Originally Posted by Pseudonymous
AS-5 has a 200hr cure time! I watched my temps slowly start going down over a two week period. It works, it's cheap, but if your spending over $200 on a cpu what's wrong with spending $7.99 for some ShinEtzu with no cure time.
I totally agree.
I like Arctic Silver 5, but I use other TIM's as well. I currently have a tube of OCZ Freeze, MX-2, some Corsair stuff (whatever it is that comes with the A50 and A70, both seem to work pretty well), the stuff that comes with the 212+ and some Xigamatek stuff (that comes the Dark Knight). I have also used some Zalman ZM STG1 and Noctua NT-H1. They have all performed very similarly.
Are there TIM's "better" than Arctic Silver 5, yes, but just barely.
I think cost is a minimal factor in TIM choice (I got both my Arctic Silver 5 and MX-2 for $2.99 shipped).
For those pushing the limits of their CPU and need all the cooling they can get, then getting an extra 2-3°C that you may get from other TIM's may be worth it.
For most users, it will not make any real difference, and if you already have some Arctic Silver 5 use it. If you don't, let it be one of your options, and if you can get it for cheap, then get it. It is safe for your computer.
The funny thing now is I basically used the rest of my Arctic Silver 5 doing this little experiment, so I will not be using or buying any more any time soon since I have so many other TIM's right now.