Tuniq TX-2 Thermal Compound

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

We decided to test the Tuniq TX-2 on our favorite test bench, which features one of the low-wattage AMD Athlon X2 processors, the 3600+ to be specific. We know that the Tuniq will perform better than the thermal pad that comes with the stock heatsink, but we wanted to see if it gave us any advantage with a processor that already runs cooler than most.
System 1
CaseThermaltake Soprano DX (Provided by Thermaltake)
ProcessorAMD Athlon X2 3600+
MotherboardECS GeForce6100SM-M
RAM2GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2-800
GraphicsATi Radeon X600 SE
Hard DriveMaxtor 100GB SATA
First thing we had to do was get rid of the thermal pad that was already on the cpu and heatsink. Since we don't want to scratch the CPU or heatsink (it would affect thermal transfer), we opted for little bit of rubbing alcohol. Sure enough, the pad and resulting residue came off with enough rubbing. We never found a truly satisfactory way to remove old thermal compounds with off-the-shelf items, but one of our friends did make his own concoction. Unfortunately, it was never perfected. If you must know, his parents own a chemical company.
To install, we put a fair-sized dab of TX-2 on the CPU from the syringe. I've seen some people just put their heatsink back on at this point, thinking that the heatsink will spread the thermal compound out on its own. Unfortunately, this isn't the case, especially with low-bleed compounds such as the Tuniq TX-2. To spread it, we used an expired credit card. It's flat, thin, and wide. Sounds like a perfect spreading device. It wasn't a card I used often, but if it was, I could have cleaned the edges with rubbing alcohol to make sure nothing mixes with the thermal grease.
Spread it out all over the heatspreader, and add more if you feel it necessary. After you're done, put the heatsink back on fire it up. You can jiggle the heatsink a little bit if you want. It'll help the thermal compound fill in all the spaces. Even with the jiggling, it's still necessary to give the thermal grease time to "burn in", or to correctly bond between the two surfaces. For optimal burn in, I decided to leave my machine on for ~200 hours. I tried to keep a graph of the idle temperature dropping over the period of this time, but I lost power at about 150 hours and lost the graph.

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