Thermal Paste Comparison, Part Two: 39 Products Get Tested

Pastes: Cooler Master

Cooler Master IC Value V1

This is the least-expensive paste from Cooler Master. It's really easy to use, but doesn’t work any better than the random no-name compounds we've tested. While the price is right, performance leaves a lot to be desired. We can only recommend this product for experiments like this one. Fortunately, it's pretty hard to find in the U.S., so there's a good chance you'll never encounter it.

Cooler Master IC Value V1
Thermal Conductivity1.85 W/(m*K)
CPU Water Cooling, High Pressure
34.2 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, High Pressure
38.3 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, Low Pressure
39.1 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
GPU Cooling79.5 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
Electrically ConductiveNo
Viscosity2 (1-10, lower numbers mean easier to use)
Ease of Use9 (1-10, higher numbers mean easier to use)
Application HintsThis paste seems best suited for the "lentil ball" method, and can even be used in heavily air-conditioned rooms as low as 60 °F
Price (approximate)N/A

Cooler Master IC Essential E1

This mid-range compound from Cooler Master is approximately twice as expensive as the entry-level product, but is it twice as effective? Our results put the two pastes fairly close together; only in the GPU-oriented test are the differences substantial. But even so, this paste is fairly average, the amount you get is paltry (a mere 1.5 g), and the cost per gram is substantial. IC Essential E1 isn't a price/performance winner. It is easy to use, though.

Cooler Master IC Essential E1
Thermal Conductivity4.5 W/(m*K)
CPU Water Cooling, High Pressure
33.0 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, High Pressure
38.0 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, Low Pressure
37.7 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
GPU Cooling66.5 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
Electrically ConductiveNo
Viscosity2 (1-10, lower numbers mean easier to use)
Ease of Use9 (1-10, higher numbers mean easier to use)
Application HintsThis paste seems best suited for the "lentil ball" method, and can even be used in heavily air-conditioned rooms as low as 60 °F
Price (approximate)N/A

Cooler Master Extreme Fusion X1

This is Cooler Master's high-end offering, which sets out to outclass the company's older pastes. It achieves this goal, finishing a close second to Gelid's GC-Extreme. Just be sure to warm up the paste before you use it.

Cooler Master Extreme Fusion X1
Thermal Conductivity9.5 W/(m*K)
CPU Water Cooling, High Pressure
32.0 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, High Pressure
35.8 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, Low Pressure
37.2 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
GPU Cooling66.0 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
Electrically ConductiveNo
Viscosity6 (1-10, lower numbers mean easier to use)
Ease of Use5 (1-10, higher numbers mean easier to use)
Application HintsThe paste can be spread more easily if you warm it to 100-120 degrees Fahrenheit in a pot of water, sealed in a water-tight pouch.
Price (approximate)$12 (4.15 grams)

Cooler Master (Paste Bundled With Cooler Master Coolers)

Initially, I suspected that the paste bundled with Cooler Master's heat sinks was the same as be quiet!'s, given almost identical syringes. However, spreading the pastes, which are also the same color, revealed different viscosity. That either means we're dealing with distinct products or the same product from widely varying production lots. Variance does happen, particularly when it comes to inexpensive products.

Be that as it may, Cooler Master's paste sports a higher viscosity and winds up trailing be quiet!'s in the test results. It was still better than some pricey aftermarket compounds, though.

Cooler Master (Paste Bundled With Cooler Master Coolers)
Thermal ConductivityData not available
CPU Water Cooling, High Pressure
34.2 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, High Pressure
38.3 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, Low Pressure
39.1 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
GPU Cooling76.5 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
Electrically ConductiveNo
Viscosity2 (1-10, lower numbers mean easier to use)
Ease of Use9 (1-10, higher numbers mean easier to use)
Application HintsThis paste seems best suited for the "lentil ball" method, and can even be used in heavily air-conditioned rooms, as low as 60 °F
Price (approximate)N/A
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    Top Comments
  • TehDudeMan
    Great article guys! As a reader for over 10 years pretty much daily, this reminds me of the old Tom's Hardware. These type of in depth articles on enthusiast products are what I love.
  • rolli59
    As good as the first part!
  • danwat1234
    Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra isn't all that good after a year of hard use. In fact, it completely hardens / dries. On my X9100 after 9 months of nearly 24/7 100% load, I started seeing high temps and after 1 year auto shut downs while crunching. Turns out it was shutting off because it hit the 105 C thermal protection.
    Opened it up; thermal compound was as hard as a rock. has to pocket knife blade and sand it down.
    So for longevity it sucks. That is something to consider, not just initial performance, but performance months and years down the road. Especially for laptops that aren't designed to be opened up frequently for repasting.

    After trying Liquid Ultra many times and having it fail on me, I've put on Arctic MX-2 that has a supposed 8 year durability rating. Initial performance is great, we'll see how it lasts (been 3 weeks so far).
  • Other Comments
  • rolli59
    As good as the first part!
  • dragonfang18
    I loved the toothpaste part. What about Vicks Vaporub? I wonder how that thing would do.
  • Azn Cracker
    Yeaaaa! nice in depth article. Disappointed that cheese was not use as a paste :(
  • ledpellet
    Can you test Antec Formula 7 NANO DIAMOND Thermal Compound?
  • TehDudeMan
    Great article guys! As a reader for over 10 years pretty much daily, this reminds me of the old Tom's Hardware. These type of in depth articles on enthusiast products are what I love.
  • Matt Edwards
    A great article, agree the application of the compound, not the compound itself is most important.

    Like ledpellet I too am curious about these diamond compounds. Wonder if it offers similar results to the Coollaboratory products with an easier application, or if the results simply don't justify the price. E.g in Australia, Innovation Cooling IC7 Diamond 7 Carat Thermal Compound Paste - 1.5G can be found for as much as $25. The cheapest I have managed to find it for is $15. For that price it would want to be good considering the leading GELID GC Extreme, can be found for around $8.
  • TerranTerrance
    Adding Ceramique would be greatly appreciated!
  • danwat1234
    Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra isn't all that good after a year of hard use. In fact, it completely hardens / dries. On my X9100 after 9 months of nearly 24/7 100% load, I started seeing high temps and after 1 year auto shut downs while crunching. Turns out it was shutting off because it hit the 105 C thermal protection.
    Opened it up; thermal compound was as hard as a rock. has to pocket knife blade and sand it down.
    So for longevity it sucks. That is something to consider, not just initial performance, but performance months and years down the road. Especially for laptops that aren't designed to be opened up frequently for repasting.

    After trying Liquid Ultra many times and having it fail on me, I've put on Arctic MX-2 that has a supposed 8 year durability rating. Initial performance is great, we'll see how it lasts (been 3 weeks so far).
  • slomo4sho
    CLU and Arctic MX-4 are both great products. MX-2 and MX-4 can often be found free after rebate so they are an exceptional value.
  • CaptainTom
    More things like this! Articles like this will keep me here more often!
  • John Goodman
    Was really hoping you'd test IC Diamond, since that's what I've always used. Bummer.
  • stickmansam
    You could do a giveaway for the thermal pastes :P and include Canada this time :)
  • iam2thecrowe
    would have liked to see a test without thermal compound. Have used noctua nt-h1 for ages now, no curing time sells it for me.
  • Anonymous
    All the hype aside, could Tom's include an actual industrial "Silicone Heat Transfer Compound", such as the one by MG Chemicals :http://www.mgchemicals.com/products/greases-and-lubricants/thermal-greases/silicone-heat-transfer-compound-860/, any of the future comparisons. If this stuff is good to use in mass industrial applications, how can it not be any better then let's say AS5.

    Plus, AS5 can short out your mobo if some of it gets on the PCB and it costs 10 times as much as the industrial stuff and I don't think it is 10 times better.
  • yannigr
    The good old Ceramique should have been in the list. Nevertheless nice article. Disappointed with the tooth paste. Expecting more from it.
  • rwinches
    Coollaboratory Liquid MetalPad sounds ideal.
    Might there be a way to achieve proper bond by heating the pad as well as getting the cpu hot?
    I guessing this would be most ideal for GPUs though, as they want to get very hot.
  • milktea
    Great article!

    BTW, is the Cooler Master Extreme Fusion X1 available in the USA?
  • PreferLinux
    It would have been nice to see the stock thermal paste on the Intel cooler too...
  • HazardManiac
    I just ordered the liquid pro and I'm already starting to regret it...
  • Technoart
    You guys should see how big tube of thermal paste and how big is the thermal tape that are available inside AMD. All of this product are obsolete.