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Arctic Cooling MX-4 Thermal Compound - Final Thoughts

Everywhere I look there are new thermal compound revisions and Arctic Cooling is the first to submit a sample of MX-4 to our labs for the latest gen in interface materials testing.

By: | Cables & Accessories in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Jul 6, 2010 6:48 am
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Arctic Cooling

Final Thoughts


While MX-4 didn't take top honors in either the idle or load testing, it does do well in a couple other categories. First off, for the four gram tube of MX-4 it will only set you back $5. To get either paste that tested just a slight bit better, it will cost you near twice as much. Bang for the buck, I would deal with less than half of a degree to get twice as much MX-4 as the other two in the top three. Secondly, while still not the most spreadable TIM, it does move better than MX-3 while on the TECC. I was able to play around a bit, and I got similar results spreading MX-4 with a baggie covering my finger. With a bare finger, I did end up with more on my finger than I did on the TECC's IHS, but there are more ways to apply than just the basic finger.


What this testing proves beyond a shadow of doubt is that just like with air cooling, I think it will take a revolution in compounds to bring out the "next big thing" in thermal transfer materials. With an above average cooler, the choice of TIM, as I see it, isn't going to make or break an overclock, especially with today's Intel processors that will operate just less than 99 degrees Celsius. So in other words, one or two degrees isn't going to be the breaking point in an OC, nor will one degree make or break the reason to re-apply it to a GPU when the drop in temperatures could be as much at ten degrees, there is room to give one up. To me it really comes down to other criteria than getting every last degree from a compound.


The biggest thing MX-4 has going for it is the pricing. I mean, who doesn't like getting double the product for your hard earned dollar? While not topping the charts, for a compound released today, a $5 price tag makes you look past other downfalls. I really don't mean to say downfall, as I don't take half a degree as a real issue. If I want that half of a degree I can just as easily get that if I want it, but I see no need to shell out more money for that little of a gap. I will give you the same advice I spread like wild fire on the forums. Most of the top brands of thermal Interface materials offer only a two to three degree gap from worst to best, so just buy what is high on the list at the best value. Arctic Cooling's MX-4 is exactly one of these compounds and I will suggest when it becomes available you give it a try for yourself.




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