Graphite Thermal Pads

Has anybody tried a graphite thermal pad such as the ones from Thermal Grizzly or Innovation Cooling? If so what size pad is a good size for mobile CPUs?

It’s honestly slightly worse than a decent quality thermal paste. They’re convenient if you swap coolers a lot (I do a lot of benchmarking for my channel), but otherwise I’d just leave the stock paste alone or get a better one from a big name vendor.

A word of caution though. I replaced the paste on my laptop a while ago with some kryonaut. My lord, the laptop gets hot now. Not the cpu, but the laptop chassis.

My laptop uses the chassis to help remove some of the heat and with the cpu running cooler it boosts more often. I kinda regret it honestly, I have to manually turn down the TDP for when I’m using it on my lap.

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Something which might help without even going to the step of undervolting (which won’t work on the Framework but might on your other laptop). If you’re running Windows you can expose extra power settings to adjust when your computer turbos, if at all, as well as max frequency you want it to run, etc. I have different thresholds tied to different power settings. I do this to have a lower power consumption profile when I’m not desk-bound, or when I’m running off a battery pack (where I don’t want it pretending it’s on AC and turning into a toaster). That way you implement software limits, and aren’t stuck with the thermal limits defined by your BDProchot or TJMax limits.

Sorry, I’m not running a framework yet. I’m still using an older AMD laptop. I’m not willing to buy into the current intel generation on the FW, so i’m here until a v2 comes out.

On ryzen I use a 3rd party tool to adjust the TDP for the unit, though honestly just adjusting the windows slider would probably yield similar results for the framework.

It’s nothing too terrible, and I cannot comment on the exact thermal dissipation on the laptop, but it was just a surprising experience on my end.

Kryonaut is one of the best pastes out there period but even then you’re only talking about a very small difference between it and other decent quality pastes. I used kryonaut because I had it on hand for some LN2 overclocking. It’s rather pricey for the quantity you get but honestly how often do you plan to repaste a cpu?

Another word of caution. The “best” thermal compound is technically liquid metal, IE Konductinaut.

That stuff is dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s electrically conductive and it reacts with aluminum, destroying it. I would 10000% not suggest using it unless you’re comfortable with the risks and even then, I’d never use it on a laptop. There’s too high of a risk of the liquid metal leaking out and shorting something on the board.

If you have any questions lmk, I’m down to answer anything I can.

Thermal paste is designed to be squishy to allow good thermal contact between to potentially uneven surfaces, I don’t see how a solid anything (like a sheet of Graphine) could do the same.

@Frosty sorry if this is a hijack but could you elaborate a bit more on why doesn’t undervolting work on the framework? Thanks a lot

@Runkai_Zhang Intel disabled undervolting on 11th gen: Intel and OEMs have killed undervolting and there is little that you can do about it - News

This is solely an Intel thing for 11th gen, the OEMs in the article are disabling undervolting in their older models as well.

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Yeah what Jeshikat said. Unfortunately for whatever reason it’s the new industry trend to disable undervolting altogether rather than patching the utility. I’m not a CS expert, so I can’t say if there was no way whatsoever to fix the exploit other than disabling undervolting, but I’d be surprised if that was the case.

Graphite thermal pads (they’re not graphene unfortunately) are flexible and squishy enough to deform under CPU clamping pressures. You’re right that they aren’t as good at maintaining good surface contact as a thermal paste on a microscopic scale. However what you’re forgetting is that graphite thermal pads of the lowest caliber have double the thermal conductivity. The fanciest thermal pads (not used for CPUs yet, but maybe soon) have three or four orders of magnitude higher thermal conductivity. Those bigger breaks in surface contact with a graphite pad are made up for by the fact that it can move heat so quickly from areas it’s in good contact with, thus why a graphite pad can usually maintain within a degree or two of the performance of the absolute best-performing pastes. Don’t forget either that this testing is usually done on unlapped, CPU IHS to CPU fan surfaces, which is something of a best-case scenario for the pastes when it comes to the difference in surface contact.

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Unless you’re really pushing a CPU it does’t matter either way. LTT even did a test where they left the plastic film on the CPU and in most cases it didn’t effect the temp results.

If you are on Windows, just disable Turbo. (you can do the same on Linux) Then when you think you are doing something that you would genuinely benefit from it being on, you can turn it back on.

My experience, is that I’ve never felt that I needed it back on. Not while compiling, rendering, or gaming.

Edit: Of course I’m not sure if AMD does turbo boost on their silicon. Regardless, you can prevent the CPU from full utilization, and this would probably have the same effect for you.

Yeah I manually turn the TDP up or down (or adjust the power plan in windows) when I have an issue. Just warning you guys of the possibility is all. It’s not a huge deal either way, and I’d be surprised if a graphite pad had any positive effect over the stock paste (if you’re not affected by the early batch paste issue).