Thermal Paste Roundup 2015 – 47 products tested with air-cooling and liquid nitrogen (LN2)

Test circumstances

There are several different ways to apply the thermal paste on the CPU or GPU. The layer itself should be as thin as possible but thick enough to fill all gaps between the CPU and the cooler. Pastes with a very low viscosity can be applied using method #1 because the pressure of the cooler will spread it between both surfaces. The same principle applies for methods #2-4. However, from my experience some pastes are too thick and won’t properly spread between the surfaces. That’s why I always use method #5. I use an applicator which is often included in thermal pastes to spread it over the CPU. 
methods

Using method #5 I can be sure that each paste will be tested under the same conditions and the whole surface is covered.

Spreading Test of different methods:

 

I’m using a Phanteks PH-TC14PE air-cooler to have the same mounting pressure and temperatures on the test bench as using a normal computer setup. For air-cooling each paste will be applied and measured 3 times to make sure there are no measurement- or mounting-errors. If one out of the 3 measurements is way out of line a 4th measurement will be done. Afterwards the arithmetic average will be calculated.

To see how consistent the results are I did 10 tests with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut. I always applied the same amount of paste and spread the paste as you can see on picture #5. Of course there is always a small difference in the measurement but you can see that the results are very consistent.

Test #12345678910
Delta Temperature7.887.917.927.887.877.927.927.897.857.87

160 Watt continuous load simulate an overclocked Intel Core i7 Haswell CPU on high load.

 

Index:
  1. Introduction and Basics
  2. Test requirements
  3. Improvements compared to the last test
  4. Test circumstances and consistency
  5. Gramm vs. Volume
  6. Air-Cooling results and buy recommendation
  7. Extreme Cooling Test
  8. Extreme Cooling Test (results#1)
  9. Extreme Cooling Test (results#2)
  10. Extreme Cooling Test (results#3)
  11. Product Details
  12. Conclusion

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