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Arctic Silver is a well known name to PC enthusiasts all over the world. Artic Silver 5 is the standard thermal transfer paste used by reviewers, over-clockers, and anyone that wants to keep their hot-running components as cool as possible.

So you’ve bought yourself some Arctic Silver 5, and you want to replace the current thermal paste you’re using. But how do you clean it off? There are several methods around, from using methylated spirits to rubbing alcohol, but the Arctic Silver company has created a two-part solution, ArctiClean, designed to completely remove all traces of thermal pads and transfer compounds from the CPU and heatsink. This product is the subject of my review today.

 

 


 

 

 

The ArtiClean package comprises of two bottles of different solutions entitled “ArctiClean 1” and “ArctiClean 2” indicating the order in which to use the solutions.

Arctic Silver claims that the ArctiClean 1 solution is more effective than Acetone or Isopropyl Alcohol as it will completely dissolve and emulsify thermal pads and transfer pastes, instead of simply dampening and softening the thermal pad.

The ArctiClean 2 solution is designed to remove and residue of the ArctiClean 1 solution (or any other chemical cleaner used) to prepare the surface for the application of a new thermal transfer pad or paste.

Now we know how the ArctiClean solutions work, it’s time to put them to the test. I am removing the Zalman transfer paste that was bundled with my heat sink so that I can apply a layer of Arctic Silver 5 to my CPU.

Using the ArctiClean Solutions

The first step is to remove the HSF assembly and the CPU from the socket, taking care to protect the underside of the CPU. My Pentium 4 had a plastic protector to keep it safe in its box so I used that.

You can see from the image that there is a considerable amount of thermal paste on the CPU core. The instructions on the ArctiClean 1 bottle state that the surface should be “saturated” with a few drops of the solution.

I used a cotton bud to help spread the drops of solution across the top of the core. After waiting for about 30-60 seconds as specified, I used a cotton ball to remove the ArctiClean 1 solution and the thermal paste it had dissolved, taking care not to leave any strands of cotton behind.

After removing the ArctiClean 1 solution completely, I could see visible residue left on the CPU core. Time for the ArctiClean 2 solution. A few drops of the solution, spread about bye a cotton bud and wiped off with a cotton ball, again remembering not to leave any strands behind and I had a nice clean, CPU core.

One thing I should mention is that when cleaning the solutions off, some may drip down to the underside of the CPU core. This happened in my case, and I made sure to remove it with a cotton ball. Being a solution containing water and dissolved chemicals, it would most likely be electrically conductive.

After completing the process on the base of the heatsink as well, all was ready for the application of a layer of Arctic Silver 5.

Conclusion

Arctic Silver have created an excellent complete cleaning solution in ArctiClean. The simple two-step process completely removes thermal transfer materials and readies the surface for the application of another.

At only AUD$9.90 (the price of a small tube of Artic Silver 5) for 2 30ml bottles, Arctic Silver ArctiClean is a very hard product to pass by if you change heatsinks or CPUs often.

Contacts: Reviewer: Chris "DJ_Stick" Stannard
Editor/Designer: Allan "Zardon" Campbell



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