Arctic Cooling needs no introduction; they have been around forever it seems. They have been making coolers for both CPUs and graphics cards for as long as I can remember and also they're the makers of one of my favorite thermal compounds, MX-2. The reasons behind why it is my favorite compound? Well, first off, it spreads very nice. There is no need for a special spatula or use of a credit card. Just put a blob in the middle of the die and spread it around by any means. Secondly, it takes no time to cure and has no conductive properties, a definite plus, especially if you apply too much material. In this case, what squeezes out the side will cause no harm; it just makes for a bit more cleanup later. The last reason I usually go for a tube of MX-2 is the availability and pricing.
I have seen better thermal compounds, especially since I get to try a few for free each year. I know the guy sitting at home doesn't want to shell out $5-10, sometimes even more for a tube of paste, especially for a test like this one where that would require getting something like $50 worth of TIM just to see if it was even worth it in the first place. So I dug through a box I have filled with various tubes of compound and brought them to testing to compare with our latest submission to TweakTown's labs.
Today we are looking at a pre released sample of MX-4 so I can test it and tell all of you what I found. Since I use AS-5 for the TECC and I usually use MX-2 for my daily replacement TIM, I am eager to see what the new evolution of TIM from Arctic Cooling brings to the table. I know from previous testing that I did, I found that the MX-3 from them was a better performer, but was more of a pain to spread evenly without using a spatula or a card of some sort. I found it was more a paste that you were best served to just put it in various spots on the die and use the compression of the cooler to do the spreading for you.
Let's venture further into the testing and see how the new MX-4 compares with some very well known TIMs already on the market today.