Thermal Grizzly Carbonaut Review vs. IC Diamond Thermal Pad & Thermal Paste Benchmarks: Reusable thermal pads are all the rage. We’re reviewing the Thermal Grizzly Carbonaut pad versus IC Diamond’s Graphite Thermal Pad, including benchmarks of Carbonaut vs. thermal paste.
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Watch our IC Diamond Graphite Thermal Pad Review for more information on how we do this testing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niAQs8dZohE
Our CPU cooler review methodology is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmTOJP4KOyk
Or written form here: https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/3561-cpu-cooler-testing-methodology-most-tests-are-flawed

Scanning Electron Microscope photos taken by JOHANNES WEHNER.

This testing covers the Thermal Grizzly Carbonaut pad, which is primarily a competitor to the IC Diamond Graphite Thermal Pad. These two interfaces are alternatives to thermal paste, mostly marketing on claims of reusability, endurance (no paste dry-out or pump-out effect), and conformity to uneven surfaces. We’re testing all of that here, using an uneven/unflat surface in the form of the Corsair A500 to benchmark the last claim versus traditional pastes, which have a lower minimum thinness than these pads can achieve. We’re also looking at durability and reusability, thermal performance as tested in an extremely controlled environment, and value versus traditional paste solutions. Watch our IC Diamond review for methodological notes on the testing solution. As we said before, “real” computers — even using heavily controlled test benches, as described in our CPU cooler methodology above — are simply too variable and difficult to control for this type of testing. In order to accurately benchmark thermal interfaces, custom-engineered dummy heaters must be used in order to produce a meaningful difference. A “real-world” solution would either (A) produce unusable data due to variance, with no ability to trust said data, or (B) produce results that, in the absolute best case, are all within error. With our custom solution, which is a dummy heater in the exact shape of an Intel i9-9900K IHS, we’re able to narrow-in results to produce meaningful data between the solutions. If you want to know what the best thermal pad or thermal paste is, this is the best way to produce that answer. We’re working toward it still, but we’re starting with a slew of graphite and carbon thermal pads.

Find the Thermal Grizzly Carbonaut pad (32x32mm) on Amazon: https://geni.us/cwLnKrB
Find the IC Diamond Graphite Thermal Pad (40x40mm) on Amazon: https://geni.us/56kk27 (we used one size-appropriate for the Intel DT IHS)
Find Thermal Grizzly Hydronaut on Amazon: https://geni.us/Fsray
or Arctic MX-4 on Amazon: https://geni.us/k3kT6

TIMESTAMPS

00:00 – IC Diamond & Paste vs. Thermal Grizzly Pads
01:52 – Why Paste is Almost Always Thermally Better
02:55 – Test Bench Decisions
04:13 – How Thermal Grizzly Carbonaut Works & Microscope Photos
07:05 – Thermal Grizzly Carbonaut & IC Diamond Pad Marketing
09:54 – Thermal Conductivity (W/mK) Claims Incomparable
11:07 – IC Diamond Graphite Pad vs. Carbonaut Thermal Benchmark
13:38 – Pressure Testing Notes & Hitachi HM01 Thermal Pad
14:32 – Unflat Coldplate Testing vs. IC Diamond & Carbonaut
18:20 – Conclusion: Paste vs. Graphite Thermal Pad & Carbonaut

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Editorial, Testing: Steve Burke
Video: Keegan Gallick, Andrew Coleman

Thermal Grizzly Carbonaut Review vs. IC Diamond Thermal Pad & Thermal Paste Benchmarks


Author by: Gamers Nexus

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24 COMMENTS

  1. Watch our IC Diamond Graphite Thermal Pad Review for more information on how we do this testing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niAQs8dZohE
    Our CPU cooler review methodology is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmTOJP4KOyk
    Or written form here: https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/3561-cpu-cooler-testing-methodology-most-tests-are-flawed
    Support GamersNexus directly via the store! We have PC building modmats, PC component mouse mats that are desk length, X570 chipset posters in the design of a metro, and more. All store purchases go straight toward supporting our research: https://store.gamersnexus.net/

  2. My big question is do these carbon pads work well for large gaps? That is a big factor that paste and use

  3. Could you try sanding down the uneven cooler (out another of the same model) to provide a comparison and how much that impacts the pad?

  4. 98% of computer builders won't need that kind of CPU blanket anyway. Thermal paste is better in almost every case, as you said several times.
    Anyway, thanks for all the work you and your team do, that's amazing.

  5. It would be nice if you could run an extended test at the higher wattage (say… weeks) to dry out the thermal paste to show how its performance can degrade over time–where the pads should remain relatively consistent.

  6. Steve, his team and his associates are the bane of lazy engineers everywhere. The moment a flaw is overlooked, they jump on it and rip it apart.

    That's why I love this channel. Who else goes that in depth into their reviews and testing?

  7. Mounting and remounting many part's like technicians do they would have access to cheap decent paste volume purchases that would likely come out cheaper than any of those pads. Also with those pads being conductive and someone working under time pressure its just easier to squirt some paste without having to worry about anything shorting out, especially after we have seen time and time again that to much paste doesn't matter anyway.

  8. What about ambient temperatures and humidity? As a Florida Man I can tell you both of those things are important.

  9. What about those "liquid metal pads" that are solid at room temperature like the one from Coollaboratory?

  10. Pet peeve: The company name is not "IC Diamond" and the product is not the "IC Diamond Graphite Cooling Pad." It's Innovation Cooling (IC) and "diamond" doesn't appear in the product name. The "diamond" just comes from their IC Diamond thermal paste.

  11. Scanning Electron Microscopy pjorn. This is why GN is the best if you want an engineering approach to PC Enthusiasm.

  12. sempai steve always knows what to do to grab my affection. this was one of the comparisons i dreamed of. arigato sempai

  13. It's been awhile since someone did a serious review of how Lipstick, Mustard, Mayo and toothpaste perform. Your channel now seems uniquely positioned to do this accurately if you ever find yourself with too much time on your hands. Keep up the great reporting, thanks!

  14. Thank you Gamers Nexus and also thanks to Beve Sturke for your awesome Videos.
    I dont know any other channel exept of igorsLAB that puts so much effort in his Videos and testing.
    Great video like always.

  15. One thing I would like tested with these carbon thermal pads is laptop use, not nessessarily on the CPU witch usually have a direct contact with the heatpipe/cooelr solution but with the chipsets and some cases internal GPU which sometimes have a terrible thick bubblegum thermal pad between them and the cooling solution. And yes I mean I would like to know how these work if stacked one on top of the other. Somehow I doubt they will do the job but then again, should still be better then the "bubblegum".

  16. The real question is if the 7700K crap thermal material under the IHS is replaced with a thermal pad … is the pad better? 🙂

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