What is Thermal paste?
This article is all about the best thermal paste for overclocking your CPU. Cooling fans increases the performance of the CPU and GPU by lowering the temperature. Applying the best thermal conductivity paste you can take down the temperature up to 10 degrees celsius and further increases the performances of CPU and GPU. But keep in mind that a good thermal paste increases the performance and bad thermal paste results in the degradation of the CPU performance.
We are here to guide the people who are wondering to change the heat sink paste. If you are specifically searching for the thermal paste for Threadripper, then you can visit our article about the best thermal paste for Threadripper processor.
The thermal paste works as a thermal bridge between the CPU and the heat sink. The thermal paste fills the micro-level spaces between contacts of the heat sink and CPU and helps in maximum heat transfer. Thus selecting the thermal paste for overclocking plays a significant role.
If you do not pay attention to the quality and type of thermal paste it may lead to serious consequences.
Best Thermal Paste for overclocking [As per the materials used]
We have different types of thermal pastes available in the market includes silicone, metal, carbon, and ceramic based. All of them have their own pros and cons.
Thermal Paste based on Metal
Thermal Metal Paste works more efficiently than any other paste in bridging the thermal heat from CPU to heat sink. But due to the capacitive nature of this paste, it becomes necessary to apply the paste with proper attention. So you have to be more careful about not to spill the paste on the motherboard or on other electronic components of the system.
Thermal Paste based on Ceramic
Ceramic pastes are widely used because of their non-capacitive and safe nature as there is no metal present in these thermal paste. But the thermal conductivity of ceramic paste is not as good as a metal paste. Ceramic pastes are easier to use and are way cheaper than metal-based thermal pastes.
Thermal Paste based on Silicone
Silicone thermal paste is not a good option for heat transfer between the heat sink and microprocessor. These silicone pastes are easier to apply on the thermal pads. These are non-capacitive and non-electrical conductive.
Thermal Paste based on Carbon
Carbon-based thermal compounds provide superior heat transfer between the processor and heat sink. It lowers the temperature up to some degrees. Thermal carbon compounds are also non-capacitive in nature and can be used easily.
How to Apply Thermal Paste?
People can apply thermal paste according to their satisfaction. There are various possible ways of applying thermal paste. But the result is almost the same for most of them.
Pea or dot pattern is one in which a drop of paste is applied on the center of the surface of the processor and when the heat sink is placed over the processor paste will spread uniformly.
The other methods are line or X pattern in which the thermal compound is applied in the form of line or X at the center of the processor surface. But keep in mind you have to apply a decent amount of paste i.e not too much nor too little. This will result in optimal heat transfer and after that its all depend on the airflow management of your system cabin.
How to change the Thermal Paste?
If you want to remove the old thermal paste from the processor and heat sink, we have to use a chemical called 99% Isopropyl Alcohol. This is the most effective chemical which is used to remove the old thermal paste completely before reapplying the new one.
You have to put the isopropyl alcohol on the old paste and let it do its work, after 2 to 3 minutes clean the chemical and paste with a cleaning cloth. Now the surface of the processor is ready for applying a new thermal paste.
Once the thermal paste is applied it will last for up to 3 to 4 years. If you are willing to change the paste during the cleaning of your PC then it’s up to you but there is no need for this.
That’s all the information that you need to know about the best thermal paste for overclocking. As we have introduced you with all types of thermal pastes, now we are going to tell you about the best thermal conductivity pastes according to their categories that are available in the market and which one works for you.
Best Non-Capacitive thermal Pastes for Overclocking
Ceramic Thermal Pastes:
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut is the best thermal paste for overclocking applications that costs twice than that of the other carbon-based pastes and hence suitable for hardcore PC build users. It is completely non-capacitive and electrically neutral in nature, no settling time is required hence it is easy to apply.
It becomes the most efficient ceramic thermal compound with its promise of thermal conductivity of 12.5W/mK. A single tube comes with 1 gram of paste that can be used for 3-4 applications. It can be used for both CPU or GPU overclocking.
Carbon Thermal Pastes:
Noctua NT-H1 is a carbon-based thermal compound that is suitable for the users who want to overclock their CPU. Due to its low price and better performance this thermal paste becomes a widely used carbon-based thermal paste for overclocking.
It cool-downs your processor impressively and increases its performance. Arctic MX-4 and Arctic Sliver 5 comes with more paste, a single pack of Noctua NT-H1 weighs 3.5g. But it provides high thermal conductivity of 8.5w/mK. It could be an alternative to Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut.
Arctic MX-4 is another carbon-based compound in the market. This thermal paste is famous for its low pricing and high performance. Arctic MX-4 is so easy to use, it comes with a syringe design. we recommend this thermal compound for the beginners who want to overclock their CPU or GPU. If we look from the perspective of price its the best alternative of Noctua NT-H1.
Arctic Silver 5
Arctic Silver 5 is an alternative to both the carbon-based thermal compounds that are mentioned above. This thermal compound is highly recommended because of its 99% micronized silver. These micronized silver fill the gap between the heat sink and processor up to the microscopic level and hence provides better heat transfer. This thermal paste takes time to settle down.
Best Capacitive thermal Pastes for Overclocking
Liquid metal Thermal Pastes:
Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut
Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut is one of the best metal-based thermal compounds. This paste comes in the list of most expensive heating compounds. Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut is a pure liquid metal, so it’s clear that it is electrically conductive. Hence need a lot of attention or care when you apply this thermal paste.
If you are a high-end user and want to take your processor up to the limits of its overclocking then you should put your hands on these liquid metal-based compounds. The thermal conductivity of this paste is outstanding 73W/mK. which makes this paste comes in the list of best thermal paste for overclocking. It helps in cooling down your processor up to 10 degrees celsius.
So we have learned a lot today about the thermal compounds which are best in their categories and are easily available in the market. Now I assume that you are now able to choose the thermal paste which is best as per your requirement. If you only want to give a shot to CPU or GPU overclocking but not up to its limits then go with the pastes like Noctua NT-H1, Arctic MX-4, and Arctic Silver 5.
For extreme overclocking of your CPU or GPU, we recommend you to use the high-performance thermal pastes like Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut and Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut. As beginner keeps in mind that Kryonaut is a ceramic-based and non-conductive paste that is easy to use, whereas Conductonaut is metal-based paste and should be handled carefully.
The Thermal paste works as a thermal bridge between the CPU and the heat sink. The thermal paste fills the micro-level spaces between contacts of the heat sink and CPU and helps in maximum heat transfer.
You have to apply a thin line of thermal paste directly down the center of the IHS and then allow the pressure of the CPU cooler to spread the paste.
If you want to remove the old thermal paste from the processor and heat sink, we have to use a chemical called 99% Isopropyl Alcohol.
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