IC Perihelion, Noctua NT-H1, and OCZ Freeze Review

TIM Comparison Results

Let’s now compare the TIMs against each other, first by contact setting then in some other ways. In each of the contact setting groupings, first chart is performance over time, second chart is the average mount temperature at the end of the 10hr runs, third chart is the 10hr temperature from the best mount, and the fourth chart is a zoomed and simplified view of the amount of cure over the last 9.5hrs of the test.

Poor Contact

First comparison is with Poor Contact block + mounting.  This illustrates, roughly, the worst performance you can expect from a TIM (from a poorly designed mounting system, in use with some GPU blocks/sinks, VRM blocks/sinks, or from a seriously botched mount).

Moderate Contact

Second comparison is with Moderate Contact block + mounting.  This illustrates, roughly, the typical performance you can expect from a TIM with a well designed mounting system.

Great Contact

Second comparison is with Great Contact block + mounting.  This illustrates, roughly, the performance you can expect from a TIM with an extremely well designed mounting system with extremely high mounting pressure and a block with a compressible bow.

Overall Performance

This is a new chart, but it’s not new data.  This is a chart of the temperatures used as the input values for the “Relative Performance Score” charts we’ve had on the conclusion pages.  Says the same thing as that chart, but we think it might be easier to relate to–it’s in degrees, not unitless numbers–and represents how good a TIM is overall, without knowledge of how good contact will be.

Contact vs. Temperature

Contact Dependence takes the best overall mount and the three averages of the three contact settings and finds the average deviation of the four results.  Lower means there’s less difference in performance as contact varies.  None of the three are remarkable with Contact Dependence, OCZ Freeze and Noctua NT-H1 are both very good overall and just don’t have much room to improve as contact varies.  IC Perihelion is just decent with Poor Contact and makes very, very little improvement as contact improves despite having a lot of ground to make up.

Cure Factor looks at the “Curing Performance” charts and takes a weighted average of the absolute values of the lines from the Curing Performance charts–the sooner a TIM flattens to its final value, the lower the Cure Factor.  The less change in performance over time, the lower the Cure Factor.  It’s not a particularly precise metric, Indigo Xtreme should have a 0.00 Cure Factor, but it will show overall trends for which TIMs do have some sort of curing.  IC Perihelion and Noctua NT-H1 both have noticeable cures (overall values greater than 1) and OCZ Freeze has a slight cure.

The Best Mount charts take the best performance from any of the fifteen mounts and is indicative of the absolutely limit of performance for a TIM (i.e., when you do everything right); it’s another way of looking at how good a TIM is.  Noctua NT-H1 takes the fight to PK-1, which is very impressive while OCZ Freeze had its Best Mount with Moderate Contact, surprisingly.  More surprisingly, IC Perihelion has an awful Best Mount, over a degree behind the previous worst and over 3C behind MX-2, yikes.

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Comments

Posted On
Aug 11, 2011
Posted By
il0
Posted On
Aug 11, 2011
Posted By
Eric (Vapor) Hassett

The Coollaboratory liquid metal TIMs and IC Diamond will be tested at the very, very end of this testbed’s life. They’re too likely to permanently alter the surface to be done mid-stream (if they do alter the block/IHS surfaces, they skew performance and it would be best if the number of TIMs affected were minimized).

EVGA Frostbite is upcoming after this batch of Shin-Etsu G751, X23-7762, and X23-7783D. I’ve already done some preliminary tests with it on another testbed and it seems very similar to Nexus TMP-1000, which is not a positive sign.

I think it’s unlikely that thermal pads will be fully explored, at least with this testbed and procedure.

Posted On
Sep 11, 2011
Posted By
il0

i know thermal pads generally suck but i was curious how/if there have been any improvements over the years 😛

Posted On
Jul 28, 2011
Posted By
Church

Hmm, interesting. New shin-etsu versions? Somehow this is first place i noticed X23-7921-5 and X23-7868-2D mentioned. After quick googling X23-7868-2D seems what’s coming OEM with antec integrated LC sys (and as OEM TIM for few other coolers), with a bit improved heat transfer of 6.2 W/mK vs 6.0 for X23-7783D, and X23-7921-5 maybe even better then that. Pity these two new ones seem selling retail only in Japan.

Posted On
Jul 28, 2011
Posted By
Eric (Vapor) Hassett

Yeah, hopefully 7921-5 and 7868-2D get to retail before this is all finished…still 4-7 months away from closing down the testbed and testing ICD and CLP/CLU, so there’s time.

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