Tuniq TX-2 Thermal Compound

Posted on November 9, 2007
Author: Sean Potter
Pages: 1 2 3
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Introduction

Years ago, I remember buying many Sunbeam-branded cold cathode fluorescent lights (CCFL). Since that time, they've expanded their product offers several times over. You can find cases, power supplies, keyboards, and more all bearing the Sunbeam name. Tuniq is a new divison of Sunbeam, and they offer many similar products, but with a much more enthusiast-like focus. They sent us some of their new thermal compound, Tuniq TX-2.

Thermal Grease

In the days of the Pentium 1, Thermal Grease wasn't much of a necessity. Heatsinks were attached more with a thermal glue of sorts, something still used with many chipset and videocard heatsinks. Thermal Grease became popular around the same time as CPU Overclocking. True enthusiasts looked for the best conducting materials to place between their CPU and heatsink. With larger heatsinks and more thermally-stable processors, there isn't as much about thermal grease now as there was a few years ago. But thermal grease is still important. Many companies, especially AMD and Intel, put "thermal pads" on the bottoms of their heatsinks to assist in the transferring of heat from the processor to heatsink. These aren't as efficient as thermal grease, as we will show you shortly. The question is: how much better is thermal grease?

Features

There are many important things to consider when choosing a thermal compound. Luckily, Tuniq TX-2 covers all the bases.
  • Low thermal resistance for superior heat transfer
  • Small molecular size makes a better contact between the hetsink and heatsource (CPU)
  • Thin bond line for high efficiency conductivity
  • Spreads easy, cleans easy
  • Not electrically conductive
Above all the other features of the TX-2 compound, I found the last one to be the most useful. In olden days when Athlon XPs didn't have heatspreaders (and the core was exposed), if you spread a compound such as arctic silver and got some anywhere other than the die, you risked the chance of connecting some of the exposed bridges. Sometimes, this did nothing, other times, it could fry your CPU.
Or, if you're swapping heatsinks and decide to leave the CPU in the machine, you might accidentally drip on your motherboard and cause another short. With the Tuniq TX-2, these aren't issues. Cover your motherboard with the grease and be merry! Or that might be messy and expensive. But you could if you really wanted.

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