Thermal compounds are probably the most unsung hero of the computer world. For the most part, they are taken for granted and spared little thought when it comes to building a PC or choosing a new cooler. However, these small tubes of thermal compound really do contribute when it comes to cooling; after all a good contact makes all the difference. Therefore, spending a little extra time getting the right one is definitely worthwhile. In recent times the Arctic Silver 5 and Noctua NT-H1 have dominated the market. Let’s see if this new company GELID – formed in 2008 – can give the bigger brands a run for their money.
Company Information – GELID Solutions
“GELID Solutions Ltd. is a Hong Kong based company with Swiss Management and founded in 2008 by Gebhard SCHERRER and VC TRAN. Both have worked in the PC Cooling industry for a number of years and successfully built up an IT company with their expertise. GELID designs and manufactures thermal solutions, CPU coolers, fans, and other computer hardware for both gamers and silent enthusiasts. We provide computer hardware distributors, retailers and system integrators with innovative, virtually silent, high- performance and top quality thermal solutions.”
- Optimal Heat Conductivity
- Non-Electrical Conductive
- Low Thermal Resistance
- No Bleeding
- Net Content (g): 5
- Specific Gravity (g/cm3): 3.96
- Viscosity (Poise): 2850
Contents & Packaging
The compound arrives in a very simple packet; a thick paper backing lies behind the tube of GC1 paste and the applicator. Clear plastic is then moulded around to allow full visibility of the product. The front of the paper sheet gives rise to the usual product and company information – logo, name, website etc – but also a full list of the features in alternating white and green colour. Below, there are three awards from various review sites that the product has won. Finally, the user is told that they are getting 25% extra free which totals 5g overall – larger than most other thermal compound tubes. The reverse of the packaging sees a full list of specifications along with a number of translations. However, there is a small graph that is rather interesting. In depicts the temperatures at idle and load of both the GC1 compound and Arctic Silver which has dominated the market in recent times. Although quite surprisingly, the GELID paste comes out on top beating the well-known brand. Thus suggesting that in testing we should see great performance from this product. Upon opening the packet, the paper sheet can be folded out to reveal all the information on one side. Obviously there aren’t many accessories as the paste only needs to be squeezed, spread, applied or however else you like to describe this process; an applicator is provided to aid this if you so wish to use it though.
The Product – GELID GC1
The GC1 paste is contained within an applicator syringe with a rubber cap protecting the end. Due to the extra amount, over other thermal compounds (generally 3 to 4 grams), the syringe is slightly larger than many of its competitors. The tube is decorated with a green background covered with white GELID logos with ‘GC1’ in black. The applicator is a plastic spatula that fades from green to being completely clear. Despite not being completely necessary as application is possible using just the syringe, it is nice to see that GELID have included the spatula as it does make spreading the compound much easier as well as ensuring the syringe tip doesn’t get bunged up because it’s not needed for spreading. Squeezing a little of the compound out reveals that it is silver-coloured mixture. Also, it has a smooth silky consistency which is neither too sticky nor too runny so that it can be easily spread either by using the applicator or by twisting the heatsink once placed atop the concoction. GC1 does not consist of any electrically conductive particles which allows the sure to be able to simply wipe off any mixture in the wrong place and they need not worry about the system short circuiting – most definitely a bonus for gamers or overclockers wanting to achieve high GPU and CPU temperatures. Another advantage of the GC1 thermal paste is that it requires absolutely no burn-in time and is at maximum performance right from the off – certainly useful for overclocking. In terms of how long GC1 is supposed to last, GELID claim that the compound will last for ten years without any need for re-application or degradation of performance.
No needs for any explanation here just simply squeeze a small 4-5mm blob of the GC1 thermal compound onto either the CPU or heatsink. Then put the CPU Cooler on top and move it slightly to spread the paste before securing it to the motherboard. The Test Setup:
|Processor||Intel C2D E5550 Dual Core 2.33GHz|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte S-Series GA-73PVM-S2H|
|Graphics Card||XFX 8600GT|
|Memory||Corsair XMS2 PC6400 (2x 1GB)|
|Hard Drive||Hitachi HDT7250 (250GB)|
|OS||Windows XP Pro 32bit|
The way in which testing is carried out on thermal compounds here at Verdis Reviews is very similar to cooler testing; we take an average temperature reading of the CPU under both idle and load states. Each sample is given a three day burn-in even if it is not required to ensure all tests conducted are on an even playing field. The cooler employed for all testing will be the Stock Intel Cooler (copper base version). For idle testing, the test setup is left resting for half an hour and then a reading is taken every ten seconds for a minute. Then, the average and maximum readings are recorded. For load testing, two processes of CPU Burn-In are used loading the processor to 100%. Readings are taken in the same way as idle testing. The ambient temperature was 20 degrees Celsius and for comparison purposes we will be comparing the GC1 to the OCZ Freeze thermal compound.
Cooling Evidently, the GELID performs very well under both idle and load states aiding the cooling of the CPU Cooler by providing a good contact and therefore good heat transfer from the CPU. Moreover, the GC1 compound easily outperforms the OCZ Freeze which is a well-known performer and therefore backs up the results on the packaging which shows the product beating Arctic Silver. These results help stake GELID’s claim to having created a very reliable, well performing thermal paste. Cost GC1 sells for approximately £4.
Clearly this is a quality product that competes well against the big name thermal compounds already on the market. It aids the CPU Cooler in providing low temperatures. Moreover, the spreader makes for easy application. That coupled with the larger syringe (5g – bigger than most of its competitors) and a reasonable price point make for extra reasons to buy this compound other its rivals. Unquestionably, this is a quality product providing quality performance – a must have if you’re looking for a new thermal compound.
- Large tube
- Electrically non-conductive
- Easy application
- Good price point
- Great Performance
- None at all!
Thanks go to GELID Solutions for providing the thermal compound for review.