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Tuniq TX-2 Performance Thermal Paste

Manufacturer: Tuniq
Supplied by:
Tuniq
Street Price: $6

by Dean Barker  (9/30/2007)

Introduction

Tuniq is a subsidiary of Sunbeam Technology and are responsible for a good number of performance oriented products for the group.  These include cases, coolers, power supplies and a variety of other accessories.  One of those accessories is high performance thermal paste.  The original high end thermal paste that hit the market from number of manufacturers was based on silver.  These silver based thermal pastes showed a decided improvement over generic silicon goo by a few degrees because of their increased thermal conductivity.  The problem back then was they were also electrically conductive.  In time, high end thermal paste has evolved and now brings better thermal conductivity to the table while not being electrically conductive all at a reasonable price.

Sunbeam Tech / Tuniq has released a refined second generation paste to replace their previous TX-1 paste.  The new product, not surprisingly, is called TX-2.  The TX-2 paste is reported as having a smaller molecular structure allowing better contact between a hot point and heatsink.  Priced at $6 for a 3.5 gram tube, the ability to drop your load temps a few degrees is open to the masses.  Before we look at the Tuniq TX-2, let's cover the basics.

Thermal Goo and You

High performance thermal paste works from the principle of all coolers not being perfectly flush on their base.  They have small gaps or pits there that may not even be visible to the eye.  The more gaps there are, the less surface area of the cooler is in contact with the processor subsequently the less efficient a cooler is.  By filling those gaps you are turning empty space into more useable area for heat to be conducted through.  Thus, we increase the efficiency of the cooler.  How well these pits get filled depends on the paste and how thermally conductive it is.

Tuniq New Goo

Tuniq's TX-2 comes in a 3.5 gram tube.  Asking me how many applications you can get out of one tube is about as easy as counting how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.  Personally, I grease maybe 20 processors a month for one reason or another.  The 3.5gm tube of high end grease I use, I have had for about four months.  Let's just say you are more likely to loose it before you run out.

The TX-2 has a gray putty like appearance when it's applied.  Its consistency was soft and easy to work with like other high end thermal pastes we've had here in the shop.  Smoothing out a small drop with a razor blade was on par with spreading warm butter on toast.  There isn't much left to say other than let's see how well it works.

    

Performance

Most high performance thermal pastes are designed to harden after a number of hours of being cured by a processor's heat.  Cured meaning somewhere over 50 hours.  This is important because generic silicone paste needs to be reapplied every so often as it will degrade and with it your cooling efficiency.  These new high tech pastes cure and their thermal conductivity does not degrade.  No need to reapply down the road as is the case with the cheap goo.  This is nice to know but we will not be testing thermal performance post some odd 50 hours plus curing today.  When I apply grease, I'm wanting to be powering up my rig shortly afterwards to work/frag whatever immediately, just like you.  So we will be measuring performance of our pastes right out of the can.


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