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Is Your Silver-based Thermal Paste Really Silver? 788

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the critical-looks dept.
strider69666 writes "Over at Overclockers.com they have a review of several thermal compounds that claim to have 99% pure silver content. 'I decided to test Arctic Silver 5, Arctic Silver 3, OCZ Ultra II Premium Silver Compound, and CompUSA Silver Thermal Grease. This test was not conducted to test performance, but rather to determine if these compounds have Silver as an ingredient.' Using a professionally mixed testing solution, they found that several brands do not, in fact, contain any silver at all! So, are you getting what you are paying for?"
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Is Your Silver-based Thermal Paste Really Silver?

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  • bah (Score:5, Funny)

    by nuclear305 (674185) * on Friday January 23, 2004 @01:58AM (#8063435)
    Who cares who's selling what? The TRUE geek makes his own from a brick of silver.

    In my day we had to make thermal paste by grinding it down with stones.
  • No (Score:5, Funny)

    by forkazoo (138186) <wrosecrans.gmail@com> on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:00AM (#8063442) Homepage
    No, mine isn't. And by the way, despite the claims of the manufacturer, Soylent green is not 100% people. Quit believing advertising, and you will be just fine. Better yet, take up spectroscopy as a hobby. Chicks dig spectroscopes!
  • So.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dacarr (562277) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:00AM (#8063444) Homepage Journal
    Who do all these people who are concerned about false labelling go to for enforcement?
    • Re:So.... (Score:3, Funny)

      by WIAKywbfatw (307557)
      Who do all these people who are concerned about false labelling go to for enforcement?

      Dirty Harry?
    • Re:So.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by evilviper (135110) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:13AM (#8063543) Journal
      Who do all these people who are concerned about false labelling go to for enforcement?

      Well, class-action lawsuits are the end-all solution.

      Short of that:

      That's the FTC's job, but they don't seem interested in reports from the public.

      I prefer the Better Business Bureau. I've filed a few complaints, and so far I've always gotten results.

      Big companies don't even bother to show-up for small claims court appearances. So you could get up to $5,000 via a default ruling if/when they don't show.

      • Re:So.... (Score:5, Informative)

        by tiger99 (725715) on Friday January 23, 2004 @09:06AM (#8064811)
        In the UK you simply report the facts to your local Trading Standards Office. I hope that lots of people will do so, it will at least get teh fraudulent products off the market here, which will be a start. Not only that, but their reputation will be irrevocably damaged, no doubt published in the net, so their sales will drop off in countries which do not seem to have legislation to protect the consumer, or who make the process too difficult.

        In the UK we also have the Small Claims Court, but the case here might be against teh small corner shop who sold you the stuff, and they might defend the case....

        No system of legislation is perfect, but it seems to me that fraudulent claims like this should automatically be actioned by the authorities everywhere, with no need for private individuals to have to pay for lawyers.

        In any case, if you have been ripped off, first politely request a refund and compensation, and if they refuse, report them to whatever official body deals with such things locally. They will soon get the message.

        BTW I have no sympathy whatsoever for any overclocker who has had a meltdown. Overclocking is a very unsound practice, for a number of reasons, which I have aired on /. before and will not bother repeating. It DEFINITELY shortens the life of your equipment, that is provable fact. But, I don't condone fraud, and no silver look-alike is likely to have adequate thermal conductivity.

        BTW, copper is almost as good as silver, you would never be able to detect the difference in practice, in fact it might be better because it could be used in higher concentration, and being slightly softer in pure form, the individual particles might deform better to give more contact area. Other metals such as gold or platinum are absolutely useless, despite any spurious claims that may be made. Any testbook on material properties, with tables of thermal conductivity, will show why.

    • Re:So.... (Score:3, Funny)

      by NanoGator (522640)
      "Who do all these people who are concerned about false labelling go to for enforcement? "

      Dunno, they never come back.
  • Silver? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Breakfast Pants (323698) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:01AM (#8063450) Journal
    This is not surprizing at all as silver is expensive. Oh wait; what the fuck?
  • by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:01AM (#8063451) Journal
    http://www.ocztechnology.com/displaypage.php?name= recall

    From the above site:

    OCZ would like to take this time to address the recent article published at Overclockers.com, ( http://www.overclockers.com/articles938/ )which shows that OCZ Ultra 2 thermal compound has no silver content.

    OCZ does not manufacture Ultra 2 thermal compound in house, it is provided by a foreign manufacturer with our specifications. Previous independent lab tests conducted at the request of OCZ have shown that the silver compound content in Ultra 2 is 25% by volume and 70% by weight.

    In response to this article, OCZ has submitted another batch of Ultra 2 to a third party for extensive lab testing. This Independent lab report show's that the most recent batch of OCZ Ultra 2 indeed contains less than 1% silver by volume. While simultaneously we have received lab reports from an outside source indicating the silver content to be 30% by weight. This leads us to the conclusion that recent batch(s) of OCZ Ultra 2 from our supplier did not meet the agreed specifications.

    We accept full responsibility for these problems and we will be seeking legal action against our supplier.

    In order to help solve this problem we have contacted Arctic Silver Inc, and entered into a vendor agreement with them to supply OCZ thermal paste.

    Beginning January 22nd 2004 we are issuing a full recall of any and all OCZ Ultra 2.

    Any Customers who wish to return OCZ Ultra 2 thermal paste with an invoice will in exchange for their full or partially used tube(s) receive:
    1- One (dependant on # of tubes returned) 3-gram OCZ thermal Compound (made by Arctic Silver Inc.) or one OCZ Dominator 2 Heatsink.
    2- One OCZ EL DDR T-Shirt
    3- One 10 dollar off rebate on any OCZ EL DDR Dual Channel Kit (at participating resellers)
    • Nice... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Chordonblue (585047) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:06AM (#8063492) Homepage Journal
      Now THAT'S how damage control should work. The company took full responsibility and is offering a generous compensation.

      It is disturbing that they had not caught this earlier, but I think that they are more than making up for their shortcomings.

      I wish more organizations worked like this. Good word of mouth goes a long way on the Internet - see New Egg's success as an example.

      • Re:Nice... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by phorm (591458) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:56AM (#8063795) Journal
        it is provided by a foreign manufacturer with our specifications

        I wonder where the foreign manufacturer is though, and how easy they are to prosecute. Now I feel sorry for OCZ, because it looks like they're the ones getting the shaft.

        I wonder if this is one of those nasty effects of outsourcing/exterior-suppliers that will become apparent over time, sneaky cost-cutting and lower accountability.
      • Re:Nice... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by flacco (324089) on Friday January 23, 2004 @03:22AM (#8063915)
        Now THAT'S how damage control should work. The company took full responsibility and is offering a generous compensation.

        if it's indeed a surprise to them. i'd want to see their receipts and see if the amount they pay their supplier went down substantially on the no-silver material. it could be collusion.

        in which case their actions are little more than "oh well, you caught us - can't blame us for trying!"

        Good word of mouth goes a long way on the Internet - see New Egg's success as an example.

        then maybe i should spread the word on how NewEgg fucked me on replacing my $600 digital camera and wouldn't return EVEN ONE of my e-mail contacts to them? (btw i originally heard about them through positive word of internet-mouth).

        • Re:Nice... (Score:4, Informative)

          by Chris Siegler (3170) on Friday January 23, 2004 @06:41AM (#8064477)
          then maybe i should spread the word on how NewEgg fucked me on replacing my $600 digital camera and wouldn't return EVEN ONE of my e-mail contacts to them? (btw i originally heard about them through positive word of internet-mouth).

          Did you try calling?
          Customer Service Phone Number: Toll Free: (800) 390-1119
          That number is located in their help section under Contact

          And what you say doesn't make much sense. If you wanted to return the camera, they have an automated system which gives you a RMA# automatically if your claim is within the return period (which they fudge in the buyers favor btw). They don't offer full support since they're just a reseller.

          I placed 320 orders from them since 2002 (you can check your entire order history!), and probably RMA'd about 50 items (out of over a thousand) without even a single problem. They're not perfect, but that's pretty close.

      • Re:Nice... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by blair1q (305137) on Friday January 23, 2004 @03:37AM (#8063962) Journal
        Mmm-hmm.

        I got a tube of some sort of thermal goop when I bought a new fan for my video card (the old one was spalling or got a dented ball bearing or something).

        I spread the goop on the chip, clipped on the new fan, and THREW THE REST OF THE TUBE AWAY.

        So the moral is: if you're going to do a recall, do it on a disposable product.
    • invoice? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by herrvinny (698679) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:09AM (#8063516)
      Beginning January 22nd 2004 we are issuing a full recall of any and all OCZ Ultra 2.

      Any Customers who wish to return OCZ Ultra 2 thermal paste with an invoice will in exchange for their full or partially used tube(s) receive:
      1- One (dependant on # of tubes returned) 3-gram OCZ thermal Compound (made by Arctic Silver Inc.) or one OCZ Dominator 2 Heatsink.
      2- One OCZ EL DDR T-Shirt
      3- One 10 dollar off rebate on any OCZ EL DDR Dual Channel Kit (at participating resellers)


      Sounds cool, but how many people will have saved a receipt?
    • by Dr_Marvin_Monroe (550052) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:10AM (#8063519)
      This isn't too far fetched. They could be getting systematicly ripped-off by their suppliers too.

      Just a little screw-up at the (prob. offshore) supplier, I'm sure that OCZtech will be checking ALL the future batches...at least for another week or so.

      Now would be the best time to get a tube. This weeks batch will prob. be right on the spec.

    • less than 1% silver by volume

      Translation: 0% silver by volume.
    • by SYFer (617415) <syfer&syfer,net> on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:17AM (#8063572) Homepage
      Perfect response. Give the Product Manager a raise.

      This is a situation where a company's extremely quick action--which is probably going to reach virtually everyone who even knows about the problem (the parent is still "above the fold" here on /.)--may actually have the effect of increasing brand loyalty.

      Hell, I don't buy the stuff, but if I did, I'd switch to theirs on the basis of this response alone.

      1. Sell bogus silver paste
      2. Get exposed on Overclockers
      3. Masterfully respond to problem
      4. Profit!

    • by ryanw (131814) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:20AM (#8063596)
      So is "silver" even a necessity to CPU cooling? If people are purchasing this compound because it is "99% silver" and place it inbetween the CPU and the heatsink, isn't there more at stake here? I mean what if there were damaged CPUs due to the usage of this compound instead of one with 99% silver? Shouldn't they be paying for more than just re-emburse you for your bunk tube you paid for? What about the bunk CPU that it fried?
      • by juhaz (110830) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:40AM (#8063702) Homepage
        So is "silver" even a necessity to CPU cooling?

        No. Some people (usually overclockers) buy these "silver" compounds because they think it conducts heat better than other materials - and it probably does - but practically it isn't any better than the others, there's supposed to be _very_ little of this stuff in between the CPU and cooler, so any difference with any other compound that is fluid enough to fill all the cracks it's supposed to, is very small, and probably not even noticeable.

        If people are purchasing this compound because it is "99% silver" and place it inbetween the CPU and the heatsink, isn't there more at stake here? I mean what if there were damaged CPUs due to the usage of this compound instead of one with 99% silver?

        I don't see how one could fry their CPU (assuming the compound isn't useless in the more important aspects) with this, so what if it makes a 1'C difference, the thing would've fried anyway

        If you push your system over the limits it's designed to go, you should monitor it, instead of trusting some magical "silver bullet" will save you - and if you don't keep an eye of those temperatures, you're an idiot. And deserve your new keychain that used to be an expensive CPU.
        • by oddfox (685475) on Friday January 23, 2004 @06:14AM (#8064410) Homepage

          Quite frankly, sir, you are ill-informed, since these thermal pastes do far more than your standard stuff you get from AMD or Intel (I'm not sure if Intel provides a thermal pad, I'm sure they do, but I've never bought an Intel processor), or buy on the internet that doesn't contain silver.

          Here are some links for you to check out to see just how much of a difference these tubes make:

          Mikhailtech review [mikhailtech.com], EXHardware review/comparison of pastes [exhardware.com], Overclockers Club review/comparison [overclockersclub.com], ClubOC review/comparison [cluboverclocker.com].

          There are many more reviews and comparisons. I chose to do a Google search for 'review "arctic silver 3"' and those were pretty much the first hits I got. In an overclocked system where stability and cooling is important, these pastes could make all the difference. In a standard system, these help prolong the life of the computer's parts.

          Oh, and before I forget, the links I just posted more or less compare Arctic Silver stuff with either other Arctic Silver products, or competing products. If you want to see just how much of a difference these compounds can make from the regular thermal pads or thermal compound that uses silicone, Check this out [earthv.com]. That's a whopping 10 degrees celsius difference the Arctic Silver has on full load compared to a standard thermal pad, and 5 degrees difference from standard thermal compound w/silicone.

          I personally use AS3, and so does my father. With this paste I can safely overclock my Athlon 2000+ to an Athlon 2600+. Not that I do, mind you, because even though I can, I'd rather know that my system is well cooled, rather than adequately.

        • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday January 23, 2004 @07:29AM (#8064571) Homepage
          Silver thermal paste is like a big go-faster wing on your Kia-Rio... it makes the buyer think he is smart.

          If you want the real stuff you need to look at what the United States military uses. if you want the absolute best thermal compound available, get anything that meets MIL SPEC MIL-C-47113.

          I found the only product so far available to the consumer in small quantities is GC electronics Type 44 Heat sink compound. the little 1/2 oz jar will last you, your friends, and your families lifetime.

      • by Tmack (593755) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:52AM (#8063777) Homepage Journal
        Silver, being a metal, is very conductive. Conductivity in the electrical realm generally translates into better conductivity in the thermal range as well. So yes, a 99% silver compound would transmit heat from cpu to heatsink better than your standard paste. A 99% copper paste would be almost as effective, but its affenity for oxygen would cause it to break down into a green sludge of oxidized metal rather quickly.

        As far as the danger of putting a potentially conductive paste on top of your CPU, yes it can be dangerous, if you dont know what you are doing. The ceramic core of the cpu is the ONLY part that needs any paste. Covering the whole chip can short-circuit the bridges and other circuitry on that surface, and even though there is a protective layer of laquor, there is still a risk. Adding too much can allow it to ooze out onto the motherboard and short something else, possibly the CPU pins. Too much compound will also actually insulate the chip rather than cool it, as it adds more material that the heat has to conduct through. During my stint as a repair tech, I had a few fried CPU's from people not reading directions/having a clue, and covering the entire surface of the CPU with the stuff. All the paste is supposed to do is eliminate any air gap between CPU and heatsink. Newer CPU's mihgt come with a metal shim on top of the chip (Ala the old K6-2's), giving a wider dispersion path for the heat to travel before jumping to the heatsink through the paste.

        If you buy almost ANYTHING with a warantee, it only warantees itself, not what it might do to other things even if used properly. Is your car waranteed against getting into an accident? No. The lack of silver will reduce its conductivity, but the rest of the components in the compound still conduct failry well. The worst that would happen is a cpu might run warmer than it would with the silver. If your system is so critical that lack of silver burns up the CPU, you probably voided a different warantee already (Overclock something??).

        Be thankfull a company is actually claiming responsibility and is willing to do SOMETHING about it, rather than ignore/deny etc. Stop complaining about how little they are doing, after all how much did you pay for their product vs how much this has to be costing them?

        Tm

        ps: I bet they are gona take the cost of this recall out of their supplier, seeing as the supplier sold them something claiming to have x% silver, but breached contract giving them 0%. Must have saved the supplier a load of $$ to not put that silver in, but guess they will pay for it now.

        • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Friday January 23, 2004 @05:33AM (#8064271) Journal
          Too much compound will also actually insulate the chip rather than cool it

          Good advice. This may be stating the obvious, but the perfect thermal junction between a chip and a heatsink is NOTHING, i.e. both of them perfectly flat, with every single atom touching. In the real world, surfaces have flaws and air gets in between. Air is a very poor conductor of heat. So we have thermal compound, which is beter than air, and more malleable than the two surfaces could be.

          Don't use much of the stuff AT ALL. When you squeeze the two surfaces together, you just want a thin film of compound fillling in the areas where the two surfaces don't touch. If it squishes out the sides, you used too much.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2004 @04:05AM (#8064059)
      OCZ would like to take this time to spin doctor a recent article published at Overclockers.com, which shows that OCZ Ultra 2 thermal compound has no silver content.

      It is not really OCZ's fault, we don't actually make the stuff. OCZ is a victum just like you! Someone in China did it and we couldn't have possibly known because we outsourced our quality control as well. This required us to trust a single independent lab test to be representive of the quality of all batches of OCZ Ultra 2 thermal compound.

      Now that we have been caught with our pants down, we have submitted a second batch to our outsourced quality control and confirmed that it is all China's fault. But we would like to point out that the compound did contain 30% silver by weight. We have reached the conclusion that this recent batch (actually, it might be multiple batchs but we can't afford to test each one to be sure) did not meet with the OCZ unenforced specifications.

      Instead of giving your money back, we will define the steps below as "accepting full responsiblity" and would like to point out that we are taking legal action since it really is China's fault.

      Beginning today we are issuing an incomplette recall of all full or partially used OCZ Ultra 2 (if you still have an empty OCZ Ultra 2 then your S.O.L. and get nothing).

      1) The tube which now sells for $9 on NewEgg (and we would like to point out that the Tech Zone rated as cooling 2 degrees C below Arctic Silver) can be exchanged for Arctic Silver which you could have just bought for $7 -OR- you can get a OCZ heat sink that we need to get rid of anyways since it is discontinued!

      But wait... there is more...

      2) A one-size-fits-all T-shirt featuring the OCZ logo so you can be a walking advertizement for OCZ until it falls apart the third time you wash it. The fact that there is not the cotten/polyester blend we specified can not be OCZ's fault because after all... OCZ does not have it's own quality assurence and in the end everything is China's fault.

      Oh... but wait... there is even more...

      3) $10 off another of our products which also comes complette with no quality assurence!

      Thank you for getting scre... doing business with OCZ. Remember, if it is not OCZ technology then you might actually be getting what you payed for.
    • by Lionfish (640889) on Friday January 23, 2004 @05:20AM (#8064239)
      I fried my cpu and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.
  • Who cares? (Score:4, Funny)

    by FractusMan (711004) * on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:01AM (#8063455)
    When someone buys 'Silver' thermal paste, are they paying for silver, or for performance? I don't buy the platinum edition of a game and feel jipped because the CD held little to no platinum.
  • by MrBallistic (88770) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:01AM (#8063457) Homepage
    ...compusa meant that it was 99% silver - the /color/.

    thank you, thank you. i'll be here all night. tip your wait staff.
  • by herrvinny (698679) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:01AM (#8063459)
    need I say more?

    These people have to have violated more than a few false advertising laws, and since the article says on the bottom that all tests have been verified with an independent testing agency, I say this is a fairly open and shut case.
  • Ok (Score:5, Funny)

    by TexVex (669445) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:02AM (#8063464)
    Silver thermal paste

    Not so silver after all
    My CPU wilts
    Because I couldn't come up with a good Perl Haiku. :(
  • o boy (Score:5, Funny)

    by lib112x (741398) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:03AM (#8063471)
    Is silver toxic? I thought the tube that came with my athlon fan was complementary tootpaste!
  • This 'hamburger' contains no ham, these 'French' fries are from Idaho, and this Dr. Pepper was not prescribed and tastes nothing like pepper!

    I want a free goddam coffee and an apple pie right now or I'll sue!

  • by Justin205 (662116) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:08AM (#8063510) Homepage
    403.9 Access Forbidden: Too many users are connected

    You're telling me a site on overclocking [overclockers.com] has to cut off the user limit? Their servers aren't overclocked enough to handle it?
  • by Sage Gaspar (688563) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:12AM (#8063531)
    Comp USA brand silver thermal grease is, indeed, marketed as having silver content. Not just silver coloring, but, explicitly, silver content. Take a look at this before they take it down: compusa.com Product Listing [compusa.com].

    In addition, the author claims that similar claims were made on the label of OCZ paste. Judging by the reaction from the people at OCZ (or the people that claim to be OCZ) and his accuracy in the rest of the test, I have no reason to doubt him.

    Please, think before you spout the tired, cynical rhetoric about shady advertisement.
  • ARTICLE TEXT (Score:3, Informative)

    by macdaddy (38372) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:16AM (#8063559) Homepage Journal
    "SILVER THERMAL PASTES - BUYERS BEWARE!"
    Silversinksam - 1/21/04

    I decided to test Arctic Silver 5, Arctic Silver 3, OCZ Ultra II Premium Silver Compound, and CompUSA Silver Thermal Grease. This test was not conducted to test performance, but rather to determine if these compounds have Silver as an ingredient.

    All Testing was done twice, once on a jeweler's acid free 'Black stone', and the test was repeated on paper. The testing solution was Nitric acid and Muriatic acid that was pre-mixed professionally.

    The tests produced some very disturbing results:

    OCZ Ultra II Premium Silver compound and the CompUSA Silver Thermal Grease has ZERO silver in it.

    The testing solution stayed orange - if it had any silver in it, the acids would turn varying degrees of red, depending on the purity of the silver present. OCZ claims that OCZ Ultra II Premium Silver compound is, "Made with 99.9% pure micronized silver, Over 70% silver content by weight".

    I cannot concur and my tests conclusively show that there is Zero micronized silver present, and Zero silver content by weight.

    Arctic Silver 3 and Arctic Silver 5 were also tested and both produced a blood red color, indicating 90% - 100% purity of Silver in both Arctic Silver 3 and Arctic Silver 5. Arctic Silver's claim of, "Contains 99.9% pure silver" by my testing is accurate and of the compounds tested, only Arctic Silver products produced results showing that Silver is in fact present.

    The tubes in the picture below from left to right, Arctic Silver 5, Arctic Silver 3, OCZ Ultra II Premium Silver Compound and CompUSA Silver Thermal Grease.

    In picture 3 below, from left to right is Arctic Silver 5, Arctic Silver 3 and OCZ Ultra II Premium Silver Compound. The compounds were placed on the paper and the acid was place on the compound undisturbed. Notice how the acid drop placed on the OCZ Ultra II Premium Silver Compound remains orange, indicating zero silver present:

    When you go into a jewelry store and buy a sterling silver or a fine silver necklace, you expect the jewelry to be made of sterling or fine silver. The same should apply to silver thermal pastes - if the silver paste has no silver in it and the manufacturer says it does, that is misleading.

    Based on my testing, I can not recommend OCZ Ultra II Premium Silver Compound or CompUSA Silver Thermal Grease, as they are both misleading products with zero silver in them. If you want a product that actually has silver as an ingredient, Arctic Silver 3, Arctic Silver 5 or Arctic Silver Adhesive tested OK.

    Ed Note: Silversinksam's conclusions have been verified by an independent testing laboratory - details will follow in Part 2 of this article.

    Silversinksam
  • by Haxx (314221) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:20AM (#8063595) Homepage

    The overclocking thing bewilders me. These overclockers only push there cpu's to the limit so they can see a performance gain in the latest version of Quake.

    You can't overclock a cpu on a pc or a server that has any real use what-so-ever.

    Imagine overclocking the cpu on you employers mail server, then it becomes unstable and corrupts half the data!

    -Haxx

    • by Rob Simpson (533360) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:39AM (#8063695)
      There are other reasons for using silver thermal paste and "overclocking" products than just overclocking. I have a layer of arctic silver with a masive copper heatsink [thermalright.com], but I don't overclock. Instead, I have the cpu cooled by a 120mm fan running nice and quiet on minimum speed. I also have a Zalman cooler on my video card. Both of these make my computer's noise level much less distracting than the jet engine it was before.
    • by juhaz (110830) on Friday January 23, 2004 @03:14AM (#8063878) Homepage
      You can't overclock a cpu on a pc or a server that has any real use what-so-ever.

      You're wrong.

      Moderately overclocked systems are not useless. Sure, you shouldn't use overclocked CPU in a mission critical server (doh), but they make perfectly fine real-world desktops, I'm typing this on one and it's stable as a rock. It's predecessor(s) were as well. The speed difference is nothing staggering, and maybe it only saved twenty bucks from the next speed grade, but so what?

      This is not black and white so that something's either at stock speed or so much over the limits it's extremely unstable, you go for a speed that's stable under full load - and you test that it really is stable, or bit under that to be sure.

      Of course overclocked to the extreme rig with LN2 cooling or something equally stupid doesn't have any use what-so-ever - but they're intended to, people do that as a hobby, or to compete with eachother.
  • it doesn't matter (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:31AM (#8063659)
    Heat sink goop is a terrible conductor of heat. It is actually a very good insulator of heat.

    Here is a measure of the heat conductivity of some stuff (watts/in. degree C)

    air - 0.00076
    nylon - 0.00635
    heat sink goop - 0.0168
    brick - 0.0175
    glass - 0.02
    silver heat sink goop - 0.0282
    alumina - 0.7
    steel - 1.7
    silicon - 2.5
    brass - 3.05
    aluminum - 5.5
    gold - 7.4
    copper - 10.0
    silver - 10.6
    diamond - 16.0

    Note that any heat sink goop is a terrible conductor of heat. The only thing it is better than basically is air. Thus, heat sink goop is only to be used to fill microscopic voids between the heat sink and the CPU. If you actually have a layer of it between the heatsink and the CPU it will insulate the chip a LOT and make it overheat.

    Thus, there is no reason to use a lot of heatsink goop, it isn't critical that you use good goop. It is VERY CRITICAL that you have good enough heatsink pressure that your heatsink and CPU come in direct contact, with as much as possible heat sink goop squeezed out. There shouldn't even be a visible film of it after heat sink removal, just small pockets in the imperfections on the chip.

    Oh, all these figures are stolen from "Hot Air Rises and Heat Sinks: Everything You Know About Cooling Electronics is Wrong" by Tony Kordyban. The book, BTW is just okay. I don't really recommend it to the average person.
  • by BigFootApe (264256) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:35AM (#8063676)
    Dan says it works real good [dansdata.com].
  • by timmarhy (659436) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:36AM (#8063678)
    all you posters saying "whats the problem" are missing the point, people pay a premium for silver paste becuase it supposedly contains enough silver to provide better heat conductivity. it's marketed as such and really, infomation should be made avaiable as to the silver content.
  • OCZ recall (Score:3, Informative)

    by AnimeEd (670271) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:37AM (#8063685)
    OCZ issued a recall of the paste http://www.ocztechnology.com/displaypage.php?name= recall
  • well technically.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LuxFX (220822) on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:43AM (#8063715) Homepage Journal
    2 pack; 97% pure micronized silver
    75-80% silver content by weight

    (from CompUSA's website, regarding said silver compound)

    Wouldn't it be funny if CompUSA responded with:

    "Our product is advertised correctly. Before micronization, the silver that was used was rated at 97% percent pure. The silver was then put through our micronization process and added to a substrate to create our product compound."

    When asked what substrate was used

    "The substrate is a a type of aerogel."

    Well that would explain why the compound is 70%-80% silver by weight!
  • page mirror (Score:3, Informative)

    by silicon1 (324608) <david1.wolf-web@com> on Friday January 23, 2004 @02:44AM (#8063722) Homepage Journal
    http://silicon.wack.us/sdmirror/tpaste/ [silicon.wack.us] just in case it goes down
  • While (Score:4, Funny)

    by Kurt Russell (627436) on Friday January 23, 2004 @03:05AM (#8063839)
    working in a local mom in pop type store some dude
    came in wanting help getting his heatsink off.
    Sure enough that baby was stuck tighter than a frogs ass. I asked "did you install this?" "yep! I
    put it on with JB-WELD for a nice snug fit."
  • Nothing works better than ground up heatsinks under your heatsink!

    I mean, c'mon people! Use some logic!

    For best results, put heatsinks on the fans to cool the air more. You might want to point a fan at the fan, too. Actually, if you did this enough times, you could reach absolute zero or even absolute -10.

    This isn't rocket smarts, guys.

  • by Ignorant Aardvark (632408) <cydeweys@NospaM.gmail.com> on Friday January 23, 2004 @03:33AM (#8063951) Homepage Journal
    I don't care what element they are made out of; all I care about is that they work. If I was buying jewelry I might feel differently, but thermal paste is something you apply once and never see again. All that should matter is its performance. Then again, this could be considered false advertising, which would bother some people. But as long as it does its job, I don't care.

    Also, IANAMS (I am not a materials scientist), but the liquid test agents they're using may not work if the silver is in certain molecular compounds. The best way to examine these thermal pastes would be with a scanning electron microscope. I had the priledge of using one at NIST (National Institute for Standards in Technology located in Maryland), and we examined a ring and used some sort of technique to determine that the band of the ring had 75% atomic numbers of 79 and 25% atomic numbers of 29 and the jewel of the ring had 100% atomic number of 6. (We saw all of these as relative heights in a graph of some sort of spectrum). Needless to say, the ring was 18 carat Gold (24 carat = 100%) and the diamond was real. This immensely relieved the husband, whose wife's ring had been the one examined.
  • by teg (97890) on Friday January 23, 2004 @04:12AM (#8064078) Homepage

    From the Slashdot article:

    Over at Overclockers.com they have a review of several thermal compounds that claim to have 99% pure silver content.

    The claim is that the silver content is 70% by weight, and that the silver used is 99.9% pure. Not that the compounds have 99% silver content,

    If you want 99% silver on top of your CPU, try spreading some silverware on top of it.

  • by nuggz (69912) on Friday January 23, 2004 @07:53AM (#8064627) Homepage
    Why wouldn't you want copper?

    Copper is much cheaper.
    Silver only conducts 10% better then copper.

    Plus making sure you have a good contact by itself will do a lot just by itself.
  • by Channard (693317) on Friday January 23, 2004 @09:07AM (#8064815) Journal
    Well, several hospilizations later, at least I know why my super soaker filled with 'silver' thermal paste was having no effect upon the local lycanthropes. Damn you, false advertisers.
  • by rockwood (141675) on Friday January 23, 2004 @09:32AM (#8064947) Homepage Journal
    I have always believed that many companies do these type of 'misleading' advertisements. Like BugerKing or McDonalds saying "100% pure ground beef"...[yeah right!] I have concluded that this means "Whatever amount of beef is in it, is 100% pure beef, the rest of the burger is something else." Therefore I think the reference of 100% beef is in regards to the beed content itself and not the burger as a whole.

    I see this as being the issue with the Silver as well. Though it seems in some cases theyy couldn't find any, though maybe the microgram of 99.99% pure silver that they added to it was to minut to detect?

  • by meatspray (59961) * on Friday January 23, 2004 @10:45AM (#8065479) Homepage
    "Made with 99.9% pure micronized silver"

    The half ounce of micronized silver they added to the 4000 gallon batch of silver colored grease was 99.9% pure.

    Much in the same way that Made with real fruit juices doesn't gaurentee there's any reasonable ammount of fruit juices in it. Marketing at it's worst.

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