Do You Need Thermal Paste For The CPU?


Most CPUs do not come with a thermal paste but with CPU coolers. AMD CPUs and Intel CPUs do not come with thermal paste.

In the name of the thermal solution, they come with Wraith Stealth, Wraith Spire, or Wraith Prism air cooler. The new processors do include some air-cooling solutions.

To answer the above question, yes, all CPUs need thermal paste in one form or another. If it’s a secondhand CPU or unboxed CPU, you may need to reapply thermal paste on the same.

On the other hand, if the CPU is inside a prebuilt desktop or a new desktop, the thermal paste won’t be required for the time being.

Why does the CPU need thermal paste?

Any CPU will lack thermal past needs a thermal paste from scratch or needs to be replied to, as the case may be. The thermal paste on CPUs is used to improve the CPU’s efficiency and the CPU cooler. There are minute particles between the CPU cooler and the CPU that somehow prevents the heat transfer between the two components efficiently. To remove them and eliminate the air gaps due to these imperfections, thermal paste is applied for more efficient heat transfer.

The role of the CPU cooler is to absorb heat and keep the CPU from overheating. Thus, indirectly thermal paste also allows the CPU to function properly by preventing it from overheating.

Thermal paste is a thermally conductive chemical compound i.e., is a good transfer of heat. Thus, its main job is to eliminate air gaps and maximize heat transfer from CPU to CPU cooler.

Do all CPUs need thermal paste?

Some CPU coolers come with pre-applied thermal paste, while some may not. No matter the case, it is recommended to reapply the thermal paste for the best performance. However, one should not apply a thermal paste over an already applied thermal paste. This should be avoided as mixing two types of paste can be bad.

Instead, one should first gently remove the pre-applied thermal paste using cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol before applying the new thermal paste.

Pre-applied thermal paste is considered inefficient. This is usually due to the uniformly with which it is applied. When applied uniformly, it spills on the sides of the socket when the CPU cooler is pressed over it.

Overflowing thermal paste is never good as it makes it difficult to remove the CPU cooler from over the CPU. Thus it is always better to remove the already applied thermal paste carefully. While removing, clean the thermal paste from the sides using the cotton swab and clean the traces off the component completely.

Once it is removed thoroughly, you can apply the new thermal paste that is of good quality. You will also ensure that the paste is not over-applied and does not fall onto the sides.

The new thermal paste should be applied to the CPU and not to the CPU cooler. The right way to apply a thermal paste is by dropping the pea size of it in the middle of the CPU.

Q&A

Is thermal paste needed for CPU?

Thermal paste, or some oily thermal interface material, is necessary because it fills in the microscopic imperfections that otherwise trap air particles between the CPU and the heatsink, preventing the CPU from properly cooling.

How often should CPU thermal paste be replaced?

Keep in mind that not all thermal compounds maintain efficacy the same way. Most value options are good for two to three years, while higher-end compounds can go up to seven years. Replacing it every two to three years is a good idea and will keep your chip at its optimum.

Can I use Vaseline as thermal paste?

Another solution to use as thermal paste can be obtained by mixing very fine aluminum powder with vaseline oil. The mixture must be blended for at least 10 minutes, in order to avoid the presence of little air bubbles.

Can I use toothpaste as thermal paste?

Toothpaste is also an excellent substitute for thermal paste. Its structure decays after a few days, especially if the operating temperatures are high.

How much does a thermal paste cost?

Is it expensive to replace the hot paste on its costs to replace thermal paste in a laptop? ? For your computer, you need to purchase thermal paste that will cost you anywhere from $5 to $25.

What happens if you don’t use thermal paste?

Without thermal paste, there is a small gap of air between some parts of the CPU and the cooler since both surfaces aren’t perfectly flat. This is especially true with any heatsink that has heat pipes that contact the CPU. The thermal paste is better than air at conducting heat.

Can old thermal paste cause overheating?

Therefore, in these rare cases, it is possible that “bad” or very dry thermal paste can fail to siphon heat, causing a buildup in the chips. It doesn’t so much cause overheating itself, but it can go bad in a way that makes it fail to perform.

Does thermal paste expire?

Does thermal paste go bad? Believe it or not, much like medicine and food, thermal paste also has a shelf life and can go bad. Generally, manufacturers give their thermal paste a lifespan of 3 to 5 years. That’s if it sits under optimal conditions, which may not be the case for you.

Can I use silicone instead of thermal paste?

Sure, you could use it, but it’s an insulator, not a conductor, so you’ll get poor thermal transfer. Actually, pure silicone grease is an excellent heat conductor, as well as being able to stand up to the same temps that standard thermal compounds do….and higher.

Is thermal paste harmful?

and to answer your question, putting thermal compound around the CPU is indeed DANGEROUS! it would make your computer run hotter or worse constant BSOD or crash due to overheating which means you could possibly loose some important data when you are doing work on your pc!

Is Colgate a good thermal paste?

It might be better than nothing, but unless toothpaste has unsuspected thermal conductivity, I’d say it’s a bad idea. You also have to consider what the ingredients of the toothpaste might do in contact with your CPU.

Can a PC run without thermal paste?

If you do not use thermal paste, your entire system will overheat because it will generate more heat than it is designed to handle. It is preferable to apply good thermal paste to the CPU because it is one of the most important components of your computer.

Can you use peanut butter as thermal paste?

Using PEANUT BUTTER as THERMAL PASTE!

How do you clean thermal paste off a CPU?

Using an isopropyl alcohol wipe, gently wipe the thermal paste off the surface. Wipe in a straight line. Repeat this process until the thermal paste is gone, using a new wipe each time. Leave it to dry for around an hour.

How many grams of thermal paste do you need?

Thermal grease is ONLY meant to fill the tiny scratches in the surfaces of the heatsink and CPU heat spreader. As noted a pea size or smaller drop is plenty of TIM. A 3.5g tube would be enough for at least (20) CPUs

Who invented thermal paste?

Created by Deborah Chung, Niagara Mohawk Professor of Materials Research in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the paste, when applied between a heat sink and a heat source, can improve greatly the conduction of heat from the heat source to the heat sink.

Can I reuse thermal paste?

You can reuse a tube of thermal paste as long as it is not dried out. It is best to use fresh thermal paste. However, if you do have used thermal paste, there is no harm in using it again.

Is thermal paste really necessary?

Yep its necessary, the heatsink usually comes with paste, but for the question, its very much necessary to apply paste for effective dissisipaiton of heat.

Can I use cheap thermal paste?

it doesn’t have to be expensive. there is a point of quality where you can’t tell a difference, but that varies product to product. -but you do have to use thermal paste. don’t attempt to install a CPU without it, or your CPU will toast and or melt under it’s own burden of heat.

Can changing thermal paste improve performance?

Things to Consider When Buying Thermal Paste. 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.

How do you know when to change your thermal paste?

How Often Should You Replace Thermal Paste? In most cases, you shouldn’t need to reapply more than once every few years, though you should replace your paste if you remove your cooler for any reason. You may also want to consider reapplying thermal paste if you find your CPU temperatures are climbing.

Andy Avery

I really enjoy helping people with their tech problems to make life easier, ​and that’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past decade.

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