Best Thermal Compounds

How to Choose Best Thermal Compounds?

Modern CPUs generate much heat, mainly when doing highly intense activities. How effectively you control heat will eventually affect both your PC’s performance and your CPU’s longevity. Even if you’re merely interested in casual usages, such as surfing the web, having an efficient strategy to heat control is still in your best interests. This article will cover How to choose Best Thermal Compounds. 

Additionally, heat control is crucial if you want to use a strong CPU. When you utilize your CPU and GPU, they generate a lot of heat. You’ll need to use the best thermal compound available to remove this heat. An effective thermal paste will cover the gaps between your CPU and its cooler, reducing heat buildup.

Furthermore, the thermal paste needs to be changed every year because, over time, it will dry out and lose its ability to move heat. If you leave the thermal paste on for too long, you may notice speed difficulties and gradual overheating, which might harm your CPU in the long run – don’t worry, you may see this.

What is Thermal Paste? How does it Work?

A thermal compound is a thermally conductive material between a central processing unit (CPU) and its cooling. The paste is typically offered in liquid form. Using a thermal compound guarantees no gap between the CPU and its cooler, which assists in the dissipation of heat via the connection between the two components.

It is one of the ways that a thermal compound works to increase heat conduction. However, according to what you would think, not all thermal pastes are created equal. There are significant variations between them in terms of their durability, performance, degree of installation difficulty, and overall cost.

How to Choose Best Thermal Compounds: Things to Consider

Using the wrong paste will not only cause the computer’s temperature to rise, but it may also reduce its overall performance. If you use the proper quantity of thermal gel and apply it correctly, you can prevent the CPU and GPU from overclocking or overheating.

Also, check out our separate post on Thermal Compound Buying Guide

These are some of the considerations that computer users should make before choosing the thermal compound that will serve them best in lowering the operating temperature of their personal computers and improving their overall performance.

Thermal Conductivity

The heat conductivity of the paste is the first aspect to consider. For maximum adaptability and complete dependability to keep your system secure and relaxed, choosing a paste with the correct thermal conductivity values is crucial. Each thermal paste’s thermal conductivity rating indicates how well it transfers heat from the CPU to the heatsink.

When a paste’s thermal conductivity exceeds the components’ temperature, it is further lowered. The conductivity of liquids and non-metallic substances varies. The conductivity of liquid thermal paste is approximately 70W/mK, while non-metallic compounds have a conductivity of 4-10W/mK. 

Viscosity and Density

Choosing a thermal paste with the appropriate density is essential to improve the application process. It will make it easier for it to fit through the Processor. The viscosity of the fluid thermal paste is less than usual. However, it is challenging to apply. It is crucial to check the paste’s thickness to ensure that it can be successfully used on the GPU or CPU without incurring the danger of causing part breakage.

The chemical will be denser and look more like glue with higher viscosity. The heat sink compound is often more tightly linked to the cpu using this paste. Since lower-viscosity chemicals are frequently more fluid, they have the propensity to spill onto the motherboard when applied in excess.

Non-Conductive or Conductive

Applying a thermal compound to the CPU or other PC elements demands extreme caution since short electrical circuits may occur if the paste can conduct electricity. Using a carbon-based compound with no electrical conductivity is a good idea to avoid short courses while applying it.

Even if the paste comes into contact with any of the electrical components during the application, it is possible to prevent electrical shorts by selecting a compound with low conductivity.

Go through our epic guide on How to Remove Thermal Paste Off CPU Pins

Thermal Design Power

The thermal design power indicates how much electricity a CPU will need. It may be used to estimate how hot it will become. A CPU with a greater TDP will undoubtedly use more energy and generate incredible warmth. It is an additional factor to consider when selecting the optimal thermal compound to ensure that it can handle the generated heat to keep all parts safe, calm, and operating at peak performance. In the Processor specs, the TDP is mentioned.

Cooling Method

Even with the most excellent thermal compound on the market, lowering the temperature of a system will be almost tricky if the cooling solution employed is ineffective. PC users must ensure that the cooling system they operate can handle the amount of heat generated by their CPU. If not, the sort of thermal compound used will be ineffective.

Top 10 Thermal Paste

  1. ARCTIC MX-4 (incl. Spatula, 8 g)
  2. Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
  3. Kingpin Cooling KPx Thermal Grease 3g
  4. Noctua NT-H1 10g
  5. ARCTIC MX-4 (4 g)
  6. Cooler Master Thermal Paste
  7. Innovation Cooling Graphite Thermal Pad
  8. SYY 2 Grams CPU Paste Thermal Compound
  9. 1.5g Metal OxIDE Paste
  10. TF8 Thermal Compound Paste

Thermal Paste is Not All the Same

It’s no wonder the thermal compound market is so congested since they’re a high-margin product. However, it is essential to note that the items are not identical. Some thermal mixtures on the market advertise to withstand temperatures up to 300 degrees Celsius. In contrast, the highest temperature that a liquid metal thermal paste can withstand is 150 degrees Celsius. Composition determines a material’s electrical and thermal conductivity, endurance, and thickness. 

Follow our guide to How to Clean Thermal Paste off Motherboard

Compounds are composed of a range of ingredients, including:

  • Zinc oxide
  • Silicone oil
  • Ceramic
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Silver
  • Graphite
  • Carbon nanoparticles

PC users may pick a metal, silicon, carbon-based, or ceramic thermal compound, but it’s critical to choose one with the right qualities for their requirements.

Thermal Compounds of Metals

In addition to being the finest heat conductors, these materials are electrically conductive. It suggests excellent care must be used while putting the paste into the motherboard’s metal connectors.

Thermal Ceramic Substances

They aren’t conducive since they do not include metal. These are far less costly, safe to use, and produce outstanding results. It is why they are so popular. However, they will not reduce temperatures as much as liquid thermal paste.

Check out our separate post on How to Apply Thermal Paste?

Silicone Thermal Compounds

These are placed on thermal chips before insertion between the CPU and heatsink. Silicon thermal pastes are easy to apply, but their effectiveness is inferior to other compounds. Beware of using adhesive cpu heatsink paste since it attaches irreversibly to the components to which it is applied. Consequently, if it were required to replace the cooler, there would be issues.


There is an extensive range of thermal compounds on the market right now. This article is an excellent resource for choosing the best thermal compounds to keep any system cool and substantially improve performance. You probably won’t find many newer choices on the market since manufacturers often repackage the same thermal paste with minor changes.

Do check our latest post on the How to Cleaning Thermal Paste?

FAQs for Best Thermal Compounds

What kind of thermal paste is the best?

1) ARCTIC MX-4 (incl. Spatula, 8 g)
2) Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
3) Kingpin Cooling KPx Thermal Grease 3g
4) Noctua NT-H1 10g
5) ARCTIC MX-4 (4 g)
6) Cooler Master Thermal Paste
7) Innovation Cooling Graphite Thermal Pad
8) SYY 2 Grams CPU Paste Thermal Compound
9) 1.5g Metal OxIDE Paste
10) TF8 Thermal Compound Paste

What kind of thermal compound should I use?

What Kind of Thermal Paste You Need

If you want a thermal paste that is foolproof and easy to use, Ceramic-based or Carbon-based pastes are the way to go. If you are feeling adventurous and want a more effective paste, Liquid-metal based pastes are a good choice.

What is the best thermal interface material?

Here are the four best materials for the thermal interface.
Dispensable gels. Chomerics is an example of a highly flexible, dispensable, one- or two-component, pre-cured, or cured-in-place silicone that is easy to use. THERM-A-GAP® gels are perfect for filling large, uneven gaps in electronic assemblies.
Gap filling pads.
Insulator pads
Adhesive tapes

Can I use Colgate as thermal paste?

It might be better than nothing, but I don’t think it’s a good idea unless toothpaste has thermal conductivity that nobody knew about. You also need to think about what the toothpaste’s ingredients might do to your CPU if they get on it. I think it would be pretty good at conducting electricity.