Arctic Cooling MX-2 High Performance Thermal Compound Review
Reviewed by: Makaveli
Reviewed on: December 11, 2007
Overclockers are constantly looking for tweaks to implement in order to get the absolute highest clock speed out of their processor. One of the most inexpensive and easy ways to help get the maximum from your processor is to have the best thermal compound applied to it. Thermal compound is what you’ll find in between any processor and heatsink – it insures a direct connection, which allows you to get the best temperatures. Aftermarket thermal compound almost always does better than the stock thermal compound on heatsinks. But how much better? The lower the temperatures that you receive from having an aftermarket thermal compound applied to your CPU, the more room you’ll have to increase the clock speed and the volts applied to the processor. I’ll be comparing this Arctic Cooling MX-2 High Performance Thermal Compound to other popular thermal compounds to get an idea for which one gives the lowest temperature reading. Join me as I investigate the Arctic Cooling MX-2 High Performance Thermal Compound to see how much more room applying it gives me to overclock.
The Arctic Cooling MX-2 High Performance Thermal Compound is sealed in plastic that gives you some quick facts about the product as well as a complete view of Arctic Cooling MX-2 High Performance Thermal Compound. The back of the package has an interesting graph of test results from Arctic Cooling.
The Arctic Cooling MX-2 High Performance Thermal Compound is in a syringe-like container making it easy to apply.
Now let’s apply this Arctic Cooling MX-2 Higher Performance Thermal Compound so that we can hurry up and test it already!
Be sure that you correctly apply the MX-2 compound, because if you don’t, your results won’t nearly be as good as if you apply it correctly. First, remove your current heatsink from your processor. It is best to use 90% rubbing alcohol on the processor and heatsink to completely clean it of the old thermal compound. Once the processor and heatsink are clean, apply about a dime’s size of MX-2, in the center of the CPU. Place your heatsink back onto your processor and rotate it about ten degrees to either side to insure that no air is between the processor and heatsink. Now, securely lock your CPU cooler into place and fire up your machine! Below you can see the MX-2 applied on an AMD 6000+ with an Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro 64 heatsink.
CPU, GPU and other applications between power semiconductor components and heat sinks.
To compare this Arctic Cooling MX-2 thermal compound, I’m going to take the idle and load temperatures for both stock and overclocked settings on my Intel Core 2 Duo E6600. We also applied the compound onto an Intel Q6600 and an AMD 6000+ so we'll test the temperatures for those processors as well. Both of the thermal compounds were given 24 hours to fully cure before testing. The CPUs were overclocked to 3.0GHz from the stock 2.4GHz for the overclocked portion of the tests. The Thermaltake V1 is what I’ll be using for the CPU cooler in all tests, except on the AMD 6000+ where a Arctic Freezer Pro 64 was used. Since we’re dealing with Celsius in these tests, lower is always better.
- Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Processor
- Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processor
- AMD 6000+ AM2 Processor
- Arctic Cooling MX-2 High Performance Thermal Compound
- Abit IN9 32X-Max Wi-Fi Motherboard
- Mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 Memory
- Cooler Master 750watt Power Supply
- Western Digital 160GB SATA 3.0GB/s Hard Drive
- Windows XP Professional SP2
- Enermax Uber Chakra ATX Full Tower Case
Comparison Thermal Compound:
- Arctic Cooling Ceramique
First up are the stock tests. Remember, the readings are in Celsius - lower is better.
Now we are going to overclock both processors to 3.0GHz from their stock 2.4GHz clock. Again, the results are in Celsius, lower is better.
The Arctic Cooling MX-2 and the Arctic Cooling Ceramique had a very tough battle.
The Arctic Cooling High Performance MX-2 Thermal Compound was the best compound from the lot that I tested – but not by much. It beat out the Arctic Cooling Ceramique thermal compound by a few degrees in some tests, especially under load. It's good to see a compound that can keep your computer cooler when it's under load because that's what really matters. Thirty five degrees Celsius at stock while idle is close to the best that I’ve seen. That’s definitely a good temperature to be at for stock idle. I also liked how easy this compound was to install. Other thermal compounds need to be applied by making a line across the processor with the compound, or apply it with other unique methods. But with the Arctic Cooling MX-2, it was just a dab in the middle of the processor, set your heatsink on the CPU, and twist it about ten degrees to either side, and you’re done. At only $7.95, it’s worth picking up to shave off a few degrees from your CPU to allow you to overclock further and keep your valuable processor at good temperatures.
- Easy to Apply