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Sunday, 28 February 2016


Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano Thermal Paste Review

Cooler Master has been slowly but steadily pushing itself back on to the mountain top by introducing their new "Make it Yours" motto at last year's CES with the launch of the MasterCase 5 chassis. To feed this wagon with momentum and fuel they introduced a plethora of "makers" products soon after that ranging from new headsets, chassis, power supplies, coolers, gaming mouse and much more.
Today we have the smallest member of this makers fleet but boy this one sure holds its own importance in PC industry, we have with us today the much talked about Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano Thermal Paste or Grease whatever suits you more. As bizarre as it may sound but this new kid on the block aims at challenging the big boys of the extreme performance market like, Noctua, Arctic, Grizzly to name a few.

Looking at the spec sheet you can't expect something out of the world since its just a tube containing a good amount of thermal conductivity compound. But the catch with the MasterGel is the fact that it uses Nano Diamond crystals over standard Diamond crystals. This facilitates efficient filling of microscopic gaps that build up between the CPU/GPU surface and the cooler's contact plate.
So to put it simply, minimum to no gaps between the two translates into better heat conductivity from the hot chip to the cold contact plate hence making your processor run cooler than before.

This feature will not only be noticeable to normal to high end users but to extreme overclockers brewing up record breaking frequencies on LN2.
Before we move forward here’s a quick QA from Cooler Master to tell you a little more about the MasterGel Maker Nano.

Q: Do the nano-diamond particles leave scratches on the cooler base or CPU IHS?

A: No, the particles in the MasterGel Maker are too small to leave any scratches.

Q: Why do I need to clean the CPU before applying the MasterGel Maker?

A: When removing a CPU cooler, the old thermal grease is left over. It needs to be removed to improve thermal conductivity, which leads to lower temperatures.

Q: Do I need to use the plastic brush for spreading the grease?

A: No, but it is recommended. You can also press the CPU cooler on the grease and twist it a bit to make sure it spreads over the IHS.

Q: How many applications does one tube last when using the pea size method?

A: It is difficult to precisely determine the number of uses one tube can have. However, if the amount for each time is very close to ‘pea size,’ users should at least be able to apply the thermal grease over 10 times.

Q: How long can the thermal compound be used once opened, but sealed correctly after use?

A: Every circumstance is different depending on various factors, such as the environment. Usually the thermal grease can be preserved for two years without opening. We highly suggest users keep thermal grease in a dry and clean place, and avoid direct sunshine once opened.

Packing and Closer Look

The Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano comes in a clear blister packing with the compound seated inside a syringe for easy application. Also you can see that they've included a spreader to help you spread the paste evenly on the CPU/GPU surface. You can still go with the pea method since there is no mandatory instruction from the manufacturer to use the MasterGel in this way only.

Flip the pack and you find yourself a nice little grease cleaner tucked in to make sure you have a nice and clean CPU surface before application of your new thermal paste. Specifications are also enlisted on the bottom right corner.

All in all the packing is nice with a color theme that goes well with the entire fleet of makers products from Cooler Master.

Application Procedure

Since Cooler Master supplies the MasterGel Maker Nano with a spreader so they suggest you to use the apply and spread technique but that is something which is optional as long as you are using the pea method which is quite commonly used.

I myself used the pea method for application on my Intel i7 5960X with the Corsair H100i GTX.
Keep in mind that the paste cures a bit too fast so pea method is what I personally recommend since the spreader will require trained hands for quick spreading also if you are working in a mITX case where space is an issue just be quick and mindful of the short curing temperature.

Testing and Results

For testing a thermal paste its always advised that you cure the paste after application by running your system for 24-hours for optimal temperature readings. It wasn't tough for me since I was already planning to replay Crysis 3 which is quite a torturous game for CPUs!
For comparative purpose I had two of my favorite pastes in stock along with the generic paste that the H100i GTX comes with.
  • Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano
  • Arctic Silver 5 
  • Noctua NT-H1
  • CPU Cooler Generic Thermal Paste
With the Ambient temperature at 30°C reading were taken using CoreTemp and average of all four core's temperature was taken on load and idle. Overclocking was done at 4.5Ghz using 1.3v to maximize heat generation.

Our test bench for this was as follows --
CPU: Intel Core i7 5960X 3Ghz octacore processor
Motherboard: GIGABYTE X99 SLI
RAM: Kingston HyperX Predator 16GB DDR4 (4x4) 3000Mhz Memory Kit
Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX 240mm Liquid Cooler
Graphics card: Asus Strix GTX 980ti 6GB DDR5
Storage: SK Hynix SL300 500GB SSD || Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB SSD
Power Supply: Corsair AX860i 860W 80+ Platinum
Thermal Paste: Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

Temperatures at Idle State

The performance is simply great and puts the MasteGel way ahead of its competition, at stock frequency the difference might not be very noticeable but at OC the real picture comes into light where the 5°C difference between the Arctic Silver 5 and Maker Nano is clear.

Temperatures at Full Load

For loading the CPU I trust using the MSI Kombuster test on all 16 threads for 10 minutes or the Intel XTU benchmark since they push the CPU to its limit. Since both yielded identical readings we decided to go with 10 minutes of MSI Kombuster over here.

Thermal throttling is the nemesis of a record breaking overclock and we can clearly see how the MasterGel Maker Nano is keeping the CPU well within its safe limits at OC.

My Verdict

One word -- Perfect!
Cooler Master in form of the MasterGel Maker Nano has not only made a comeback but also given the thermal compound market a much needed wake-up call! The product puts the company right in front of the line leaving behind some well known brands including the old dog Noctua NT-H1 by a considerable margin. This makes the MasterGel Maker an ideal choice for overclocking enthusiasts looking for that extra bit of cooling to squeeze out every ounce of frequency from their chips.
The price tag of $15 or Rs 800 in India does make it a bit expensive of a product but that's okay-ish since the 4g tube can roughly last for 10 application cycles and its performance is just too good to believe! Also a little R&D on Google can get you the same for around Rs 750.
I highly recommend the Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano to every gamer or overclocker out there not only for its ground breaking performance but also for revitalizing the entire thermal compound market.
I give it 10/10

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