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    ROG Guru: Black Belt Array Korth PC Specs
    Korth PC Specs
    MotherboardASUS X99 R5E (BIOS2101/1902)
    ProcessorHaswell-EP E5-1680-3 SR20H/R2 (4.4GHz)
    Memory (part number)Vengeance LPX 4x8GB SS DDR4-3000 (CMK32GX4M4C3000C15)
    Graphics Card #1NVIDIA Quadro GP100GL/16GB, 16xPCIe3, NVLink1 (SLI-HB)
    Graphics Card #2NVIDIA Quadro GP100GL/16GB, 16xPCIe3, NVLink1 (SLI-HB)
    Sound CardJDS Labs O2+ODAC (RevB), USB2 UAC1
    MonitorASUS PG278Q
    Storage #1Samsung 850 PRO 512GB SSDs, 4xSATA3 RAID0
    Storage #2Comay BladeDrive E28 3200GB SSD, 8xPCIe2
    CPU CoolerRaijintek NEMESIS/TISIS, AS5, 2xNH-A14
    CaseObsidian 750D (original), 6xNH-A14
    Power SupplyZalman/FSP ZM1250 Platinum
    Headset Pilot P51 PTT *modded*
    OS Arch, Gentoo, Win7x64, Win10x64
    Network RouterActiontec T3200M VDSL2 Gateway
    Accessory #1 TP-Link AC1900 Archer T9E, 1xPCIe
    Accessory #2 ASUS/Infineon SLB9635 TPM (TT1.2/FW3.19)
    Accessory #3 ASUS OC Panel I (FW0501)
    Korth's Avatar
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    Mar 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by SlackROG View Post
    What about just placing a nice blob of some Grease on the chips, then putting on the heatsink, instead of thermal pads?

    I personally use GELID on my CPU
    Thermal paste/grease is meant for close tolerances. A high-viscosity (thin and liquidy) TIM like Gelid GC Extreme is a top-tier champ for CPU or GPU cooling, it can flow evenly between mating surfaces and is great for tight, awkward, or interlocking part geometries. But it's not suitable for filling large gaps like these M.2 heatsinks (or a GPU backplate) - some kind of pad or epoxy is far better (the only real choice) for these applications, even though it has less bulk thermal conductivity. A solid solder TIM would be ideal but wouldn't be practical for aftermarket M.2 cooling (indeed, the necessary industrial soldering/reflow temps cannot be used without damaging some NVRAM packages), especially since these heatsinks are designed to allow for general M.2 compatibility instead of being factory-integrated within a specific M.2 product. While "liquid-metal" or "phase-change" reflow TIMs are end-user substitutes for industrial solder-based TIMs, superior in terms of versatility but inferior in terms of performance and longevity and cost.

    An active-cooling system (ducted airflow, heatpipes, waterblock, or TEC block) would offer improved spot-cooling on M.2 hardware. But it isn't really necessary with today's SSDs, they can run a little hot but not so much that it's a serious issue, plus today's NVRAM isn't as adversely affected by peak temps as more critical system components. Aggressive SSD cooling might be necessary in a few years if SSD capacities (and technological densities) keep increasing.
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