It wasn't all that long ago when you had one simple choice in Thermal Interface Material (TIM) when building a new system. That choice was a little packet of white creamy goo that sometimes came with an OEM heatsink. This material had limited usefulness and would start to break down over time forcing you to either reapply more goo or just clean it off and use nothing.
As time went on, both Intel and AMD, and another company called Cyrix, began to continually create faster processors. With the greater speeds came higher operating temperatures. At about this time a company came out with a product called Arctic Silver and history was made; a metallic based material that actually had decent heat dissipation qualities and wouldn't have to be replaced every few months. This company made an instant name for itself and the product was not only a huge success, it became an industry standard that others often tried to compete with but few made the cut.
Recently, we have been seeing an influx of nonmetallic materials hitting the market and they are all claiming to be able to beat the king. Our recent review of the MX-2 product from Arctic Cooling showed that there was more than just a little truth in these claims. The MX-2 compound is completely non-conductive material and was able to keep a processor cooler than the Arctic Silver 5 compound used as a comparative product.
Today we have two more products to add to the list of those who want your TIM dollars, A.I. Technologies and Tuniq (a subsidiary of Sunbeam). Both have TIM products that are making the same bold claims we have already been hearing, so it is time for a little direct comparison. After taking a look at the two newcomers, we will go forward in a head to head... to head... to head (whew) competition and see just how these products all compare to each other. We will also take a look at retail pricing and try to help you figure out where you need to look before laying out your money.