Arctic Silver 3: This remains a strong contender in the group, returning some strong results in each scenario. It's easy to conclude that Arctic Silver 3 is a product that is suitable for low and high temperatures. While its application is easy if the directions are followed, removal is still difficult and can be messy. This fact, however, tends to be the nature of all the silver-based thermal pastes.
Silver Grease: Returning the second worst results, next to the silicone compound, it is also difficult to both apply and remove. In cold scenarios, and even to a slightly less degree on heat sinks and water blocks, this paste becomes hard and flakes after only three days. I cannot recommend the use of this thermal paste for any serious applications.
Nanotherm Blue II: For easy application and easy removal with overall good results, this is the paste to get. This paste also comes in a white paste and is called Nanotherm ICE, with the only difference being the coloring.
Nanotherm Silver XTC: This has simple application when applied in a similar manner to the AS3, with the overall results showing it to be a strong contender. AS3 and XTC swap places in several scenarios with the overall edge being given to XTC. The lead is so slight that I feel I must mention that nearly anything could cause a 0.5 to 1.0 degree change. Availability and price, therefore, become the factors to judge upon.
Nanotherm PCM+: The rumors of it being easy to apply and excellent performance are not overstated. Coming with its own applicator and squeeze-bottle, the PCM+ is everything a user needs, so long as supercooling is not planned. This thermal paste applies like a slightly thick liquid and changes to a waxy state as temperatures change. It's what Nanotherm refers to as a phase change material. This is obviously good for temperatures, as the results show, but I have to wonder if its liquid-like state could lead it to evaporate, or leave the crucial contact area after prolonged use. So far I have neither seen nor heard of any evidence that this occurs, though, and I personally use this on my systems.
Shin Etsu G751: With its application being the primary detractor, this paste simply does return the best results on straight water-cooled or heatsink fan assemblies. The temperature steadily decreased over the period of three days and I am left wondering if it would continue to drop, if I had left it on for an extended period of time. If application is an issue, I suggest that users apply the compound to the heatsink or the bottom of the waterblock instead of applying to the core. The larger work surface makes the task much less daunting.
Silicone Compound: This compound was added to the line up as a baseline for comparison. It shows that while it may have once been a mainstream compound to use in thermal applications, there are simply better engineered products available today.
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