Thermal paste (also known as cooling paste) is the most frequently used option for heat transfer between the CPU and the CPU cooler. The best performance is achieved with high quality pastes.
1. What do you need thermal paste for?
The surface of a heatsink is never completely flat. Its surface is covered with microscopic abrasions caused by the manufacturing. Direct contact would create air spaces that have an insulating effect on heat transfer. Therefore a filler material with very good thermal conductivity is required to compensate for the unevenness between the cooler and the chip and to fundamentally improve the heat transfer. Thermal pads can also be used instead of thermal paste, especially when bridging larger distances.
3. How do I remove old thermal paste?
The best way to effectively remove thermal grease is to wipe it off with a cloth dampened with isopropanol alcohol. Stubborn hardening can be wiped off with light pressure.
4. How long does thermal paste last?
General statements regarding the shelf life of thermal paste once applied cannot be made. While some pastes have to be renewed regularly to prevent drying out, ARCTIC’s thermal pastes offer a very long shelf life of at least eight years. Our syringes are resealable, so you basically don't have to worry about drying them out prematurely. Even when applied, our paste convinces with its durability. As soon as you feel changes in the temperature, the noise level or the performance, you should clean your PC and replace the thermal paste.
5. Which thermal paste performs best in tests?
Thanks to its outstanding performance, the ARCTIC MX-4 has received multiple awards and is one of the top thermal pastes on the market. ARCTIC recently added a new premium thermal compound to its portfolio. The MX-5 impresses with ideal thermal properties, guaranteeing reliable heat dissipation over long periods of time.
Thermal paste is usually available in packaging sizes of a few grams, which is sufficient for several applications. Syringes are employed for precise application. At ARCTIC, the MX-5 is available in packaging sizes from 2 to 50 grams, the MX-4 up to 45 grams. Alternatively, variants with a spatula are available. The ARCTIC MX-2 is offered in tubes from 2 to 65 grams.
Our in-house thermal paste is also applied in many of our CPU-COOLERs in advance.