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Do not use liquid metal for the aluminum heatsink of the graphics card!

Do not use liquid metal for the aluminum heatsink of the graphics card!

As many of you know, a heat exchanger is used in the cooling of the graphics card between the heatsink and the surface of the processor to fill the empty space and holes between the surface of the processor and the cooling surface and to transfer heat in the best way. The most common types of these transmitters are thermal pastes or so-called “silicone pastes”, which in new types have very low conductivity and reactivity, and the risks of working with them are very low. On the other hand, “Liquid Metal” is another type of these heat exchangers, the use of which has more considerations for the heatsink of the graphics card.

The liquid metal reacts with the graphics card’s heatsink

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Recently, YouTuber De8auer Received an RTX 2060 graphics card device which suffers from the problem of very high temperature and its temperature rises up to 100 degrees, and after that, the phenomenon of thermal bottleneck occurs so that the card is not damaged further. After opening the graphics card cooler, he realized that the previous owner of the card used liquid metal for the heat sink. Of course, this work was done as cleanly as possible and the PCB of the card was not smeared with liquid metal, but whoever made this decision did not realize that liquid metal is based on gallium and reacts chemically with aluminum, zinc and steel. Liquid gallium penetrates aluminum and quickly damages its structure.

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The penetration of gallium into the aluminum is so intense that it irreversibly changes the internal structure of the aluminum, and if the penetration depth is great, even polishing the surface of the heatsink will not help, just like this graphics card that De8auer had to remove from the CNC machine. Use to remove corrosion. After machining, he had to replace the thermal pads with new pads of a different height so that the machined surface of the heatsink would sit smoothly on the graphics card processor. Finally, with a standard and safe thermal paste, the assembly of the graphics card was done again.

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This graphics card is currently working without problems and has been saved. Obviously, not everyone is like De8auer and can’t CNC machine a card cooler again, and may prefer to replace the card cooler entirely, which makes perfect sense. However, it is always better to use high-quality pastes and pads instead of using non-standard liquid metal in the graphics card.

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