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Der8auer shows what liquid metal can do to aluminum GPU heatsink

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rjohnson11
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2023/01/23 02:23:15 (permalink)
https://videocardz.com/newz/der8auer-shows-what-liquid-metal-can-do-to-aluminum-gpu-heatsink
 
Liquid metal cannot be used on all devices. Not only it is extremely hard to apply, it also requires preparations to prevent spill on important components that can be shorted. De8auer recently received a graphics card from one of his viewers. The RTX 2060 graphics card was sent over to der8auer because of the high temperatures reported.  It would reach temperatures up to 100°C only to begin throttling. However, the card was still functional.
 
As it turns out, the card had liquid metal applied (presumably by a previous owner), who did a good job in security the capacitors around the GPU die. But he did not know that gallium-based liquid metal can form an alloy with aluminum, aluminum-zinc alloy and steel. Gallium will diffuse into aluminum cracks and immediately damage its structure. Der8auer explains this process called “grain boundary diffusion” in detail in his video, but this 10-second demonstration from Thermaltake shows how this works.
 
Once the grain boundary is penetrated by gallium, the aluminum structure is permanently damaged. Polishing the structure may not work, as in this example, which is why a CNC machine was used to scratch the gallium corrosion off. Further steps require a replacement of the thermal pads to accommodate for the new height and obviously a new, safe thermal compound.
 
The card is now working perfectly fine and another RTX 2060 was saved. Obviously, not everyone is der8auer and has access to a CNC milling machine, so it would probably make sense to look for an aftermarket cooler instead. However, it is always better to use conventional thermal paste and high-quality thermal/copper pads, not liquid metal on GPU.
 
Good advice and avoid liquid metal on GPUs. 
 


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    kougar
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    Re: Der8auer shows what liquid metal can do to aluminum GPU heatsink 2023/01/23 18:35:44 (permalink)
    Boggles my mind someone would buy liquid metal and protectant for what even four years ago was a budget card, the cost of both would've easily afforded a higher model on the used market. 


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    Cool GTX
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    Re: Der8auer shows what liquid metal can do to aluminum GPU heatsink 2023/01/24 08:16:47 (permalink)
    just what you would expect from someone Not doing their homework .... known issue, bites them
     
    it was interesting that they could "save the heatsink" with a skim cut - though the cost of a commercial machine shop would make that an expensive fix

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    seth89
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    Re: Der8auer shows what liquid metal can do to aluminum GPU heatsink 2023/01/24 08:28:45 (permalink)
    kougar
    Boggles my mind someone would buy liquid metal and protectant for what even four years ago was a budget card, the cost of both would've easily afforded a higher model on the used market. 


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    Miguell
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    Re: Der8auer shows what liquid metal can do to aluminum GPU heatsink 2023/01/24 10:16:25 (permalink)
    this is why i never went liquid metal on my pc.
    fortunately back in the day people warned about "incompatibilities" with certain types of heat sinks. i was like: "HUH??"
     
     my father would KILL me if i screwed up the 350 euro Intel cpu + the 60 euro air cooler i used back then ( he was the one paying back in 2006 and 2007 - cause i was  broke on my early 20's )
    post edited by Miguell - 2023/01/24 12:25:28

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    Brad_Hawthorne
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    Re: Der8auer shows what liquid metal can do to aluminum GPU heatsink 2023/01/24 18:16:01 (permalink)
    This is the same sort of thing I think about when I see people doing additives for water cooling loops that end up etching the loops through chemical reactions.
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    Ranmacanada
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    Re: Der8auer shows what liquid metal can do to aluminum GPU heatsink 2023/01/24 21:13:56 (permalink)
    This is THE reason why mercury is not allowed on airplanes haha.  I'm honestly not surprised that most people do not know about grain boundary diffusion, but doesn't the LM TIM have a warning to not apply to Aluminum.

     

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    Hoggle
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    Re: Der8auer shows what liquid metal can do to aluminum GPU heatsink 2023/01/25 00:13:00 (permalink)
    I knew it was bad but I kind of wonder about the card in the demo and why someone would have done it to a budget card in the first place instead of a more expensive model. I kind of wonder if it was more of an example of what not to do from the start.

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    the_Scarlet_one
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    Re: Der8auer shows what liquid metal can do to aluminum GPU heatsink 2023/01/25 08:59:47 (permalink)
    Ranmacanada
    This is THE reason why mercury is not allowed on airplanes haha.  I'm honestly not surprised that most people do not know about grain boundary diffusion, but doesn't the LM TIM have a warning to not apply to Aluminum.


    Yes, but then you have to assume that the person that applied this knew the aluminum heatsink was made of aluminum, where higher end models typically have nickel plated copper heatsinks. The person that applied the LM may have been ignorant to the fact that all silver colored coolers are not the same.

    There is also the TikTok trend of people providing inherently false information to intentionally cause someone else to break their own hardware. Some people just don’t know how to figure out who is lying to them and who is telling the truth.
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    kougar
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    Re: Der8auer shows what liquid metal can do to aluminum GPU heatsink 2023/01/25 19:06:53 (permalink)
    seth89
     
    sometimes it's about having fun or trying something new.
    Why buy a project car when you can buy a faster/working faster car?




    Granted, but that doesn't apply here. The current owner of this GPU was trying to use this card as a daily driver, they sent it to Der8auer precisely because it wasn't working correctly. That implies they didn't even know the card was modified. 
     
    We can conclude either that the current owner applied the liquid metal, OR that they bought it from someone else that did... Therefor it means the person who applied the liquid metal didn't do this just to goof around or have a spot of fun because they would've known better than to attempt to use a "goofy project card" as a daily driver then require someone else to fix it. Or, they would've known better than to pass the card off as a normal GPU if selling it after the fact.


    Have water, will cool. 
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