Today the EVGA GTX 1060 3GB had to be repaired. Evidently the card was overheating to the point of thermal throttling.

The previous GTX 1060 was replaced under warranty. It was worse off and would not even load the BIOS. EVGA said the card was DOA.

EVGA uses Shin-Etsu thermal material. Shin-Etsu is a silicon and aluminum based thermal material. Looking at Shin-Etsu’s literature, their thinnest 100x more than needed. Small wonder everything runs too hot.

There are just 4 spring screws holding the cooler on the card. I popped these off and no surprise that the card’s thermal material was damaged. EVGA doesn’t mind customers repairing thermal material, they will replace a card if the thermal repair does not pan out.

So cleaning the GPU and the cooler off, I applied a very very small dab of Arctic MX-4 and reattached the cooler. The thickness of the TIM should be < 2 microns. The thermal conductivity of the typical paste is << the thermal conductivity of aluminum (205 W/mK) or copper (385 W/mK) which is why a minimal amount should be used. A thick layer degrades the effectively thermal properties of the interface.

Q= heat transferred in time = t, k= thermal conductivity of the barrier, a = area, T = temperature, d = thickness of barrier

Thermal material should be very very thin as defects are at the micron level. That is what thermal material handles. Beware that excessive amounts of thermal material is inefficient and very wasteful.

This damaged CPU shows the surface defects on the processor. These small defects are what thermal material is fixing. So a very very small amount of thermal material is needed, most use 10 to 30 times too much which degrades the performance.


I have tested the card running Furmark for over 30 minutes to be sure that the card is repaired properly and to allow the new thermal material to spread better with the heat. After 60 minutes with Furmark a card can be deemed thermally stable.

Usually a couple of cycles of Furmark for 60+ minutes followed by 60+ minutes power down will cause thermal pumping to even out and fill the microscopic gaps.

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