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Where To Buy Thermal Compound For Cpu

Choosing the best thermal paste may sound simple, but a dizzying array of options can turn this seemingly easy choice into a time-consuming task. Thermal paste is designed to minimize microscopic air gaps and irregularities between the surface of the cooler and the CPU's IHS (integrated heat spreader), the piece of metal which is built into the top of the processor.

where to buy thermal compound for cpu

Good thermal paste can have a profound impact on your performance, because it will allow your processor to transfer more of its waste heat to your cooler, keeping your processor running cool. Choosing the best thermal paste is also important if you plan on overclocking your rig to its fullest. Even the best CPUs for gaming can often hit slightly higher CPU overclocks if they're paired with a good thermal paste.

Performance enthusiasts often swear by a favorite brand of paste, but new recipes crop up from time to time. We've conducted extensive testing of some of the top thermal pastes on the market. If you're on the hunt for more exotic pastes that are off the beaten path, we also have plenty of historical data below covering 90 different pastes (and yes, we've even tested toothpaste).

Most pastes are made of ceramic or metallic materials suspended within a proprietary binder which allows for easy application and spread as well as simple cleanup. These thermal pastes can be electrically conductive or non-conductive, depending on their specific formula. Electrically conductive thermal pastes can carry electricity between two points, meaning that if the paste squeezes out onto other components, it can cause damage to motherboards and CPUs when you switch on the power. A single drop out of place can lead to a dead PC, so extra care is imperative.

Liquid metal compounds are almost always electrically conductive, so while these compounds provide better performance than their paste counterparts, they require more focus and attention during application. They are very hard to remove if you get some in the wrong place, which would fry your system.

Here are the best thermal pastes, along with our complete test results. Keep in mind that you don't always get what you pay for as some budget pastes come awfully close to or overtake their more-expensive competitors.

Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut is a mildly viscous thermal compound with good stability, making it simple to work with while also resisting drips and runs. This paste is very easy to apply and clean up, making it a favorite among system builders.

A compound with traditional thermal compound attributes such as thick, pliable viscosity and good stability upon application. MasterGel Pro v2 is easy to work with, simple to apply and cleans up well. Technical spec sheets do not list individual ingredients.

MX-5 is a new compound which does not directly replace their popular MX-4 but is a new formulation for enthusiast use based on carbon micro-particulates in what is assumed to be a silicon or silicone base. The slight-blue tint and smooth, viscous compound has a bit more fluid consistency much like thin toothpaste making it easy to apply and cleanup which lends to very smooth and fast spreading during cooler tension, but can also be prone to dripping and running if applied on vertical surfaces. This paste is being retired as Arctic brings its new MX-6 to market, so it will only be available until supplies run out.

Gelid GC-Extreme is a moderately viscous compound, making it very stable during application and it spreads consistently, although it requires slow consistent pressure on the syringe plunger for correct placement. This TIM is relatively easy to use and simple to clean up.

The NTE 303A paste is an industrial silicone thermal compound designed for diodes and transistors in commercial and residential electronic equipment. NTE 303A is silky smooth and spreads very easily. The large, 1oz (28.35g) syringe provides an unbelievably low price per gram, so it would be a favorite for system builders or hardware testers who apply compound often.

Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut liquid metal thermal compound has a very thin, runny consistency and is applied to the CPU integrated heat spreader with a syringe delivery system and capillary needle applicator tip. Excess material can be siphoned off using a special extraction tip (by pulling the syringe plunger to withdraw excess liquid metal).

CoolLaboratory Liquid Pro is a liquid metal compound that is applied with a syringe and capillary tip to the CPU integrated heat spreader, and it ships with a scouring pad and alcohol swab for prep and cleanup.

For a compound that costs less than half as much as leading competitors , Phobya's Liquid Metal Compound LM offers impressive performance, often besting the the CoolLaboratory Liquid Pro or Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut in our tests.

Liquid Metal Compound LM ships as a syringe with a capillary applicator tip. Spreading the compound is made easier with cotton swabs and generous pressure to develop a consistent coating on the CPU IHS. Can cause reactions with aluminum and other metals.

We'll go into our breakdown of how we test these thermal pastes below, but the key takeaway here is that a single thermal compound can perform differently based upon several variables, such as what type of cooler and mount you use. To cover all the bases, we've tested every thermal paste with three variables:

Key TakeawaysThermal compounds might always be compared and debated over, but the simple fact remains: PC system building needs thermal compounds to effectively dissipate thermal loads. Without them, our beloved gaming and content-producing machines would struggle to keep components cool during heated frag sessions, heavy workstation computations, or just simply browsing the web.

Not every system will need the most expensive compound, so even the most budget-minded system builders can rest easy knowing that even lower-cost pastes can still prove very effective. You can see our historical testing results with far more pastes after the test setup.

We tested each thermal paste with a low-tension air cooler mount, high-tension air cooler mount, and a high-tension AIO liquid cooler mount. Each application was given a 1-hour burn-in using Prime95 with ten load and cooling cycles over the course of the hour; six minutes each with a ten-second cool-down between. Each testing load session was then executed for a one-hour load period, again using Prime95.

Our high-tension air cooler mount involved tightening the mounting screws fully to the mounting plate and shows thermal paste performance with air coolers with backplates that allow for tighter mounting.

Overall, each compound was evaluated and stressed over a regimen cycle covering six hours with two different coolers and different mounting tensions, making for no less than 90 hours of compound testing for our initial round of tests.

Here's our legacy thermal paste testing chart that we generated back in 2017. As you'll notice, many of the same popular pastes in 2017 are still on the market, making it into our new round of 2021 testing.

This thermal interface material can also be applied between other components to help the system maintain a healthy temperature. This leads to a significant improvement in thermal performance and helps to prevent overheating which, in turn, increases the longevity of the CPU.

The thermal compound works to smooth out these microscopic spaces on and between the surfaces, making them work in the best way possible. The heatsink is then able to efficiently transfer the heat away from the component generating it.

Getting the wrong kind of paste will not only increase the PC temperature but it may also worsen its performance. Adequately applying the right thermal gel will keep the CPU/GPU cool without overclocking or overheating.

The higher the viscosity of the compound, the thicker it will be so that it looks more like an actual paste. This type of paste is typically better for sticking the heat sink compound to the processor. Compounds with lower viscosity are typically more liquid, and these tend to leak onto the motherboard easily when too much of the compound is used.

The thermal design power shows the amount of power that a processor is going to use. This can be used as an estimate to determine how hot it is going to get. A processor with higher TDP is likely to use more power and, therefore, generate a lot more heat. This is something else to consider when choosing the best thermal compound to ensure that it can handle the heat generated to keep the components safe, cool, and performing at their best. The TDP is listed on the processor specs.

Use only a pea-sized amount of paste. Apply it to the center in order to allow the heatsink to push the substance down onto the CPU. This is a great technique to prevent spreading the paste over the heat spreader and the method works particularly well with less viscous solutions. When using a liquid compound, apply a paper-thin layer over your CPU using just a dot of the substance on either side of the CPU.

Central Processing Unit (CPU) - The information processing center of a PC. It executes all operational instructions and sends instructions to the other hardware in the computer. If the computer is a body, then the CPU is the brain, and it is absolutely critical to the functioning of any PC. Modern CPUs execute a high volume of operations per second, and this generates heat. In order for a CPU to operate at peak efficiency, it needs to be properly cooled, usually with a cooling apparatus designed just for this purpose. This is where thermal paste becomes important. If you'd like to learn more about how a CPU is made, you can read more about the manufacturing process.

Base-Plate - The metal base of an air-cooler that attaches to the IHS of the CPU. This design allows the transfer of heat through convection to the fins of the heat sink, where it can then be redistributed with a fan.

Important Preparations for Thermal Paste ApplicationMost processors require some sort of thermal solution to properly operate at peak efficiency, but the process of installing a CPU cooler in a PC is unique. 041b061a72


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