ARCTIC MX-5 Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Test Results

Our test configuration is as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.60GHz
CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-D15S
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD5
RAM: Kingston HyperX Savage Black HX426C15SBK4/64 4x16GB
Graphics: Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 4GB
Chassis: NZXT H700i
Storage: Seagate FireCuda 510 1TB
Power: Seasonic PRIME Ultra Titanium 850W
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro

Compared Products:
- Noctua NT-H1
- Noctua NT-H2

All tests were run in our custom-built computer to best reflect real life performance. The computer remained in the same location in the same room throughout all tests. The room temperature in our testing lab was around 20c. All thermal pastes were given a proper amount of time for them to fully settle. The fans on all heatsinks were directly connected to the motherboard's 4-pin connector. Computer was turned on and idling for at least one hour for the idling tests. High CPU load results were obtained using the Prime95 in-place large FFTs test with eight worker threads for a minimum of 15 minutes or until the temperature was deemed stable.

As you can see in our charts above, using the best-in-class Noctua NH-D15S cooler, all thermal pastes performed very well in our idle test. There were no recorded differences between the ARCTIC and Noctua thermal pastes, because the truth is the processor in its idle state is not generating a whole lot of heat in the first place. Since the idle test is not a good indicator of a product's true performance potential, let us look ahead into the load test results.

In the load test, the test processor, my Intel Core i7-6700K overclocked to 4.60GHz, generates quite a bit of heat that will push any cooler to the limits. If you wonder why the results were a few degrees different than the ones in my Noctua NH-D15S review despite a very similar hardware configuration, it was because the computer was tested in a different location. In this test, my computer was sitting on the basement floor, resulting in much colder air being drawn in. As far as the thermal paste is concerned, the Noctua NT-H2 was 1c better than its predecessor, which is consistent with my colleague Aaron Lai's review in 2019. Meanwhile, there was no measurable difference between the ARCTIC MX-5 and the Noctua NT-H2, which is an excellent result. This is because the NT-H2 is considered one of the best, if not the best, thermal paste in the market today. Tying the results for the best thermal paste in the market shows how good the MX-5 is.

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