The goddess of thermal pastes has a name: Noctua NT-H2

Details

The initial skepticism about the NT-H2 subsided very quickly. We have exposed this thermal paste to various tests and it gives excellent results across the whole spectrum of them. The original NT-H1, which Noctua will continue to offer as a cheaper option, served well as a reference point for comparison. The new NT-H2 already belongs to the high-end as it should. See for yourselves in a detailed review.

Packaging

So far, the offer of Noctua pastes has been quite limited. In fact, only one was available, weighing just 3.5g. That is changing now. Above all, a completely new paste (NT-H2) has been added to the offer and with NT-H1, they both will be supplied in larger (10g) and smaller, traditional, 3.5g packages.

MSRPs for the NT-H2 are 12.90 and 24.90 euros. The “old” NT-H1 is 40% cheaper, i.e. 7.90 euros for a smaller and 14.90 euros for a larger package. Next, there are new cleaning wipes (15 × 12cm) NA-CW1 in the game which are sold separately for 7.90 euros (20 pieces). At the beginning, Noctua attempts to deliver them with some packages (3 pcs with a 3.5g package and 10 pcs with a 10g package) for free, at no extra charge. You will usually find such a promotional event at the initial distributors which are Amazon and Ebay. As these wipes please the enthusiasts, the good thing is that Noctua doesn’t force them on anyone and so far they’re probably just figuring out what the real interest in them is.

A redesign of the thermal pastes packaging came with this wave of new products. The original plastic blister pack, nipped against hard paper with technical specifications print, is replaced by more convenient boxes that are easier to conceal, better to archive/stack and used paste can be returned inside them more comfortably. The design of the syringes themselves has not changed functionally, just visually. This is perhaps a bit of a pity, especially because of the cap that becomes really stiff after proper screwing in and the sharp wrinkles that are on top of it do not help either. One would need pliers to unscrew it.

It would be better to use a less stiff screw, for example with rubber seal, such as Thermal Grizzly has. Those are more premium syringes overall. Noctua saves on syringes and ignores the applicator, too. And now we’re not thinking of an applicator for spreading the paste over the entire surface but rather a more accurate dispenser, whether in terms of seeing the amount of paste squeezed out, or for improved control and more even squeezing out, where a system that would allow less paste flow through the throat at higher pressure would be sufficient. Even in such details, premium pastes could be distinguished from ordinary ones.

Composition structure

Although Noctua really goes into detail when presenting its products, they do not go into full detail in this case. Thus, we know in what properties and why the NT-H2 should be better than other pastes, but in terms of the “ingredients” and the production methodology, Noctua, for obvious reasons, is cagey and only talks about mixtures of metal oxide microparticles. Functionally, however, these microparticles should be finer and reach spots even where in other circumstances (for example directly above the core) weaker heat transfer could arise.

This new structure also has a lower viscosity. Note how the NT-H2 (left) does not hold the tip when squeezing the sample, while the NT-H1 is quite “stiff”. Interestingly, although the NT-H2 is thinner, it has better compressibility at the same weight. We did not need to come to this fact by any special methods – the plunger in the NT-H2 syringe about half a centimeter deeper than that in the NT-H1 immediately reveals this. In other words, with the same TIM thickness, more mass (and finer) will be available, which is only good.

Samples of Noctua NT-H2 (left) and NT-H1 (right) thermal pastes

At an extremely high even pressure between two straight glass slides, as you can see in the photo below, both pastes spilled to the same extent, without any cracks or other defects. Equally convenient is spreading, in which the mass of none of the pastes gets torn. Here we can also answer the competition question from yesterday. We asked which of the two samples represented the NT-H2 and which the NT-H1. Noctua NT-H2 is brighter: in this review it was the left picture, in the competition it was on the right (unsuccessful catch :)). We’re sending a small package of the NT-H2 to Matúš G. (… gmail.com) for the correct answer. Congratulations!

   


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