Date: August 22nd, 2006
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Zerotherm
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
The ZT-100 arrived in a retail blister pack that, surprisingly, states that it’s made in the USA.
Inside is a syringe containing 3.5 grams of the gray stuff. And, no that’s not a contraceptive/prophylactic device for the less fortunate among us. It’s a finger cot, also available at drug stores, to aid the user in applying a thin film of the ZT-100.
PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
At this time, I’m unable to find any specific application directions on the ZEROtherm website, or anywhere else. We’ll just have to wing it and see how it goes. For this review, the following components were used.
AMD Opteron 148 CPU (overclocked to 2.7 GHz, +0.1 Vcore) with AMD heatpipe cooler
DFI Lanparty UT nF4 SLI-DR motherboard
eVGA 7900 GS-KO graphics card with OEM cooler
OCZ 5002048ELGE-K (1024mb X 2) memory
Thermaltake ToughPower 1000W Cable Management PSU
Western Digital WD800 SATA hard drive
LG DVD-RW drive
After testing the system with AS5 thermal compound, the cooler was removed and, along with the CPU, thoroughly cleaned with alcohol.
After a small amount of the ZT-100 thermal grease was applied to the CPU heatspreader, I donned the finger cot and spread the material over the chip in a thin, even coat. I was surprised at how easy the ZT-100 was to apply. It took practically no time and very little effort to get the results pictured above. The finger cot applicator can even be cleaned with alcohol and reused. (I don’t recommend you try this with the aforementioned latex contraceptive/prophylactic item.) Now we can re-install the cooler and get on with the testing.
For each material in the test, the computer was allowed to run at full load (using Prime95 torture test) for two hours to partially set the compound. The computer was then allowed to idle for 15 minutes and shut down for one hour. The system was then started and allowed to idle at desktop for one hour and idle temps were recorded with SysTool (Build 728.) The system was then loaded with Prime95 once again and stressed for one hour. SysTool was used to record the load temps. The results follow. Cooler fan speeds were also recorded.
As you can see, the results are very similar and too close to declare a clear winner here. I frankly was hoping for a more convincing result, and re-ran the testing with a thicker application of the ZT-100 product. The results were essentially the same, so I think the first application technique is the best. What the results do show is that there is a new rival for the top spot in the thermal paste world and the ZEROtherm ZT-100 is an excellent choice for its intended use.