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Thermal Compound Comparison

Companies: ArcticSilver, OCZ, GC Electronics, Silmore
Products: Various Thermal Compounds
Street Price: Varies, Generally Around $10
Date Reviewed: March 18, 2001
Reviewed By:
Jason Rabel

Everyone talks about which thermal compound is the best. By far the most popular brand is the Arctic Silver because it has micronized silver in it. I was very curious to see just how good the AS / ASII was compared to the cheap silicone based compound that is included with most heat sinks. To broaden the comparison I got a tube of the OCZ Quicksilver, Type 44 compound, and a good quality silicone compound.


The Original Arctic Silver:

The first product on the bench is the classic Arctic Silver (optimized for small contact areas). AS is made up of 80% to 84% pure micronized silver content, and is rated for 8+ W/m*K. It was sold in 6.5g tubes (a lot for the typical person) and cost in excess of $12.00 USD. The consistency is hard to describe, it's almost like a goo, it's not runny at all, yet it is not a putty, it's just right.


Arctic Silver II:

Arctic Silver II replaced the original Arctic Silver, and is made with 99.8% pure micronized silver making up to 78% to 82% silver content by weight. The temperature limits range from -40C to >160C, and the new formula insures minimal viscosity change from 0C to 150C. ASII is also rated for a thermal conductivity greater than 8.0 W/mK. Arctic Silver II is sold in 3g tubes which makes it much more affordable and practical for the typical user, enough for any project. The consistency of ASII is very similar to the original AS. ASII costs around $8.00 USD. 


OCZ QuickSilver:

OCZ's Quicksilver is also made with micronized silver and was made to directly compete with Arctic Silver II. While I couldn't find exact specs anywhere, the compound looked very similar to Arctic Silver. It is sold in a classic style syringe and you also get 3g of compound. The OCZ QuickSilver also has the same consistency as the ASII.


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