Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut

Big Bear Kills the Heat.

When I received my MacBook about a year ago, I couldn’t resist performing a hardware inspection. Opening a Mac is like dissecting art—it’s beautifully laid out and visually appealing.

Since I purchased this machine for work, I knew that any internal modifications had to be done right away. Gone are the days when I spent weekends fine-tuning my computer to optimize workflow. With modern Macs, there isn’t much tinkering that can be done. However, one upgrade that caught my attention was replacing the factory thermal grease with a better solution.

As a long-time fan of Cooler Master, I’ve always relied on their inexpensive thermal solutions to address thermal issues. But then I discovered Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut—a liquid metal thermal compound that promises to significantly reduce high-performance processor temperatures, when applied correctly. I’ll delve into the application process later.

When choosing thermal grease, the most important specification to consider is thermal conductivity, measured in W/m.k (Watts per meter-Kelvin). For instance, Cooler Master MasterGel Pro has a thermal conductivity rating of 8 W/m.k. Lower numbers generally indicate cheaper materials. It’s worth noting that, unless specified otherwise, thermal grease is not electrically conductive.

In contrast, Conductonaut boasts an impressive thermal conductivity rating of 73 W/m.k. Yes, you read that right—73! It’s highly thermally conductive and, as a consequence, electrically conductive. However, caution is required during application. The target area must be properly isolated and covered in case of spillage (liquid metal does not dry or harden over time). Additionally, it should not be used on aluminum-based heatsinks.

Conductonaut, on the other hand, is rated at whopping 73 W/m.k. Its not a typo and yes, that is indeed a very big number not to consider. Its very thermal conductive and of course, electrically as well. The application process is not that scary - as long as the target area has been properly isolated and covered in case of spill (liquid metal did not dry or harden over time) and not using it on aluminium-based heatsink.

Although some individuals have successfully used Conductonaut on laptops, I believe the risk outweighs the potential benefits. Thankfully, Thermal Grizzly offers a safer alternative called Kryonaut.

Definitely a cost-effective packaging choice.

Kryonaut has a thermal conductivity rating of 12.5 W/m.k, surpassing the performance of the previously used ThermalGel while maintaining a similar price point. Although the package contains a smaller amount of grease, it is still sufficient for multiple applications. During my experiments, I replaced the thermal grease on three laptops and still have plenty remaining.

Size does matter, sometimes.

Applying Kryonaut is easier than with Cooler Master’s solution. I had difficulties achieving an even application of ThermalGel on the processor core, often resorting to a drop and spreading it manually. However, with Kryonaut, I can apply it evenly, covering the entire core surface.

Keep in mind that thermal grease has a lifespan and should be replaced periodically. Many individuals prefer to repaste annually, but I recommend doing so based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Posted March 7, 2019