Updated: Nov 13, 2019
You should be wary of companies like this
Trial by fire I say! I thought for one of my first forrays into liquid metal I'd pit two heavyweights vs. eachother, liquid pro vs. conductonaut.
I tested this with a non-overclocked AMD FX-9590, a notorious oven among PC building enthusiasts. Without proper coolers, this chip is known to instantly reach 70 degrees celsius before tripping thermal alarms. For this test I'm using Corsair's h115i and it's 280mm radiator to cool things down.
Aside from the compound itself, everything surrounding the liquid pro package spells cheap. It comes with a small steel wool pad for scrubbing off any residue during removal of the compound since liquid metal can and will bond with other metals, leaving some scarring or even worse pitting where the metal essentially "rots." This is why there are "DON'T USE ON ALUMINUM!" signs everywhere. On top of that the aluminum dust created from this compound can just "explode" since the chemical reaction creates water. So yeah... Don't use on aluminum surfaces. Nickel and copper are fine though as both either have none or with the latter very minimal damage when reacting with liquid metal (usually light-medium stains.)
Also included are 2 very cheap q-tips, a step up from awhile back when they were including plastic paste spreaders, but still terrible nonetheless. The q-tips fall apart and leave lots of residual cotton all in the liquid metal which can cause poor thermals due to air gaps or it the surface area or the cotton being more then the liquid metal in some areas, causing poor heat dissipation. An alternative is to use the tightly wound Japanese q-tips that Grizzly uses which allows things to be spread much easier. The q-tips Coollaboraties uses can get the job done, it's just going to be more of a pain and messy.
The included 70% (yuck) isopropyl alcohol pad was laughably bad as well. It was SOAKED in the solution and was dripping all over the place. I actually had to wring it ouy before using it otherwise my CPU would be drowning in alcohol.
The included 70% (yuck) isopropyl alcohol pad was laughably bad as well. It was SOAKED in the solution and was dripping all over the place. I actually had to wring it ouy before using it otherwise my CPU would be drowning in alcohol.rowning in alcohol.
The syringe tip is also poorly implemented as well. There are design problems thay let you clearly know why CL has been left in the dust by Grizzly products as CL doesn't seem o make the effort to make the process as easy as possible to the point where even trying to get the thermal conductivity data of their products is troublesome. A company not willing to be transparent as well as having a cheaply done, crappy website...always makes me extremely wary.
I applied the paste to my EVGA 980 Ti Classified as well to see if it made any differences. Upon inital cold boot as expected the thermals were 20 degrees celsius higher than with diamond paste as liquid metal is useless in cold environments (it is currently a 34 degrees farenheit Winter in Chicago and my heat isn't turned on so my apartment is ice cold) and works best if there is a lot of heat being generated. Once idle temps dropped from 64 degrees celsius to 48 and never made it past 49 which is 5-6 degrees lower than my idle temps with diamond paste. The mainboard temps settled on 29 degrees which is a 3-4 degree drop from average.
Now for the real tests. For this test I simulated a normal session that would put a bit of stress on the GPU & CPU so I started up a streaming client, chat program, discord, chatbot & Monster Hunter World 1080p high. I was pleasantly surprised at the performance. My old CPU temps before I swapped out the diamond paste were 64 degrees. With CLLP the CPU temps range from 51-54 which is at least a 10 degree drop although similar to when I first applied fresh diamond thermal paste over a year ago.
Next up is the torture of tortures, running this setup while doing a Prime95 blend torture test. It immediately fails with huge bottlenecking and thermal throttling. The degrees shot up to over 70 celsius within 2 minutes and the PC pretty much became unusable.
On to the next test which is just a plain Prime95 torture test with nothing else running in the background. There is no bottlenecking or throttling this time around, but temperatures still rapidly rise to 70 celsius and the Prime95 test runs for about 15 minutes at this degree before the PC freezes entirely.
During this entire time the 980 ti GPU stayed at 68 degrees celsius which is the same as freshly applied diamond thermal paste. Disappointing to say the least. I would say the heat dissipation problems could be tied to the included q-tips falling apart and leaving residuals all in the compound as stated earlier or for the chipsets involved there might not have been enough compound as these are rather large die.
Removing the compound is where the sanding of the steel wool pad comes into play. Above are two pics of what my CPU and cooler looked like after just two days of usage. As you can see the copper plate is stained on the headsink, but the nickle plated copper of the CPU has even heavier stains. To get these out you need to polish the surfaces using the provided pad. This process also removes and bonded metal from the surface. Below is what they look like after being polished.
Overall though from my tests liquid pro performs almost identical to diamond thermal paste. Under normal conditions it excels, but when pushed to the limits the liquid pro compound failed miserably. Keep in mind, on soldered CPUs you won't see much difference as they are already setup to have maximum thermal efficiency due to the soldering. With the inherit quality and design problems I'd pass on this though.
I'm willing to retest it though (this time using better q-tips.) As of now though its on to Conductonaut testing!
2 out of 5 stars
Should you wish to purchase Coollaboratories' Liquid Pro you can find it at the link below: