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ESG Associates Nanotherm: Ice II, Blue II, Silver XTC & EXP
review by David, 29 March 2003

Introduction

Not too long ago, I did a thermal paste shootout comparing Arctic Silver II, Arctic Alumina, Nanotherm Ice, Nanotherm Blue and some generic compounds. In a nutshell, that roundup showed that for the most part, the name brand thermal compounds all performed exactly the same, with the exception of ASII, which performed slightly better.

Recently, ESG Associates sent me some of their new and improved thermal compounds:

  • Nanotherm Blue II
  • Nanotherm Ice II
  • Nanotherm Silver XTC
  • Nanotherm EXP

Nanotherm Blue II and Ice II are supposed to be improved from their previous incarnations, whereas the Nanotherm Silver XTC is a new performance compound recently launched by ESG Associates. The Nanotherm EXP however, is something totally new, and as the name indicates, an experimental compound at this particular stage in time.

Basic Theory

Before we continue, heres a quick run through of the basic idea of why we need to have thermal paste. Thermal paste isn't meant to help you lower your temperatures, but rather it is meant as an interface material between your CPU and the heatsink used to remove the heat generated by the CPU. In general, the contact surfaces of the CPU and the heatsink are by no means totally smooth, though it may look quite smooth to the naked eye. As a matter of fact, there are microscopic gaps between the heatsink and you precious piece of silicon. The thermal paste serves to fill in these little unseen gaps, and the thermally conductive properties of the thermal paste help to move as much heat as possible between the two surfaces. Of course, is a lousy thermal compound is used, the thermal conductivity will be a lot lesser than an efficient thermal compound. The better the thermal conductivity, the more heat that can be moved.

Now lets check out the thermal pastes.

Nanotherm Ice II & Blue II >>


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