Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound

Posted on September 15, 2008
Author: Sean Potter
Pages: 1 2 3 4


Before applying a thermal compound, it's typically necessary to make sure the surfaces of both the CPU and heatsink are clean. If necessary, the heatsink's surface can be lapped to a mirror shine.

I tend to use a cue-tip and rubbing alcohol to clean my surfaces. The combination typically works rather well against previously installed thermal compounds.

Noctua suggests twisting the heatsink in place to spread the thermal compound. To go with their suggestion, I did so, but the results were lackluster.

More compound stuck to the heatsink than anything else. This could be the result of a number of things: improper cleaning, poor surface, poor humidity conditions, etc. Thusly, I stuck with my favorite method.

The method in question: using the edge of an old credit card to spread the compound. If some drips off the edge, there's nothing to worry about, as the compound is non-conductive.

Benchmark Setup

I'm using my primary test workstation, an AMD Phenom-powered machine built mostly from sponsored and previously reviewed products.

Component Part
Processor AMD Phenom 9500
Motherboard Sapphire PI-AM2RS780G 780G
RAM 2GB DDR2 PC2-8500 Reaper HPC CrossFire Certified
Video Card Sapphire Radeon HD4850 Toxic
Chassis X-Qpack
CPU Cooling Scythe Katana II
Hard Drive Excelstor 250GB SATA2
Power Supply Antec SmartPower 500W Modular PSU
Display 1280x1024
Operating System Windows Vista Business SP1 64-bit / Gentoo 2008.0 64-bit

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