|Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Grease|
|Written by Vikram Chand|
Monday, 21 December 2009
|Rated 4.5 out of 5 Stars|
One of the better CPU cooling choices!
As always, thermal grease plays a very important role in keeping your CPU cool as the heatsink and fan do. Thermal grease/compounds allow you to run your CPU a few degrees cooler. Choosing the right compound is the key to getting the best results because all compounds perform differently.
A good choice of thermal grease will not only allow your system to run cooler but should also be easy to apply and take off at the same time. So we test the Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound to see if it the best or not.
Enclosure : AZZA Helios 910R Mid Tower Case
Processor : AMD Athlon 64 FX-60
Motherboard : DFI LanParty UT nF4 SLI-DR
Video Card : eVGA GeForce 7800 GT (256 MB)
Hard Drive : Western Digital 160GB
Cooling : Stock Fan and Heatsink
Power Supply : Ultra X4 500-Watt
Operating System : Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise
Memory : 2 x Corsair 1GB PC3200 DDR
To test the NT-H1 thermal grease, we will measure the temperatures of the CPU at both idle and on load using SpeedFan v4.40. To test at idle, we will leave the computer running for an hour without running anything and then take the temperature measurements. To test at load, we will use CPU Burn-in v1.01 for 1 hour to load the CPU at 100% and then record the temperatures.
Just for comparison reasons, we will also test the Tuniq TX-3 thermal grease and the Arctic Silver (not Arctic Silver 5) thermal grease the same way. I personally would like to see how this NT-H1 holds up against the TX-3 since I had great results during my tests.
NT-H1 : Idle Temperature (after 1 hour) : 35oC
NT-H1 : Load Temperature (after 1 hour) : 48oC
TX-3 : Idle Temperature (after 1 hour) : 34oC
TX-3 : Load Temperature (after 1 hour) : 47oC
Arctic Silver : Idle Temperature (after 1 hour) : 38oC
Arctic Silver : Load Temperature (after 1 hour) : 52oC
Surprisingly, the TX-3 performed better than the Arctic Silver and the NT-H1. I had thought that the NT-H1 would have performed about the same or better than the TX-3 but it did however, beat the Arctic Silver (which was expected). On the other hand, while the NT-H1 didn't beat the TX-3, it did come pretty close to it and the difference was on average only 1 to 2oC. So, I wouldn't take it out of the picture either. It is a great value for the price you pay for it. Now I would love to test the new Arctic Silver 5, which I hear is supposed to be really good. I would think that it would either come close to or beat the TX-3. So I will surely have to give it a try and see for my self.
I didn't have any issues applying the NT-H1 compound on my CPU unlike the issue I had with the TX-3 (it is tough to spread as it is very thick). You don't have to use a strong piece of cardboard to spread it on the CPU. Just squeeze som on the CPU and either use a little piece or cardboard or your fingers to spread a thin layer evenly on the CPU. Then, install the heatsink on it and you are good to go. It is also very easy to clean off unlike the Arctic Silver grease that I used before. Arctic Silver grease is very hard to wipe off and it gets all over your hands and sometimes on the processor itself (the pins of the processor). I got very good results even with the stock fan and heatsink with the AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 processor. The NT-H1 costs about $6.99 online. I don't really have any other complaints about this thermal grease besides the performance.
Although, the Tuniq TX-3 beat the Noctua NT-H1 thermal grease by 1 or 2 degrees, I would still highly recommend it. It basically boils down to ease of application and performance. The NT-H1 and TX-3 both provide really good performance dispite the temperature difference. Personally I would use either NT-H1 or the TX-3 depending on which is readily available at the time. I really have no preference at this point.
DETAILS AND SPECIFICATIONS :
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 May 2010|