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Do I need to reapply conductive grease?


wyzard49
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My PC uses the H115i cooler. When I first fired up my wonderful system the CPU temp used to sit, very solidly around 27 - 28 C. My system board is by Republic of Gaming (ROG). My tower has digital readout for over clocking and one of the displays shows CPU temp. I am very diligent about keeping my PC clean. Every month I open the unit up and vacuum it, using a soft paint brush over all the components. I have watched the temperature slowly rising over the last 3 - 4 years and it now sits around 38 - 39 C.

 

Question: Does the thermal compound need to be reapplied after X years?

The current compound is the original compound that was on the unit.

 

Thank you

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Probably. There is no defined useful lifetime for each application. How much load and how often are surely factors as well. I tend to do it once per year, although hardware changes seem to keep me at a faster rate these days. However, I do think 3-4 years is time to take a look. If you have not changed the voltage and the operating parameters are mostly the same, then it may be a conductivity loss. The gain in idle should also be present at maximum load as well. If your idle is higher than expected, but max load is the still the same, it suggests OS power management changes or the activity of background programs has changed.
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WOW - talk about fast replies!!!

c-attack thank you very much. I will surely reapply new thermal compound.

All performance settings and such are as close to original start up condition as possible.

Of course OS updates and Video driver updates etc. will have changed but no overclocking parameters.

Thank you again

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Yeah, that would be the only hidden and difficult to detect element - OS changes. Surely MS has fiddled with operational protocols and power management aspects over the last several years of Win 10. However, I don't notice any increase in my idle behavior for my set-up, so theoretically neither should you. The only thing that sometimes pops up is people will unintentionally leave their PC in "Performance" power plan (OS level). That has a minimum CPU uptime of 100%, but then the normal power saving measures are still trying to kick in. End result is you run 5-10C warmer at idle, but no different when under normal load with elevated clock rates. That is worth checking out. On the 1903 update, my system ended up with a strange glitch - the balanced power profile that should be 5-100% CPU up time, had the minimum altered to 100%. I would never do this since there is a pre-existing power plan for that. It took me almost a month to catch it.

 

Weird stuff aside, I think 3-4 years is time for a new coat of TIM anyway, particularly if you otherwise keep a really tidy ship. Those with 4 years of dust and hairballs needn't worry. It's not their biggest problem.

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