In our Thermal Compound Roundup – May 2011 review, we compared 20 different thermal compounds from several brands. Some readers asked us to include the thermal compound that comes with stock coolers (the thermal solutions that comes with in-a-box CPUs) in the comparison, in order to answer the question "is it necessary to change the thermal compound that comes preapplied on a retail product?"

In order to answer this question, we will test the cooling performance of an Intel stock cooler that came with a Core i3 CPU (shown in Figure 1) with the original compound, and then with some other thermal compounds to see if we found some performance improvement.

Intel Stock Thermal Compound ReviewFigure 1: Intel Core i3 stock cooler

Let’s find out which thermal compounds we compared and the test results in the following pages.

Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master's degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.