinc oxide. It will work in a right way if you apply it on the heat sink.
    The hair wax displays low temperature so you can make use of it as the thermal paste substitute.
    All the steps as mentioned above will surely solve your actual thermal paste issue by providing you the substitute for the same. In case you don’t have real thermal paste at home and facing problem in carrying out work correctly then you can make use of these alternatives. Make sure all these substitutes will provide you relieve on temporarily basis. You can test all these products and take advantage of it in the time of emergency. They will serve you for a couple of months as all them have cooling effects. Ultimately for permanent or long term solution, you have to buy actual thermal paste from the market. Before applying real thermal paste, you have to remove the household substitutes of thermal paste. In case you observe stains on removing the homemade thermal paste then use alcohol and cotton wool to get rid of stains.
  • #22
    User removed account
    Level 1  
  • #23
    Level 19  
    In the former germanium transistors of the TG or ADP series, the CE 20 housing can be found in a gelatinous paste. There is not much of this paste there, but it is sufficient for amateur needs. Transistor damaged and so to
    discarded, ready paste after cutting the transistor capsule.
  • #24
    Level 23  
    I do not understand such tension that the topic of joke or confusion in the minds. Due to the lack of the right tool or the necessary part, everyone is often up to something on the wire. I have heard about toothpaste a thousand times, that is, people do it. And honestly, I prefer to see such a loose topic on the home page than a doctorate on a screwdriver from China.
  • #25
    Level 43  
    Tomek515 wrote:
    And honestly, I prefer to see such a loose topic on the home page than a doctorate on a screwdriver from China.

    But not in the [Articles] section. This is just a joke. Someone will read and believe you can. It's best to put a bucket of water on the processor, the large surface of the bucket allows you to dissipate a lot of heat and then you can turn up the clock. And toothpaste is great as a contraceptive. Babble...
  • #26
    Level 19  
    Everything's fine, but here are the questions. How long can the paste or wax last without changing it?
    I wonder how many people buy the processor itself without coler? Rather, people buy the Box version. And there you don't have to worry about thermal paste anymore.
    Interesting article, but can be treated as a curiosity.
  • #27
    Level 34  
    In this quote "baby nappy rash cream" is mentioned as the best alternative, in our case this ointment is called sudocrem, it is based on zinc oxide and hardly dries up.
  • #30
    Level 34  
    In my opinion, such topics should not be touched upon. There are too many people who will use any of these measures in place of thermal grease and you will be muffled. At the moment, you can buy a good thermally conductive paste up to PLN 15, which will last for more than one application. And if someone wants to go crazy, you can spend PLN 35 and have a top product ... But what for? Over PLN 25, the size of the package grows rather than the quality of the product, unless someone wants liquid metal, you will not buy cheaper than PLN 35 (I had a whim and I bought myself, I regret putting on the processor in my laptop, because the fan is constantly flashing and changes in no temperature - maybe in a desktop prock after delid and with water cooling it will be better).

    And this topic does not even reach the level of a joke, it is much lower ... What to do when the paste runs out? Go to the store and buy, unless a friend shares.