Best Thermal Paste – Top 9 List
Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra
This is a well-known liquid metal based paste. It is very popular among the extreme overclockers. It provides one of the best cooling solutions. In many websites that tested many different thermal pastes, this one will always come out to be on the top. This one even bests Thermal Grizzly’s liquid metal paste that is very famous among the overclockers community. In terms of price to performance, this one is great too. However, for normal people this product will not give much improvements over a normal thermal paste. Only way to benefit from this product is through extreme overclocking or delidding. Because this paste is made from metal, it is conductive and might cause short circuits if not applied carefully. Furthermore it requires a settling time, which means it’ll take few hours before it can perform at its full potential. Those are the prices to pay for the best cooling performance available in the market. Other than that, this compound comes in a syringe style packaging for easy and simple use.
Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut
Thermal grizzly products have become a sensation on the internet. Right now, their products are considered to be number one value for money products. Conductonaut is their top of the range product made from liquid metal. In Toms Hardware website this product has scored number two place in terms of cooling CPU with air coolers. Liquid metal pastes give the best performance and mostly they are used when delidding the processors. Since Intel stopped using thermal compounds on their dies, delidding was the only choice for those who buy top of the range overclockable CPU. For those who are looking for great paste to apply during delidding or want to get the best overclocking performance, then this product is for you. For those who are just looking for simple product and do not plan to extremely overclock or delid their processors, the better look for other products, as they provide better value. Lastly, this product also comes in a syringe style packaging, but it is not transparent and instead it is in black color.
The Arctic MX-4 is one of the most popular heat sink compounds. It costs much less than previous products on our list. It uses syringe style packaging too, just like many other thermal pastes. It doesn’t consist any metal and it is carbon-based thermal paste, which means it does not conduct any electricity.This is a good alternative for those who are looking for the thermal paste to use in their computers and laptops. It provides good cooling capabilities. It is not suitable for extreme overclockers though. However, it can handle some basic overclocking. This is a great product for normal use. This is a great value product which is easy to use and it can get the job done easily.
This paste is greatly similar to the Arctic MX-4 compound. However, this paste is more efficient at cooling the CPUs. It is a bit it cheaper than the Arctic MX-4, but it also contains less paste. This paste has enough paste to be used almost 15 times before it finishes. This paste can be easily applied because it is drier and thicker than many other thermal compounds. This paste can easily handle even most hot CPUs. However, it is not recommended for extreme overclocking. If you are looking for good performance paste that can handle some moderate overclocking and lasts long, then this paste is for you.
Arctic Silver 5
If you are looking for something with even more cooling performance, then Arctic Silver 5 will be a better product for you. It provides slightly better performance due toits 99.9% micronized silver, but despite using silver it is still considered to be a ceramic thermal paste. Just to be save it is recommended to make sure not to spill any of this paste on motherboard or graphics card, as it might short circuit. The micronized silver is much more efficient at conducting the heat from CPU. Another drawback of this paste, besides electric conductivity, is that due to the silver it needs time to settle in. it will take few hours before it is ready to perform at its best. This is the price that the users must pay for great performance at a good price. The packaging for this paste is made just like a syringe and it can be applied many times. Due to the silver it lasts longer and does not dry up after few months after opening.
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
The Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut is one of the best ceramic thermal compounds available on the market and it is also most expensive one. This makes it as a premium product. It comes with only 1g of thermal paste in a black syringe packaging and yet it costs much more than Noctua NT-H. One of the main strength is this paste is that it is not just better in cooling than Noctua one, but also it is not conductive. This paste can easily be applied and no need to worry if some of it gets spilled on the board, however it is better to clean up the spilled paste before starting the pc. For those who are looking for extreme cooling and simply the best solution, then this product is for you. One package of this can only be used 4 or 5 times at most. There are few other variants of this one with more paste in it. They will provide better value, because they costs less per application due to the larger capacity. If you are looking for no compromise solution regardless of its price, then this product is for you.
Innovation Cooling Diamond “24 Carat”
This another great performance thermal paste. This paste is a unique one, because they use a diamond in their ingredients. This is what the company says. The exact elements that make up this paste are unknown. Maybe they use a diamond or they just use carbon, since they both come from same elements. Despite any of that, this is a great performance product. It performs well in many tests conducted by hardware reviewers. This one performs at similar level as the Kryonaut, while it costs just few dollars more and comes in 4.8g packaging. Which makes it much cheaper than the Kryonaut per gram. Overall, despite the ingredients are unknown, this is a great performance paste. It comes in 4.8g syringe like packaging, which is transparent and easy to see if the paste is finishing. There is also Innovation Cooling Diamond “7 Carat” paste, which is just a smaller version of this paste. However, it is much smaller and costs more per gram than the 24 carat one, so the choice is obvious.
Thermaltake TG-7 Extreme Performance
When doing a list of thermal paste, then it will not be complete without Thermaltake. TG-7 Extreme Performance paste performs very well for its price. They use diamond powder in the compound, which provides improved performance as compared to their other products. Thermaltake was always famous good cooling solutions, but they couldn’t create a good paste. This one performs great and costs very cheap. There is also a more powerful TG-8 version, but it costs twice and it loses to other ones at that price point. This one is a great budget choice for those who just need good performance and does not plan on overclocking too much
Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano
This product is on sale right now. It costs 35% less than originally. At this price point it almost has no competition. It performs well, and almost at par with Kryonaut. It comes in a syringe packaging just like any other paste on this list. The packaging consists of 4 grams of paste, which is much more than of Kryonaut. It is in fact just 1-2 degrees hotter than Kryonaut. Due to larger packaging this product will last longer and can be used many times more than most of its competition. This is already a good product at its original price, but at the discount it is selling now it is almost a must buy product. However, be vary, this product might contain liquid metal and it is better be careful when applying this paste. Other than that this is a good product.
What is it?
Thermal paste is a type of substance that is used as a conductor between a chip and a heat spreader. It is used in many devices and especially in computers. Their main function is to spread the head from the processor or chip to the cooling device. Chips and coolers not always contact equally at every spot. This is where thermal paste comes in. it makes sure that the places are not contacting properly are connected and the head from the processor is transferred to the cooler. No matter if it is a laptop, office pc, a high level gaming rig or a server, they all use a thermal paste. Usually thermal paste is applied on CPU and the CPU cooler for better cooling. It is also applied to graphic cards and chips of motherboard. Sometimes some manufacturers use a thermal pads for motherboard chips, video ram and laptop chips. However, those pads nowhere near the cooling performance of the thermal paste and cannot be used for CPU and GPU.
Benefits of using
It is clear that computers and laptops need a thermal paste for their efficient cooling and stable performance. Simply applying a thermal paste and leaving your system for years without changing it dangerous for many types of computers. Laptops often get overheated and need thermal paste replacement every one and a half or two years. This is because they have very slim and weak cooling due to the size of the laptops. It is important that the cooling can efficiently do its job to make sure that the laptop can work properly for long time. Changing a thermal paste and cleaning the radiator and a fan are important. Same goes for servers, gaming computers and productivity workstations. They often work at 100% performance and having efficient cooling and thermal paste is important for them.
For many people all thermal pastes are the same. They just buy the cheapest one or use the ones that come with the cooler to save their money. However, not all the thermal pastes are the same. They differ in their composition. The composition of a paste determines its thermal conductivity, its electrical conductivity, its viscosity, and its durability. They often use zinc oxide and silicone as a binding agent. Now many have added many other ingredients to make sure that the thermal paste is efficient and can last long without drying up. Some manufacturers are adding liquid metal for the extreme level cooling solutions. They are effective, but very costly. Others add cheaper metal, like aluminum or graphite for cheaper solutions that are effective.
I really hope that this list is useful for those who are looking for best thermal paste. Choosing a thermal paste is difficult and there are many compounds that are marketing their product to be something else. It is easy to buy a wrong product and because of that many people are buying most expensive one available out there. This list should be able to help those who are not familiar with thermal paste market or those who want to try another thermal paste, but does not know which one to try. If you are looking for best performance for extreme overclocking or use the paste for delidding then there are only two choices for you – Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra Thermal Paste Compound Grease and Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut Thermal Grease Paste. They both provide extreme level of performance. However, if you are afraid of using liquid metal on your system and do not mind sacrificing few degrees performance, then Arctic Silver 5, Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut, Innovation Cooling Diamond “24 Carat” and Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano might be the best products for you. Lastly if you are just looking for something simple and that something can get the job done, then Arctic MX-4, Noctua NT-H1 and Thermaltake TG-7 Extreme Performance might interest you better.