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What's the best thermal paste on the market right now?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I used Arctic Silver 5, but that was nearly three years ago. Are there better thermal pastes that don't have anything like a 200 hour burn-in time like Arctic Silver 5? I've been looking at Masscool Shin Etsu G751 or Shin Etsu X23.

EDIT: Looking at IC Diamond 7 too.
Edited by CannedBullets - 2/4/16 at 1:03am
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post #2 of 27
You'll never go wrong with Shin Etsu X23, but the are better ones.

Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut

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post #3 of 27
Meh.

MX4, MX2, NT-H1, Gelid GC Extreme, PK-2, PK-3.... Dunno about Shin Etsu, but they've been in the game since like forever, and supply for OEMs as well. Personally, I'm sticking to MX4, or even the supplied paste (Be Quiet, Noctua, Thermalright, Phanteks, all good).

There's stuff like Thermal Grizzly that are relatively new on the market. Not spending £15 on a tube of thermal paste though.

Personally, I don't really care for 'best'. Good enough, non conductive, easy application, low maintenance, ... They are all within a few degrees of each other. All that is more important in my book. Until then, couple degrees won't make a difference. The actual application, the quantity will impact on temps as well, probably more than the actual compound, especially when checking core-to-core temp variations.

If you go extreme overclocking, then I suppose it starts to matter. Then you might even go into de-lidding, full water, and very specific compounds.
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post #4 of 27
It really depends on what you actually need/want and are willing to pay for.

Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut
Cool Laboratory Ultra

I've used Arctic MX-4 myself for a long time, it has pretty good performance and the price is fair.

Right now I'm using Grizzly Kryonaut, but with 15 euros its pretty expensive.
But then again I dont care much about price and I've delidded my 4690K with Cool Lab Ultra on the internal heatspreader and got a full loop.
I'm not a big fan of electric conductive pastes on top of the CPU heatspreader. It's a pain to remove and one little drop on the Mobo = dead.

So there's a difference between the best thermal paste and the best thermal paste for you.

At the end of the day the thermal paste doesn't really matter that much, unless you overclock for maximum performance.
The money is better spent elsewhere, like in a better aircooler or waterblock/pump/radiator. You'll gain better temps investing in those components.
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post #5 of 27
Just about any known modern paste is better than AS5.

1) AS5 tends to perform a few degrees worse than other modern pastes, not by a huge margin but still there is no reason to pay more for less, which brings me to point 2:

2) AS5 costs more than many modern pastes. There are exceptions, but those are usually the exceptionally specialized pastes.

3) AS5, as you mentioned, has a stupid long cure time, and doesn't last all that long before pumping out, drying up, and becoming about as useful a TIM as toothpaste.

4) AS5 is capacitive while most modern pastes are not. This makes modern pastes safer to use (even if it is a non-issue if properly applied).

So essentially... just avoid AS5 and get something newer. This was even true 3 years ago when you mentioned using AS5, and longer than that, but even more so now.

the shin estu you mentioned is never a bad paste, although it tends to be overpriced.

IC Diamond is a great performer and lasts forever even in harsh conditions (extremely high or low temps, etc) but is a little hard to apply, hard to clean up (and smells absolutely awful when you do), and is a little abrasive so it can slowly but steadily sand away at the print on your CPU or the mirror finish on your cooler (not a problem unless you intend to reseat 20 times, but some people are bothered by it).

MX2 and MX4 are both solid performers that beat AC5 in literally every respect and doesn't really have any downsides other than not being the very best at anything (other than perhaps its ease of application and cleanup).

Of course there are the above mentioned pastes, and they're pretty great. Plenty of other good options too.
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post #6 of 27
Personally I always use Coollaboratory liquid ultra - £7.30 on amazon right now as well
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post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'll go with Shin Etsu X23-7783D.
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post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CannedBullets View Post

Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'll go with Shin Etsu X23-7783D.
If you wanna go the Shin Etsu route, there's even better than that. http://www.moddiy.com/products/Shin%252dEtsu-MicroSi-Thermal-Interface-Material-X%252d23%252d7921%252d5-W%7B47%7Dm.K-%3E-6.0-(3g).html
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post #9 of 27
I used both kinds of Shin Etsu (G751 and X23) and they're absolute garbage. I was seeing load temps 10C higher than Arctic Silver. They were also very expensive when I tried them (2013 timeframe), like $10 for 2g of G751 that came in a tiny ass applicator and was enough for maybe 2 applications. This was with a Thermaltake Frio (OG version) air cooler. The temps were absolutely awful. I'll never use that brand again.

I use, and swear by, Prolimatech PK-3 Nano now. (It is "nano aluminum" whatever that means). I saw a small temp improvement vs AS5 but more importantly, it is non-conductive, cheap and easy to work with and clean if you are doing multiple remounts or something. I got a huge 30g tube of it like 3 years ago for $30 and probably still haven't used 20% of the tube. THAT'S what I'm talking about, that's my money's worth.

I have heard that MX-4 is very similar to PK-3 Nano but I haven't tried it. I've seen videos and it does look similar in color and consistency. So it's a nice alternative. It is around the same price last I checked too.

I have used IC-7 Nano Diamond and used to recommend it except that it is the worst stuff to try and spread, it's too thick, it's difficult to clean off and it will literally discolor and damage your IHS (integrated heat spreader...) (emphasis added). It literally stained one of my Phenom II's over time. I even heard that it's basically corrosive and can eat right through your IHS and drip onto the die and damage it, ruining your CPU. I have no idea if this is true but that's what someone around here claimed. There was some kind of expose on it with the president of the company or something too, admitting that it damages CPUs over time. Regardless, the temps I had with it were the best compared to AS5, PK-3 and the other pastes I've tried.

Liquid Ultra is the liquid metal type stuff right? It's expensive and you only get one application. If you're bad at mounting heatsinks or waterblocks like I am, or just a perfectionist and remount coolers to get the best temps, or you're a bencher with a dedicated bench and change CPUs all the time, then this stuff is worthless. Many reasons not to use it.

TL;DR: Just get a huge tube of PK-3 or MX-4 and be set for years. The temp difference over AS5 is only like 3C, and probably also like 3C within the Shin Etsu, except the PK-3 and MX-4 are much easier to work with. smile.gif
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Western Digital Caviar Blue 320gb Samsung 850 Evo 256gb Corsair H60 Win10 Home 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2x ASUS V236H 1080p Corsair K70 Lux Blue LED Cherry MX Blue OCZ ModXStream Pro 500w Thermaltake Core V71 
MouseMouse Pad
Cooler Master Thermaltake GAMMA 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-8350 stock ASUS ROG Crosshair V Formula Sapphire R5 230 G.skill TridentX DDR3 2400mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
WD Caviar Blue Lite On DVD-RW Cooler Master TX3 Corsair SP120 Exhaust 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Win7 Ultimate X64 ASUS V236H 1080p 23" OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W Corsair C70 
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post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Huh, I already bought some X23-7921 and X23-7783D online. I'll see how it goes, if the temps I get are bad for both I'll return it for something else.
Deadpool
(16 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-6700k at 4.7 GHz Asus Sabertooth Z170 EVGA GTX 1080 FTW Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4-3000 16 GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 850 Pro 512 GB SSD Western Digital Caviar Blue 1 TB HDD Asus Blu Ray Drive Corsair H115i 
CoolingCoolingOSKeyboard
2 Noctua NF-A14 Radiator Fans 3 Noctua NF-S12A PWM Airflow Fans Windows 10 64-bit Corsair Vengeance K70 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
EVGA SuperNova P2 750W Corsair Vengeance C70 Corsair M95 Corsair Vengeance 1500 v2 
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Deadpool
(16 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-6700k at 4.7 GHz Asus Sabertooth Z170 EVGA GTX 1080 FTW Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4-3000 16 GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 850 Pro 512 GB SSD Western Digital Caviar Blue 1 TB HDD Asus Blu Ray Drive Corsair H115i 
CoolingCoolingOSKeyboard
2 Noctua NF-A14 Radiator Fans 3 Noctua NF-S12A PWM Airflow Fans Windows 10 64-bit Corsair Vengeance K70 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
EVGA SuperNova P2 750W Corsair Vengeance C70 Corsair M95 Corsair Vengeance 1500 v2 
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Overclock.net › Forums › Cooling › Other Cooling Discussions › What's the best thermal paste on the market right now?