Thermal Paste guide

Courtesy of [H]ardOCP we have been provided with a set of tests with thermal paste.

Test setup

-Qx9650
-Thermalright Ultra 120 extreme
Asus Maximus Forumla
1Gig Corsair XMS2
Geforce 9500 GT
80Gig IDE HDD
XP SP3

Stress program

-Prime95

Temp monitoring

-Sperry Digital 4 Point thermometer attached to the CPU

The first thing you will notice is that some cheese has been added into the mix. Why use cheese? The answer is simple; the reviewers got hungry.

On stock without any curing time the Shin-Etsu G751 and the X23 7783D are nearly even, with the G751 taking the lead on full load temps. These two stay on top even as curing time raises to 120 hours (that would be 5 days) with the G751 just managing to stay ahead.

Next, the cpu is Oced 3.6ghz @ 1.4v. The thermal pastes (and cheese) are put to more extreme measures as the heat rises. All of the high-end contenders perform well even at the high OC. The 7783D come out as the “clear” winner, but the other pastes are not bad perfomers.

Overall, there are some great contenders on the list, but the Shin-Etsu G751 stands out. When it comes to over clocking it does lose to the Shin-Etsu X-23 7783D by a whole degree. Perhaps it would have been nice to see it play out more and let the two continue to do battle. As it stands I recommend either Shin-Etsu for ocing, especially since the Shin-Etsu G751 can be found on newegg here in the US for only $2.99. If you reapply your CPU a lot of times you might want to go for something that comes in larger amounts like the MX-2, AS 5. or ChillFactor. The cheese was looking good as well, but then when it came to OCing they forgot that they were not making a grilled cheese sandwhich.

Ranking

1- Shin-Etsu X23 7783D
2- Shin-Etsu G751
3- A.C. MX-2
4- A.S.5
5- TR ChillFactor
6- Noctua NH-T1
7- Acrtic Silver Ceramique
8-MG Chemical
8- Shin-Etsu X23 7762
10- Cooler Master Nano Fusion
11- Cheese (Yum)

Here is a link to an Excel document for all of them tests that [H]ardOCP ran:

hardocp.com/ThermalPaste

The difference between the Shin-Etsu X23 7783D and the Cooler Master Nano Fusion are only a few degrees. You will be well off no matter which of these high end thermal pastes you get. As for the cheese, you would be best saving it for eating and not cooling. In a pinch it will work, but we do not recommend it.

The MSRPs of each the products is as follows:

Arctic Silver 5- $7.99 for 3.5 grams

Arctic Silver Creamique- $3.99 for 2.5 grams or $8.99 for 22 grams

Arctic Cooling MX-2- $9.99 for 4 grams

Theramlright Chillfactor- $3.99 for 4.8ml

Cooler Master Nano Fusion- $9.99 for 1ml

Noctua NT-H1- $7.99 for 1.4ml

Shin-Etsu X-23 7762- $9.99 for 1gram

Shin-Etsu- G751- $8.99 fir 1gram

Shin-Etsu X-23 7738D- $10.99 for 1gram

MG Chemicals Non-Silicone Compound- $8.85 for 2Oz

Cheese- Price and amount may vary

A couple closing notes, you should always remember to apply the thermal past correctly. Either a pea sized dot or a thin layer. For thicker thermal pastes use a thin layer spread around the CPU. For the thinner ones, use a dot and let the heatsink pressure spread it out. This does effect cooling, by up to a full degree. The [H]ardOCP article tested both methods on each of the pastes and found that they all prefer a specific type of application.

Even though some thermal pastes state that they do not have any curing time, these tests show that they do get better as they cure. So it is still recommended to let the thermal paste cure a few days before you start overclocking.

Source Article written by: Marc Adams of [H]ardOCP
This article written by: Factor-X
Article edited by: Derangel