Best thermal paste for your CPU in 2023

best thermal paste

You wouldn’t think you’d ever really need a guide to thermal paste, but with so many different options, what really is the best?

Thermal paste isn’t the most thrilling topic in the world, but getting a new CPU and cooler can lead you down the road of asking which is best.

When building or upgrading a PC, sometimes the unsung hero is your choice of thermal paste. Dissipating heat is the name of the game, and the wrong choice could lead to sub-optimal temperatures, which can lead to issues in the future.

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Choosing your thermal paste might just come down to how much you can spare, or if you’re an avid builder of PCs, you might even have a favorite brand.

Noctua NT-H1

We didn’t just include this because it’s top-rated on Amazon. This is what we used during a hasty repair back in 2020. We’re three years on from that now and the PC – despite using a stock cooler – hasn’t hit nasty temperatures like what put it out of action originally.

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It’s super easy to use, and specifically, clean. With a bad mistake of pressing too hard on the syringe causing some to drop elsewhere on the motherboard, we were able to get rid of any trace with just an isopropyl wipe.

The Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste is also going to last on your shelf for a while, so if you plan on upgrading within three years of its original appliance, nine dollars isn’t a bad investment to make.

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This is another top-rated product on Amazon and with good reason. When asking a friend who used this paste, they said they never had such an easy time applying the paste. It comes with a spatula for you to spread evenly onto the CPU as well. It’s also much cheaper than the Noctua at the moment, with a 36% discount.

There’s a six-year warranty, so if things go wrong, you know that Arctic has your back.

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Corsair TM30 Performance

When has Corsair ever let you down? The solid build quality of their devices extends over to the thermal paste as well. During a stint at another company, we actually used this to fix up some of the PCs in the office.

It’s made up of “premium zinc oxide”, among other things, and is generally one of the more reliable pastes available right now. The main issue with it is that it costs a few dollars more than the rest.

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Cooler Master CryoFuze

Of course, Cooler Master has their own cooling thermal paste. It’s in the name! It also has that cool name attached to it. CryoFuze, which you know will do the job.

Really, outside of the fancy packaging and name, it’s a solid option for you to choose. It supports up to -50 degrees and 250 degrees celsius (that’s -58 and 482 Fahrenheit), so even with the increasing temperatures from AMD and Intel’s flagship CPUs, you should be covered.

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Prolimatech PK-3 Nano thermal paste

Far meatier in price and also lauded for its performance. While researching for this article, we found this crop up time and time again online. Multiple benchmarks put this near, or at the top of thermal testing.

While we haven’t used it ourselves, the surrounding commentary on it is that this right here is very much worth the price if keeping your PC cool is imperative to you.

How thermal paste works:

Once applied, you spread the compound across the CPU. As you place the CPU cooler onto the CPU, it spreads out to cover the metal plate on top. By doing so, it can help keep the CPU cool where the lid isn’t properly reaching. It’s not exactly required, but placing it on will improve your performance when the PC starts hitting critical temperatures.

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How much thermal paste should I use?

This varies between people, but a small pea-sized blob of paste should work. In doing this ourselves, the ‘pea’ should be about a chickpea. Bigger than the Green Giant’s favorites, but small enough that it’s not going to leak over the edges.

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