Question Which thermal paste do you prefer ?

iPeekYou

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Why Noctua for laptop and Arctic for Desktop?
I'm also a fan of MX-4 especially on desktops --reasonably cheap, very effective especially on lower wattage chips, and lasts long. On my chip it's about 1-2 deg C worse compared to KPx/Kryo/Gelid GC Extreme under maximum (OCCT small) load.

Personal favorite, old KPx. Thick enough to not run every which way but pliable enough to work with. Good moderate load performance, and I find its blue coloring a novelty compared to other pastes. Shame it's pricey at 6 bucks for 1,5 grams. The newer stuff is less viscous, but maintains the performance. Also quite good on GPUs, though, and a small syringe is just about enough for generous application on both CPU and GPU.

Out of all that I've tried, here's a list in descending order of preference:
  1. Kingpin KPx
  2. Deepcool Z5 (basically MX-4 but cheaper and less counterfeits)
  3. Arctic MX-4
  4. Gelid GC Extreme (very good performance, just inconsistent batches)
  5. Noctua NT-H1 (MX-4 performance, but availability is more scarce here)
  6. Thermalright TF8 (top tier performance, availability meh)
  7. Thermal Grizzly Hydronaut (pricey for its performance)
  8. Thermalright TFX (highly viscous. manages to pull my CPU out of the socket consistently)
  9. No-name GD900 (it's about MX-4 performance, but highly sketchy. Good thing it costs like $2-3 for a 30gr syringe)
  10. ID-Cooling TG-25 (came with my ID-C cooler, very similar to TFX but not as viscous)
  11. ZF-EX (TFX rebranded --but nowhere as consistent with bad batches)
  12. Halzinye HY510 (abysmal performance and even sketchier than GD900)
 

keith12

Illustrious
I tried Arctic/Noctua/CM Master gel. They all have similar conductivity, but found the Noctua the best performer in the laptop for both CPU and GPU. Difference for me was about 5c compared to the others in my Omen 15.

For the desktop, they were all very similar in terms of thermal results, and I just settled on the MX4 as it was the last one I tried, but was as good if not slightly better than the other two.
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
Arctic MX-4 I consider a universal thermal compound. Suitable for all types of coolers and surfaces.

Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut is expensive indeed, but seems to be very stable from what I have seen. I need to buy some hydronaut and see if it is more suitable for my purposes.

Used included Noctua paste a few times, nothing bad to report. Would have to swap the paste out to compare, and there is basically no need for some years.

I have a lot of spare XSPC and Swiftech compound laying around from GPU blocks and the like. I use it on repair jobs for the most part. No complaints.

Used Arctic Silver's original formula back in the day, I still see people buying it, though it is no longer the same compound. Very mid-range now.
 
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faalin

Judicious
Have a Delidded 8700k, liquid metal with a solid copper IHS and Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut. Runs 5.1Ghz @ 1.4v with no AVX offset and idles around 30-31*c maxing out just in the the high 70's low 80's runs a Cryorig R1 Ultimate cooler.

On any everyday build/use I use Arctic silver ceramique 2 without issues. Have one of the giant 10mL tubes
 

Zerk2012

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I use whatever comes with the cooler if I need to remount a cooler I use whatever I have left.
I don't remember the last time I actually had to buy some and do a good bit of repairs, upgrades, and builds.
A c9ouple C's is nothing to stress over.
 
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punkncat

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Any time I go to MicroCenter I pick up one of the little 4G tubes of Arctic. I like it well enough as it does what it is supposed to and doesn't take insane measures to clean or separate from the cooler/block. I got some Noctua with the last two coolers I purchased, but had the Artic open so...
I can tell you one paste I will NOT use is the AMD stock paste on Ryzen coolers. I have had easier times with super glue removal.
 

keith12

Illustrious
I've tested most of the ones on this page with a few exceptions - they're part of the Thermal Paste Roundup.

https://www.tomshardware.com/best-picks/best-thermal-paste
It's a good roundup! But for desktops only it appears. Given laptops have a smaller chassis and the whole thing heats internally, would you recommend any particular one for gaming laptops? There are a lot of thermal paste questions with ref to laptops on the forums.
 

ak195

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ThermalTake is most rare one here, after that, comes Noctua and Kryonaut. Arctic is available but still not normal, but I have to keep eye on fake ones too.
Other option for me is to order from another City, But I have below options.

Corsair TM30 Thermal Paste High Performance
Cooler Master RPD Grease High
Cooler Master MasterGel Regular High Performance Thermal Grease
Arctic MX4
Thermal Grizzly Aeronaut Thermal Paste TG-A-001-RS 1 Gram



 

avg9956

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I have Thermal take TG-2 and TG-7. The TG-2 I've already thrown away because the paste was so runny.
I also have the Noctua NT H1. Its cost-efficient to its newer counterpart, the NT H2

I had some experience of the NT H1 causing my Ryzen CPU to get stuck onto the cooler while removing it. Luckily, did a quick search and the technique was to wiggle the cooler (once unscrewed) clockwise/counter clockwise till it gave away. It seems that this paste becomes quite sticky to the CPU over time.

Never tried Artic MX-4, but I heard its a good paste too.
Personally wouldn't bother with liquid metal paste from Kryonaut unless you're keen on overclocking, and you have to avoid aluminum with it.
 

iPeekYou

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It's a good roundup! But for desktops only it appears. Given laptops have a smaller chassis and the whole thing heats internally, would you recommend any particular one for gaming laptops? There are a lot of thermal paste questions with ref to laptops on the forums.
For laptops generally the thicker the paste, the longer it'll last due to relatively mounting pressure on laptop heatsinks compared to desktops. Performance tiers are about the same as PCs, Kryonaut good, MX-4 decent, no-name Chinese thermal goop bad. For systems that regularly hit high 70s you might want to avoid Kryonaut since it degrades quickly past 80 deg C and users on notebookreviews seem to concur that it's bad for longevity. Very good while it lasts, though.

Commonly suggested ones: AS5, ICD, Phobya Nanogrease III, Gelid GC Extreme. I remember a thread over there discussing Thermalright TFX thoroughly, and I do have a syringe of it. It's thick and sticky, as good as Kryo but after curing period of a week.
I use Hydronaut, personally, since it's about the thickest paste I can find that's also consistent in quality per batch/ per store. Plus it's supposed to be designed for direct die applications --perfect fit for laptops. GCE is thick as well, but out of 2 syringes I got a bad one (both are from the same seller). Can't find ICD, and AS5 sells for upwards to $20 a syringe, way too expensive.
 

Endre

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Which thermal paste is better for CPU? Share your reviews
CoolerMaster, Kryonaut, GD, Arctic, Noctua or ThermalTake ?
Hello!

First of all, it is not so much about the brand as it is about thermal conductivity.
Higher is better.
For instance 11W/mK is better than 9W/mK.
Then, it’s safer if the thermal paste is non-electrically conductive.

Here’s a product that I recommend:
Cooler Master MasterGel Maker MGZ-NDSG-N15M-R2 (1.5ml; thermal conductivity: 11W/mK; Non-electrical conductive).

Please keep in mind that this is just an example. There are plenty of other manufacturers (like Thermal Grizzly, Arctic, Noctua, etc.) that are producing high quality pastes.
 

ClapTrapper

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Any time I go to MicroCenter I pick up one of the little 4G tubes of Arctic. I like it well enough as it does what it is supposed to and doesn't take insane measures to clean or separate from the cooler/block. I got some Noctua with the last two coolers I purchased, but had the Artic open so...
I can tell you one paste I will NOT use is the AMD stock paste on Ryzen coolers. I have had easier times with super glue removal.
Funny!
 

ak195

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I never do overclocking and I change thermal paste after 4 or 5 years. I had a coolerMaster tube which came with that Big CPU cooler, but now its close to lower level and it worked great, I think.
 

ak195

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By the way I can't afford 4g above thermal paste of Noctua, Kryonaut kind of brands as they are costly here
So, can anyone tell me how many times 1g, 2g, and 4g tube can be applied?
 

iPeekYou

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By the way I can't afford 4g above thermal paste of Noctua, Kryonaut kind of brands as they are costly here
So, can anyone tell me how many times 1g, 2g, and 4g tube can be applied?
Depends on how you apply thermal paste. If you're doing it with pea method, or the manual spread, a gram can be used for 3x on Ryzen chips. Intels might need less since their IHS isn't as big as Ryzens.

If you're using the X method, about 2x on Ryzen. I've had many spend tubes of KPx and this is what I've found.
 

ak195

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I have Thermal take TG-2 and TG-7. The TG-2 I've already thrown away because the paste was so runny.
I also have the Noctua NT H1. Its cost-efficient to its newer counterpart, the NT H2

I had some experience of the NT H1 causing my Ryzen CPU to get stuck onto the cooler while removing it. Luckily, did a quick search and the technique was to wiggle the cooler (once unscrewed) clockwise/counter clockwise till it gave away. It seems that this paste becomes quite sticky to the CPU over time.

Never tried Artic MX-4, but I heard its a good paste too.
Personally wouldn't bother with liquid metal paste from Kryonaut unless you're keen on overclocking, and you have to avoid aluminum with it.
I don't do overclocking and I need paste for both Laptop and my System, max 4g tube, as above are costly for me. I'm using I5 2400 CPU by the way.
 

iPeekYou

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I don't do overclocking and I need paste for both Laptop and my System, max 4g tube, as above are costly for me. I'm using I5 2400 CPU by the way.
A gram is just about enough then. It takes little to cover direct die laptop CPUs, especially since you're supposed to spread the paste manually anyway.
 

ak195

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I will go with all of those mentioned Thermal paste one by one. First I'm going through GT-Extreme as it is available easily and has good reviews. If this doesn't perform well in my case then I will go to CM Gelid.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
I think people WAYYYYYYYYYYY overthink the thermal paste question. It isn't going to make monumental differences in temps with the exception of using liquid metal compounds, which are kind of a pain to work with. Even so, it's only a few degrees Celsius difference at very most.

There is a large societal issue with knowing 'what is best' but not really caring to ask or find out what actually IS the best. Also, 'what is best' isn't necessarily by pure performance and I see this all the time with cooler selection.

'What is best' ends up being something more like 'what is the best for my specific criteria which includes being the cheapest possible alternative while also providing groundbreaking performance, even over something which costs much more'.

PC components are firmly planted in the realm of science and physics, not magic and wonderment.
 
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