Cruise missiles don’t immediately spring to mind in connection to perhaps one of the more mundane, yet very important, parts of a computer rig – the humble thermal paste. This grey paste is vital to the cool running of the CPU especially when it comes to overclocking as every single degree counts.
In recent years, Arctic Silver 5 has been at the top of the pile when it comes to thermal grease performance. However, with seemingly every single thermal solutions company producing their own acclaimed perfect compound, many now rival the once stand-out AS5.
Evercool are the latest company to send us their tube of thermal grease; so how does it compare to other pastes?
- Cruise Missile (STC-03) with extremely low thermal resistance for superior thermal performance.
- Cruise Missile (STC-03) remains workable for easy spreading, screen printing and dispensing even after storage and exposure to air.
- High reliability and stability under adverse conditions such as thermal cycling, high humidity and high-temperature aging.
- Application to CPU/VGA/Chipset and other pc components.
|Contents||Thermal compound x 1|
Spreader x 1
Evercool Cruise Missile
The tube looks like any other with its white plunger and tube cover displaying a unique Evercool Cruise Missile STC-03 graphic of similar colour and design to the packaging. The red cap over the end would seem to be an attempt to make the tube a little more cruise missile-like.
Contained within the tube is 1ml (3g) of the grey compound with a viscosity of what I would describe as “medium” – it’s neither runny nor particularly sticky making it perfect for applying to the IHS on the processor (a spatula/spreader is also included to help spread the paste).
As with almost all modern thermal pastes, the Cruise Missile STC-03 has no burn-in time offering maximum performance right from the off.
One feature that Evercool’s paste hasn’t achieved is electric non-conductivity; it doesn’t sound particularly important but accidentally spilling some of the paste on to the motherboard or other electrical component could cause problems.
The Test Setup:
|Processor||Intel Core i7 C0 920 @ 2.67GHz|
|Graphics Card||XFX 1GB Radeon 4870|
|Memory||OCZ Gold Triple Channel PC3-10666 @ 1333MHz, 9-9-9-24 @ 1.65v|
|Hard Drive||Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 500GB|
|Power Supply||NOX Apex 700W|
|Enclosure||Cooler Master ATCS-840|
|OS||Windows Vista 64-bit|
The way in which testing is carried out on thermal compounds here at Verdis Reviews is very similar to CPU 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 Noctua NH-U12P.
For idle testing, the test setup is left resting for half an hour and then a representative reading is taken using Core Temp by averaging the each individual core temperature. For load testing, large FTTs on Prime95 is run for 20 minutes loading the core to 100% load and temperatures are once again recorded in the same manner.
The ambient temperature was 18 degrees Celsius.
Thermal paste results temperatures tend to be very similar due to the fact that all companies are now producing capable, component compounds that are very similar. Also, different pastes have much less of an impact on the cooling than the cooler itself and so the spread is not so great.
Clearly the Cruise Missile STC-03 is able to hold its own against many of the bigger brand names in the industry. It does, however, run ever-so-slightly hotter than NT-H1 Arctic Cooling’s MX-2 and MX-3 pastes by one or two degrees at both stock and overclocked speeds. It’s a very minimal difference but noticeable nonetheless.
At $12 (equating to roughly £7.50) the paste is perhaps marginally more costly than other pastes; still with well over a dozen applications to be had, it’s not exactly expensive.
The performance cannot be described as the best ever but it’s certainly not bad at only one or two degrees behind the leader’s brands in the thermal paste market in NT-H1 and MX-2/3.
The package, complete with spreader is all very professional and there really can be no other complaints apart from the paste being electrically conductive which could cause problems if spilt onto electrical components – nothing to worry about as long as you’re careful I might add.
Evercool’s Cruise Missile STC-03 is a solid performer with the perfect viscosity for spreading.
- Easy to apply
- Included spreader
- No burn-in time
- Many applications available
- A little more expensive than some
- Electrically conductive
Thanks go to Evercool for providing the Thermal Paste for review.