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Arctic's Super-Popular Thermal Paste Updated To Last 8 Years

Arctic MX-5 TIM
(Image credit: Amazon)

Arctic's MX-4 thermal compound has proven itself well in the DIY space, but it's been around for quite some time and seemingly, like everything in tech, in need of an update. So in comes, low-and-behold, the MX-5. The MX-5 thermal paste hasn't been officially announced yet nor is it listed on Arctic's website, but hardware detective @momomo_us found the compound listed on Amazon UK paired with an informative description.

Arctic MX-5 TIM

(Image credit: Amazon)

Although full specifications aren't available at this time, what stands out most about the description is the paste's durability: it's alleged to last for up to eight years once applied.

Of course, enthusiasts generally change CPU multiple times in eight years, but MX-5's alleged durability can be extremely helpful for use in laptops, GPUs, or that PC you're building for a relative. Its not clear what the MX-5's thermal conductivity is, but if Arctic's historic products are anything to go by, it should be pretty good. 

MX-5 is metal-free and non-conductive, so it's also safe for use on GPUs without needing to worry about over-spilling on the area around the GPU.

A single 4g tube of paste (enough for well over a dozen builds) is listed on Amazon UK's site for £13.59, which translates to about $18.50. That's probably pre-order pricing though, and it will likely drop in due time. According to Amazon the MX-5 thermal grease will be released on March 15 2021.

  • kerberos_20
    i used mx-4 on my super old laptop 8years ago and still works :)
    Reply
  • neojack
    same here, 2009 laptop repasted when new. i am almost certain i used MX-4 by then. it never dries up so i guess it's good forever.

    PS : too much paste IS an issue. because it's a mess and it get on the pins and holes of the socket and CPU, preventing them from conducting electricity/data.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    If long-term reliability is your primary concern, then simply use basic silicon/aluminum oxide paste. That stuff is chemically stable and will last for decades provided that the heatsink is fastened well enough to prevent it from getting knocked loose.
    Reply
  • neojack
    InvalidError said:
    simply use basic silicon/aluminum oxide paste

    is that he white stuff that comes with noname china heatsinks ?
    Reply
  • Jake Hall
    Thought MX-4 was already rated for 8 years
    Reply
  • derekullo
    Hopefully it is extremely agile and light with a 50/50 weight distribution.

    I'd also like to push the paste out manually, and not have some automatic device doing it for me.

    An 8 year lifespan feels a bit shorter than I am used to.

    :P
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    neojack said:
    is that he white stuff that comes with noname china heatsinks ?
    Silicone-Al2O3 paste has been around for something like 50 years, it is produced and used all over the world, might be one of the most commonly used type of paste in the electronics industry since it is inexpensive and will outlive most applications' useful life.

    Aluminum and Zinc oxide pastes ("white goo") may be cheap but the best ones among those perform within 3-4C of the best pastes out there short of going liquid metal. Decent white goo is the way to go if you want something that is effectively maintenance-free.
    Reply
  • Soaptrail
    Is this a slow tech news day?
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    Jake Hall said:
    Thought MX-4 was already rated for 8 years
    The even older MX-2 was as well. : P

    The relatively long durability rating is still a good selling point though. Some of the other high-performance thermal compounds provide good thermal performance initially, but tend to break down relatively quickly, and unless one is going out their way to remount their CPU cooler every year or so, using a paste like these that shouldn't degrade significantly is probably a better option.
    Reply
  • CooliPi
    We recommend MX-2 and MX-4 for our CooliPi 4B coolercases for Raspberry Pi 4 model B. I've read a gossip comparing MX-4 versus MX-2 longevity wise, and the author suggested MX-2 is more stable over time.

    The white, stock paste you guys mention leads to some 3˚C higher temperatures of the CooliPi+RPI than MX-2. MX-4 is about half a degree better than MX-2

    Longevity of thermal paste was a key issue in choosing a recommended paste for out heatsinks. It's a difference if you run your server for 8 years or 20 years without servicing. Less downtime, you know... ;)
    Reply