Heat sink paste is one of the least exciting computer accessories, but it is an essential component for every CPU builder. Without it, the processor can become too hot and suffer from thermal throttling and random shutdowns. The purpose of thermal paste is to allow the CPU and the heat sink to exchange as much heat as possible so that they both stay cool enough to operate correctly.
The best thermal pastes have high conductivity values, meaning they can transfer a lot of heat quickly from the CPU to the cooler or heat sink. These products also tend to be non-conductive so that they don’t short circuits, and they should be resistant to corrosion.
In general, a thermal paste is comprised of two things: a base matrix and a filler. Typical matrix materials are epoxies, silicones, or urethanes. The filler is what raises the thermal conductivity, and it can include metal micro-particles, carbon, zinc oxide, aluminum nitride, or something else. The right choice of thermal paste for a specific application can depend on the type of GPU, CPU, or motherboard used in a build.
Thermal Grizzly’s TG-AL-3 Conductonaut is a top choice for anyone who wants the best performance from their computer. The metal-free product has a thermal conductivity of 73 W/mK and can be used between most semiconductors and heat sinks. It is easy to apply and doesn’t require as much focus during installation as liquid metal compounds. It also comes with a resealable package and includes 2 cleaning pads (lint-free), 5 cotton swabs, and an applicator.