Subject: Upgrading RAM sticks and/or overclocking cooling
By: Ray (IP: 86.150.213.*)
Written on: 15-01-2009 04:30

Recently I bought some RAM sticks that seem to run warmer than I want on an existing, otherwise 100% OK motherboard. So I looked at my options.

In the past many commercially available RAM sticks are fitted with a heatspreader that cannot be re-used when an increased RAM size is required due to the bend/warp damage caused when removing it and/or oversized so as to prevent fitting in cramped situations. The aftermarket heatspreaders that I have fitted in the past also seem to be either a poor fit and/or over-complex (springs, hinges etc). I do realise that all aftermarket items have to allow for manufacturing tolerances.

I am going back to basics with this new build and some DIY heatspreaders but before I do, I want to get advice about my understanding of basic principes.

If there is some new \"wonder\" material for thermal interface of RAM heatsinks that provides excellent thermal conductivity, strong physical

bond fespecially when mounting the RAM stick and heatspreader onto a motherboard and finally ease-of-use when upgrading the RAM then now is the time for you to let me know ...

For information:- adding a fan is not an option due to no available space to fit ... not even a 25mm x 10mm fan (yes, they do exist and there are even smaller ones than that! And ducting existing airflow onto the RAM sticks is also not possible.


Basic components (before any fitting is attempted)
RAM stick
A thermal interface material

Removal of old heatspreader
See which states \"the adhesive is a soft pad. Fortunately, most are these days.\" Frankly, I have never seen this type of material. Their description \"a soft adhesive pad\'\' is vague and the photographs show application of an incredibly haphazard thermal material, simply removing air - a most inefficient thermal conductor - from the equasion due perhaps to manufacturing flaws in the heatspreader/RAM stick.
FWIW I have seen thermal PADS but they are very soft, phase change materials and not suiabe at all for this purpose and DO NOT have adhesive properties required to fix RAM heatspreaders.

New heatspreader ...
Types of thermal interface material (and fixing)
A) tape
B) soft gap filler + mechanical spring
C) epoxy

A Pros
If the heatspreader and the RAM stick are flat it is the most thermally efficient within 0.035mm
Can be removed later

A Cons
Not as strong as epoxy
Won\'t stand bend/warp as wellas gap filler nor epoxy so if the heatspreader is bent or the RAM stick is wonky _IN ANY DIRECTION_ there will be a gap

B Pros
More forgiving to bend/warp than tape (but not infallable)
Very easy to remove

B Cons
Not as strong as tape nor epoxy, allowing gross movement
Extra components (spings)
More expensive than tape due to extra components
Springs require extra room for fitting than tape or epoxy
Less thermally efficient than tape (thicker thermal interface)

C Pros
Most forgiving to bend/warp but does require some expertise in how much to appy and how to apply

C Cons
Not clean
Not simple (takes time)
Not easy (requires judgement in how much to appy)
Not quick (epoxy must cure befire fitting/use)
Semi-permanent, mechanically difficult to remove and clean even after heatspreader is off.

Thanks, Ray
PS - don\'t even mention Coolabortory ...

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