Following up on our Thermal Compound Roundup – April 2011 review, we are adding five more thermal compounds to our roundup, for a total of 20 different models from Antec, Arctic Cooling, Arctic Silver, Biostar, Cooler Master, Coolink, Deepcool, Evercool, Gelid, Noctua, Prolimatech, Spire, Thermalright, Thermaltake, Tuniq, Xigmatek, and Zalman. In this review we will determine if certain products are superior to others.
For a better understanding of how the thermal compound (a.k.a. thermal grease or thermal paste) works and how to correctly apply it, please read our How to Correctly Apply Thermal Grease tutorial. The most important concept that you must understand is that it is a mistake to think that the more thermal grease you apply, the better. The thermal compound is a worse heat conductor than copper and aluminum (the metals usually found on cooler bases). So, if you apply more thermal compound than necessary it will actually lower the cooling performance instead of improving it.
In Figure 1, there are the five new thermal compounds we are adding to our roundup.
Figure 2 shows all the syringes of the thermal compounds we tested so far.
Let’s get a closer look at the new contenders in the next pages.