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Urgent GPU "repasting" question

Rapid_Sausage

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
60
So i have this alienware laptop, and on the GPU there is no Thermal paste/grease, the OEM uses these sticky pads (flat strips, sticky on both sides, exactly the size of the components).

In the past i've had 2 GPUs die, the first was due to an assembly error which resulted in a screw landing on the GPU and causing it to short circuit, and was replaced under warranty, the second time was due to these sticky pads drying out on the GPU dye, this time i had to pay for the new GPU myself but the people who replaced and fitted it again were different.

Now i want to replace these thermal strips/pads just as a precaution, but i can't find replacements anywhere and the guys who replaced the GPU for me before cannot procure a new one, i have no experience in applying thermal paste/grease and neither do they, and i don't wanna fiddle around with a $570 GPU on my first try, so i'm stuck here and i don't know what to do.

The precaustions i've taken since my last GPU replacement (7 months ago) were using nvidia inspector to limit my frames per second to 50~55 max instead of leaving it open all the time, i always keep the laptop dust free by cleaning the fans and heatsink (like twice a month), i ALWAYS monitor my temperatures to see if anything is out of the ordinary (thankfully nothing is so far), and i routinely check on the thermal pads to check if they're drying out, but i cannot check on the thermal pad sitting on the GPU dye and i don't wanna decouple the heatsink from the GPU to check as this will create air bubbles which won't seal again and will ruin the thermal conductivity between the GPU and heatsink.

Ordering some pads online is also a little complicated, because i do not know the required thickness of the pads i need (there's differing color pads with differing thicknesses on the gpu), and importing stuff is hampered by all the policies and checks the things have to go through when entering the country (Egypt).

So to the actual question now, Should i be worried about these pads giving up on me in a moment's notice??, do i really need to be chasing after a fresh set of stickies???, or am i just too paranoid??
 
Last edited:

MattyB

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Mar 19, 2012
Messages
2,964
Most manufacturers use a combination of pads and paste. The paste usually goes on the main part of the GPU and the pads cover the other sensitive areas like the memory chips. From my experiences they also tend to use multiple thickness pads on different areas of the GPU depending on the depth between the card and the GPU bracket. My advice would be to order a range of pad thicknesses and also some quality paste like IC Diamond.
Pads can be reused if they are still in good condition. After a while though pads can go hard and brittle and they are pretty useless.
 

Rapid_Sausage

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
60
Most manufacturers use a combination of pads and paste. The paste usually goes on the main part of the GPU and the pads cover the other sensitive areas like the memory chips. From my experiences they also tend to use multiple thickness pads on different areas of the GPU depending on the depth between the card and the GPU bracket. My advice would be to order a range of pad thicknesses and also some quality paste like IC Diamond.
Pads can be reused if they are still in good condition. After a while though pads can go hard and brittle and they are pretty useless.

Like i said, i'd love to use thermal paste, but i have absolutely no experience applying it, and i'm not about to try it on such an overly expensive graphics card which i can't afford to replace anymore, and every pc repair shop i go to refuse to touch it because they don't wanna mess with thermal paste and they don't have the required thermal pads for it.

Also i'm 100% sure that my GPU has a thermal pad on the dye.
 

Phx-Rush

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Joined
Jan 12, 2015
Messages
15
Hey brah , here's a great guide on repasting http://forum.techinferno.com/alienware-m17x-aw-17/197-m17x-r3-cpu-gpu-re-pasting-guide-w-pics.html , I've redone my cpu and gpu twice on my rig and a few times on my old XPS1730. For thermal pads I use fujipoly extremes, they come in multible sizes and go from 6,11 and 17w xfer. others will work fine, I just really like these for pulling away heat. take your time and you'll do fine. you can clean w/ 90%alcohol or I like usin Artic clean.I've used artic silver 5, ICD7 and prolimatech they all do a good job.
 

MattyB

Moderator
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
2,964
It's really pretty simple. I was worried the first time too though. Get yourself an anti-static wristband if you feel uncomfortable. I never use one though. Just make sure you do it away from carpet so you don't build up a charge easily. It's very important to get the pads covering all the parts. If something touches the x-bracket then you can fry your card or mobo.
 
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