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Thermal Paste Comparison, Part Two: 39 Products Get Tested

Pastes: Just For Fun

Toothpaste

I made the mistake of buying a premium toothpaste with blue stripes through it. A cheap white paste would have probably fared better. Yes, you can use this stuff as a thermal compound, though its long-term stability is questionable and we wouldn't recommend it for overclocking. If all of the shops around you are closed, though, and you want to play a little Battlefield 4 on a new machine, you could probably get by for a couple of days.

Toothpaste
CPU Water Cooling, High Pressure41.8 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, High Pressure48.7 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, Low Pressure49.1 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
GPU CoolingNot measurable (overheats)
Electrically ConductiveSlightly (depending on composition)
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, but should be used only in emergencies

Denture Adhesive

If you don't brush your teeth but do live with your grandma, denture adhesive could stand in for toothpaste during those same couple of days. Again, this is not a long-term solution. But then again, neither were grandma’s teeth (or yours, if you don't grab some toothpaste). Be careful with this adhesive. After burn-in, the cooler may stick to the heat spreader and prove hard to remove.

Denture Adhesive
CPU Water Cooling, High Pressure38.2 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, High Pressure43.5 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, Low Pressure45.2 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
GPU Cooling85.5 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
Electrically ConductiveNo
Viscosity4 (1-10, lower numbers mean easier to use)
Ease of Use7 (1-10, higher numbers mean easier to use)
Application HintsThis paste seems best suited for the "lentil ball" method, but should be used only in emergencies
  • rolli59
    As good as the first part!
    Reply
  • dragonfang18
    I loved the toothpaste part. What about Vicks Vaporub? I wonder how that thing would do.
    Reply
  • Azn Cracker
    Yeaaaa! nice in depth article. Disappointed that cheese was not use as a paste :(
    Reply
  • ledpellet
    Can you test Antec Formula 7 NANO DIAMOND Thermal Compound?
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • TerranTerrance
    Adding Ceramique would be greatly appreciated!
    Reply
  • 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).
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • CaptainTom
    More things like this! Articles like this will keep me here more often!
    Reply