So the Arctic Silver 5 isn't the best themal grease available?

By wolfram · 21 replies
Mar 16, 2007
  1. Jesse_hz

    Jesse_hz TS Maniac Posts: 545

    AS5 was beaten by silicone based thermal-compounds a long time ago. The reason that people keep using it may be because AS5 is more well-known and therefore easier to get. (well at least that's my guess)

    Edit: Yes, just because it's been beaten doesn't mean it's not good anymore and it's still better than using the crap that came with your heatsink. :)
  2. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,967   +9

    Yes, and it's still a very good compound :)
  3. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    NOTE: the Shin-Etsu compound used in that "comparison" was X23, not the G751 that Wolfram linked. Newegg sells G751 (via the MassCool brand), but doesn't sell X23.

    Also, Shin-Etsu has [for a long time] been know to have [slightly] superior thermal compounds in certain applications. that doesn't mean that it's a better all-around compound, but in certain applications it can slightly outperform AS5 and other high-end compounds. I'm not saying that either one is better than the other, just that each one may outperform the other depending on how it's applied and what it's used on.

    that "comparison" is nice and pretty with it's graphs & charts, but it leaves some important variables out of it's analysis:
    1. they only tested it with 1 heatsink.
      • how do these compounds perform with a better HS?
      • or the stock HS with a more lapped surface?
    2. they tested 3 processors, but they are all Conroes
      • they are all pretty much the same processor and will have very similar heat outputs
      • how do these compounds perform with an Athlon64 or a Pentium?
    3. how were the compounds applied?
      • did they apply it to the CPU, or the HS, or both?
      • did they put a dab in the middle and let the pressure spread it out?
      • did the spread it evenly with a straight-edge?
      • did they spread it on with their fingers (in plastic)?
    4. did they allow an adequate "burn-in" period for each compound to completely fill in the cavities?
    5. and finally, what did they use to measure these temps?

    I'm not saying that that comparison is bad or wrong, just that it's not very conclusive, lacks details, and fails to prove what the best all-around compound is... just my 2¢

    cheers :wave:
    1 person likes this.
  4. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    I agree. Even being a noob. I can see some details are lacking, through my own experiences. When I first put my new system together I didnt apply the AS5 correctly, but when I finnaly did I got 6C lower temps. So we never know if the results are conclusive indefinately
  5. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,967   +9

    Oops, my mistake :eek:

    I saw somewhere that the G751 works better when applied to rough surfaces (a.k.a. low-end HSF's), and the X23 is a higher-end compound, and works best when applied to mirror-like surfaces, like Zalman HSF's or other high-end heatsinks.
  6. Jesse_hz

    Jesse_hz TS Maniac Posts: 545

    Sounds like the differences between MX-1 and AS5. One is better for perfectly lapped surfaces and one is better for more rough surfaces.
  7. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    A few years back, Maximum PC ran a bunch of tests on different types of thermal grease and the benefits they offered. The conclusion was that Arctic Silver was no better than any other silver grease no matter how much or little silver content the other types had. I never use AS5 because you can get no-name silver grease for $0.99 per tube, while AS5 is a couple bucks per tube. You're just paying for the AS5 name.

    I still remember that article because everyone always says to buy AS5 meanwhile I know that it's no better than the other stuff :stickout: fufufu ;)
  8. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,967   +9

    I'd still use AS5. I wouldn't use a no-name or a Radioshack thermal compound :D
  9. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    Why not? It's cheaper and it does the same thing. I've been using cheap stuff for a year and a half.
  10. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    to be honest, I don't think the average user will ever see much of a different between the two.
  11. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    each time you [re]apply compound, your temps will vary a little bit anyways even if using the same brand. and for the most part a few degrees is no big deal anyways... if your CPU is running so hot that you're worried about 5°C, then the solution is not more expensive compound, but better cooling all around.

  12. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Well, I go for the best in cooling available to me, and every degree counts. I'd be sticking with AS5 for awhile, but I'd definately be on a lookout for these other brands. Mainly cos AS5 is tried and true. A single review of a new compound usually isn't conclusive, even if there's no flaws in that review.

    But I agree, most people don't really give a crap even if their comps are 5C hotter than others. Would you consider techspot as an enthusiast forum? If you do, then every C would count.
  13. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,967   +9

    I don't think that a cheap compound can perform as good as AS5. Every degree counts :)
  14. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I must say I agree with that somewhat. If they knew they had a superior product, they probably would've rocked the computer enthusiast community with tons of ads (like here in techspot, hardocp,, anandtech, etc), and sent out tons of review samples.

    Given that it hasn't happened (yet!), it can't be a superior product.

    Or maybe their marketing department is slacking off.
  15. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,967   +9

    Hey guys just a quick question:

    I have some AS5 somewhere in my house, but it's almost a year old. I will buy a Zalman cooler, and need to use good, fresh thermal grease.

    Should I buy new AS5, or use my existing tube?
  16. Jesse_hz

    Jesse_hz TS Maniac Posts: 545

    Does it still have the same color and consistency as when it was new?

    If the answer is 'yes', then I think it's perfectly safe for you to use it and from my own experiences and what I've read AS5 can last for years if it's kept in the original tube.
  17. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    I have a tube of AS5 that is at least 2 years old, and it hasn't separated. contrary to AS's instructions I've always stored if horizontally.

    it should be fine even if it has separated a little, it won't hurt to try it out. if it really worries you just buy another tube, it's doesn't cost much.

  18. n00b

    n00b TS Rookie Posts: 39

    just thought I'd throw this link out there to its been out for awhile and I am going to order some soon to try out with the new C2D E6600 and Thermaltake BT i just bought and see how it works also i saw a link awhile ago some guy who got a dumba55 award for injecting himself with it and killing himself god people are dumb.

    heres the link its at incase the link doesn't work just look under Liquid Metal
  19. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,967   +9

    Thanks for the link n00b. Please tell us how it performs :)

    And my AS5 still looks good, it hasn't separated yet. I think I'll use it.

    Thanks for your replies :wave:
  20. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    That liquid pro looks like something that'll perform quite well.

    But I wanna see reviews first :D
  21. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Hmm... Looks interesting to say the least.

    I'd still want to see reviews before using it.

    p.s. I thought AS5 was dangerous enough, this stuff looks like it can kill....

    edit: hmm... looks like my last post went through. Feel free to delete the first post.
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