Spread Pattern

EVGA Frostbite Thermal Grease for Sub-Zero Overclocking

Add Your Comments

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)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discussion
  1. Interesting product... I took away to stay away from ceramique when going cold?
    Good thing I use regular AS5 or MX2.
    Where every boint counts, this could be helpful. As a daily driver, it seems to work just as well. Win win.
    EarthDog
    Interesting product... I took away to stay away from ceramique when going cold?
    Good thing I use regular AS5 or MX2.
    Where every boint counts, this could be helpful. As a daily driver, it seems to work just as well. Win win.

    I thought that wasn't it at all, that AS5/MX2 freezes at a much warmer/higher temperature than Ceramique does making it a far worse solution when going sub-zero.
    Ceramique sucks for really cold subzero (or any subzero for that matter), OCZ Freeze and this eVGA Frostbite stuff are good for LN2 temps (colder than -70c). That's what I took out of it anyway.
    EarthDog
    Wow... Im not sure what the hell I read...

    You too? I was like "Whaa..."
    At any rate, I don't ever plan on messing with LN2 or Liquid Helium...I am a poor man. If this works, More power to ya.
    Of course, not that long ago Ceramique is what very nearly every extreme OCer used, from that G said it's only at really cold temps (no CB no CBB) that it's an issue.
    Everything from Vince and EVGA is by definition, advertising. Hence the "data" is highly suspect at best.
    Thats not why... Janus made me think twice about ther ceramique, not that I didnt understand it. Now GR has me going back to read the whole thing again... Geez.
    Massman also presumed (like we did) that the graph indicated Frostbite would not work properly -80 C, which would render the paste “no good” in his opinion.

    Proofread before publishing boys...
    I believe that word should have been past and not paste... :D
    Good catch. Fixed. Got paste on the mind ha.
    Experts were saying that Ceramique isn't good for sub-zero benching. That's what I gathered from talking to a few people while researching the topic. Beyond -30, use something made for sub-zero like Freeze or Frostbite, not Ceramique.
    Yes, what Bobnova said is correct, everything from EVGA and Vince should be taken with a grain of salt. I asked them additional questions and got good answers. I know Vince was involved with the actual testing under LN2, so I consider his insight to be of value, even if he does work for EVGA.
    Matt
    So ceramique isn't good for subzero anymore? :shrug: This is the first time I have ever heard that statement... I am fairly new to benching, but I have never had any issues with my ceramique working under SS, Dice or n2. Sounds like a money grab to me :escape:
    Always used ceramique never had trouble with it cracking or losing contact.
    I have had it freeze before under DICE, but it had such good contact with the cpu, I'd have to let it warm up before I could remove the dice pot from the cpu.
    ChanceCoats123
    I don't mind whether or not it's the best, I can get 150 mounts of ceramique for $6 or, 3-5 mounts of EVGA for $15. No thanks.

    This couldn't of been said any better.
    MattNo5ss
    I don't even use paste with my cascade, I don't see a point :shrug:
    I'd rather have evap to IHS contact...

    you get much better contact using a TIM of some kind. thats the whole idea behind using paste whether sub-zero or ambient. since both surfaces no matter how smooth they appear are extremely rough and don't make very good contact. it is like putting 2 pieces of 80 grit sandpaper together.
    I know the reason for TIM. I just don't think the microscopic air pockets matter when that cold. My last two sessions I got down to -118C, no TIM. Other sessions with TIM, I got down to -109C. The evap to IHS contact without TIM seems better than the contact with frozen TIM between them. You want as much metal to metal contact as possible, the TIM makes it more like a double stuff oreo...
    MattNo5ss
    I know the reason for TIM. I just don't think the microscopic air pockets matter when that cold. My last two sessions I got down to -118C, no TIM. Other sessions with TIM, I got down to -109C. The evap to IHS contact without TIM seems better than the contact with frozen TIM between them. You want as much metal to metal contact as possible, the TIM makes it more like a double stuff oreo...

    ChanceCoats123
    Matt, where did you get that temperature from? If you're reading evap temp, then that just means there was less load on the evap without TIM. Lol

    +1
    Hmm...I was thinking of it as the colder the evap the colder the CPU, warmer the evap the warmer the CPU.
    I see your point of view, but from that way of thinking, the higher the temps the better, which doesn't make sense... CPU temp doesn't go down as evap temp increases...