Test Results and Conclusion
I tested these thermal interfaces using the same methodology as described in the first part of the roundup. The break-in period and the two cycles of tests for the two applications of each thermal grease are the same duration. I want to remind you that the modder-oriented Titan Nano Blue failed to perform properly during my preliminary tests. For the sake of comparison, I will add the results of the following products discussed in the previous review: Zalman ZM-STG2, Thermalright Chill Factor III and ThermaltakeTG-1 (the latter was in fact the winner of the previous comparative test).
Let’s see if the thermal interface materials included with coolers are as effective as those that sell as individual products:
The group of leaders includes the AMA, Cooler Master Thermal Fusion 400, Thermaltake (the company is in the lead again), Thermalright Chill Factor II and ZEROTherm ZT-100. These five products are as effective as the Thermaltake TG-1 and Thermalright Chill Factor III (by the way, the latter is only half a degree better than its predecessor). There is no reason to replace any of them with something else. The manufactures should be given credit for including such high-performance TIMs with their coolers.
The Prolimatech PK-1, Deep Cool, Nexus, CoolIT, ThermoLab and, rather surprisingly, the gray SilMORE follow the leaders at a distance of 2-3°C. The older SilMORE didn’t do so well and performed worse by 7°C and more. These six TIMs are 2-3°C inferior to the leaders and should be quite enough unless you are into overclocking and want to squeeze everything out of your CPU or graphics card. By the way, as my previous tests showed, the difference between thermal greases on a CPU is going to be smaller than on the GPU.
Next go three thermal greases with rather low efficiency: the Alpenföhn, the Scythe and the Thermalright Chill Factor. And while the Chill Factor is out of production already and is not included with Thermalright’s new coolers, Scythe should be more careful about its choice of thermal grease. These TIMs are not as effective as the leaders.
Finally, we’ve got three poor thermal interfaces: the Zaward, the Cooler Master and the Zalman ZM-TG2. That’s not a big problem, though. Zaward coolers are not very popular anyway whereas the Zalman ZM-TG2 is already replaced with the new ZM-SGT2. The small syringe from Cooler Master can be found with the company’s coolers but its top-end products are already equipped with the new Cooler Master Thermal Fusion 400. Hopefully, Cooler Master will soon begin to include the latter grease with its entry-level coolers, too.
I hope this roundup will help you make a better choice of thermal grease to use for your system.