XtFlux-GA Thermal Paste Review

Nerm - 2007-03-21 10:01:10 in Cooling
Category: Cooling
Reviewed by: Nerm   
Reviewed on: March 1, 2006
TherMax Tech, Inc
Price: $4 USD
Introduction
With companies today making CPUs and GPUs ever faster it is becoming more critical to keep your precious computer parts cool. It has gotten to the point that just having a good heatsink and fan is not enough. This is where thermal grease comes in. Thermal grease has become more of a critical component rather than just an additional item. Without good thermal grease filling the microscopic gaps between the CPU/GPU and heatsink your method of cooling can never reach its full potential. The subject of this review is the XtFlux-GA high performance thermal grease from a new company called TherMax Tech.


About ThermMax Tech
TherMax Tech is a new start-up company located in Arlington, Texas. They have spent the last couple years developing and testing their first product, XtFlux-GA. I have also been informed by TherMax that they are already working on their next product which to my understanding is a revised and improved version of XtFlux-GA.
Closer Look
As you can see in the picture below the packaging is very plain and simple. The packaging is actually rather boring and not impressive in any way, but you can�t really expect great fancy packaging from a new company just starting out. This product also does not come packaged with any instructions, although having no instructions is not that big of a deal. With thermal grease the application is pretty self explanatory, and if you do need instructions they are easily obtainable by a simple email to TherMax Tech or visiting their website.


Application
In the pictures below you will see XtFlux being applied. As with the application of most thermal compounds I started with just a drop about the size of a pea to the center of the chip and then spread the compound out with my finger while wearing latex gloves. The XtFlux grease is very easy to spread around unlike Ceramique which is a much harder substance.



 

Physical Properties
The physical properties of XtFlux are rather similar to AS Ceramique, which is what we are going to compare this product to later on in the testing. TherMax Tech is actually kind of secretive about all the ingredients of XtFlux. They did however inform me that copper was one of the main ingredients.

XtFlux-GA: electrically non-conducting
Density = 3.40 g/ml
Viscosity = 750 Poise
Conductivity = 7 W/mK

- Silicone grease with multiple particle composition
- Thermal Resistance : 0.067 c cm�/W
- Non curing
- Water resistant paste
- Will not dry-out, harden, or melt, up to 200 Celcius- Superior Thermal Conductivity
- Extremely low oil bleed
- Easy to apply
- Combination of high purity particles and silicone oil results in a smooth, homogeneous, high temperature dielectric properties

XtFlux-GA (2000 cycles)


The image above is a graph of how XtFlux did under TCT (Thermal Cycling Test). This test basically determines the ability of XtFlux to resist extremely low and high temperatures and its ability to withstand cyclical exposures to these temperature extremes. Testing
Well, that is enough of the boring technical stuff so let�s get right into getting our hands dirty and do some testing. For comparison I am going to be using AS Ceramique because of the physical similarities.

Test System
- AMD 3400+ (cooled by the stock AMD heatsink for this review)
- DFI LanParty UT NF3 250GB
- Gskill PC4400 LE
- Sapphire X800XT-PE (cooled by a Zalman Fatal1ty FS-V7)


I did something a little different on this review by testing this thermal grease on both the CPU and GPU rather than the just the CPU like most people do. For the CPU testing I did it with the 3400+ at both stock and overclocked to 2.6ghz. As for the GPU I did tests at stock speeds and at 540/580.


According to the results shown above of the GPU test, the XtFlux held its ground with AS Ceramique in each individual test. The XtFlux does seem to do slightly better while overclocked and under load. When the biggest difference in temperatures is only two degrees then I would say the performance of the two is pretty close, but CPUs are different so let�s see how they compare in the CPU environment.


We are still in a very close race here folks. As you can see from the picture above the only place in the testing of this review where the XtFlux did not win or at least tie was with the CPU idle at stock speeds. Again in the CPU tests the XtFlux seems to take just a slight advantage over the AS Ceramique in load testing. It seems as though whatever ingredients are separating the two doesn�t really show except under load, which is when anybody would want their thermal grease to perform at it's best.


Conclusion
I for one am impressed. I honestly did not expect for XtFlux to do as well as it did, but TherMax has done an excellent job with their first thermal compound. Now to some, only a couple degrees performance increase isn�t much, but when you are in a fight to get the coolest temperature possible it can make a world of difference. My question is that if their first compound is good enough to rival some of the best thermal compounds on the market, what can we expect from their next product when their company has had time to mature? Now of course I know better than to get carried away. Every system and environment is different and not everyone is going to get all the same results, but from my initial impression TherMax has got a great product that should only get better with time. On a scale from 1 to 10 I would give XtFlux a rating of 9. The only thing keeping it from a full 10 of 10 is the lack of good packaging and instructions for the first time novice user.


Pros

 

Cons