When it comes to quality TIM, Arctic Silver has held the crown for some time. Its silver based substrate has earned a worldwide following that many have tried to copy, but few have come close to succeeding. With silver having such exceptional heat dissipation qualities, it is easy to see why this type of TIM would be effective.
To tackle a company like this is a large task to begin with, but to do so with a non-metallic compound is a tall order indeed. This is exactly what the folks at Arctic Cooling have done.
Not only is MX-2 a new "High Performance" TIM, it is also completely metal free. The biggest advantage to this is the lack of conductivity of the TIM itself. With metallic TIM products, there is the risk of causing a short in the electronic component being protected. Granted, this wasn't a huge risk as long as some caution was taken, but it only takes but one loss to make it an expensive issue.
Of course, with most processors coming with full-blown heat shields, this may be a moot issue. That is, until you start to consider the other uses of a good TIM, namely adding more protection to your expensive video card. Since these chipsets don't always have a large heat shield, the non-conductive TIM is beginning to make sense again.
The TIM itself has a very smooth texture, which is a very good quality in this type of product. The texture helps make sure that the material spreads evenly across the core area to be protected. As with any other type of similar product, you need only a very thin layer to allow the heat to properly dissipate from the core to the cooler.
Another feature of the MX-2 material is that it requires no curing time. With metallic TIM you are generally expected to allow a few days of use before the material is properly set up to give you the protection you want. With this formula, this is not required. Not only that, but the manufacturers are making claims of the material being able to last a minimum of eight years without having to clean the old goop off and reapplying. This makes it a great choice if you happen to be thinking of building a nice little HTPC system that won't be getting a lot of tweak time.