With the advent of powerful new CPUs that can crank out insane amounts of heat, a good thermal paste is more important than ever. This vital substance bridges the gap between a CPU cooler and the motherboard, conducting heat away from the processor to ensure that the CPU stays cool. There are plenty of options on the market from brands like Arctic, Noctua and Thermal Grizzly, with many differing in price and performance, so choosing the right one can be a bit of a challenge.
Luckily, we’ve compiled this roundup of the best thermal paste to help you choose the right option for your needs. Our picks are all great choices for everyone from casual gamers who aren’t planning on overclocking to seasoned PC builders looking for the ultimate in cooling performance.
Our top pick is the Arctic MX-6. This non-curing thermal paste is a true winner, with excellent results reported no matter what the setup or application. It’s also a great choice for anyone looking for an economical option that won’t dry out and lose its effectiveness over time.
The ARCTIC Silver 5 is another solid option for those looking for an effective traditional paste. It’s metal-free and non-conductive, so it can be used with all kinds of components, including the sensitive power semiconductors that are sometimes found in desktop PCs. It’s also guaranteed not to run, bleed or migrate over time, making it a solid choice for beginners and those who aren’t as confident with liquid metal compounds.