When it comes to testing a thermal interface material, the goal is very similar to cooler reviews where the idea is to determine how cool the processor stays under stress. With this concept in mind, I will be thrashing out an Intel based setup to see just how well this compound works.
Before we delve into the number, though, let's take a quick look at the test box.
MSI X48C Platinum motherboard (Supplied by MSI)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor
2x 1024MB Corsair XMS2-8500-C5 memory (Supplied by Corsair)
2x Sapphire X2900XT graphics boards (Supplied by Sapphire)
In the past, we have made it a habit to look at temperatures at both idle and at load. In this test session, I will be monitoring a bit differently than before. Idle temperatures are more important when realizing the cooling potential of heatsinks, so I will be aiming at testing load temperatures.
Our test methodology consists of running a 100% load test of the processor for approximately 26 minutes. After noting the maximum temperature, I went through the temperature logs and figured an average temperature throughout the test cycle.
As noted above, the processor is running at default speed and has the stock Intel OEM heatsink mounted for our testing. All system voltages are also set to default values so that everything will be on an even keel and we can give all compounds we evaluate the same test bed as the others. Ambient temperature was a constant 23C and relative humidity was less than 25% during all test phases. Finally, all thermal compounds tested are given a 3-day burn-in time even if they state they do not require it. This allows all tests to be conducted on an even plane and no excuses for questionable performance can be given.
I am beginning to think that all of our competitors are using the same formula. With results like these, it will really come down to price. While availability of the GC-1 is spotty right now (it is a brand new product), the manufacturer's price point and the quantity of the compound you receive should make this a very competitive offering.
[Update]: We have checked with the manufacturer and have been told that they are expecting to have this product being sold online in quantity in August. Given the MSRP and quantity being marketed in a single syringe, this should be a good deal.
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