Coolink Chillaramic, Nanoxia Heat Buster, and Nexus TMP-1000
Monday, 04 April 2011 10:43
This is the third installment of many of the Skinnee Labs TIM Comparison 2011. For most of the installments, results will be released in two TIM pairs roughly every two weeks but today, again, we have three TIMs for review.
Today’s review and TIM is sponsored by Aquatuning. And being an international retailer from Europe, we selected a few TIMs that we were interested in that are hard to find state-side. Coolink Chillaramic was chosen on the basis of being a potentially great value (10g for less than $10), Nanoxia Heat Buster was chosen based on some hype we had heard, and Nexus TMP-1000 was chosen because it looks really cool in the pictures (it’s shiny!).
After today, we’ll have nine TIMs completed in the 2011 Comparison, but we still have over 25 more on the docket. Lots of testing left to do!
Coolink Chillaramic is the Coolink’s lone offering. It’s a thick, white paste that reminds me, both in name and in appearance, of Arctic Silver Ceramique. Chillaramic seems to have more of a clay consistency, however. Chillaramic also has the potential to be a really good value; right now it lists at 10g for $8 at Aquatuning. At that price, it’s a good deal per gram and has a pretty low entry price. Other than price, there’s nothing about it that’s particularly notable–Coolink says it doesn’t have a long break-in time, but that’s about the most interesting thing it says.
Nanoxia Heat Buster is a thick, grey paste that comes in a unmarked Braun syringe in a baggie with a Nanoxia sticker on it. According to the spec sheet, it has a thermal conductivity of a staggering 10.4W/mK–something we have to doubt immediately. Of course, we’re here to test it, not judge it on specs, we just find it odd that a company would list such a high “marketing” number and then not spend any time on packaging. Aquatuning lists it at $3.51 for 2g; it has a decent price per gram but a really attractive entry price (minimum price of any quantity). Interestingly, we found the stated 2g quantity to be a little bit of an undershoot–each syringe we received was filled with 1ml of paste (and it’s more dense than 2g/ml) and lasted nine or ten mounts despite being applied liberally (due to its thickness).
Nexus TMP-1000 is the wildcard of this group. It wasn’t picked because it looked like a good value or because of any hype we had heard–it was chosen because it’s metallic and shiny. I don’t know what metallic and shiny means for performance, but it’s a quality we hadn’t seem from any other paste. Yes, there are liquid metal TIMs out there, but this is an actual paste. At Aquatuning, it is also priced at $3.51, but for 1g. Again, we have to dispute the quantity–we used less than one “1g” tube for all of the testing. Granted, it does thin under pressure really well, so not much was used each mount, but it does seem the 1g is an undersh0ot.
For all three contact “settings” I use a Koolance CPU-360. I’ve chosen the CPU-360 due to its great mounting system (although I’ve modified all three blocks’ mounting systems) and because it’s pretty easy to add slight modifications.
At the “Poor” end of the spectrum, I have a stock CPU-360r1.2 with extremely low mounting pressure; the stock CPU360r1.2 has a somewhat irregular base and when paired with low pressure, TIM does not spread into a thin layer particularly well.
For the “Moderate” contact setting, I’ve taken a CPU-360r1.1 and reduced some of the internal structure so that there’s absolutely no bow. With pressure in the center of the base the block can actually become slightly concave as the o-ring compresses, but with only moderate mounting pressure the base seems to stay perfectly flat.
As for “Great” contact, I might have gone a little overboard; no block on the market has contact this great. I’ve modified a CPU-360r1.2 to have a thicker midplate with a compressible layer and the result is a pretty extreme bow that flattens with mounting pressure. And there’s a lot of mounting pressure. The result is impressive; with low viscosity pastes, it looks like there isn’t even any TIM on the center of the CPU when taking the mount apart. Even with viscous pastes the resulting layer is extremely thin.