Thermal Compound roundup 2012 - Part 1
This article is our first thermal paste review. Doing a review of thermal pastes is never easy, so before this article was possible we needed to think how to get reliable results fast and without loosing too much time on testing. I hope that everyone who read this article remember, that English is not my native language, so when you see some errors in the text, don't mind them.
There is several sites doing similar reviews, so like the others we are not trying to say that our results are 100% correct. There is so many variables which can affect on the end results, that making completely identical testing with every paste is almost impossible. I think we got really close to optimal situation in our testing, so we can say that these results can be taken seriously.
Different kind of thermal interfaces and thermal pastes have been used since the semiconductor industry was born. In the PC technology first decades were not the time of evolvement on that area, cause there was no need to have more performance on heat transfer abilities. When time was starting to be ready for first really complicated and hot CPU's there was need for better tools and accessories. The custom PC cooling technology have evolved mostly after year 2000 and first companies started to make powerful coolers during those early years in 21st century.
For example these coolers from Swiftech seemed to be very innovative and powerful compared to stock cooling solutions in 2002. Nowadays those coolers are mostly just funny looking, but I remember when I ordered and got mine, that I was very proud of this peace of copper and aluminum. Here is short review of this particular cooler from year 2002.
So, the coolers were getting more and more powerful and thermal pastes needed to follow. We all used just basic silicon based white stuff between coolers at that point. Then there was some new pastes available like Artic Alumina and Artic Silver. Artic silver thermal paste was really popular at that time, so more and more different companies started to make their own versions of thermal compounds.
Now in 2012, there is almost unlimited number of possibilities with PC coolers and thermal pastes. PC technology have evolved hugely and so have coolers and thermal compounds. One thing which have changed a lot is the fact, that overclocking is now mainstream. In early 2000 it was mostly done by some certain individuals, which had a need to get more performance out of their pc's. Nowadays overclocking is made very easy and it is very common that people do it after new PC build. Overclocking produce a lot more heat compared to stock frequencies and voltages and that is the reason coolers are designed to handle a lot of heat. Some overclocked CPU's will produce enormous amount of heat and in that case thermal compound need to be able to transfer that heat energy to cooler without too much restriction. It is not enough to have just very good cooler as there is still need for similarly good thermal compound.
Content of the article