“Thermal compound products are the weakest link in transferring heat between component and heat sink. Our goal is to eliminate this weak point. We had the idea to do this by using high-performance thermal compound products for several years now”. This statement pretty much sums up the ideology of Thermal Grizzly. This statement is from their founder, Eike Salow. Thermal Grizzly needs no introduction, to be honest. They are based in Germany and their thermal pastes are highly popular among overclockers, enthusiasts, and regular PC users.
Thermal paste is of paramount consideration when it comes to the effective cooling of the main components like CPU, GPU, PCH, and any other chipset. There are multiple factors contributing towards the optimal performance of the given thermal paste over the period of time like its thermal conductance, viscosity, operating temperature range, make-up, electrically conductive, cure time, etc.
We did a round-up content of 240mm size AIOs back in 2021 which is still among our high-ranking contents. Thermal Grizzly was among the sponsors. They provided Kryonaut Extreme thermal paste for that content. Later on, we took that idea one step ahead and pitched high-end air coolers against the 240mm size AIOs. We used Kryonaut Extreme in that content as well.
This time we are doing a third round-up content on 360mm size AIOs and Thermal Grizzly has once again graced us with the Kryonaut Extreme thermal paste for this content. We have tested this thermal paste separately for this content.
It is important to pay attention to the packing quantity of the thermal paste when comparing the price. Thermal Grizzly has sent us 9ml packing box. This counts for approximately 33gm of thermal paste in one container. This thermal paste is also available in 2gm pack. Since, we are comparing this thermal paste against Noctua NT-H1 so we have included its pricing as well.
|Thermal Paste||Quantity||Price||Price per gm|
|Kryonaut Extreme||33gm||USD 85 /||USD 2.57 / £2.72|
|Kryonaut Extreme||2gm||USD 22.88||USD 11.44|
|Noctua NT-H1||3.5gm/10gm||USD 9 / USD 15||USD 2.57 / USD 1.50|
We have taken US Dollar pricing from NewEgg whereas the UK pricing is taken from Overclockers UK at the time of this writing. We can see that buying a 33gm pack of Kryonaut Extreme is giving more value than buying a 2gm pack. In fact, 33gm pack of Thermal Grizzly equals the 3.5gm of Noctua NT-H1. However, 10gm pack of Noctua NT-H1 is costing USD $1.07 less. This is where the performance of the thermal paste would come into the equation to give a full answer.
The 9ml paste is supplied in a black color cardboard box. Thermal Grizzly is written in bold red color font over here.
Taking a look at the backside, Thermal Grizzly has listed salient features/specifications of this thermal paste. One in particular is thermal conductivity rating of this thermal paste which is 14.2W/m*k.
When we opened the box, a user guide paper was found placed over the contents.
There is a black color thick Styrofoam pad inside the box. The thermal paste container is tucked on the right side. The left side has 3x Spatulas.
The above picture shows the total contents of a single box:
- A user guide
- Authenticity Scan Label
- 3x Spatulas
- 1x Thermal Paste Container
Here is what Thermal Grizzly is saying about its Kryonaut Extreme, “Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Extreme is based on our well known Kryonaut paste. For Kryonaut Extreme the maximum thermal conductivity was accomplished due to the smallest particle size, thinner minimum layer height and improved low temperature application. Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Extreme is extremely high performance thermal grease, which shows its true capabilities in cryogenic environment such as extreme overclocking with liquid nitrogen. Additional electrically non-conductive aluminiumoxide nano particles and improved application evolved Kryonaut Extreme to our new high-end product. In cooperation with leading engineers and pro-overclockers Thermal Grizzly made sure Kryonaut Extreme works in ambient application such as water cooling as well as with extreme overclocking such as liquid nitrogen.”
The above picture shows three spatulas for thermal paste application.
Thermal Grizzly has suggested two application methods for this thermal paste:
- Use a 3x3mm drop and use a spatula to even spread it
- Use a 3x3mm drop in X form
The container is made of plastic and it has Thermal Grizzly branding over it.
There is a white color seal on top of the container under the removable lid.
Take a peek at the thermal paste.
The salient features of this thermal paste are:
- designed for Overclocking
- no curing
- long-term durability
- non-electrically conductive
From the Thermal Grizzly statement, we know one thing that this thermal paste is based on aluminum oxide nanoparticles. It is a silicon-based thermal paste. We could not find the full chemical composition of this thermal paste. The viscosity of this thermal paste is 130 to 180 pas. Usually, the higher viscosity would mean that the thermal paste would not bleed or disappear quickly. The specific gravity or weight is 3.76g/cm³. This thermal paste is pink/Light red in color and has a temperature range of -250°C to +350°C making it suitable for any cooling requirement be it liquid nitrogen-based overclocking or water cooling. The thermal resistance of this paste is 0.003232K/W.
Now coming to the main point of this article, the following configuration is used for thermal paste testing: –
- Intel i7 10700k [5.0GHz at 1.350V]
- MSI Z490 TOMAHAWK
- Noctua NH-D15 Chromax.Black
- T-Force NightHawk RGB DDR4 16GB @ 3200MHz CAS 16
- Colorful iGame GeForce GTX 1050Ti [For Display]
- Addlink S70 256GB NVMe SSD [For OS]
- bequiet! Straight Power 11 850W Platinum PSU
- Praxis Wetbench
The following testing methodology is used for the thermal paste testing:
- Intel core i7 10700k was set to run at 5.0GHz on all cores using 1.350V.
- The chip was drawing power of nearly 182W on the package.
- A graphics card with a much higher heat load or the HEDT/EPYC CPUs with large surface areas are better candidates for thermal paste testing.
- Thermal pastes were spread evenly on the CPU IHS.
- A test run of 30 minutes was done using Cinebench R23.2 on stock settings first.
- PC was powered off for a minimum of 30 minutes after a stress test run. This would allow the completion of the thermal cycle with hot and cold runs giving the thermal paste some time to reach its near-optimal condition.
- The system was put on idle for 10 minutes before taking the Idle temperature values.
- A stress run of 30 minutes was done using Cinebench R23.2.
- CPU Package Temperature is taken as a reporting value.
- Ideally, we would have wanted to do 3 tests as a minimum for a single thermal paste and show the average of these three runs. I am recovering from a total hip replacement surgery and slowly resuming the testing hence only one test result is used
- The fans of the air cooler were set to run at their full speed for which the settings were made in UEFI/BIOS.
- HWInfo64 was used to monitor the sensors.
The above picture shows a thermal paste application.
Please note that not every run of the stress test may yield the same result. This could well be due to many factors like mounting pressure, thermal paste application, and varying ambient temperature. Not to mention the silicon differences even among the same category of chips. Hence, it is pertinent to mention the testing methodology along with the specifics. Each time the even spread of the thermal paste was verified and where the thermal paste spread was not even or gives the impression of a tear or a poor application, the result was dropped and the new test with the correct spread was repeated. This is done to ensure the validity of the data.
In case you are wondering why I did not use a new platform like AMD Ryzen 7000 series or Intel 13th generation platform, the issue with new platforms is their high thermal density. AMD Ryzen 7000 series CPU will hit 95°C which is by design whereas the Intel SKUs run warm even on stock settings. This makes it difficult to test the coolers and thermal pastes the old traditional way. The only way around is to see for how long a given cooler can maintain the operating frequencies before hitting the thermal junction or what score a cooler gives in software like CINEBENCH R23.2. Cutting it short, we stick with the 10th generation platform so that we can test using the traditional way.
Let’s take a look at the results.
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Extreme lowers the temperature by 4°C over the Noctua NT-H1.
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Extreme is a high-performance thermal paste targeted for extreme overclockers and enthusiasts. Least to say even regular PC users can use this thermal paste to squeeze the CPU performance by lowering the temperature. This thermal paste is available in two size packs including:
- 2gm Pack
- 33gm / 9ml Pack
Thermal Grizzly has sent us 9ml pack as they are among the sponsors for our upcoming round-up content. This thermal paste is:
- Electrically Non-Conductive
- High Viscosity
- High Thermal Conductivity
This thermal paste is silicon-based and combined with nanoparticles from aluminum oxide. It has a thermal conductivity rating of 14.2W/m*K making it among the few listed options in the market to touch this high rating. Another strong point of this thermal paste is the Viscosity of 150 to 180 Pa.s. These two variables make this thermal paste a good candidate for high-pressure mounting. Particularly, we would expect this thermal paste to last longer without bleeding or disappearing. The paste has a pink/light red color and its specific gravity is 3.76 g/cm³. The operating temperature range is -250°C~+350°C. This temperature rating is quite phenomenal making this thermal paste suitable for extreme overclocking using liquid nitrogen or water cooling even air cooling like how we have tested. The application of the thermal paste is convenient.
This thermal paste is designed for maximum thermal conductivity using smallest particle size, thinner minimum layer height, and improved low-temperature application. In case you find this thermal paste (from 9ml container) hard to apply, keep in mind that viscosity is temperature bound. You can put the container in a cup of hot water and take it out after a few minutes. It would be easy to spread this thermal paste then. We tested this thermal paste at an ambient of 25 to 26°C and it was not hard to apply. You can use the spatula to evenly spread the paste or apply X form in which case the mounting pressure would optimally spread the paste.
The pricing of 9ml pack of Kryonaut Extreme is USD 85. This would mean buying this pack would actually cost you USD 2.57 per gm which is same as buying a Noctua NT-H1 3.5gm. Since we have tested both thermal pastes in this content hence prices of both are being reported. The 10gm NT-H1 would cost you USD 1.50. Now, you would say, hey, Noctua is costing less but wait. It is not a complete picture. In our thermal testing, the Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Extreme has provided a temperature drop of 4°C over the Noctua NT-H1 showing superb thermal performance. The 9ml pack is actually a better value compared to a 2gm pack which is priced at USD 22.88 at the time of this writing. We have taken these prices from NewEgg.
The Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Extreme is a high-performance thermal paste proving its worth in our testing and it comes recommended by us.