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Arctic MX-4 vs Antec Formula 7 Thermal Compound

I need to buy some thermal paste regarding which I have a few questions.
I can't decide between Arctic MX-4 and Antec Formula 7.

I will be applying it as shown here
http://archive.benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=170&Itemid=38&limitstart=5
using the 2 line method on my CM Hyper TX-3 EVO


1. Which of the two performs better?

2. I have read that the Formula 7 is very thick and difficult to spread.
Will it spread evenly and give good results on my Hyper TX3 using the line method?

3. The MX-4 is rated as 8.5W/mK whereas the Formula 7 is 8.3W/mK. Does that mean that it's
better?

4. The MX-4 is rated to last 8 years while for this user, it was wearing out after 4 months.
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?285968-Arctic-MX-4-Lacks-Longevity

This user also had very high load temperatures with the MX-4
http://www.overclock.net/t/1365212/3-eah6970-with-arctic-mx4-thermal-paste-vs-antec-formula-7-nano-diamond-thermal-compound

Both will cost me the same amount, so please help me decide.

Thanks.
14 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about arctic antec formula thermal compound
  1. Havent seen a review or comparison for the Antec, but I bet either will be fine, MX-4 is fine.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/thermal-compound-charts/-4-CPU-Air-Cooling-High-Pressure,3364.html
  2. Best answer
    Instead of the "Arctic Cooling MX-4" I'd choose "Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Paste Compound".
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VSDkB-3st4
    Though, I will say that the "Antec Formula 7 Nano Diamond Thermal Paste Compound" can run hotter temperatures, so it's really up to how hot you're going to be running your CPU.
  3. RoG Blackfox said:
    Instead of the "Arctic Cooling MX-4" I'd choose "Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Paste Compound".
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VSDkB-3st4
    Though, I will say that the "Antec Formula 7 Nano Diamond Thermal Paste Compound" can run hotter temperatures, so it's really up to how hot you're going to be running your CPU.


    Why would you choose AS 5 when it performs worse than MX-4?
  4. Both will work and I don't think you will see a huge difference between the two. I have used Arctic Silver 5 but I really didn't like it. I got decent temperatures with the AS5 but I found it to be very runny and messy. I then switched to MX4 and have continued to use that since.
  5. AS 5 is a well trusted, and very popular thermal paste compound that works, that and the "Arctic Silver 5" uses three unique shapes and sizes of pure silver particles to maximize particle-to-particle contact area and thermal transfer, where as the "ARCTIC MX-4" is a metal-free and non-electrically conductive compound which spreads heat worse compared to the AS 5.
  6. RoG Blackfox said:
    AS 5 is a well trusted, and very popular thermal paste compound that works, that and the "Arctic Silver 5" uses three unique shapes and sizes of pure silver particles to maximize particle-to-particle contact area and thermal transfer, where as the "ARCTIC MX-4" is a metal-free and non-electrically conductive compound which spreads heat worse compared to the AS 5.


    Did you even look at the recent test of thermal compounds?

    Arctic Silver 5 didnt perform that great, worse than MX-4 in fact.
  7. AS5 was on top a couple of years ago but since then other manufactures have caught up and they now perform as good as or better than AS5.
  8. rds1220 said:
    AS5 was on top a couple of years ago but since then other manufactures have caught up and they now perform as good as or better than AS5.


    Yeah, the paste included with my cooler outperforms AS5 by nearly 2'c, which is quite a big margin for thermal pastes.
  9. I guess MX-4 would be best, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuwmHyloBk4, but I'll stick with AC 5 as it's been reliable thus far in my rig. Again to answer Ashwin, it depends how hot you'll be running your CPU which factors into what thermal paste compound you purchase.
  10. RoG Blackfox said:
    Instead of the "Arctic Cooling MX-4" I'd choose "Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Paste Compound".
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VSDkB-3st4
    Though, I will say that the "Antec Formula 7 Nano Diamond Thermal Paste Compound" can run hotter temperatures, so it's really up to how hot you're going to be running your CPU.


    RoG Blackfox said:
    I guess MX-4 would be best, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuwmHyloBk4, but I'll stick with AC 5 as it's been reliable thus far in my rig. Again to answer Ashwin, it depends how hot you'll be running your CPU which factors into what thermal paste compound you purchase.


    I will not be overclocking it much so I guess it will not be running very hot...
    I just wanted to know if spreading the Formula 7 will be an issue using the line method.

    thanks for your advice
  11. There really isn't a right way to do it. I like putting a pea size dot on the CPU but I would try a couple different things and see what works best.
  12. rds1220 said:
    There really isn't a right way to do it. I like putting a pea size dot on the CPU but I would try a couple different things and see what works best.


    The Line method can be fine if the cooler has just the heat pipes as the base, and not a proper heat transfer plate.
  13. The article where it was wearing out after four months was worrying, but it was never confirmed about other factors that may have contributed. (Like Dust.)

    As for the second article, about really high temperatures, if you read the full thread it was resolved - it was, indeed, due to user error.

    Most quality brand-name thermal compounds operate within a couple of degrees of one-another; within the margin of error. If you were to try re-installing your CPU cooler, re-applying the thermal compound each time, you would probably see just as much variation. Pick one and be done with it.

    As for applying thermal compounds, feel free to experiment. I have had the dot method work best with direct-touch heat-pipes, and I have had the line method work best. Another alternative method is to fill in the cracks between the heatpipes beforehand, and then use the dot method.
  14. I just installed Antec Fotmula 7 with my Cooler Master Nepton 140xl And I just put a 5 tiny dots of paste on my i7 2600k with the center dot about the size of 1/3 a grain of rice then the other 4 the size of 1/4 of grain of rice or smaller so I have a pattern like a 5 side on a dice on my IHS on the CPU but closer to the center of the IHS...stay away from the edges. evenly set the pump/cooler on the cpu and a perfect spread with very very little extra. yr,ps are 62c max hottest core @4915mhz and 1.465v with 17c ambient temp.

    Works great!

    I plan on replacing the stock TIM on my SLIed EVGA GTX 770 Classifieds so I will update with temp improvements.

    Another good reason to use this over the Arctic silver is it is non conductive that can be important to many.
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