Arctic Silver Ceramique Review
Reviewed by: Admin
Reviewed on: July 21, 2003
: Arctic Silver
Price: $5 USD +/-
Arctic Silver has established itself as one of (if not the) best manufactures of thermal compound. The Arctic Silver 3 thermal compound offered great heat transfer, and was the highest recommended compound in by users in our forums. So what happens when Arctic Silver tries to take things up a notch? We'll find out when we take a look at the “Evolution of Cool”, Arctic Silver's Céramique. And to make things interesting, we'll add Arctic Silver's closest competition, Nanotherm Silver XTC, to the fray.
About Arctic Silver 3
Made with 99.9% pure micronized silver.
Arctic Silver 3 uses three unique shapes and sizes pure silver particles to maximize particle-to-particle contact area and thermal transfer. This exclusive combination gives the compound a distinctive silver-green color as each type of particle reflects light differently.
Over 70% silver content by weight.
Arctic Silver 3 also contains a small percentage of specially engineered micronized boron nitride. The thermally-enhanced boron nitride ceramic particles improve the compound's flow characteristics and long-term stability.
Controlled triple phase viscosity.
Arctic Silver 3 does not contain any silicone. The suspension fluid is a proprietary mixture of advanced polysynthetic oils that work together to provide three distinctive functional phases. As it comes from the tube, Arctic Silver 3's consistency is engineered for easy application in a thin even layer. During the CPU's initial use, the compound thins out to enhance the filling of the microscopic valleys and ensure the best physical contact between the heatsink and the CPU core. Then the compound thickens slightly over the next 50 to 200 hours of use to its final consistency designed for long-term stability.
Negligible electrical conductivity.
Arctic Silver 3 was formulated to conduct heat, not electricity. It is only electrically conductive in a thin layer under extreme compression.
Made with micronized aluminum oxide, boron nitride and zinc oxide.
Céramique uses a high-density layered composite of five unique shapes of thermally conductive aluminum oxide, boron nitride and zinc oxide sub-micron particles to maximize particle-to-particle contact area and thermal transfer.
This exclusive combination provides performance exceeding most metal based compounds.
Controlled triple phase viscosity.
Céramique does not contain any silicone.
The suspension fluid is a proprietary mixture of advanced polysynthetic oils that provide superior performance and long-term stability.
During the system's initial use, the heat from the CPU lowers the viscosity of the compound to enhance the filling of the microscopic valleys and ensure a minimum bond line between the heat sink and the CPU core. Then the compound thickens slightly over the next 100 to 300 hours of use to its final consistency designed for long-term stability.
Céramique does not contain any metal or other electrically conductive materials. It is a pure electrical insulator, neither electrically conductive nor capacitive.
About Nanotherm XTC Silver
The newest product in our family of Nanotherm thermal compounds. This "Xtreme Thermal Compound" contains a one of the highest loadings of Silver particles of any compound on the market. We use a special mixture of custom-milled Silver particles (99.98% pure) which are blended into a unique high temperature synthetic suspension fluid. The Nanotherm Silver XTC also contains a small percentage of the special Boron Nitride and "Nano" powders used in our Nanotherm II thermal compounds to further enhance the performance of the compound.
Before I get into the testing I'd like to point out that this product's name is actually just Céramique. I've seen people calling it Arctic Silver Céramique, which is misleading because this product contains no silver. Arctic Silver, is however the name of the company that manufactures Céramique.
Arctic Silver sent me two 2.7g tubes of Céramique, and as you can see the syringe is quite a bit smaller and more compact than the 3.0g tube of Arctic Silver. Arctic Silver said that the reason for this is to make it easier to handle. Personally, I'd like to see the syringe a bit longer, like the syringe that Nanotherm uses.
Here you can see the three different compounds side by side. Notice that AS3 and the XTC are silver where as the Céramique is white. Like I mentioned before, Céramique doesn't contain any silver. From right to left in the picture XTC, AS3, and Céramique.
Testing the various compounds was quite easy. Apply a thin layer of compound, give it a few days, benchmark, and repeat with another compound. To make sure things were fair, each compound was given 120 hours to reach maximum conductivity. Room temp for the tests was maintained at 27°C, and the same heat sink (Coolermaster X-Dream) was used for testing. The rest of the test system's spec's are as follows:
- Abit KX7-333R Motherboard
- AMD XP 1800+ CPU
- Corasir 512M PC2700 DDR
- XFX GeForce 4Ti 4200 8x
- Lian Li PC 70 Aluminum Case (Side Pannel Removed)
And here are the results:
Temperatures - Not Overclocked
Temperatures - Overclocked to 146Mhz FSB
Note: We are redoing a test of the Nanotherm to insure our previous test was accurate.
Well there it is, Céramique scored just a few degrees lower than the current two top compounds. A few degrees that's sure to make any enthusiast happy. And to top it off, since Céramique isn't a thermal grease, it shouldn't void AMDs warrenty like AS3 is reported to do.
No comment from AMD on that so far, and it's been over a week since I emailed them. But then, does it really matter if it voids the warranty? I mean, 90% of the stuff we do around here voids the warranty anyway. :P
- Good Heat Transfer / Helps Cool Well
- Not Electrically Conductive
- Cleans up easily
- Available in 2.7g or 22g
- Fairly cheap @ $5.00 or $10.00 depending on amount
I'd like to think ArcticSilver for sending me this product to review!