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Grease Wars 5: The Gooey-est

Introduction

This is a Nanothern vs. Arcticsilver shootout. The last GW4 shootout entailed all Nanotherm products without any Arcticsilver representation. Tested here is the latest incarnation of the Arcticsilver product line: Ceramique. No matter who wins, both cooling solutions are "best in class" products.

Factory Specifications
Ceramique
  • Negligible Electrical Conductivity
  • Does not contain any silicone
  • Does not separate, run, migrate or bleed
  • About 1cc & 8cc syringes
  • Price: $4.95=1cc, $9.95=8cc

Arcticsilver

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8.5
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10
8.5/10 Rating
Factory Specifications
Nanotherm Experimental
  • 99.98% pure silver particles
  • 80 to 83% silver by weight
  • Compound is non-electrically conductive
  • Designed for operating temperatures in excess of 500ºF
  • Price: $7.95 USD for 4.0gm

ESG Associates

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9.5
10
9.5/10 Rating

The Products (from the Nanotherm review)

I remember an old TV ad that opened with senior citizens driving down a crowded street. A woman asked the male driver about changing the car's oil and his reply was, "motor oil is motor oil."

When setting up your new P4 or XP screamer, I'm sure most consider very carefully every single part that goes into the case. Except for some odd reason, the thermal grease gets left out. Some argue the benefits when grease is substituted for an inefficient pad, but is there is difference between greases themselves? Can one be significantly better than another? If you recall my aging Arctic Silver review, you'll see that quality of thermal paste varies greatly.

What I've discovered with heatsink compound is that generally speaking, you want a thick viscous compound. This is good for several reasons. First, a viscous grease is less prone to drying out over time (months, years). Second, tiny air pockets are less likely to decrease the tight coupling between heatsink and CPU.

ESG Associates has long since released the "experimental" grease I've tested again here as Silver XTC. These two gooey contenders are so far above anything else I have lying around (other Nanotherm products, AS3, etc.), that it only made sense to compare the best available.

Testing Notes

For those of you who have P4's, you'll relate to what I'm talking about. Changing CPU's or grease is a significant exercise. The testing rig has changed from over six months ago to reflect the hotter, more difficult to cool P4's. The ever popular 2.4B (533FSB) is not only a great at stock speeds, but typical overclocking reports suggest speeds in the 3.2 to 3.4GHz range.

 





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