|80-way Thermal Interface Material Performance Test|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Sunday, 14 June 2009|
Page 11 of 14
C: Moderate Performance
There was a trend set in the late 1990's that held strong until about 2006, during which silver, gold, and copper-based TIMs all got a spot in the limelight simply based on their ingredients. The reality was considerably different than the theory, and some products were quickly buried in the rubble left behind when aluminum-oxide 'grey' thermal pastes began to gain popularity. In our last section, a copper-flake infused mineral-oil and silicone paste formula's really proved that you can't just add a highly conductive metal to your recipe and expect the best performance. Alternatively, the truly simple zinc-based 'white' thermal pastes all have the same general appearance, but use extremely different formulas. Moving deeper into our results, it's painfully obvious how much of the market is now aluminum- and zinc-oxide, with relatively few products still building off of metal-based formulas.
In the chart below, Benchmark Reviews has assembled those products receiving an "Enthusiast Grade" of C for fair thermal conductivity performance compared to the other TIM products in our tests:
EDITORS NOTE: As a result of Antec's concern for the rating or their product, the following information has been added to this article for clarification: The Antec 77063 Formula 5 Silver Grease used in our tests is identical to Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste. As of 26 June 2009, Antec's application instructions do not recommend or require any amount of material curing time, despite Arctic Silver recommending 200-hours of thermal cycling to allow a proper cure of their AC5 compound. Because no curing time is suggested by Antec, Benchmark Reviews has tested the Formula 5 thermal paste after one-hour of thermal-cycling was complete, which is how all materials with no curing time specified have been tested. Benchmark Reviews recognizes that this product (and other AC5-clone products) will perform slightly better over time, however the product instructions supplied by Antec are different than those of the original formula manufacturer (Arctic Silver) and was tested based on specific manufacturer recommendations.
Each product tested received the curing time recommended (see below), or approximately one hour of thermal cycling prior to testing when no cure time was specified.
(0) No Curing Time or Special Application Suggested
(1) Antec Formula 5 Application Instructions (no curing time recommended)
(2) Arctic Silver II Application Instructions(48-hours minimum curing time recommended)
(3) Arctic Silver 3 Application Instructions (up to 200-hours recommended curing time)
(4) Arctic Silver 5 Application Instructions (up to 200-hours recommended curing time)
(5) Arctic Silver Ceramique Application Instructions (25-hours minimum recommended curing time)
(6) IC Seven Carat Diamond Application Instructions (10-minute evaporation time, 2-hour curing recommended)
(7) CooLaboratory Liquid Pro Application Instructions (no curing time recommended)