Better thermal compounds helps cooling
I just want to express a recent experience I had about thermal compounds.
My home desktop uses an Athlon 64 3000+, which was running on very high temps due to improper ventilation on the computer room. Unfortunately I can’t change the room, not even add an air-conditioner, so I have to find other ways of cooling it.
I’ve already tried adding more fans to the case, different configurations on the air flow inside, change the case position and location, but nothing did any great effect on the high temp issue. The best I could get was a 5ºC drop. After a little research, I decided to change the original thermal pad that came with the stock CPU cooler to some other highly recommended by overclockers. By the way, I’m not overclocking this processor as I did with my old Sempron. I simply don’t see the need for this.
So I decided to buy the Arctic Silver Céramique, along with their suggested ArctiClean cleaning kit. After half an hour reading the instructions, cleaning the processor and the fan very carefully and applying it, I’m very impressed and very happy with the results.
After the proper applying of the thermal compound I noticed a 10ºC drop on the idle temperature, and 1KRPM drop on the fan speed. That’s very impressive. So now I have less heat with less noise. Even on a steady 10 minutes 100% CPU usage the max temperature is still 10ºC less than when I was using the stock thermal pad, while the CPU fan runs 500RPM slower.
Bottom line, having big CPU fans or big cases with many noisy fans aren’t always the best ways of cooling a processor down. Some times you just need to help the heat reach the heat sink properly so it can be quickly dispersed, and that the Arctic Silver Céramique does that easily.
By the way, I’ve been also recommended the Arctic Silver 5, which some say would do the work much better, but since it’s 90% silver, an error when applying it may cause shot circuit on the processor. So I prefer to walk on the safe side and choose a ceramic compound. But if you plan to overclock or want even lower temps, maybe you should give AS5 a try.