Best Thermal Paste in 2020 – CPU & GPU Thermal Compound

Want to get rid of heating issues of your CPU with the help of the best thermal paste?

Are you tired of the temperature issues of your gaming rig and you want to cool down the temperature of your CPU or GPU effectively with the help of a reliable thermal paste?

Don’t worry my friend. You are at the right place to find the answers to all your questions as we will discuss thermal paste you can use to cool down the heat of your gaming PC.

Best Thermal Paste

Best Overall

Premium Pick

Budget Pick

Top Rated Thermal Pastes for CPU & GPU

First, let us see the list of the top thermal paste in our comparison table. We’ll provide you with more information that will help you in our in-depth reviews further down.

Thermal PasteVolumeThermal ConductivityMaterials Used
Noctua NT-H210ml8.9W/mKMetal oxide micro-particlesCheck Price
ARCTIC MX-43.0g8.5 W/(mK)Micro-CarbonCheck Price
Arctic Silver 53.5g9.0 W/(mK)Micronized SliverCheck Price
Cooler Master HTK-002-U12.0g0.8 W/mKGrease-like siliconeCheck Price
Innovation Cooling1.5g4.5 W/mKPurified synthetic diamondCheck Price
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut1.0g12.5 W/mKNon-metallic particlesCheck Price
ThermalCoolFlux1.5g3.2 W/mKPolysynthetic GreaseCheck Price
Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra1.0g38.4 W/mKLiquid MetalCheck Price
Protronix Series 71.0g3.17 W/mKMetal OxidesCheck Price
Innovation Cooling Thermal Padn/a35 W/mKGraphiteCheck Price

But before we move further, you need to know about what actually is a thermal paste and how you can apply a thermal paste in the best possible way to keep the temperature of your GPU or CPU moderate or cool.

A thermal paste is defined as,

“It is a thermal compound which is used for the purpose of heat conduction between two surfaces and these two surfaces are most commonly a microprocessor and a heat sink.”

Thermal paste is used to lower down the temperature of the CPU or GPU by several degrees, which can vary from hardware to hardware. In order to maintain the proper functions of your PC. Just like the ethernet cable, it’s a product that is often overlooked while building a new gaming rig.

Different Types of Thermal Paste

There are four common types of thermal paste that you should know of.
These are discussed briefly below.
  • Metal Thermal Paste: Metal thermal pastes are the most effective pastes, and they can reduce the temperature by about 10 degrees. It is also capacitive, so be cautious! You need to apply this type of paste carefully and avoid spilling it on metal parts of the motherboard to prevent short circuit. Do not use liquid metal on aluminum heatsinks as the metal can cause damage to it.
  • Ceramic thermal paste: Ceramic thermal paste doesn’t contain any type of metal, and hence they are easier to use as you don’t have to worry about spilling it on metal parts of the motherboard. However, they are cheaper than metal paste which is excellent for the consumer, but they usually don’t provide the same temperatures drop as metal.
  • Carbon Thermal Paste: Carbon thermal paste is up for discussion regarding it provides a better result than liquid metal pastes. The idea behind carbon-based paste is that it offers the best of two worlds, it’s none electrically conductive and yet provides a superior temperature drop than metal paste. However, in our review, we find it to work just as good as metal-based. There are also hybrid-compound solutions that offer different micro-particles that stand out in a similar manner, for example, Noctua NT-H1.
  • Silicon Thermal Paste: Not a single silicon thermal paste made it to this list; it simply didn’t keep up with the rest of the thermal compounds we reviewed. Silicon thermal paste was pretty much standard for a long time, until the new innovative, high-end thermal pastes entered the market.
Best Thermal Paste

The Best Thermal Pastes in 2020

1. Noctua NT-H2 Thermal Compound – Best Thermal Paste for CPU

Noctua has proved themselves as a leading manufacturer of cooling technology. Noctua NT-H2 is no exception, a thermal paste that cools down the temperature of the CPU and adds extra stability to the system. The thermal paste got an ability for great thermal resistance, as well contributing to the heat dissipation of the processors. You can spread it on CPUs or VGA cards to get optimal performance from them. You also get 3 cleaning wipes, perfect when you are going to replace your old thermal compund. 

The thermal paste is made up of a fine-tuned mixture of metal oxide micro-particles which allows you to lower down the temperature with a significant amount, resulting in maximum results. Furthermore, it is a hybrid thermal compound which reduces the temperature effectively.

Our Pick

The highly appreciated Noctua NT-H1 was our number one pick for overclocking, now it is the NT-H2. If you’re looking for a reliable high-end thermal paste option, this is a great choice. NT-H2 is an excellent thermal paste available in very reasonable price. This thermal paste is for both regular users, as well as overclockers, without a problem. It will maintain the stability of your system and keep it away from overheating and high temperatures.

After applying it once, it will maintain for many years which is quite exceptional. Other than that, it is straightforward to use. You can apply it easily to small to large core CPUs, and this thermal paste will work like a charm with it.

This thermal paste has a mixture of metal micro-particles which play an essential role in maintaining the temperature of your system. Also, it is highly durable and will keep proper temperature drops for several years (up to 5 years), so that’s why you should consider it! One of the greatest thermal compounds on the market we’ve have came across.



2. ARCTIC MX-4 – Premium Thermal Compound Paste

Arctic MX-4 is another versatile thermal paste used to cool down the temperature of CPUs and GPUs effectively. The thermal paste is perfect for people who want to maintain the optimum temperature of their rigs. The thermal paste is carbon-based which means that you don’t have to worry about the capacitance issues while pouring it on the processor or VGA card. This particular thermal compound paste is made from micro carbon particles which have got an amazing thermal conductivity, and is one of the most useful materials for lowering the temperatures.

Our Premium Pick

Arctic MX-4 is a unique carbon-based thermal paste you will find in the market of compound paste. It got the ability to lower down the temperature of processors and VGA cards effectively. Go for it if you need a complete thermal paste which is easy to apply in an affordable price range.

The thermal paste has got a unique MX4 formula which allows a higher heat dissipation as compared to other pastes and hence it supports the stability which is needed to push the system to its limit. On the other hand, the paste is totally metal free and non-electrical conductive, which means you don’t have to worry about the short circuits caused by some thermal paste spilled over the motherboard parts. This thermal paste comes in with high durability. After applying it, you won’t need to apply any thermal paste for a while, as MX-4 can work for at least eight consecutive years. Even beginners can use this thermal paste easily.

In short, the paste is made up of carbon and silicon. It is metal-free and non-conductive, and it provides a significant effect in heat dissipation. Even a beginner can efficiently apply it, and it is safe to use. So, these are the some of the reasons which makes it a prior choice for many people.



3. Arctic Silver 5 – Budget Thermal Paste

Arctic Silver 5 AS5, our premium pick on the list of thermal paste out there on the market. It has got some impressive features and specs which makes it the contender of being a tremendous thermal paste. The paste is made up 99.9% of silver which has reached high thermal conductivity. The paste is a mixture of high-density silver and ceramic particles which cools the temperature of your CPU effectively. You can cool down the temperature of the CPU or heat sink by 3 to 12 centigrade’s which is quite exceptional.

Our Budget Pick

Arctic Silver 5

Arctic Silver 5 is a solid thermal paste available in a very reasonable price. For a cheap price, you can get a thermal paste which will cool down the processor or heat sink of your PC by a sufficient amount. Go for it if you need an excellent thermal paste in an affordable price range.

In addition to the micronized silver particles, Arctic Silver 5 also contains other particles like zinc oxide, aluminum oxide, and boron nitride. All these components perform exceptionally well in lowering the temperature of the CPU or GPU maintaining the performance and stability of the equipment. It also contains almost 88% of thermally conductive filler too. The coverage area is also excellent. A 3.5-gram syringe is able to cover 15 to 25 small CPU cores, 6 to 10 large CPU cores and 2 to 5 large heat plates. It doesn’t contain any silicone for maintaining the proper viscosity of the fluid.

This thermal paste contains almost all these features which are required to cool down the temperature of CPU and GPU by sufficient amounts. Furthermore, the 99.9% silver used in it, which is the main reason for its popularity. So, these are some of the reasons to consider it.



4. Cooler Master High Performance Thermal Paste

Cooler Master is a thermal paste suitable to be applied on motherboard’s chipsets, processors or VGA cards. The thermal paste is made up of a grease-like silicone materials combined with metal oxides which are electrically conductive. These materials when mixed together form a compound which allows to lower down the temperature of the CPU or GPU effectively. You apply it on the chipsets of the motherboard to maintain the proper functioning of it. Furthermore, the thermal paste is smooth to use and is quite durable.

Cooler Master HTK-002-U1

Cooler Master provides a thermal paste for your system so that you can easily minimize the high temperatures while you play games or multitasking. Go for it if you need a multi-purpose thermal paste in a reasonable price range.

The temperature of the CPU or GPU will fall several degree centigrade after you apply this paste in your rig. Also, it does come with a Zif Socket template, which ensures that you are applying the paste to the correct area. The paste is also a dielectric, which means its a very poor conductor of electric current and you hopefuly want that!

The grease-like paste is smooth to apply and will maintain the temperature of the CPU, GPU or chipset of the motherboard. It does come with a fitting price range as well.



5. Innovation Cooling Diamond Thermal Compound

Innovation Thermal compound is one of the top thermal pastes which is available in a moderate price range. The compound includes materials which are used to lower down the temperature of CPUs and GPUs sufficiently. Other than that, you can spill this compound almost anywhere because it is non-metallic. However, don’t do that! The non-metallic thermal paste keeps the system away from short circuits because it cannot conduct electricity.

Innovation Cooling Diamond "7 Carat"

Innovation Thermal Compound is the thermal paste used to lower down the temperature of the CPUs and GPUs effectively. It is constructed with high-quality materials containing purified synthetic diamonds, and it is non-metallic as well. Go for it if you need a thermal paste which can easily increase the heat dissipation of your system or gaming rig.

The micronized diamond materials used in its construction makes it more durable. After applying it once, this thermal paste will deliver for many years which is not something you will see in standard thermal pastes. One syringe contains almost 1.5 grams of paste which is more than enough to be applied on any large CPUs and GPUs, as well as the heat plates.

Micronized diamond materials allow this paste to make sure that the system is never overheated. These are some of the reasons for considering it.



6. Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Grease Paste

Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut is a thermal compound made from special high-quality materials. This paste works perfectly well for people who aim to overclock their CPUs or GPUs, and keeping them cooler than ever. The thermal paste comes up with unique microelements mix, which will help you a lot in cooling down your rig. Also, it is highly durable. The thermal paste is easy to apply, and even a beginner can use it efficiently.

Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut

Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut is a thermal compound used to lower down the temperature of the system effectively. It allows you to maintain the stability of your hardcore gaming rig or working station. Check it out if you need a thermal paste a slightly higher price range, but also higher quality.

A little bonus with this one is that it does come with a stick. The stick is used to spread the thermal paste in such a way that it can cover almost all area of the processor or GPU. On the other hand, the stick also allows you to put only a little amount of paste, therefore keeping you away from wasting the paste. The thermal paste is non-conductive which means electricity cannot pass through it. The non-metallic character keeps the system away from any type of short circuits. So, it protects the system even if you spill the paste accident on the motherboard parts. The syringe contains almost 1 gram of paste which is more than enough for three different parts of the system. In short, the thermal compound is much better than default thermal pastes that comes with the computer, and you should get it to lower the temperature of your CPU or GPU by many degree centigrade with an amazing thermally conductive.

In short: Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut comes up with premium quality product, also for for overclocking with its thermal conductivity of 12.5 W/mk. The fluid is non-conductive and non-metallic. It does come up with a stick to spread the paste correctly. So, these are some of the reasons which makes it worthy of buying.



7. ThermalCoolFlux Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Paste

ThermalCoolFlux comes in with a pack of 5 high-quality thermal paste syringes which will make sure that your system works at an optimum condition. The thermal paste is made up of polysynthetic grease which spreads like a charm on the CPU or heat plate to create better heat dissipation. Other than that, the thermal paste surely is non-conductive, and you won’t have to worry about spilling thermal paste and avoid short circuits issues while applying it. Each syringe contains 1.5 gram of fluid which is more than enough for large processors and GPUs.

5 Pack ThermalCoolFlux High Performance

ThermalCoolFlux comes with a pack of 5 thermal pastes available in a very cheap price range. Go for it if you have a casual computer build, or if you are not into overclocking. If you have several computers or laptops, this is a great deal.

The thermal paste comes in with stable thermal conductivity. The thermal conductivity is very necessary for a higher rate of cooling down. Furthermore, the paste is quite durable.

Well, the thermal paste will keep the temperature constant so that you can enjoy multitasking or gaming without any issues. Furthermore, the whole package comes with five syringes, which makes them highly affordable but with slightly less quality. However, if you are not into overclocking you will be alright!



8. Coollaboratory Liquid Compound Heatsink

Coollaboratory Liquid Thermal paste makes your PC or laptop to cool down like a charm with its high-quality construction. It consists of 100% metal materials which make the cooldown effectively. However, do not use it with aluminum heatsinks, as it can damage the aluminum. Other than that the cooling liquid works phenomenally well with over-heating systems, and can drop the temperatures by up to 5-degree centigrade.

Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra Thermal Paste

Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra is a thermal paste which comes in with many impressive features and is very helpful in cooling down the temperature of the system sufficiently. Go for it if you need a full 100% metal thermal paste in an affordable price range.

Well, because of the use of metal, it can cause issues when spilled accidentally over motherboard parts as mentioned before. To avoid this type of emergency, try to spread the paste with the help of a commercial brush so that you can protect computers hardware. Furthermore, before applying the cooler, make sure that you have cleaned the processor or heat plate from any type of dust or outside debris as it affects the performance of the paste.

Apply three to four lines (depending on the size of the CPU) of Liquid Ultra on the processor and press it down to get an evenly distributed paste. In this way, this extravagant liquid thermal paste is able to cool down the temperature of the processor or GPU.

The main reason for buying it is the severe temperature drops after you apply it to the processor or GPU. Other than that, the thermal paste is made up of 100% metal which means you will see a constant temperature while you multitask or gaming.



9. Protronix Series 7 Silver

Protronix series 7 thermal paste is a compound made up of metal oxides and other high-quality materials which allow the system to cool down efficiently. It is used to enhance heat dissipation especially in CPU, GPU and heat plates. Other than that, the thermal paste has got a great thermal conductivity as well. The whole package includes 5 tubes, and each tube includes almost 1 gram of paste, which is more than enough to be spread on large CPU cores and GPUs respectively.

Protronix CPU Heatsink Compound Paste

Protronix Series 7 is a good thermal paste you will get by spending only a few bucks. The thermal paste is smooth to apply, and it cools down the system’s temperature sufficiently. Go for it if you need a cheaper thermal paste with mediocre features for your gaming rig or laptop.

The thermal paste has got almost 20% metal oxide compounds which contribute equally in cooling down the system’s temperature. The thermal paste also got a high durability. After spreading it once, it can last for up to 2 years efficiently providing enough cooling for maintaining the stability of your system. Another important aspect of this thermal paste is it’s cheaper price. It is much cheaper than that of other thermal pastes we looked at.



10. Innovation Cooling Graphite Thermal Pad

Innovation Cooling Graphite Thermal Pad is the only thermal pad on our list, and it has got its place because of the impressive cooling it provides in a reasonable price range. Unlike other thermal pastes, it is very easy to use.

You can apply it on heat plates, processors and GPUs easily. If the pad is too big, you can just trim it with a pair of scissors. It has got a great thermal conductivity as well. Other than that, the thermal pad doesn’t come as a liquid, it’s a dry patch, keeping the essential parts protective and secure.

Innovation Cooling Alternative To Thermal Paste/Grease

If you want to get rid of the issues thermal pastes make while you apply them on the surface, Innovation Thermal pad is there for you. It is durable, reusable and comes with a dry graphite thermal pad. Go for it if you prefer an easy going, no problem thermal cooling solution.

The thermal pad is unlike other typical thermal compounds. It won’t bake out or leak when you have applied it on the particular surface. In addition, it keeps you away from the stress that either you have applied too much or too less on the surface. It comes in with the perfect insight of dry a solutions. So, just place it on the processor or GPU you want, and you are good to go. The thermal pad is also reusable. You can reuse it on other builds as well without any loss in performance.



How to Apply the Thermal Paste Correctly

There are many specific ways to apply the thermal paste on the surfaces for getting better results. Let’s take a look at some of the most common methods used one by one.

  • The Vertical Line Method: In this method, people tend to apply a vertical line on the surface of the CPU resulting in the line spreading out while the processor is pressed on. This created a more even coating of the paste than if you would apply it by smearing it out. Resulting in it a more cooled down temperature because of the excellent contact surface.
  • The X Method: Like the vertical method, just that you apply two lines in an X before pressing down the CPU. However, be careful of not applying to much paste, it will leak on your motherboard otherwise. And if using a metal-based paste, it can cause severe damage. By this method you will also waste more paste as the difference in performance from the one-line method is none. 
  • The Pea Method: This is probably the best method of them all; you will save on your paste and get a very even surface of thermal paste. It’s the most effective either way. You just apply a small dot in the middle, big as a pea and press down the processor. The paste will spread as you put the pressure on the heat sink or CPU. 

Other than these methods, some thermal pastes also come up with tools like sticks, etc. Which is used to spread the paste on the surface. However, we would still recommend to apply it with one of the methods mentioned above. Well, this was a little bit of knowledge about thermal pastes and how to apply them.


Well, after a lengthy review, we are now sure that you can make a confident choice depending upon the needs and your system requirements. Make sure to choose the one which works for a more extended period and has a reasonable price range for you. It’s important to note that if the thermal paste is not applied correctly, it doesn’t matter how good the thermal compound you have. If the contact with the heatsink is terrible, the temperature will not transfer effectively.

We hope you enjoyed this guide and found the information you where looking for the best thermal paste. If you want our recommendation, we will recommend you to have a look at the Arctic Silver 5, ARCTIC MX-4 or Noctua NT-H1 as they impressed us the most. If you want a thermal pad, Innovation Thermal Pad is a suitable choice for you. Good luck!

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Mike Jones

1 thought on “Best Thermal Paste in 2020 – CPU & GPU Thermal Compound”

  1. I’m surprised (given the amount of love it gets throughout the industry) that Gelid GC-3 (“Gelid Extreme”) wasn’t part of this comparison. I’m not suggesting it’s any better (or different) than other high-end compounds, just surprised it wasn’t included.


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