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Ketchup is better than toothpaste for cooling your CPU or GPU

Have you ever thought what it would be like to use ketchup as a thermal compound? Exactly, me neither, but it is always curious to see how elements of our daily life are used to cool the CPU or GPU. This time around, we have an updated study from ComputerBase, where only food is used as a heat compound and compared to “real compounds” to see what heat transfer power is achieved as a result.

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To carry out these tests, a less powerful GPU was used, such as the AMD Radeon R7 240which has a very low TDP of 30W. In essence, this GPU is capable of running passively, but allows you to reveal to them what food would be a good conductor of heat. at the moment of truth this has no validity in the real world, but as a curiosity, there is the data.

Ketchup is able to compete with a real thermal compound

AMD Radeon R7 240 chilled with ketchup

Among the items chosen to test GPU cooling, we spent for the ketchup / ketchup, cheese, and even a porridge to feed babies. The quick summary is that ketchup is the best alternative to the thermal compound, as it caused the GPU to reach a temperature of 71ºC after being squeezed for 5 minutes in FurMark. This benchmark is known to be the most demanding for a GPU.

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On the opposite side, the very famous toothpaste. Other things being equal, the GPU achieved a temperature of 90ºC. As for other foods like the cheese or baby food, made the GPU will reach 105ºC, which makes it clear that more than helping, they worsen the situation. Although ketchup is good, it is evident that its use is not recommended.

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Perhaps this thermal “efficiency” breaks down in a matter of minutesnot to mention being able to cause possible damage to component. It will always be more recommended to fix the cooling without thermal compound, until you buy one, than to add a “patch” of this type. Although the ketchup caused the GPU to reach 71ºC, a silver conductive thermal compound made him notice the 65ºC.

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Unlike ketchup, it is to be expected that a silver compound at least does not show noticeable degradation It’s been up for quite some time, whereas the ketchup could be in a matter of minutes. This means that temperatures will increase until they reach the barrier of 100ºC.

Before this, the idea was to add next to the compound

thermal compound with salt

The last news we had of playing with thermal compounds was at the end of 2022. Around that time, a tiktoker went viral by improving the current thermal compounds by adding something very easy to obtain and very cheap: Salt. Crushing the salt, and adding it to the thermal compound, improved by up to 3ºC temperatures by eliminating gaps between the thermal compound and the CPU. To this is added that iodized salt It has a high thermal conductivity.

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After this, manufacturers such as noctua. The manufacturer’s main claim was that adding salt could lead to future problems related to to hardware corrosion for using salt. Added to this is the fact that there are more efficient thermal compounds than a silicone plus salt compound. For example, the famous liquid metal, designed for this purpose.

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In essence, it’s like the study above: They are born to satisfy a curiosity and not to introduce a change in how processors work. If ketchup really were a good option, we’re guessing Heinz would already have its own line of thermal compounds. Both in the envelope format that they give you at McDonald’s, and in the form of tomato paste to be easily applied with a spatula.

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