Legit Cooling Reviews
Maingear Phase Changing Thermal Material - Epic T1000
||Sat, Jan 21, 2012 - 12:00 AM
||Bill Hentschell -
Maingear EPIC T1000
Legit Reviews is attending the AMD/HardOCP FX GamExperience event down in Dallas, Texas this week and just ran across something very interesting in the Maingear booth. This is a new item that was missing from the Consumer Electronic Show.
This new product from Maingear is called 'EPIC T1000' and is actually a thermal interface material (TIM) for use on Intel and AMD processors. Maingear informed us that this TIM is unique because it is actually a Phase Change Metal Alloy (PCMA) that provides extreme thermal conductivity (>20 W/mK) and the lowest thermal resistance of anything on the market today. This is not just a minor improvement in thermal conductivity it is two to six times better conductivity than most commonly used TIM's.
This metal TIM is designed for enthusiasts that are looking for the ultimate thermal interface material and want to get their CPU temperature as low as possible. Maingear said that using the EPIC T1000 should lower CPU temps by 3-10°C lower than using other competing solutions like Arctic Silver 5 (AS5).
The Maingear EPIC T1000 is such a good TIM it can provide better performance from any cooling solution you mount to your CPU. However to achieve this amazing performance does require a bit more work on your part than the average TIM. There is no dot or line method here, you actually have to put on Nitrile gloves and specially clean your CPU and cooling block before placing the wafer flow containment card holding the EPIC T1000 on your CPU. The next step is to boot your PC and disable any active cooling (turn off the fan or pump if you're water cooling) and place your rig so the CPU is horizontal. Finally you need to fire up a loading application such as Prime95 to heat the EPIC T1000 to about 80C causing it to reflow and perfectly filling any micro gaps between the IHS CPU top and the bottom of your cooling block. The trick is you have to monitor your CPU temperatures and watch for a spike and then a steady decline to tell you the reflow is done. You can now turn on the active cooling solution of choice and enjoy the best thermal link you can get today. The only caveat is this product does not work on cooling blocks that do not cover the full IHS or that have items like direct contact heat pipes as the gaps between pipes are too large for the reflow to cover. Also be aware this is a single use product, once it is activated if you remove your cooling block you have to scrap and clean off the material and use a new sheet. The good news is the kit does come with two applications just in case you really mess up or get a new thermal solution.
Maingear includes everything you need with the EPIC T1000. You get Nitrile gloves, special extreme cleaning solution for the processor top and the heatsink base, a cleaning cloth and lengthy instructions. They also give you not one, but two stickers that have the metal TIM on them. This means you get two chances to get it right.
The metal thermal material comes on a flow containment sheet that is the exact size of your processor, so you need to order a specific kit for your processor. Maingear will be offering kits for both AMD and Intel CPUs and they will be priced at $19.99 per kit and includes two applications. This makes the EPIC T1000 a $10.00 per use item so it is by far the most expensive TIM you can find but it is also the best performing TIM on the market. Maingear will be offering EPIC T1000 on their custom built systems and as a stand alone product you can buy through their website in the days to come. One final note for those observant readers, yes this is an OEM of Indigo Xtreme.
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