Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound Review


In the computer enthusiast world, every single degree counts. Most of the major drops in temperature come from your after-market coolers and monster case fans. Some resort to water cooling, mineral oil cooling, and even over-the-top liquid helium or nitrogen cooling. Sometimes this isn’t enough, getting the last 2-3 degrees drop in temperature is usually accomplished by an after-market thermal paste. To date one of the most recognizable names in the thermal compound industry is Arctic Silver. Many have tried and failed to knock this thermal paste juggernaut from its perch. The GELID Solutions High Performance GC1 Thermal Compound became a formidable opponent in our last review; let’s see if Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound can do the same:

Product provided by: Noctua

Closer Look:

The packaging of the Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound is well designed and simple. The packaging shows you everything you are getting; this is nice because you can see exactly how much you receive of the thermal compound straight away. The one thing lacking in this product, that the GELID product offered was a thermal compound spreading tool. This would be an added bonus to the Noctua product.

 

On the back of the Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound packaging: is all the important information you need on the specs and instructions needed to install and fully understand the Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound. There is also what seems to be Noctua mascot: a pretty red haired woman.

 

 

 

 

 
 
Now let’s see the specs and feature for this unit:Specifications:
 

Volume:

1.4ml (for at least 15 applications)

Specific Gravity:

2.49 g/cm³

Color:

Gray

Recommended storage time (before use):

Up to 2 years

Recommended usage time (on the CPU):

Up to 3 years

Peak operating temperature:

-50ºC to +110ºC

Recommended operating temperature:

-40ºC to +90ºC

 

 
Features:
  • Excellent performance
  • Maximum ease of use & efficient dosage
  • Top-performance right from the start
  • Excellent long-term stability
  • Not electrically conductive, non-corroding
  • Suitable for compressor cooling

Let’s put it to the test now:

Testing Setup:

  • CPU: Intel Q6600
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte Motherboard
  • Ram: 2x 1 GB Kingston
  • OS: Windows XP Home SP3
  • Video Card: ATI Radeon 2400 HD
  • Power Supply: 550 W PSU
  • Ambient Temp: 21º C

Testing:

 

Testing will consist of both idle and load temperatures. The load temperature will be achieved by using prime 95 in order to stress test the PC with inevitable heat production as the result. I will be testing four thermal compounds under the same conditions. The room temp will remain at a constant 21º C throughout the testing.

 

Idle Temps

CPU

Coollaboratory LIQUID MetalPad

Coollaboratory

Liquid Pro

Noctua

NT-H1

Arctic Silver 5

21

21

21

21

 

 

 

Load Temps

CPU

Coollaboratory LIQUID MetalPad

Coollaboratory

Liquid Pro

Noctua

NT-H1

Arctic Silver 5

35

32

30

36

 

Note: After re-running the tests for a longer period of time, these are the temps we where able to pull.

Overall the Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound performed very well. It did beat the Arctic Silver 5 and keept up very well in the testing, this is nothing to shake a stick at. The Noctua product was 6 degrees cooler than Arctic Silver 5 and you get more product in one tube of Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound then an equivalent priced tube of Arctic Silver 5. Let’s see how well the Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound did in the final thoughts:

 

Conclusion:
 

 

The Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound did better than many other compounds I have used in the past. I was very impressed with its overall performance and it was very easy to apply with the right tools (ie a compound putty knife). It gets an added bonuses for the pretty girl on the packaging which is one thing I dislike about my internet purchased Arctic Silver 5: there is no packaging, just the syringe and that’s it, I have to go online in order to see the specs on the Arctic Silver 5.

The clincher is: would I recommend this product? Yes, it was a very impressive compound with very decent temps on a stock cooler. I would recommend this for anyone that has been using stock compound, that comes in the white tubes, these people are too cheap to buy a 3g tube of Arctic Silver 5. You get major bang for your buck with the Noctua NT-H1, it is a lot of compound for a very reasonable price, not to mention the fact it won every test.

 

Pros:

 

  • Simple Application
  • Great Temps
  • Price to Quantity Ratio
  • Informative Packaging
  • Stood up to and Beat Arctic Silver 5
  • To a Lesser Degree of Importance: The Pretty Red Head Mascot

Cons:

  • Can be Messy in the Wrong Hands (ie mine)
  • Needs an Applicator to be Included in Packaging

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