What's the best thermal paste available today?

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Ozkar
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What's the best thermal paste available today?

Post by Ozkar » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:30 am

I have some Arctic Silver thermal paste from a few years ago, but right now there might be better options out there. What would you recommend?
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Fire-Flare
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Re: What's the best thermal paste available today?

Post by Fire-Flare » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:03 pm

You got me curious as I heard Gelid made a better compound last year. So I did some digging around on the web and found that both have been beaten by a compound called MX-4. Ironically it's made by Arctic Cooling.

This is the only review I found that compares it with Arctic Silver 5 and Gelid's offering that got so much buzz: http://www.hwreviewlabs.com/index.php?o ... mitstart=3
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Haych
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Re: What's the best thermal paste available today?

Post by Haych » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:32 pm

From the TIM round-ups that I've read, the difference between the many good quality products seems to be 1-2*C at the most. The best idea seems to be to go with one that is affordable and gives you the most for your money. That may differ depending on where you are in the world. The MX-4 that Fire-Flare mentioned is something like $15 for 4 grams in the US, whereas it would cost about £4 over here in the UK.
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Rebellious
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Re: What's the best thermal paste available today?

Post by Rebellious » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:45 am

I use Arctic Silver (5?) and the stuff that came with Thermalright and Prolimatech heatsinks... they all work about the same. When I'm testing temporary setups I go bare-metal, I don't even bother with TIM because you have to clean it afterwords. Bare-metal works OK with good heatsinks, runs only a few degrees higher..

quest_for_silence
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Re: What's the best thermal paste available today?

Post by quest_for_silence » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:46 pm

Rebellious wrote:I use Arctic Silver (5?) and the stuff that came with Thermalright and Prolimatech heatsinks... they all work about the same. When I'm testing temporary setups I go bare-metal, I don't even bother with TIM because you have to clean it afterwords. Bare-metal works OK with good heatsinks, runs only a few degrees higher..

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m0002a
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Re: What's the best thermal paste available today?

Post by m0002a » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:45 am

I have had excellent results with Artic Ceramique. It flows better than the silver stuff and is therefore less susceptible to mis-application of the paste (too much or too little). It is also non-conducting, which means you won't mess up any circuits in case it gets in places where it should be. I started using Ceramique after seeing that it was used by SPCR reviewers when they tested various components for this website (although I don't for sure if they still use it).

m0002a
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Re: What's the best thermal paste available today?

Post by m0002a » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:52 am

Fire-Flare wrote:You got me curious as I heard Gelid made a better compound last year. So I did some digging around on the web and found that both have been beaten by a compound called MX-4. Ironically it's made by Arctic Cooling.

This is the only review I found that compares it with Arctic Silver 5 and Gelid's offering that got so much buzz: http://www.hwreviewlabs.com/index.php?o ... mitstart=3
The graphs in that review look startling at first glance, until one realizes that the entire graph only covers between 69 and 70.4 degrees C.

The actual difference reported between the best and worst paster in that review is only 1.1 degrees C. And that is obviously under extreme load (where CPU is running at about 69.5 degrees C. I would be interested in seeing results at more normal levels.

faugusztin
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Re: What's the best thermal paste available today?

Post by faugusztin » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:57 am

It would be a good idea to define what you mean by "best". Best thermal transfer ? Easiest to use while having good performance ?

For example "best" for me is a good old MX-2, because it's easy to use, while having close to top performance. Yes, probably some crazy thermal compound gives you 1-4C better temps. But some of them are conductive, some of them destroy heatsinks (looking at you Coolaboratory).

So its in your interest to define "best".

LM741C
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Re: What's the best thermal paste available today?

Post by LM741C » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:25 pm

My vote goes to Gelid GC-Extreme http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1374/7/.

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