By: Jonathan Kwan
July 16, 2021
I was chatting with a friend's dad a few years ago who was thoroughly convinced winter tires do not do anything. I thought that was an interesting claim, mainly because most people on the no winter tire camp do not usually debate whether they work or not; they simply argue whether the performance difference is necessary in practice. Knowing my friend's dad likes to be frugal in areas where he thinks is not visible, I asked him what winter tires he got. "Whatever that was the cheapest I could buy at Walmart," he replied. "All winter tires are the same anyway." I took a closer look at his car, and it was no joke -- what he got on his car was some knockoff tires from some unknown Chinese brand. I found it particular interesting how he would have no problems spending $40,000 on a brand-new car only to save a few hundred bucks on the only surface that actually contacts the road. In my opinion, you can buy a car with the best safety systems available, but nothing will save you if the material between the road and your car is no good. Similarly, you can buy the best heatsink in the market, but until all the heat from your processor can be transferred efficiently, you are not going to see the best results. So today, we will take a look at the interface material that goes between your CPU and cooler, which is the thermal paste. When used appropriately, unlike a certain infamous YouTube video from a few years back, it can make all the difference. So how does the new ARCTIC MX-5 compare against industry-leading products like the Noctua NT-H2? Read on to find out!
Our review unit of the ARCTIC MX-5 came in a medium-sized brown corrugated cardboard box from the company's American offices in Quinby, South Carolina, USA. I looked up some information about Quinby, and it is a very small town of about 1000 people in Florence County. Using UPS Expedited, the thermal paste arrived safely to us here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for our review today.
In addition to the ARCTIC MX-5 thermal paste I am reviewing today, inside the box was also the ARCTIC BioniX P120 A-RGB and P12 PWM PST RGB 0dB fans to be covered by my colleague Jadon Lee. The retail box design for the ARCTIC MX-5 is consistent with the ARCTIC Freezer A13 X we reviewed last year. The blue and green background is complemented by mainly white text for maximum contrast. ARCTIC's logo is on the right, an image of the thermal paste syringe and spatula is printed across the center, and the product name and product description are located at the upper left corner. You can also see this is an 8g tube, but other sizes from 2g to 50g is also available. A "Scan and Win $1000 Every Month" promotion is also prominently shown. Feature highlights and further information can be found on the remaining sides of the box.
Before we move on, let us take a look at the specifications of the ARCTIC MX-5, as obtained from the manufacturer's website:
Viscosity: 550 poise
Density: 3.2 g/cm³
Continuous Use Temperature: -40~180 ℃
Volume Resistivity: 1.9 X 10^13 Ω-cm
Breakdown Voltage: 250 V/mil
Warranty: 8-year durability
Packaging (8g with spatula)
Width: 15 mm
Height: 109 mm
Length: 24 mm
Weight: 0.011 kg
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Usage
3. Test Results