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Recently I have begun to restore broken and damaged Sony Playstation 3's.......The amount of time and research that I spent looking at how to disassemble and reassemble was incredible as I was always afraid that I would do more harm than good, however my warranty ran out and instead of sending it off for a stupid amount of money to be fixed i thought what the hell and gave it a go myself. The Arctic 5 silver thermal paste as one of the core components that I needed to get my oracle fixed.
At first it looks like any other thermal compound, in a syringe of various sizes depending on the amount you buy the main ones being 3.5g and 12g it looks just like any of the other alternatives you can get out there, however, when you go to apply the compound it is far from the same. The quality of the product stands out when you push the plunger down and this thick greyish looking 'stuff' comes out. Most others look a bit watery and never fill you with confidence but this was a little like finding a quality plaster to put on your walls. Spreading it over the GPU and CPU you met some resistance which goes to show just how quality this product really is.
When I finished piecing the PS3 back together again I waited in anticipation to see if I had fixed it and to see if my investment in the Arctic silver 5 had worked out and voilà when I turned it on it worked. The test was to see how long the Arctic silver 5 would keep my CPU from overheating and thus far I am pleased to say that after 3 months of solid use my PS3 is still working which goes to show that this thermal compound is definitely worth the purchase when trying to fix things such as games consoles and even computers and laptops if you feel that a splash of thermal compound would help to keep the processor cool.
Best £14.95 I spent when trying to fix a £250 games machine!
The paste is used when upgrading to a new CPU or installing an aftermarket cooler. Either way you will probably be given some paste with a new cooler or it will come preinstalled on the stock. This is fine if you're not overclocking or haven't got lots of drives and a big graphics card heating your case up which will increase the overall temp of everything inside the case.
I have used this paste around five time's altogether each time it's been a breeze to apply. The temps will vary as the paste can take a while to set but it dropped around 4c at idle but when under load it can make a big impact.
Be careful when applying the paste as too little or to much can cause problems. If you apply to little the surface area of the CPU may not be covered and this will increase the overall temp. Use too much and it may get on the circuit board which is bad as the paste is conductive. You want half the size of a pea in the centre and let the heatsink spread it.
When my PS3 died on me without a warranty and I was faced with the choice of paying £50+ to have it fixed or attempt to repair it myself I decided to take the brave option. However, being unbelievably naive with sort of thing I spent ages researching disassembly of it and fix methods before I even touched it.
I managed to deduce that it had failed because of overheating and became quite confident about being able to do the fix relatively easy, however as it has conveniently died just after christmas I was somewhat out of pocket. This Arctic Silver 5 is what I turned to and I oculdn't be happier with the results (my PS3 is fixed.) When searching for a thermal compound I turned up many a result, however this is the one that seemed to crop up more than others and I have to say I can see why it's so popular. At a very cheap price, when buying the paste on it's own, I ordered with no worries and anticipated its arrival. During which I learned a little bit about how it works:
After opening up my PS3 for the first time I oculd see that the CPU and GPU were directly attached to what is known as the heat sink, these chips apparently generate the most heat in the console and are also the most important (as is suggested in the name of the CENTRAL Processing Unit.) The thermal paste's job is to conduct this heat efficiently to the heat sink to avoid overheating and consequent melting of the solder, which clearly the old stuff was not doing.
Apparently arctic silver is more with its silver particle contents. Well, I have to agree, ever since I have put it in I have had no problem with it and even the fan seems to be running quieter.
When applying it you need no more than a thin layer therefore the syringe that you get is a very good value considering its price (around £5) as it is good for a number of further applications. I also found the application relatively easy thanks to the fact that it comes already in a syringe, making the product overall VERY user friendly.
**Extras - Articlean kit
Before applying the paste however I have to get rid of the (overapplied) old stuff and for this I needed another solvent. I happened to purchase the articlean combo that provided me with a cleaner and purifer for preparing the surface, it also gave me the lint-free cloths they suggest you use. If you are performing a similar process I would strongly recommend buying the cleaning kit. (I've put the link at the bottom) Keep it in a well-ventilated room, I swear I was hallucinating by the end of the process...
Overall I am extremely pleased with this product and I'm afraid I can't fault it as I'm still experiencing the euphoria that this glue has provided... through fixing my PS3, not by sniffing it!
I'm not the type of person to try and repair things when they're broken. When my laptop started shutting down due to overheating my first thought was "time to buy a new laptop". However I decided in the current climate that spending £500+ was not feasible.
Having disassembled the laptop and removed all the dust and grim which had built up over the past 3 years I decided that some new thermal compound wouldn't go amiss. A simple Google search will show that when it comes to thermal compounds Arctic Silver are up there as the best manufacturers of such products. Therefore I decided to buy myself some Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste. This can be found on most online retailers such as overclockers, dabs, scan, ebuyer and amazon (although it is only sold on amazon marketplace).
The cheapest place I found it on however was eBay at just £5 with free p&p. Arctic Silver 5 paste comes in a small grey cylinder with a plunger at one end. 3.5g is enough to cover 6-10 larger CPUs so at around £5 offers excellent value for money.
As it's name suggests, Arctic silver 5 paste contains Silver particles (apparently in 3 different sizes). These help maximise heat ransfer allowing your computer to be cooled much more efficently then other thermal compounds. The paste requires about 100 hours of initial use for it to work at optimal levels.
Before I put the Arctic Silver on my CPU I made sure to remove any of the existing thermal compound. This can be done by using isopropyl alcohol wipes (can be bought in a chemist). There are different techniques to use when applying the paste. What's important to remember is that too much can be as bad as too little. Ideally you want a thin, even layer over the CPU. My Arctic Silver from eBay did not come in it's retail package, but I believe a plastic card is included to spread the paste.
Overall I saw my laptop temperature drop by 7 degrees whilst idle and 15 degrees whilst under full load. Fan temperatures seem to be alot quieter aswell and they now rarely work at full speed. At just £5, arctic silver has extended the life of my laptop and saved me having to spend £500 on a new one. Highly recommended for any old computers in need of some tlc!