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33-Way Thermal Interface Material Comparison E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling
Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 04 March 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
33-Way Thermal Interface Material Comparison
Thermally Conductive Element Reference
TIM Test Methodology
TIM Testing: Round 1
TIM Testing: Round 2
TIM Testing: Round 3
TIM Roundup Conclusion
Project Epilogue

TIM Testing: Round 1

At the beginning of this 33-Way Thermal Interface Material review, the list of products is overwhelming. Since each test consumes an average of twenty minutes of time from setup to tear-down, our test day was very long. Throughout the test period, critical environmental temperatures were carefully measured and adjusted using constant air circulation inside the room.

Arctic_Silver_5.jpg

The TIM product testing was a daunting task, and one that I have been putting off for months now, but my light at the end of the tunnel was coming with the reduction of test products for round two. Some of my old favorites line the list, including several names from the Arctic Silver laboratory.

Product Name Description Amb/MB Amb/Idle Amb/Load Difference
OCZ Freeze Aluminum Oxide 20.8/27 20.8/40 20.7/53 32
IC Seven Carat Diamond Aluminum Oxide 20.2/25 20.2/39 20.2/53 32
TIM Consultants T-C Grease 0098 Aluminum Oxide 20.4/26 20.4/39 20.4/53 32
Shin-Etsu X-23-7762 Aluminum Oxide 26.7/26 20.7/39 20.6/53 32
Shin-Etsu Microsi Silicon Compound Aluminum Oxide 20.6/26 20.6/39 20.4/53 32
Shin Etsu G751 Aluminum Oxide 20.6/26 20.7/39 20.6/53 32
Thermalright Chill Factor Silicon Oxide Grease 20.4/25 20.4/38 20.5/53 32
Noctua NT-H1 Silicon Oxide Grease 20.7/27 20.7/40 20.8/54 33
Zaward HSC-G Aluminum Oxide 20.7/24 20.6/40 20.6/54 33
Arctic Cooling MX-2 Aluminum Oxide 20.8/28 20.8/39 20.7/54 33
Arctic Silver 5 Polysynthetic Silver 20.5/26 20.5/39 20.4/54 33
Tuniq TX-2 Silicon Oxide Grease 20.5/27 20.5/40 20.5/55 34
Arctic Silver 3 Polysynthetic Silver 20.3/26 20.4/39 20.5/55 34
Arctic Silver 2 Polysynthetic Silver 20.0/25 20.0/39 20.1/55 34
Zalman ZM-TG2 Thermal Grease Silicon Oxide Grease 20.4/25 20.4/39 20.4/55 34
Jetart Thermal Compound Silicon Oxide Grease 20.6/26 20.6/39 20.6/55 34
Masscool AK-100 Stars Silicon Oxide Grease 20.8/27 20.7/39 20.6/55 34
Arctic Cooling MX-1 Silicon Oxide Grease 20.4/26 20.4/39 20.2/55 34
Arctic Silver Lumiere Silicon Oxide Grease 20.3/26 20.3/39 20.2/55 34
ZEROtherm ZT-100 Aluminum Oxide 20.6/25 20.7/39 20.6/55 34
Zaward HSC-W Silicon Oxide Grease 20.9/28 20.9/39 20.8/55 34
Arctic Silver Ceramique Zinc Oxide Grease 20.6/25 20.6/42 20.7/55 34
Antec Formula 5 Polysynthetic Silver 20.3/26 20.3/39 20.3/56 35
Startech Silver Grease Polysynthetic Silver 20.4/25 20.5/41 20.5/56 35
Ultra Thermal Compound Silicon/Carbon Synthetic 20.7/26 20.6/40 20.5/56 35
SIL Heatsink Compound Silicon Oxide Grease 20.3/25 20.3/39 20.3/56 35
Jetart CK4000 Silicon/Carbon Synthetic 20.7/27 20.8/39 20.8/56 35
Xigmatek PTI-G3801 Silicon Oxide Grease 20.3/26 20.3/39 20.3/56 35
Rosewill RCX-TC050 Silicon Oxide Grease 20.4/27 20.4/40 20.4/56 35
Masscool Fanner-420 Silicon Oxide Grease 20.6/26 20.6/39 20.7/56 35
STARS 612 Copper/Silicon Grease 20.9/27 20.9/41 20.9/56 35
Cooler Master HTK-002 Silicon Oxide Grease 20.7/27 20.8/39 20.8/57 36
FrozenCPU Copper Compound Copper/Silicon Grease 20.1/25 20.1/40 20.1/61 40
(Tested by Benchmark Reviews: 01 March 2008)

Apparent from the abbreviated description I have included, the white silicon-based thermal grease products appear to be taking a back-seat to the darker carbon-synthetic compounds spreading onto the current market. Two of our TIM products were particularly interesting, because they consisted of a copper-based grease and looked exciting. In practical application however these interface materials performed the worst, and seemed more of a novelty than solution.

In the table above, Benchmark Reviews has arranged the results in order of lowest thermal difference between maximum heat output attained and the ambient room temperature. While there were small room-temperature fluctuations which may have skewed our results, we felt that selecting the top fourteen products would ensure that no worthy TIM would be neglected in our next round of tests.



 

Comments 

 
# Correction on OCZ and NeweggNoworldorder 2011-02-27 05:46
Please note that Newegg no longer carries. the OCZ Freeze Compound.
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# hahaboby 2011-09-03 01:39
the picture of all the thermal paste looks like a pile of drugs!
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