An enthusiast recently expanded the list of GPU thermal pastes to include several interesting products, ranging from regular thermal paste to cheese, ketchup, toothpaste, diaper rash ointment, and even potatoes.
Initially, the user intended to test different types of thermal pastes, but decided to move on to other substances, which made an interesting observation when cooling the GPU using some substances that are definitely not safe for this purpose.
The test system used AMD Radeon R7 240 s TDP 30 W, with temperature readings after Furmark’s five-minute run. So these tests are not a great example of the long-term viability of using potatoes to cool a video chip, so obviously don’t try this at home.
A user shared a table showing the results, including 22 different thermal paste materials tested. The list includes several standard thermal pastes including Arctic TP2 0.5mm, 1mm, 1.5mm, Arctic TP3 1mm, 1.5mm, EC360 Blue 0.5mm, EC360 Gold 1mm, 0, 5 mm EKWB and Thermal Grizzly -8 thermal paste.
Relatively safe options aside, the next step is unusual substances not intended for thermal conduction in GPU applications, including double-sided aluminum-copper tape, cheese slices, potato chips, ketchup, copper paste, and Penaten powder. The enthusiast also used a wide range of toothpastes, including several unfamiliar brands such as Amasan T12, Silber Wl.paste, Kupferpaste, and an unnamed unbranded toothpaste.
Naturally, edibles, such as sliced cheese and potato slices, caused most of the worst results to almost everyone, causing the temperature control mechanism to kick in due to overheating when the GPU reached a maximum temperature of 105 C.
Some thermal pastes also performed poorly, with throttling occurring with EC360 Blue 0.5mm, 0.5mm EKWB, Arctic TP2 1mm, Arctic TP2 1.5mm, Thermal Grizzly -8 with 1.5mm copper . The double sided aluminum adhesive pad was the worst of all – it caused the system to shut down. Pentaten rash cream and copper paste were also problematic.
However, the rest of the thermal conductors were functional and did not cause the GPU to overheat. This includes Arctic TP2 0.5mm Thermal Grease, Alphacool Apex 1mm Thermal Grease, Arctic TP3 1mm Thermal Grease, EC360 Gold 1mm Thermal Grease, and Arctic TP3 1.5mm Thermal Grease. All of these thermal pastes kept the GPU in the 61 C to 79 C range.
Different types of toothpaste also performed quite well: Amasan T12 came out on top at 63 C, Silber Wl.paste at 65 C, and regular toothpaste with no name was the worst, reaching 90 C. Surprisingly, ketchup worked exceptionally well, supporting GPU temperature at 71 C.
Two participants claimed the usual thermal paste – Arctic MX-4 and Corsair TM30. Unsurprisingly, both coolers kept the Radeon R7 250 at the lowest temperatures ever, with 49 C and 54 C, respectively.