Review and testing of thermal paste Noctua NT-H2


Since its inception in 2005, Noctua has offered customers only one version of its wonderful thermal interface called NT-H1. For over 14 years, this paste has been bundled with all Noctua coolers and sold separately in retail packs. Only at the end of January 2019, an updated version of NT-H2 thermal paste appeared in its assortment, in which, according to the manufacturer, the composition and consistency were slightly improved, which made it possible to obtain better cooling results in a number of use cases. We immediately requested a novelty for review. As a result, Noctua kindly provided us with not only the new NT-H2 for comparison, but also the NT-H1 in an updated package, and even a set of cleaning wipes for the NA-SCW1 processor. All this was immediately tested in practice, and you can read about the results in this review.

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Thermal paste Noctua NT-H2

The new thermal paste comes in a small cardboard box, on the front side of which there is an image of it against the background of the processor. It is immediately reported that the paste is highly effective, easy to apply and clean, does not conduct electricity and does not cause corrosion, has a long service life and is immediately ready for use. From the interesting information on the back you can find out that the volume of the product is 1.2 ml and, in theory, it should be enough to apply from 3 to 20 times, depending on the size of the processor cover. In addition, the recommended shelf life of the paste before use should not exceed three years, and the life on the processor can be up to five years without the need for replacement.

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A 3.5-gram syringe with thermal paste inside is fixed in a cardboard pedestal, on the side of which there are QR codes leading directly to video instructions for use.

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In the package, in addition to thermal paste, there are three sealed bags with cleaning wipes. In addition, on the back of the cardboard there is a visual instruction on how much and where to apply the paste on processors of different sizes. So, for covers from the Intel 115x family, it is still enough to put a drop in the center, but on the covers of processors like Intel 2011 or AMD, it is already assumed that four small droplets must also be placed in the corners for complete distribution over the surface of the heat sink.

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Unfortunately, there are no visual marks on the syringe that allow you to estimate the amount of paste remaining inside, therefore, in the old fashioned way, you have to separate the sticker. I note right away that the color of the paste has become a little lighter in comparison with NT-H1.

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Thermal paste Noctua NT-H1

The NT-H1 was previously shipped in a blister pack with a cardboard insert at the back. Now the packaging will be externally the same as that of the NT-H2. Of the interesting differences that are mentioned in the specifications on the packaging, I note the lower density of the old paste (2.49 g / cm3 vs. 2.81 g / cm3), a larger volume of 1.4 ml vs. 1.2 ml, and a smaller temperature range use – from -50 to +110 degrees Celsius, while for NT-H2 it is declared from -50 to 200 degrees.

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Inside there is also a cardboard tab, which contains a syringe with paste. But no napkins.

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If you pay attention to the application instructions, we will see that for large covers of AMD and Intel 2011 processors, it is still recommended to put only one dot of paste in the center. This suggests significant differences in the viscosity of the old and new versions of the thermal interface.

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Napkins Noctua NA-SCW1

Ever since processors stopped being sold bare-die and manufacturers started putting covers on them to evenly distribute heat, many new computer enthusiasts have begun to forget about the need to clean and degrease contact surfaces. The thermal paste was removed and cleaned with what was necessary, and sometimes a new one was completely molded over the old one. That’s especially for them, probably, Noctua and released these cleansing wipes NA-CW1. Supplied in a black box, on the reverse side of which there is a short instruction for use.

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Inside contains 20 wipes in separate sealed bags.

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The front of the package shows the company logo and the name of the product, on the back – describes the instructions for use and precautions. Here, too, there are QR codes leading directly to the video instructions.

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The napkin itself is a thin soft and fibrous white paper, 150×120 mm in size, folded three times. It is impregnated on departure, judging by the smell, with isopropyl alcohol, although I may be wrong. The manufacturer does not give exact data on the composition of the cleanser.

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In use, the napkin turns out to be quite effective, although, as a rule, two pieces have to be spent on a complete cleaning of one contact surface. In addition, the cleaning liquid evaporates slowly and leaves streaks on the surface. Therefore, from my point of view, the cover of the processor cover and the base of the cooler should be wiped again with a dry cloth, cotton wool or paper, immediately after cleaning, in order to remove the remaining liquid.


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