What is The Best Thermal Paste to Purchase in 2017?

zkostik

Gawd
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I fix and assemble stuff professionally, and I've used almost nothing but AS5 for years and have had nothing but good results out of it. I've also used quite a bit of Shin-Etsu stuff over the years and always found it to work well too (it's been my second choice when out of AS5).

Why he skipped AS5 in the review is beyond me.
Same here, I've used it for like forever and based on many factors it's still my go to thermal paste. I don't like liquid metals because of application difficulty, cost and corrosion. AS5 is great and cost is reasonable, I especially love the fact it doesn't dry out (or at least not for a very long time).
 
D

Deleted member 184142

Guest
They have this slight warning, although I'm assuming it's not really relevant in most cases.

While it is not electrically conductive, the compound is very slightly capacitive and could potentially cause problems if it bridges two close-proximity electrical paths.)
It is capacitive so can create a leaky circuit between 2 pins if either of them has high frequency on it.
Considering this is a PC, thats pretty common.

I killed a gfx card about 15 years ago with Arctic Silver by getting it on the memory legs.
It wouldnt clean out. Each clean resulted in different weirdness on screen.
Once it gets underneath the chip, its toast. Its easy to make it go there trying to clean it off.
So like I said, AS is not conductive.
 

SmokeRngs

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2008
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I've been using Arctic Cooling MX-2 for years now and haven't had a single problem with it. It works as good or better than any of the Arctic Silver products I've used previously and seems to be a hell of a lot easier to clean up. It also lasts for years with no noticeable degradation as I've had an application for 5+ years and when the heatsink came off, the paste looked like it had just been applied. There were also no cooling degradation over that time.
 

Nenu

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Messages
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When dealing with electronics, the difference between conductive and slightly capacitive is a big deal, call that pedantic if you wish.
I'm an electronic engineer, the difference isnt lost on me.
In this case the difference is irrelevant, the risk is present.
 

biggles

[H]ard|Gawd
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AS5 still good enough. Not the best performer and it takes time to "cure" or reach full effect, but good enough for mainstream folks. Especially for doing mild to medium overclocks.
 

Trimlock

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Right, I find dead hardware to be very different from dead hardware.
Right, AS5 isn't inherently dangerous, it IS hard to spread to areas if you aren't being careful but it can wreak havoc and worse kill IC's.

I've gotten the AS5 goop on boards before and just cleaned them off with 99% alcohol from Ralphs. Just don't use q-tips, learned my lesson the hard way with them before.
 

IcePickFreak

[H]ard|Gawd
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Yet another AS5 hold out here. Always worked well and held up for a long time for me so I've never bothered looking for something different.
 

-=SOF=-WID99

Limp Gawd
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Nov 30, 2015
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i still use AS 5 .. yea it has a burn in period till it reaches best effect and ya gotta apply it properly ..i dont need any other paste .. i use whats worked for me for years
 

AK0tA

Gawd
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Mar 4, 2012
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813
AS 5 here as well. Still have 4 tube unopened and have been using it a long time with great results. No need to change.
 

Pandur

Limp Gawd
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Apr 4, 2000
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I went from AS5 to Noctua NT-H1 when it was released. Never looked back since. I'm a happy customer.
 

Susquehannock

2[H]4U
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Shin Etsu X23-7783D has been my go to for many years. Since 2003 or so. Easy to clean & stays effective for a very long time.

My big tube of AS5 stays in the garage and is used as TIM for automotive ignition coils.
 

tissimo

Limp Gawd
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Messages
318
After I lost my AS3 I went with some Prolimatech that I've had for a while now.
 

rezerekted

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Supposedly some of the top tier pastes also have short effectiveness compared to the "crap" white goop or other TIM that comes stock on many HSF's so there is that to consider too.

And by short I mean like 6 months or so. The other "crap" stuff won't have the same thermal conductivity but you can leave it on for years without issue.

If you're always messing with the cooling you won't care about this issue but if you're a "once n' done" type then this sort of thing matters.
This reminds me of those crap thermal pads Intel and AMD were supplying with the CPUs at one time. Took my CPU off and the pad was completely gone so it was just metal on metal. I posted on Usenet about it and shortly after those pads were gone from the market.
 
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Deleted member 184142

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Right, I find dead hardware to be very different from dead hardware.
Depending on what it is, in most case this would not kill anything, but on some sensitive signal parts might cause some issues, if it was conductive it would kill just about anything. That is a fairly massive and important difference. Not really sure why there is back lash from making a correct statement?

I'm an electronic engineer, the difference isnt lost on me.
In this case the difference is irrelevant, the risk is present.
As an EE I would hope you know your statement of it being irrelevant is not true, and the personal issue you seem to have taken on a correct statement that I made is quite odd.
 

Vercinaigh

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Depending on what it is, in most case this would not kill anything, but on some sensitive signal parts might cause some issues, if it was conductive it would kill just about anything. That is a fairly massive and important difference. Not really sure why there is back lash from making a correct statement?



As an EE I would hope you know your statement of it being irrelevant is not true, and the personal issue you seem to have taken on a correct statement that I made is quite odd.
How many forums threads and youtube videos of dead hardware from bridged shorts of AS5 do you need before you realize what you are saying right now is documented as false? FFS it's why they made Ceramic version of AS5 themselves, that -VERY- reason. What you are being is obtuse and obstinate. I personally have been witness to it kill a AthlonXP.
 

Nenu

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As an EE I would hope you know your statement of it being irrelevant is not true, and the personal issue you seem to have taken on a correct statement that I made is quite odd.
Care to state the consequence for this threads purpose?

Its amusing your thinking I am having a personal go at you.
You stated something that required a come back for the understanding of others reading this.
 

Parja

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Arctic Silver MX-4 has superceded Arctic Silver 5, and is better, being non-capacitive. It's surprising that they didn't include MX-4 in their shootout, but maybe that's because it's always the winner out of non liquid-metal thermal compounds. Arctic Silver MX-4, or Noctua NT-H1 are the best of non liquid-metal compounds, and I think MX-4 edges out Noctua NT-H1 a bit.

Thermalright Chill Factor 3, which edges out Noctua's NT-H1 at idle temperature in their benchmark, is a new one to me.
Arctic Cooling makes MX-4, not Arctic Silver. And it is in the chart above.
 

IcePickFreak

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Arctic Silver MX-4 has superceded Arctic Silver 5, and is better, being non-capacitive. It's surprising that they didn't include MX-4 in their shootout, but maybe that's because it's always the winner out of non liquid-metal thermal compounds. Arctic Silver MX-4, or Noctua NT-H1 are the best of non liquid-metal compounds, and I think MX-4 edges out Noctua NT-H1 a bit.

Thermalright Chill Factor 3, which edges out Noctua's NT-H1 at idle temperature in their benchmark, is a new one to me.
That's Arctic MX-4, made by Arctic. Arctic Silver 5 is made by Arctic Silver. Two different companys.
https://www.arctic.ac/us_en/mx-4.html
http://www.arcticsilver.com/as5.htm
The shootout also list "Arctic Ceramique 2" which is made by Arctic Silver, not Arctic.
EDIT: oops beaten to it.

Looking at their charts (in the OP), they tested Arctic MX-2 but not MX-4 when MX-4 is the high performance stuff made by Arctic. The didn't include Arctic Silver 5 when that was the goto for a lot of people for many years, as displayed in this thread. This is why I never bother looking at these charts, AS5 still works for me and I don't have to weed thru a bunch of half-assed reviews on thermal compound to find an extra degree or two.
 

sleepeeg3

Supreme [H]ardness
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I did a head to head with AS5 and the first CooLaboratory stuff over a decade ago. Most people achieved about a 4-5% improvement. It was better than AS5, but probably not worth the headache to remove if you plan on changing components often. With the state of overclocking, I'm good with my tube of AS5. Never shorted anything out with it after dozens of applications.

For heaven's sake, keep your dogs and heat sinks away from CHOCOLATE!! Death to both!!


Probably how thermal paste is applied at PCPer.com..
LOL! Diaper ointment. My new TIM of choice.
 

MavericK

Zero Cool
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Arctic Silver MX-4 has superceded Arctic Silver 5, and is better, being non-capacitive. It's surprising that they didn't include MX-4 in their shootout, but maybe that's because it's always the winner out of non liquid-metal thermal compounds. Arctic Silver MX-4, or Noctua NT-H1 are the best of non liquid-metal compounds, and I think MX-4 edges out Noctua NT-H1 a bit.

Thermalright Chill Factor 3, which edges out Noctua's NT-H1 at idle temperature in their benchmark, is a new one to me.
I was also surprised MX-4 was not on there.
 

HDriscoll

Limp Gawd
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Jun 18, 2012
Messages
416
I use different brands (not the really inexpensive stuff) and I've had no issues. I've used Arctic Silver 3/5, Prolimatech PK1, Arctic MX-4, IC Diamond, you name it. I use the dot method.
 

DTN107

Supreme [H]ardness
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I thought we all abandoned AS5?

I also use the dot method (or line for intel CPUs).

This video pretty much sums up for folks who still uses the razor blade or credit card method:

 

Hisshadow

n00b
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
55
I only use Arctic Silver 5.... have always used it, always will use it... I dont want anything named arctic silver thats white.. no ceramics for me .. i want my silver

No idea why it was left out of this roundup
 

Gavbon

n00b
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Mar 12, 2017
Messages
1
Hi all

The reason Arctic Silver 5 was omitted was a very simple one; I ran out of budget to purchase thermal paste and Arctic hadn't sent a sample in for comparison. In an ideal world, I would have loved to have obtained EVERY thermal paste, but it just wasn't possible. After publishing, Arctic actually agreed to send some AS5 in, which I have now received so it will for sure be in the next thermal paste comparison. I will most likely be doing one for Ryzen, but my methods take around 1 day per paste, so it's not the most time effective method of testing!

Hope this answered some of the concerns


Kind Regards
 

ghostwich

[H]ard|Gawd
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Sep 10, 2014
Messages
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Hi all

The reason Arctic Silver 5 was omitted was a very simple one; I ran out of budget to purchase thermal paste and Arctic hadn't sent a sample in for comparison. In an ideal world, I would have loved to have obtained EVERY thermal paste, but it just wasn't possible. After publishing, Arctic actually agreed to send some AS5 in, which I have now received so it will for sure be in the next thermal paste comparison. I will most likely be doing one for Ryzen, but my methods take around 1 day per paste, so it's not the most time effective method of testing!

Hope this answered some of the concerns


Kind Regards
Welcome to [H]!
 

ep0x73

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Whatever the latest actic silver version is should suffice just fine.
I am still working off my tube of 3 from probably 10+ years ago.
 
D

Deleted member 245375

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Been using Arctic Silver 5 myself for the better part of the past decade, I see no reason to change from that position. Since CPUs are designed to (literally) run at up to 1C below Tj-max before the thermal circuit executes a shutdown for protection if it does reach Tj-max (and run at those kinds of temps for years continuously) I don't really give a damn about temps anymore. I regularly push my i7-2640m in my laptop (which runs hotter than a desktop by default anyway) doing x264 video encoding and it'll reach 98-99C for hours at a time and I couldn't care less - yes I redo the thermal compound about twice a year and clean out the ventilation on the heatpipe vents but it still runs hot regardless.

I think people focus a bit too much on temps these days, if you're going to push the hardware to its actual limits you're going to get heat from it and there's really only so much one can do. I've seen some rigs where the cooling system put in place was probably over half the cost of the system's total price and it still runs hot by my standards.
 

Krenum

[H]F Junkie
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Messages
16,072
It's so hard to apply have to warm that shit up under a heat gun before i ever applied it.
I always just put it into a ziploc baggy and submerge it in some hot water for about 5-10 minutes.
 

krotch

Supreme [H]ardness
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Aug 12, 2004
Messages
4,509
Maybe this thread should have a poll on what everyone is using. I'm still on AS5. Maybe will try some of the others in the future, whenever I do a PC cleaning again. Just finished doing that earlier this year.
 
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