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K5 Pro thermal putty vs thermal pads for full size graphics cards with water blocks.


Has anyone ever tried this stuff? I searched and found only few mentions of success with laptop graphics but nothing very convincing or even helpful really. The product reviews at various retailers are mostly positive but none mentions using it on larger, higher power graphics cards - like a 1080 ti, Titan, Quadro, etc. Seems like it would be than typical pads if it performs as advertised. I hate dealing with thermal pads. They're expensive and fiddly to get the right thickness. This isn't an issue with the paste. It claims to offer comparable thermal conductivity, at least compared to typical thermal pads, not high end (crazy expensive). I doubt graphics card manufacturers use the best pads on any of their cards anyway.

This K5 Pro stuff less expensive, at least to the consumer, so why wouldn't manufacturers just use it? I only found one report of the stuff drying out after a few months. I really doubt thermal conductivity is the issue. There must be more to it. Maybe thermal pads are easier for manufacturers and/or even cheaper when bought in the quantities they use?

Some manufacturers use a combination of pads and that thick white paste with fibrous mesh, although I have no idea why. I can only guess that they are not going for the highest thermal conductivity but a more balanced approach to keep the heatsink from getting too hot and potentially overheating other more heat-sensitive parts. The inductors (chokes) in the VRM sections sometimes have pads and sometimes have nothing, for example. They are designed to run hot, so I suppose it makes sense to not want to conduct too much of that heat to the heatsink which could result in actually heating other components or the GPU in extreme conditions.

The pads that came with my Alphacool water block are too stiff/thick and prevent the GPU from making complete/even contact with the water block. I'm debating whether I should use regular thermal pads (I have a selection from Arctic) along with all the fiddling to get the right thickness or just try the K5 Pro and be done with it (hopefully).
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