Liquid Metal vs thermal paste

I read a lot about the framework laptop and the cooler seems to be capable of handeling the CPU. Has anybody tried liquid metal vs regular thermal compound?
I was curious, since I read the fan can get pretty lound under heavy load and liquid metal could help here. Thanks for your answers.

Make sure to watch this before applying liquid metal to a laptop: FK LIQUID METAL! - YouTube

If you accidentally spill liquid metal, it not only likely causes shorts on your board, it also mixes with the solder and makes it brittle over time. It also corrodes aluminum if it comes into contact with it (the framework case for example).

Generally wouldn’t recommend it. Normal thermal compound is fine, easily removable and nonconducting.


I have worked with liquid metal before and used it on my old laptop successfully. I know there are risks, but it also gives a decent noise reduction normally

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Some people have replaced their thermal paste with liquid metal, but they haven’t noticed much of an increase in performance since the paste is that new.

I’ve seen what liquid metal does to consoles especially as I repair consoles and it is bad. I usually cannot fix liquid metal damaged devices.

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I plan on applying conductonaut when I get mine. I did it to my HP evny 13 (i5 8250u) and haven’t had any issues. Though I’m an outlier, I used it for delidding and then I also used it between my cooler and IHS on intel, and then a threadripper 2950x.

As long as you do it right, you’ll be fine. If you have enough where it is able to drip off, you’ve used too much.

Telling people liquid metal is generally bad is like telling people water cooling is bad, because it can go wrong

It isn’t bad, It’s a risk, and if you do it wrong you need to be able to accept it is your own fault.


Hope I’ll have a chance this weekend, but I’m planning on benchmarking the stock paste, Kryonaut, and Conductonaut.
In addition I also want to find a way to get a thermalcouple on the VRM with the case closed and see if the stock thermal pads Vs K5 Pro makes a difference.

I’m planning on using Prime95 for loading up the CPU and HWMonitor for seeing the max temps. Anyone know of any temp monitor apps that will output a graph or CSV for logging?

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AIDA64 stress test will do.

I dont have kryonaut at home, but I will test with arctic mx4 and condactonaut. Maybe we can compare our results here

@Will3001 did you have a chance this weekend?
If not, do you plan on nickel plating the cooler?

@devryd I have only done the initial stock paste testing. I applied conformal coating around the CPU dies Sunday evening and I’m waiting for it to cure. I have no plans on nickel plating, I have not seen any long term issues with liquid metal reacting to copper on my old XPS over the last 6 years.

How often (if at all) did you have to reapply it?

I pulled it apart every 6-8 months to clean out the heatsinks and check how it was doing. I never saw temps go up over time but I did have to add a bit more every other time to make good contact. If I was not pulling it apart I doubt I would have had to add more.

Ok then I will try it without nickel plating first. If it doesnt work, I can still do it later

I have been using liquid metal on both my GPU and my old laptop. One thing I recommend when applying liquid metal on GPUs and CPUs that have caps close to the GPU/CPU is applying clear nail polish on the caps. That saved me from accidentally shorting one of the caps when I spilled a small amount on one of the caps.

When I watch folks on YouTube using liquid metal I’m aghast they use a q-tip. Quite probably leaving cotton fibres etc. in the mix.

Just looks wrong to me.

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@Will3001 Have you done any testing yet?
If so, how are the temps?

Had some stuff come up, but here is the results from my testing.

Testing setup:
All tests were performed with the Framework laptop flat on a wood table.
Battery fully charged, connected to 60w Framework charger.
Used canned air to get any dust out of the heatsink before starting.
Windows 10 Pro 21H2, power profile set to max performance
32GB (2x16GB) 3200 running at 2666
Samsung 970 Pro 1TB

Stock Paste: Testing was done before removing the heatsink for the first time.

Idle: 43-45C, 2.6-5W, 1300MHz. let sit for ~15 minutes with only aida64 open to establish baseline. (did not have the CPU power line enabled for this screenshot)
CPU burn: 12.5 minute CPU only stress. temp leveled out at 91C, CPU clock held 4100MHz the whole time. CPU reported 23-24W no throttling.
let sit for ~10 minutes to come back down to base temperature.
CPU + FPU burn: 12 min CPU and FPU stress. quickly hit 100C but never went over, clock bounced between 3100-3600mhz, CPU reported 26-28W, heavy throttling once the temp hit 100C

Kryonaut Paste: Its just thermal paste, super easy to apply. cleaned the stock paste off with a paper towel and then cleaned the dies and heatsink with alcohol pads.
Idle: 40-42C. After applying past I let the laptop sit for ~15 minutes with only aida64 open to establish the baseline.
CPU burn: 13 minutes of CPU only stress. leveled out at 78-80C. CPU clock held 4100 MHz, 24w. no throttling.
let sit for ~10 minutes to come back down to base temperature.
CPU + FPU burn: 12 minutes of CPU and FPU stress. Quickly ramped up to hit 100C and throttled, once the fan caught up it dropped to 90-95C and stopped throttling hard. when the temp hit 95C it would throttle slightly and drop back to 90C. CPU was doing 3400-3600MHz, and 27-28w.

Honestly very impressive improvement over stock without the risk of damage from liquid metal. If you lift the laptop up slightly to improve the air intake you can get zero throttling once the fan ramps up under full load.

Conductonaut Liquid Metal: TBH I forgot how much this stuff sucks to apply. took me an hour to get it right and both the CPU and GPU die with the proper amount.
idle: once again, let it sit for a bit to get an idle baseline. 40-41C
CPU burn: Ran for 15 minutes. Leveled out at 72C, 4100 MHz.
let sit for ~10 minutes to come back down to base temperature.
CPU + FPU burn: 12 minutes, hit 95C and throttled, maintained 82C for the rest of the run. pretty much the same story as the Kryonaut but it only hit the limiter once at the start of the run.

I’m a bit surprised by the last result. The jump from the stock paste to the Kryonaut was 10C better on the CPU only run and 10C again on the CPU and FPU run. The jump to the Conductonaut for the CPU run was almost another 10C down, the CPU+FPU run was down 8C. I guess this might be the upper limit of the cooler itself or my application of the liquid metal was not perfect.

After all this I will be removing the liquid metal and putting Kryonaut back on. I’m not really going to be using this laptop hard in the long run.