Thermal paste can be very handy to fill even the tiniest gaps – improving the overall cooling and performance. There are many different types of thermal compounds like silicon, ceramic, metal and carbon-based materials.
- What Does Thermal Paste Do?
- Best Overall Thermal Paste: Arctic MX-4
- Best Silver Compound: Arctic Silver 5
- Best Thermal Paste For Laptops: Noctua NT-H1
- Best Thermal Paste For PCs: Cooler Master MasterGel Maker
- Best Thermal Paste For Overclocking: Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
- The Best Thermal Pastes of 2022
- Thermal Pastes Buying Guide
- How Does Thermal Paste Work?
- How To Apply Thermal Paste
- Types of Thermal Paste
- The Wrap Up
What Does Thermal Paste Do?
If your processor is running too hot even at a low temperature then it is the best idea to use a good thermal paste. It is also possible to apply the paste to laptops because it may not be coated well and it will be constructed with average quality materials.
The most important function of the thermal paste is to spread the heat from the processor or chip to the cooling device. The chips and coolers will not mix together at every spot, so the thermal paste is used to fill the gaps that are not properly connected to the processor then it is transferred to the cooler.
The cooling can make your system work for a long time without any damages, and it can dissipate heat for keeping the powerful CPU to be cool. Most thermal pastes comes with a specific tool to spread the paste over CPU or motherboard except for a liquid metal paste.
Best Overall Thermal Paste: Arctic MX-4
Arctic MX-4 is one of the leading thermal pastes and is filled with a microparticle of carbon which improves the thermal conductivity of the paste that makes it more effective. The MX-4 is very easy to use even for beginners; it is not electrically conductive because it is not made up of metallic particles.
This thermal paste comes with a high level of durability because it is constructed with a fine metallic silver particle. It can directly connect with each and every pin on the CPU and offers a soft consistency for the paste.
It has a 0.64-ounce tube, which provides enough amount of thermal paste for multiple applications. The design is very simple so that you can eliminate the risk of creating spills or spoiling the hardware.
It provides the conductivity rate of 8.5W/mK because it is a carbon-based compound which gives you the superconductivity. It’s also compatible with nitrogen, air coolers as well as liquid.
The carbon material used in the thermal paste can enhance thermal conductivity and makes it even more efficient. It’s very easy to apply when you squeeze the paste you can place the cooler as a paste so it’s not needed to any settling time.
Best Silver Compound: Arctic Silver 5
Arctic Silver 5 is the latest and most advanced thermal greases in the market, it is also the best high-density paste and it can be squeezed to come out from the tube.
It offers an efficient performance which consists of 99.9% micronized silver; the micronized silver has the ability to effectively handle the heat-producing CPU even at a very higher or demanding performance.
This thermal paste will take some time to do its best only after a few hours passed because it takes an affordable time to settle.
The Arctic Silver 5 has fine silver particles which can provide an extraordinary thermal conductivity rate. It is also a metallic substance which can be combined with liquid nitrogen and it is well compressed as a fluid.
It is designed with a break-in period in which the thermal compound inside the tube changes its consistency and increases the performance. If the break-in period is over, you no need to turn off your PC and the temperature will not change.
It is not electrically conductive so you need not get conscious of heat or other factors. This thermal paste is well tested in a huge number of processors and it offers efficient performance without any discomfort or issues.
It produces the thermal conductivity at the rate of 8.9W/mK which is a good output for the users.
Best Thermal Paste For Laptops: Noctua NT-H1
Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound Paste is a high performance paste that keeps your system cool even under high use. It provides a secure thermal bond between the heat sink contact base and the CPU.
It is a hybrid thermal compound that offers a high level of cooling without any electrical conduction. It gives faster performance and does not require any burn-in time.
This hybrid thermal compound allows for minimum thermal resistance and long-term stability. It is made up of thick particles so it makes the paste slightly drier but it is very easy to apply.
It has a long-lasting durable life of up to two years. Installation is very simple and quick. You can just apply a small amount of paste on to the middle of your processor or CPU’s heat spreader and press the cooler to sit tightly above your CPU.
It is fully compatible with all materials and is well suited for aluminum and a copper cooler. This thermal paste works efficiently even at lower temperatures to deliver better performance and it may be easy to clean.
Best Thermal Paste For PCs: Cooler Master MasterGel Maker
Offers the best thermal conductivity for high performance CPUs or chipsets.
Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Thermal Compound Paste is specifically designed for offering the best thermal conductivity for high performance CPUs or chipsets.
It is not electrically conductive so you may avoid the problem of short-circuiting and provides good protection as well as performance for long-term use.
MasterGel Maker Thermal Compound is constructed with a Nano diamond particle which makes the material maker to be less weight and it will be very easy to spread or remove the erosion when applying it.
It is made up of silicon which gives dielectric energy and has a unique composition that combines the fine carbon particles of grade diamond which produces the graphite-like conductivity.
It applies smoothly with an estimated temperature between 50 to 150 degrees. It’s a new modeled thermal paste but gives a maximum thermal performance which produces thermal conductivity of 11W/mK.
Best Thermal Paste For Overclocking: Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
The Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Paste gives good cooling performance and limits your CPU from overclocking or overheating. It is an excellent grease-based compound capable of delivering maximum heat transfer between the CPU and cooler.
It is not electrically conductive so you can easily squeeze the paste from the top and spread it over the processor. It has a very small syringe but produces an enormous amount of thermal conductance and can ideal for applying at cramped spaces.
The thermal conductivity rating can be 12.5W/mK. You can gently apply the paste on your middle of the hand and spread it over the heat-resistant spots. It is designed to give the most specialized structure and makes the processor dry up to 80 degrees Celsius.
The Best Thermal Pastes of 2022
- Best Overall: Arctic MX-4
- Best Silver Compound: Arctic Silver 5
- Best for Laptops: Noctua NT-H1
- Best for PCs: Cooler Master MasterGel Maker
- Best for Overclocking: Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
Thermal Pastes Buying Guide
When you have a new processor, you can use it for enhanced gaming, modeling or standard work but you must buy the top quality paste so that the CPU can stay cool without any overclocking or overheating.
When you plan to buy a thermal paste make sure that it has good thermal conductivity, thermal greases play an important role in managing the temperature of a microprocessor in a computer or other electronic devices.
They must provide high versatility and reliability to keep the system cool and safe.
Every thermal paste has a good thermal conductivity rating which is nothing but to transfer the heat from the processors to the heatsink.
If the thermal conductivity is more than the temperature, then it will be reduced more.
The thermal paste is a thermally conductive substance that can be applied between the CPU and its cooler which helps to prevent the system from overclocking.
If you need thermal paste for just one or two processors then you need not worry about the density or availability of the paste, but every thermal paste will contain enough paste to install your CPU.
To enhance the application process easier you must choose the thermal paste with an adequate amount of density so that it can squeeze easily throughout the CPU.
The liquid thermal paste has less density than the normal thermal paste. It must also have an even consistency for applying the paste directly to your CPU or GPU.
It should be a carbon-based compound and must be free from electrical conductivity so that it may be easy for you to apply without any short circuits.
When you are ready to apply a thermal paste over the processor or any other equipment you must be careful because it can affect or harm you by short circuits.
You must choose a paste with low conductivity so that you can use it without any shorts even if it touches the electrical components.
The best approach to apply the paste is to take a pea-sized amount at the center and allow the heatsink to push the paste on the CPU.
This technique avoids spreading of paste over the heat spreader it works well with a less viscous paste.
If the thermal paste can conduct electricity then it may lead to the short circuitry.
It is very important to choose the product and ensure whether it is conductive or non-conductive, if it is not electrically conductive then it is safe to use.
How Does Thermal Paste Work?
Thermal Paste fills even the little gap between the heatsink and processing unit, which means it provides a constant connection and cools effortlessly.
There are different types of thermal paste available in the market- you’ll see silicon-based compound, metal-based compound, carbon compound, ceramic-based compounds.
Among these types, for most applications, a metal-based compound is used because it provides excellent thermal conductivity.
Thermal paste flows continuously as a liquid, the maximum temperature limit is 150 degrees C whereas some paste can withstand up to 300 degrees C.
How To Apply Thermal Paste
If you’re a beginner then applying thermal paste might be a little bit daunting, because if applied too much it can cause a lot of damages to your PC’s internal components.
If you use ceramic and carbon-based thermal paste then all you have to do is squeeze a bit of paste and place over the area where the heatsink contacts outside of the CPU.
No matter whether you’ve used it before because it’s very simple, by pressing the two pieces together the paste will spread out and fill the gaps or air bubbles.
By chance, some ceramic paste will be manufactured with a spreader which would be easy to spread before applying. A thermal pad is simple to use as it removes the leftover thermal grease easily.
Types of Thermal Paste
There are different types of thermal compounds available in the market.
Ceramic / Silicone-based
Ceramic /Silicone-based compounds make use of metal oxides or ceramic powder suspended in silicone compound.
This type of thermal paste is cheaper than the Metal and carbon-based thermal compounds.
It is electrically non-conductive and the performance of the thermal paste completely depends on the type of metal oxide.
Some of the metal oxides which are used in this paste are Aluminum oxide, Boron Nitride, Zinc oxide, Silicon Dioxide, and Aluminum Nitride.
Don’t choose pure silicone paste that is worst of all and must be neglected at any cost.
Metal-based thermal paste rules the market as it uses metal particles as a filler and contains higher thermal conductivity.
These heatsink compounds are expensive yet it can be used in high-performance gaming PCs and for overclocking purposes.
The most demanding metal particles include silver and aluminum. The only disadvantage of metal-based thermal compounds is they are electrically conductive and capacitive.
It’s highly recommended to use the paste carefully over the CPU or GPU because it may cause damage to your components.
The next type is Carbon-based thermal paste which is very close to the performance of metal-based thermal paste.
It is completely made of carbon particles such as graphite powder, graphite oxide as a filler, and diamond powder.
Thermal conductivity is too high and it is electrically non-conductive and non-capacitive.
More than that it is expensive when compared to ceramic or silicone-based thermal grease.
Hybrid Thermal Paste
We all know that hybrid thermal paste is a mixture of different particles that form a single thermal paste.
Actually, it contains a mixture of metal particles along with metal oxides or some other particles.
The Wrap Up
Getting the right thermal paste and applying it can enhance the temperature and improve the performance of your CPU/GPU.
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