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Best thermal paste 2021: Thermal paste is that compound which helps in filling up the gap between the CPU and the custom cooler. Most of us would not be so conversant about this particular compound, but it is definitely one of the most important components. When the processor of a computer does it work, it automatically gets heated. The more the workload is, the faster the processor gets heated. However, for the efficient running of the processor, we need to install the custom cooler or the heatsink that aids a lot in keeping the processor cool.
It is necessary to keep the CPU cool when it gets heated due to excessive work pressure, as it is directly going to impact the performance of the computer. The heatsink is usually placed on the top the CPU to absorb the heat that is produced by the processor when the machine is running. Nevertheless, most often it is seen, that due to minute gaps that is left in between the CPU and the heatsink, the later cannot transmit the heat properly. As a result, the processor gets heated after a point of time and the machine gets slower and in the long run, it gets damaged.
Best thermal compounds can be used to deal with this issue. Such compounds help in filling in the gap between the heatsink and the processor and thereby aids in transmitting the heat to the cooler or heatsink properly and as a result, the processor runs well and delivers work at a faster pace. Though thermal paste must be used in all computers, this is absolutely needed in such machines in which complex works are done like photo or video edit, gaming, 3D animation or any other such complex work. Therefore, if you want data to be processed by your computer or laptop at a lightning speed, then using the best thermal paste is absolutely needed. It is definitely going to enhance the performance of your gadget.
Those who are new in this business might find it hard to find out the best thermal paste that will enhance the performance and longevity of their computer. So we researched the most popular thermal paste based on the recommendation of the pro hardware professional who had been associated with this industry for a long time. Based on their recommendation, we have reviewed some of the best thermal paste that is available in the market now. Here is the list that is going to help you to find the one most suitable for you.
Best Thermal Paste Reviews 2021
- Convenient 1.0 gram syringe, making this thermal paste very easy to apply
- Delivers optimal heat transfer for larger-scale cooling systems
- Designed for applications where heat dissipation is of critical importance
Thermal Grizzly is a top-notch German company which has been researching and developing chemical compounds that can bridge the gap between the processor and heatsink, thereby increases the performance as well as the life of the processor. Amongst the range of products offered by Thermal Grizzly, Conductonaut is one of the best.
It is perfectly suitable for a computer that calls for maximum efficiency. It is a liquid metal eutectic compound made out of indium, tin, and gallium and has excellent heat transferring capability. But this thermal paste is perfectly suitable for veteran professionals. Therefore, if you are a newbie in this field, you better avoid it because even if a little bit of metallic compound spills on the motherboard, it is going to damage it (as the metal compound can conduct electricity along with heat and it is going to be a disaster for the motherboard). And it is perfectly suitable for computers where the processor due to its heavy workload dissipates above 8-degree centigrade and thus is very efficient. It has a thermal conductivity of 73 W/ mK and comes in a 1gm syringe pack for easy use.
Negative: This thermal paste cannot be used if the heatsink is made of aluminum. So be extra cautious before investing in it as it is pricey in comparison to other products available in the market.
- Premium silver polysynthetic thermal compound
- Use between CPU's and heatsinks or water-cooling solutions
- Will not separate, run, migrate, or bleed
- Does not contain any silicone
- 3.5 gram tube will cover 20 to 30 small cpu's
Arctic Silver is another renowned name in the thermal compound sector. One of its top-selling products since the last two decades is Arctic Silver 5 and it is still marked as a bestseller in the top online shopping platforms like Amazon. That being said, it is obvious that the manufacturers have lived up to the expectations of the users and that is the sole reason why it continues to be the best.
It is a ceramic based thermal compound and thus suitable for the beginners as well as the veterans. Being a ceramic compound it does not conduct electricity. And so the newbies need not be too cautious. Minor spills would not hurt. But should try and avoid spilling the compound on the motherboard altogether as it has the capacity to conduct a little amount of electricity in contact with metal compounds.
As we all know silver is the best conductor of heat and electricity and Arctic silver is made out of 99.9% silver of three different kinds to ensure maximum contact between the processor and cooler and transfer heat generated by the processor smoothly. Apart from silver it also contains particles of zinc oxide, boron nitride, and aluminum oxide to enhance the paste’s performance in the long run.
Negative: Though it is not difficult to apply this compound, you need to pay a little more attention while heating it. Make sure not even a single drop of water comes in touch with it. And this thermal paste takes a little more time to settle down and start doing its work.
3. Gelid Solutions GC Extreme : Editor Choice Thermal Paste
- Ultimate Heat Conductivity
- Non-Electrical Conductive
- Non-Corrosive & Non-Curring
- No Bleeding & User Friendly
Gelid Solutions is comparative a new name in the thermal paste niche, but with its high-end product line up, it has been able to create a niche for itself. One of its latest products is GC Extreme which has posed a tough face up to all the market leaders with their advanced innovative product. This thermal paste has been highly recommended by a professional who is in the computer set up the business for a long time.
This paste is nonconductive to electricity. So it can be used by the novice as well as experts as accidentals spills would not result in damaging the motherboard altogether. Moreover, this best thermal paste is comparatively thinner to the other variants available in the market right now. Thus it can be spread easily using your finger if you not comfortable with any of the methods. This liquid does not stick to fingers so you can comfortably spread it in a thin layer.
This compound has been tested in the lab by pros along with other bestsellers, and most of the pros accepted the fact that GC Extreme’s performance was much better than the others. In the lab test, there have been five to ten degree Celsius difference when both are tested under the same circumstances in idle and working condition. It definitely lives upto its name i.e. extreme with respect to temperature drop.
Negative: It is expensive in comparison to the other thermal paste available in the market right now, but it is going to last much longer and enhance the performance of the processor in the long run. So it is definitely worth the price.
- Ultimate Heat Conductivity
- Non-Electrical Conductive Non-Corrosive, Non-Curring & Non-Toxic
- No Bleeding & User Friendly
- GELID Applicator
- 10 grams
Arctic Cooling is a company that started from Switzerland and gradually in the course of time all across the globe. This has been possible because the manufacturers believe in constantly upgrading their range of products with cutting edge technology. One of its flagship products is Arctic MX 4 which is the successor of MX 2. MX 2 has been widely accepted and loved by the IT professionals and it’s the latest addition MX 4 is no less than that.
MX 4 is one of the best thermal compounds that is made of carbon, which is a very good conductor in some forms, not all. Thus it can dispel the heat produced by the processor to the heatsink quickly. Thus this paste is ideal for computers with a heavy workload. This paste does not have any metals and thus does not conduct electricity. Therefore, it is safe for beginners as well as experts. The density and viscosity of MX 4 are perfect for evenly spreading it before placing the heatsink.
When this best thermal paste was tested in an idle and loaded condition, the results were quite impressive. It could maintain a temperature that is equivalent to all the other premium products available right now. And the best part is by using MX 4 you get almost the same results at a much cheaper price. So it is definitely a bang for your bucks. Moreover, since this paste is not made of metals, it is going to last much longer in comparison to other metal-based compounds.
Negative: Make sure you apply it in the right way and right quantity for the best performance.
Often referred to as the “ultimate” thermal compound, manufacturers claim that grease is perfectly suitable for the most challenging applications. The compound of this paste contains minute nano-aluminum and zinc oxide that ensures that the paste has a longer life. Moreover, these compounds help in creating a uniform platform for the heatsink to be placed on the processor. It has a thermal conductivity of 12.5 W/mK and it is a popular choice amongst those whose workload is demanding.
Negative: Overall this is a great product, which has hardly any negative aspect.
- Renowned premium-grade thermal compound for optimal heat-transfer from the CPU or GPU to the heatsink; more than 150 awards and recommendations
- High-end thermal compound to reduce temperatures on PC applications and electronics
Noctua arose out of a partnership between an Austrian and Taiwanese company and later on a scientific institute that does research work on heat transmission also joined hands. This ensures that all its products are developed after thorough research and experimentation. This venture has resulted in producing the best thermal compounds based on modern technology.
Noctua NT-H1 was tested by the professionals along with other bestsellers like the Arctic Silver 5. Both have almost identical results in the idle condition and in extreme workload NT –H1 temperature reading was one degree lower in comparison to the other one. Thus proving that in extreme condition Noctua NT – H1 can perform very well. Another, positive aspect of using this compound is that after applying it, user need not wait for a long time to get it settled in between the processor and the heatsink. It can be applied very easily and is best suited for beginners. It is a ceramic thermal paste and thus does not conduct electricity.
Negative: It is a bit expensive when compared with other products of the same standard.
7. Tuniq TX 4
- Better performance than TX-3 thermal grease.
- Easy apply than TX-3 thermal grease
- 6.53W/mK Ultra-High thermal conductivity for superior heat transfer
- Not electrically conductive
- High stability and reliability
Another product that has been given thumbs up by the veteran IT professionals is Tuniq’s TX 4. Tuniq believes in improvising their line of products based on the needs of the consumers as well as with cutting edge technology. Thus TX 4 was a successor of TX 3, and we can definitely say that the successor came with loads of improvisation in its formula for better performance. It has a thermal conductivity of 6.53 W/Mk which is better than many of the bestseller.
IT professionals have tested this grease along with other bestsellers, and the results have shown that both in the idle and loaded condition the processor using TX 4 have a lower temperature. Though the temperature difference is just one to two degrees, in the long run, this is definitely going to have an impact on the performance of the processor. This compound is non-conductive to electricity, so good for beginners as well. It performs very efficiently even under very high pressure.
Negative: Though the manufacturer claims that this compound can be applied very easily, but when the test was conducted it was found that the paste is pretty thick and hard. So it is difficult to apply it on the CPU. And at the same time, it is expensive.
- Each tube of IC Diamond Thermal grease contains 24 carats of micronized diamond with diamond particle loadings @ 94% by weight. Material loading above 90% is recommended as the best combination of rheological and thermal properties to minimize interface pump out due to thermal cycling.
Innovation Cooling is known for producing the best thermal compound with 92% micro components of synthetic diamonds. As we all know diamonds are the best conductors of heat and thus Innovation Cooling uses this in their paste. These synthetic diamonds have a conductivity of 2000 to 2500 W/mK which is many times more than the normal compounds. And at the same time, it does not conduct electricity so there are no chances of short circuits in the motherboard.
Unlike many compounds, the curing time of this paste is only two to three hours. So users need not wait for two weeks after applying to attain its best performance. When compared with other thermal paste, this compound did not show any temperature difference in the idle condition. But in the processor was loaded with a lot of work, then the IC Diamond had a much lower temperature, almost seven to eight-degree difference was shown.
Negative: The paste is thick, so users might find it difficult to apply. And its price is almost three times more than the other pastes.
- Suitable for CPU, chipsets on Mainboard, VGA card, etc.
- Easy to use.
- Zif Socket Templates ensure correct applying area with various CPU socket types.
- Produces an even layer when using applicator.
- Wide range of application temperature.
Cooler Master is a well-known brand producing coolers, PC chassis, and other things. Lately, it has extended its business into the thermal compound sector and earned quite a name at a short span of time. It is a metal-based compound which contains certain metallic oxides, which are good at transmitting heat from the processor to the heatsink.
This one is a good entry level compound that is available at an affordable price. Its performance is on par with all the ceramic-based thermal compounds. Therefore, this thermal paste would not be recommended if you have a too demanding workload. But for normal light usage, this is definitely a great buy. Moreover, it is very easy to apply the paste. It comes in a gluey form and can be uniformly applied using an applicator.
Negative: There is much to highlight the negative points of this compound, excepting that professionals with demanding applications might not find it suitable.
Another good metal-based thermal paste that definitely deserves to be in the best thermal paste 2021 list. This compound is made up of a variety of metals starting from zinc, rhodium, silver, gallium, indium, and bismuth. All these metals are good conductors are they are combined together to form a eutectic mixture that is great at transmitting heat produced by the processor. When this compound was tested along with other best thermal pastes it was seen that in the machines using Liquid Ultra there was a temperature drop of 8 to 10-degree centigrade which is definitely brilliant.
Since this is a metal-based compound, you need to extra careful while applying it, as a minute spill can result in short circuit damaging the motherboard.
Negative: Firstly, you cannot use this with an aluminum heatsink. If you are using this compound, then make sure to use either a copper or a silver heatsink. Secondly, the application process of this compound is tiresome, you need to follow certain steps to apply it and be very cautious while doing it. Thirdly it is expensive. But all being said, it is still highly recommended by the pros because of its superb performance.
Best Thermal Pastes 2021: Buying Guide
When a plethora of best options is present before us, we tend to get confused which one to opt for. Therefore, you should consider several factors before buying the best CPU thermal paste in 2021.
Does your computer overclock?
The first and foremost thing to consider is the workload of your computer. Does it overclock? Or you do very nominal work on it. If you have a demanding workload, then you need to use the best thermal paste to make sure that your system does not heat up when used extensively. Or else there are chances for the system to crash when the processor is producing too much heat.
Just buying the best and most expensive paste is not going to solve your problem at all. You have to make sure that you have applied it in the correct manner and amount so that heat can get transmitted to the cooler.
Type of paste
There are basically two kinds of thermal compounds
The conductive pastes are composed of metals. The nonconductive ones are made up of non-metals like silicone and zinc. While, the conductive ones are better performers, but users need to extra cautious while applying it because if the slightest amount of it spills into the motherboard it can cause short circuit thereby damaging the motherboard. On the other hand, with non-conductive paste users need not worry about such things. So, the non-conductive ones are recommended for the beginners.
How to apply thermal paste to CPU?
First thing you need to do before applying it is clean the CPU properly. Make sure there is not even a little bit of dirt left on its surface. Whichever method you follow, make sure to apply a uniform thin layer of the grease or else it is not going to be very effective. There are certain methods for applying the paste on the CPU, we have briefly described them here:
Vertical Line Method
As suggested in the name itself, all you need to do is take a small pinch of the taste and apply it on the CPU in a single vertical line. This way the whole of the CPU can be filled.
Apply a pea-sized paste on the IHS and thereafter mount the heatsink on top of it. This is the most popular method amongst all.
In this method, you need to place the thermal liquid in a circular motion on the IHS. But be careful. A uniform thin layer of the compound should be placed on the IHS.
A plethora of options are available for a different kind of use and all of them are equally capable. So, jot down your priorities and then select the best thermal paste 2021 suit your purpose to run your computer for a long time without compromising on its performance level.
- 1 Best Thermal Paste Reviews 2021
- 1.1 1. Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut
- 1.2 2. Arctic Silver 5
- 1.3 3. Gelid Solutions GC Extreme : Editor Choice Thermal Paste
- 1.4 4. Gelid Solutions GC Extreme
- 1.5 5. Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
- 1.6 6. Noctua NT – H1
- 1.7 7. Tuniq TX 4
- 1.8 8. IC Diamond 24 Carat
- 1.9 9. Cooler Master High Performance Thermal Paste
- 1.10 10. Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra
- 2 Best Thermal Pastes 2021: Buying Guide
- 3 Conclusion