GPU Thermal Paste



Recently I've been playing fallout 4 and I noticed that my pc was super loud, and that made me question if my fans were too loud or that my gpu fan wasn't working. So I decided to check the temperature of the cpu and gpu using mango hud, (it's basically riva tuner for linux) and to my surprise my gpu temperature was rising really fast(like up to 99 degrees celsius or 210.2F) and it wasn't even using much of its potency (avg 60%).

What is happening?

After that I start to think about some hypothesis like are my gpu fans working? Yes, I checked them. Are they spinning fast enough? types sensors Yes, probably they are. Is my gpu clean? Yeah, I cleaned my pc a while ago. And that got me thinking like what is happening, so I googled gpu overheating and what I found out is that you gotta change the gpu thermal paste every 3 years or so. I recommend you check from time to time the temperature, especially if you notice your pc is louder.

Spookier than halloween

Then I remembered that everyone says that it's so hard to change the gpu thermal paste, and that you should not do it, it's going to break your graphics card and yada yada yada, but in reality you gotta change it! It's going to be worse if you don't, it might turn off your pc while you're using it and it's going to wear out faster.

How to change it

It's not really hard(just be careful), if you know how to change a cpu thermal paste it's basically the same process, you're going need these things:

  • Screwdriver
  • Cotton swabs
  • Thermal paste (The same you use in your cpu)
  • Alcohol 99% (I actually used 70%, yolo)
  • Time and patience, it might take like an hour to do it

How to:

Taking the card out

  • Turn off your pc and power button in the back
  • Remove everything that is plugged in your pc
  • Take it to somewhere safe like a table
  • Take out the side panel
  • Don't forget to touch your font to dissipate the static energy
  • Gently remove the pci-e cable on the side of the board
  • Unscrew the bolts on the left side of the board
  • If you have an adapter in the back of the pc take it out too
  • Press down the slot clip and finally take the board out
  • Never touch the copper connectors of the edge connector once your graphics card has been removed.

Removing the mess and applying the paste

  • Find a table to put the graphics card
  • Remove the bolts from the top and side of the gpu
  • Divide your board in 2 like jesus making bread
  • Put some alcohol in the cotton swabs and start removing the old and dry paste
  • Repeat the step above several times until both sides of the board are relatively clean
  • Optionally you can blow out the dust if it's not clean
  • You can use other stuff to help cleaning like a clean cloth and a thermal paste remover
  • Apply the new thermal paste and reassemble the card
  • Screw the bolts in the board again

Putting everything back

  • Put the gpu in the slot pci where it was originally placed (press until you hear the click)
  • Connect the pci-e cables
  • Put the screws on the side again
  • Put the adapter in the back again
  • Put the side door again
  • Put the cables in the back
  • Turn on the power button and turn on the pc
  • Enjoy!

Final thoughts

Wasn't that hard, right? After I changed the thermal I noticed my pc was much quieter, the gpu temperature peaked at 70 degrees celsius(158F) after 30 min of gameplay and remained stable during the rest of the hour. To conclude it was totally worth, the temp was reduced by 30 degrees celsius(86F), and if you have an old gpu(+5 years old) maybe you should check your gpu temperature.