Applying thermal paste to a CPU before dropping a heat sink on it isn't too much of a pain in the butt, but you have to do it carefully; as pretty much everybody reading this site probably knows, air bubbles and uneven application can affect cooling performance. What if you didn't have to worry about applying thermal paste? Crazy talk, I know, but during last week's Techno-Frontier convention in Tokyo, Sony Chemical & Information Device Corp was showing off a thermal sheet that it said has the same thermal conductivity of traditional paste.
Most system builders who even know about thermal sheets -- such as
Sony's own EX50000
-- scoff at the idea of using them, as they simply don't work as well as pastes, even though thermal sheets are thin and flat, bubble-free, longer-lasting and easier to apply. Sony's prototype EX20000C sheet is only 0.011 to 0.078 inches thick and conducts heat as well as paste thanks to its unique design, which
is basically just silicon jam-packed with carbon fibers.
At the convention, Sony showed off the Ex20000C's ability to cool down CPUs using a side-by-side comparison of identical, yet unnamed processors; one used the EX20000C thermal sheet, while the other used a traditional (yet also unidentified) thermal paste. The thermal sheet actually kept the CPU 3 degrees (Celsius) cooler than the thermal paste. (Pictured above)
Intriguing, sure, but the EX20000C is still just a prototype. Would you consider using a thermal sheet if it conducted heat as efficiently as paste? (If not, you should check out our thermal paste showdown to see which compound you should be using.)
Via Geek.com Image credit: Tech-On!