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Arctic cooling is one of the famous computer cooling brands especially in graphic card cooler sector where most of the graphic card makers have partnered with them. Recently Arctic Cooling has just launched their latest thermal compound Arctic MX-3; successor of Arctic MX-2. Find out more about this latest thermal compound from Arctic Cooling and its performance in our review today.
ARCTIC COOLING is a privately owned company founded in 2001 with headquarters in Switzerland, offices in Hong Kong and the USA and production facilities in Asia. The ARCTIC COOLING team consists o f international highly educated people with business, technical and communicational skills. The attitude to work is based o n Swiss principles of innovative spirit and high standards of workmanship for which it is recognized internationally. This striving for excellence is integrated in all processes as a matter of course.
ARCTIC COOLING´s core competencies are multifarious including systematic noise reduction,copper and aluminum heatsink development, customization of thermal solutions, as well as designing quiet fans. More recently quiet and cool PC Cases and Power Supplies have been developed.
• High Thermal Conductivity
• Low Thermal Resistance
• Non-Electrical Conductive
• No Curing
• No Bleeding
Package & Contents
Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 comes with a sealed plastic container which is pretty common for such simple and cheap device. Most of the information regarding Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 is written clearly on packaging container. 8-year durability is what Arctic cooling guarantee for customer which pretty long lasting.
Here are some of the features of Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 and some of the interesting and attractive features about this thermal compound are non-conductive, non-curing, high thermal comductivity and so on. Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 doesn't come with other accessory besides the thermal compound but it is good for Arctic Cooling to include an applicator for user to spread over the thermal compound evenly and easily.
A Closer Look: Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3
Thermal compound, thermal pad or thermal grease are having the same mission where it is used to fill in the gap between the chipset and the heatsink for maximizing the thermal conductivity between these two surfaces. Same with most of the thermal compounds, Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 is filled inside a syringe which is a better and easier way to apply it with exact required amount.
The net weight of Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 is around 4g with 2.32 g/cm3 density. Although Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 is not the biggest tube of thermal compound that we have seen but such capacity is sufficient for more than 20 applications. For Arctic MX-2, there are two models; 4g and 30g, hopefully Arctic Cooling will do the same thing for Arctic MX-3 to fulfill those enthusiasts, testers or reviewers like us.
In term of thermal conductivity and viscosity, Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 comes with 8.2 W/mK and 875 poise. As we mentioned before Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 is the successor of Arctic MX-2 which was launched quite some time ago; July 2007. Comparing both of these two Arctic Cooling thermal compounds, Arctic MX-3 comes with lower density; 2.32 g/cm3 while higher for Arctic MX-2; 3.96 g/cm3.
Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 is a high thermal conductivity and low thermal resistance thermal compound for achieving better cooling performance. Another benefit of Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 is no burn in time where immediate result can be seen. This is extremely important feature where user doesn't need to spend couple of hours or a day to burn in the thermal compound for getting its best result.
Here is the exact thermal compound of Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 and basically we found that its density is just perfect; neither too watery nor too sticky which can be easily applied on the chipset surface evenly. Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 is composed of carbon microparticles but it is non-electrical conductive (metal-free) although it is a silver thermal compound. Hence it is safe to use it even for a newbie without causing any short circuit on the PCB.
Installation, Testing & Performance
Come to installation portion of thermal compound, it is pretty simple especially for those stock coolers where no back plate is required for the CPU cooler. However before applying Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 on the processor, remember to clean off the previous thermal compound for existing setup; thermal compound removal is a good assistance in this area. As we mentioned before, Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 is neither too sticky nor too watery, so it is easy to spread over the thermal compound on the processor evenly with a simple flat surfaced card.
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3 (Gigabyte G31M-ES2L)
Heatsink: Noctua NH-C12P
Memory: Kingston HyperX DDR2 8500
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX260+
Casing: In Win Maelstrom
PSU: In Win Commander 750W
Router: TRENDnet TEW-639GR
Optical Drive: DVD RW
Monitor: Dell 22" Wide Screen LCD
Speaker: Edifier R501
Mouse: SteelSeries Ikari Laser
Mouse Pad: SteelSeries QcK+
HeadSet: SteelSeries 3H
Operating System: Microsoft XP Pro SP2/Vista Home Premium
Ambient Temperature: 27 Degree Celsius
Here cooling performance comparison between Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 and the rest of the famous/best selling thermal compounds nowadays. Although the performance gap between these thermal compounds are not very significant but it is still clearly show that Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 is one of the best thermal compounds during idle and full load.
**The test result may vary with different setup as it might be limited by the heatsink, fan or ambient temperature as well.
After today review, Arctic Cooling gave us another choice when comes to selecting a best thermal compound as Arctic MX-3 is not only top performer in term of thermal cooling but also comes with plenty of advantages over other standard thermal compounds such as no burn in time, non-electrical conductive and etc. However in term of pricing, Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 is being sold at 18.9USD which is a bit costly than other thermal compounds. However due to its great availability, Arctic Cooling Arctic MX-3 is really not a bad choice among the rest of the thermal compounds as Arctic Cooling always produces promising quality products.
+ Decent performance
+ Non Electrical Conductive
+ No burn in time
+ Easy to apply
- Not as cheap as others
*Updated on 8/24: Based on Arctic Cooling feedback, they recommend end user to let the CPU cooler spread over ther thermal compound without using applicator for ensuring no air is trapped inside. Thanks to Artic Cooling for the tip but it is still good for end user to experience themselves for the best results.
Thanks to Arctic Cooling for providing this sample for us to review.
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