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How Often to Change Thermal Paste?

When talking about the main components of a PC, we often talk about CPU, graphic cards, hard disks, and others. But we keep forgetting one of the critical components, and that is the Thermal Paste. Being one of the essential components, this one keeps the computer’s health in total check.

Thermal paste, which is often known as thermal grease or thermal compound, helps transfer the heat away from CPU. This is responsible for diverting all of the heat into the heat sink. Our PCs remain cool, thanks to these thermal pastes. 

thermal paste on CPU
Photo: Flickr

However, like all components, these too need to be changed every once in a while, but the question is, how often to change thermal paste? Well, let us answer this question by looking at the best CPU thermal paste, along with what thermal paste to use on CPU.

Best Thermal Paste For CPU

Computers are great machines, but these are the machines that emit so much heat. Have you ever thought, where does that heat go? Well, the thermal paste takes care of that. Now you might be thinking about what is the best thermal paste for CPU. Worry no more; we have got you covered! Here are a few of the best CPU thermal paste you can purchase next time you need to change it.

  1. Noctua NT-H1

Noctua NT-H1 is one of a kind thermal paste that is specially created for PCs that generate a great deal of heat due to overclocking. This one keeps the CPU cooler. This thermal paste takes away all the brownie points as it is a cheaper alternative.

  1. Arctic MX-4

If you are thinking about what thermal paste to use on CPU, and are looking out for something popular, cheap and easy to use, then Arctic MX-4 might be the one you’re looking for.

  1. Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut

Although expensive, this one has no conductive power, which is great for thermal pastes. Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut needs no settling time, and that is what makes this one so great. So if you are on a quest to find the answer for what is the best thermal paste, then you can surely consider this one.

  1. Cooler Master MasterGel Maker

Made for high-performance CPUs, this one will blow your mind as you will need just a little bit which will run for a long time. This compound has nano-diamonds, which make better conductivity, and that is the reason why a lot of people consider this one as the best CPU thermal paste.

  1. Arctic Silver 5

If you are looking for a 99.9% silver thermal compound, then this one is great for you. Made of micronized silver, this is amazing when it comes to conducting heat. Silver being less harsh, this one acts as one of the best thermal compounds for CPU if you are on the lookout for some incredible thermal pastes.

Now that you know what thermal paste to use on CPU, let us look at where to buy thermal paste.

Where To Buy Thermal Paste?

When talking about the best thermal paste for CPU, we must know that all thermal pastes have a different compound composition. This compound component plays a massive role in thermal conductivity, durability, viscosity, and electrical conductivity.

Generally, most pastes are made up of an array of ingredients, like:

  • Aluminum
  • Silver
  • Carbon nanoparticles
  • Copper
  • Zinc oxide
  • Graphite
  • Ceramic
  • Silicone oil

When discussing where to buy thermal paste, let me be clear and tell you that this purely depends on whether you wish to purchase a ceramic, silicon, metal, or carbon-based thermal compound. In today’s world, there are a plethora of options available. Still, you should thoroughly know your usage and the kind of computer you are working in before purchasing and deciding where to buy thermal paste.

One needs to be aware of the best thermal compound for CPU that would fit their need and budget. At the same time, rather than even thinking about where to buy thermal paste, many people use some ingredients that are easily available at home to make their own make-shift thermal paste.

From toothpaste to diaper rash creams to cocoa and hazelnut creams, people are simply going bonkers and even using hair wax and cheese spread as an alternative to make their own thermal paste. However, before venturing into something like this or deciding upon where to buy thermal paste, you must know that the thermal paste is one of the most crucial parts of your system, without which your PC will simply collapse.

How Often To Change Thermal Paste?

Now that you know about the best thermal paste for CPU, it is also crucial to comprehend how often to change thermal paste. Well, the answer to this is quite simple. The thermal pastes with the best thermal compound for CPU can last for years and years at a stretch, without any replacement. 

For your knowledge, let me tell you that some computers even live up to 10-11 years without needing a thermal paste change. However, this can depend upon a lot of factors, such as for what purpose the computer is being used, duration of the usage, the brand of the thermal paste, ingredients used, and much more.

The thermal pastes need to be changed in specific scenarios, like:

These are some situations that tend to decide how often to change thermal paste. Moreover, if you use a great quality thermal paste, then you would not need a change for many years. 

Only in situations where you are changing your coolers or noticing abnormal temperatures of your CPU or laptop, even if the fan is working perfectly fine, in such scenarios, changing the thermal paste becomes necessary. Other than that, your thermal paste can go on for a long time. From a minimum of 5 years to a maximum of even 10 years, you wouldn’t have to face the hassle of changing your thermal paste. 

However, if your computer or laptop is heating up, it definitely doesn’t mean that it needs a thermal paste change. There are tons of other reasons to which contribute to this problem. Therefore, I would advise you have a complete check-up of your CPU or laptop before deciding to change the thermal paste.


When talking about thermal pastes, deciding upon the best thermal compound for CPU becomes a vital factor, as this component is one of the most crucial elements of your PC. Keeping the temperatures at bay, the thermal paste transfers all of the heat to the cooler, keeping the computer cool for years together. Therefore, the answer to the question of how often to change thermal paste is quite simple – NOT VERY OFTEN! As mentioned earlier, your thermal paste will remain intact for 5-10 years, depending upon various factors. Other than that, you do not have to worry about changing the thermal grease every now and then.

About the author

Srishti Marwah

A Journalist by degree and a writer by heart, writing is an emotion and a stress buster for me! As a writer, I'm on a mission to make reading more rejuvenating for all the readers out there! Crafting my thoughts and presenting them to the world is what I love the most!

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