Before looking at several recommended best thermal paste, these features below can assist you in narrowing down your options and easily selecting the ideal one for your needs and money you are investing in:
1. What is thermal paste?
Thermal paste is a heat-conductive paste that is placed between a heat sink and the device it is meant to cool. It can also be placed between other components, especially between a CPU and ac cooler. Thermal paste helps get better heat conduction. Heatsinks, CPUs and coolers have tiny, imperceptible imperfections on them that can potentially trap air and bring down the general performance of the heat sink.
Thermal paste smoothes out these surfaces and makes them work as efficiently as possible. Air isn’t good for conducting heat, and conducting heat is what the heat sink is made for. Heat conduction is what takes heat and transfers it away from the component that is generating the heat in question. The Arctic Silver 5 AS5, the Noctua NT-H1 Pro-Grade are quite all the rage with many PC experiencers.
2. Types of Thermal Paste
Choosing the correct thermal paste is about matching up with a paste that’s appropriate to the computer it’s being applied to, and to the skill level of the person doing the application. For the most part, you’ll want to avoid liquid-metal pastes. Metal-based pastes are incredibly effective at dissipating heat, but they’re also dangerous for inexperienced users to apply.
That’s because most liquid-metal pastes are made with electrically conductive metallic bits suspended in their solution. Even a drop spilled on the pins of your processor will instantly destroy it, and most likely void your warranty in the process. Spills on the motherboard have to be rigorously cleaned up, and still may end up causing damage.
3. Viscosity and Ease of Installation
The dangers of electrical conductivity aside, some pastes are physically easier to apply than others. Even if you’re an experienced builder, you’re going to want to know something about the viscosity of a paste before you try to apply it. Understanding the viscosity involved can help prevent you from squeezing out the wrong amount of paste.
Additionally, the kind of application techniques you use on a thick paste isn’t necessarily the same as those use for thinner pastes. Generally speaking, thicker pastes tend to be more difficult to apply. But as long as you’re paying attention to the viscosity of the paste you choose, you can prepare for installation by searching for an appropriate application method.
4. Thermal Paste Lifespan
When you’re considering the quantity of thermal paste included in a tube, it’s not a good idea to start developing illusions about getting years of use from the paste. The shelf life for many thermal pastes is only two or three years. Thermal paste doesn’t age well. After you’re certain that you’ve successfully installed your CPU cooler, you’ll probably want to throw away whatever paste is left over.
The application life of each paste varies as well. On the high end, you’ll find pastes which claim to maintain their efficacy for eight years. On the low end, you’ll find manufacturers who suggest replacing their paste every two or three years. The good news is that even after three years, those pastes will likely continue to provide adequate performance, albeit diminished from their original state. Some names such as the Noctua NT-H1 Pro-Grade or The Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut have a really good lifespan.
5. Quantity of Paste
If you’re only installing thermal paste on one or two processors, then you won’t have to worry about the availability of thermal paste. Virtually every thermal paste tube on the market will have enough paste to install a CPU. But if you’re doing more than one humble installation, then you’ll want to take notice of the quantity of paste you get with your purchase. Some manufacturers provide enough to cover a dozen different independent installations.
After investigating and assessing very thoroughly and intensively based these features of buying guides above, we recommend for you the list of top 3 best graphics cards that can meet almost all requirements:
TOP 3 best thermal paste for 2020
1. Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
The Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut is one of the best thermal paste/compounds in the market right now that you can get for your CPU. This product is specially designed for professionals and extreme gamers who make full use of their computing systems and want to get the most out of them. It does not have any conductive power, making it ideal as a thermal compound.
This ultimate compound gives an excellent cooling performance and restricts the CPU/GPU from overheating or even overclocking. It is the most thermal conductive compound at 12.5W/mK, so you don’t have to worry about it conducting electricity. Not only it is easy to apply, but it also does not require any settling time. It also provides a 3 to 4 degrees lower temperature as compared to its competitive rivals in the market.
Overall, when it comes to performance, this thermal compound does not compromise at all. It is ideal for users who want the best of the best and ultra-high performance. It also has one of the best and highest thermal conductivity of any non-conductive thermal paste.
2. Arctic Silver 5 AS5
Arctic Silver Inc. is a US-based company that makes thermally conductive compounds for various electronic components. Since 1999, it has proven to be one of the leading companies in this particular sector. The Arctic Silver 5 AS5 is no exception to their well-engineered products. The compound consists of 99.9% of pure micronized silver, which helps to efficiently control the high temperatures of the CPU even when performing a very power-intensive task.
Another advantage is that it also contains sub-micron zinc oxide. Although it mostly consists of silver, it is still a ceramic-based compound. Therefore, the manufacturers recommend that you do not spill it onto other components. Another important thing that you need to keep in mind about this compound is that it takes some hours to burn-in. Therefore, you might not see the results right away.
You should let it settle in for a while before it starts its cooling process and decreases the overall temperatures by around 5 to 12 degrees. Except for the settling time that is required for it to start the cooling process, it is an excellent choice as a thermal paste. It might be a bit tricky to apply, but once done, it works like a charm.
3. Noctua NT-H1 Pro-Grade
Noctua is known for making quality air cooling solutions for almost any sort of system and the Noctua NT-H1 Pro-Grade is one of the best thermal compounds for overclocking. It is perfect for computing enthusiasts who like to cross the limits of their CPUs or GPUs as it keeps the system cooler by up to 2 degrees.
This thermal paste is ideal for beginners who do not have much experience in doing such sensitive tasks. It is comparatively thicker and drier when compared with other similar thermal compounds. Moreover, one application of this paste on the CPU or the GPU lasts for about five years if not more, and its shelf life is about three years at room temperature. Therefore, not only is it cheap and easy to apply, but it is also considerably durable and effective.
Also, once it is time for you to reapply, cleaning it again is an easy task too. All you need to do is wipe the paste off the CPU and the heatsink with any paper towel or dry tissue. Then wipe both of these components clean with the help of a towel or a damp tissue. There is no need for alcohol or any other solvent to clean it! As far as the settling time is concerned, there is absolutely none! You will start noticing the difference in the temperature as soon as you apply it. However, as it is a cheaper paste, the quantity that it comes with is also a bit less at just 3.5g. Moreover, there have been reports of quality control issues for some users too!