in Coolers

Akasa Pro-Grade AK-460

Akasa 460 thermal compound

Introduction

The heatpaste crown has generally always been awarded to Arctic Silver, whether it is because of widespread publicity or top class performance. But since testing Jetart’s attempt, I’ve seen that the most well-known isn’t always the best. Today I have Akasa’s ‘pro-grade’ AK-460 paste. Let’s see if its name is warranted…

About Akasa

The Akasa Group of companies was founded in 1997 with offices in Taipei and London. Our management team are all experienced in Electronic and Electro-mechanical product development. We currently have offices in London, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Specs

Colour

Grey

Viscosity

102K cPs

Thermal conductivity

3.3 W/mK

Operating temperature

-45°C ~ 200°C

Operating range

0.16cm²C/W @60um BLT

Volume

3.5g

Product code

AK-460

A cooling syringe

Akasa 460 thermal compound
Akasa 460 thermal compound

The AK-460 comes in a push-close clamshell that’s easy enough to open. Looking at the back of the packet, you can see a credit card shaped piece of plastic which is actually an included spreader. Never again will you have to call the bank for a replacement after installing your latest cooler.

Akasa 460 thermal compound

Inside the packet, you’ll find a multi-lingual instruction sheet, the paste spreader and the thermal compound itself. The instructions are repeated in English on the packet itself in case you manage to a) forget how to apply heatpaste and b) lose the manual.

The instructions advertise their TIM clean product which for once isn’t a bad thing as it’s an overclockers best friend. Akasa also point out that more heatpaste isn’t necessarily better. Compared to Arctic Silver, the AK-460 is already miles ahead due to their included instructions and spreader; Arctic Silver doesn’t come with either of these things. If you’re a new-comer to the heatpaste market, you’ll find the instructions nice and useful; I remember the days when I had to search the internet to find out how to apply Arctic Silver.

The main points about this heatpaste that Akasa have choosen to advertise, is it’s low bleed under high pressure and that it’s electrically non-conductive. What these mean in real terms is that it won’t squirt out from the sides of your cooler when you attach it, and if it does, it won’t fry your motherboard if it touches any electrical tracks/components.

The syringe that the heatpaste comes in is quite large and has its vital statistics printed on the label. A wider syringe is generally better than a thin one, as it means it’s easier to squeeze out the correct amount.

Another plus point over Artic Silver 5 is that there is no excessive 3 month wait (exaggerated) for the paste to ‘set’. Instead, this stuff is ready to go as soon as its spurted over your core.

Installation

Like any other heatpaste, the installation method is the same. All you have to do is clean your core and heatsink base, and spray some compound on.

The AK-460 is quite thick (hence low bleed) but its not sticky. This is a major problem and pretty much renders the included paste spreader useless.

Akasa 460 thermal compound

As the 460 doesn’t stick to the cleaner core, it rolls up underneath the spreader, and you end up scraping it off, rather than spreading it on. The only way I could find to use the paste successfully was getting a blob onto the core, then simply pressing the heatsink down on top to spread it out. This won’t be as good as a thin spreading over the whole core though.

Testing

After testing the ThermalTake Max Orb with Arctic Silver 5, I decided it would be a good idea to put it directly up against the Akasa 460 paste.

Akasa 460 thermal compound
Arctic Silver 5, Jetart Nano-diamon, Akasa Pro-Grade 460

I’ll put the paste through the normal testing procedure which consists of the following:

Let the core idle for 30 minutes with nothing running, and record the end temperature.
Start both StressPrime on both cores and a single instance of folding@home.
Let the testing run for 30 minutes and record the end temperature.

Ambient was a constant 23C.

Akasa 460 thermal compound

As you can see from the results, the Akasa heatpaste isn’t as good as Arctic Silver 5, and doesn’t come close to Jetart’s Nano-diamond paste (our current favourite and best performer). That said, Arctic Silver 5 still retails for around £6 while Akasa’s 460 comes at the more acceptable £3 mark.

Baring in mind that this is Akasa’s mid-range paste, there are even better performing products to come from Akasa.

Conclusion

As with everything, you get what you pay for. Arctic Silver 5 is better, but costs more. Not only that, AC 5 isn’t as user friendly. The Akasa 460 thermal compound seems like a nice beginner product that eases you into installation and usage; and for a damn good price and acceptable performance.

If someone new to the computing world were to ask me what thermal compound to use, I would have no hesitations in prescribing a wide tube of Akasa’s 460 thermal compound.

Pros Cons
Useful instuctions and paste spreader Not the best performer
Inexpensive Not sticky; installation issues

I’d like to thank Akasa for providing us with the heatpaste.

Discuss this review in our forums