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PC COOLING

Thermal Paste Comparison
By: Poiuy223
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    2003-10-09

    Table of Contents:
  • Thermal Paste Comparison
  • Comparison page 2
  • Testing and Results page 3

  • Rate this Article: Poor Best 
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    Thermal Paste Comparison


    (Page 1 of 3 )

    Overclocking is not always 100% about getting the perfect hardware. Many people overlook the importance of getting the right cooling. Picking out the right heatsink or waterblock is an easy choice since the majority of us have agreed and narrowed it down to two main manufacturers. Then comes the next part, the small dab of grease that you need to fill in the gap. Many use the small white pack of silicone grease thinking that it is sufficient. For others, they spend the extra $10 and get a tube of Arctic Silver. It has pretty much become a general rule that one should not overclock without spreading a thin layer of Arctic Silver across the CPU core. The question is, which tube of grease do you buy?

     

    Manufacturers:

    Arctic Silver, OCZ
    Product:AS3, AS Ceramique, OCZ Ultra II

    Reviewed By:

    Poiuy223

    Edited By:

    Mack "SPeeD"

    Thermal Paste Comparison

     

    Introduction

    Overclocking is not always 100% about getting the perfect hardware. Many people overlook the importance of getting the right cooling. Picking out the right heatsink or waterblock is an easy choice since the majority of us have agreed and narrowed it down to two main manufacturers. Then comes the next part, the small dab of grease that you need to fill in the gap. Many use the small white pack of silicone grease thinking that it is sufficient. For others, they spend the extra $10 and get a tube of Arctic Silver. It has pretty much become a general rule that one should not overclock without spreading a thin layer of Arctic Silver across the CPU core. The question is, which tube of grease do you buy?

     



    Arctic Silver 3:

    Arctic Silver 3 is the newest version of Arctic Silver and is the most common thermal paste used. It is easy to find; nearly all retailers have this little tube of grease in stock. Each new version brings new improved performance.

    Here is the full detailed description of the specifications of AS3:

    "The first silver-based, polysynthetic thermal compound for use between modern high-power CPUs and high performance heatsinks or watercooling solutions.

    Arctic Silver 3 features:

    Made with 99.9% pure micronized silver.

    Arctic Silver 3 uses three unique shapes and sizes of pure silver particles to maximize particle-to-particle contact area and thermal transfer. This exclusive combination gives the compound a distinctive silver-green color as each type of particle reflects light differently.

    Over 75% silver content by weight.

    Arctic Silver 3 also contains a small percentage of specially engineered micronized boron nitride. The thermally-enhanced boron nitride ceramic particles improve the compound's flow characterisitics and long-term stability.

    Controlled triple phase viscosity.

    Arctic Silver 3 does not contain any silicone. The suspension fluid is a proprietary mixture of advanced polysynthetic oils that work together to provide three distinctive functional phases. As it comes from the tube, Arctic Silver 3's consistency is engineered for easy application in a thin even layer. During the CPU's initial use, the compound thins out to enhance the filling of the microscopic valleys and ensure the best physical contact between the heatsink and the CPU core. Then the compound thickens slightly over the next 50 to 200 hours of use to its final consistency designed for long-term stability.

    Absolute Stability.

    Arctic Silver 3 will not separate, run, migrate, or bleed.

    Thermal conductivity: >9.0 W/mK (Hot Wire Method Per MIL-C-47113)

    Thermal Resistance: <0.004C-in/Watt (0.001 inch layer)

    Extended temperature limits: -40C to >180C

    3 to 12 degrees centigrade lower CPU full load core temperatures than standard thermal compounds or thermal pads.

    When measured with a calibrated thermal diode imbedded in the CPU core.

    Not electrically conductive.

    Arctic Silver 3 was formulated to conduct heat, not electricity. It is only electrically conductive in a thin layer under extreme compression. (While much safer than electrically conductive silver and copper greases, Arctic Silver 3 should be kept away from electrical traces, pins, and leads. While it is not electrically conductive the compound is slightly capacitive and could potentially cause problems if it bridges two close-proximity electrical paths.)"

    Like Arctic Silver warned, AS3 can be conductive when it bridges two traces together. You should be careful when applying it to video card GPUs or Northbridge chips. If applied too much, AS3 can easily short out your video card.

     


     


    Spreading the Paste:

    AS3 is quite easy to apply and spread. When applying for the first time, excess paste can ooze out of the tube. To stop this from happening, simply pull back the syringe and the oozing will stop. Applying AS3 was a cinch as it spreads evenly with ease.

     


     

    We recommend applying thermal paste with a credit card or business card for a smooth application every time. Checkout our tried and true "How to apply Thermal Paste" article for a better understanding of how we do this.

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