Thermal Compound Shootout
We are going to take a quick straightforward look at various thermal compounds with straight numbers. Without further ado, let's dive in.
First of, let me thank the following:
Analogy of “TIM”
Thermal compounds or “TIM” (Thermal Interface Material) are compounds that are meant to fill in the “gaps” between the heatsink fan and the CPU die. Every surface has these air gaps and it is best to lap the heatsink for better metal-to-metal contact. However, nothing is perfect, even with lapping. Thus, thermal compounds come into play. It plays the role of filling microscopic air gaps that are within the CPU die and heatsink itself.
Without further ado, let us introduce the contenders.
As you can see the colors of the various compounds
Nanotherm Blue II
The following are some of the features, characteristics and benefits of Nanotherm II Thermal Compounds:
High Performance Thermal Interface Material
Nanotherm Silver XTC
The newest product in our family of Nanotherm thermal compounds. This "Xtreme Thermal Compound" contains a one of the highest loadings of Silver particles of any compound on the market. We use a special mixture of custom-milled Silver particles (99.98% pure) which are blended into a unique high temperature synthetic suspension fluid. The Nanotherm Silver XTC also contains a small percentage of the special Boron Nitride and "Nano" powders used in our Nanotherm II thermal compounds to further enhance the performance of the compound. The Nanotherm Silver XTC comes in a measured, clear 3 ml syringes each packed with a hefty 4.0 g / 1.15 ml of compound. MSRP - US $7.95
ESG Associates explained the importance of keeping tight lipped on the EXP because it's still in experiment phase. I will respect that. What I can tell you is that it is not a thermal grease and is only for air cooling purposes.
Spire Stars 700
Akasa ShinEtsu TIM Pads
there wasn't sufficient information on Akasa site.
of Arctic Silver 3 (from the AS website)
70% silver content by weight.
triple phase viscosity.
Thermal conductivity: >9.0 W/m°K (Hot Wire Method Per MIL-C-47113)
Thermal Resistance: <0.0024°C-in²/Watt (0.001 inch layer)
to 15 degrees centigrade lower CPU core temperatures than standard thermal
compounds or thermal pads.
Arctic Silver 3 is sold in 3 gram and 6 gram tubes. The 3 gram tube contains enough compound to cover at least 20 to 30 small CPU cores, or 7 to 12 large CPU cores, or 3 to 6 heat plates. At a layer 0.003" thick, the 3 gram tube will cover approximately 18 square inches.
Disclaimer: Results WILL vary from computer to computer, probably not greatly, but they will vary, no two systems are identical, and environmental conditions are impossible to duplicate between any two locations.
All you have to do is use 1/4th of thermal compound on a CPU die (AMD in this case) and spread it evenly with your finger in a plastic bag, or use a credit card to spread it. With the Akasa TIM Pads, you have to use 1 pad and place it on your cooler. Use you finger and rub it on the plastic so the pad will stick on.
Procedure and Testing
Tested on Spire MicroFlow I Cooler. Tested in ambient room temperature of 23c. Monitored temperatures by Winbond Hardware Doctor (Usual Abit NV7-133R Motherboard.
“TIM” was let running for 72 hours for setting period.
Nanotherm Blue II
Nanotherm Silver XTC
Akasa TIM Pads
Arctic Silver 3 (Results taken from MicroFlow Review)
As you can see by the results, all of the compound resulted in a degree or 4 between each other and each did it's job. What was really good to see was that Nanotherm line of compounds held it's ground against the pack and beat out the Arctic Silver in load areas. The Stars 700 compound scared me when it reached 56 degrees on toast, and the Akasa TIM Pads did very well and beat out the Stars 700 compound.
Hope you enjoyed the quick run-down and learned which compound you want.