Artic Silver 3 on my 5900u?


White Wolf
Jan 9, 2004
I have a Geforcefx 5900ultra that's usually 48c core temperature when I'm just at my desktop and not playing a game. Is that too hight for a graphics card or should I take off the fan on it and replace the thermal pad or whatever it is with artic silver 3? I never took took apart a gfx card but I did build my own computer including the ac3 processer and heatsink. So is it basically the same as changing a processor? If I should how much should I put on it and where? But I'll only do it if my current temps are too high. thanks


hardware monkey
May 8, 2002
I would take it off and the whole deal, but that's just me. hell, i'd do it if my temps didn't seem too high. they could always be lower with some TLC (as3 :)). here's my method...

1) take off the hsf and clean both surfaces as thoroughly possible with isopropyl alcohol. i mean NO residue left. nvidia logo on gpu should be nice and clear and the bottom of the heatsink/fan (hsf) should be one uniform color and hopefully shiny.

2) next, get some saran wrap type stuff or a sandwich bag (clean, no fingerprints) and cover your index finger so the pad of the tip of your finger is nice and smooth. place a small dap of your thermal compound on the gpu and smear it around with your wrapped finger. rub it around until the whole surface of the gpu is somewhat uniformly covered, altough it may be a bit transparent. the purpose of this is to work the compound into the tiny cracks and dips on the surface of the gpu. then do the same with the contact area on the hsf.

3) next, i place a larger (bb-sized?) drop on the very center of the gpu. then i bring the hsf over the gpu and align it with the mounting holes as best as possible before i bring the hsf down flat and even to make contact with the gpu. continue to pess down evenly with a slow and slight left/right twisting motion to help the dab of compund flatten out and cover the whole mating surface.

4) then fasten the screws/clips/whatever and sit back and realize your card looks exactly the same! :p but know in your heart you did it a big favor.

if you have a themal probe of some kind, you could--before the job--measure the temp on the back of the card where the back of the gpu would be after a few loops of 3dmark. then do the same after to see what kind of difference you made. but if your card already has a diode, that should be good enough.

if your temps read the same or higher, definitely count on taking it back off and checking the surfaces to see where the compound didn't reach. then think about if it was from an insufficient amount of compound or an uneven squeezing hsf application. learn from your mistake and try again. :)

i definitely recommend as3 for this kind of job (opposed to as5) as you will use a lot with the large contact area and a possible rework or two. and using that much as5 will get expensive.


Let the show begin...
Jan 6, 2004
Mine runs at 50-52 C when idle and it can go up to 80C sometimes when in full load . I think you should just leave it alone , you wont have any problems.

Maybe other forum members can post their temps so we can compare?


White Wolf
Jan 9, 2004
Alucard you have the same card? I was going to try using AC3 with Taurus' instructions but I just found out I'm out of isopropyl alcohol. I checked your gfx card Taurus and you have a geforce4, which I use to have. The cards look a lot different, I can see a thermal pad under the whole heatsink. If these temps I'm getting are normal then I won't need to do all this, I just don't want it overheating and melting.


OSNN Veteran Addict
Mar 18, 2002
just as a note Artic Silver 5 is out now so if you want to do something with AC3 then see if you can get AC5 as it might offer lower temps over AC3
Feb 9, 2003
Does the FX series of cards have the same type of unexposed core like the ATi cards? If so, you may take off the plastic off and apply the AS directly to the core. This can prove difficult, however, because a little too much pressure in any direction could crack it.

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