Thermal paste is a critical component for your PC, helping the CPU dissipate heat to the cooler and reducing overheating risks. It helps fill microscopic gaps between the processor and the heat sink, which act as insulators that limit cooling performance and may lead to eventual failure.
If you want to get the most out of your CPU, it’s important to install the right type of thermal paste and apply it correctly. Fortunately, the process is relatively easy, although there are some specifics you should keep in mind.
The first step is to make sure that the surface you’re applying the thermal paste to is clean. Use isopropyl alcohol and a microfiber cloth or paper towel that doesn’t shed to remove any old paste, then wipe the area clean.
Next, you’ll need to decide on a method of application. Some experts recommend putting a pea-sized dot of paste in the middle of the processor and attaching the heat sink, using equal pressure on all four corners (known as the “penta-dot” method). Others talk about laying down a thin line across the CPU’s cores, but real-world testing has shown that there is no significant benefit to this approach.
Some people choose to skip the paste altogether and instead use a thermal pad or thermal gel, but these can have some issues. For example, pads can be bulky and difficult to work with, and gels may not be as effective at gap-filling as the best thermal pastes. CPU thermal paste