These days, thermal pastes and other cooling solutions are very common. Almost every PC you see will have an aftermarket cooler, be it air or liquid-cooled. PC gaming enthusiasts or even just non-enthusiasts have invested a good deal in their cooling. Sometimes liquid cooling or air cooling might not be enough or hey, you don’t really lose much by applying thermal pastes anyway.
Thermal pastes have been around for a while now but many of us don’t really take the time or give them the importance that they might deserve. It is as part of the package, with CPU coolers and thermal pastes combine will you get big enough results to matter if you are running setups which really need them.
Only a drop of a thermal paste is enough to cool down your CPU’s temperature over many degrees. The procedure for the installation of a paste is actually the determining factor in whether or not you will get the desired results. If done correctly, the paste will deliver visible performance results by keeping your CPU temperatures down directly. The kind of thermal paste you use matters a lot, these days there are Carbon, Ceramic, liquid metal, and more kinds of thermal pastes. Liquid metal being the most costly, whereas the carbon and ceramic ones are more affordable and easier to apply.
There are many companies that make thermal pastes, like Arctic, Cooler Master, and Noctua. Even Corsair makes some thermal pastes, they are not bad but they are not what you may call the very best of the lot. We have listed down some of the best choices for you.
1. Noctua NT-H2
High quality and affordable price
- Non-electrical conductive
- Easy to install and remove
- Long life
- Affordable as high tier pastes go
- Some products might be bad
Weight: 3.5g | Density: 2.81 g/cm³ | Storage Time: 3 years | Time on CPU: 5 years
Last Update on 2020-06-14 using Amazon Product Advertising API
The Noctua Nt–H2 is the next in line to the throne of the NT-H1. Noctua has been dominating the cooling or cooler oriented industry of gaming for a while now. They make some of the best CPU coolers and they even make the best cooling paste as well. The Noctua N1-H2 takes everything that the predecessor did right and takes cooling performance to a higher level. This can be thought of as the best thermal paste to use for CPU overall.
It is based on the critically acclaimed NT-H1, it uses a combination of mixtures of micro oxide microparticles, this ensures excellent results, it gives it very low bond thickness and extremely low thermal resistance as well. Premium performance is guaranteed more or less.
One of the best parts regarding the NT-H2 is that it is completely non-electrically conductive. This means that you don’t run the risk of damaging your hardware when you install the paste. Liquid metal pastes in that regard do offer that risk as they can short circuit a motherboard if even a little is over applied or spilled. The Noctua NT-H2 is also non-corrosive meaning that it will not degrade your hardware over time.
This thermal paste is a long term solution for the cooling issues. It has a shelf life of about under 3 years, meaning the product will remain useful for 3 years, use it as you and when you like during that time. Once, applied the product will show results for a staggering 5 year time. It can run on very high temperatures ranging from -50 degrees to 200 degrees Celsius. Noctua has had issues of quality control before, and these issues are very widely talked about. Some of their products have shown to be damaged or below the expected level they should be.
Conclusively, the Noctua NT-H2 is the best thermal paste out there because of a number of features taken together. It has a great lifespan, it takes no time to start working, easy to apply and remove, has great thermal conductivity, and more. A fantastic choice for hardcore gamers or people who have the need or requirement for it. The NT-H2 is a great pick, but if someone wants he can even divert to the NT-H1 which is just as good but slightly older.
Next, we have another product from the widely acclaimed company of Arctic. The company excels in making these thermal pastes and we have another great product. This is another product which has gained popularity worldwide and is also available worldwide. Arctic is probably the face of the thermal paste industry in most places. The MX 4 current edition is an absolute top dog in the market today.
The first thing to note regarding the Arctic MX 4 is that it boasts almost unrivaled storage and installation effective time. It goes for 8 years in storage and 8 years on a Cpu After it is applied. There is not much to not like about the MX 4 thermal paste.
It is a carbon-based paste which makes it an excellent thermal conductor and rules out any chance of electrical conductivity. It is very easy to apply, all you have to do is apply a dot of the paste in the middle of the CPU and spread it out with a sheet. The MX 4 will work well on almost all kinds of CPUs even those which are overclocked or are being pushed to the limits.
The only real issue with the product would be that it is the best carbon-based product, not the best product overall. There are other products out there like the Grizzly Kryonaut etc that offer better specs and results. This makes the no 2 in our list simply because of the value for money it provides. This is a cheap product which will deliver good enough results for even top-end products. So, there are better alternatives out there but in the value that this offers, the Arctic MX 4 is super.
In the end, it feels like the Arctic MX 4 is now the best Arctic thermal paste. It offers fantastic results and it is also easy to use for anyone. There are better products, but not by a whole lot. This is the best bang for buck products on our list. This is the best carbon-based thermal product.
The Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut comes in next in our list; it offers extreme level performances for the most demanding of users. The company has plenty of very competent products in the market today but if we were to choose one for our list, the Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut would be it. The Thermal Grizzly products have a knack of being heavy hitters as far as thermal paste goes.
It is one of the highest density thermal pastes in the market right now. It offers excellent cooling results. It is intended for the most demanding of PC’s where your objective is to push the setup to its limits and even beyond. This would be our pick for Overclocked CPUs and for people who can afford the premium prices.
The Kryonaut also has incredibly high working temperature supports and can illustrate exceptionally high thermal conductivity to make sure that the heat dissipates away from the CPU. The drying out process stops at about 80 degrees, with the newer advanced tech that makes the compound.
There is only one real issue with the Grizzly Kryonaut and it is that this is slightly trickier to apply. The Kryonaut will use a sort of brush to apply the thermal paste, you will have to manually brush in the paste over the CPU, and use a spreading glass plate to spread out the paste. This when done properly will eliminate bubbles as well, ensuring proper cooling work. The manual spread process is what will work for the paste. This can be harder to do than the standard way.
Overall, the Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut will offer users almost unrivaled cooling results along with excellent thermal conductivity. The only downfall is the extreme price the product goes for and its installation process. Big time product with a big-time price, this is meant for the most serious of users and should be used with that mindset.
It is now time to introduce one of the world’s most favorite and most famous thermal pastes. The Arctic Silver 5 is probably the single most revered product in this category. It has been around for a while and there was a time when it was considered the best. This product is probably what made Thermal pastes a legit thing. But times change, the Silver 5 is still fantastic, but it has better alternatives now.
The Arctic Silver 5 is probably still the best Silver compound thermal paste out there today. It kind of works in a way similar to ceramic pastes in how it uses micro silver particles. This should be kept away from the other components of the PC as it might damage them. Install it carefully, afterward you will also have to wait for a bit to make sure that the paste dries properly and can start working. The paste will ensure that you get a very good thermal conductivity as Silver is quite good at that. This is an excellent cheap option for your cooling needs.
The issue with the Silver 5 is that it will probably not be the best choice for some higher-end CPUs. There are better options for the top-level rigs, as not only can those with better rigs afford better, even some cooling pads outperform the Silver 5.
Long story short the Arctic Silver 5 is a very cost-efficient thermal paste. It will probably work best on mid-range CPUs or setups where you don’t want or need the very top draw product. Care will have to be needed when applying the paste to ensure no spillage onto the motherboard. This is a great choice for those on a budget or those with average needs.
5. Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano
Small Diamond Particles
- Excellent price to performance ratio
- Easy application
- Good thermal conductivity
- Slightly more costly
- Takes time to set up
Weight: 4g | Density: 2.6 g/cm³ | Storage Time: 2 years | Time on Cpu: 2 years
Last Update on 2020-06-14 using Amazon Product Advertising API
Cooler Master is one of those gaming manufactures which has its nose in just about anything. They make Pc cases, computer peripherals and they even make Cooling solutions. So, keeping up with their all-inclusive policy they naturally have a very competent Thermal paste as well. The Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano is one of the more unique products on our list. Cooler Master has a few very good pastes but this particular one makes the list due to its different nature.
The MasterGel maker nano is a very special product. The product contains extremely small diamonds which enable it to spread way more and fill all the air gaps and void left in the thermal paste application. These diamonds also ensure proper thermal conductivity at 11 (W/m-K). The product has shown some very interesting results as it manages to compare to some of the best out there.
This is a carbon-based product so no fear of electrical shortage damage to your hardware. The Cooler Master MasterGel nano has a relatively short shelf life, at just about less than 2 years. This might be an issue if a person was looking for a longer paste period. The product is also one of the few which comes with a cleaner to ensure that you can change or alter your paste later on.
The product is very easy to apply and set up in an ordinary way. The only issue regarding the setup process is that the thermal paste will require a time period for burning itself properly. So the desired results won’t be available as soon as you apply it. It will take a few hours to start working.
It costs a bit towards the higher side of the market but offers performance that rivals the best so it’s kind of a win-win in most cases. Except that investing a bit more might get you a better thermal paste. The product will work up to temperatures of 150 degrees. This is not the most but will get the job done.
Overall the Cooler Master MasterGel is an exceptional product, and the newer feature of its small diamonds to ensure better viscosity and thermal conductivity is a good idea going forward. This might be a good idea for when you wish to go for good performance for slightly more the price.