I have recently bought a used XFX RX 580 8 GB GPU. It’s not older than 2 years. Cannot be sure if it has been used for mining or gaming, but I got it with the gaming BIOS, which is what I use it for.

So first thing I did is I opened it up, cleaned the remaining of the old thermal paste and applied new one. I did this on multiple cards (of same type and some GTX 1060), but it’s this particular one that gives me headaches.

After some time (less than 2–3 weeks), my PC suddenly switched off during gameplay. That happened again soon and I decided to open it up and look for signs. I disassembled the GPU and found out that there was barely any thermal paste left on the chip and the heatsink. I applied the thermal paste again and reassembled everything again and continued using my PC for gaming.

Now the same issue, exactly as the last time, happened again. Again, it was after less than 2–3 weeks. Now I’m worried that my GPU is overheating and melting the paste off quickly. I’m curious what might be causing this.

Could it be a bad thermal paste quality? Is it just something wrong with the GPU hardware/heatsink?


All the other parts in the PC are new, bought freshly from the shop, so I wouldn’t expect it has to do with any of them. I have 2 fans on my case, 1 as an intake and 1 as an exhaust. I have few of these setups built and this one particular is the only one giving me troubles.

The thermal paste I used is a low quality one I guess: https://www.amazon.in/HT-GD660-CPU-Thermal-Grease-30g/dp/B01LW8TKX6

  • 1
    What thermal paste is it? A proper thermal paste shouldn't contain anything that would just evaporate...
    – gronostaj
    Dec 18 '19 at 9:09
  • May be the thermal paste is too liquid and/or there is a gap between chip and heat sink.
    – Robert
    Dec 18 '19 at 10:27
  • The thermal paste is a sh***y one: amazon.in/HT-GD660-CPU-Thermal-Grease-30g/dp/B01LW8TKX6 It was the fastest one I could get. I'm thinking about getting a higher quality one, but want to check first if it could actually have anything with thermal paste quality (I reason that it could be likely, but I'm a noob when it comes to this stuff). Dec 18 '19 at 10:34
  • 1
    Thermal paste can’t evaporate...
    – Ramhound
    Dec 18 '19 at 12:58
  • @Robert "May be the thermal paste is too liquid" I double checked after new application and it looks like this might be the case. I ordered Noctua NT-H2 recently, will try & check how it spreads and works with this better paste. Jan 2 '20 at 10:15

Actually, the therml paste only displaces the air in the gaps between the DIE and the Heatsink.

The air would work as insulation.

Following heat transition coefficient for the different materials in W/(m K):

  • Air: 0,0262
  • Alumnium: 236
  • Copper: 401
  • Thermal paste: around 5-10

You see the huge difference between air ant thermal paste. But both copper and alumnium are much better.

What I actually want to point out is: The layer should be as thin as possible, the more exact the components are built, the less grease you will have.

  • I don't see how this answers the question.
    – gronostaj
    Dec 18 '19 at 10:11
  • 2
    I think david want's to point out that the thermal paste "layer" should be as thin as possible.
    – Robert
    Dec 18 '19 at 10:29

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