Arctic Silver III & Nanotherm thermal paste shootoutFormer staff writer - January 23, 2003
: ESGN.com & ArcticSilver.com
Arctic Silver has came out with a new thermal paste called, Arctic Silver 3. Right after Arctic Silver notified me of their new thermal paste, ESGN tells me about their new Nanotherm thermal paste. The new Nanotherm paste now comes with 50% more paste than the older paste they sold. Arctic Silver 3 comes with a total of 3 grams of paste, which is the same as Arctic Silver 2, however Nanotherm only comes with 2 grams of paste. Today, I will be comparing Arctic Silver II, Arctic Silver III, the new Nanotherm and the old Nanotherm.
The Arctic Silver III paste feels and looks just like Arctic Silver II. Arctic Silver paste is usually slightly harder to clean up than other paste's on the market, and it is also a very light paste. However, it does seem to be working for them, because their paste works better than any other.
When I tested the new Nanotherm paste, I found it to be a lot like my tests of the Arctic Silver paste. It too was basicly the same thermalpaste as it's older version. Nanotherm paste is a lot thicker and heavier than AS3, which means it should last longer.
I have gotten an email from the founder of ESGN and maker of Nanotherm and it says this:
One thing we wanted to mention regarding the thermal compound - there is a break-in period where the material is compressed by the clamp force from the HSF, spreading, leveling, densifying and so on. Consequently, the CPU and SYS temperatures will migrate lower and stabilize at temps distinctly less than after the initial application. This has always been the case with Nanotherm, because of it's material composition and thicker-than-average viscosity. The break-in period is typically a function of time (40 to 60 hours of use).
So, before you give up on Nanotherm atleast keep it on your cpu for 40-60 hours before you make your mind up to keep it or ditch it. I didn't have that much time to test it, but I will update this review once that 40-60hours mark has been reached.
I wore my heatsink out today because I tested so much.. but the results are in! I got the idle temps by simply booting up the system and allowing the system to idle for an hour (I did this on each test). In order to get the full load temps, I ran Prime95 and Seti@Home for 30 mins (Again I did this on each test). Notice the test rig is not the same system as the one I used in the older Nanotherm and AS2 reviews.
I did all of the tests on CPU0 and when I ran Seti@Home and Prime95 I set both programs to ONLY use CPU0.
Arctic Silver III has proven itself to me by cooling my cpu better than any other paste. The new Nanotherm paste showed only a slight noticable change over it's older paste. Arctic Silver 3 Premium Silver Thermal Compound has a suggested retail in the U.S. of $7.95 for a 3-gram tube (A little more than 1cc) or $12.95 for a 6 gram tube (A little more than 2cc.) Arctic Silver 3 will be available at Arctic Silver dealers on January 25th.
Nanotherm Ice and Blue are now packed with 50% more Nanotherm per tube. They have increased the volume of compound from 1.0 cc (ml) per tube to a whopping 1.5 cc at a net weight of 2.0 grams. They have also reduced the MSRP from $5.95 to $4.95 per tube! Good deal!