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Old October 29, 2011, 04:05 PM
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NightRain NightRain is offline
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Default IC Diamond Thermal Compound Review



I was using Noctua thermal paste (which is good stuff) until today. I decided to install IC Diamond today as I hear it is good. Here is how I tested.

My CPU is currently a i7 920 C0 running at 3.99GHz (21x190) with HT off. Keep in mind the Noctua compound has been on my CPU for about 14 months as it was applied last summer. I typically reapply every 12 months.

System booted from cold. Left to sit idle for 30 minutes after my HDD stopped reading so I knew Windows completely loaded. I played Battlefield 3 multiplayer for 30ish minutes with Core Temp keeping track for the details, followed by 10 minutes of Prime95 Blend test. Here are the results.

Idle Noctua (MIN in Core Temp):

Core 0: 45
Core 1: 44
Core 2: 46
Core 3: 43

Idle IC Diamond (MIN in Core Temp):

Core 0: 42
Core 1: 42
Core 2: 43
Core 3: 38

Noctua During BF3 gameplay (MAX in Core Temp) CPU Load approx 70%:

Core 0: 68
Core 1: 67
Core 2: 69
Core 3: 64

IC Diamond During BF3 gameplay (MAX in Core Temp) CPU Load approx 70%:

Core 0: 61
Core 1: 60
Core 2: 61
Core 3: 57

Noctua running Prime95 for 10 mins (MAX in Core Temp):

Core 0: 77
Core 1: 75
Core 2: 76
Core 3: 74

IC Diamond running Prime95 for 10 mins (MAX in Core Temp):

Core 0: 71
Core 1: 70
Core 2: 71
Core 3: 68

Those are some pretty big drops. I was expecting 2-3 degrees at most. I averaged all core values to get the following results:

Idle temp difference: IC Diamond 3.25C cooler
BF3 Gameplay difference: IC Diamond 7.25C cooler
Prime95 100% load difference: IC Diamond 5.5C Cooler

Total effective result (all temps averaged) is 5.33C cooler. As you can see the results are noticeable, IC diamond may also get better too as it is difficult to say how long it will take to cure. I've heard as little as 2 hours to as much as 20 hours for IC diamond. Also if you are wondering, I use the pea sized blob at the center of the CPU to apply the compound, the Noctua was applied the same way. This allows the pressure of the heat sink to do the spreading. As you can see even at idle the difference is there, the most notable drop was playing games with a good amount of CPU usage, this is likely what you'll be doing mostly. Idle of moderate levels of CPU usage. The 100% load Prime95 fell right in the middle of idle and gaming with a very nice drop. I would highly recommend this product to anyone. One of the best $10 I've ever spent.
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