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9 Best Thermal Paste for CPU/GPU in 2023 | Reviews & Buying Guide

Here, you can find the best thermal paste for managing the heat and enhancing the lifespan of CPU or GPU.

Some parts of a computer like the CPU and GPU have to deal with rising temperatures due to the continuous current flow. To control the temperature of these peripherals and make them work well for a longer time, using a thermal paste (thermal conductivity catalyst) is one of the best methods.

A thermal paste acts as a highly conductive medium between the hot surface of a CPU/GPU and the heat sink, which is further connected with the fans to provide necessary cooling action. Applying this paste ensures no more gap between the cooler and processor to dissipate the heat.

This fluid form paste is crucial for the proper working of a computer, and you can’t run a computer for more than 5 minutes without this paste, as the CPU will overheat and shut down.

Whether you apply a fresh paste on your new system or simply reapply it on an older one, we suggest you consider the following key aspects before you invest in this thermal paste.

Type of Paste –

In general, liquid-metal pastes, carbon-based, and ceramic-based pastes are the most used types of thermal pastes. Among them, the ceramic-based paste is the best and most preferred option for both novice and experienced users, while liquid metal-based pastes are efficient for heat dissipation yet a bit dangerous for inexperienced users to apply on the CPU/GPU chips.

Quantity –

Usually, every thermal paste consists of enough quantity of paste required to install a CPU. If you want to install more than one processor, you have to consider the quantity of the paste before making its purchase. So, some manufacturers designed their paste with more quantity to perform some extra installations.

Thermal Conductivity –

The thermal conductivity of a thermal paste represents its capability to transfer heat from one surface (CPU) to another (heatsink) for further heat dissipation. The conductivity or heat transferal is measured in watts per meter kelvin (W/mk). Simply, the higher values will draw more heat from the CPU.

For more information on how to choose the best thermal paste, we recommend you read our detailed Buying Guide. Using the same information, we compiled a list of some Best Thermal Pastes with descriptions, best features, pros, and cons. Go through them to ease the selection process and pick the correct option as per your requirements.

9 Best Thermal Paste in 2023

Best Thermal PasteIncluded QuantityThermal ConductivityTemperature RangeBuy Now
ARCTIC MX-4 Thermal Paste4 grams8.5 W/mK--Check On Amazon
Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste3.5 grams---50°C to 110°CCheck On Amazon
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste3.5 grams8.5 W/mK-50°C to 130°CCheck On Amazon
Nabob Deals Thermal Paste3.5 grams----Check On Amazon
Thermal Grizzly Thermal Paste5.55 grams12.5 W/mK-250°C to 350°CCheck On Amazon
SYY Thermal Paste2 grams15.7 W/mK-30°C to 280°CCheck On Amazon
Flux Thermal Paste1.5 grams3.2 W/mK--Check On Amazon
GELID GC-Extreme Thermal Paste3.5 grams8.5 W/mK-45°C to 180°CCheck On Amazon
LANSH Arctic Silver Thermal Paste3.5 grams9 W/mK-50°C to 130°CCheck On Amazon

Best Thermal Paste in 2023: Reviews

1. ARCTIC MX-4 Thermal Paste

Arctic Mx4 thermal pastw

Arctic is a well-known brand for many users as they offer a variety of thermal paste within different price ranges. Their MX series thermal paste is one of the most popular options as it is highly affordable.

We are placing one of the most affordable options from our picks of the best thermal paste on the top of our list as it has been a favored choice for many users in the past. Arctic MX uses its proven formula to make the MX-4 thermal paste to offer you a standard 8.9 W/mK thermal conductivity. It has excellent temperature reduction performance which makes it an ideal choice for CPU as well as GPU applications. The MX-4 compound is completely metal free and electrically non-conductive to save your parts from electrical damage.

Because the Arctic MX-4 does not contain any metal or Silicon proportion, it tends to last longer than those that do, giving this paste a possible lifespan of over 8 years after a single application. The MX-4 thermal paste is designed in such a way that it maintains ideal consistency and makes the application part much easier for first time users.

Best Features:

  • Budget friendly thermal paste
  • The available quantity is 4 grams
  • 5 W/mK thermal conductivity
  • Operating temperature is between -50°C to 110°C
  • 8 years approximate lifespan
  • metal and Silicone free compound

Pros:

  • Designed with known and trusted Arctic formula
  • Highly popular choice
  • The expected lifespan is high

Cons:

  • Applicator is not included

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2. Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste

Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste

Noctua is a premium brand that only deals with computer cooling peripherals such as cabinet fans, CPU coolers, and also thermal pastes. The following choice from Noctua is highly premium, yet very popular amongst users.

Our 2nd pick is also coming from a well-known brand in the industry called Noctua. The Noctua NT-H1 is probably the only choice available in the market right now that you can trust without thinking too much about its specifications. This is a premium grade thermal paste that is suitable for both CPU and GPU applications. Because of its high performance, the Noctua NT-H1 has over 150 awards under its belts with a lot more recommendations.

The Noctua NT-H1 comes in a 3.5 grams syringe which makes it easy to apply over any heat sink surface. Also, it is easy to clean off the surface if the application goes wrong or if you are removing previously applied thermal paste at the time of cleaning. It does not require any alcohol to clean and can be cleaned with dry paper towels due to its high density. The Noctua NT-H1 is completely electrical resistant and non-corrosive that increases its lifespan tenfolds. If there is some thermal paste left after application, you can store it for up to 3 years and use it again to deliver the same performance.

Best Features:

  • The available quantity is 3.5 grams
  • Over 150 awards and recommendations
  • Operating temperature is between -50°C to 110°C
  • Premium grade thermal paste
  • Safe from electrical and corrosion damage
  • Can be stored for up to 3 years

Pros:

  • The suitable life cycle is 5 years
  • Multiple applications are possible
  • Does not degrade after storing

Cons:

  • Thermal conductivity is not specified

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3. Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste

Arctic Silver 5 AS5-3.5G Thermal Paste

We are back with yet another feature from Arctic. As we mentioned, Arctic produces multiple options for different budgets and it’s silver thermal pastes are yet another affordable choice from its lineup.

Made with a 99.9% pure micronized silver composition, our 3rd pick for the best thermal paste brings a lot of performance and reliability to the table. The Arctic Silver 5 has a standard thermal conductivity of 8.5 W/mK available with 3.5 grams of paste present in every package. The paste is also completely electrically non-conductive, which is an important factor if you are going to apply the thermal paste on a computer. Also, the thermal paste has a thick composition and high density that avoid problems like bleeding and over deposition.

The string itself, that holds the thermal paste, is designed in such a way that you can apply the thermal paste from the syringe directly without needing an applicator. You can then store the excess thermal paste in the same syringe and store it until it’s required again. Arctic suggests -50°C to 130°C temperature range for Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste. Also, The Arctic Silver 5 does not contain any Silicon in the composition, which has many advantages.

Best Features:

  • One of the most affordable thermal pastes
  • The available quantity is 3.5 grams
  • 5 W/mK thermal conductivity
  • Operating temperature is between -50°C to 130°C
  • Completely electrically non-conductive
  • Completely Silicon free

Pros:

  • Easy to apply and store
  • Suitable temperature range is great
  • Standard thermal conductivity

Cons:

  • Quantity should have been more

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4. Nabob Deals Thermal Paste

Nabob Deals Thermal Paste

Nabob deals is rather a different type of brand compared to other options present on our list today as it manufactured many different types of products along with a thermal paste. But still, it has sold many products in the past with a highly positive response from its users.

The Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Cooling Compound offered by  Nabob Deals has nearly 88% thermally conductive filler present in its composition for every unit weight. Along with micronized silver, there are other compounds present such as zinc oxide, aluminum oxide, and boron nitride which extends its thermal conductivity further ahead. Nabob Deals also includes a dedicated thermal paste applicator with 3.5 grams syringe of this thermal paste so that this unique, high-density product can be applied easily over critical surfaces.

Once properly installed, the Nabob Deals Arctic Silver 5 offers a high level of performance thanks to its standard thermal conductivity level that brings the CPU temperature down and allows it to perform faster. And with the lowered temperature levels, the performance seems to stabilize completely. If you make the application layer up to 0.003 inches thick for every application, you can get a lot of installations done with the same syringe. After application, you will see an effective drop in the temperature of your CPU up to 3 to 12 degrees.

Best Features:

  • The available quantity is 3.5 grams
  • Performance is great
  • Comes with a dedicated applicator
  • 88% thermally conductive filler
  • Up to 3 to 12 degrees temperature drop for CPUs
  • ZInc oxide, aluminum oxide, and boron nitride present with silver

Pros:

  • Chemical composition is great
  • Suitable for a number of applications
  • Can be used with CPUs as well as GPUs

Cons:

  • Suitable temperature range is not mentioned

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5. Thermal Grizzly Thermal Paste

Thermal Grizzly Thermal Paste

Up next, we have the best thermal paste money can buy coming from a premium brand called Thermal Grizzly. This brand has a high reputation for providing great products such as the thermal paste mentioned here.

If your primary requirements are the sheer quantity of thermal paste as well as the thermal conductivity, then look no further. The Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Paste is going to be the best option for you, considering it’s over the top 12.5 W/mK thermal conductivity paired with 5.55 grams quantity available on every syringe. Such high thermal conductivity offers a suitable temperature range of -250°C to 350°C which is perfectly suitable for all types of applications.

As the suitable temperature range is high, you should prefer this option if you have a high performance graphics card or CPU that you are going to overclock after your build is finished. The Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Paste is specially designed to provide a stable performance after overclocking as it manages to keep the temperature levels in control even when the components are operating at a faster clock rate. The Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Paste does not have any cure time and offers long term stability that allows users to store it for years before using it again.

Best Features:

  • Most premium thermal paste
  • Designed for overclocked systems
  • The available quantity is 5.55 grams
  • 5 W/mK thermal conductivity
  • Operating temperature is between -250°C to 350°C
  • Best choice for 24*7 running systems

Pros:

  • One of the best thermal conductivity available
  • Included quantity is highest in comparison
  • Suitable for long term applications

Cons:

  • Very expensive thermal paste

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6. SYY Thermal Paste

SYY Thermal Paste

Not all thermal pastes are manufactured for gaming and working computers. There are a handful of brands like the SYY which specifically manufacturers heavy duty thermal pastes for special purpose systems that require extensive cooling performance.

In the end, we have reserved the best thermal paste from our list in terms of thermal conductivity. Coming from SYY, the SYY thermal paste offers a very high thermal conductivity of up 15.7 W/mK that introduces many more applications for this paste. For starters, it can be used with a high temperature range starting from -30°C all the way up to 280°C which is not possible with standard thermal pastes. On top of that, it is also a completely metal free and electrically non-conductive thermal paste which avoids short circuits and similar hazards.

With such high thermal conductivity, SYY thermal paste turns out to be a much better option even than liquid metal, which is considered perfect for heavy duty applications. Also, it is available at less than half the cost of a premium thermal paste which is a great advantage for its buyers. Along with the 2 gram syringe, you will find a dedicated paste applicator from SYY which makes the whole process faster and doable for freshers that are handling the thermal paste for the first time.

Best Features:

  • Special purpose thermal paste
  • Metal free and electrically non-conductive
  • Comes with a paste applicator
  • The available quantity is 2 grams
  • 7 W/mK thermal conductivity
  • Operating temperature is between -30°C to 280°C

Pros:

  • Highest thermal conductivity in comparison
  • Delivers high performance and stability
  • Suitable temperature range is great

Cons:

  • Quantity is very low

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7. Flux Thermal Paste

Flux Thermal Paste

For casual applications, you should not need to spend a lot of money on premium thermal paste. Instead, you can go with brands like FLUX for an affordable choice.

Now that you have looked at the most premium thermal paste let us introduce you to the most affordable thermal paste available on our picks. The FLUX Thermal Paste comes at a fraction of the price compared to the premium options available today. On top of that, FlUX has included 5 syringes in every package so that you can use them for up to 5 different applications without worrying about storage. The thermal conductivity for this thermal paste is around 3.2 W/mK, whereas each syringe consists of 1.5 grams of thermal paste.

The Flux Thermal Paste is very easy to use, considering all you have to do is open one of the syringes and apply the paste directly on the heatsink without any additional step. The paste is made up of polysynthetic grease for enhanced performance. It is a great choice for CPUs and GPUs, especially if you own multiple systems in your home or office.

Best Features:

  • Most affordable thermal paste
  • The available quantity is 1.5 grams per syringe
  • 2 W/mK thermal conductivity
  • 5 different syringes are included in every package
  • Silver poly synthetic grease paste
  • Easy to use for multiple applications

Pros:

  • Thermal paste is already separated for easy applications
  • Easy to store
  • Composition is good

Cons:

  • Thermal conductivity is very low

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8. GELID GC-Extreme Thermal Paste

GELID GC-Extreme Thermal Paste

Gelid is not as popular a brand as other choices mentioned on our picks today. But, it is a great brand for those who need a commercial level thermal paste under an affordable price tag.

The GELID GC-Extreme thermal paste is specially designed for extreme application where you would require higher thermal conductivity than standard thermal pastes. This paste will offer you a thermal conductivity of 8.5 W/mK over a total quantity of 3.5 grams available per package. With such high conductivity, GELID GC-Extreme promises the best performance in this budget range. It will also grant much needed stability to your CPU at the time of overclocking.

There is a dedicated GELID applicator present in the package that you can use to apply the thermal paste easily over any surface. Due to its high thermal conductivity, GELID GC-Extreme offers suitable temperature limits from -45°C to 180°C. Keep in mind that this thermal paste is offering the highest temperature range compared to any other option in the present market right now.

Best Features:

  • Extreme application thermal paste
  • Suitable for server computers and crypto mining rigs
  • The available quantity is 3.5 grams
  • 5 W/mK thermal conductivity
  • -45°C to 180°C suitable temperature range
  • Easier to apply with the applicator

Pros:

  • Suitable for special purpose systems
  • Suitable temperature range is best in this class
  • 73g/cm³ paste density for easier installation

Cons:

  • Quantity should have been more

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9. LANSH Arctic Silver Thermal Paste

LANSH Arctic Silver Thermal Paste

We have yet another thermal paste offered by Arctic present on our list. Here, we are including the most heavy duty thermal paste designed by Arctic for heavy applications.

The Arctic Silver thermal paste mentioned here is one of the best thermal paste you can find in the market in terms of thermal conductivity and ease of usage. The Arctic Silver thermal paste comes with high thermal conductivity of 9 W/mK that could easily be used for personal as well as commercial applications without any second thought. As for the temperature range, Arctic has specified the range from -50°C to 130°C  so it should not be a problem for most applications.

The Arctic Silver thermal paste is made up of high density micronized silver with conductive ceramic particles introduced in the paste to provide heightened thermal conductivity while avoiding electrical conductivity altogether. This paste has a managed triple phase viscosity which makes it much easier to install. Thus, giving your system perfect stability even when working under heavy load for a longer duration.

Best Features:

  • Most powerful thermal paste from Arctic
  • The available quantity is 3.5 grams
  • 9 W/mK thermal conductivity
  • Operating temperature is between -50°C to 130°C
  • Micronized silver paste with ceramic particles
  • Triple phase Viscosity

Pros:

  • System stability will be balanced
  • Completely electrically non-conductive
  • Thermal conductivity is high

Cons:

  • Very limited quantity is provided

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How to Choose the Best Thermal Paste:

Ensure that all thermal pastes won’t be similar, yet they differ in their performance, price, power, heat dissipation levels, and installation. This paste dissipates heat only for a few years and thereby loses its efficacy and has to be reapplied on regular basis.

Selecting your best option from the above list is a bit difficult task. So, we are here with a guide that help you in taking proper buying decision that suits best for your requirement.

Let’s get into the details of what factors to consider while shopping for thermal paste.

1. Types:

Selecting the perfect thermal paste will play a more crucial part in its efficient usage. It should properly match your computer and your expertise in using/applying this paste on your PC. Even though, the metal-based pastes are effective to dissipate heat, don’t use those liquid-metal pastes, especially for novice or inexperienced users.

Usually, electrically conductive metallic bits are suspended in the liquid-metal paste solution, in which a spillage of a single drop on the processor pins will instantaneously destroy them. This will void your product warranty and still, thorough cleaning of spills on the motherboard might end up causing the damage. So, it is extremely dangerous to apply on the CPU.

The best option for novices is to use a grey or white ceramic-based paste, which is made with a mixture of silicone paste and ceramic powder. Since it uses non-conductive compounds, its application is not at all as dangerous as metal pastes. So, it is a worthwhile option for everyone, not the metal-based paste.

2. Heat Transfer or Thermal Conductivity:

The capacity to conduct heat from one end to another is referred to as thermal conductivity. While dealing with computers, the thermal paste is applied between the CPU and heatsink, so that it can quickly absorb heat from the CPU and push it towards the heat sink for further heat dissipation.

Watts per meter Kelvin (W/mk) is used to measure the heat transferal/thermal conductivity of the paste. The higher the value, the better the heat dissipation (draws more heat away from GPU/CPU). For instance, paste with a 38 W/mk is more conductive than 12.5 W/mk. Depending on your components and cooling system, the results may vary, which means the job can be done by using any reputable thermal paste product, yet there are a few degrees (+/-) in reality from the previous product.

So, it is an excellent option to purchasing the thermal paste with a higher thermal conductivity rating, even if it is expensive.

3. Quantity:

Usually, every paste tube consists of sufficient paste to install a CPU on your PC’s motherboard. The quantity factor doesn’t matter for those installing/using this paste on 1 – 2 processors. Yet you have to check the quantity (amount) of paste while performing more than a single installation before buying this paste. Few manufacturers offer their products with extra quantity to do some more installations.

Hence, choose a large tube when you want to use the paste for doing multiple installations, whereas a smaller tube (like one with 1.5 g) is ideal when you need the paste for a single application.

Also, you should be able to store the thermal paste securely if there is an ample quantity available in the pack that you cannot use at once. The best way to store thermal paste is to keep it as it is in the syringe itself and keep it locked in an airtight container. However, having multiple syringes will help a lot in such cases, as you can only use/open one at a time for a single application.

4. Thermal Paste Lifespan:

Virtually, the lifespan of each paste after its application will vary a lot, and its efficacy range will be from 2 to 8 years. Simply to say, some low-end models advise you to replace their paste every 2 – 3 years, while the high-end models work well for around 8 years. In most cases, the low-end paste can easily provide better performance even after completing 3 years, even if the original state deteriorates.

5. Ease of Installation & Viscosity:

Apart from the risk of electrical conductivity, some thermal pastes are designed to apply easier compared to the other pastes. Every builder (new or experienced) should know about the viscosity of the thermal paste before applying it because it prevents you from not to squeeze out excess amount.

However, the application technique will vary greatly based on the type of paste (thick or thin) you use. We all know that thicker paste is a lot more difficult to apply than thinner paste. Hence, considering the viscosity of the paste you brought will help to install them with an apt application method.

6. Delivery Method:

Thermal paste is generally available in either of these three delivery methods – tub, syringe, or tube. You can check and purchase either type as per your requirement and convenience to apply the paste.

Tubes – It is an affordable option but not precise and ooze out more paste if not careful. Similar to a toothpaste tube, it is hard to use while getting nearly empty.

Tubs – It is the best and most expensive option that comes in large quantities and is used to perform several tool-based applications.

Syringes – Most common and affordable delivery method that offer great precision. Most experts suggest this method because you will get better control over the paste quantity you want to apply and make it done accurately.

7. Thermal Paste Compound:

This chemical compound plays a key role in the stability and performance of the paste. Usually, different brands use different chemicals for manufacturing this thermal paste, in which they can manage to achieve a certain level of thermal conductivity. Go through the reviews of previous users to get a clear idea about the useability and stability of the thermal paste you want to purchase.

Also, take a look into the compounds used in the making of the thermal paste to ensure that there are no harmful compounds used, which are risky for the system. For best performance, the thermal paste compound should be thermally conductive and electrically non-conductive.

8. Price:

We already spent a lot of money on the processor, yet don’t save your money on this thermal paste. If interested in overclocking, your thermal paste has an impact on the machine’s performance. Most of these thermal pastes are available at the price of around $20.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is the difference between thermal paste and adhesives?

Thermal paste can also be called thermal grease, thermal gel, thermal compound, or heatsink compound. But the thermal adhesive is different from these things. The adhesive pads are made of thermally conductive glue, which sticks to the interface area between the processor and heatsink.
Applying them is easier and less messy with low chances of error, yet less effective than thermal pastes. They can work until the GPU (graphic processing unit) or CPU (central processing unit) works at least overclocked speeds or at stock frequencies, just as thermal pastes do.

2. What is the maximum lifespan of thermal paste?

The user should know how long the paste last and when to replace them. These won’t come with a quick expiry date, yet most get solid and thereby loses their conductivity over time. So, most manufacturers recommend replacing them every 3 – 5 years.
If you are not a serious gamer or hardcore overclocker, you can use the computer for many years without re-applying or replacing the thermal compound. Hence, practicing/using the system for a longer time will have to replace the thermal paste whenever you remove the heatsink of the GPU/CPU.

3. What happens if I use too much thermal paste?

Putting too much paste is not at all a good thing. Almost all CPU and GPU manufacturers prescribe using a pea-sized quantity of thermal paste. But if you use too much thermal paste, then the contact between the heatsink and CPU will not be proper due to chunks of thermal paste. The excessive amount will ooze out over the CPU edges, socket cover, and motherboard. If the excess (a little bit) won’t get into contact with any part of the motherboard, then it won’t have any side effects.

An electrically conductive paste might short out the PC, and also too much paste becomes an insulator. As a result, the overall thermal conductivity might reduce due to the low efficacy of the thermal paste and enhance the chances of overheating. Furthermore, cleaning the excess gunk on a CPU socket to prevent any damage to the pins is not an easy task.

4. How to apply the thermal paste and remove it?

Here are a few steps you need to follow for applying and removing the thermal paste on the CPU/GPU.

To apply the paste, the CPU has to be inserted into the exact socket on the PC’s motherboard. Apply a dot of thermal paste (of size smaller than a pea) to the center of the CPU. Then press the component on the dot to lock it in the proper spot. It spreads the thermal paste and then check it once by lifting the component. If not done properly, then mop it up to try another time.
For more information, you can check our article How to Apply Thermal Paste.

To remove the paste, wipe off the paste using a microfiber cloth or a coffee filter to eliminate producing more microscopic holes to reduce heat conduction. For proper cleaning of thermal paste, you have to use a combination of microfiber cloth and rubbing alcohol. Here the rubbing alcohol should be either ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol. Most thermal paste companies and CPU or GPU manufacturers recommend a higher concentration of isopropyl alcohol to clean thermal paste.
Read our guide How to Clean Thermal Paste off CPU for more information on its excess cleaning process.

5. Does thermal paste fix overheating? Can old thermal paste cause overheat?

Applying thermal paste will remove the gaps between CPU and cooler, confirming optimum heat transfer and deter overheating. Yet don’t rely only on the thermal paste to protect them from overheating. Also check fan maintenance and its working status, in which this multi-pronged setting will bring down the present temperature and thereby fix overheating.
Usually, the old thermal paste will last for a few years (3 – 5 years) after which it has to be replaced for better thermal conductivity. If you continue to use old thermal paste, it can’t properly transfer the heat from CPU to heatsink and as a result, it causes overheating of the CPU.

6. Do we use any thermal paste on the CPU?

You can use either thermal adhesives or pastes from a trustworthy brand, yet use the best option while using stress testing applications or overclocked systems. The thermal paste differs in price, viscosity, and composition, in which some are best to remove extra degrees in some builds. Also, check the amount and the way you put the paste on the CPU. So, we advise you to do some research before using any thermal paste before boarding the building a PC.

7. Is it safe to run a CPU or GPU without thermal paste?

The thermal paste fills the little gaps between the heatsink and IC surface with its heat dissipation. Here the heat moves from the processor to the heatsink for its quick and efficient dissipation. If you want to run these processing units without thermal paste, then these gaps are filled with air (a poor conductor) which hinders heat transfer. Thus, it results in higher temperatures, and thereby thermal throttling and ultimately minimizes the lifespan of the computer/PC.

8. What is the recommended quantity of thermal paste to apply to the PC?

The CPU needs thermal paste while gaming on the PC. There are many ways to apply this paste, in such a way that a paper-thin layer of coating over the CPU. All you need is to apply a dot of paste on every side.

9. Does the thermal paste gets expired or go bad?

Unpacked or unused thermal paste that retains its texture, consistency, and color can be used effectively, yet won’t use too thick or too runny paste. However, extreme dryness, heat, oxidation, and humidity will spoil the paste quickly, so store them away from any extreme heat source like direct sunlight. For this reason, these pastes are available in syringes rather than tubes to protect the paste without getting any contact with air, and thereby enhance its lifetime. We suggest you not to re-pull the paste after applying through the plunger, as it will allow air into the syringe.

10. Which thermal paste is good for laptops?

Several thermal paste options in the market can be used for CPU/GPU on a desktop or laptop. Some of the good thermal pastes for laptops are – ProlimaTech PK-3 Nano Aluminum, Arctic MX-5, Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut, Noctua NT-H1, Cooler Master MasterGel Pro V2, or Gelid GC-Extreme.

11. What can I use if I don’t have thermal paste?

Thermal paste is a chemical compound designed to increase the thermal conductivity of GPU, CPU, and other electronic components. If you don’t have a thermal paste, then we highly recommend you delay the PC build or upgradation until you purchase a dedicated thermal paste. But, in case of emergency, you can use a combination of toothpaste and Vaseline in an 80:20 ratio. Another alternative is a fine aluminum powder mixed with Vaseline.

12. Is it worth buying thermal paste?

If you are building a new PC or upgrading an old PC with new CPU or performing a maintenance of your laptop or desktop, then adding a new Thermal Paste to CPU and GPU is one of the basic things to do. In case of new system builds, although CPU coolers come with pre-applied thermal compound, it is advised to add your own thermal paste, from a better brand. A good thermal paste will aid in better transfer of heat to the cooler / het sink and helps in keeping the CPU temperatures down.

13. Can I use toothpaste as thermal paste?

The main purpose of Thermal Paste is to increase the thermal conductivity between the CPU and the heatsink. There are different brands of Thermal Pastes in the market and some good variants are very affordable. So, use a proper thermal paste, even if it is a cheaper option and do not use tooth paste as it might damage your components.

14. How much thermal paste should I use on my CPU?

As a general rule of thumb, it is advised that a pea-sized amount if thermal paste must be applied on the center of the CPU. You don’t have to spread the paste and allow the heat sink to spread the thermal paste over the entire surface. This will ensure that the paste is spread evenly and doesn’t flow past the limits.

15. How often should I replace thermal paste?

Generally, you don’t need to replace thermal paste that often. If applied properly, a thermal paste should last for few years easily. But if you notice a rise in the CPU temperatures, then it is recommended to replace thermal paste and also clean fans and vents properly.

16. Can we make thermal paste at home?

Thermal Paste is a chemical compound that is specifically designed to increase thermal conductivity of CPU, GPU and other electronics components. There are some ways in which you can make thermal paste at home using simple household products to use in case of emergency. Some common techniques are mixing tooth paste and Vaseline, cocoa and hazelnut cream, aluminum powder and Vaseline. We highly recommend you to buy a dedicated thermal paste, even if it is a cheap one.

17. What happens if I use too much thermal paste?

Almost all CPU and GPU manufacturers prescribe usage of a ‘pea-sized’ quantity of thermal paste. But if you use too much thermal paste, then the contact between the CPU and heatsink will not be proper due to chunks of thermal paste. As a result, the overall thermal conductivity might reduce due to the low efficacy of the thermal paste.

18. What happens if you don’t apply thermal paste?

If you don’t apply thermal paste at all, then the gap between CPU and heatsink is just filled by air and air is a poor conductor of heat. As a result, the heat transfer between CPU and heatsink will be less and the temperatures of CPU will rise. This will in turn lead to thermal throttling, where the CPU automatically slows itself down due to higher temperatures. In the longer run, the life of CPU will become significantly less due to high temperatures and might lead to failure very soon.

19. Should I remove old thermal paste?

Whenever you are applying new thermal paste, you should first remove / clean the old thermal paste properly. You should never apply new thermal paste over old thermal paste as the old one might probably be dried up and doesn’t help the new thermal paste at all.

20. Can old thermal paste cause overheating?

Old thermal paste will last for few years (usually, 3 – 4 years) after which it must be replaced for better thermal conductivity. If you continue to use old thermal paste, it cannot properly transfer the heat from CPU to heatsink and as a result, it causes overheating of CPU.

21. What can I use to clean thermal paste?

You can use a combination of micro fiber cloth and rubbing alcohol to clean thermal paste. Rubbing alcohol is either isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol. But most of thermal paste companies and CPU / GPU manufacturers recommend higher concentration of isopropyl alcohol to clean thermal paste.

Conclusion

Most people prefer high end thermal paste bought separately for the application. Also, you would need a thermal paste in case you are cleaning your computer and willing to reapply the paste to increase the temperature statistics of the CPU. In any case, you will find the best thermal paste on our list today. If you are not sure which option is right for you, look at some of the best options available below.

  • High thermal conductivity is crucial for heavy load applications. If you are using your computer for longer sessions, the SYY 2 CPU Paste Thermal Compound Paste is going to be perfect for your needs. While SYY only provides 2 grams of paste in every package, you will be getting a thermal conductivity of 15.7 W/mK, which is best in comparison.
  • Talking about the quantity of thermal paste, Thermal Grizzly beats all other choices by offering a large 5.55 grams syringe full of Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Paste. It has a high thermal conductivity of 12.5 W/mK and is suitable for multiple applications for the same of different computers.
  • Lastly, we will recommend the Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste as the best value for money option from our list. Noctua is known for premium yet reliable and high performance products and the Noctua NT-H1 is no exception for that. You will be getting 3.5 grams of thermal paste with a suitable temperature range of -50°C to 110°C that covers standard as well as gaming computers.

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