Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste Reviewhardnrg -
» Discuss this article (2)
If you've been building computers for a while, you probably already have your own favorite brand and type of thermal paste. But why do you like one over another? Obviously, performance is important, but I like to look at other factors when it comes to deciding on which thermal compound to use.
Probably the second most important factor to me is consistency (the texture and viscosity of the stuff). Years ago I made the mistake of buying some Coolermaster thermal paste as it was the only thermal compound available at a store that promised higher performance than generic white silicone-based compound. The Coolermaster stuff was like the dried up peanut butter you get at the side of the jar when there's barely any left, truly awful, and a complete nightmare to spread on an Athlon XP CPU die.
Even now, with pretty much everyone keeping the Core 2 heatspreader intact and the application directions for CPUs being variations on the blob-and-squeeze method, you still need to be able to spread the paste around for Northbridge and Southbridge chipset dies, GPUs, GDDR modules, MOSFET/PWMs, etc.
Here are the thermal compounds used in this review, and in the second picture is a visual comparison of what the paste is actually like. From left to right, and reading down like a book, you can see: Arctic Silver 5, Thermalright (Type 1), Thermalright (Type 2), (NOT USED: unbranded silver paste), Evercool 420, Arctic Cooling, Vantec, Arctic Silver Ceramique, and Noctua NT-H1.