A high-quality thermal compound is a critical component in many computer processors, and it’s a necessary addition for overclocked computers as well. It’s used to fill microscopic gaps between a CPU’s metal contact surface and the heat sink, improving the ability of the heat sink to conduct heat from the processor.
A quality thermal grease can reduce the temperature of a processor by up to 20 degrees Celsius, and it’s usually applied between the heat sink and the CPU (or the CPU cooler if you have water cooling). Without it, the only thing between the metal contact surface of the CPU and the heat sink is a teeny-tiny gap that traps air, one of the worst thermal insulators on Earth. A thin layer of thermal compound fills these gaps, lowering the processor’s temperature.
Our selection of PC thermal compounds includes options for every budget, and they’re made with top-quality ingredients to help transfer heat away from the processor or GPU to the cooler. They’re also easy to apply and clean up, making them a great choice for users of all experience levels.
As always, liquid metal compounds are the best performers, but we’ve included a few budget-friendly options in our chart as well. Phobya’s LM is a good example, as it’s a low-cost option that performs very closely to other top-performing pastes.