10 Best Thermal Pastes in 2021 – [Updated Review & Guide]

Nowadays, everyone places great importance on their computer, notebooks, and laptops. It heavily implies how it affects their daily lives, making it easier and convenient, most especially now that the world is greatly affected by the pandemic. As the new work is set up, working at the convenience of your home proves just how important computers and laptops are.

With that regard, maintaining the overall condition of your computers should be taken into consideration. As much as possible, most enthusiasts wanted to lower the temperature of their CPU for longevity and durability purposes. If it runs too hot, the possibility of your CPU breaking down is high. This is where a thermal paste comes to your doorstep.

But what is a thermal paste and what does it do to help your laptop and CPU? For starters, a thermal paste is a thermal compound with conductivity features that is applied between your CPU and the cooler’s heat sink to inhibit the air gaps. A thermal paste can also help fasten the “heat” transfer of your CPU and cooler. It is frequently the most overlooked product for beginners.

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For PC Enthusiasts and PC Gamers, taking care of the CPU means applying your preferred thermal paste during maintenance and customization to further improve its performance. Just remember to take note of its shelf life. The best thermal paste for laptop and CPUs usually last for 3 years unopened.

It is advisable to buy thermal paste from shops that are larger and usually have a higher rate of product turnover to ensure that the thermal paste you have bought did not degrade. To get the best benefits, consider buying the best thermal paste for the CPU.

Now, let’s proceed with the best thermal paste for CPU that PC Gamers and PC Enthusiasts can use when customizing the perfect PC for you. This article can help you to select the best thermal paste suitable for your requirements.

Table of Contents

10 Best Thermal Pastes in 2021 – Reviewed

1. Thermal Grizzly Thermal Paste 

In terms of quality, there is no doubt that Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut Thermal Paste will come to mind. This thermal paste has been developed for various applications that provide a high-efficiency rating. It is the best liquid metal thermal paste on the todays market.

It has been highly praised and recommended by experienced customers, even considering this thermal paste as a top-notch product for dissipating heat temperature that ranges for over 8°C. For most PC enthusiasts and gamers, Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut Thermal Paste is one of the best thermal paste for CPU and GPU 2021 in terms of overclocking.

Thermal Grizzly Thermal Paste

5 / 5
5/5
thermal grizzly
Best liquid metal thermal paste
Easy to apply and remove

To use this thermal paste, you have to be skilled as it is not easy to apply compared to other thermal paste which has easier and simpler applications. The heatsink compound in this thermal paste has the capacity to conduct electricity. 

Before you start applying the Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut Thermal Paste, you have to make sure that the heatsink has been cleaned using alcohol. Remember that there should be no aluminum components on your heatsink as the thermal paste can damage it due to incompatibility.

This thermal paste has proven its worth several times. It saves you a lot of trouble by reducing the heat released by your CPU by over 10°C. Although, this result depends on the materials used for your computer’s processor. 

Moreover, Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut Thermal Paste is composed of eutectic alloy mixed with a ratio of gallium, tin, and indium which are responsible for achieving high thermal conductivity. Ideally, it is best applied to a nickel-plated copper for longer stability.

This thermal paste optimizes heat transfer for large scale cooling systems. It has been provided with 73 watts per square meter on the surface area in relation to the thermal conductivity ratings which is quite exceptional. 

Significantly, it even offers a -50°C to +180°C peak “operating” temperature scale. Before buying this thermal paste for GPU and CPU, make sure to weigh all your options and read the instructions carefully to utilize its benefits to the fullest, enabling you to further enhance your PC’s cooling systems.

Pros

Cons

2. Noctua NT-H2 Thermal Paste

Noctua NT-H2 Pro-Grade Thermal Paste won’t disappoint you if you are looking for an exceptional thermal paste for the CPU. It has a premium grade thermal component which supports the optimization of transferring heat from your GPU or CPU towards the heatsink. 

This thermal paste is considered to be the new improved version of the NT-H1 model that combines its iconic features which is easy to use. You don’t have to spread the thermal paste before the installation of the heatsink.

Noctua NT-H2 Thermal Paste

4.9 / 5
4.9/5

It is also very easy to apply as the package includes NACW1 cleaning wipes. Furthermore, it has been known for long term stability due to its fine-tuned micro particle formula that delivers only the best thermal paste performance you can ever have.

Noctua NT-H2 Pro-Grade Thermal Paste is a non-corrosive thermal grease that does not conduct electricity. When applied to your CPU or laptop, there is little to no risk of having short circuits. It is quite safe to apply and use towards all varieties of the heatsink. In terms of shelf life, it is recommended to be stored for a maximum of three years only. 

As for usage, you have to use your thermal paste for CPU for a maximum of five years to enjoy its efficiency and effective cooling performance. It is ideal for those gamers who use a gaming motherboard for an optimal gaming experience without overheating.

This thermal paste for laptops and CPUs is quite flexible. It can provide you an air-based and water-based cooling performance on your GPU or CPU, be it for overclocking or for the silent system. With Noctua NT-H2 Pro-Grade Thermal Paste [10g], you will only look forward to its outstanding performance for keeping your CPU safe and damage-free. 

It does not matter whether your heatsink is made up of aluminum alloy, copper, or if it’s nickel-plated. What matters is its excellent cooling capabilities that will leave you satisfied in the long run. Before you use this thermal paste, make sure to read the instructions properly to avoid any problems.

Pros

Cons

3. Cooler Master Thermal Paste

Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano-tech Diamond Particle Thermal Paste is considered one of the best thermal paste applications for your CPU and laptop. This product has been developed to enhance your experience as a user. This thermal paste has been designed as a flat nozzle syringe for its appearance which allows the precision of the thermal paste when spread evenly on the surface of your CPU.

Cooler Master Thermal Paste

4.8 / 5
4.8/5

This thermal paste has a higher range of thermal conductivity which matches the basic cooling requirements needed for aiding the transfer of heat of your GPU to the cooling pad. This, in turn, provides better performance and longevity. 

Specifically, its thermal conductivity rating is 11 watts per square meter on the surface area. This thermal paste also has higher anti-erosion capabilities when compared to other similar products which can be concluded as its advantage.

The brand “Cooler Master” can be considered as a thermal paste industrial tycoon that offers only the best experience in terms of cooling performance. Cooling has been a part of their expertise which allows you to place your confidence with this product, provided that it suits your preferences and needs that you are looking for in a thermal paste.

Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano-tech Diamond Particle Thermal Paste is quite good for overclocking your graphics or video card. The same thing applies when replacing the old thermal paste of your CPU with the better one which greatly affects the performance of your cooling system. 

Not only is it affordable and a great pick for you but also a stable provider of quality results in terms of thermal paste application. Just remember to read the manual before you start applying this thermal paste onto your GPU and laptop.

Pros

Cons

4. Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Paste

Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Grease Paste is a popular thermal paste for laptops that comes at an affordable price. This product has been designed to accommodate extremely difficult and arduous applications which include a complex overclocking application. It has also been recommended by users as a top-notch product for optimizing critical “cooling” systems used for industrialization.

Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Paste

4.6 / 5
5/5

This thermal paste is easy to use as the package encloses a spatula for application purposes. It also includes cleaning pads (x2) for cleaning purposes which is a good reflection of your money, making it one of the best thermal paste for 2021 in terms of versatility and affordability. Additionally, the volume of this product is sufficient enough for various applications such as:

  • Thermal Heat Conductivity Application
  • Extreme Overclocking Application
  • Overclocking Application
  • Water Based Cooling Application
  • Air Based Cooling Application

However, this thermal paste is not applicable for sensitive silicone application.

Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Grease Paste has an extremely high thermal conductivity that measures about 12.5 watts per square meter on the surface area. It can go well between -200°C to +350°C. 

Once applied, you don’t have to worry about the cure time and use the heatsink when necessary, unlike other brands that have to go through a curing time of more or less 12 hours after the thermal paste application. 

This type of support model can help you ensure that the thermal paste’s nano aluminum and tin oxide compounds are mixed perfectly. This means that the heat output unevenness of the CPU and heatsink compensates that of any exceptional thermal conductivity for longer stability

The design of this product is similar to that of a syringe which helps to apply thermal paste within the surface of narrow and compact spaces on your CPU or GPU. Read the instructions included within the package to avoid damaging your CPU or GPU most especially if it is your first time to use a thermal paste.

Pros

Cons

5. Corsair XTM50 Thermal Paste

Corsair XTM50 High-Performance Thermal Compound Paste is another reliable thermal paste for our laptop and CPU that is affordable while providing quality performance. For the most part, this thermal paste for GPU and CPU can allow you to install or replace its pre-existing thermal compound found within, thereby improving the transferring of heat and lowering the temperatures to avoid damaging the PC equipment.

Corsair XTM50 Thermal Paste

4.5 / 5
5/5

This thermal paste for the CPU has a mixture of zinc oxide within its base compound which helps in optimizing thermal performance. It easily cools your laptop and CPU which results in the longevity of the equipment combined with proper maintenance. 

This is all thanks to the ultra-low thermal capacity of Corsair XTM50 High-Performance Thermal Compound Paste as compared with other average thermal paste available in the market. What’s more is that thermal paste application is fairly easy using the enclosed stencil as well as the spreader to evenly apply the paste onto the surface of the cooler.

Corsair XTM50 High-Performance Thermal Compound Paste has a low viscosity capacity which can easily help you fill the microscopic “abrasions” intended for peak “thermal” transfer. Worried that this thermal paste won’t last long? 

You do not have to worry since this thermal paste for a laptop boasts a higher stability rating for its liquid compound that is sure to last for years even without drying or change in its consistency. Moreover, it is non-conductive and includes “zero” volatile components which make it safe not only for your CPU but also for you.

There isn’t much of an objection if we say that Corsair XTM50 High-Performance Thermal Compound Paste is one of the best thermal paste for 2021 due to its remarkable cooling performance, further improving their brand reputation in the market. If the overall component of this thermal paste is what you are looking for to support your CPU, then consider yourself lucky as it is reliable.

Pros

Cons

6. Thermalright TF8 Thermal Paste

Thermalright TF8 Thermal Compound Paste can be considered as one of the high performing thermal paste available in the market. It is also one of those thermal paste that is economically friendly without compromising its capabilities. 

It even has a rating of 13.8W/mK for thermal conductivity which is one of the highest-rated thermal paste of this scale. This connotes that heat from your CPU or GPU can easily be transferred to the heatsink for a much better cooling experience.

Thermalright TF8 Thermal Paste

4.3 / 5
5/5

This thermal paste for GPU and CPU has a higher thermal conductivity since it is composed of various micro carbon particles that are responsible for leading heat conductivity. It even guarantees you that the heat being generated by your CPU or GPU can efficiently and smoothly dissipate after the thermal paste application. Moreover, it is fairly easy to use and apply that even beginners can do so without much of a hassle.

Thermalright TF8 Thermal Compound Paste is safe for you and for your PC equipment. Basically, this product is composed of metal-free compounds that are not electrically conductive which greatly eliminates the possible risks of having short circuits. 

This greatly implies that this thermal paste protects your CPU coolers as well as your VGA cards. This product does not even compromise its cooling quality and thermal conductivity in the long run, allowing you to replace or reapply the thermal paste once after eight years at most.

This thermal paste for GPU or laptop is quite a good catch, being a perfect maintenance partner for your PC and related equipment as compared to other metallic and silicone-based thermal paste products. 

It is not much of a stretch to say that Thermalright TF8 Thermal Compound Paste can help minimize or dissipate the heat coming from your CPU or laptop, giving you the support you need for the stability of pushing the limits of your CPU or GPU system for supreme computer experience. 

This thermal paste is also ideal for PC enthusiasts and gamers that customize their own CPU built, optimizing the experience without the worry of overheating. It is even compatible with overclocking. If you believe that this product has what it takes to heed your needs, go ahead and purchase it.

Pros

Cons

7. GELID Solutions Thermal Paste

GELID Solutions GC-Extreme Thermal Conductive Paste is another budget-friendly thermal paste product that delivers sufficient cooling performance. It won’t be left out and perform on par with the other well known thermal paste brands in terms of cooling and thermal conductivity.

GELID Solutions Thermal Paste

4.2 / 5
5/5

For most PC enthusiasts, GELID Solutions GC-Extreme Thermal Conductive Paste is one of the most popular and one of the best thermal paste in 2021 in terms of overclocking applications. It simply does not disappoint you when referring to its thermal transfer performance. For the most part, users tend to compare this product against Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Grease Paste. 

What makes this particular product stand out is its ability to dissipate heat smoothly, living up to its brand reputation. This thermal paste for laptop and CPU is also non-corrosive, non-toxic, non-curing, and most importantly, not electrically conductive which makes it safe for you and your PC equipment, mitigating the risk of having short circuits that might damage your CPU or GPU. 

In addition to that, this thermal paste works perfectly well under the temperature range of -45°C to +180°C, without harming your equipment. It is best used for your CPU, GPU, VGA cards, chipset as well as your cooler pads or heatsink.

GELID Solutions GC-Extreme Thermal Conductive Paste has been praised and recommended by different users due to its supreme capabilities and user-friendly applications paired with its enclosed GELID applicator for a better experience. 

If you are looking for the best thermal paste for laptop and gaming CPUs that offers sub-zero cooling performance and a hassle-free gaming experience, then this product is your best option. A rare gem among various selections considering its inexpensive price.

Pros

Cons

8. Coollaboratory Liquid Thermal Paste

Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra 100% Metal Thermal Paste is another great option for an inexpensive yet effective thermal paste for GPU and CPU with optimized cooling performance. Its thermal conductivity rating measures up to 38W/mK which helps in transferring heat smoothly from your GPU unit towards the heatsink or cooling pad system.

Coollaboratory Liquid Thermal Paste

4.1 / 5
5/5

This product is composed of 100% liquidized metal which is not suitable for aluminum-based materials. It is important to note that one should be experienced when using this thermal paste. A high level of technical expertise is crucial to avoid damaging the cooling system of your GPU or CPU, especially when you are replacing its cooling system or when you are about to add a liquid block onto the surface. The same applies whenever you are trying to de-lid the CPU unit for improved performance.

This thermal paste for CPU or GPU is non-corrosive and non-conductive which makes your PC equipment safe against the occurrence of short circuits, proving its worth for durability and stability. You can place your trust and confidence in this thermal paste since it has passed the regulations set by RoHS, making it RoHS compliant. 

Not only is it a good value for your money but also a good solution for enhancing the cooling system of your CPU unit. Additionally, cleaning is also easy as the package includes an enclosed cleaner and brushes.

Since this thermal paste is liquidized, it can be used in various applications. Even isolating sensitive CPU parts and areas can be covered easily due to its flexible capability. Significantly, it has been featured by several high-profile influencers in the PC and Gaming Industry as an excellent thermal conductor which leads to enhanced PC and gaming experience thanks to its cooling longevity.

Pros

Cons

9. Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste

Noctua NT-H1 Pro-Grade Thermal Compound Paste is the predecessor of NT-H2 Thermal Paste. Its price is much lower and will let you save a lot of money as compared to other quality thermal paste products. Hence, this is one of the best budget thermal pastes on the market.

Being a predecessor does not mean that it lacks in any way since it uses a well known top-grade thermal component for transferring the heat that comes from your GPU or CPU towards the heatsink or cooling pad systems.

Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste

4.0 / 5
5/5

Ever since it was released to the market, Noctua NT-H1 Pro-Grade Thermal Compound Paste has received over a hundred fifty awards as well as recommendations for its excellent cooling capabilities and heat conductivity. It has also been chosen as one of the best thermal paste for CPU overclocking applications. Other thermal paste application includes the following:

• Water Based Cooling Application
• Air Based Cooling Application
• Silent System

Eventually, this product has become a benchmark for most users when talking about thermal interface material (TIM) quality. You can definitely put your trust in this thermal paste product with no chance of regretting the decision in the long run. 

It is also easy to apply as there is no need for you to spread the thermal paste before you start installing the heatsink. Any excess can be cleaned easily with just a piece of tissue or dry paper towel. No alcohol is needed for cleaning.

Noctua NT-H1 Pro-Grade Thermal Compound Paste is non-corrosive and non-electricity conductive which makes your PC equipment safe from short circuits. It is basically compatible with all types of cooler systems whether or not it is made of aluminum or copper, nickel-plated or not. 

It had proven its longevity and durability. Store it at room temperature for 3 years. Reapply the thermal paste once after five years. That’s just how efficient this product is, delivering only greater results for you.

Pros

Cons

Noctua NT-H1 img 1 Noctua NT-H1 img 2 Noctua NT-H1 img 3 Noctua NT-H1 img 4 Noctua NT-H1 img 5
DENSITY 2,49 g/cm³ 2,49 g/cm³ 2.81 g/cm³ 2.81 g/cm³ -
VOLUME 1,4 ml 4,0 ml 1,2 ml 3,6 ml N/A
NA-CW1 WIPES N/A N/A 3x included 10x included 20x included
WEIGHT/SIZE 3.5g 10 g 3g 10g 15x12cm

10. Arctic Silver 5 AS5-3.5G Thermal Paste

By far, Arctic Silver 5 AS5-3.5G Thermal Paste is the most affordable product that you can purchase that still delivers exceptional cooling capabilities for your CPU and laptop with longer durability. This thermal paste for laptop and CPU utilizes three (3) distinct shapes and/or sizes of silver particles at its 99% purest form which helps in maximizing the transfer of heat towards the heatsink or cooling pads.

Arctic Silver 5 AS5-3.5G Thermal Paste

3.8 / 5
5/5

Significantly, Arctic Silver 5 AS5-3.5G Thermal Paste will never run, separate, bleed or even migrate. It is also quite compatible with high powered modern CPUs, heatsinks, and water-based cooling solutions. 

With that regard, this thermal paste is a good option for users that would use the paste for several CPUs, specifically, if you are working in a shop that builds or fixes CPUs for other people. It is capable of covering fifteen to twenty-five CPU cores (small) or about six to ten CPU cores in large sizes.

There is at least 88% thermal conductive filler found within the Arctic Silver 5 AS5-3.5G Thermal Paste aside from zinc oxide microparticles, aluminum oxide as well as boron nitride. Contrary to other thermal paste of GPU, this product does not contain silicone-based components. 

When applied to your CPU cooling system, it basically thickens after 50 hours to 200 hours until it reaches its final consistency that signifies long-term stability.

Arctic Silver 5 AS5-3.5G Thermal Paste has passed the standards set by RoHS which makes this thermal paste product a trustworthy cooling ally for your CPUs, laptops or GPUs. Moreover, it still works perfectly well under the peak operating temperature range of -50°C to +180°C. Make sure that you read the instructions included in the package before using the product so as to avoid any problems.

Pros

Cons

TYPES OF THERMAL PASTE

Thermal pastes are made from four different thermal compounds that are available in the market. 

Ceramic / Silicone-based Thermal Paste

Zinc Oxide XTM50 Liquid Thermal Paste

Ceramic / silicone based thermal paste is made of metal oxides or ceramic powder. They are usually gray or white in appearance. It is less expensive than other types of thermal compounds.

The metal oxide in the paste is a bad conductor of electricity. Along with metal oxide, the paste also includes other compounds like Aluminum oxide, Zinc oxide, Boron Nitride, Aluminum Nitride, and Silicon Dioxide. 

The performance and quality of this thermal paste depends on the metal oxides. It is electrically non-conductive and has high thermal conductivity that offers great performance. This type of thermal paste is cheap and comes on your budget. 

Remember that you should not choose pure silicone paste. Pure silicone cannot perform well at any cost. 

Metal-Based Thermal Paste

Thermal Grizzly metal based thermal paste

Metal-based thermal paste dominates the market because it has high thermal conductivity. The key compound here is the metal particles that are used as a filler and provide high performance. Metal-based thermal paste looks grayish or silver in color. It is the best choice for the CPU.

But these heatsink compounds are a little expensive compared to silicone based type. You can use this paste on high performance gaming PCs and also for overlock purposes.

Silver and Aluminum are the most demanding metal particles. You should be very careful while using this paste over the CPU or GPU because it might cause a short circuit or damage the components. Metal based thermal paste is also available in liquid form. But the liquid metal thermal paste is also very expensive as they contain Gallium.

Although the metal based thermal compound provides efficient performance, it has one disadvantage. It is capacitive and electrically conductive. 

Points to remember when using metal based thermal paste: 

  • Generally, Intel IHS are made of nickel plated copper and AMD Threadripper IHS contain Tin. Liquid metal thermal paste should be avoided in both IHS. 
  • Liquid metal thermal paste containing gallium is not good for aluminum heat sinks and IHS (Integrated Heat Spreader)
  • Also, metal-based thermal paste is not recommended for sub-zero overclocking containing liquid nitrogen to cool the CPU at negative temperature before overlock.

Hybrid Thermal Paste

Noctua NT-H1 Hybrid Thermal Paste

We all know that hybrid means combination or mixture. Likewise hybrid thermal paste is also a mixture of many different particles that make up a single thermal paste. The mixture contains metal particles including metal oxides and some others that are unique to the manufacturer.

These compounds generally provide the best performance with no curing time, and they are usually gray in color. Most are expensive, but are still used for overlocking and by gaming enthusiasts for its performance.

Carbon-based Thermal Paste

The carbon based thermal paste is another type, which is similar in performance to the metal based thermal paste. It is composed of carbon particles such as graphite powder, diamond powder, and graphite oxide as a filler.

Thermal conductivity is very high and does not conduct electricity. It appears grayish and are non-capacitive. But the only thing is carbon-based thermal paste is a bit expensive when compared to other silicone based thermal paste. However it offers excellent performance with PC.

How Thermal Paste Works?

The thermal paste is a compound that can fill even the smallest gap between the heatsink and the processing unit which provides stable connection and cools effortlessly. Thermal pastes are available in different varieties such as the silicone-based type, ceramic based compound, metal based thermal paste, and carbon compound.

Among them, metal based thermal paste is widely used in many applications, as it provides excellent thermal conduction. The thermal paste flows continuously as a liquid and acts as an interface between the heatsink and processor for better transfer of heat. It reduces the temperature of your processor (CPU or GPU) and improves the performance of your PC. 

The maximum temperature limit of thermal paste is about 150 degrees C. But some of them have the ability to withstand up to 300 degrees celsius.

METHODS TO APPLY THERMAL PASTE?

There are various ways to apply thermal paste on the CPU or heatsink. It might be tough for you to select the right technique to apply thermal paste for your PC. You can try any method, but the only thing you’ve to remember is the quantity of the thermal compound you’re using.

If you apply thermal paste beyond the recommended level then it may cause damages to the internal components of your PC. So be cautious while using it. Here are a few methods that you can try.

Metal Based Thermal Paste applied to a chip (Wikipedia)

Pea Method

If you’re a beginner, then it might be a little bit daunting for you to apply the thermal paste. Pea method is the easiest method that can be used by anyone. Here you need to place a pea-sized amount of thermal paste on the CPU and then place the heatsink top of it. Then the thermal paste spreads evenly over the processor with pressure and temperature. 

For example, if you use ceramic and carbon based thermal paste, then just squeeze a little bit of paste and place it on the CPU and keep the heatsink over it. Then press the two parts together so that the paste will spread evenly and fills the gap.

Blob method

The blob method is the right choice for beginners as well as experts. It works even with the high-viscosity compounds. Applying a very little amount might hurt the thermal conductivity because the hot spot will not be fully covered and results in an overheated component. So it is advisable to use a cooler that can tolerate the paste application. 

If you’re using a high-viscosity paste, then definitely you need a cooler which can apply additional pressure, so that you can use a little more compound as it has a chance of overspreading. 

Generally, 2mm and 4mm blob size can be used. Exceeding this limit leads to a risk. 

Brush Method

Brush method is applicable for Liquid thermal paste. It is very easy for you to use. This paste comes with a brush for you to apply effortlessly. However, it has a unique problem. As mentioned earlier, most of the liquid thermal paste has high silicon content, which negatively affects their thermal conductivity.

In general, most liquid thermal pastes will give extraordinary performance compared to other high viscosity compounds. These pastes have a middle ground in the form of semi-liquid mixtures that provide better performance. But don’t wind it up too much when using the brush method. 

Strip method

Many people make the same mistake of adding too much paste during the application, and this will leave out from the sides of your PC components. This can be very harmful if your thermal compound has high electrical conductivity. Placing a strip of thermal paste between the components prevents any leakage. 

Other popular methods of thermal paste applications are line, x and spread methods which are widely recognized and work well.

How to Remove Thermal Paste?

Removing the existing dried out thermal paste is also very easy. Isopropyl alcohol is an effective solution for cleaning. You can use paper, towel, or cotton cloth for cleaning.  Dip any of them in 70% to 90% isopropyl alcohol and then remove it.

You should always remove and clean each and every trace of the older paste to avoid any issues that may occur in future. 

Some ceramic paste comes with a spreader which helps you while applying. And, the thermal pad helps to remove the residue of thermal grease easily.

If you’re interested to learn more about thermal pads, check out our Thermal Paste Vs Thermal Pads article. 

Best Way To Apply Thermal Paste

Below is the step by step guide to apply thermal paste. 

1. Insert the GPU or CPU to the appropriate socket from your PC’s motherboard (or gaming motherboard for gamers).

2. Put a small amount of thermal paste at the center of your CPU. A pea-size or smaller should be enough. Place it to the component then press down, locking it into place to help spread the thermal paste.

3. If the thermal paste was not evenly spread, mop it then try once again.

However, if you want to clean off thermal paste, just wipe it using a lintless “microfiber” cloth or coffee filter as an alternative. In terms of cleaning, just wipe it using the designated cloth.

Steps To Avoid When Applying Thermal Paste

1. Don’t apply too much thermal paste on the metal surface. This reduces the efficacy of the thermal paste and may spill out onto the motherboard. So you have to use only a pea sized amount of paste to the heatsink.

2. Don’t spread the thermal paste by yourself. Instead use a base plate and give pressure over it for the paste to spread. This prevents the formation of air bubbles which causes a negative effect on heat transfer. 

3. Reusing the paste may also cause air bubble formation. If it happens, you must remove the CPU cooler and clean it off completely. Then try with a new one. The fresh thermal paste remains for long-term usage.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE SUITABLE THERMAL PASTE FOR YOUR CPU AND LAPTOP

Finding the best thermal paste for GPU, CPU, and laptop might be challenging due to numerous brands to choose from. However, this guide can help you determine what factors to look into before buying the best thermal paste for the CPU that suits your preferences and needs.

1. Thermal Conduction

The application of thermal paste towards your CPU or processor requires optimum care to inhibit harm from occurring, i.e. experiencing short circuits. This usually happens when the thermal paste has the ability to conduct electricity. To prevent such a thing from occurring, it is best to buy thermal paste that has an electricity-free or low electricity conductivity compound such as carbon.

Knowing the conductivity level of the thermal paste can provide you with enhanced reliability and versatility, ensuring the safety of your CPU. In this regard, checking the conductivity rating of the thermal paste can save you a great deal in relation to its heat transfer efficiency from processor to heatsink.

Aside from the carbon-based compounds, the liquid and non-metallic compounds also provide different levels of thermal conductivity. Liquid-based compounds run for 70 watts per square meter on the surface area while non-metallic compounds run for about 4 to 10 watts per square meter on the surface area. Remember: Higher thermal rating implies better heat conductivity.

2. Material Composition

As stated above, knowing the composition base of your thermal paste is important. Thermal paste with liquid metal material based has a higher risk in damaging your aluminum-based CPU or GPU heatsink cooler. 

It is either you use a non-corrosive thermal paste that can protect your aluminum cooler heatsink or opt for a nickel-plated copper for your cooler heatsink if you are to use a liquid metal-based thermal paste. Moreover, this material composition is better for heat conductivity.

3. Thermal Design Power (TDP)

The Thermal Design Power (TDP) of your GPU can help you determine the amount of power that you need to use. 

It can help you gauge the heat level that your processor might get after long usage. Processors with high TPD usually generate more heat which makes an important factor when selecting the appropriate thermal paste for GPU. This is to make sure that the processor is safe, cooler, can perform at its finest, and can handle the heat being generated whenever used.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Best Thermal Paste for PS3? 

Playstation 3 is an old hardware and so not applying any thermal paste to the processor can cause permanent damage to the components. Because the older paste dries off quickly, so it is necessary to add thermal paste for your gaming console. Also thermal paste is available in many different forms, and you need the best thermal paste for your PS3.

Arctic Silver 5 and Noctua NT-H1 are the best thermal pastes for PS3 that are available in the market. We have mentioned both the products in our top 10 list. Check it above.

2. What is the Best Thermal Paste for PS4?

A gamer cannot live without PS4, but they become mad when their console produces noise. This is due to the quality of the existing thermal paste in your CPU. Sometimes the thermal paste gets crusty and stops working. This leads to overheating and the fans in the PS4 run louder.  To rectify this problem you have to replace the thermal paste. 

The best thermal paste for PS4 is the same as for PS3; Noctua NT-H1, Arctic silver 5, and also Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut. You can refer the details of those products above in the 10 Best Thermal Paste Reviewed section.

3. What is the Best Thermal Paste for Xbox One?

Have you got distracted by the noise in your gaming console Xbox. This is only because of the old thermal paste in the CPU. If you replace it with a fresh thermal paste, then there will be no disturbances to distract you. 

Don’t use metal based thermal pastes for your Xbox One. It might damage the motherboard. The best thermal paste for Xbox One that we recommend is Arctic MX4 cooling thermal paste. This is a carbon based paste that provides high performance for gaming consoles and it can last for a long time. So you can use it for your Xbox One without any confusion.

Infographics of Best Thermal Paste

CONCLUSION

If you buy a CPU cooler, the package usually includes a thermal paste which is most likely stock. The quality of stock thermal paste does not even come close to the ones being sold in larger stores with higher turnover rates considering the shelf life. You should buy a thermal paste for the GPU if you notice that the processor runs hot even when using low temperature. 

On the other hand, the thermal paste for the laptop must be replaced by a skillful technician to avoid damaging the component as manufacturers use average quality compounds. Finding the suitable thermal paste for laptop and CPU might be hard but there are so many choices to choose from. 

After considering several factors and your budget limitation in line with your preferences, finding the right thermal paste for you is possible. I hope that this article is informative enough to help you make a decision when buying the best thermal paste for CPU and laptop.

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