ARCTIC MX-5 Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Usage

As I have alluded to earlier, the ARCTIC MX-5 thermal paste is available in different sized tubes, including 2g, 4g, 8g, 20g, or 50g. If you want it with a spatula, only the first three options are available. Our review units came in 8g tubes, which should last you for a while for most casual users. ARCTIC sent us a 20g tube of their MX-2 thermal paste 14 years ago, and I am not even close to finishing it. I do appreciate the inclusion of the spatula. Even though I have not needed to manually spread thermal paste in a long time, it could definitely come in handy, especially if you are working with larger heatspreaders.

According to the company, the rated viscosity of the ARCTIC MX-5 is 550 poise with a density of 3.2 g/cm³. The volume resistivity is 1.9*10^13 Ω-cm and breakdown voltage of 250 V/mil. For comparison, the Noctua NT-H2's density is specified at 2.81 g/cm³.

Applying the ARCTIC MX-5 is the same as any other thermal paste. Simply unscrew the cap at one end of the syringe and apply pressure to the plunger to get the content out of the barrel. The MX-5 paste itself is blue in color. I am not sure if this was intentional or not, but it is an appropriate color for the brand. The paste is carbon microparticle-based with no electrically conductive nor capacitive properties.

During the application process, I found the ARCTIC MX-5 to flow a little faster than I thought it would, but overall, it was not runny enough to become a concern. I put the paste on an Intel Core i7-6700K CPU, which has a relatively small integrated heatspreader. Therefore, a pea-sized amount in the middle was sufficient. If you plan to use it on an AMD Ryzen CPU or larger surface, an alternate pattern or use of the included spatula is highly recommended.

ARCTIC claims each application has an 8-year durability, whereas Noctua only promises 5 with their NT-H2. To be honest, I have never had thermal paste go bad, not to mention most enthusiast do not use their computer for that long. Even if some did, chances are that the cooler will be removed at some point, which would have required a thermal paste reapplication anyway.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Usage
3. Test Results
4. Conclusion