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EKWB Indigo XS Thermal Material is Phase Change Metallic Alloy

By - Source: EKWB | B 12 comments
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EKWB has updated its Indigo TIM with its new Indigo XS TIM.

EKWB has introduced a new thermal interface material. Contrary to what you might expect, it's not based on a grease or viscous liquid material. Instead, the EK-TIM Indigo XS is a sheet which contains a phase change metallic alloy, which you place in its entirety over the CPU lid. Such a system is not very common, but according to EKWB, it has a number of advantages.

EKWB claims that it is more reliable, more user friendly, and performs better. EKWB boasts a thermal conductivity of 40 W/mK, supposedly the best there is.

Contained in the package you'll find two EK-TIM Indigo XS applicators, a single bottle of Indigo Xtreme Surface Cleaner, a pair of gloves, 'cleanroom-grade' dry wipe cloths, and the probably necessary installation manual.

The kit only works on Intel LGA 1556/1155/1150 sockets, and is already available for a price of $30.27 through EKWB's webshop.

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  • -1 Hide
    chicofehr , January 30, 2014 10:12 PM
    Only works on Intel? What if I put on my Phenom X6 @4.2GHz? Not sure how it wouldn't work with it as long as I cover the whole surface.
  • 3 Hide
    vmem , January 30, 2014 10:46 PM
    I don't know about User friendly, but the Indigo extreme has been by far the best performing thermal material for a while now (in my own personal experience), and also the most expensive. as for Intel only... these things are pre-cut, and I am not sure what the results of trying to trim it yourself would be. that aside, for Indigo material to work properly, you're literally MELTING it between your CPU'd lid and your heatsink (you're suppose to run your system with the fans OFF), and then when your system cools down it will re-solidify, thereby seamlessly connecting your CPU to your heatsink. since AMD CPUs are a bit lacking in the thermal protection department, you could cook your AMD chip before this material works properly...Like i said before, not the most user friendly stuff. but when done right, it's the best thing next to soddering
  • 3 Hide
    Kelthar , January 31, 2014 12:09 AM
    This seems extremely interesting. If it works properly, and does outperform common paste, then I'm looking forward to the responses from other companies, probably with similar solutions. The fact that it is only available for Intel at the moment is a downside but they *probably* have their reasons for that.
  • 3 Hide
    hannibal , January 31, 2014 5:37 AM
    Is is possible to remove the heat sink after this has been "melted" in? Sounds reasonable final solution as you explained this...
  • 1 Hide
    will1220 , January 31, 2014 6:27 AM
    WTH is a Intel LGA 1556 socket?!
  • 0 Hide
    Au_equus , January 31, 2014 7:26 AM
    Hmm... some sort of gallium/silver alloy? The thermal transfer between the die and the heatsink is only good as its weakest link and the TIM used by intel underneath the IHS for ivy bridge and haswell is not very good.
  • -1 Hide
    dimar , January 31, 2014 7:39 AM
    If this material is so good, why not get rid of the CPU's headspreader and have this thingy straight on the CPU die? Can it be used on GPU memory chips? Maybe the stupid laptop manufacturers can put this thing instead of the cheap thermal pads on chipsets...
  • 5 Hide
    vir_cotto , January 31, 2014 7:43 AM
    So when are you going to review this with other thermal solutions Toms? :) 
  • 0 Hide
    rRansom , January 31, 2014 9:36 AM
    Does/will it make a difference if I have a delidded CPU?
  • 0 Hide
    chumly , January 31, 2014 11:23 AM
    I would like to see real world performance. I also want to know if it can be removed.
  • 1 Hide
    Bondfc11 , January 31, 2014 12:09 PM
    I have used this for the last two years on about 6 different applications. The first attempt was a failure as the liquid seeped out from under the CPU cooler (it was my poor application, not the product's fault). It can be removed - think solder-type material - but of course is a one and done application. As stated above you have to run your system up to a specific temp for a period of time to reach the melting point. I have found it cuts a couple of degrees off my higher end gaming rigs from any other paste product.
  • 0 Hide
    Textfield , January 31, 2014 10:16 PM
    Makes sense... although, don't metal-based solutions degrade faster than non-metal solutions?Also, if this is solder-like, doesn't solder have the problem of becoming amorphous under high temperatures and flowing slowly, causing problems down the line? Isn't that kind of why Intel went against simply soldering its CPUs to the die, due to the possibility of the solder degrading?Also, this version supposedly has "phase change" properties. Does that suggest vapor-chamber like workings, effectively removing hot spots and spreading heat evenly across the contact area (which would dramatically improve performance in some coolers, especially heat pipe direct touch coolers), or does this simply mean it maintains more consistent temperatures by using the chemistry of a phase change to dramatically increase the heat capacity of the thermal interface itself, in which case this doesn't really mean much except in burst use scenarios?I'm always intrigued by the idea of giving CPUs TDPs like what we see in GPUs by removing hot spots and providing better thermal interface to decrease deltas between CPU temp and heatsink temp, but so far, everything seems so incremental, and really not worth the extra effort.