An electronic device emits a significant amount of heat while in operation. A passive heat exchange component, the heat sink is used to mitigate the heat generated by regulating heat from the device using a liquid or air coolant to dissolve heat produced to avoid overheating. However, you might need to get a thermal paste to keep the processor running at healthy temperatures. This piece is a thermal paste comparison that narrows down to the best thermal paste 2020.
- I, What is thermal paste?
- II, Top Thermal Pastes of 2020
- 1. Arctic MX-4
- 2. Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste – Best Silver Compound
- 3. Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound – Best thermal paste for laptop
- 4. Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Grease Paste
- 5. Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano Thermal Paste
- 6. CORSAIR – TM30 Performance Thermal Paste
- 7. Graphitene Thermal Paste
- 8. Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut Liquid Metal Thermal Compound
- 9. Prolimatech PK-3 Thermal Paste
- 10. ThermalTake TG-7 Extreme Performance
- III, Buying Guide
- IV, How Thermal Paste Works?
- V, How to Apply Thermal Paste?
- VI, Types of Thermal Paste
- VII, Conclusion
I, What is thermal paste?
A thermal paste is a heat-conductive compound that is introduced between an AC cooler and CPU or between the heat sink and device it is required to cool. The compound improves the conduction of heat by filling the tiny spaces in the coolers, CPUs, and heatsinks. Thermal pastes are highly effective if your processor runs too hot even at low temperatures. The best thermal compounds are ceramic, silicon, carbon-based, and metallic material.
II, Top Thermal Pastes of 2020
1. Arctic MX-4
The thermal paste is filled with a carbon microparticle improving the thermal conductivity of the paste. As a non-electrically conductive compound, Arctic MX-4 is easy and very safe to use for all. It is also constructed with durable pieces of fine metallic silver particles. The thermal paste is cheaper as it does not require frequent replacement. It is effective for laptops and desktops.
- It has a thermal conductivity of 8.5W/mK.
- Weighs 0.16 ounces
- Volume resistivity of 3.8 X 10^13 Ω-cm
- Composed of micro carbon particles that deliver high thermal conductivity.
- Dimensions of the product are 5.9 x 1.2 x 2.8 inches
2. Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste – Best Silver Compound
Arctic Silver 5 is a high-density paste consisting of 99.9% micronized silver, making it one of the best CPU/GPU thermal pastes. This thermal paste handles the heat-producing CPU of laptops and desktops, making it effective for heavy computer users. It is the best thermal paste for GPU due to its ability to handle heat-producing CPU at very high temperatures.
- It features a 3.5-gram syringe
- It has a high-density filling of micronized silver
- Made of 99.9% pure silver
- It weighs 0.16 ounces
- It has an 88% thermally conductive filler.
- It has a thermal conductivity of 8.9W/mK.
- Product dimensions are 8.5 x 2.5 x 6 inches
3. Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound – Best thermal paste for laptop
The hybrid thermal paste features as one of the best for laptops. The paste provides a secure thermal bond falling between the CPU and the heat sink contact base. You are assured of faster performance without any burn-in time. The compound provides long term stability and minimal thermal resistance. It works efficiently in low temperatures and is very easy to clean.
- Weighs 3.5g
- It has a distinguished premium-grade thermal compound.
- It has a density of 2.49 g/cm3
- It is not electrically conductive
- It has excellent long-term stability
- It has a volume of 1.4ml
4. Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Grease Paste
The thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Grease paste delivers excellent cooling performance while limiting the CPU from overheating or overclocking. The paste provides maximum heat transfer between the cooler and CPU. The non-electrically conductive compound is effective for the first time and subsequent users. It lowers the temperature by over ten degrees.
- It has a conductivity rating of 12.5W/mK.
- Weighs 0.16 ounces
- It has dimensions of 9.8 x 7.9 x 5.9 inches
- The thermal paste has a convenient 1.0-gram syringe.
- It is a silicon-based thermal paste that might feel a little tight.
5. Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano Thermal Paste
The thermal paste is explicitly designed to provide the most effective thermal conductivity for chipsets or high-performance CPUs. The non-electrically conductive compound is constructed using a Nanodiamond particle, making it less heavy and easy to spread and removing erosion. The estimated temperature falls between 50 and 150 degrees. The silicon gives dielectric energy, while the carbon particles enhance the graphite-like conductivity.
- The thermal paste has a thermal conductivity of 11W/mK.
- Weighs 1.12 ounces and has excellent viscosity.
- It features non-electrical conductivity
- Made of Nanodiamond particles
- Dimensions are 7.4 x 4.5 x 0.8 inches
6. CORSAIR – TM30 Performance Thermal Paste
The corsair TM30 is an easy to apply thermal paste pushes your PC to the maximum limit. It has a low temperature impedance promoting efficiency in the transfer of heat between the hardware and the cooler. The paste lasts for several years without drying, cracking, or experiencing thermal degradation. It is highly compatible with air and liquid cooling systems.
- It weighs 0.16 ounces
- Dimensions are 0.51 x 0.98 x 4.53 inches
7. Graphitene Thermal Paste
The graphitene thermal paste is engineered for easy application. GTP 5 spreads well under pressure, ruling out the need for a spreader. The compound thins out to improve the filling of microscopic valleys to get contact between the CPU core and the heatsink in the initial use. You are safe from short circuitry since the compound has non-electrical conductivity properties.
- It weighs 0.64 ounces.
- Dimensions of the product are 4.6 x 0.9 x 0.5 inches
- It is made of graphene.
8. Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut Liquid Metal Thermal Compound
The thermal grizzly conductonaut liquid metal thermal compound delivers the best thermal performance. It protects the CPU from overclocking and overheating with a high thermal conductivity of up to 73W/mK. The liquid-based thermal paste reduces the risks of spillages, making it effective for the first time and subsequent users.
- It weighs 0.32 ounces.
- The easy application of the compound makes it effective for all users.
- It features a single gram of thermal grease.
- Dimensions are .9 x 3.9 x 0.3 inches
9. Prolimatech PK-3 Thermal Paste
The thermal compound provides high thermal conductivity and low thermal impedance. The thermal paste is constructed using a fine metallic silver particle forming a small gap for air to limit the transfer of thermal energy from the processors. The maximum temperature falls between 50 and 100ºC. It has an integrated spreader dissolving heat between the spreader and CPU.
- Weighs 1.12 ounces
- The thermal paste has an excellent long-term stability
- Thermal impedance is 0.013°C-in 2/W
- Dimensions 10.6 x 3.4 x 2.8 inches
- It has a 30-gram syringe and easy to spread application
- Thermal conductivity is 11.2 W/m-°C
10. ThermalTake TG-7 Extreme Performance
Thermaltake TG-7 delivers reliable performance for a long time. The additional diamond particle allows the compound to provide long-lasting thermal power. The easy to apply thermal grease offers excellent thermal conductivity. It also protects your device from overheating and overclocking.
- It weighs 0.16 ounces
- It has diamond powder that works to improve thermal conductivity
- The dimensions are 6 x 3.5 x 5 inches
- It lasts relatively longer compared to other silicon-based compounds.
III, Buying Guide
Non-conductive: the best thermal paste should be less conductive to ensure that you are safe from a short circuit when interacting with the electrical components. To reduce further risks of a short circuit, you should apply a pea-sized amount and let the heatsink spread the paste. You should select a product that is recognized as an effective non-conductive component.
Density: You can introduce the thermal paste is between the CPU and its cooler to protect the system from overclocking. The best thermal paste for CPU has an adequate amount of density, allowing it to squeeze throughout the system easily. The liquid thermal paste is less dense compared to the normal thermal paste. Getting the right density ensures that you can cool down all your processors effectively with much ease.
Thermal Conductivity: Thermal conductivity determines the transfer of heat from the processors to the heatsink. A good thermal paste has a high thermal conductivity rating in addition to high reliability and versatility. When thermal conductivity is greater than temperature, it is reduced faster and more efficiently. Liquid thermal pastes have a conductivity of up to 70W/mK, while non-metallic compounds have a conductivity falling between 4-10W/mK.
IV, How Thermal Paste Works?
The paste fills the gaps between the processing unit and the heatsink allowing it to cool quickly and maintain a constant connection. The thermal paste flows nonstop in liquid form to ensure that the system is safe from overheating. The paste has a temperature limit of 150ºC, while some thermal pastes can withstand up to 300ºC. You can opt for silicon-based, metal-based, ceramic-based, or carbon-based thermal paste.
V, How to Apply Thermal Paste?
The application of thermal paste might seem simple but is overwhelming for first-timers. With time, you can master the skill of applying the thermal paste effectively using the heatsink. You need to apply the component effectively to reduce the chances of causing damage to the internal components of your device.
While using carbon or ceramic-based thermal paste, you shall need to squeeze a small amount over the contact area of the heatsink and the and the CPU. When you press the two pieces together, the paste spreads out to fill the air spaces. Some ceramic pastes come with a spreader and a thermal pad that make your work in the application much simple.
VI, Types of Thermal Paste
Hybrid thermal paste: The hybrid thermal paste contains different particles that form a single thermal paste. The mixture is composed of metal oxides, metal particles, and other particles. The hybrid thermal paste is highly effective in the delivery of excellent performance and is also effective for overclocking.
Carbon-based thermal paste: The carbon bases thermal paste works almost as efficiently as the metal-based thermal paste. The compound is made of carbon particles such as the graphite oxide as a filler, graphite powder, and the diamond powder. It has high thermal conductivity, non-conductivity, and non-capacitive characteristics. The paste is slightly expensive compared to the silicon and ceramic-based thermal pastes.
Metal-based thermal paste: The metal-based thermal pastes are quite expensive but quite effective in the delivery of optimal performance for your devices. The paste contains metal particles acting as fillers. The compound has high thermal conductivity ratings, making it effective for overclocking purposes and use in high-performance gaming PCs. Due to the capacitive and conductive properties, you need to exercise caution to avoid short circuitry.
Silicone/ceramic-based thermal paste: The ceramic/ silicone-based compounds use ceramic powder or metal oxides suspended in silicone compound. The thermal paste is rich in non-conductive properties. The general performance of the compound depends on the metal oxide in use. You should avoid a paste made of pure silicone if you need to get the best results.
The right thermal paste can help you a big deal by enhancing the performance of your device and maintain the temperature at healthy levels. We hope that the information above shall be of great use in helping you in choosing the best thermal paste for GPU/CPU.