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Thermal Compound - The Right Stuff

CPU Cooler Charts 2008, Part 3 - Are Box Coolers any Good?

In order to level the playing field among the coolers in this roundup, we tested each of them with the same thermal compound, namely Amasan T12. In the past we have already witnessed that the choice of thermal compounds can have a great impact on cooling performance. For example, the Pentium 660 could not be cooled sufficiently when we used a different brand of thermal grease, which resulted in the CPU throttling its clock speed.

We used the industrial thermal compound Amasan T12 for the tests.

One of the specialties of Intel's box coolers is the thermal compound used. However, it usually cannot be used anymore once you upgrade your CPU. To see how it fares against the Amasan T12, we tested both the aluminum and the copper core cooler (slower fan version) with Intel's own thermal grease as well.

Intel's box coolers already have thermal paste applied to them.

The results were quite unexpected. Using Intel's thermal compound, even the aluminum version is able to cool the quad-core CPU to 88°C, which is below its throttling temperature. The copper version also improves on its results by a few degrees reaching 83°C. At lower CPU loads, the temperature difference between the Amasan T12 and Intel's thermal paste is about 3°C.

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