Tuniq TX-3 Thermal CompoundAug 21st, 2009 | By Chris
Tuniq TX-3 Thermal Compound
: 08/21/09 – 03:47:10 AM
Page 1 : Index
Tuniq is a division of Sunbeamtech, specializing in innovative products that are focused around top-notch cooling. Working with a team of experienced researchers and developers, along with open-minded designers, Tuniq has continually produced superb products that are made to impress. Here is their vision statement:
Their newest product, the TX-3 thermal compound, is the new and improved version of its older siblings, namely the TX-2 and TX-1. Let's go check what it's all about.
Page 2 : Package and Contents
The tube of TX-3 comes in a neat, vacuumed-sealed, plastic mold. With a minimal, yet attractive, backdrop on the cardboard insert, the ‘TX-3′ boldly stands out on top of its brief description, ‘High Performance Thermal Grease’, alongside ‘Extreme Performance; Exceptional Reliability’.
On the backside of the insert, we are given the features, specifications, and a performance graph featuring the TX-3 against its siblings and standard thermal grease.
Let us start. Chopping the top and side of the packaging off, I pulled the tube out to be examined.
Zooming in a little closer, we see a strip of paper wrapped around the main body of the plastic syringe. All the specifications that were printed on the aforementioned packaging are printed on here.
What I believe to be the most appreciated inclusion here is the level indicator. Simply peer through the small window to see how much TX-3 you have remaining. It is always a tight and unwelcome situation when you are reapplying thermal compound and run out.
Let's go check out the features and specifications now.
Page 3 : Features and Specifications
According to the Tuniq website, these are the exact specifications:
These features are found on the rear of the packaging, as well as here.
- Extreme performance;
- High stability and reliability;
- Not electrically conductive;
- 6.2W/mK Ultra-High thermal conductivity for superior heat transfer
- Tends to form a thinner layer between CPU and heat sink than other greases even under low pressure
- Best solution for the heat pipe direct contact of heat pipe direct touch type CPU cooler (Ex: Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer)
- Helps the low-pressure clip design of cooler to achieve better cooling performance
- RoHS compliant
- Low bleed under high pressure
I appreciate the fact that it is not electrically conductive. Anyone new to applying thermal compound could accidentally leave a small trace of TX-3 on their motherboard (or any other electrical part, for that matter), and that component will not be damaged due to stray electricity.
Now that we have that covered, let's see how well she performs!
Page 4 : Installation, Testing, and Performance
To install the TX-3, all one needs to do is squeeze some from the containing syringe onto the CPU. Then, evenly spread it around using something like a credit card, business card, or anything like that that is handy (I use a folded up hunk of paper). But installing the TX-3 proved to be very difficult. When squeezed out, it appeared very dry, almost like drywall putty. It was also very sticky, as well as thick. It even peeled up with I attempted to spread it around. Though I managed to get it in the end, it took several tries to get it perfect, resulting in a lot wasted compound. Below is an image of one of my several failed attempts that I gave up on halfway through.
The following system configuration will be used to test the TX-3's cooling capabilities:
- XFX nForce 780i SLI
- Cooler Master Cosmos 1000
- Coolit Pure Liquid Cooling System
- Intel Core2Quad 6600 @ 2.4GHz
- Buffalo Firestix Pyro DDR2-1066 (4x1GB)
- FSP Everest 800
- MSI Twin Frozr GTX275
- Seagate Barracuda 250GB
- Windows Vista Home Premium SP2
For the test, I will allow each thermal paste to cure for 24 hours. Then I will let the CPU idle for 2 hours, and once the two hours are done, I will record the temperatures of the CPU core. I will then stress the CPU with four instances of SP2004 for two hours. Temperatures will be recorded again. The TX-3 will be tested against the following competitors:
- Startech Heatgrease 10
- Arctic Cooling MX-2
The ambient room temperature is 28 degrees Celsius.
Here are the results:
The TX-3 is a true performer. While idling at the same degree as the MX-2, it pushed ahead by a whole 2 degrees when under the complete stress of 4 SP2004's weighing down on it. While 2 degrees may not seem all that significant, the differences could really display themselves when the CPU is overclocked. What really impressed me here was 8 degree difference between the Extreme Performing TX-3 and the generic, main-stream Heatgrease 10 under full load. It really shows how much difference there is between enthusiast products and mainstream products.
Page 5 : Conclusion
Arctic Cooling has been one the champions of producing thermal compound, but they have been beaten by Tuniq in this situation. I expected it to be a very close call between the two, but, Tuniq's TX-3 came out ahead as the champion.
Tuniq has presented some very impressive features that rival other leader manufacturers. With extreme performance, alongside being non-electrically conductive, it's hard to refuse such an amazing thermal compound. The only things holding this back from being the perfect thermal compound is it's extremely difficult to spread.
- Impressive performance
- Value oriented
- Very difficult to spread
A special thanks to Sunbeamtech for making this review possible.