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Consumer Warning - Thermal Grease

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Colin

Arctic Silver Senior
Joined
Dec 19, 2000
Out of curiosity, I picked up a couple of tubes of "silver" thermal compound at Comp USA. Comp USA's own brand and Antech's latest. There is something funny going on here that I don't think the unsuspecting consumer is going to laugh about.

The Antech compound states that it contains 75% to 80% silver with a net weight of 3 grams. I noticed that the Antech tube felt considerably lighter than a fresh tube of Arctic Silver 3, so I weighed them. Even though they use the same syringe and contain the same volume of thermal compound, the Antech weighs almost a gram less than the Arctic Silver. If the content of the Antech syringe weighs that much less than Arctic Silver, it cannot contain the 75% to 80% silver with a net weight of 3 grams as stated on the label. Furthermore, the Antech grease has a very light gray color, only slightly darker than Arctic Alumina. I seriously doubt that the Antech grease is what Antech claims.

The Comp USA brand compound is another conundrum. The label states a silver content of 85% to 90%. It comes in the same syringe as the Titan and Stars 700 silver greases. Wonder of wonders, it has the same volume and weighs the same too. The Titan silver grease claims a silver content of 10% while the Stars 700 label states a silver content of 25%. If the three tubes weigh the same, obviously the Comp USA thermal compound cannot have a silver content of 85% to 90%. The Titan, the Stars 700 and the Comp USA grease all look and feel the same. Further evidence that something funny is going on.

I don't think a manufacturer the size of Antech and a major retailer like Comp USA would do this intentionally, so maybe they got duped by their suppliers. Still the evidence is convincing that something is amiss. There is no way these compounds can contain the material stated on the labels. Buyer beware
 

Diggrr

Underwater Senior Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2001
Thanks for the heads up, Colin.

I'm perfectly happy to stick with my GE silicone (white) goop. That 6oz. tub will outlast anything I can do, and keeps my temps down nicely too. I hadn't even been slightly tempted by the alternatives until Arctic Alumina came out, but that's just curiosity.
;)
 

DeltaSierra

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2001
Location
Milwaukee, WI
That is an interesting finding. Colin, do you think this was a "one-time" fluke? Or, if you had more samples to compare, would your results be the same? Sounds like an opportunity for an article.
 
OP
C

Colin

Arctic Silver Senior
Joined
Dec 19, 2000
I know this is not a fluke. The compounds specifications do not match what is printed on the labels. The best possible explanation is perhaps Antech and Comp USA were misled. At this point I will give them the benefit of the doubt.
 

starscream33

Registered
Joined
Feb 26, 2002
Benefit of doubt or not, they are selling products with false labeling. I am assuming you have an accurate scale and have done your homework carefully.

I hate the idea of lawyers, because too many people are quick to sue, but I also hate companies doing whatever they can to make a buck...the latest Best Buy/NVidia GForce4 scandal comes to mind. So if you think your findings are correct, you can either bring it to their attention and get a form letter with no change what-so-ever, or get a sue happy lawyer to file a class-action suite which is the only thingy that companies respond to these days.:mad:
 

Spartacus51

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2001
Location
Wisconsin
hmmm. I'm also tempted to do a lab expirement now. Still in HS, and I get along well with the chem teacher. Perhaps a quantitative analysis is necessary. Anyone wanna chip in the $10-$50 necessary to do the lab? ($10 a tube)
 

starscream33

Registered
Joined
Feb 26, 2002
If you drag this thingy into a lab, you might also want to test electrical conductivity/resistance test. Silver is conductive. Although I don't know if these compounds can cunduct electricity, it makes sense that they can. And if I remember my science classes correctly, there are 3 tests you always want to do on metals if you want to find out purity....

1> weight
2> mass
3> electrical conductivity/resistance

Just a thought.
 

starscream33

Registered
Joined
Feb 26, 2002
If you drag this thingy into a lab, you might also want to test electrical conductivity/resistance test. Silver is conductive. Although I don't know if these compounds can cunduct electricity, it makes sense that they can. And if I remember my science classes correctly, there are 3 tests you always want to do on metals if you want to find out purity....

1> weight
2> mass
3> electrical conductivity/resistance

Just a thought.
 

Brant

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Yes artic silver could have too much silver, most likely making it better?
 
OP
C

Colin

Arctic Silver Senior
Joined
Dec 19, 2000
Here is a photo for your viewing pleasure. From left to right, Silmore zinc oxide, Antech Silver Reference, Arctic Silver II and Arctic Silver 3.
 

Brant

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Holly crap, It doesnt look like the antech has any silver in it, almost as white as the zinc oxide
 

soil

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2001
Location
Sydney
Brant said:
Holly crap, It doesnt look like the antech has any silver in it, almost as white as the zinc oxide

is it of any remote possibility those "silver" thermal paste containing any mercury?
 

Brant

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Why would you think they contain mercury?

Mercury is toxic and doesn't conduct heat very well.
 

soil

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2001
Location
Sydney
Brant said:
Why would you think they contain mercury?

Mercury is toxic and doesn't conduct heat very well.

I barely remember the thermal conductivity of murcury is between copper and silver, anyway it does not belong to the low type

working with the silver thermal paste (esp when my finger is stuck with some) I have a "feeling" that mercury is involved. Isn't dissolving silver or copper into mercury will make a very good media in infiltrating into porous surface?

I hope I'm wrong and actually I know my post is not very responsible to those developing the thermal paste but (1) as you said this metal is toxic (2) some other thermal pastes can be made in countries which does not regulate things like this well (3) mercury may improve performance and thus it may be tempting for some people to do so
 

cjlax5

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2002
Location
San Diego
starscream33 said:

I hate the idea of lawyers, because too many people are quick to sue, but I also hate companies doing whatever they can to make a buck...the latest Best Buy/NVidia GForce4 scandal comes to mind.

sorry that this does not apply to the thread, but i feel i should point this out. the best buy thing was not even close to a scandal, the just made a typo. it says right on the page they are not responsible for the errors. this has all been stated before, it would have been nice if the people had gotten the cards, but they didnt. unlike the problem w/ the thermal compounds, best buy was not trying to trick or lie to the customer
 

Pepsi

THIEF AND A TROLL -Silversinksam
Joined
Nov 1, 2001
Location
Twister City
I would think he is most likely correct. As many other products are this is a some goop sold to 50 different companies that just slap their name on it and boast the fact that our goop works. It's always been buyer beware in the PC market and the informed consumer gets what he wants, not what he thinks he is buying.
I have used their goop it was better than Rad Shak ............it's all part of the learning curve. But I agree it's thinner looking and more grey than silver. Clue it's easy to remove....Artic silver on the other hand.
Stay Cool
Pepsi
 

vandersl

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2001
Why are people so willing to jump on the anti-company bandwagon these days?

The Antec silver thermal compund comes in a 3g tube, and is 75% to 80% silver BY WEIGHT not BY VOLUME.

Silver is very heavy, so it is possible that it only occupies 10% or so of the compound by volume (depends on what its mixed with). Its likely you would not notice a difference in the volume of 3g of 10% silver compound and 80% silver compound.

I have a question - how much did the tubes actually weigh? (the AS3 and the Antec). If they were 3.5g and 4.5g, then I'd say you might have something to complain about. If they were 15.5g and 16.5g, then I'd have to ask why you think the difference in the weight is due to the 3g of paste, and not the 12.5g tube.