Spread Pattern

EVGA Frostbite Thermal Grease for Sub-Zero Overclocking

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Finally, a product targeted at the extreme overclockers: EVGA Frostbite Thermal Grease. It’s TIM mind you, but still, it is refreshing to see manufacturers recognizing this market segment as a powerful buying force within the larger technology realm. Below is the press release straight from EVGA followed by some analysis. Plus, we asked some overclocking celebrities and EVGA for comment.

EVGA Frostbite Specifications

EVGA Frostbite Tube (Courtesy EVGA)

EVGA Frostbite Tube (Courtesy EVGA)

EVGA Frostbite Packaging (Courtesy EVGA)

EVGA Frostbite Packaging (Courtesy EVGA)

 

Introducing the EVGA Frostbite Thermal Grease, the world’s first thermal paste validated for extreme overclockers as well as everyday users. The high conductivity ensures maximum thermal transfer for the absolute lowest temperatures. It’s not only about performance though, the EVGA Frostbite Thermal Grease was voted easiest to install in a random survey that compared the top thermal pastes today!

EVGA Frostbite Thermal Grease was tested and certified to be the best on the market by the one of the top overclockers in the industry; Vince “k|ngp|n” Lucido:

“The EVGA Frostbite Thermal Grease is easy to apply and can hold up during extreme benching sessions longer than I have ever seen any thermal great do. On other brands I have used in the past, the paste can act like an insulator and can be really stiff or difficult to work with.”

Features

  • Excellent Thermal Transfer
  • Ranked Easiest Installation
  • Engineered for Extreme Overclockers, Gamers and Everyday Users
  • Over 30% Silver Content
  • 6.5W/M-K Thermal Conductivity
  • 2 Gram Syringe

For more information:

Frostbite Performance Claims

EVGA also included some interesting graphs and images that are worth exploring:

Performance Graphs (Courtesy EVGA - cropped)

Performance Graphs (Courtesy EVGA - cropped)

Spread Pattern (Courtesy EVGA)

Spread Pattern (Courtesy EVGA)

 

These graphs are a little vague since they leave out the names of the competitors. After speaking to EVGA directly, it appears as though they tested their product against top competitors, as they mentioned several TIMs that community members here swear by when benching sub-zero.

When looking at the “Freezing Temperature” graph, it looks as though EVGA Frostbite (as well as the other TIMs tested) freeze at at temperatures between -5 and -80 C. This is not the case, in fact the chart represents optimal performance temperatures. While pastes like Ceramique are rated for up to -150 C, the rating temperatures and the useable temperature differ quite a bit according to EVGA Product Manager, Jacob Freeman. “We tested multiple thermal pastes and their ability to be effective at lower temperatures. What we found is that most pastes really start to have issues at around -10 c, and a few at around -60 c. The EVGA Frostbite was able to still maintain consistency at below -80 c.” So there you have it, EVGA Frostbite will function at lower temperatures than the competition. That makes it worth some consideration when picking up my next batch of TIM.

Enthusiast Response

Even though Vince “k|ngp|n” Lucido is employed by EVGA to some extent, we asked him for further comment on the new thermal paste and testing methodology used:

“We tested some pastes in the lab when trying to find a good solution for our own testing and overclocking  here at evga We tested things like IHS coverage and viscosity after LN2 container is mounted, but most important to us was freezing points and the condition of the pastes once temps  of at or below -100c were applied to the paste itself. The frostbite paste will stay to form at temps of  -80c on an Ln2 pot,  while others we tested would freeze rock solid and actually get brittle, breakdown, and crack off the bottom of the pot  The frostbite paste stays somewhat malleable at -60c which are temps well above most phase change  single stage compressor temps while other pastes we tested would freeze rock solid at much warmer temps. Sometimes during overclocking at extreme cooling Ln2 temps, there is a tendency for the thermal paste to break down and there will be a degradation of overclocking in terms of raw mhz that can be observed. With the frostbite paste, that’s tends to not happen and the clocks remain pretty consistent throughout lengthy bench sessions.”

Experts like Vince may notice a difference with sub-par TIM at frosty temperatures, but for most of us thermal grease is unlikely to cause any major issues when benching LN2 or DICE. However, there are advantages to the potential better thermal contact offered by Frostbite, like keeping the pot and CPU temperatures consistent for example. By stabilizing these forces, the user can accurately adjust temperatures to navigate cold bugs and other potential issues by avoiding quick spikes in temperature. More experienced overclockers will likely spend the extra money to have better control of their rigs. Similar to golfers who prefer soft-core balls to control backswing and spin on the greens, whereas inexperienced golfers tend to prefer the brute force of harder distance-focused golf balls.

EVGA also claims a more consistent spread pattern for this new paste. In my opinion, spread pattern is more dependent on your method of application and less on the type of TIM used. Vince offered his advice here as well:

Best way to use [EVGA Frostbite] is with a pea sized dot in center of IHS and letting in naturally spread out from center when mounting the container. Most importantly for any paste to have good results, you have to have good contact between the mating surfaces of container and IHS of pot. This is critical to maintaining  temperatures and stability when a cpu or gpu goes from idle to load. If the container shows X temp, its only an indication or reference point of the bottom of the container, not the on die temps of the part your cooling. There should be only a trace amount of grease left between the surfaces when container is removed and the imprint of the container on HIS should look even and consistent. No thermal grease in the world can make up for having poor contact between your mating surfaces.

No Overclockers.com article would be complete without an outsider’s perspective as well. We consulted Massman, overclocking guru and owner of HWBOT.org. He pointed out that EVGA’s claim to being the first to manufacturer TIM for extreme overclockers is completely false. OCZ Freeze was the first (and only), but has since been discontinued. That makes EVGA’s Frostbite the only thermal grease on the market specially-designed for sub-zero temperatures, but not the first.

Massman also presumed (like we did) that the graph indicated Frostbite would not work properly past -80 C, which would render the paste “no good” in his opinion. We already cleared that up above, but he makes a valid argument. Until the TIM is tested by an independent third-party, we will not have a clear understanding of useable, freezing and optimal temperatures for Frostbite. After further consideration, Massman suspected the EVGA Frostbite could be basically the same as the Antec Formula 7 paste, as tested here, which was outperformed by OCZ Freeze by a significant margin in sub-zero testing. All in all, Massman was skeptical, but was “very much open to being surprised.”

When asked about his choice in TIM, Guatam, resident expert and world renowned-overclocker, said: “I’ve been using OCZ Freeze lately. Ceramique doesn’t cut it anymore for GPU’s and CPU’s with very low or no cold bug. As far as this stuff goes I just found out about it yesterday like everyone else. No idea how it is, but it’s probably going to be pretty solid cold if Vince tested it to be.”

In order to avoid breaking the bank on lot’s of high-priced grease, Guatam recommends to:

“use Ceramique for most testing and something more expensive for when you think you’re ready for a run that’ll count. IC Diamond is also on the same level as Freeze…actually some people say it’s better. These pastes just yield either slightly better or way better clocks depending on the temperature that your cpu or gpu can run at. Ceramique will just harden up and might possibly be worse than using no TIM in some circumstances. People have picked up up to a couple hundred MHz on the GTX580’s since most of them can run more or less as cold as possible. Same for some Gulftowns and most AMD chips.”

Pretty good strategy there, use the cheaper grease for testing, then when it comes time for the big boint runs slap on some high-quality TIM like IC Diamond, OCZ Freeze or even some new EVGA Frostbite.

Conclusion?

The jury is still out on this product. It will be exciting to see how it performs once it starts infiltrating the market, which is dominated by a few major players. EVGA Frostbite is available now, it’s a little pricey relative to competitors, but I encourage users to give it a try. Please let us know what you think!

– Matt Ring (mdcomp)

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Discussion
  1. I've used PK-1 several times sub-zero, as well as AC MX-4 and Thermalright Chillfactor....but I didn't like any of them as much as Ceramique (though Chillfactor was best of the three, I believe its also ceramic based).
    to be honest if the stuff works, i will just take a picture of the processor so i remember everything or figure out a way to mark it so i know which is which if i ever get more than one processor on my rig. I know Prolimatech PK-1 is just as good as indigo xtreme in some cases but is more epensive than IC Diamond. how would that hold up against extreme conditions?
    Gautam
    There's always IC Diamond, though its expensive and erases the markings on an IHS.


    I didn't know that was good for sub-zero! I actually have a tube of it in my shop.

    You aren't kidding about sanding down the IHS though...one application did quite a bit of erasing on a Thuban I have. With Intel chips it takes three or four applications for it to come off completely (though it fades every time), but AMD comes off more easily; it would probably be gone if I used it again on that Thuban.
    hokiealumnus
    EOL...try again. :p

    EDIT - Smiley notwithstanding, I'm serious; it's discontinued. You can get it at amazon and tiger direct, but no longer at OCZ directly, Newegg or any other place. I'm looking to see what happens when the remaining two run out of stock. :thup:


    It may be discontinued, but there is still a large supply of it floating around. How many years the supply with last, no clue but as far as I'm concerned it's still an easily accessible product.
    EOL...try again. :p

    EDIT - Smiley notwithstanding, I'm serious; it's discontinued. You can get it at amazon and tiger direct, but no longer at OCZ directly, Newegg or any other place. I'm looking to see what happens when the remaining two run out of stock. :thup:
    So....what's the second best? Is there anything for a reasonable cost? Elmor's testing was somewhat flawed (didn't heat up the Ceramique), but even if he had I doubt it would have made up that delta. Since Freeze is EoL, are we forced to go with EVGA (assuming it is as good as it's supposed to be), or are there other options that you more-regular extreme guys use?

    Ceramique is just really hard to pass up with a giant tube being so cheap. :p
    Do you extreme cool? Thats where this product supposedly shines... with that said, get MX-2, AS5, IC Diamond, whatever is cheapest out of those.
    so here is the million dollar question. Has anyone HERE got their hands on this stuff yet? I know it is available on the egg and EVGA has been selling it from their site so has anyone tried it yet? i am placing a big order from newegg and was wondering if it would be worth trying this over IC diamond (since i do not want to pay double shipping from another site)
    Gautam
    Tigerdirect has been seeing me buy a certain product in such high quantities that they've been calling me asking if I was a distributor. :shock:


    Good to know, if they run out I will know where to go ;):thup:
    Brolloks
    OCZ Freeze is still available btw....Get it cheaper than the "new stuff" here :)

    http://www.amazon.com/Ocztfrztc-Extreme-Thermal-Conductivity-Compound/dp/B00128TA78


    Tigerdirect has been seeing me buy a certain product in such high quantities that they've been calling me asking if I was a distributor. :shock:
    OCZ Freeze is still available btw....Get it cheaper than the "new stuff" here :)

    http://www.amazon.com/Ocztfrztc-Extreme-Thermal-Conductivity-Compound/dp/B00128TA78
    mdcomp


    Until speaking with Gautam



    Oh, did someone hijack IMOG's account? :D Matt is right though. In almost all situations, Ceramique is good enough, because you can simply lower the temperature of the pot to compensate. It's only now with coldbugless Gulftowns and GTX580's and the like that you actually need the best contact that you can get.

    edit:

    This is correct.
    This stuff is rebranded Homight paste that you can get in Taiwan for way cheaper than Ceramique :p My gut feeling is it won't stack up to Freeze or IC Diamond, but it's probably better than Ceramique.

    Regarding Ceramique, just because the masses use it, doesn't mean it's the best. ;)

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?263083-Proper-test-of-thermal-pastes&highlight=
    Brolloks
    Questions....so what was used before EVGA came up with this magic subzero TIM? How come ceramique is all of a sudden crap if it was used all these years by the world's top benchers?:shrug: Iirc icebob still bought ten big tubes of ceramique for use on LN2, that alone says enough for me.

    As Ed said, marketing is the only thing that makes the new kid on the block great and the old crap.:rolleyes:


    EVGA didn't say Ceramique was crap. Gautam did.

    EVGA went through many different pastes before coming up with this one. I know a bunch of sub-zeo testing was done, which Vince was personally involved in.

    Until speaking with Gautam and doing research for this article I hadn't realized Ceramique was no good for sub-zero. I think when it comes down to it, many of us have not considered TIM all that much when doing LN2. Thermal transfer, as I mentioned in the article, is not that important because the pot is so damn cold usually. Only way to really test it is by using a die-simulator while managing the flow of LN2 very very carefully in order to get results that make any sense. I think TIM is something overlooked since blips in temperature of 3-5 degrees C don't really matter when you are sub-zero.

    Matt
    Questions....so what was used before EVGA came up with this magic subzero TIM? How come ceramique is all of a sudden crap if it was used all these years by the world's top benchers?:shrug: Iirc icebob still bought ten big tubes of ceramique for use on LN2, that alone says enough for me.

    As Ed said, marketing is the only thing that makes the new kid on the block great and the old crap.:rolleyes: