Test of 27 thermal compounds, part 2

The list of thermal compounds + test procedures

The second round will be especially interesting for people who want to find the best solution for a standard use. The winner is a big surprise. Gelid, Noctua, Phobya, Reeven, SilentiumPC, Thermal Grizzly or Zalman? We can give away that it is not an expected favourite this time. We enjoyed a nice competition in the middle category, where it takes a lot to keep making a difference. We also tested OEM paste from Scythe as a bonus.

The list of thermal compounds + test procedures

The alphabetical order of tested samples will be familiar to you from the previous part. It will be easy for you to find a particular paste in every picture and in the sampler. The sheet contains 13 entries again. Therefore, the 14th drop on the desk, Scythe compound, can be a bit confusing because you cannot buy it separately. It only comes with the Scythe coolers.


Most of the pastes in the second test have higher viscosity. The highest is proven for Thermal Grizzly Hydronaut which does not contain any silicone, and roughly 190 Pa·s in a cold state figures. On the other hand, the relatively thin Gelid GC-Pro will have less than the specified 170 Pa·s.

The illustration of viscosity. Samples are in the alphabetical order from left to right

We managed to spread every paste evenly, but some were a challenge. However, not Zalman ZM-STG2, which used to be known for its “chewing gum“ consistency and tearing, probably due to inappropriate storage and drying silicone. This time it behaved like a different paste (tested on five samples). Noctua NT-H1 and SilentiumPC Pactum PT-1 are also excellently prepared for smooth spreading. Quite elastic NanoGrease Extreme is a bigger problem, especially HeGrease Extreme which sticks more to the applicator than to the heatspreader. In this case, it is more practical to use the drop method.

    

The heating element was overclocked Intel Core i7-5930K@4.4 GHz (on Gigabyte X99 UD4) with increased Vcore to 1.25 V. We simulated the burn in InterBurnTest (7500 MB). The waste heat was around 225 W. After the initial burn in, the tests took 300 seconds. We used high-flow industrial fans Noctua iPPC NF-F12 2000 and Scythe Fuma cooler, so five minutes should be more than enough for temperatures to stabilize. Temperatures can decrease a bit after several hours, which was the case of Arctic Silver 5, but it is a rare situation because most of compounds do not require a long-term burn in to provide the best results.

We used a smooth layer of 0.1 ml of paste for every application. We repeated every test twice (new installation included) to make sure that measured values match. The intake air temperature was 21 – 21.3 °C, ensured in our air-conditioned lab.

   

 

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Test of “chewing gums”: 3× Arctic and Thermal Grizzly Minus Pads

Thermal conductive pads are useful wherever a thermal paste cannot be reasonably applied. A good example are power supply circuit of graphics cards and processors, so the choice of test subjects was unambiguous. It was less clear, however, what thickness of pads is most effective, if it is better to pay for more expensive ones, and what improvement to expect. Read more “Test of “chewing gums”: 3× Arctic and Thermal Grizzly Minus Pads” »

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Arctic Freezer 33 tasting different heat intensities

From the previous tests, you already know that Freezer 33 loses its breath quite quickly in tower cases. But it does not have to be always like that – the distinctive performance difference between the vertical and the horizontal position appears only with certain cooling efficiency requirements. At 90 W, the cooler performs differently than at 180 W. Interesting is also the comparison on the “big” Haswell-E and on the “small” Kaby Lake. Read more “Arctic Freezer 33 tasting different heat intensities” »

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Arctic Freezer 33 face-to-face with SilentiumPC Fera 3 v2 (bonus)

Cooling the processor is one thing, but cooling its power supply circuit is another. How will the coolers handle this task? We specially focused on testing the heatsinks with Noctua reference fans. Notably, the weird Freezer had some real difficulties. We know where the problem is. We made some tests without fans too, and on this occasion we decided to include top-notch passive cooler Zalman FX70. Read more “Arctic Freezer 33 face-to-face with SilentiumPC Fera 3 v2 (bonus)” »

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Comments (9) Add comment

    1. Hello, we will try to find out in the next test of compounds. If there are any other pastes that you are interested in, please, let us know and we will include them too. And thanks for this tip!

  1. So do you recommend using mastergel (regular non pro/maker version) since it came with my liquid cooler. But from what I seen in your benchmark both Arctic Silver 5 and MX4 (i have both and what I usually used ) performed better than mastergel.

  2. How can the ” Phobya HeGrease Extreme ” beat the ” Phobya NanoGrease Extreme “? It has 10 W/mk. That’s weird af imo.

  3. Great experiment! How would Thermalright TF8 @ 13.8 W/m-K, and Thermalright TFX @ 14.3 W/m-K stack-up against this list?

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