The usage of a thermal paste between the heat sink and the CPU maximizes the cooling effect that the cooler provides. It is always advisable to use thermal paste, especially when installing a new CPU. Stock CPU heat sinks have a small quantity of paste on them, but the majority of users prefer to use aftermarket solutions. Today we will be making a review of the Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound.
Let’s take a quick look at NT-H1’s specs and features, taken directly from Noctua‘s website:
We can understand that hese features may be a little too much for a thermal compound, but given the fact that Noctua has a high reputation for the cooling products it provides, we have no reason not to believe them. We also remember the details and the sophisticated technology they use at all fans and this was not just theory, as they performed very well.
Generally, we understand that the paste delivers maximum cooling right from the start and lasts for a very long period of time.
A Closer Look – The Package
The Noctua NT-H1 paste arrived in a clear plastic wrap-round packet, whose main characteristic is the usual Noctua’s colour combination. On the right side we find a brief description of the product’s features.
At the back side we can see the features and specifications of the product in different languages.it also contains a short pictured guide on how to apply the thermal compound.
A Closer Look – The Noctua NT-H1
The Noctua NT-H1 contained a syringe tube that weights 1.4ml. You can apply about 15 drops of thermal compound with that .The paste itself is of a silvery colour and it is very thick .
The syringe is quite easy to use with one hand, while providing accuracy and quantity control with the push mechanism.
Installation – Applying
Before installing the heatsink, you just need to apply only one drop at the center of the CPU and you are ready to go.
NT-H1’s main contestant, the Arctic Silver 5 has a different applying scheme, as it suggests applying the paste horizontally in a line.
Test Setup and Procedures
To test the Noctua NT-H1, we tested it against maybe the most popular thermal paste, the Arctic Silver 5.
The machine on which we ran the tests was:
Processor: Intel Core i7 920
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14
Motherboard: Asus P6X85D Premium
RAM: Mushkin Redline 6GB-998691
VGA: Gigabyte GTX480 1536MB
HDD: Velocity Raptor 150GB
PSU: Nexus 1000W
Case: Thermaltake Armor VA8003BWS
Operating System: Windows 7 64-bit
For cooling the CPU, we used Noctua’s air champion, the NH-D14
The tests we ran included:
- Default 2.66GHz frequency, Idle
- Default 2.66GHz frequency, Load
- Overclocked to 4GHz frequency, Idle
- Overclocked to 4GHz frequency, Load
Note that during System Load tests we used Prime 95.
With the i7 920 set up at the default 2.66GHz frequency, the Noctua NT-H1 performs exactly the same compared with the Arctic Silver 5, which is not bad at all given the fact that the Arctic Silver 5 is the most popular thermal paste.
With the i7 overclocked to 4.00GHz, it is impressive that Noctua’s paste performs slightly better thatn the Arctic Silver 5, at both idle and load modes.
Noctua keeps up the reputation of making high quality products. After the tests, we see that the Noctua NT-H1 manages to keep up with the thermal paste king Arctic Silver 5 in terms of performance, and under overclocking conditions it performed even better. We can say that this is the best thermal compound currently on the market. Like it says at the applying instructions, just one drop in the center of the CPU without spreading is enough to maximize the cooling effect. Finally, the paste starts to take effect immediately after appliance, there is no burn-in time. Notice that in Europe the paste costs around 6.50 euros, an amount worth to spend on maximizing the cooling effect.
(+) Excellent performance
(+) Easy to apply
(+) No burn-in time
Thus, we give the Noctua NH-T1 a rating of 10/10 and our Performance Award.