Are you also facing PC heating issues? All you need is a good thermal paste for handling the heat better. In this article, we bring you the best thermal paste you can buy in 2020 that can help you reduce your CPU/GPU temperature by more than 10º C!
- 1 Overall List of Best Thermal Paste 2020
- 2 Best Thermal Paste for CPU
- 3 Best Thermal Paste for GPU
- 4 Best Liquid Metal Thermal Paste
- 5 Choosing the Best Thermal Paste – Buying Guide
- 6 FAQs about Thermal Paste
- 7 Conclusion
To efficiently dissipate the heat from the CPU or GPU, the heat must be conducted properly between the processor and the cooling system. And that’s where comes the role of thermal paste.
It works as an efficient medium for heat exchange filling the microscopic gaps between the processor and the heat sink.
Using a good quality thermal paste you can actually reduce the CPU/GPU temperature improving the overall performance of the processor. And c’mon who wouldn’t better performance while playing your favorite games, right?
Remember, CPU and Graphics Processor are two different components and they have a different reason for heating.
Therefore, the solution for the two also differs from each other. Still, there are some thermal compounds that you can use on both.
Note: If you are not sure about what type of thermal paste you need, check out the buying guide to find out!
Overall List of Best Thermal Paste 2020
So, here is the list of the best thermal paste available in 2020 that we have researched and reviewed in detail.
Last update on 2020-03-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Thermal Paste for CPU
Here are the reviews of Best Thermal Pastes for CPU you can buy in 2020.
1. Arctic MX4 Thermal Compound Review
Started in 2001, Arctic is the leading manufacturer of cooling systems as wells as thermal compounds. Arctic MX-4 is one such top of the line thermal paste which is made up micro-particles of carbon.
These carbon particles increase the thermal conductivity of the paste making it more efficient. Its conductivity is rated at 8.5W/mK which is exceptionally higher.
Also, there is no metal compound in Arctic MX4 that means it is electrically non-conductive. Therefore, you can also use it freely with your graphics card as well without worrying about shorting.
Arctic MX4 thermal paste is very easy to apply, thanks to the ideal consistency and the syringe-shaped applicator. Also, It is exceptionally durable lasting at 8 years as claimed by the manufacturer.
Although the Arctic MX-4 definitely a great thermal compound for gaming computers, but it is priced at higher range which might not attract everyone.
2. Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste Review
One of the most popular thermal paste is the Noctua NT-H1. If you’re looking for a good thermal paste for CPU at an affordable price, then Noctua NT-H1 is best for you.
The thermal conductivity rating for this thermal paste is 8.9W/mK which better than most of the thermal compounds on our list. This thermal paste is a hybrid of different micro-particles that ensures minimum thermal resistance.
Talking with personal experience, this thermal paste can keep your CPU up to 10° cooler.
Noctua NT-H1 is slightly drier and thicker but it is equally easy to apply. All you need to do is just put a pea-size compound on the processor then just place the heat sink gently over it and done.
The reason of Noctua’s popularity is performance combined with incredible lifespan. It can give you peak performance for upto 3 year without the need for a change.
3. Thermaltake TG7 Thermal Grease Review
Moving on to the third one on our list of best thermal pastes of 2019. Thermaltake TG-7 Extreme outdoes some of the top thermal pastes when it comes to performance.
The reason behind the extreme performance is the diamond powder filler present in Thermaltake TG-7 that dramatically improves the thermal conductivity as compared to basic silicon-based thermal compounds.
TG-7 Extreme Performance is a long-lasting solution when it comes to cooling your cpu while playing excessively demanding games.
The only negative thing about this compound is that one tube contains 4 grams and it lasts for only 3 or 4 applications only. While other thermal pastes like the Noctua NT-H1 lasts for almost 15 applications. This also means Thermaltake TG-7 has an higher effective cost.
4. Cooler Master MasterGel Maker NANO Review
This is a rather new name on the thermal compound circuit but that does not stop it to be at the fourth place on our list of good thermal pastes available this year. Why? Because of the ultra-high thermal conductivity of 11W/mK.
Yes, you read it ccorrectly. For the gamers who go for overclocking to push to the graphics processors to their extreme limits, CoolerMaster MasterGel Maker is something to definitely give a shot!
It designed keeping in mind the liquid nitrogen cooling systems and can provide peak performance over a wide range of temperatures from -50°C to 150°C. That’s insane seriously!
Actually, the MasterGel thermal grease is made from a unique composition that blends fine particles of industrial grade diamond making sure you get graphite-like conductivity at a much lower price point.
5. Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Grease Review
Another thermal paste that the overclocking gamers will love is Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Grease. With a mindblowing thermal conductivity rating of 12.5W/mK, this thermal paste has the capacity to practically reduce cpu/gpu temperatures drastically even on heavily overclocked rigs.
Grizzly Kyronaut thermal grease is not electrically conductive. In case, you spill a drop your motherboard, just swipe gently to remove and it won’t short any of the circuits on the motherboard. It also comes with a spatula to make it easier to spread on the surface.
You might be surprised to know that it can withstand temperatures as high as 300°C. Remember, water starts boiling at just 100°C. Impressive, right?
No doubt, it has got great heat transfer capacity but that comes at almost double the price of other ones you have just read. So, if you looking for just regular gaming use, then you can go for other options on this list.
7. Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste Review
Last year, If you would ask anyone out there about the best thermal paste, most of the gaming geeks would name Arctic Silver 5. Yeah, that’s true. Arctic S5 has been most popular thermal paste for years until some of the better thermal compounds got into the market like the Arctic MX-4 itself.
But, the saying goes old is gold! Arctic Silver 5 is still a very good thermal paste for regular usage. It features fine silver particles that provide a high thermal conductivity rate of 8.9W/mK; that too without the drawbacks of liquid metal.
It has been tested over a large range of processors and has performed very well without any issues for years. Also, it is quite easy to apply even for the first-timers.
Being from an inferior time period, Arctic Silver 5 has few drawbacks too. First is that it is electrically conductive, so you need to be very very careful so that it does not spills on the motherboard. Secondly, it requires a curing time of almost 200 hours which is way too much.
Best Thermal Paste for GPU
Here is the list of best thermal paste for GPU that you can buy in 2020.
1. Gelid Solution GC-Extreme Thermal Paste Review
Although a few from the thermal pastes you just read can be great for CPU as well as GPU, if you are looking specifically for your graphics processor or graphics card, you must go for Gelid GC Extreme thermal paste.
With a pretty sufficient 8.5W/mK thermal conductivity rating, GC Extreme has got all the capacity to handle efficiently and transfer it to the heat sink from your GPU.
When it comes to application, GC Extreme is quite simple to apply due to the light consistency. Being electrically non-conductive, it is easy to clean off if spilled too.
GC-Extreme is a special non-curing compound making it more effective for longer periods of time. But at the same time that also makes it riskier to frequently move your computer.
2. Innovation Cooling Diamond Thermal Compound Review
Don’t be surprised by another new name. Innovation Cooling is relatively new to the thermal paste scene. But, trust me this IC Diamond 7 Carat thermal compound comperes other regular thermal pastes in this list.
Though, the manufacturers haven’t disclosed much on the exact ingredients of the filler. But it does have Diamond powder (7 Carat) which makes it good thermal conductor (4.5W/mK).
It has great ratings overall and works very effectively with Graphics Processors. Talking about the durability, it can last for a couple of years without any hassles.
The only negative point about IC Diamond 7 Carat thermal compound is that it is a bit difficult to remove and clean it. Also, the use of diamond makes it toxic too.
3. Prolimatech PK-3 Thermal Paste Review
The Prolimatech Pk-3 Nano boasts a thermal conductivity of 11.2W/m-C and a very low thermal impedance. If you are from those people who love the “fit-it-and-forget-it” kind of solutions, then Prolimatech PK-3 should be your choice.
It is one of the longest lasting thermal compounds on this list. The reason is that it does not harden with time and there are no chances of cracks which makes it last longer.
You can use it safely on your GPU as it is non corrosive as well as electrically non conductive.
Best Liquid Metal Thermal Paste
Here is the list of best liquid metal thermal paste that you can buy in 2020.
1. Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra Thermal Paste Review
Developed by Cool Laboratory to succeed its previous Liquid Pro, Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra is the new 100% liquid metal thermal paste available in 2019.
We all know metal is a great conductor of heat and that makes Liquid Ultra achieve the highest thermal conductivity rating of 38.4 W/mK. With such insane capacity, Liquid Ultra thermal paste can radically decrease the temperatures more than 10-12°C.
As this is a lot wetter than ordinary thermal pastes, it becomes easy to spread as well as easy to spill too! And, you would definitely don’t want to spill Liquid Ultra on your gaming PCs motherboard. Why? Because Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra is electrically conductive (metallic) and it can short the electrical elements on the motherboard.
The only thing to keep in mind that Liquid Ultra thermal paste cannot be used with aluminum coolers because it can corrode it and the same goes for GPU.
It’s got the capacity to push your liquid cooling system to the peak performance, due to amazing heat conductivity at higher temperatures; ideally suited for those aggressive overclocks. Personally, I would recommend using this with much care for CPU and do not use it for GPU!
2. Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut Review
This one is the liquid metal alternative for the Grizzly Kyronaut. Made with a blend of different metals, Grizzly Conductonaut thermal grease offers a whopping 73W/mK heat transfer rate. Such an amazing heat conducting capacity is top of the line.
While most of the gaming geeks suggest you not to use liquid metal based thermal paste because of the risk of spilling, Grizzly Conductonuat can be more easy to apply. It comes with a syringe and just 1 gram of the thermal compound that makes it almost safe to use even for beginners.
Designed with keeping overclocked CPUs in mind, it gives a great performance with liquid cooled processors as well as the air cooled ones.
Again, the drawback of using Galium as a component of paste, you must keep it away from any of the aluminium components on the motherboard.
3. Phobya LM Thermal Paste Review
Well, Phobya is a known player when it comes to cooling modules. The next one on our list of best thermal paste is Phobya LM thermal paste.
Like most liquid metal mixtures, Phobya LM features a strong conductivity rating. At 40W/mK, it can manage heat rather well for gaming processors. Made with 100% metal mixtures, Phobya LM offers amazing performance on overclocked liquid cooled systems.
One important thing to mention about this liquid metal thermal paste is that it is also electrically conductive and can be dangerous if spilled. It is corrosive too that can deplete the metals like aluminium.
Choosing the Best Thermal Paste – Buying Guide
As I mentioned earlier, all the thermal pastes are not same and choosing which one to use depends highly on what is the application of it. So, to clear some of the most common doubts about thermal compounds and their usage, I have put down this detailed buying guide that will help you choose the best thermal paste in your budget!
First of all, lets begin with some basics.
What is Thermal Paste?
Even after using the best CPU coolers, the temperature of your processor can hit high. Fortunately, It can be brought down by eliminating any of the space (even microscopic gaps) between the CPU and the heatsink/cooling system. These gaps do not let the heat transfer from the source to the sink.
Thermal Paste is a type of thermally conductive compound that acts as an interface between the heat source and the cooling system and transfers the heat efficiently by filling any of the microscopic gaps in between. It is also referred to as heat sink paste, heat sink compound, thermal compound, thermal gel, or CPU grease.
Which Thermal Paste Should You Use?
Well, with so many good options on the list, you need to understand what are your needs, operating temperatures, cooling modules etc. So, this buyer’s guide will help you to choose which thermal paste is paste for you. Let’s get started with the things you must keep in mind while buying thermal paste.
Thermal Conductivity: Every thermal paste has a thermal conductivity rating which defines its capacity to transfer heat from the processors to the heat sink. More the thermal conductivity, the temperature will be reduced more. Normal non-metallic thermal compounds have a thermal conductivity between 4-10 W/mK while the liquid metal thermal paste can have the thermal conductivity of more than 70W/mK.
Non-Capacitive/ Non-Conductive: While applying thermal paste one needs to be very careful because it can create a mess all over the CPU and cause serious damage. If the thermal paste can conduct electricity, then it may short the circuitry. Therefore, the very first thing to check in a thermal paste is that whether it is non-conductive or not. If a thermal paste is non-conductive then it is safe to use on the motherboard even if it spills.
Density / Consistency: To make the application process easier, you must use a thermal paste which has an adequate density that can spread easily. Liquid Metal thermal pastes have a lower density as compared to the regular thermal pastes.
How to Apply / Remove Thermal Paste?
Don’t know how to apply thermal paste? No worries. Check out this easy tutorial to learn the steps of applying fresh thermal paste or removing the old thermal paste from the processor.
FAQs about Thermal Paste
Do you really need thermal paste?
Applying Thermal Paste is essential because it helps in heat dissipation between the CPU and the heatsink. Without thermal paste, CPU will get overheated and die!
Does thermal paste expire?
Yes, thermal paste does expire but generally a good thermal paste would work well for many years without any issues.
What happens if you don't use thermal paste?
If you don't use thermal paste, there are high chances that your CPU will get heat up quickly and the performance would degrade. Using the processor without thermal paste for long may lead to permanent damage.
So, it’s time for the conclusion of the article and I am sure you must have understood the need of Thermal paste and which thermal paste for you.
Let me give you a quick brief. According to Glinkster, the overall best thermal paste is Arctic MX-4 while the best thermal paste for GPU is Gelid GC-Extreme. In case you love overclocking, you must go for liquid metal thermal pastes and the best liquid metal thermal paste is Cool Laboratory Liquid Metal.
Now, just get your thermal paste and push the limits of your system for extreme gaming!
Feel free to ask any doubts about thermal pastes and don’t forget to share your experiences with thermal pastes in the comments section below.