New to the forum, go easy on me. As the title implies, I need to know what size thermal pads I need for my Sapphire Nitro+ RX 580. I was getting some temp spikes and dropped frames, so I think some new thermal pads are in order. I just can’t seem to find the actual specs online. ANY help would be awesome, thank you. I’ve tried asking this on other forums, but all I get is “RTFM” or nothing back at all… I’m hoping the DLN family is a little more… Helpful lol.
Good account name.
As you’re saying “pads” I think you mean for the videocard RAM as pads aren’t thermally conductive enough for a GPU processor. Generally you get a sheet and just cut them to size but the thickness is important.
FujiPoly makes the highest quality pads that I know of (though pads tend not to ever “need” replacing). There’s no easy way of telling how thick the pads should be and it’s generally not something you can find online. You’d want to remove the heatsink and measure the thickness of one where it hasn’t been squished (don’t worry about exactness, they’re designed to squish down, just dont go too thin).
If you remove your heat sink, you need to change the thermal paste on the processor(s) which is probably the problem you’re having. This paste is often dried out because even the highest end manufacturers/aftermarkets use terrible thermal paste.
You can clean the old paste off with something like 99%+ alcohol but i’ve had a great experience with ArctiClean intended for that purpose.
Here’s a 2021 list of the best pastes to replace it with. I’d recommend using Prolimatech PK-3 Nano. Getting better than Prolimatech means using a liquid metal and trust me… you dont want to go there unless you’re commited.
DLN also does a lot of RTFM - [R]eplies [T]o [F]orum [M]essages
Wow! Thank you for the info! I did take the GPU apart and saw there was a thermal pad on the die itself… Maybe that’s why, but the “void warranty” screws still had the stickers… I have some Arctic Silver and Noctua thermal paste and some 1mm Thermal Grizzly pads. Do you think that will be sufficient for a replacement?
I own an RX580. It DEFINITELY shouldn’t have a thermal pad on the die… like wow… thermal pads are not suitable for that processor by at least one order of magnitude.
I’m not talking about a graphite sheet like the Innovative Cooling (IC) one or the Carbonoaut which are ultra thin and perform really well next to paste.
If you have the Grizzly Carbonoaut that’d be excellent, i’m personally running super old Artic Silver 5 but upgrading to Carbonoaut. Noctua paste would be fine too. I’ll install my Carbonoaut and tell you if I got the size right.
Thank you! You mentioned graphite sheet… Now come to think of it, that looked different from the other pads on the heat sink… The Thermal Grizzly pads I have are of the “Minus Pad 8” variety, if that makes a difference… Thanks again for your help, I’m quite experienced with computers, but this is my first time trying my hand at taking apart a GPU.
The die for the RX580 is 18mm x 14mm and in my opinion you could use a sheet up to 20mm x 16mm though i’d recommend 19mm x 15mm if possible. It seems I bought an oversized one for a CPU so I could have useful offcuts, it’s difficult material to cut accurately but it’s doable.
On the scan code sticker my Carbonaut was called a “thermal pad” which I think is a great way to confuse people but fair enough, i’ll just keep calling it a sheet
Minus 8 pads have a conductivity of ~8.0 W/mK
Carbonaut sheets are 62.5W/mK
So Minus 8 pads trap 7x more heat than the Carbonaut and are definitely not intended for use on a processor unless it’s something like an under-powered laptop.
Ok, that’s good to know. I’ll try using the Noctua paste on the die and if that doesn’t work well enough then I’ll just order some graphite sheet. Now, would the Minus Pads be good enough for the rest of the GPU?
Noctua is above spec for what the card comes with so if that doesn’t work you probably have a different issue.
I didn’t word it well above, Carbonaut is made of carbon fiber and carbon nanotubes, the Innovative Cooling (IC) one is graphite.
Carbonaut is the better sheet and it’s W/mK is just under liquid metals.
Just under liquid metal? No wonder it’s so expensive lol. I saw that while looking for thermal pads. Good to know for next time tho
Wellllll the devil’s in the details, this is a bit of a rabbit hole topic lol.
Because Carbonaut is so thin it’s very sensitive to troughs in the material. It’ll do pretty well with a basic finish (not shiny but flat) though it doesn’t do as well with the heat/load spreaders that come pre-installed on most CPUs as the edges tend to curve up slightly creating a mini-bowl in the center.
If you’re considering Carbonaut for a CPU (not direct-die like a GPU) it’d be worth lapping the surface to make it dead flat to get the most out of it. This obviously voids the warrant and may adversely affect resale so consider those too.
Good to know! Thanks for the info. I probably won’t use it for a CPU, but if I ever take apart another GPU I may use the Carbonaut. I’ll report back with what happens with my RX 580. It may be a little bit though as I’ve got a few other projects I’m working on so my GPU has to go on the back burner for now. It’s ok tho, I have a backup in the meantime. Thanks again for all your help