Liquid metal on GPU

Discussion in 'Videocards - NVIDIA GeForce' started by Raffaele Schiavone, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. Raffaele Schiavone

    Raffaele Schiavone Member

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    Nvidia RTX 2080ti
    Good morning friends,

    I would like to ask you for advice, because unfortunately I was unable to clarify my ideas by reading on the internet; unfortunately I have some difficulty understanding the language.
    I'd like to use liquid metal on the GPU (2080ti for desktop) and especially on the CPU of my laptop, where I would probably have more benefits.
    The GPU is overclocked and liquid cooled, but the temperature it reaches in full is significantly higher than that of the circulating liquid; I have been told that with liquid metal, compared to a good thermal paste, I could gain 5-10 degrees in full.
    My waterblock is nickel plated copper, and the liquid metal will be in contact with the GPU's nickel and silicon.
    I know that liquid metal destroys aluminum, but I don't know if it also damages copper, nickel, or even silicon.
    To use it, I was suggested to isolate the area near the GPU die with nail polish, and I should do the same on the laptop's CPU.
    Speaking of the isolation of the area, I'd like to see some videos, if you can suggest me one.
    The laptop's CPU is cooled by a very small copper heatsink, without nickel coating. In the case of my laptop it could perhaps be more useful, because the temperatures are at the limit and I go very easily in thermal throttling. Even only 3-4 degrees less would be an important difference for me, because it means being able to maintain a higher boost frequency.
    There are many liquid metals, dozens of products, from dozens of different companies. Which one to choose? The liquid metal produced by thermal grizzly has a declared thermal conductivity of 73 mk / W, while that produced by Alphacool has a conductivity of "only" 40 mk / W, practically half. Is it an important difference or are they just numbers?
    I don't know if it exists, but I wouldn't mind being able to use a liquid metal that is 'less liquid', with a lower risk that it can 'go around' and cause damage. I don't know how it behaves when it is applied on the surface, but it is perhaps right to worry that the video card is mounted vertically, therefore subjected to gravity, and the laptop obviously is subject to movement, much more than a component for desktop PC.

    Precisely because I think it may be worth it, especially if it does not damage nickel, copper and silicon, I would like to discuss it with you, so that I can use it safely.

  2. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    I have all my laptop's done with Thermal liquid metal.
    The difference is mostly noted on high load and you have to check the eventual leaks from time to time.
    More, applying liquid metal on nickels plated copper is begging for trouble.
    Liquid metal will react with it. If the heatsink is solid copper you can use it, but even so you should keep an eye on it.
    More, the CPU/GPU should be protected with a good layer of clear nail polish just to avoid any electrical conductivity, only the die is exposed to the compound.
    Yes, the Conductonaut has higher mk / W, but keep in mind that there are many more factors at play.
    You can try, avoid common mistakes such as putting the compound directly on the die. Just put a small drop on a piece of plastic and using a cotton stick for cleaning ears, smear the surface of the die.
    That's enough.
    Test your temps, see if it worth your time.
  3. Raffaele Schiavone

    Raffaele Schiavone Member

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    Nvidia RTX 2080ti
    Good morning,

    thanks a lot for the answers!
    The liquid metal should be a mixture of gallium, indium and tin, in different percentages.
    They are however metals, with chemical properties. Is it possible that it is not known precisely with which compounds they react?
    One person claims to have used Thermal Grizzly's 'conductonaut' liquid metal on the GPU for two years, and after two years that he found no sign on the nickel plating. Other people claim that the liquid metal simply stains nickel, others that seriously corrode it, compromising the material.
    What silicon does is not clear to me, but probably the problem is not silicon, but the material on it, the enamel you tell me about. Could enamel also be damaged by liquid metal?

    When I spoke of enamel, I was referring to applying the enamel around the graphic chip, in order to isolate the nearby electrical contacts from any spills of liquid metal.

    The possibility of creating a "personalized" one is very interesting, but the problem of knowing if it is actually possible to use it in "safety" always remains.
    Its electroconductivity is not a problem, just apply it carefully and isolate the areas that need to be isolated. The problem is precisely corrosion, on which I read very different opinions of each other.
    I don't know if it is the fault of indium or gallium, but possibly one of these metals is the "culprit" of corrosion, so maybe it would be better to use a micela that contains less of it.
    Unfortunately I know very little about chemistry, and I have never read any authoritative opinion on the subject.

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