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Greasewars: Nanotherm vs. Arctic Silver


When the rare opportunity to assist in product development knocks, I always open the door. Scott Gallmeyer of ESG Associates approached me a few months ago to ask if I'd be interested in testing a new thermal grease. Now, he never said the goal was to compete with the best, Arctic Silver, but midway through testing we both realized that creating a top notch product was within reach.

After many weeks of mixing the magic goo, Scott sent me the final batch. My poor CPU clip took much abuse, what with the regular installation and removal of the massive heatsink and grease. I ran 3DMark2001 for the last time and stared intently at the screen as MBM5.08 told the inevitable results: Nanotherm Ice & Blue were both winners!

Factory Specifications
The Unit
  • Available in two flavors: Ice & Blue
  • Negligible Electrical Conductivity
  • Thick, Viscous, Sticky Consistency
  • Does not Separate, Leech or Dry Out
  • Price: $5.95 USD for 1g/1cc


10/10 Rating

The Product

I remember an old TV ad that opened with senior citizens driving down a crowed street. A woman asked the male driver about changing the car's oil and his reply was, "motor oil is motor oil."

When setting up your new P4 or T'bird screamer, I'm sure most consider very carefully every single part that goes into the case. Except for some odd reason, the thermal grease gets left out. Some argue the benefits when grease is substituted for an inefficient pad, but is there is difference between greases themselves? Can one be significantly better than another? If you recall my aging Arctic Silver review, you'll see that quality of thermal paste varies greatly.

What I've discovered with heatsink compound is that generally speaking, you want a thick viscous compound. This is good for several reasons. First, a viscous grease is less prone to drying out over time (months, years). Second, tiny air pockets are less likely to decrease the tight coupling between heatsink and CPU. For the remainder of the Nanotherm benefits, surf on over the ESG Associates site and click on products.

Both the Nanotherm products have the same characteristics, except that Blue is well, blue in color. This color could be useful in finding peaks or dips in the supposedly flat surfaces that mate together. The dark color increases contrast and will leave its mark when wiped clean. Cleanup is easier than expected too. Some thick greases are a mess to remove because they are also sticky and leave a film behind that must be scrubbed with isopropyl alcohol. Nanotherm's products require no such alcohol as I cleaned them with only a tissue or paper towel.


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