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3-Way Thermal Interface Material Shootout - Arctic Silver III

With processors and video boards getting more powerful, they are also getting considerably hotter. Anyone with a computer needs to take a look at cooling. But there is more to this topic than just a good heatsink. There also has to be a manner to transfer the heat built up from the processor TO that good heatsink. This is where a good Thermal Interface Material (TIM) comes into play. Come join Mike "Darthtanion" Wright as he pits Arctic Silver III against OCZ Ultra II against Arctic Silver Ceramique. Who knows, the results just might surprise you!

By: | Cables & Accessories in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Aug 14, 2003 4:00 am

Arctic Silver III



Arctic Silver III is a silver based TIM. It contains micronized silver and boron nitride blended into a mixture of polysynthetic oils. Pretty fancy words, but what it amounts to is a silver based compound that has been placed into a non-silicone base suspension material. This means that you get the superior cooling potential of silver, which is one of the best heat conductors available. It also means that you don't get any crummy silicone based compound that makes more of a mess than it gives heat transfer capability. Silicone also tends to lose its consistency over time so will lose any initial heat transfer properties as it resides on your processor core for extended periods of time.


Another feature of this compound is that it claims to be electrically non-conductive. While this may be true in essence, it does have the ability to carry enough of a charge to short out your processor if you are messy and get it on the bridges. While not a surety, there is a chance. But with the reputation of this company and this compound, it is a chance that uncounted thousands have been willing to take.


Application of the AS3 compound is a matter of ease. The consistency is very smooth and it is a simple matter to get a smooth coating of this TIM onto your processor or GPU/VPU. Cleanup is also easy since a small cotton swab or lint free cloth with some Isopropyl Alcohol will readily remove the compound.


Arctic Silver III is sold most commonly in a 3 gram syringe. This should be enough to handle at least 25-30 AMD sized processor cores and likely a good deal more. Cost for this quantity is US$5.99, which works out to roughly $2.00/gram.


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