One of the normally overlooked and very important items in any gaming PC is thermal paste. This element, which is located between the processor and the radiator, is normally not taken into account because it is not aesthetic. Also, NZXT and Alphacool announced new thermal pastes with very good thermal conductivity.
On the one hand we have the NZXT thermal paste, whose name is simple, but which clearly tells us the content. Then we have the Alphacool Apex Thermal Paste, which is the best non-liquid metallic thermal paste. Both are characterized by the fact that they are not electrically conductive and easy to apply.
NZXT and Alphacool present their thermal pastes
Thermal paste is applied between the IHS processor (metal encapsulation that protects the processor) and the base of the radiator. Its function is to fill in imperfections on both surfaces and improve heat transfer. These imperfections, which cannot be eliminated, would lead to poor heat transfer. Therefore, a heat conducting element of the highest possible quality is required.
Although lately we can find somewhat particular thermal pastes, such as liquid metal or diamond thermal paste, these are more conventional. They are metallic type, low viscosity, electrically non-conductive. Plus, both are non-corrosive, easy to apply and easy to clean.
We start with the NZXTwho has a thermal conductivity of 6.3 W/mK, it is gray in color and has a shelf life of three years. It is available in 15 gram and 3 gram syringes. Regarding that of Alphacoolthis one has a thermal conductivity of 17 W/mK, is gray in color and the shelf life is not specific. There is only one version, a 4 gram syringe for various applications.
According to NZXT, their thermal paste is based on zinc oxide, liquid polymer, and aluminum. Alphacool does not reveal much about how these very good properties are obtained. It only states that it is made from “a very low thermal impedance nano-powder”
Two very different solutions
Using liquid metal is quite dangerous, especially if you don’t have much knowledge. Despite its good thermal conductivity, it is corrosive, electrically conductive and toxic to humans. Only those with great knowledge should use this component. Really, unless you overclock, you’ll notice very little difference.
Regarding pricing, the 3 gram syringe of NZXT thermal paste costs $9.99 and the 15 gram syringe costs $19.99. While the 4 gram Alphacool syringe is priced at 14.99 dollars.