There are various different ones. They differ in electrical conductive properties as well as thermal conductiveness.
For Ceramic CPU's the Arctic Silver2 is the best. or so i'm told.
<i><b><font color=red>"2 is not equal to 3, not even for large values of 2"</font color=red></b></i>
that's not such a stupid question... I don't really know THAT much about them myself.
If you think about it, the only compound people say to use is Arctic Silver II right? Well that's because it's been proven to be the best on the market... The stuff you get with most heatsinks is usually third-rate stuff that they just stuck on there to make sure it didn't melt as soon as you put power through it. The arctic silver II is different, it's something to do with even spreading across the core, and the fact that it doesn't create airpockets as easily as some.
For this reason you can see why it would be a better solution, when you put on thermal paste, you put it on for a reason. To stop airpockets between the core and the HS, which you can imagine get very hot, and to keep the core flush with the HS.
Arctic Silver II is the best at the moment, go with it
<b><font color=blue>Note to self: Never buy <i>anything</i> without checking with <font color=red>Tom</font color=red> first...
Hey, I don't believe in making fun of people because they are trying to learn. Thermal compunds really do vary and everyone has their own opinion as to what is better. They even make pads and tape based ones that just "peel and stick", but I haven't ever read a good comment on them. I have used Artic Silver myself, and been pleased with the results. If you do use it, be very careful not to get it anywhere but on the processor core as it contains silver and is conductive enough to cause problems if it gets on the bridges on the T-Bird. Also, more is NOT better with Thermal compound. It is only designed to fill in microscopic irregularities on the core and on the base of the heatsink. A VERY thin coating spread carefully with a razor-blade is the standard recommendation.