Imprint vs. reality: Gelid GP-Extreme and EC360 Silver in the test – thermal pads with alleged 12 W / (m * K)
I have now collected various pads and evaluated a lot of feedback. So today I am testing the desired thermal pads in the form of the GP-Extreme from Gelid and the EC360 Silver from Jaden Technologies GmbH in the upper class that I have predefined with 11 W / (m * K), if you really want to trust the manufacturer’s information . But can and should you do that? After today’s test, I’m not only smarter and, of course, so are you in the end, because neither of the two products really belongs there and one even belongs to the list. But always one after the other …
Reading tip: Thermal conductivity pad tests on the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 – Four reference pads and brutal temperature drops of the hot GDDR6X up to 50%!
Gelid GP-Extreme Thermal Pad mit 12 W/(m*K)
With 120 x 120 mm and 1 mm thickness, the pad is significantly cheaper at 0.28 euros / cm² than our 11 W / (m * K) reference pad with 0.32 euros / cm² but also significantly more expensive than the reference pad with 7 W / ( m * K), which costs 0.22 euros / cm². The pad came from well-stocked retail outlets, but was hard to come by in this family pack. The usual packs of 80 x 40 cm are not enough for a GeForce RTX 3080, so you need two of them. Then you are at around 18 euros street price. We’ll remember that.
Unfortunately, the pads are extremely sticky and difficult to separate from the film. Even if the film is simply peeled off, it can tear, so you have to be very careful. A very thin spatula or the good old razor blade can help. The rest is not rocket science and the pads stick very well to the bottom of the cooler. The strength is about right, at least.
You should assume that a pad of the right thickness will have enough contact. However, the consistency and surface quality are also decisive here, because the pad is quite compact and dense. After the test and dismantling, however, you can only see rough impressions, which have almost completely evened out after 2-3 minutes. The pad was tight, but it’s just a little too hard to really nestle into all the cracks. That is a big minus point, because it can be done much better.
I already had countless pads in my hands, but this is more of one that you want to get off your fingers as quickly as possible. Handling is not that easy, but it is solvable. Only consistency really raises questions. We’ll see in a moment how that cools.
EC360 Silver from Jaden Technologies GmbH
The EC360, which was also purchased anonymously, is significantly smaller and you also need two or even an even larger pack. It then costs the equivalent of 0.24 euros / cm² and is even cheaper than the Gelid pad. The price is a bit higher than the 7 reference pad. That reads interesting, especially since I came across the pad all the time, especially on YouTube, and was asked for a test because it was supposedly so good. Here too, of course, I want to know exactly, because you can say a lot. Has the importer got a stroke of luck here and accidentally or deliberately picked up the right product from all the offers from the cheaper China suppliers?
Since the data is on the back, I also photographed the back. The 50 x 50 mm pad is basically sufficient for the memory modules and the PWM controller. The voltage converters need a lot more, which is why I wrote about the larger package. Purely haptically, the pad makes a much better impression than Gelid’s. It also sticks slightly, but is significantly softer and still more tear-resistant. So the consistency is more in the direction that has proven to be useful over the years.
You can also see after use that a completely different picture emerges. You can even see the RAM lettering and the entire outlines of the modules. The pad is a little thicker than 1 mm and fits very well into the cracks and gaps. According to the data sheet, it also has a slightly lower density. Even so, the pad did not tear when it was removed. There is one big plus point for that.
Before we get to the tests and the results, I would like to introduce you to the reference pads and the test system, including the methodology. This is really important in order to be able to classify the results and the assessment correctly later. We have already put a certain amount of effort into making a good compromise between reproducibility and practical relevance.