If you’re building your own PC, you know just how important having all of the top, premium components and hardware is. That way, you can do some high-end gaming, or you can do some fairly hardware-intensive tasks, such as video editing. Overclocking with your processor and GPU and be pretty important for accomplishing those means; however, you also need to make sure that you have the correct thermal paste for these things.
Thermal paste is an extremely important part of heat conduction — the compound helps with the transferring of heat from the CPU to the CPU cooler, keeping your processor cool, even under heavy loads. So if you’re not sure what type of thermal paste to get, here are our top seven favorite solutions:
Arctic Silver 5
And, coming in as our number one contender, we have the Arctic Silver 5 compound. This brand has been around some time, and is actually recommended by all of the top manufacturers within the hardware component industry.
It’s versatile because you can use it with both CPU and GPU applications, keeping both cool during those overclocking sessions. It has a little bit better thermal conductivity than most, coming in at 8.9 W/mK. The Arctic Silver 5 is also one of the few that won’t break down at hot temperatures — it’s rated for peak temps of -50 to +180 Celsius.
The Arctic Silver 5 does have a curing time — 200 hours actually. That said, it’ll take a couple of weeks before you see the Silver 5 reach its full performance, which means temps might run on the hotter side for the first few days.
Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste
Coming in at second place, we have the Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste. You can easily use this one with both CPU and GPU coolers. It has a great thermal conductivity to it, ensuring that your CPU and/or GPU stays safe during those crazy overclocking sessions. It’s rated for about 15 applications, so you’ll have plenty to use in the tube.There’s no curing time in this thermal compound. so you can use it immediately.
When you use this compound, your CPU or GPU will experience peak temperatures of -50 to +110 Celsius. There aren’t any crazy, harmful materials inside, which means that you should be able to use aluminum and copper heatsinks without issue.
Gennel White Thermal Grease
Next up, we’re looking at Gennel’s White Thermal Grease. This tube has 100 grams of thermal grease in it, which can be used for CPUs and GPUs alike. It has a thermal conductivity of 1.63W/m-K and a thermal resistance of <0.249°C-in2/W. Additionally, this is non-toxic, tasteless, and non-corrosive.
As you can imagine, this one dissipates heat just fine, even under heavy overclocking loads.
Tensan Thermal Grease
Next up, we’re looking at the Tensan Thermal Grease. With the high thermal conductivity that this one has, the games you play will stay running stable by keeping heating problems far, far away. This grease specifically is widely used for CPUs, GPUs, and much more.
The ARCTIX MX-4 comes up as third position. This one is a nice investment, as you can store the thermal paste on the shelf for up to eight years without losing its potency.
It’s not a thick paste like some compounds, but still has an impressive thermal conductivity rating — 8.5 W/mK. It has gray tones to it, but will have no problem keeping your processor or GPU cool during some zealous overclocking sessions. It’s actually quite versatile, working well with both CPU and GPU coolers.
Thermal Grizzly Conduction Paste
The Thermal Grizzly Conduction Pate comes up next, and is an excellent compound for top heat conduction. This one is also silver-based, and does come on the expensive side, but that’s because Thermal Grizzly is ensuring that you have great heat conduction for when you really start pushing the limits in hardware overclocking.
There is one thing to note — this should not be used with an aluminum heat sink/CPU cooler — the material used can damage aluminum because of a chemical reaction. That said, you’ll want to make sure you follow instruction to a T.
GEID Solutions GC-Extreme Thermal Compound
Coming up in fifth position, we have GC-Extreme’s own high performance compound. This one is a silver-based thermal compound, and has a conductivity rating of 8.5 W/mK. That said, you’ll have no trouble with conduction performance in the overclocking of computer parts. This thermal paste is easy to apply to your processor, and has a temperature rating of -45 to +180 degrees, Celsius. That said, overclocking performance will be no problem with this compound.
As you can see, there are a lot of excellent thermal compounds on this list for top heat transferring performance. Really, any one of these solutions will be accomplish what you’re trying to do. You just need to remember that you only need to place around a pea-size drop of thermal paste on your processor.
That’s more than enough for properly transferring heat to the CPU cooler, and anymore than that has the potential to ruin your processor, or just not work as intended.
Do you have a favorite thermal compound?