Starting over on 2600K CPU block thermals, MX-2 Sample Variance?

Posted: March 4, 2012 in Blocks

When my old large 30g tube of MX-2 ran out during my M6 block testing, I was a bit afraid of what that might mean.  I have heard of a few people report variances between thermal paste samples, and I’m finding the same problem here as well.  I had a large tube of MX-2 I started using back in my Q6600 testing round that lasted quite a while through a large group of blocks.  I had been using this same tube of paste as part of my 2600K testing as well and life was good up to that point of running out.  In a failed attempt to “Carry On” with my thermal testing, I purchased a new 20G tube of MX-2 with the hopes that I could simply do some quick validation mounts with my last tested block.

Well, the first few mounts are not looking good to validate the thermal paste consistency.  It’s very clear the new paste consistency has changed between samples, it is visually less dense and more thin in consistency. My old batch 1 30g tube would leave a clear imprint on the heat spreader where the block made good contact, this new 20G tube paste is much different.  It runs as if it was thinned and generally acts differently.

And more importantly, after several mounts of retesting using the new batch 2 sample…

Perhaps TIM pastes can be like a fine wine in that they become more dense and perform better over time in storage, or there has been a slight change in the MX-2 formula, or  there is simply variations between samples out there.  Bottom line for me is that any future CPU block thermal results comparisons will have to start over on testing.  Sorry for further delays on getting caught up on CPU thermals, but with block performances being as close as they are, this thermal paste change and my inability to purchase the exact same thing I was using for previous tests…makes this a stopping point for that round of tests.

I may very well spend a little time evaluating a few other thermal compounds now and decide on something newer/better than MX-2.  I’m not really all that impressed with my new MX-2’s just not performing as well as my old 30g tube…:(

I’ve been following Vapor’s work here and now is probably my opportunity to try something different.  If I can’t use my old MX-2 batch 1 results to compare with, I may as well look at switching out the thermal paste entirely:

Sorry for more delays on future thermal results, but I’m going to have to start over.


  1. Martinm210 says:

    Yeah, CLP is another good performer. I’ve used it before myself and noted really good results. The only problem is it tends to bond to base of the block and processor to the point of requiring a metal polish to remove it. Works good, but a bit scary when the block gets unbolted, but stays put as if it’s welded in place..:)

    FYI, I killed either my 2600K or my MSI mainboard last night, so I’ll really be starting over with new hardware now. I think it’s the MSI that failed from perhaps too many mounts.

    Good news is, I made an order with newegg for a new ASrock X79 Extreme7 + 3930K + 16GB DDR3 ram tonight. Wasn’t really part of my plan, but when I loose a piece of hardware…I order new gear…:)