REVIEW: Tuniq TX-2 Thermal Grease

The most overlooked part of the rig must be the thermal grease or thermal paste. Maybe because the thermal grease is the part which is not seen even from a windowed case (no pun intended). For the most part, every performance heatsink available packs a thermal grease as bonus. And these thermal grease that come packaged with performance heatsinks mostly perform above average.

We have with us the Tuniq TX-2 to review. For people who have known Tuniq, the company is responsible for the tall and gigantic Tower 120 heatsink. We know the heatsink but we have yet to try their thermal paste -- the TX-2. How will it compare with its peers? We will soon find out as we will put it to test against the Arctic Silver 5 and the Zalman STG1.

Its thermal conductivity is also specified at 4.5 W/mK (a higher number means better thermal conductivity). Thermal conductivity is the ability of the material to conduct heat. This property mainly depends on the composition, structure and the steady-state temperature of the material.

Our Tuniq TX-2 product sample is a 3.5g syringe. Like the Arctic Silver 5 (or AS5) the TX-2 is on a syringe. This is typical of generally every of the thermal pastes. This is with the exception of the STG1 which is not on a syringe but rather on a small rectangular bottle.

The Tuniq TX-2 has been allowed to "cure" for two months; arctic silver 5 (AS5) also for about the same period; and the STG1 for a month. It took us some work and a bit of time to compile this review. Nevertheless, it was a nice experience to finally get to see each thermal grease perform first hand.

The heatsink used in this review is the low-profile Zalman CNPS8700 LED. Its fan will be running at full speed and not regulated. BIOS fan throttling machinisms will be disabled during the test process.

To simulate a real-world system, the Focus Nemesis will be closed at all times, with only the AF12025 exhaust aiding in the air flow. This is aside from the Enermax EG495AX PSU aiding a bit in the push of hot exhaust off the insides of the case.

Performance Results. Ambient temperature was noted to be 34°C. Tests were conducted at the hottest time of the day -- 2PM -- for all thermal pastes used. We really could not control the weather conditions to be exactly the same when conducting the test, but we tried to keep the variables the same.

For the stress test, we will be loading the processor with Lavalys Everest System Stability Test for CPU, while at the same time it gathers the logs in the background to a CSV file.

There isn't much of a difference between the performance between the TX-2 and AS5. Both pastes top out at 49°C; but the major difference lies in the average temperature of the readout. The AS5 averaged 46.27°C and the TX-2 45.94°C. This is where the TX-2 shines. How about in comparison with the STG-1? Check the result below.

The same trend continues for TX-2 vs STG1, topping out at 49°C. And again, peeking at the average temperatures the TX-2 beats STG1's average of 46.25°C.

Final Remarks. An enthusiast will never go wrong with going for a branded thermal paste. No matter which thermal paste chosen, the peak temperature readouts have shown about the same mileage. However, an exacting enthusiast who wants more bang-for-the-buck performance will want to consider the average temperatures. And this is where the TX-2 will win.

Pricewise, the TX-2 does not dissapoint either. The TX-2 costs $3.50 per 3.5g syringe. Score another win for the TX-2.

The Tuniq TX-2 will definitely pimp your rig! Thanks to Tuniq for providing us samples of the TX-2 thermal grease.

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