Introduction to the features of the Arctic MX-6
PC thermal pastes have gone from very basic electronics solutions, the classic white thermal paste that we have used all our lives, to very specific solutions, some even very exotic based on liquid metals. Some of these thermal pastes, those based on liquid metal, offer high conductivity, but they are also difficult to apply and carry risks because they often have high electrical conductivity.
Arctic has several generations of thermal pastes in its history, some of them the best sellers on the market, and continues that tradition with the new Arctic MX-6, The one we are reviewing today, which combines ease of use, universal application and proven performance without having to complicate our lives too much. A solution that is also expanded with other brand products such as its waste-free thermal paste cleaner based on essential oils derived from citrus fruits.
Arctic MX-6 Thermal Paste Specifications
- Viscosity: 45000 Poise
- Density: 2.6 g/cm³
- Continuous use temperatures: -50~150 °C
- Volume Resistivity: 1.8 X 1012 Ω-cm
- Breakdown voltage: 7.5 kV/mm
What is thermal paste used for?
Thermal grease or paste is a compound that is oriented towards heat conductivity and usually, on occasions, has other characteristics that as a general rule is usually capacitive or electrical non-conductivity. Its application is designed for electronic components and as a corrector of imperfections.
The encapsulations (die) or heat spreaders of the chips have microscopic imperfections on their surface, they also usually, especially now that they are getting bigger, small tolerances on its flat surfaceI mean they are not completely flat.
Thermal paste is designed to cover those imperfections that we cannot see with the naked eye. It is not better than your copper or aluminum heatsink to cool your processor, but it is important so that there are no air pockets between your processor and your heatsink, that is where it makes the difference and that is where a thermal paste has to be efficient .
The Arctic MX-6 it is a conventional paste, not exotic solutions based on liquid metals or pulverization of noble metals, but it has the experience of a brand that knows how to keep prices at bay while offering a quality technical solution.
MX-6 Thermal Paste Characteristics
Arctic has designed this new thermal paste based on its last great success in this segment such as the MX-4 and replaces the MX-5 as the brand’s high-performance thermal paste. We can find it in different sizes, 2, 4 or 8 grams. We can also buy it with various cleaning “wipes” specialized in these compounds and these application environments.
The focus of this product is the consistency of the product and the ease of use with the possibility of being applied to all types of components, either direct to encapsulation, such as laptop processors or GPUs, or with “heat spreaders” such as desktop processors. To do this, Arctic ensures that its new compound does not have any capacitive capacity and neither does it have any electrical conductivity capacity.
The Arctic MX-6 It is made using a carbon-based compound, which allows it to develop its full potential without the typical “warm-up” technique of which I admit that I have always been an active user. Many compounds, for their perfect application, must be subjected to high temperatures and pressure. This is how they cover and replace air bags achieving a perfect application.
This technique consists of forcing the component as soon as the thermal paste is applied, obviously with its heatsink in position, for some time, then it is left to rest and after a few hours the operation of the paste is perfect, achieving improvements, in my personal experience, of more of 6 degrees of temperature in recent components such as Intel Core or Ryzen processors.
The Arctic MX-6, thanks to its composition and viscosity, it allows a perfect application, without dripping as soon as it is applied and does not require this heating step, only with the appropriate pressure from the dissipator we achieve a perfect expansion of the product. Arctic recommends a single drop in the center, with enough product for a thin layer, although I think I will always continue with my technique of small drops at different points on the component to be cooled.
All this is achieved without expensive elements in its composition, such as pulverized diamond or precious metal particles, lor that reduces the cost to less than 20 euros for 8 grams of product which can give us support for numerous applications. The compound is also free of liquid metals that have significant side effects on components such as abrasion, discoloration or even corrosion depending on the composition and the elements in contact.
The viscosity of the Arctic MX-6 It allows a quick and easy application, perfect for inexperienced users since they do not have any of the risks associated with the new, supposedly more advanced compounds. Its cost is also much more controlled, which makes it a perfect compound for all types of applications.
Other Arctic Thermal Compounds
Arctic doesn’t just offer thermal paste within its composite-based products. An important element of its catalog is its cleaner, compatible with all kinds of thermal pastes and which leaves no residue on the surface thanks to its fast evaporation composition.
It is based on disposable wipes, completely biodegradable, with a compound based on citrus essential oils. Strong-smelling, this is because Arctic has chosen not to use chemical additives to mask the smell of these natural elements. Its use is simple, they are wet wipes, and they remove thermal paste like a charm.
Additionally Arctic has thermal pads. It has three categories: basic, economic and premium. The other two have options between 0.5 and 1.5mm, with different sizes and completely customizable in size by the user.
They leave no residue so they are completely safe to handle and are also not capacitive or conduct electricity. All this makes them easy to apply, very safe and versatile. Its reduced thickness allows it to develop very little thermal resistance. They are a perfect addition to your thermal pastes.
We have compared the Arctic MX-6 with various compounds, from the brand itself, such as MX-4 or MX-5, but also from other manufacturers such as Cooler Master’s Cryofuze Violet, another very versatile compound recently launched on the market, or Be quiet!’s DC-1. . Our first test has been the “burning” test that I usually apply and that Arctic considers that it is not necessary with this new compound.
Analysis and conclusion
The fact that your processor or graphics card works properly is not a virtue of thermal paste, this is easily demonstrated if you try to use it without it, something that certainly would not occur to any of us, but it can be an important help so that this component has a proper cooling and your heatsink can get the most out of themselves.
The more heat we can transfer to it, the better its behavior will be. Metal cools better than thermal paste, aluminum has a conductivity of about 205W/mK, copper almost doubles it with 385W/mK and diamond takes the gold medal (gold is around 314W/mK) with almost 1000W/mK.
To put ourselves in the situation, this thermal paste without noble metal particles offers a heat conductivity of 13W/mm, Cooler master’s thermal paste based on Cryofuze Violet uses metal particles in its composition, it is also significantly more expensive than that of Arctic, and has a conductivity of 12.5W/mm, good numbers too.
If we go to the famous thermal pastes based on liquid metal, whose application is dangerous because it is conductive and its viscosity makes it tend to bleed over components, it is around 40-70W/mK. As you can see, thermal paste is between 20 and 40 times less efficient than aluminum and copper, it cannot be replaced by cooling a component, but air bags, at a temperature of 0 degrees Celsius, have a heat conductivity with an index of 0.024W/mK, 500 times less than thermal paste.
Here is its importance, that is why it is important to apply it well and that it is of quality and I think that Arctic allows us an option of having an easy-to-use thermal paste, with good performance and at an affordable price.
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