Coollaboratory Liquid Pro Thermal Compound
Author: Rutledge Feman
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 08-27-2007
Provided by: Crazy PC, LLC
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Introduction

The debate over thermal interface material (TIM) has been around for ages, raging on with no solid conclusion. Many say that a perfectly thin layer of the best kind of compound is necessary for optimal cooling performance, while others trivialize expensive pastes as glorified white goop, but white goop (figuratively) nonetheless. Most people aren't familiar with any high quality compounds other than Arctic Silver 5; lots of companies ship their coolers with their own “high quality” TIM, but few people know of a world beyond these tack-ons and generic goop.

Well, let me pop your bubble. Coollaboratory's Liquid Pro and Shin Etsu's X23 have been fighting for the lime-light for the past few years, but only tested by a few American (or other English speaking language countries) review sites. Everyone seems to get different results, all with a “clear winner,” which brings into question the idea that thermal compounds really do differ from one another. Today, we're reviewing Coollaboratory's Liquid Pro to see for sure if this difference exists.

Liquid Pro has some peculiar qualities. First of all, it's liquid (no way, right?). One of the most important aspects of the upgrade from Arctic Silver 3 to Arctic Silver 5 was its greatly increased density. With a higher concentration of silver, Arctic Silver's texture went from milk to cheese. This not only made it easier to work with, but, as tests have shown, greatly increased performance. Shin Etsu's X23 is also very thick, to the point where it should be heated up to be applied more easily. Further, Liquid Pro only needs to be applied once. After you have applied it, according to Coollaboratory, you can remove and install your heatsink without worrying about your TIM. That sounds like it'll save me a lot of time. Liquid Pro's final notable facet is that it is an entirely metal compound. There is no water, alcohol, or other type of interstitial fluid holding it together, as is the case with AS5 and X23. According to Coollaboratory, this makes for a ten-to-one hundred-fold increase in heat conductivity. Read on as we double check this claim…


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