Take a look at our
ThinkPads.com HOME PAGE
For those who might want to contribute to the blog, start here: Editors Alley Topic
Then contact Bill with a Private Message

Thermal Paste Question

T40/T41/T42/T43 Series
Post Reply
Message
Author
Callahan
Sophomore Member
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:37 am
Location: Huntingdon, PA

Thermal Paste Question

#1 Post by Callahan » Mon May 17, 2021 3:47 pm

In November 2016 I had to replace a fan in my T41 ThinkPad and also in that time period I decided to update the CPUs in my three ThinkPads ... the T41 with the broken fan and two T42s. I got help here on what thermal paste would be the best to use.

I went with NT-H1 for all three machines. I am now thinking of replacing the thermal paste. Is that about the 'life' of thermal paste in a computer? 4 1/2 to 5 years ... or could I squeak another year or two with the 2016 applied paste?

Also, I still had unused thermal paste in the injector tube from 2016. Is this paste still OK to use now or in the future ... or should I just throw it away and buy a new tube. Does 'unused thermal paste' still age or breakdown over time?

I figure many here have knowledge of thermal paste from repairs and such. Of course I didn't push on the NT-H1 injector tube button so it may be all dried up inside, I don't know. My T41 is no longer around in working condition so I only have the two T42s to apply any new thermal paste ... there might be enough left in the tube from 2016.

Thank for the assistance.
...

rkawakami
Admin
Admin
Posts: 10327
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:26 am
Location: San Jose, CA 95120 USA
Contact:

Re: Thermal Paste Question

#2 Post by rkawakami » Mon May 17, 2021 5:41 pm

The main reason why thermal paste would "wear out" if left unused is if it's been exposed to a large amount of air over a long time. The silver particles in the paste do not break down but the moisture does go away, leaving it like it's been used on a CPU/heatsink. At least that's my opinion.

I equate it to those small tubes of super glue. They are fine for the first couple of applications but then you leave it in your junk drawer for several years and it's impossible to use the remaining stuff because it's hardened up over time. So you throw it away and go out and buy a new tube and the cycle starts over again.

I have a 3.5g syringe of Antec Formula 5 (an Arctic Silver 5 wannabe) that's been firmly capped on my desk for at least 10 years. I just retrieved it. I probably used it on 4 or 5 systems when it was new. While the plunger hasn't seized up, the paste that's coming out of the tip is not as free-flowing as I remembered it to be; "chunky" would be my description. I wouldn't go through the trouble to take apart a system to get to the CPU or GPU and use this paste. It would be a waste of time and effort to do the job right.

As far as the application life of the paste in a system, I would think it would be more than 4.5 to 5 years but that appears to be the recommendation of the manufacturers. After all, they are in the business of selling the stuff. Almost all of the Thinkpads I have now are on their original paste. I think I used this paste on T23 systems because at the time that was my favorite system to work on. I've since mostly retired them and rarely turn them on. An A31p that's left on 24/7 does get warm, but not overly so. It would be a good candidate for new paste. The two W520 systems I use every day are put in Sleep Mode overnight. They also could probably stand to use new paste.
Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

Callahan
Sophomore Member
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:37 am
Location: Huntingdon, PA

Re: Thermal Paste Question

#3 Post by Callahan » Mon May 17, 2021 10:10 pm

Thanks a lot for the detailed information. You are so right about 'old' tubes of super glue never being any good after a period of time ... always rock hard.

I will just buy new thermal paste ... especially after going through all the time and effort of taking a ThinkPad apart, applying fresh new thermal paste makes more sense.

I may wait till later in the year or next year to do this job. At the present time I don't have a hot temperature problem except for certain web pages for these older machines. So maybe the thermal paste is still OK.

Is NT-H1 thermal paste still a good paste to use five years later or is there something better on the market? It was suggested to me at the time in the forum that NT-H1 didn't have any metal in it like Arctic Silver 5 and that since this was the first time I had ever worked with thermal paste, a thermal paste with no metal might be better.
...

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 22142
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Wexford, Éire
Contact:

Re: Thermal Paste Question

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue May 18, 2021 12:35 am

A fresh tube of NT-H1 is still a very good bet: https://www.tomshardware.com/best-picks ... rmal-paste
There is also the new NT-H2 which is a teensy bit better: https://www.tech-critter.com/noctua-nt- ... omparsion/

Personally I wouldn't wait that long to refresh paste, at the longest 2 years per machine.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
Covid-19: Stay safe, so still Mask it or Casket!

dr_st
Admin
Admin
Posts: 8953
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:20 am
Location: Israel

Re: Thermal Paste Question

#5 Post by dr_st » Tue May 18, 2021 3:21 am

I never bother "refreshing" thermal paste unless I am also changing the heatsink/fan (if it breaks) or I actually experience elevated temperatures. The good ones does not dry as fast. I still have a couple of small syringes of Shin-Etsu somewhere and I've certainly applied paste that was >5 years old, and it felt the right viscosity. Certainly did not turn into cement like super-glue does...
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad

Callahan
Sophomore Member
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:37 am
Location: Huntingdon, PA

Re: Thermal Paste Question

#6 Post by Callahan » Tue May 18, 2021 2:06 pm

RBS ... thanks for the NT-H1 / NT-H2 information. I probably will reorder NT-H1 thermal paste in a month or later today and apply some new paste. Now I am curious to see what condition the NT-H1 paste is like in my computer after 5 years.

There seems to be a good price difference between NT-H1 and NT-H2 from what I'm seeing on eBay for the same size 3.5 gram tube. $34 to $35 with shipping - 3.5 gram size versus $8.00 to $12.00 for NT-H1.

Noctua NT-H1 3.5g, Pro-Grade Thermal Compound Paste (3.5g)
Brand New
$7.98 / Free shipping
-----------------------------------------------
Noctua NT-H2 3.5g Pro-Grade Thermal Compound Paste
Brand New
$25.00 + $8.50 shipping

Noctua NT-H2 Pro-Grade Premium Thermal Paste Compound Grease 3.5g / 1.2ml Tube
Brand New
$22.53 + $11.79 shipping
from United Kingdom - 86 sold

I did OK with the NT-H1 thermal compound before so I will go with it again, save a few pennies. Maybe if I had newer more expensive computers or a high priced FrankenPad ... I would get the Noctua NT-H2 paste.

dr_st - Appreciate your input also ... I picked up a used 2008 Honda Accord last Sep 2020 after someone 'crashed and smashed' my old 1991 Geo Prism. So I had to learn all about Hondas ... I had never heard of the name 'Shin-Etsu' until I started reading about Shin-Etsu silicone grease being recommended for Honda door gaskets and other items, so I bought a tube for the Honda. I had no idea they also made thermal paste / grease.

Shin-Etsu X23-7783D - Microsi High Performance 1G Thermal Grease / Thermal Paste for CPU Processors or GPU's
X23-7783D Condition: New Category: Cooling
On Sale $7.99
...

WarMachine
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 413
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2006 3:38 pm
Location: Lyon, France
Contact:

Thermal Paste Question

#7 Post by WarMachine » Mon May 24, 2021 4:55 am

Hello,

As I'm concerned, I repaste my laptops when I get them (not new units, of course, they're mainly machines from 2005 to 2015). The paste is never in good shape.
I've bought some Arctic Silver MX-2 (4 g syringe) about 3 or 4 years ago and it's still going fine. I've got some Thermalgrizzly Conductonaut (1 g syringe), which is liquid, 2 years ago and no problem with it.

On the packaging of the Arctic Silver, it was written that the paste could last 7 years (I don't remember if it's for storage or when it's in use, but I think it's when it's used). No date for the Thermalgrizzly. What is nice with the Thermalgrizzly is that the tube has a closing system with rubber and it's delivered in a zip pocket, so, it can be stored for a long time.

The two worst laptops I had to repaste were my T400s and my MacBook Alu from 2008. The first was shutting down after 20 seconds, the second worked, but with a fan always at maximum. I used Thermalgrizzly on the two machines and today everything is fine (it has been fine since). I didn't see bad evolution with the temperatures since the repaste (ca. 2 years) so I don't think it's time to repaste again.

:)

W.
IBM ThinkPads 701Cs | 755Cs | 560 | 2x 600E | 2x T23 | X20 | X24 | 3x X31 | T41p | T42.
lenovo ThinkPads T60 4/3 | T60 15″ WS | T61 14″ WS | R60 | X60t | X61s | X61t | X301 | T400 | T400s | W500 | X200 | X201 | T410 | T410s | 2x X220 | T420 | T420s | T430 | T440.

Callahan
Sophomore Member
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:37 am
Location: Huntingdon, PA

Re: Thermal Paste Question

#8 Post by Callahan » Thu May 27, 2021 3:56 pm

Thanks for your input about the thermal products you have used. I haven't bought anything yet. I was going to buy another syringe of NT-H1 paste but the price jumped up after I posted my question ... from $7.50 to $9.98 , so I have decided to wait awhile to see if the price comes back down, if not then I will buy something.

So I have time to look at other products and may try something else. One week ago I took my old T41 apart ... I no longer use it since it no longer works, will just keep it for parts. I removed the CPU and fan to store for any future use. I wanted to check the NT-H1 paste that I had applied in Nov 2016.

It was not dry but I think it was somewhat dry from when I applied it 4 1/2 years ago. There seemed to be two small spots on the CPU that were 'clean' with no paste. That was the very first time I ever applied or worked with thermal paste and I maybe didn't use enough. I'm not sure ... i may try three lines across the next time I apply new thermal paste on my other two working ThinkPads, I think I went with a round drop in the middle of the CPU and it might not have spread evenly everywhere.

Maybe a little extra or some small overflow on the CPU edge is better than 'not' enough thermal paste being applied to do the job.
...

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 22142
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Wexford, Éire
Contact:

Re: Thermal Paste Question

#9 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri May 28, 2021 12:29 am

Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
Covid-19: Stay safe, so still Mask it or Casket!

WarMachine
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 413
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2006 3:38 pm
Location: Lyon, France
Contact:

Re: Thermal Paste Question

#10 Post by WarMachine » Sat May 29, 2021 3:51 pm

So, this *.PDF always exists ?! Wow ! :D
I remember I gave it to my clients 10 years ago, or so ! :D

Some good informations in video here too:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofyNgJyhGuc

:)

W.
IBM ThinkPads 701Cs | 755Cs | 560 | 2x 600E | 2x T23 | X20 | X24 | 3x X31 | T41p | T42.
lenovo ThinkPads T60 4/3 | T60 15″ WS | T61 14″ WS | R60 | X60t | X61s | X61t | X301 | T400 | T400s | W500 | X200 | X201 | T410 | T410s | 2x X220 | T420 | T420s | T430 | T440.

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2947
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: Thermal Paste Question

#11 Post by axur-delmeria » Sat May 29, 2021 8:55 pm

The Thermal Grizzly pastes I bought came in a resealable aluminized Mylar bag, to minimize moisture loss I guess.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

Callahan
Sophomore Member
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:37 am
Location: Huntingdon, PA

Re: Thermal Paste Question

#12 Post by Callahan » Mon May 31, 2021 1:44 pm

RBS - thanks for the Laptop CPU pasting instructions *PDF ... probably also a help to others, I had never seen it before.

WarMachine ... if it's been around for 10 years, too bad I didn't 'stumble' across it sooner in my thermal paste searching in 2016. I downloaded the video also.

axur-delmeria ... you and others have mentioned Thermal Grizzly, I read some good reviews on it. I may just get some of that and give it a try, since I have not ordered anything as of yet.

"Thermal Grizzly is one of the top names in thermal pastes, and focuses almost exclusively on thermal paste/grease products. Among their lineup, the Kryonaut paste is the ceramic compound that is by far the most popular product."

After posting, I came across this video ... 'Does Replacing Thermal Paste On Consumer Laptops Make Sense' He is using Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut and got some nice comments on his testing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOePb-7KGiQ
...

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “ThinkPad T40/T41/T42/T43 Series”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 77 guests