How much Thermal Paste is Enough for CPU?

Ever wondered how much Thermal Paste will be perfect for your CPU?

A thermal paste is used to effectively transfer heat from the CPU’s heat spreader to the heatsink of your CPU cooler. But a Thermal Paste in itself is not as good of a couductor as compared to the metal of heatsink or the CPU Heat Spreader. So, the less Thermal paste you apply, the better it is.

But at the same time, one shouldn’t apply Thermal Compund in so scarce amount that the heatsink and heat spreader cannot have a proper contact.

Thermal Paste Applying methods

  • Dot method (Pea Sized)
  • Small Line Method
  • Cross Method
  • Spread Method

As wikiHow says, there are multiple methods to apply thermal paste like the dot method, the cross method, and the spread method. But the spread method is not at all recommended.

After trying all these tests, I came to the conclusion that the dot method and that small line method works the best.

Here’s a video from Linus on how to apply Thermal Compund and the right size.

With the dot and the small line method, we managed the least CPU Temperature.

The pea sized amount is enough for the CPU. You woudn’t want to apply anything more than that. Less is always more!

Here is an image that illustrates how big the pea-size actully is.

Pea Sized Thermal Paste

What else matters in controlling CPU Temperature?

Applying the Thermal Paste plays one of the most important roles but it is only one part of the story. The CPU Cooler that is being used also plays a very significant role.

You should get rid of the stock cooler as soon as possible and get a good CPU Cooler instead.

Which is the Best Thermal Paste?

Hands down the Arctic Silver is the Best Thermal Paste one can get. It is the most effective trusted compund that most professionals use while building their PC.

How often should I replace the Thermal Paste?

The only time I will recommend replacing the Thermal Grease is when your CPU Temperature starts to go over its normal range. 5-10 degree higher temperature during normal use will suggest that its time to replace it.

For some of you, I would be 6 months and for some, the temperature will stay consistent over 2-3 years. So, unless you’re facing any temperature related issue, don’t stress much and let it be. There’s no perfect timeline for replacing CPU Paste. It depends on your cooling system, maintainace, and how effectively the thermal compund was applied.

Brandan Collins

Author Brandan Collins

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