When you have a new processor that you plan on using for enhanced gaming, modeling, or standard work, you’ll also want the top thermal paste so that that CPU can stay nice and cool.
In this (Updated) guide, we’re going to show you 10 of the Best CPU thermal paste options on the market today so that you can experience top-notch heat spreading and cooling.
Best Thermal Pastes 2018
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1) YEECHUN Thermal Paste, 10-PackBest Thermal Paste Reviews
One of the reasons that this thermal paste product shines is that it comes in a handy 10 pack. While the thermal conductivity is definitely effective, it’s the fact that you get 10 1.5-gram syringes that make this the go-to choice for anyone that’s going to be upgrading several CPUs in a small amount of time. Yeechun isn’t one of the most well-known thermal paste manufacturers in the world, but they definitely put out a quality product that’s great for a high quantity of installs.
This thermal paste is comprised of polysynthetic silver, which is definitely good for really getting a good level of heat spreading over the surface of the CPU. To use this product, you simply need to uncap the tip and apply pressure to the plunger. The distribution is fairly even, and it’s easy to get a good spread of pea-sized applications onto your processor.
If you’re going to be installing more than one CPU, this 10-pack has enough material for 10.5 grams of paste.
At 3W/mk, this product also has a decent level of heat conductivity so that your processor remains cool.
With its syringe design, it’s fairly easy to apply the thermal paste quickly to the needed surfaces.
At 1.5 grams per syringe, you won’t get a lot of applications before you have to move to the next one.
2) Protronix Series 7 Silver Thermal Paste High-Performance Heatsink Compound
When you want to be sure that you’ll have enough thermal compound for a larger job, getting a product like this one with a bigger syringe is a good choice. In fact, this product can hold as much as 20 grams of the compound, which can definitely be useful when you’re installing CPUs and GPUs. The company actually says that the large syringe is big enough so that you’ll be able to apply the compound on up to 50 large processors.
When it comes to heat conductivity, the Protonix Series 7 is able to provide a 3.17W/mk level of performance. The long-term operating temperature is also fairly extensive; in fact, Protonix has manufactured this product to be functional at a heating temperature of 22 to 464 degrees Fahrenheit.
While heat conductivity is a key stat of these products, it’s important that you also find a product that has low to zero electrical conductivity. Fortunately, this Series 7 heatsink compound is 100 percent non-electricity conductive.
You get a large syringe that holds 20 grams of heatsink compound for a very reasonable price.
This product has a good thermal conductivity that will help keep the surface of your CPU nice and cool.
The syringe is very easy to use; the plunger doesn’t take a lot of force to distribute the compound.
The cap at the tip isn’t that great, and it doesn’t have any child-proofing, so keep it tucked away out of range of kids.
3) Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Grease Paste
For an industry that has many stalwarts that have a large share of the thermal paste market, Thermal Grizzly is a relative newcomer. That being said, this thermal compound has become one of the most popular new pastes on the market due to the fact that it’s such a high-quality product. The Kryonaut is designed for users that plan on giving their processors an overclocking nudge, so you can definitely expect this product to be fairly strong for cooling.
In fact, this is a product that won’t cure, is designed to have a good amount of durability over larger timescales, and has zero electrical conductivity. Why is it so great for the overclocking community? Well, its thermal conductivity is very high at 12.5W/mk.
This thermal compound has really shaken up the industry and is becoming one of the market leaders.
If you’re going to overclock, you’re simply not going to have a negative experience with this compound.
This Kryonaut product is designed for durability and lastingness; you should be able to use it for years.
The packaging is a little thin and made of a plastic material; while this isn’t major, some might be disconcerted by the changeup.
4) StarTech.com 1.5g Metal Oxide Thermal CPU Paste Compound
Sometimes, you don’t need a huge, 20-gram syringe of thermal compound, so when a little dab will do for what you need, consider this 1.5-gram metal oxide-based thermal compound can definitely handle the smaller projects. This compound from StarTech.com is very budget-friendly and has a fairly decent amount of thermal conductivity (1.93W/mk). In fact, with it, you’ll be able to install six CPUs or so.
With this product, there is absolutely no curing time, which means that you can place it directly on your processor, install your heatsink, and use your computer immediately. This metal-based thermal paste is designed for a stable overall performance, but it doesn’t completely block out electrical current, though the electrical conductivity is at a very low level.
Like most syringe-style thermal pastes, you can simply reseal the product between uses, and the plunger is fairly easy to depress during use. While this isn’t as good a product for overclocking as some of the other products on the guide, it’s an easy to use, low-cost paste that will help provide a steady cooling situation for your rig.
This is a very easy to apply a product that works well when you need to quick thermal management solution for your computer.
StarTech.com used metal oxide in the composition of this compound, which means that the thermal spreading is very efficient.
This provides more than enough compound to be used for up to six processor installs.
If you’re going to need a lot of heat conductivity, then this isn’t the product for you.
5) Halnziye HY710 10g Silver Thermal Paste
This product, which comes from Halnziye, is another thermal compound that’s useful for those situations when you’re installing multiple processors into multiple computers. It comes with 10 grams of the compound, which should easily see you through more than 20 installs. One of the features that make this thermal compound shine is its applicator; whereas some compounds require a credit card or other straight edge, Halnziye has actually provided a flat applicator so that you can spread the compound easily.
This product has a good level of thermal conductivity; you can expect a performance level of 3.17W/mk, which means that this isn’t bad for overclocking. This compound is also designed to provide long-term stability for your machine – it’s rated to operate for a long time through temperatures that range from 22 to 464 degrees Fahrenheit. Unlike the previous items in this guide, this product comes in a small cylindrical container rather than a syringe, which can make it pretty easy to apply.
The applicator makes it very easy to apply the compound to the surface of your processor or heatsink.
This product is designed to promote stability and provide a balanced, heat spreading surface for your system.
Since Halnziye used silver for the formulation of this paste, it’s non-toxic and odorless, yet still provides a stable performance.
Since it doesn’t come in a syringe, it may be difficult to get some of the compounds out of the corners when the container is getting low.
6) Thermaltake TG-7 Extreme Performance CPU GPU Heatsink Cooling Thermal Grease
The Thermaltake TG-7 has a unique attribute: it contains diamond powder, which greatly boosts the overall thermal conductivity of the product so that it is excellent for overclocking. This is definitely a more premium thermal paste; it has a 3.3W/mk conductivity, it comes with an applicator that makes getting the paste well distributed on the CPU easy as well as a well-designed syringe that makes application simple.
The TG-7 paste also is fairly unique as it also comes with a warranty. Also, as a result of its unique diamond formulation, this product has a longer lifespan than many of the thermal compounds out there. Thermaltake provides about four grams of this compound in a syringe, which should easily provide enough solution for at least 10 applications.
If you’re going to overclock, this compound is designed to provide some excellent heat conductivity so that your machine stays cool.
The included spreader is a good extra that can make applying the compound to your CPU or GPU a real cinch.
This solution is designed to last for a long time and under strenuous CPU conditions.
Despite the fact that this is designed for overclocking, it’s not perfect. Some powerful processors can cause it to degrade quickly.
7) Arctic Silver 5 AS5-3.5G Thermal Paste
For years, Arctic Silver has been considered one of the best thermal compounds on the market and for good reason. First, this product actually does use a high percentage of silver in its formulation; in fact, it actually is comprised of about 99.9 percent pure silver, which means that the thermal transfer rates on an overclocked CPU are very high. This recent formulation of the Arctic Silver product is designed to be used on modern processors, even when you’re planning to overclock.
Amazingly, this product is capable of a heat conductivity of 8.9W/mk, which means that your CPU will run pretty cool, even under load. While many products of the type use silicone, Arctic 5 doesn’t use any of the substance. Instead, this product has a triple-phase viscosity that is designed to more completely fill the gaps between the processor and the heatsink.
Arctic 5 has been designed to be stable under all circumstances. It simply won’t bleed, separate, or migrate during the life of your CPU.
The triple-phase viscosity compound thickens over time in order to boost the consistency of the CPU-to-heatsink connection.
This product uses three distinct types of silver particle in order to provide a complete thermal transfer.
It’s recommended that you give the paste up to 200 hours to break in.
8) ARCTIC MX-4 Thermal Compound Paste
Another excellent overclocking thermal paste, the Arctic MX-4 provides 8.5W/mk of thermal conductivity so that you can run your CPU or GPU at optimal speeds without causing overheating. In addition to this, it’s actually comprised of carbon micro-particles that really work to evenly dissipate the heat being generated by today’s crop of top-of-the-line processors. Like the majority of thermal paste products, the MX-4 comes in a syringe that makes application relatively easy.
While it doesn’t include an applicator, this particular compound is fairly easy to spread on a CPU surface. It also doesn’t conduct electricity, so you can rest assured that there will be no sparks or short circuits to worry about during installation. When it comes to lastingness, the MX-4 is designed for durability and long use; in fact, Arctic has formulated it to last for at least eight years.
MX-4 achieves its high level of heat conductivity without any metal components; in fact, since it doesn’t include any metals, it’s a very efficient way to keep your CPU nice and cool.
Since the manufacturers have designed this to last for eight years, it’s pretty easy to maintain.
This product provides a very impressive 8.5W/mk, which is amazing for the price.
The tip of the syringe can cause the compound to be hard to extrude onto the CPU.
9) Cooler Master High-Performance Thermal Paste
This product, by Cooler Master, is another highly conductive thermal paste that will do a great job when used in an overclocked system. In fact, it’s thermal conductivity ranks at 8W/mk, which means that you’ll get a good amount of thermal spreading, which can come in handy at higher temperatures. This is a silicon-based thermal compound that uses heat-conductive metal oxides in order to provide its high thermal conductivity.
This product comes packed in a syringe that has a fairly easy to depress the plunger, and when you’re done applying it, you can replace the red cap at the tip. The product is designed to last for a long period of time so that you can keep your CPU or GPU cooled for years. This product also includes Zif Socket Templates that make application easy by providing the correct area for numerous CPU shapes and socket types.
This is a very easy to use a product that even comes with templates so that you can apply the material evenly.
The applicator is very easy to depress, which means that producing a pea or rice-sized amount is very easy.
It has a great thermal conductivity of 8W/mk.
For some reason, this product has a tendency to be a bit runny when you apply it.
10) ARCTIC MX-2 Thermal Compound Paste
If you don’t plan on doing much overclocking, but would like a good thermal compound that can accommodate this type of mod, then this may be a good product for you. The Arctic MX-2 thermal compound is designed for versatility; it’s very effective since it has a 5.6W/mk thermal conductivity. This means that the heat is spread at a very even and efficient rate so that the surface of your CPU is cooled effectively.
The compound itself is carbon-based and has zero electrical conductivity, which means that you can apply this compound without worrying about short circuits or shocks. Insofar as consistency, this product spreads very easy and isn’t runny at all, and like the MX-4, it’s guaranteed to last for at least eight years of use.
With its even consistency, this product is very easy to apply directly to your CPU or GPU.
The thermal conductivity of 5.6W/mk is set at a good value for both overclocking and general use.
This is a metal-free thermal compound that uses carbon micro-particles to provide more than adequate cooling.
If you’re going to be doing a lot of overclocking, you’d be better served to go with the MX-4.
Why bother with thermal paste at all?
While it may seem like an extra step, applying thermal paste is one of the most important processes when you’re installing or upgrading your processor. The paste serves as a heat spreader because processors have a tendency to get very hot while they are running the computations that are needed for you to use your computer at all. When you place your heatsink atop of the processor, there are spaces between the two components that can make your computer dissipate this heat much less efficiently.
The paste spreads the heat out evenly so that it can be properly managed by the heatsink. This means that the CPU will run cooler at a more normal operating temperature, which will increase the lifespan of the CPU.
Why not just use the thermal paste that comes with a CPU?
While both AMD and Intel processors and motherboards can come with thermal paste, it’s a good idea to buy your own. Aftermarket paste has a tendency to spread heat better and has a better overall thermal conductivity than the stuff that comes packaged in with your components.
How much thermal paste should you use?
As a general rule, most people tend to go with about a pea-sized amount of thermal paste. Just be sure to spread it evenly over the surface of your processor so that the heat can be spread evenly and you’ll get nominal operational temperatures out of your processor.
When removing thermal paste, is there a chemical that can get rid of the old stuff?
For the most part, you can get away with just applying some WD-40 to the surface of your processor to remove the excess thermal paste. While acetone is an option, it can cause issues with plastic components on your motherboard. Additionally, there are other solutions to use – check out this video from Linus Tech Tips for some other options.
Does the thermal paste that’s still in the applicator degrade?
Thermal paste does change over time, but fortunately, it’ll remain perfectly usable for years.
Which are the top brands in thermal paste?
Some of the top brands in thermal paste are:
- Cooler Master
- Thermal Grizzly
What is thermal conductivity?
Thermal conductivity is the ability of a substance to spread heat across its surface. The best thermal pastes will ensure that there is an even spread of thermal radiation so that it can be effectively dissipated over the bottom surface of the heatsink.
Why is it best to have non-electrically conductive thermal paste?
There is a lot of power being circulated near the processor, so it’s best for your thermal paste to not be eclectically conductive so that it won’t cause a short circuit.
Which tools should you have when applying thermal paste to your electronics?
This varies from person to person, but if your thermal paste doesn’t come with a spreader, you can use an old credit card to ensure that the processor surface is coated so that there is an even spread between it and the heatsink.
Are there special pastes for overclocking your CPU?
If you’re going to overclock, it’s best to select a paste that can greatly help reduce your CPU’s temperatures. This video mentions a few excellent thermal paste options for those that want to squeeze out a little more processor performance.
Wrapping It Up
When you’re replacing or installing your CPU, finding the right thermal paste is crucial. The last thing you want is a sub-standard paste or a paste that doesn’t quite cool your processor as efficiently as you might want. The products in this guide are all excellent for helping your components stay nice and cool, so re-read our guide and select the product that best fits your budget and your needs.