Thermal Paste Mini-Roundup!
It seems that you just can’t get away from thermal paste in the hardware industry these days. Just about every heatsink manufacturer now offers some form of “premium” thermal paste product. I’ve seen some pretty lofty claims by some of these makers—“lower CPU temperatures by 3-5 degrees!” or “Drop your CPU temperature by 10%!”. That sounds great on paper, but I’ve always been very skeptical of these claims. Don’t get me wrong—I do not discount the importance of a quality thermal paste being used during HSF installation, but I’ve never really been convinced that there is enough variance between pastes to concern me.
Rather than get into a lengthy and scientific analysis on the thermal resistance of various substances, I’m going to focus strictly on hard testing data. What I hope to answer in this article is simple—are there measurable performance differences between premium grade thermal pastes? And if so, how much?