Whats your "go-to" TIM ?

Go-To Thermal Paste

  • Arctic Silver AS-5

    Votes: 8 13.1%
  • Arctic Silver Ceramique

    Votes: 3 4.9%
  • Arctic MX-2

    Votes: 2 3.3%
  • Arctic MX-4

    Votes: 20 32.8%
  • Deepcool Z5

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Noctua NT-H1

    Votes: 9 14.8%
  • Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut

    Votes: 19 31.1%
  • Corsair TM30

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Corsair XTM50

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    61
  • Poll closed .

jstanthr

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Messages
235
I've been using artic silver 5 for years. Finally my tube ran out and its time to get more, stick with as5 or go with something different? was looking at the noctua stuff, gelid, and others.

Conductivity isn't a big deal, i DO NOT wanna go with liquid metal, prefer a standard paste type TIM

Silver, carbon, ceramique, not important, thermal conductivity and lifespan are.

Whats on your bench and what do you use yourself? Will be for air-coolers, not going with water on this one.
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
721
Used to use Artic Silver but the last couple tubes I've purchased have been Noctua, good stuff.

Keep in mind that at most, you'll see a degree, maybe a couple, difference between major reputable brands so as long as you don't buy cheap cheap, you should be good.
 

daglesj

[H]ardness Supreme
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
5,162
All much of a muchness really. I buy on size, price and availability. MX-4
 

PhaseNoise

2[H]4U
Joined
May 11, 2005
Messages
2,363
MX4 is really easy to deal with, has good performance, lasts seemingly forever, not expensive. I like Noctua's stuff too for most of the same reasons.
 

Vengance_01

[H]ardness Supreme
Joined
Dec 23, 2001
Messages
5,899
I use what ever comes with my heatsinks. Lately it's been noctua and scythe... 🤣
 

drklu

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
2,304
I've always used Diamond 7 thermal paste. It works great, just need to put the tube in some warm water before applying because it is really thick when its cold. I have noticed temp differences in gpu's and cpu's when I use this versus other TIM. YMMV.

 

Smoked Brisket

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 6, 2013
Messages
252
I was loyal to arctic ceramic for years, but Thermal Grizzly seems to be top dog now so I use that. As many have said, just use a good quality brand and you are good to go. All within a degree or 2 of each other.
 

NobleX13

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
3,272
I used to be all about that Shin-Etsu X23-7783D thug life. Sold about $1000 worth of it here back in 2010-2011ish. Now I can't hardly find the stuff, and supposedly even MX-4 beats it these days. You can get a 20G tube of MX-4 for $10.99 on eBay.

I am tempted to try the Thermal Grizzly stuff. It's just so much more expensive.
 

StaticShoes

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 21, 2008
Messages
150
Switched from Arctic Silver to MX-4 some time ago. Was tempted to try liquid metal after watching Bitwit use in a build, eh not sure it's worth it.
 
Last edited:

N4CR

[H]ardness Supreme
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
4,439
Synthetic polycrystalline 'C'.
I've actually worked with some of the highest grade mono in the world and the heat conduction is ridiculous. I'll have to hit up my supplier and see if they can loan me a heatspreader, would be amazing for zen2 (or 3) ;)
 

M76

[H]ardForum Junkie
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
10,256
Whatever I can find laying around. It makes so little difference that i just can't be bothered to care. Cheap chinese white gue in a tube, or tim that is priced more expensive than gold, it's all the same to me.
 

RazorWind

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Messages
3,410
Synthetic polycrystalline 'C'.
I've actually worked with some of the highest grade mono in the world and the heat conduction is ridiculous. I'll have to hit up my supplier and see if they can loan me a heatspreader, would be amazing for zen2 (or 3) ;)
So like, a heatspreader that's just made out of carbon? Is it soft enough to not need a TIM between it and the heatsink?
 

leone

n00b
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
19
I suppose I'm old school and out of the loop, but I still use Ceramique. :p Temps are never a problem and remain consistent with little drying out after 5-10 years even.
 

Mav451

[H]ardness Supreme
Joined
Jul 23, 2004
Messages
4,590
GC Extreme is not listed. I have plenty of Noctua as backup, but I don't usually use it.
 

jthomas

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 4, 2006
Messages
220
MX-4, because it's cheap and comes in a big tube that has lasted me years.
 

chameleoneel

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
3,203
GC Extreme is not listed. I have plenty of Noctua as backup, but I don't usually use it.
There's a dude on youtube who did several live stream tests of thermal pastes and he compared an old tube of GC Extreme Vs. a new one. The new one was significantly worse. Just one tube. Not conclusive. But could be a bummer. I was a fan of GC Extreme.

Because of his tests, I bought some Thermalright TF8 last year.
 

Mav451

[H]ardness Supreme
Joined
Jul 23, 2004
Messages
4,590
Can you post the video? That said, it doens't really surprise me to see production batches get worse. On top of my Noctua H1 supply, heck I still have Ceramique and OC Freeze if we're going to talk about everything in my tool box lmao.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Official Forum Curmudgeon
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
29,462
I tend to go with the Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut.

It's a little tough to apply. Thicker than most, can't really use the pea method so you have to spread it and it is easy to make a mess, especially if it is cold.

The performance is consistently good though, and that's why I keep coming back.
 

freeagentt

[H]Lite
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
99
Like some of the others I used AS5 for years, its still a really good paste, but it requires some technique. After you use it a few times you'll see what I mean. I've tried NTH1, ICD7, Ceramique, CF3, and probably a few others from eons ago. Right now I am using TF8 from Thermalright, its pretty decent. I would recommend it to anyone. I still think AS5 is good, but this is much better.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Official Forum Curmudgeon
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
29,462
Like some of the others I used AS5 for years, its still a really good paste, but it requires some technique. After you use it a few times you'll see what I mean. I've tried NTH1, ICD7, Ceramique, CF3, and probably a few others from eons ago. Right now I am using TF8 from Thermalright, its pretty decent. I would recommend it to anyone. I still think AS5 is good, but this is much better.
Yeah, AS5 isn't bad, but it is several generations old at this point, and as opposed to many of it's more modern competitors, it has a break-in period.
 

Susquehannock

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 26, 2005
Messages
3,587
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut is my go to now. Easy too apply. No spreading needed. Viscosity is good enough that clamping pressure spreads a fat rice grain across the CPU and/or GPU.

In my Athlon XP days Shin-Etsu X23-7783D was my go to. After lapping the heatsink to near mirror I would rub just enough onto surface and that bare core to make them cloudy. Always better temps than AS5 that way.
 

freeagentt

[H]Lite
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
99
Yeah, AS5 isn't bad, but it is several generations old at this point, and as opposed to many of it's more modern competitors, it has a break-in period.
Indeed, I used it for at least a decade, maybe more. TF8 is a good replacement for it. On paper its better than Kryonaut. I haven't used Kryonaut, so I cant say for sure.
 

SmokeRngs

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2008
Joined
Aug 9, 2001
Messages
16,059
I still have an ancient syringe of Arctic Cooling MX-2. I even used it last night when I swapped out a Q6600 in my server for the one out of my old main system as well as the heatsink from my old main system. Prior to that I had used Arctic Silver 2 and 3 as well as Ceramique but the MX-2 was much better. It was easier to apply, temps were at least as good, no curing period and the stuff literally lasts years without losing effectiveness.

I'll probably grab some MX-4 sometime in the future as my current syringe of MX-2 is running low.
 

Dan_D

[H]ard as it Gets
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
55,505
The Thermal Grizzly stuff is known to be among the best pastes on the market. However, I buy whatever is cheapest at the time as I use allot more than most people ever would.
 

MaZa

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 21, 2008
Messages
2,811
Whatever is the cheapest of the known quality brands (MX2 being the baseline which I compare all pastes to). Right now I have an old tube of CF3 that never seems to run out.

*Actually might as well as vote MX2. If nothing else catches my eye or seem affordable, I buy that.
 

narsbars

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Messages
1,739
I still have half a tube of the ORIGINAL Arctic silver. That stuff still works.
 

jstanthr

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Messages
235
the last rig i tore down (sold to chiefjoe) was an i5-2600k that i built right when they launched, can't remember the day, i replaced the tim once back around 2013-2014 and when i took it down, it was still moist and tacky, but had obviously wicked from center to sides, probably due to the curve ontop of the old i5 heatspreader, the hsf was lapped pure flat, probably should have lapped the spreader too but i chose not to on that one.

I know they all perform about the same to an extent. As long as i don't get something thats been on the shelf forever or been through several freeze/thaw cycles.

Probably will try the noctua stuff since the hsf will come with it, and maybe order some kryonaut to try as well.

I don't build like i used to, used to go through a tube a week or more, but those glory days are over.

Mostly servers now and those normally are never touched again once put in service.
 

DooKey

[H]ardForum Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
8,286
None of the above.

I use Prolima Tech PK-2. Tried it after a recommendation from Kyle and I'm very happy with the results.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Official Forum Curmudgeon
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
29,462
None of the above.

I use Prolima Tech PK-2. Tried it after a recommendation from Kyle and I'm very happy with the results.
I thought Kyle only used Cheese.

J/k :p

He is on record using some big bucket of white goop he buys in bulk. Maybe not anymore though as he is not using massive quantities for HardOCP anymore.
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
49,029
I thought Kyle only used Cheese.

J/k :p

He is on record using some big bucket of white goop he buys in bulk. Maybe not anymore though as he is not using massive quantities for HardOCP anymore.
Switched to Prolimatech some years ago.
 
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