The Best Thermal Paste to Buy in 2018

Best Thermal Paste Compound

Building your own computer, or simply upgrading for gaming, or other purposes? You really need the best thermal paste you can get to ensure that your computer runs at optimal temperatures and can perform at its best. We review the best thermal paste on the market for 2018, to ensure your computer gets the best heat protection it can. We will look at the different types metal based, ceramic based, and carbon based and the benefits offered by each different type. We review what it looks like, and how and where to apply it.

If you are building your own computer, you need to get the best product to ensure that it does not overheat and become damaged, especially if used for image or video editing, and gaming, where there is a high chance of overclocking it. You will need thermal paste, even if you are only upgrading the graphics cards, fans or any other component on your standard computer. We will help you decide which one is best for your computer with our reviews on the best thermal paste for 2018.

1. Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound ArctiClean 60 ML Kit

best overall ratingArctic Silver 5

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Arctic 5 is not only seen as one of the best compounds available, but also ranks high in CPU thermal paste reviews, and is a consistent best seller on Amazon. You can clean out the old paste before applying the Thermal Compound, ensuring that your computer has what it needs to work at its optimal best.

The Article Silver 5 3.5g is a ceramic based compound, and does not conduct electricity. If you accidentally get some of the compound on your motherboard pins, you will not short circuit your CPU.  It has a unique high-density filling of micronized silver and enhanced thermally-conductive ceramic particles. It has been designed for use in overclocked CPUs and heatsinks or water-cooling systems. It is very easy to apply, as it is not viscous, meaning it will not run, migrate, bleed or separate. It has a conductance of less than 350,000W/m2 C (0.001 inch layer).

The Cleaning Kit allows you to clean out the old paste before applying the new, but you will have to remove the existing grease to prepare them for the new paste. ArctiClean 1 (30ml) Thermal Material Remover will quickly dissolve and emulsify the existing paste from the CPU or heatsink, so that you can then easily wipe it off. Following that, you will add a few drops of the ArctiClean 2 (30ml) Thermal Surface Purifier, and to rid your CPU of any remaining residue, it also helps to prevent flash corrosion on both copper and aluminum. Gently wipe it clean, and you are ready to apply the new thermal paste. ArctiClean is very simple and easy to use, and takes less than a minute to apply. It have a long curing time, which means the time it takes to work at optimal performance is around 200 hours. However this is a small price to pay for such a great product.

Why We Like It

  • Non-electrically conductive
  • Great combination of paste and cleaner
  • Easy to use
  • Does not run, migrate, bleed or separate

Read any review and you will see that the Silver 5 comes up tops. It is easy to use and is designed specifically to optimise overclocked machines that need the best thermal paste to work at optimal levels. A great combo including the 60ml ArctiClean you get.

Editor Rating:

 

2. ARCTIC MX-4 Thermal Compound Paste

premium choice ratingARCTIC MX-4

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Arctic continues to produce great products, including its MX-4 Thermal Paste . This is not only a non-conductive thermal paste, but is also non-corrosive and non-bleeding. It has low resistance and high conductivity, which dissipates heat efficiently - this is great to use on sensitive or delicate applications. This is a carbon based product, and is much safer than metal pastes for your CPU or GPU.

The MX-4 will fill up microscopic pores and gaps, which are found between the contract surfaces and allow for optimum heat transfer. The low thermal resistance and high thermal conductivity in this paste allows for fast heat dissipation. It is long lasting with a proven durability of up to 8 years.

The MX-4 is one the best on the market and is easy to apply. If you have a slight accident when applying and it comes into contact with the electrical pins, traces or leads, it will not cause static shocks or lead to short circuiting, as this is a completely non-conductive paste. The MX-4 Thermal paste is great for CPUs, GPUs, electronics and lighting cooling.

Why We Like It

  • Efficient heat dissipation
  • Long lasting
  • Carbon Micro-Particle Based
  • Easy and safe to apply

The best thermal paste 2017 by far. This non-corrosive, non-bleeding and non-conductive and it is easy to apply and safe for use on delicate circuitry. The MX-4 provides excellent heat dissipation and is long lasting. You only have to look as far as the customer thermal paste reviews online to know this one is the one you need for your high-performance CPUs and GPUs.

Editor Rating:

 

3. Cooler Master High Performance Thermal Paste

great value ratingCooler Master HTK-002-U1

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This is a great product from Cooler Master , which is very well priced. It can be used for CPU, chipsets on Mainboards, VGA, as well as a number of other components of your computer. These are thermally conductive pastes, which contain heat-conductive metal oxides, and have a grease-like consistency. Easy to use and producing an even layer, the Cooler Master provides an applicator to assist with the application of their product. It is dielectric, so will transmit energy without conducting it, while acting as an insulator. It has a wide range of application temperatures.

The Zif Socket Templates will ensure that you apply the paste to the proper areas with various CPU socket types. This product helps to maintain a positive heat sink seal, which will improve the heat transfer from your electric device, to your heat sink or chassis. Your computer will idle at lower temperatures and not overheat or overclock during a gaming session when using the Cooler Master High Performance Thermal Paste.

Why We Like It

  • Easy to apply
  • Dielectric
  • Includes applicator
  • Zif Socket Template

If you are looking for a really great the product to use on your computer that will not cost you a lot, then the Cooler Master High Performance Thermal Paste is what you are looking for. Dielectric and easy to apply getting your CPUs temperature down will be easy. Perfect for use on your CPU, VGA and other computer components at a fraction of the cost of others available on the market.

Editor Rating:

 

4. Arctic Carbon-Based Thermal Compound for all Cooler Fans

Arctic Carbon Mx-2

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Arctic once again provides another carbon-based thermal paste. It is highly conductive with low resistance for your computer parts, which require the best heat dissipater to function at its optimum with its MX-2 4g Thermal Grease CPU Heat Sink Compound. It is great for CPU and GU usage, as well as areas where superb conductivity is absolutely critical, such as when your heat sinks and between power semiconductor components.

It does not contain any metal, so you will never short circuit your motherboard when accidentally spilling some onto pins or leads. It is non-curing and non-bleeding, as well as being non-capacitive and odourless. It has an eight-year lifespan, so you will not have to constantly replace it.

Why We Like It

  • Low resistance
  • Non-curing
  • High thermal conductivity
  • No Bleeding

Looking for a product that works extremely well for all cooler fans, heat sinks and water-coolers then you found it in the Arctic Carbon-Based Thermal Compound for all Cooler Fans.

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5. Gelid Solutions GC-Extreme Thermal Compound

Gelid Solutions GC

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The Gelid Solutions GC-Extreme Thermal Compound is non-corrosive, non-curing and non-toxic. Having the best product will make a huge different when you are looking to cool down your performance CPU. The Gelid Solutions GC-Extreme is the best thermal grease for your CPU providing the ultimate in heat dissipation. The Gelid provides great heat conductivity and is non-conductive, which means no accidental short circuits and has no bleeding.

The Gelid comes with an applicator, so that you can apply it without any hassle. The Gelid is compatible with any CPUs.

Why We Like It

  • Non-Corrosive & Non-Curring
  • GELID Applicator
  • Non-electrical conductive
  • Non-Toxic

The ultimate in heat dissipation is what you get with the Gelid Solutions GC-Extreme. It is a recommended product by reviewers and one of the best on the market for 2017.

Editor Rating:

 

6. Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra Thermal Paste

Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra

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Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra Thermal Paste is the first metal-based paste that we have reviewed. It is 100% metal, although this product is not suited for aluminium coolers, as the aluminium will dissolve when it comes into contact with the Liquid Ultra. That said, it is safe to use on all AMD CPUs.

Like all metals, Liquid Pro acts as an electrical conductor, and though it is one of the best types to use for overclocked CPUs, it is also one that should be carefully worked with. Should the thermal paste come into contact with any electrical component, it could lead to a short circuit when you turn the power on. You should always ensure that you wipe away any spillage that may occur before turning your PC on to avoid damage.

Liquid Ultra is easy to apply and has a long lifespan, so once you have applied it, there will be no need to reapply it again at any stage. It comes with a cleaning kit, so you can ensure the area you are applying it to is free of debris. The pasty form of the Liquid Ultra makes it very easy to apply and spread over the area you need it.

Why We Like It

  • 100% Metal
  • Easy to apply
  • Includes cleaning kit
  • Excellent for overclocked CPUs

Metal is a good thermal interface material, thermal transmission wise. Although you just have to take care when working with this type of thermal paste, it will give you great results in respect of cooling your high performance CPUs.

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7. Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Grease Paste

Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut

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If you are an extreme gamer, and regularly overclock your CPU, then this is the product you need to keep you system cool. It is designed to deliver great heat transfer for the bigger cooling systems, including water cooled systems. It has a thermal conductivity of 12.5W/mk and a thermal resistance of 0.0032K/W.

The thermal Grizzly Kryonaut is supplied with 1.0 gram syringe, making it easier to apply. It is designed for extremely high performing and demanding applications.

Why We Like It

  • Easy to apply
  • Optimal heat transfer for all coolers even water coolers
  • Thermal conductivity 12.5 W/mk
  • Excellent for overclocked machines

A good choice of thermal grease paste for hard-core gamers and people who overclock their machines using demanding applications.

Editor Rating:

 

8. Arctic Silver Premium High Density Thermal Compound

Arctic Silver Ceramique Premium

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This is another great offering, but a ceramic based compound. The Ceramique uses unique combination of thermally conductive aluminium oxide, boron nitride and zinc oxide sub-micron particles, in order to maximise the contact area between particles. This offers high performance, even surpassing the performance of metal based compounds.

It does not contain any silicone, and is a mixture of advanced polysynthetic oils that will provide long-term stability and a higher performance level. It needs approximately 100-300 hours to thicken and reach its optimal performance levels. During this time, the viscosity of the product is lowered by heat from the CPU. The compound will then fill the microscopic valleys and provide a minimum bond line between the heatsink and the CPU.

As it does not contain any metal, it is non-conductive, so you will not run the risk of any short circuiting when applying. It is easy to apply the 2.5-gram tube covers about 20 square inches, at a layer of 0.003-inches thick.

Why We Like It

  • Provides long-term stability
  • Non-conductive
  • No silicone
  • Ceramic based compound

An excellent ceramic based compound that will keep your computer from overheating and provide long-term stability to your system.

Editor Rating:

 

9. Innovation Cooling Diamond Thermal Compound

Innovation Cooling Diamond

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The IC Diamond 7 Carat has a good conductivity of 2000-25000 W/mK. It is a non-conductive and non-capacitive, and provides superior cooling for performance CPUs.

Innovation Cooling Diamond "7 Carat" Thermal Compound - 1.5 Grams is composed of diamond powder, and it has a thick composition. You will need to read the instructions before applying, as correct application is paramount to receiving optimum performance from this product. Each tube of IC Diamond contains 7 carats of micronized diamond, with diamond particle loadings. It is Silicone free, and has a lower viscosity and greater stability than other pastes on the market. The curing time for the Innovation Diamond requires 2 hours or less before it performs at optimal levels.

Why We Like It

  • Non-conductive
  • Thermal conductivity of 2000-25000 W/mK
  • Curing time of less than 2 hours
  • Non-capacitive

The Diamond has superior bulk conductivity and is guaranteed to keep you overclocked CPU at the coolest temperatures possible. As it contains no metal there is no chance of short circuiting occurring, however accurate application is paramount to peak performance.

Editor Rating:

 

Buyers Guide Questions

How to Apply Thermal Paste to a CPU?

You can have a great product, but if it is applied incorrectly, you will find your computer overheating or getting hotter than normal. If you apply the thermal paste incorrectly, you run the risk of damaging the motherboard and other components. If using a metal based thermal paste, you could cause a short circuit once you turn the power back on. Before you even think of applying your thermal paste, you will have to remove the old paste.

Many of the best thermal pastes will come with a cleaning kit, but if they do not, you can use isopropyl alcohol to clean off the old paste. You can use any isopropyl alcohol with a 70% concentration, but ensure it is the fragrance free and additive-free type. Acetone also works, although you need a bit of a background experience to use, as it can corrode plastic and damage either the CPU socket or motherboard if you are not careful. Once you have some isopropyl alcohol and a lint free cloth, you will need to detach the CPU from the motherboard socket. Pour a small amount onto the cloth and apply light pressure with your fingertips to clean off the residual thermal paste. You will repeat this with the CPU and heatsink.

Are sure which CPU is best? Check out our CPU processor guide here.

Once you have cleaned off all the old thermal grease, you can start applying your layer of thermal grease. The purpose of the thermal paste is to fill up the air pockets that are found between the CPU and the heatsink. In order to do this, you need to coat the surfaces with a thin and even film of the thermal paste. If you put too much on, you could hinder the CPU dissipation or it could spill onto the motherboard, which if using a metal based product, will cause electrical damage. Too much thermal paste could actually increase CPU temperatures, which defeats the purpose entirely. There are two ways to apply your thermal paste:

The first method is to apply a thin vertical line across 2/3 of the CPU. The heat from the CPU and the weight of the heatsink will spread the thermal grease evenly over a period of time. This process is called curing.

The second method is to apply a small dot of the paste at the centre of your CPU. You need to apply about half the size of a pea for the thermal paste to effectively cover the entire CPU.

If you are using a very thick paste, it is recommended to use the line method. If your thermal pastes are not that thick or does not come with a syringe, then the dot method will be the one to use.

Thermal Paste for Ps4?

Is gaming your first love? Can you not live without your PS4, but the noise it makes is starting to drive you mad? Is it interfering with the quality of your experience? The thermal paste on your PS4, just like in your CPU in your computer, can wear out over time; it gets crusty and stops working, which makes your PS4 overheat and the fans run louder than usual.

This will result in your PS4 becoming louder and louder the longer you play it, which can make game time unpleasant. In order to make your PS4 fans quiet again, you will need to replace the thermal paste. This can seem like a daunting task, especially if you have never done it before. However, it is quite straight forward.

To get to the part you need to apply the thermal paste to, unscrew the bottom of the case and remove each part – it is a good idea to keep them to one side in order, so you can put it back together the same way. Once the motherboard has been removed, clean it off thoroughly to remove the debris and the old thermal paste. You can then apply the new thermal paste and reassemble.

Use carbon or ceramic thermal paste, as this is the best thermal paste for PS4, such as the Silver 5 CPU Paste 12g PC XBOX. If you use a metal based product, then take care, as there is always a chance of short circuiting, should you have a slight mishap and spill some on the motherboard. It would also be wise to choose a great thermal paste that has a long lifespan, and is designed to cope with products that work hard, so that you won’t have to go through the whole ordeal again.

Once you have replaced the thermal paste, you will find that the fans on your PS4 will run quiter again, and you can go back to enjoying your experience without that annoying interference.

Thermal Paste for Xbox One?

Being a gamer is important, and you need to have as little distracting noise to make your experience good. Just as your old computer will need a revamp at times, the Xbox one is no different. The original Xbox is a classic, however you may find that you now have a need to replace the factory thermal paste in the box for it to continue providing its nostalgic experience. To do this can be complicated, and you can Google how to get to the sections of the Xbox you need, in order to replace the thermal paste.

You can essentially use the same thermal paste you would use in your computer. Most of the best thermal pastes will work for CPU, GPU and your Xbox One.

Bear in mind that it would ideal to choose one that does not contain metal, as one slip and you could damage your motherboard due to short circuiting. Also choose a thermal paste that will last a long time, so you won’t have to replace it again for a few years, as taking apart your Xbox One apart not an easy process.

Some of the better options on the market for Xbox are the High Performance Thermal Paste for PS4 XBOX ONE PlayStation, APU, CPU, GPU, X1, PC, and Cooling Mx-4 for PC PS3 PS4 XBOX ONE Artic Ac Pasta TERMICA.

What’s the best Brand Thermal Paste to Buy?

The answer depends entirely on you. If you read reviews available on different sites, you will see the name Cooler Master is mentioned often as the top brand when it comes to thermal paste. Many people will ask if there is a difference between the types of thermal pastes you get for different devices, such as a best thermal paste for cheap gaming laptops or best thermal paste for GPU. Essentially however, most of the thermal pastes do the same thing in all of their instances, they dissipate heat to keep your CPU, Xbox, PS4 and other devices cooler and working at their optimal levels.

So which brand is the best to buy? Only you can answer that question, although we can definitely advise on which ones we believe are some of the best. If you are unsure of what to look for, then a good way to decide is to read reviews and see what customers say about the different brands before making your decision. You also need to consider the price. A good product will definitely come at a price, however it will last you a long time and do a good job. So can you afford to not to get the best?

What’s the best Thermal Paste Cleaner?

The best thermal paste cleaner to use is Isopropyl alcohol to clean off the older paste. You can use any isopropyl alcohol with a 70% concentration. Of course a 99% concentration is best, but ensure that what you are using is fragrance- and additive-free. The other good option is Acetone, however just be aware that this is corrosive, and if you make a mistake while using it, it could damage either your motherboard or CPU socket.

In conjunction with these liquids you will need a clean lint free cloth. Microfibre clothes are very good for cleaning off residual debris and old thermal paste. The other option is to get some thermal paste cleaner kits along with your new thermal paste, such as the ArctiClean 60 ML Kit.

Conclusion

In order to facilitate the heat transfer between the CPU core and heats link, and therefore improving the performance of your CPU by preventing overheating, you need the best thermal paste you can afford. No matter if you are building your own computer from scratch, or modifying your old computer to make it better for demanding applications, thermal paste will be one of the most important items you need to ensure optimal cooling. We have reviewed some of the best on the market, including metal based and ceramic and carbon based products. The one you choose is up to you, but you will definitely need the best thermal pastes you can get to ensure your computer is up to standard. Read more computer product reviews right here.

Arctic Silver 5

Top Pick

A highly thought product, as witnessed by our Silver 5 review, is specifically designed to work in overclocked machines. It is non-electrically conductive, easy to use and will not run, migrate, bleed or separate during normal usage. To top all of this, you get the ArctiClean 60ml cleaning kit along with the paste. A great combo at a great price, which makes it our top pick for the best available on the market in 2018.

ARCTIC MX-4

Premium Choice

A fantastic brand known to produce some of the best CPU cooling pastes on the market is the MX-4, so it is no surprise that it is another one of its products that gets our pick for the premium choice. The MX-4 is a carbon micro-particle based paste that is easy to apply and safe to use on all CPUs. It offers superb, efficient dissipation and is long lasting. It is one of the best products for CPU and GPU on the market in 2018.

Cooler Master HTK-002-U1

Great Value

Cooler Master is another outstanding brand on offer currently. The Cooler master high performance thermal paste offers great value and performance. It is dielectric and will insulate your CPU from heat. It will keep your computer cool during overclocking, and allow it to idle at lower temperatures. The Cooler Master comes with an applicator to help you easily apply it, and a Zif Socket Template to ensure you apply in the right areas. With all the great features and exceptional performance of this product it gets our vote for great value thermal paste on the market in 2018.

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