We had a chance to snatch one of Gelid's top of the notch thermal compounds, the GC-Extreme. While everyday users are sticking to stock coolers and the supplied thermal paste, the world of enthusiasts is a bit different.
In the world of enthusiasts every degree of temperature does matter, and a good thermal compound can give you those extra few degrees in order to achieve high overclock without getting over certain temperature threshold, and that’s where the high-end thermal compound jumps in.
The GC-Extreme looks exactly like every other thermal compound that Gelid released so far. It has a neat but practical package, in a black and green color theme which matches Gelid’s Gamer line of products. The front of the package includes all the necessary details and as you can see, some awards from guys from TechpowerUp, and even us, as we managed to get this one and the retail one after, before it actually went out to the market, but we’ll get to that award part in our conclusion.
It also comes with Gelid Applicator, which is actually a small spoon-like thing which helps you to spread the compound over the CPU without getting your hands, or any other object, dirty.
The tube contains 3.5 grams of GC-Extreme thermal compound which Gelid markets with ultimate heat conductivity, non-electrical conductive, non-corrosive and non-curring features. The non-electrical conductive feature is a neat move as there will be no accidental problems if some of it manages to sneak off the CPU HIS.
The installation is pretty straight forward as all you have to do is squeeze out a small amount of thermal compound on the CPU and spread it around evenly. The process is quite easy as it is harder to unmount and mount the CPU cooler back.
Now we get to the interesting part of the review, the performance. We must note that we were a bit skeptical about the performance of this thermal compound, as honestly Gelid is a pretty young company and we were quite sure that the veterans like for example CoolerMaster and even Arctic Cooling.
We didn’t include the results of Arctic Cooling due to the change of the CPU cooler, but we did try it against Gelid’s older GC-1 and CoolerMaster’s ThermalFusion 400 which are quite good. We even tried it on one of the (Nvidia GTX 285) graphics card which we had around and even there it performed much better than the stock thermal compound.
Don’t get us wrong, as the thermal compound isn’t meant for miracles. The CPU cooler is the thing that matters and thermal compound can give you few degrees of difference. Of course, if you compare it to the reference thermal paste that usually comes pre-applied, for example, on the stock Intel cooler, you will be looking at a difference of over 10 degrees.
As we already noted, we were quite skeptical about the performance as Gelid is a quite new and young company, and we were honestly quite surprised. Gelid managed to squeeze additional few degrees when compared to its older GC-1 thermal compound without making any serious adjustments to the price. As you can see from the results, the CPU with GC-Extreme is up to three degrees cooler when compared to the older GC-1, and it is even cooler than the ThermalFusion 400, which is selling for about the same price as the GC-Extreme.
Even without changing the cooler, we advise users to change the thermal compound as it usually matters. Up to 10 degrees Celsius on the CPU temperature, is not a joke and, in addition to the longer life, it can sometimes give you lower overall system temperatures, depending on the situation.
Gelid managed to make a very good product, and we expect the price to drop once this one start to appear in more retail/e-tail shops. It is the best of the best, and we are quite sure that enthusiast will certainly go for it.
Gelid's GC-Extreme thermal compound is a clear winner, as it provides lower temperatures for the same price. It is clear that Gelid keeps getting better and better in this game, and GC-Extreme is clear proof of that.
If you take the MSRP of $9.99 into consideration, GC-Extreme has a clear advantage over the competition and it clearly deserves our Recommended award.