How cool your CPU runs on your desktop PC typically boils down to two factors: the kind of cooler you’re using, and the thermal paste that allows the former to maintain contact with the lid of the processor. And while there are several brands of the stuff out there, Thermal Grizzly is a brand that’s sought by enthusiasts.
Recently, the brand’s local distributor, Sun Cycle, sent us over its high-end, premium-grade Kryonaut Extreme, a thermal paste that is considered to be a step, if not several, above the German brand’s normal Kryonaut compound.
So, what does one do when given a bottle of premium-grade, expensive thermal compound? Naturally, you put it to the test and measure the difference in performance between it and its non-extreme Kryonaut brethren.
What Is It?
Stating the obvious again, the Kryonaut Extreme is Thermal Grizzly’s top-of-the-line thermal compound, designed to be used by both enthusiast and hardcore PC overclockers, although many in the latter category still tends to gravitate more towards the brand’s liquid-metal Conductonaut.
Unlike most of Thermal Grizzly’s product, the Kryonaut Extreme doesn’t come in a syringe. Instead, the compound is shipped out in a little jar. Additionally, its colour isn’t gray or silver, but closer to bubblegum pink. And before you ask: no, I didn’t try to consume it, and frankly, it smells horrible.
On paper, the compound has a thermal conductivity of 14.2W/mk and 0ps/m electrical conductivity. Further, Thermal Grizzly says that the paste can withstand temperatures as low as -250°C and as high as 350°C.
Is It Any Good?
In order to gauge the performance of the Kryonaut Extreme, I am benchmarking it against Thermal Grizzly’s non-extreme Kryonaut thermal paste. In addition, I tested both thermal compounds with the GamerStorm Castle 240EX White AiO cooler. As for the CPU, I ran tests using AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900X.
Ultimately, I am able to push the 3900X further using the thermal paste, but only by a small amount. Where the maximum clock I am able to achieve using the standard Kryonaut was 4.4GHz, swapping it out for the Kryonaut Extreme allowed me to squeeze out a little more performance at a 4.525GHz.
I also had to crank up the voltage to 1.5V, but surprisingly, doing that did allow the CPU to consistently run at that speed, and without crashing the system.
The Bad Stuff. Tell Me.
If there is a fault to be found with the Kryonaut Extreme, it’s the price. The stuff retails at a whopping RM459, which is exorbitant and far higher than the brand’s standard Kryonaut paste that retails at RM79 at most.
Honestly, if I’m getting myself a tub of Kryonaut Extreme, it would have to be for one of several reasons. The first is if I suddenly develop a fascination with extreme overclocking and liquid nitrogen and it’s only through this that I believe will be a difference between the two compound’s heat management be noticeable.
The second reason I can imagine anyone even considering getting obtaining a tub of Kryonaut Extreme is bragging rights of having one of Thermal Grizzly’s best heat-dissipating compound slathered on between their CPU and cooler. That, or the person in question has an excess amount of disposable income.
Should I Buy It?
At RM459, Thermal Grizzly’s Kryonaut Extreme clearly isn’t a thermal compound made for the average DIY PC builder. As I mentioned, the high-end paste is clearly aimed towards extreme overclockers and despite my meagre gains from pushing the CPU’s performance, the gains from it are negligible.
That said, and given that the Kryonaut Extreme has both a greater minimum and maximum temperature threshold, it could serve to save extreme overclockers both the time and effort of having to de-lidding a CPU – to be clear, this isn’t me assuming that this is an all too common practice amongst overclockers – and just testing the CPU as is.
But again, if you’re an individual with lots of disposable income or if you’re the kind of person that wants nothing but the best of everything in your gaming PC, then I say: have at this high-end thermal paste.