Thermal Paste and Thermal Pads from ARCTIC
Although the surfaces of processors and coolers look smooth to the naked eye, they are actually covered with microscopic bumps that prevent optimum cooling.
A high-quality filling material with very good thermal conductivity is essential in order to guarantee ideal cooling of the CPU and graphics card. Both thermal paste and thermal pads can be used for this purpose.
Thermal paste vs. Thermal pads
How does thermal paste work?
Thermal paste is a sticky mass in consistency, which is the most frequently used method of heat transfer between CPUs and heat sinks. Naturally, the best performance can be achieved with high quality pastes. However, thermal paste can pose a challenge for beginners, who may experience difficulties when using the first time, as both too much and too little paste can impair performance. Plus, in contrast to most thermal pads, thermal paste is not suitable for bridging larger distances.
What is the correct way to apply thermal paste?
First, the surface of the chip should be thoroughly cleaned. Which is the best method to finally apply the thermal paste is always the subject of debate. Generally speaking, however, the thinner the better. Two of the most popular application methods are spreading, in which a small blob of paste is placed in the middle and then distributed evenly over the entire surface; and the blob method, in which one simply presses the heat sink onto the blob and the thermal paste is so distributed by itself.
How long does thermal paste last? When should it be replaced?
Generalizations regarding the durability of applied thermal paste cannot be made. While some pastes have to be renewed regularly to prevent drying out, ARCTICs MX-4 offers a very long shelf life of at least 8 years. An increase in the processor temperature is a good indicator of dried out paste, because it causes heat transfer to be less efficient.
How is thermal paste removed?
Fresh thermal paste can often be easily wiped off. If it has already dried, it is advisable to moisten a cloth with isopropyl alchohol and remove the paste with a light wipe.
Which thermal paste is the best?
Thanks to its outstanding performance, ARCTIC's MX-4 has received numerous awards after product tests and is one of the top thermal pastes on the market.
Installing thermal pads
Thermal pads are much simpler in their installation than thermal paste because they can be easily and precisely applied, so that even newcomers have no difficulties. However, the thermal output is usually lower than that of the paste and so they can only be used to a limited extent on CPUs.
Removing thermal pads
When using thermal pads, it should always be borne in mind that these are intended for single use only. If heat sinks are moved or replaced, the pad must be replaced completely. All adhesive residue should also be removed, otherwise there will be new bumps and gaps on the surface.
Thermal pads in various strengths and dimensions at ARCTIC
Thermal pads can be purchased from ARCTIC in various thicknesses and sizes. They can also be cut to the necessary dimensions by the user.