Arctic Silver 5 vs Arctic Cooling MX-4

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Mar 7, 2010
I recently bought a new cpu cooler that says it works best with Arctic Cooling MX-4. I accidentally got Arctic Silver 5. Should I bother replacing the AS5 with MX-4, or will I get basically the same results? Also, I won't be overclocking.


Jun 3, 2013
Very late reply for anyone considering both pastes.

It really makes no difference. Some benchmarks show AS5 as cooler and some show MX4 as cooler. With any top-thermal paste any difference is due to your application method. Therefore, if you prefer the line method, use AS5. If you prefer the small pea/grain of rice method, use MX4 (my preferred method).


Aug 19, 2009

I would follow the directions and use the MX4. Personally don't care what someone's tests with a bunch of charts and numbers say. I've been building computers / laptops and repairing them for 10 years and I started out using AS5. Until I had to replace my thermal paste on my own CPU every so often and it would take 25 Q tips with Artic silver cleaning solution (or you could just google or look on eBay for any TIM cleaner containing Delemone, I got a bottle of ASKE TIM cleaner with the same stuff, about 4 times as much, for less than the artic silver cleaner, you don't need the purifier bottle of solution, just use rubbing alcohol and make sure all the delemone is off the CPU before you apply thermal paste) because AS5 has a 200 hour burn in time, they tell you that themselves, so don't throttle your CPU or GPU until 200 hours passes by?? Ya right. Just use MX4 which I've always gotten an as low if not lower temperature ALWAYS, every single time. Because it's not super thick with bits of silver in it (oh yeah by the way, if you get any AS5 on one of those outside metal chips on your CPU and it touches the middle heat pad, you will burn up your processor or GPU). Stick with the non conductive MX4 which every time I've researched it or spoke about this with 99% of people say they use MX4, TUNIQ, and even MX2. I would research it though if you don't believe me. There were a bunch of people on another forum talking about IC Diamond 7 was the best thermal paste in the world. Then after I bought some and realized there were huge chunks of the so called diamond bits in my tube (this happened to many other people to) I stopped listening to people and just try a small amount out on a DEAD or OLD CPU until you get used to laying it. Just hope you didn't make the mistake of putting a ton on. All you need is enough to equal to rice grains to cover a desktop CPU.


Feb 13, 2015

It seems that someone working on PCs for 10 years (unless there is a 9.5 year gap between one and another, and you think this equals ten years experience), you would realize how amateur you sound, as well as your advice is.
1. Isopropyl Alcohol and a soft cloth work perfectly for cleaning up Thermal Paste, in only a few seconds, in all cases.
2. The "burn in time" is inconsequential, it makes an average of a 2C difference, and is due to air being forced out over time, it is something that occurs with ALL compounds (it is physics, not some special sauce).
3. A "throttling" CPU is due to the Intel CPU overheating (AMD doesn't throttle, it just stays hot until it dies), and slowing itself down to try to reduce the temp, if this is happening, there is another problem that needs addressed immediately. If you are reducing the clock speed manually, because you think a "burn in" needs to be done, you need a LOT more education on the subject before you should even TOUCH the components of a PC (I hope there are not too many people who trust you to do so)
4. Conductive compounds can short out a CPU, but it has nothing to do with the "heat pad" (I believe you are talking about the heat spreader, not sure what else you would mean), it is because you shorted out the pins on the CPU or Socket directly, it doesn't matter if it touches the heat spreader or not. It also takes a ridiculous amount of TIM to do this, common sense prevails here, a pea sized drop will be sufficient, applied in any of the common methods (this is inconsequential as well).
5. There is nothing wrong with Arctic Silver, or MX4, or MX2, or the Diamond stuff, or ceramic, or any other decent TIMs, they all perform within a couple of degrees of each other, and will be fine in any PC. Simply use whatever you already have, or can get the best deal on.
6. This argument is very old, and based on hype/marketing, and perpetuates due to consumer attitudes, and those who claim to be experienced/professionals who buy into this marketing rather than having the experience to know the truth. Someone with 10 years (actual) experience in PC service should know this, and should be respectable enough in their profession to not perpetuate this b.s. (unless you have a contract with a manufacturer, and profit from the retail sale of the product, which makes you a salesman and not a tech, in which case, they shouldn't listen to you anyway).

Someone with experience, who is a professional tradesman, gives a simple, straight answer to simple questions like this. The proper answer to this persons question would be "The Arctic silver will be fine, there is no need to spend more money to get the MX-4". If you would like to add something to that, it should simply be, for example, "If the Arctic Silver does not seem to perform as expected, you should check that you applied enough of it, and that there is not another problem with the cooler or CPU settings".
Someone who does NOT know these things, and has little real world experience, should NEVER claim that they do, as their "advice" will give little relevant input, or could even cause someone to damage their computer because they listened to someone who had no business answering their question to begin with. They asked the question because they are inexperienced and wanted guidance, you should respect that by letting qualified people answer their question, because those answers have consequences far beyond your pride or "image". There is nothing worse than an ignorant person, who thinks they are knowledgeable.


Feb 10, 2016

Just purchased Artic MX-4 last week, used it and was disappointed. Gone back to using Artic Silver 5. "If it ain't broken, don't fix it ! " New is not always better. with MX-4 my CPU temp Idle in mid 40c, GPU hanging at near 45 to 50c. What break in period ? 2 days, 2 weeks or 6 months. Artic Silver 5 applied immediate difference back to upper 20's to mid 30's with no load and idle. MX-4 is junk !!!! Been "BIY" building PC's since 2008. Yes! Artic Silver 5 maybe get caked and dry after 4 to 6 years. Remove and clean, can use LINE or Pea method as both work (start in the center of the chip). "X" makes a Mess and if you Spread to make a bed as that don't work very well and may heat up and become dead.
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