ne reason I chose to include a paste which is technically defunct was its unique characteristics. While most thermal interface materials go through some form of phase change, PCM+ claimed to undergo phase change repeatedly as a proponent of its design.
In the photos above revealing Nanotherm PCM+ after testing, the application method used was spreading. If you've spent enough time in overclocking forums your probably familiar with the ongoing debate concerning TIM application. Essentially two schools of thought exist. Spreading - in which an even layer is distributed over the entire IHS (Integrated Heat Spreader) surface using a flat edged card or other object. And Dollop - in which a large drop or dollop of paste is deposited onto the center of the IHS and then the heatsink is mounted. Where-as spreading can incorporate tiny air-bubbles, compressing the paste should force more air out. Here we'll look at some examples before and after.
Tuniq TX-2 recommends using the dollop method applying their paste. Its consistency is more viscous compared to most thermal pastes. In the photo above I spread TX-2 covering the entire IHS. The photo below was taken after 7-days of testing cycling temps between IDLE and LOAD. In the thumbnails below an example of Tuniq TX-2 applied using the dollop method on the Danger Den TDX.
Tuniq TX-2 retained more moisture then any other sample tested, albeit under the recommended dollop method or spread as seen above. I was most impressed with TX-2 and one reason I believe this paste is such a strong performer is in its ability to retain moisture longer then other pastes.
AC’s MX-2 is a synthetic ceramic paste which has similarities to TX-2 insofar as its high moisture content. The flow rate makes it easy to apply whether you're spreading the paste or using the dollop method. MX-2 also recommends the dollop applications method.
After seven days MX-2 did lose some moisture. I noticed several of the pastes tested had great consistency out of the syringe, but after 7-days viscosity and texture can be completely different. Note the distribution of the paste which may seem inadequate until you realize the cores beneath the IHS only account for about 70% of its total area.
I find this method of application very revealing since it matters not if you were to spread the paste over the entire area of the IHS. Spreading the paste is not going to improve the contact area between the two surfaces. Only lapping your heatsink will do this. Problem is, just about any changes you make even using an OEM thermal interface material voids your processor warranty.
Onto our test results and conclusion ->