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Can you improve on the best?
Product : Arctic Silver Thermal Compound 2
Price : 5.82 (price includes VAT)
Available from : The Overclocking Store
Related articles : [Arctic Silver]
Discuss this review in our forums

When the original Arctic Silver compound came on the market we heard stories of overclockers making large temperature gains when using the Silver compound rather than silicon based compound. The manufacturers knew that while the Arctic Silver was a high quality product which performed very well, it was far from perfect, and even though they tried to stop electrical conductivity (silver conducts electricity very well), they were unable to stop it completely.

When we first tested the Arctic Silver compound it surprised us how much difference it made over the traditional silicon based compound we were previously using. The Arctic Silver certainly delivered the goods. The price was high, and while many found it hard to justify spending over 10 Pounds on a thermal compound, the results spoke for themselves.

This, the second revision of the Arctic Silver is over 50% cheaper (due to being over 50% smaller) to buy and boasts better performance than before. Can't be bad, can it?

Application

When applying thermal paste there is a few golden rules which applies to any thermal paste everyone should follow. The whole reason for using thermal paste between the processor core and the heatsink surface is to reduce the air gap between the two surfaces. The first rule you should follow when putting thermal paste onto a processor core, is not to put a thick wodge of it. Making a thin layer of paste is much better for heat transfer than a thick layer. Also you can get more applications with one tube.

The second rule is to make sure that you have spread the paste out evenly and smoothly. Use a broken stick or rod to run over the paste (gently of course) to flatten it out. This should get rid of any air bubbles that have formed.

We applied the Arctic Silver 2 compound to our new processor, which is a P3 750 (cB0 stepping) and saw how it performed when we overclocked the processor to 933 MHz. We also did the same using the old Arctic Silver compound to see if there really was a difference between the compounds.

Results

Is it really worth changing if you have the original Arctic Silver? We try it on the P3 rig described above, the heatsink used was an Alpha PEP66.



As we can see, there isn't a huge temperature gain from the original Arctic Silver, but you wouldn't expect to see a 5-7C drop like users saw when they converted over to Arctic Silver from their silicon based compound.

Conclusions

The Arctic Silver 2 compound improves on what is already a very good product. There is a few degrees to be gained from using this compound to it's older sibling, however don't be fooled by the lower price, you do in fact get 3 grams of paste in one Arctic Silver 2 tube, whereas you used to get 6.5 grams in the previous Arctic Silver 2 tube. There is still enough paste in this tube for someone to apply the paste to around 7 processors, however this would change if you used it on a slot processor. This new Arctic Silver certainly gains our recommendation for being the best thermal paste we have tested and without doubt the best thermal paste on the market.
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