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Arctic Silver
Page 1 - Fill in the gap between your CPU and heatsink with something nice
Author: Dan Podhola (WebMasterP)
Date: September 04, 2000
Category: Cooling
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Arctic Silver

One of the most overlooked aspects in cooling is thermal compound. You never hear people say, I've got a Coppermine with Silver thermal grease and an Alpha heatsink. All, people mention is their heatsink and their processor. So, if no one ever brags about their thermal paste it must not be important right? Wrong! After all, your thermal paste is what gets the heat from your processor to your heatsink so it can dissipate. Is it worth forking over your hard earned money? Well, keep reading and you tell me.

Tube Shot
The Goods
Bigger than a Gold Quarter
Bigger Than Gold Quarters

I'm not going to throw in a bunch of thermal pastes here. I'm going to concentrate on showing you what is going to happen when you spread this stuff on there in place of your old white paste.

The Contenders:

Regular Thermal Paste!
Packaging: Plastic Packet
Contents: Silicone Fluid Thickened with Metal Oxide Fillers
Heat Transfer: 0.70 W/ m*K
Cost: $0.50, (free with most Heatsink Combos)
Electrical Conductivity: Negligable

Arctic Silver Thermal Compound!
Packaging: Syringe Tube Thing
Contents: Silver Filled Silicone w/ 79-82% pure micronized silver.
Heat Transfer: 4.65 to 5.15 W/ m*K
Cost: $14.00 at 2CoolTek
Electrical Conductivity: Negligable

Test System:
Enlight 7237 Mid-Tower (heavily moded)
300 Watt Power Man PSU
Dual Celeron 366s @ 550 (100 MHz FSB), 50% Overclock
Cooling: (2) GlobalWin FEP32's
Voodoo3 3000 AGP
Sound Blaster Live! Value
D-Link 530TX NIC
Asus 50x Max CD-ROM Drive
Pioneer 10x DVD-ROM Drive
Quantum Fireball CR (5400 RPM, ATA/66)
Floppy Drive (very popular)
Windows 2000 Professional

As you can see without even testing, the Arctic Silver has far superior heat transfer than the ordinary thermal grease (higher is better). I tested the thermal conductivity of the thremal paste buy creating a 12v closed circuit with a halogen bulb. I severed the wires (creating a open circuit), placed a little heap of silver thermal paste on a piece of paper, and then I stuck both sides of the severed wire into the paste. No light! No light means open circuit, which all means that the Arctic Silver holds up to it claims of negligable electrical conductivity. Now, let's move on to the next step: application.

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