Best Thermal Paste for CPUs

If you have been into PC building, you must have heard of thermal paste. But what is it, and why are all enthusiastic PC users so obsessed with it? Is it that important? So to help you with these vague queries, we will cover a comprehensive discussion about the best thermal paste in this article. You might not consider it an essential component of your rig, but it guarantees the health and sustainability of your system. A thermal paste is a chemical compound that helps efficient thermal conductivity due to its nature and composition.

This polymerizable liquid matrix consists of substances that are electricity insulators yet conduct heat. This simple thing changes the thermal game and makes a huge difference. How? Let’s find out! Some manufactures provide components pre-applied with this paste, but most of the time, you have to buy something off the shelves for the sake of your computer. The CPU and the heating are arranged in a tight-squeezed way to avoid the air staying between the two, but no matter how tightly you press the two against each other, the air still stays. So the ultimate solution is a thermal paste that fills the hollow grooves between the processor and heatsink and conducts the heat to provide maximum performance.

This way, it conveniently transfers the heat from the CPU to the heatsink, so the heat does not mess with the internal components. Once it dries out, you can reapply it to reap the same benefits over and over again. Now go ahead and check out the list of most effective thermal pastes that we narrowed down for you.

Quick Shopping Tips:

You can also consider some simple shopping tips to take help for picking the most suitable product.

Thermal Conductivity: The very first thing that you should consider while opting for a suitable thermal paste is the thermal conductivity levels it provides. The thermal conductivity is a parameter to show how efficient the paste is at keeping the system cool. It is the rate of heat transfer from your CPU to the heatsink of your rig. The higher the conductivity rates, the better is the performance. Liquid pastes tend to be more efficient than non-metallic compounds since they have higher conductivity rates than the latter.

Electric Conductivity: If you are new to this area of PC building, avoid getting liquid metal pastes as they are electrically conductive. Slight negligence can cause a short circuit and can burn down the internal parts. So to prevent malfunction and damage of the system, prefer pastes that are not electrically conductive. But it’s a fact that such pastes are more effective for power-consuming rigs. So careful application of such products can guarantee efficient heat conductivity.

Viscosity: Thermal pastes vary significantly in terms of their consistency. Some products are liquid and flowy while others, on the contrary, are thick. Compounds with high viscosity are notorious for tedious application, but they provide safety to the components. Mildly viscous or semi-liquid thermal pastes spread readily and evenly, making the system vulnerable to damage. If applied more than the required quantity, they can run over the surface and seep through the gaps, which is not a desirable thing, right? So use it the right way with expertise and care.

Thermal Design Power: People also call it TDP, and the specification list of your processor shows it. If you know the TDP of your processor, you can guess how the system will get to quite an accurate extent. If your processor is a power-hungry thing and has a significantly high TDP, it will require more effort to cool down for sure. This factor bears importance since it helps you determine the correct thermal paste type for your system. Once you get the paste that matches your needs, your rig’s performance boosts.

Type: There is a wide range of thermal pastes, and there is no standard paste that fits everyone’s needs equally. So you need to choose the right kind of thermal paste for your system according to our rig’s usage and power demands. The most popular types are metal compounds, ceramic compounds, and silicone compounds. All these have different compositions and performance levels. You should avoid choosing sticky and adhesive thermal paste as removing it and reapplying another paste would be challenging that way.

Best Thermal Paste for CPUs at a glance:

  1. Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
  2. Arctic MX-5
  3. NAB Cooling NB Max Pro
  4. Noctua NT-H1
  5. Phobya Liquid Metal Compound LM
  6. Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut
  7. ProlimaTech PK-3 Nano Aluminum
  8. Cooler Master MasterGel Pro v2

The Best Thermal Paste for CPUs You Can Buy Today

Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut (Image credit: Amazon)

Best Runner-up Thermal Paste

SPECIFICATIONS

Electrically Conductive: No | Thermal Conductivity: 12.5 W/mk | Ease of Use: 1g syringe | Relative Performance: 4.0 | Cleanup: lint-free absorbent paper towels, alcohol pads or cotton swabs and alcohol | Price per gram: $9.99

REASONS TO BUY
+ Efficient heat dissipation + Sub-Zero Overclocking expert + Applicable on aluminum heatsinks
REASONS TO AVOID
- Pricier than similar products - No commendable performance above 80°

People mostly overlook the need for a thermal paste and unknowingly lessen the lifespan of their computer system. But you pal, you know the importance of a suitable thermal paste, so be sure to get one promptly. But the question here is, where to find that right product? Well, if you are looking for something that delivers off-the-hook performance, the extraordinary Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut is right here for you. Why do our experts recommend this thing? Let’s find out!

The first and foremost quality that most people look for in the best CPU thermal paste is its no electric conductivity. So this item has no issue like being vulnerable to the current, and that’s a huge relief. Secondly, the manufacturers claim that they built this top-class thermal paste precisely for the overclockers to achieve their desired results without any trouble. After you apply it, your system would need no break to cool down and be significantly stable.

The basic structure of this gel makes it pretty attractive since it consists of nano-aluminum- and zinc oxide parts which help make the performance optimal and stable. Ever since this product came out, people have been going gaga over it. Trying and testing proved that this best runner-up thermal paste deserves the fame it enjoys. There is a logic behind its name as well. Kryo in Greek means' cold,’ and we were pleased to know that this product fully justifies the name manufacturers gave it.

Arctic MX-5 (Image credit: Amazon)

Best All-Around Thermal Paste

SPECIFICATIONS

Electrically Conductive: No | Thermal Conductivity: 6.0 W/mk | Ease of Use: 2g syringe | Relative Performance: 4.0 | Cleanup: lint-free absorbent paper towels, alcohol pads or cotton swabs and alcohol | Price per gram: $2.75

REASONS TO BUY
+ Metal-free + Smooth spread + Great thermal conductivity
REASONS TO AVOID
- Not easy to cleanout - Bit too flowy

Given the importance of this minor part of a PC, you must have promptly decided to get the best thermal paste for CPU. But you might be confused since the market is full of products claiming to be the best-in-class. At times like this, people tend to go with the brands they trust or what they have heard more of, so here we have the Arctic MX-5. Arctic has been famous among the masses for about two decades as it manufactures high-end PC cooling components.

The item we have mentioned above is Arctic’s product which is not as famous as the brand’s previous accomplishments. However, they managed to make this product the best thermal paste for most PC users. The enthusiasts pressurize their rigs with demanding tasks and extended gaming sessions. This product is just the right thing for such people as the makers have based it on silicone and formulated it with carbon micro-particulates. It gives high-end performance delivery and thus is the best all-around thermal paste.

Something is interesting about this item; its texture. Its texture and consistency are almost like toothpaste. Or in simple words, this paste is a little less dense than others, making the application effortless. But on the other hand, you need to deal cautiously with it, or else it may cause damage as it is runnier when you apply it on steeper surfaces. Other than this precaution, there is nothing to worry about choosing this paste.

NAB Cooling NB Max Pro (Image credit: Amazon)

Best Performance Thermal Paste

SPECIFICATIONS

Electrically Conductive: No | Thermal Conductivity: 8.5 W/mk | Ease of Use: 3.5g syringe | Relative Performance: 3.0 | Cleanup: lint-free absorbent paper towels, alcohol pads or cotton swabs and alcohol | Price per gram: $1.97

REASONS TO BUY
+ Low price per gram + Non-Curing & non-toxic + Wide operating temperature
REASONS TO AVOID
- No wide availability - Not a high-class performer

Those who want their rigs to perform well need to choose something like NAB Cooling NB Max Pro. We truly adore this product, and there are quite a lot of reasons for us to do so. This item is a simple compound with a rich, creamy texture. This product is smooth and pretty easy to use. All you need to do is remove the previous paste, apply it gently in a short amount, and place everything back, and you are all set to go.

Anyone can apply it directly onto the surface and feel the difference in the rig’s performance right away. No electrical conductivity makes this product the safest and the best CPU thermal paste as it protects the system from any risk like a short circuit, even if you are clumsy enough to spill it a bit off the path. This non-curing and the non-corrosive thing is not too famous but works pretty well as a timid paste that gives a satisfactory mid-tier performance.

However, its cooling performance is not exemplary but is still the best performance thermal paste for most mediocre systems. It is an outstanding product, and you do not have to break a bank to own it. The user-friendly design ensures that you get the most comfortable and the most suitable usage. Above all, it is a durable product that lasts years before drying out, and you are still left with enough product to reapply it.

Noctua NT-H1 (Image credit: Amazon)

Best Budget Thermal Paste

SPECIFICATIONS

Electrically Conductive: No | Thermal Conductivity: Unlisted | Ease of Use: 3.5g syringe | Relative Performance: 4.0 | Cleanup: lint-free absorbent paper towels, alcohol pads or cotton swabs and alcohol | Price per gram: $2.26

REASONS TO BUY
+ Non-corroding + Budget-friendly + Smooth spreading
REASONS TO AVOID
- Toxic if mistakenly contacted - No thermal conductivity disclosed

A PC user has to deal with the dizzying array of options no matter what product he is in the market for; thermal pastes are no exception. There are way too many types and kinds of thermal pastes that leave the user in vague thoughts, and at this point, the Noctua NT-H1 jumps in the discussion. It can profoundly affect the overall performance of your system. This paste is a bit adhesive yet smooth with a soft texture; it works well and thoroughly dissipates the heat.

Noctua is by no means a new entry into the technological world. People from all across the globe trust this major brand and enjoy the unlimited performance levels it provides. The product we are currently discussing is Noctua’s effort for the PC users who are keen on PC building and want to keep every component’s performance pitch-perfect. This item is undoubtedly the best thermal paste for the CPU. You can apply it quite quickly and enjoy its stable nature.

You do not even need to worry about this thing being dried-out, as the cap on the syringe protects it pretty well. Most people use this thermal paste due to its reliability, and the most compelling reason to choose it is the price. Our experts proudly name it as the best budget thermal paste as it costs significantly less than others. That means you do not need to be a lavish spender to get something as important as a thermal paste.

Phobya Liquid Metal Compound LM (Image credit: Amazon)

Best Budget Liquid Metal Thermal Paste

SPECIFICATIONS

Electrically Conductive: Yes | Thermal Conductivity: Unlisted | Ease of Use: 3.2g syringe | Relative Performance: 4.5 | Cleanup: lint-free absorbent paper towels, alcohol pads or cotton swabs and alcohol | Price per gram: $9.00

REASONS TO BUY
+ Excellent material purity + For extreme overclocking + High-end thermal performance
REASONS TO AVOID
- Tricky application - Not valid for aluminum heatsinks

Any thermal paste would do the task of preventing your computer from burning out or shutting down, but a high-performance paste-like Phobya Liquid Metal Compound LM will make sure that you get to reap its benefits for as long as you can. Say farewell to the throttling issues with this sizzling product capable of treating the air well and preventing it from entering the gaps it covers. It overdoes the conventional products and takes over the throne of being the best CPU thermal paste.

As the name shows, this item consists of liquid metals, which are highly conducive to electricity. The company made this product with high-quality additives. The purity of this compound and the period it goes on ensure that you are spending your hard-earned bucks at the right spot. When you compare similar products from the leading brands, you will know that this product is a fraction of the price of its rivals. That is why it is unquestionably the best budget liquid metal thermal paste.

Nonetheless, It is not a simple product, and it demands a lot of care and attention while the user applies it, or else the surface would suffer, and there would be no going back. To avoid reactions, apply it vigilantly and put moderate pressure, so everything fits nicely in its space. It is not easy to use, but nothing is a hurdle between you and utter thermal performance once you have applied it.

Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut (Image credit: Amazon)

Best Liquid Metal Thermal Paste

SPECIFICATIONS

Electrically Conductive: Yes | Thermal Conductivity: 73.0 W/mk | Ease of Use: 1g syringe | Relative Performance: 4.5 | Cleanup: lint-free absorbent paper towels, alcohol pads or cotton swabs and alcohol | Price per gram: $22.99

REASONS TO BUY
+ Wide compatibility + High thermal conductivity + Great overall performance
REASONS TO AVOID
- Tedious application - No applicability on aluminum heatsinks

Choosing and purchasing a thermal paste is probably the most uninteresting part of PC building, but it is crucial nevertheless. That means you just have to bite the bullet and spend some more on a thermal paste that perfectly suits the needs of your system. But what to do if you need something ultra-cool? We do have a solution for you, and that is the stupendous Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut. It is the best liquid metal thermal paste that has set the internet on fire and is in demand.

But there’s something different about it. You can not just use it on any surface as it has a different nature because of the structure. As the manufacturers have made it an electrically conductive compound, it does not suit aluminum heatsinks. Nevertheless, from all aspects, this liquid metal thermal compound is the best thermal paste for CPU. For people involved in intensive tasks, this product from the skies gives an efficient solution to their overheating problems.

The consistency of this product is quite flowy and runny, and that sort of thing requires a keen application. Better apply it with the tools the manufacturers have already provided you within the package. We highly recommend it for pro gamers and experienced users who can deal with the tricky application despite the risk of corrosion on aluminum and electrical conductivity. The beginners can also give it a go with due care. As for thermal conductivity, no other thermal conductivity can overshadow this one, so you can never go wrong with it.

ProlimaTech PK-3 Nano Aluminum (Image credit: newegg)

Best Premium Thermal Paste

SPECIFICATIONS

Electrically Conductive: No | Thermal Conductivity: 11.2 W/mk | Ease of Use: 5g Syringe | Relative Performance: 4.0 | Cleanup: lint-free absorbent paper towels, alcohol pads or cotton swabs and alcohol | Price per gram: $3.60

REASONS TO BUY
+ Non-Corrosive + Long-Term Stability + Fabulous heat transfer
REASONS TO AVOID
- No easy application - Requires high mounting pressure

Firstly we have the high-performing ProlimaTech PK-3 Nano Aluminum here. This little thing singlehandedly manages to cope with major overheating issues and proves that it is the high-grade product we were all waiting for to add to the rig. The cooling effect your system gets is quite attractive and compelling, so it became the go-to option for most people with varied needs for these advantages. The brand is not very famous but what matters the most is the product’s performance, which is commendable.

We initially considered it a mid-tier product during the testing period, but the performance spoke volumes of its top-notch quality. This thermal gel gives high stability and makes the application reliable enough both for experienced and beginner users. Since it is a non-conductor, there are no risks of electrical issues inside the system. Users demand and trust it as the best thermal paste as it gives stability for many upcoming years, and they do not have to do the weary task of reapplying now and then.

It is not the king of its era, but it does not lag behind other products, so we call it the best premium thermal paste that excels in many areas. One of the plus points of this item is the generous amount of paste present inside that you can use for quite a long time. That means you get an excellent per gram rate there despite the total cost. While some users think it is thicker than usual, we found it good enough for filling the voids and stopping the air from interfering with the heat dissipation.

Cooler Master MasterGel Pro v2 (Image credit: newegg)

Best Top-Tier Thermal Paste

SPECIFICATIONS

Electrically Conductive: No | Thermal Conductivity: 9 W/mk | Ease of Use: 1.5ml syringe | Relative Performance: 3.5 | Cleanup: lint-free absorbent paper towels, alcohol pads or cotton swabs and alcohol | Price per gram: $2.57

REASONS TO BUY
+ Non-abrasive + Mildly viscous + Includes no electrically conductive material
REASONS TO AVOID
- Not perfect in OC performance - Packaging is tricky to deal with

Users get annoyed by the thermal issues of their computers. Here the thermal paste comes in. Some people trust the pre-applied pastes, but that is not the wisest decision since it has already been there for who knows how long and is vulnerable to drying out anytime. So the best way to cope with this problem is to apply thermal paste between your processor and the heatsink. And in this regard, Cooler Master MasterGel Pro v2 is something exceptionally good at its job.

No matter how traumatically you will deal with your rig, most of the heat will go down on its own as the best thermal paste for CPU we are talking about will assist this conductivity. The manufacturers have equipped it with tools so that you can wipe the mess off and spread your newly-bought paste over the smooth surface. But you need to get the best CPU thermal paste out of the package with a bit of care so you do not spill it.

Cooler Master has always enjoyed the top spot in the tech world as this brand is widely known and promises perfect quality and performance. This product does its job without smearing or damaging the surface, and you have to take no risk since it is not electrically conductive. Those who are sick of overheated components must give this best top-tier thermal paste a try. After a single application, the system runs in a snappier and swifter manner without heating up and causing troubles as it did before.

Conclusion

During all the intense sessions of your favorite game and highly-productive yet highly-demanding multitasking, the CPU is the one who suffers the most. It got all worked up and heated up, and then the heat caused devastating effects on the system. So you need to draw that terrible foe out and let the least amount of air stay in between the components. For that purpose, the ever-evolving tech world came up with a solution called a thermal paste or a thermal grease and sometimes a thermal compound. In a nutshell, the thermal paste is a chemically-synthesized product that is responsible for high thermal conductivity.

It seals the gap between the CPU and the heatsink real tight and makes it hard for the air to enter. With the best thermal paste on hand, your system will enjoy an optimal heat transfer for sure. Most people do not think of it as an essential component while building their rigs. But it does matter a lot because your system will suffer from overheating issues and eventually drop the performance without it. So by now, you know that a thermal paste is a must-have, and there is no second choice, right? But what brand would you choose? Since opinions differ significantly, we decided to try different products to develop the most suitable things from the raw data.

To help the readers find out the best thermal paste for CPU, we jotted down the most relevant products from all the favorite brands of the masses. All that’s left to do is choose a product amongst these top-quality items and apply them as per directions, and there you go! Now stop getting confused over this simple task and have the most effective thermal paste for your computer right at your doorstep.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which type of thermal paste is best?

You need to choose a thermal paste that delivers high thermal conductivity so that you can perform your highly-demanding tasks without a care in the world. A product like Phobya Liquid Metal Compound LM, which provides you with excellent thermal conductivity, is serious gamers need. They torture their rigs with extreme temperatures as they overclock the system. And this thermal paste deals with all that excess heat. It drains the heat out and leaves no chance for thermal throttling. But be cautious as it is highly conductive to electricity.

Is Arctic MX-5 still the best?

The Arctic has always been a reliable escape for people who can not decide amongst products that the market is teeming with right now. All the products, including the smooth and effective Arctic MX-5, have their aura to deliver high thermal performance. It carries the hierarchy of its predecessors and has continued to satisfy the thermal sense of computers till now. The user can apply it simply as it gives an even spread that lasts longer than most rivals.

Is expensive thermal paste worth it?

A thermal paste bears utmost importance even though people do not realize this fact. You can trust the pre-applied paste, but not for too long. You will eventually have to replace it with a great-performing thermal paste that has a cooling effect on your system as it wards the heat off the processor. A top-notch product like Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut offers top performance and lasts for years. Such an ultra-smooth performer doesn’t come cheap, but the price tag it comes with is worth it.

What is the most expensive thermal paste?

Choosing the right type of thermal paste is not that hard anymore since the Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut has come to show and lead its competitors. One can never go wrong with this item as the cooling performance it offers you is reckless and unbeatable. But the per gram price of this product is not compelling at all. However, this product is a real-time performer for professional gamers and enthusiastic content creators who make their PCs suffer.