Well, I'm impressed. For years we had really only two choices; either the little packet of white goop that came with your new heatsink or Arctic Silver 5. While there has been a new product or two over this time, none could really do a lot in comparison to the king of goop... until now.
Arctic Cooling MX-2 was first in our test labs and performed very well under a TEC cooler and an extremely hot Athlon FX processor. With the new kids in the lab, we reverted to a more common setup to see how well they could perform in a more controlled environment.
The A.I. Technology Cool Silver beat out the MX-2 compound by a meager 0.2C in average temperature through a 26 minute stress test. Maximum temperature was the same as the MX-2 product, so max performance will be the same.
The Tuniq TX-2 compound beat the Cool Silver by an even slimmer 0.1C and again allowed the processor to attain a maximum temperature equal to the other two newcomers. Regardless of the margin, however, the Tuniq compound came out on top of the others and earns the right to be called the best TIM of the lot.
As far as price is concerned, there is a little difference in cost, but not a huge amount. Here is a quick breakdown of the price you can expect to see for these compounds (all prices in USD):
Arctic Silver 5 - $9.99
Arctic Cooling MX-2 - $7.95
AI Tech Cool Silver - $6.99
Tuniq TX-2 - $5.99
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the best performing compound in our tests costs less than the others. So even if price is a major factor to you, you can still get the winner at a lower cost than the competing products. If you cannot find the Tuniq compound though, don't be afraid to use any of the items tested. All perform very well and beat out the old king hands down.