Heat in a computer is something that poses a lot of problems to it. One of the greatest contributing factors to the performance of a computer is the heat produced. To dissipate the heat, both desktop and laptop computers come with a heatsink.
It helps you to passively exchange the components that take heat from the computer. Some computers use alternatives such as liquid cooling as well. Whatever the case may be, heat control is very much necessary and the best thermal paste is one way to go about it.
Best Thermal Paste
In this article, we are going to review some of the best thermal pastes and give you a complete thermal buying tutorial. So, without wasting any time, let us dive right into the article and see some of the best thermal paste that we at g24i have chosen for you.
1. Noctua NT-H1
The Noctua NT-H1 is a well known high-grade best thermal paste that provides more than enough heat transfer from the CPU/GPU to the heatsink. It is renowned for its quality and has more than 150 awards and recommendations. It can also be used as a temperature reduction compound in other electronics as well. The paste is excellent and it gives you long term stability. It can be stored up to 3 years and then it should be applied to the CPU for 5 years only. The pack has 3.5 grams of weight and it doesn’t conduct electricity which is a good thing.
- It is very easy to use, it has a nice applicator and the spread of the paste is decent as well.
- There is also a generous amount of paste inside the syringe for multiple uses.
- Works on overclocked CPUs as well.
- The nozzles are a bit faulty so applying the correct (or small) amount is a bit tricky.
The noticeable fault that we saw in this thermal paste was that it was really difficult to apply the correct amount. Taking out a pea-sized amount was something that I struggled with. Having said that, other features such as an impressive amount of heat dissipation make it one of the Best Thermal Paste available in the market at present.
2. Arctic MX-4
ARCTIC is a world leader in the manufacturing of pc coolers and thermal components. The company has a solid lineup of computer part coolers as well as a section dedicated to audiophiles. ARCTIC was a company run by founder Magnus Huber and it is located in Germany. But the company provides its service is more than 45 countries. The MX4 by the Arctic is a non-capacitive thermal paste meaning it doesn’t conduct electricity. The compound used as the main ingredient of the thermal paste is a Carbon Micro-Particle.
it is non-curing, it doesn’t rust the surface and it is also a good choice for all types of CPU and GPUs for cooling.it has a low thermal resistance therefore, the conductivity is high. The heat is dissipated efficiently. Another huge bonus that this paste provides is that it will not short circuit your devices like silver or metal oxide . The Arctic MX4 comes with an easy application tube that provides a good deal of durability. You get 4 grams of thermal paste with it.
- Excellent for all kinds of usage.
- Great value for money
- Will not work in overclocked systems
Overclocking refers to increasing the overall performance of the CPU by maximizing its frequency. One of the worst problems that overclocking a system brings is heat. There is a lot of heat being produced from an overclocked system therefore, most thermal pastes don’t work in such scenarios. Sadly, the Arctic MX4 also doesn’t support any overclocking. Aside from that, it works fine for normal usage and it is available at an affordable price bracket.
3. Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut
Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut is a very high efficient paste that has a really impressive thermal conductivity. it is recommended for devices where the conductivity is very critical and need cooling. It can be delivered in easy to apply syringe with a 1 gram paste. The heat transfer that it delivers is optimal as well.it is designed for applications where heat conduction is of critical importance. It is a very renowned choice for expensive PC builders.
- Using a small amount will significantly reduce your CPU’s temperature. Sometimes by even 20 degrees.
- Nice Packaging and affordable pricing
- instant cooling
- needs frequent cleaning.
The thermal compound in this paste is a bit off, to be honest. You need to frequently clean it every few months or so otherwise, the liquid metal will start toasting. This will make a complete mess in your processor. On the contrary, there are many positive things about it. From the presentation to the actual heat dissipation, the thermal paste is very impressive overall.
Also, check- How to check your CPU temperature?
4. Arctic Silver 5
We have already talked about ARCTIC as a company (best among all), the Silver 5 is an impressive addition to Arctic’s lineup of amazing quality thermal pastes for cooling. The performance is stable and it is considered as a premium thermal paste with thermal compounds that can cater to a wide audience. The ARCTIC Silver 5 is optimized for a huge range of bond lines between many modern high powered CPUs and high-performance heatsinks (or Water Cooling Systems). Speaking about the chemistry of the thermal paste, it has over 88% of thermally conductive filler by weight. The Arctic Silver 5 also has sub-micron zinc oxide, aluminum oxide, and boron nitride particles.
The Arctic Silver 5 can lower the CPU temperature by 3 to 12 degrees centigrade more than some standard thermal components which is a pretty big deal if you ask us. The actual working mechanism of the compound is also quite descriptive. It does not have much silicone. The suspension fluid present is a proprietary mixture of advanced polysynthetic oils that can work together to give you three distinct phases. As the paste comes out of the syringe, the Arctic Silver 5 is engineered for ease of application. When the CPU is in the initial use, the thermal compound will thin out so the microscopic holes are filled and the compound will thicken over the next 50 to 200 hours of use.
- If it is applied properly, it will definitely last a while.
- Impressive Quality of compounds in the paste
- good For long term cooling
- Priced a bit aggressively
In comparison to some of the other products that we have reviewed, the Arctic Silver 5 is kind of priced a bit high. This is mainly due to the fact that it is a premium product. As far as the feature goes, it has an impressive heat dissipation.
5. Best Cooler Master MasterGel Maker
You might have heard of Cooler Master. They are some of the best people in the market for computer products. They sell all types of products from heat sinks, CPU Fans to the thermal paste. The master gel thermal paste by the cooler master is one of the best gels that you can possibly buy for the money. It has a very high CPU/GPU conductivity. There are NanoDiamond particles that maintain a wide range of temperatures (-50 to 150-degree Celcius). It also has a really great viscosity that makes it easy to spread or remove the cracking or drying of the paste. The thermal conductivity of the paste is 11 W/m-K which is pretty good, to be honest. It will significantly decrease the heat on your system.
- Excellent heat dissipation with great thermal conductivity
- The brand recognition of Cool master
- Decent pricing
- Tricky Application
Applying the cooler master gel maker is a whole different ball game altogether. While it has the features that can pass it as one of the best thermal conductors available. There are quite a few problems when you want to squeeze the perfect amount of it. This isn’t helped by the design of the nozzle as well. This is one of the best thermal pastes out there yet is plagued by a few shortcomings. Nonetheless, we do really recommend this product.
LT-100 is also one of our favorite thermal pastes and it is because of a few reasons. First, it has the accordance with RoHS and reaches environmental protection requirements. It is also a liquid metal thermal compound based on an eutectic alloy which makes sure that the environment doesn’t get affected. The mixture of metals is excellent like tin, gallium, indium, etc that makes the thermal conductivity of the product also very high. As far as the application temperature goes, it can be applied at -30 degrees to +140 degrees Celsius which is expected given the quality of the paste itself.
- Good nozzles and quality
- Impressive thermal conductivity
- Only Supports Aluminium heatsinks
The support for only Aluminium heatsinks is one area where it could’ve improved by a long shot. The product itself misses a huge market where the Aluminum heatsinks are more prevalent. Having said that, the paste nails other aspects of what it takes to be a good thermal paste. Aspects such as thermal conductivity, price and even the whole design of the LT-100 is something that we really found amazing about the product.
7. Thermaltake TG-8
The TG-8 thermal paste by Thermaltake is designed to provide you with an extreme performance as far as heat dissipation goes. It has a diamond powder that improves its thermal conductivity. A longer lifespan is also present with this thermal paste. It is better than some other pastes based on the silicon compounds. As far as ease of usage goes, the nozzle of the paste is decent enough. The paste comes with a year of warranty.
- Really decent performance.
- Affordable pricing
- The tube is only about 1/3rd full when you get it.
The price of this thermal paste is quite decent but one thing that it really messes is the quantity. Now quality over quantity is a well-known thing but sometimes quantity can win many battles. Switching to the performance itself, the thermal paste’s quality is shown by the fact that the CPU can idle at 20 degrees and even in maximum load, the CPU doesn’t go beyond 55 degrees. This type of heat dissipation is unheard of but the TG-8 pulls it off.
8. Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
Another impressive paste from Thermal Grizzly, the kryonaut thermal paste comes with an impressive array of features that help you with your pc cooling.
The Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut is a premium paste that comes with impressive quality. It has no conductive power which is perfect for thermal paste and it sets pretty easily too. Actually, it doesn’t have a set time requirement which is a good thing. It is also pretty easier to apply. One of the only real problems with this thermal paste is that thermal grizzly conductonaut is priced way more than expected. It is even expensive than some of the other equally feature-rich pastes. In addition, the cooling capabilities are 3 to 4 percent lower than something like the Arctic Silver 5 in this one.
- Premium Paste
- Doesn’t have a set time requirement
- Easy to Apply
- Very Expensive
While the quality of this paste is really good, one thing that lets us down is, as you guessed the price. But that is just the tip of the iceberg, the paste also has less quantity than some other pastes that come in the same price bracket so, this makes it a pretty hard sell.
9. GC-Extreme Thermal Compound
The overclocking market prefers a thermal paste than cool your pc under stressful conditions. The enthusiasts that fo for this kind of thermal paste usually have high expectations and the GC-Extreme Thermal Compound is no exception. This paste will not disappoint you as it is pretty great as far as the performance is concerned.
While the performance here is not as good as something like the Grizzly Kryonaut, it does provide decent cooling thanks to the thermal conductivity at 8.5 W / mK. It is one of the best in the market right now and it is due to the fact that is pretty affordable.
- Good Thermal conductivity
- Cannot compete with premium products
The GC Extreme does lack features in comparison to the most high-end type of thermal pastes but it does make that up in the price department. Also, it offers corrosive resistance and is also non-toxic in nature. All of which make it an impressive buy. You get an amazing value of just 13 bucks for 3.5 grams.
10.Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra Thermal Compound
Continuing the saga of the overclockers, this thermal paste is for you extreme overclockers. If you are the kind of person who plays triple-A games all day and does a lot of video editing then your system may be a volcano. In such a scenario, you want your thermal paste to perform to expectation and the Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra Thermal compound does that for you.
This thermal paste is a liquid metal thermal compound and not grease-based like the other items on our list. The conductivity here is a mind-numbing 38.4 W/mK. You will surely notice a huge dip in the temperature of your CPU once you apply this paste. Delidded CPUs will get the most benefit out of it. One thing that you must remember though is that liquid-based thermal compounds do not go with the Aluminium heatsinks because of the probable corrosion.
- Very good thermal conductivity
- Liquid-based thermal compound
- It does not support aluminum heatsink.
A very well rounded and reasonably priced, this thermal paste provides you with a really good deal for your money. But there is one catch, do not use it if you are not overclocking your CPU. A high-performance thermal paste is only reasonable for overclocked CPU. Also, this thermal paste will not work in a good way with an Aluminium heat sink so there is that little inconvenience that you would have to face if you get it.
11. TF8 Thermal Compound Paste
The TF8 has a really encrypted name but the effect of the paste is quite visible. It is a thermal compound paste which has a composition of Carbon Micro Particles that lead to a very high thermal conductivity. It doesn’t contain any metal thus it prevents a chance of short circuits. The life of the paste is another area where the TF8 really impresses you. It can last for 8 years in an efficient way. With a thermal conductivity of 13.8 W/mK which is a very high thermal conductivity, this paste works very well for underclocked or unclocked CPUs. The price also makes it one of the best in the market in 2019.
- Very good paste life
- Best for under and unclocked CPUs
- Not really meant for high heat
If your Computer Usage is fairly limited to browsing and MS Office then, this paste is perfect for you. It lasts for a long time and has an impressive conductivity. In addition, the paste also doesn’t cost much therefore, it can be used by anyone. The conductivity is not bad either. It might not be for gamers but for an average joe, this thermal paste does its job with flair!
Thermal Paste Buying Guide
If you are on the market and trying to get a thermal paste, the first question you should ask yourself is Why? maybe you want your CPU to be cooled at all times. Maybe you are a hardcore gamer and your CPU runs hot constantly? Whatever the case may be, it is necessary to judge that. After that, you should look at the factors that make a thermal paste stand out and then, make an informed purchase. Don’t worry though. We have covered you on this topic and below given are some of the factors that you should consider while buying a thermal paste:
We know that thermal pastes have high-profit margins. Because of this, the exact element of what it takes to make a thermal paste is kept secret. You can roughly estimate some components that might go into it. For instance, a thermal compound can be a compound having an element that can withstand the temperatures of over 150-degree Celsius.
The actual composition given in the information section of your package will certainly determine the thermal conductivity of the material in addition to the electrical conductivity, viscosity, and even durability. The basic components of the paste consist of zinc oxide and silicon (as a binding agent). Nowadays, the compounds are made much more complex with materials such as aluminum. This is mainly because of the power-hungry cards and CPU these days.
Although an underrated feature, a good nozzle and packaging can go a long way to helping you apply the correct amount of paste on your system. So, you should be very thoughtful about getting the right nozzle as well.
A huge factor that contributes to the purchase of a product is the price. You should get the thermal paste that ticks all your boxes. Remember every product has its own flaws and strengths. So, you should get the one that fits your budget.
Warranty and Removal
Some thermal paste does come with one or more form of warranty while there are some thermal pastes that are easy to remove. There are also other pastes that are pretty difficult to remove. You need to get the pastes that are easier to remove and considering the warranty, it is not really a top priority but the one that has decent warranty options will always be a better choice overall.
What actually is a thermal paste?
Thermal means heat therefore, thermal is a heat conductive paste. The thermal paste is kept between the heat sink and the hardware it is supposed to keep cool. That hardware can be a GPU, APU or a CPU. Normally, GPUs these days don’t use thermal, while, CPUs and APUs can’t live without it.
Nowadays, thermal paste is applied to CPU and it helps to conduct the heat. Heatsinks have very tiny rough surfaces that can trap the airflow and keep the CPU heated. Thermal closes this gap by keeping the surfaces smooth. Air is not a good conductor of heat and heat sinks need to conduct heat. When the thermal closes the gap, the heat conduction is generally better and the heat sink can dissipate more amount of heat.
Process of Thermal Paste Application
One thing you should know is the precise amount of thermal paste that you should apply and the way to apply it. There are a lot of factors that come into play while applying a thermal paste. First of all, the amount. The goal of the thermal application is to get a thin layer of the paste over your processor. To do this, you just need to apply a small dot of the paste on both sides of the CPU.
As far as the actual application of the paste goes, you should first place the socket on your motherboard after which, squeeze a small dot of thermal on the center of the CPU. The amount should be pea-sized. Take the component and press it down on the dot. Lock the component into its proper place. This will make sure the thermal is spread properly. Lifting the component will allow you to observe if the paste was spread like it was supposed to. You can redo it if it wasn’t spread properly.
What about removing the paste? Well, that is easy too. You can wipe the paste with a lintless microfiber cloth i.e, the cloth that you use to wipe the smudge out of your prescription glasses. The microfiber will create tiny holes that reduce the heat conduction while you wipe up the thermal grease. It is a full-proof way of removing the thermal paste.
If you are a gamer or a really heavy user the chances of heating your system is really much and in such circumstances, you need to have a cooling system that works. The system employed by a good thermal paste will always be cooled. There is a lot of downside to thermal paste as well. For instance, you shouldn’t apply more than needed thermal paste. If you ever apply the paste in the wrong quantity then, it can severely affect your system. As far as choosing the right thermal paste is concerned, you just need to research the market and see what fits your budget. The things you should look out for are compound components, the nozzle’s ease of use, quality of the paste (thermal conductivity) and obviously, the price.