Arctic Silver 5 vs MX-4

Arctic Silver 5 vs MX-4 | A Better Thermal Paste for Better Performance

Never underestimate the power of small details, or in this case, thermal pastes, it may seem unnecessary at first but you’ll be amazed how a few grams of paste can save your CPU’s life, when building a new PC you must consider choosing a really good thermal paste that helps with lowering the temperature of the CPU, there’re a lot of options out there but the best ones are going to cost you of course. 

Today I’m going to compare two thermal pastes from the same manufacturer which is Arctic, the first one is Arctic Silver 5 versus Arctic MX-4.

Keep reading to discover the features of each paste and which one is better. 

Arctic Silver 5

Features

  • 99.9% Pure Silver for a better thermal transfer. 
  • Arctic claims that the Silver 5 will lower the temperature by 3 – 12 C over the standard ones, however, users have reported that it’s only 10 C.
  • Non-electrically conductive. 
  • Easy to apply and remove. 

Cons

Paste dries out

Check it out at Amazon

Arctic MX-4

A 2 awards winning thermal paste. 

Pros

  • Paste doesn’t dry out 
  • Better cooling by 2 C
  • Suitable for overclocking
  • Metal-free
  • Lasts at least for 8 years 

Features 

  • Easy to Apply for beginners. 
  • It does not contain any metallic particles so electrical conductivity will not be an issue. 
Check it out on Amazon

Arctic Silver 5 vs MX-4

This chart shows the performance of different thermal pastes and it clearly shows that the Arctic MX-4 is slightly better than the Silver 5.

thermal paste comparison chart

 

Source: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/thermal-paste-performance-benchmark,3616-17.html

The Arctic MX-4 compound is composed of carbon micro-particles whereas the Silver 5 compound is composed of 99.9% micronized silver. 

The thermal conductivity of the Silver 5 is 8.9 W/mK whereas MX-4 is 8.5 W/mK.

Because the Arctic Silver 5 was released before MX-4 and gained more popularity over the years doesn’t mean it’s the best, most tech enthusiasts agree that the Arctic MX-4 is better than the Silver 5.

How to apply thermal paste properly

Some people, especially the beginners, apply thermal paste incorrectly by covering the whole surface of the CPU which is wrong, so the right way to do it is by putting a small drop or the size of a pea in the middle of the surface and gently put the heat sink above it and push it down until it spreads the paste over the surface of the CPU. 

It’s also recommended to watch a tutorial on YouTube on how to do it properly, a video will explain it more so you can easily understand how the whole process goes so you don’t make any mistakes. 

5 thoughts on “Arctic Silver 5 vs MX-4 | A Better Thermal Paste for Better Performance”

  1. While the two companies may be different that does not invalidate any research on it. Arctic Silver split off a company just to serve the US market. This “might” be the reason they are different. In any case the comparisons are still valid and the products are still good. I tend to use Arctic MX-4 that I buy in 25 gram tubes because I use so much of the stuff. I have used all the different types and both of these are pretty good products. I lean towards the MX-4 over the AC silver which is an older product but in the end we are talking about two very good pastes with a maximum difference of about 2c so not any great amount.

    Reply
  2. You also don’t say if you did the required heating and cooling cycles for the breaking period which is required with Arctics Server which requires about 200 hours of use on average, but can take as much as 400 hours as detailed in the installation instructions http://www.arcticsilver.com/PDF/appmeth/amd/vl/amd_app_method_vl_1.3.pdf

    And yes it does take that long to fully break in so realistically so you probably need about a month to complete as the CPU needs to cool for about 8 hours then be heated by normal usage.

    In my case after about a month of use turning off my PC each night the using the computer as normal each day was required to allow the Arctic Silver to work at its best.

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    • Douglas- if you have numbers, it would be instructive if you can give a comparison between the average temperatures you’re seeing now as opposed to when you first applied the compound- thx

      Reply
  3. The data are compromised in that you don’t disclose the ambient temperature for each datapoint during your study. System ambient temperature can greatly affect the temperature of a device…by multiple degC.

    In addition, it’s unlikely the CPU temperature sensor readings are accurate/consistent to within even +/-0.5C just by themselves, so it makes no sense to record anything but the pre-decimal point numbers, and even that isn’t reliable.

    In addition, very minor changes in the way a heatsink is mounted can result in considerably differing temperatures with the same system/heatsink/cpu/thermal compound. You can try to be as consistent as possible and you can still get temperatures that vary by multiple degrees C in the “same” circumstances.

    In addition, if the CPU fan is being controlled by an “auto” setting then again, the maximum CPU temp reading can vary considerably because the fan rpm algorithm can also create significant rpm differences in the fan based on background processess loading in the system…and Windows background processes are NOT predictable and generally not controllable unless you keep them all from loading so the temperature will change due to those differences..

    There are too many variables that are not controlled in a computer system that the temperature at a given point can be considered reliable to within several degrees, never mind a fractional degree. Even if you get what appear to be consistent results, it doesn’t mean they are accurate results.

    If one is testing the just a thermal compound, then you have to eliminate multiple variables. The only practical way this can be achieved to a meaningful degree in which thermal compound comparisons can produce meaningful results is by eliminating the computer/CPU completely, and using well controlled energy sources, precision methods and physical interfaces, and more accurate temp sensors, suitable insulation, and an environmentally controlled chamber.

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