5 best thermal pastes for laptop: Thermal paste Buyers Guide

Thermal paste for the laptop ensures the normal operation of the cooling system of this portable device. This elastic product promotes better heat conduction between the laptop’s components (video adapter, processor) and the heat sink. Let go in detail for the best thermal paste for laptop.

Best Thermal Paste For Laptop

Top 5 Best Thermal Pastes for Laptop

The product is of high quality, demonstrates good wear resistance, a high level of heat transfer properties, and a balanced consistency. Below are the best laptop thermal pastes on the market, according to many users and experts.

Arctic Cooling MX-4

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Thermal grease for a laptop processor with high thermal conductivity of over 8 W / m * K. Temperature holding is over 165 ° C. The consistency of the substance is of medium viscosity and is perfectly applied to work surfaces. The product is produced in ergonomic syringes with a capacity of 4 mg. The only drawback is the high cost of the product.

Arctic Cooling MX-2

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This paste contains no silicone or metal elements. The product exhibits a high level of thermal conductivity of 5.6 W / m * K. Because of this quality, the post is well suited for powerful notebooks. The only drawback of the product is quick drying.

Deepcool

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This paste has a high thermal interval and can withstand up to + 200 ° C. In addition, the product has an acceptable thermal conductivity of 4 W / m * K. The price of this thermal interface is lower than the Arctic Cooling MX-4 or MX-2 mentioned above, but there is a significant drawback in the form of a too viscous consistency.

Zalman ZM-STG2

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This is a paste with average characteristics, but high thermal conductivity within 4.1 W / m * k. Among the disadvantages of this substance are distinguished – long drying and too viscous consistency, which makes it difficult to apply the paste.

Thermal Grizzly Aeronaut

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High-quality thermal interface with excellent performance. The product provides a very high heat transfer of 8.5 W / m * K. The consistency of the paste is good, the viscosity coefficient is 140-190 Pa * s, which contributes to the convenient application of the substance to any surface. The negative quality of the product is the price. If you have a question about which thermal paste to buy for a laptop, then this manufacturer’s tool will be an excellent solution.

Thermal Paste Buyers Guide

Do we need thermal paste for laptops?

Before you figure out which thermal paste is best for a laptop, it is important to know what this substance is generally used for.

The main element of the processor is a crystal made of a thin silicon wafer. To protect the crystal from damage and overheating, it is closed by a cover – a heat exchanger. At first glance, this cover has a perfectly smooth surface that can fit snugly to the heatsink sole. Nevertheless, during operation, small bumps and micro depressions are still formed on heat exchangers.

The surface of the radiator is also polished and seems to be perfectly smooth, but unevenness cannot be avoided here. When the processor and the cooling system are operating, air accumulates in shallow recesses, the excess of which prevents the normal heat flow from the CPU to the air heat exchanger. This leads to a decrease in the level of cooling and accelerated overheating of the chips. Therefore, to fill the grooves on the surfaces of the CPU heat exchanger cover and the radiator, a special elastic substance is used – thermal paste.

Thermal grease for the processor acts as a seal between the CPU and the heatsink while ensuring normal heat transfer. Thanks to an efficient thermal interface, the entire cooling system works better, which significantly reduces overheating of chips in a laptop or PC. This effect, in addition to extending the life of the component elements, helps to reduce the noise emitted by the cooling system.

Reference! Thermal paste or grease in the cooling system performs only a heat-conducting function, while not possessing cooling properties.

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Which is better thermal paste or pad?

In addition to thermal pastes, special thermal pads are additionally used. This is a type of thermal interface, for the manufacture of which an elastic material resembling soft rubber is used. The composition of this material includes ceramic or graphite fillers that improve heat transfer. The function of heat-conducting pads is identical to that of thermal paste: filling the space between the heatsink and the chips of the motherboard components.

For example, the height of the processor is higher than the rest of the elements and the heat exchanger cover is in closer contact with the heatsink. Therefore, thermal paste is applied at this point. Thermoplastic products are placed in places where the microcircuits have a low height and a thermowell is placed there tightly connecting the elements of the cooling system, with accessories.

Thermal pad features include:

  • Anti-shock function. When using a laptop, micro-impacts on the keys are especially common, which causes the possibility of damage to the motherboard microcircuits. The gasket takes the shock pressure on itself, acting as a shock absorber.
  • Providing contact with elements remote from the radiator. The motherboard is equipped with microcircuits of different heights, and the heat exchanger plates are identical in height. Consequently, the tallest part, the processor, is treated with thermal paste to connect to the heat sink. Thermal bands of different thicknesses are superimposed on other elements.

Does thermal pad thickness matter?

The minimum thickness of this thermal interface is 0.5-8 mm. Specifically for laptops, thin pads of 0.5-2 mm are used.

Thermal spacers are also used from hard copper or soft foil plates of different thicknesses. Copper plates are attached with hot melt glue or paste.

Foil gaskets are attached independently since they are treated with an adhesive mixture on one side. Foil plates are not ergonomic to use, because such material is too brittle and easily tears, which prevents the normal disassembly of the cooling system. Consequently, foil spacers have hardly been used lately.

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What are the ingredients in thermal paste? 

Thermal paste is a multi-component product. According to the standard, the mixture contains the following substances:

  • A mixture of metallic elements;
  • Dispersion mixture of nanoparticles and agglomerates;
  • Oxide and nitride compounds;
  • Highly volatile additives;
  • Oil impurities.

Important! It is necessary to apply the substance on the surface of the component chips, evenly distributing it over the entire plane of the elements. The application layer of the paste, similar in consistency to the thick cream, should be very thin – a maximum of 1 mm.

How often should I replace thermal paste laptop?

It is necessary to systematically replace the thermal paste in the laptop. Why do you need to do this? Everything is simple, to prevent strong heating with the subsequent failure of the graphics adapter, processor, motherboard and, as a result, costly repair of a PC or laptop. It turns out that the thermal paste, along with the elements of the cooling system, protects the components from overheating.

If you rely on the advice of professionals, this thermal interface is replaced at least once a year. However, 80% of owners of PCs and laptops with such a frequency do not replace them. Many people think about replacing the paste only with regular heating of the system board components. Nevertheless, this should be done by the multiplicity recommended by experts, since after a year of operation, the paste loses its heat-conducting qualities.

How to choose best Thermal paste for laptop

The choice of high-quality thermal paste will significantly extend the life of the motherboard components. There are many manufacturers of thermal paste, but quality products are not so common. Some manufacturers save on materials, which entails a significant decrease in the heat-conducting qualities, wear-resistance, and elasticity of such pastes.

Further information is useful for inexperienced laptop owners. In order to choose the right thermal paste for your laptop, there are several important aspects to consider first.

Thermal conductivity

When choosing products, special attention is paid to thermal conductivity, since this is the most significant parameter. It means the level of heat transfer from hot objects to less heated elements. The designation of this coefficient is indicated on the product packaging in W/m*k. The higher the thermal conductivity, the better the paste. The optimal index for medium-sized laptops is 1.5-2W/m*K. For gaming laptops with powerful graphics accelerators and multi-core processor devices, a higher ratio is needed from 4W/m*K.

Viscosity

Indicates the fluidity of the composition. The acceptable viscosity index ranges from 160 to 450Pa*s, and this characteristic is also indicated on the package. Not all manufacturers indicate this characteristic. Nevertheless, it is very important, because, in a very liquid state, the substance will leak from the cooler, and a very thick composition will cause poor contact with the surface. The normal consistency of the paste should be like thick cream or toothpaste.

Thermal resistance

An important indicator opposite to thermal conductivity, meaning the ability of an object to prevent the propagation of thermal movement of particles. Low thermal resistance provides better cooling of the component chips in the laptop. Therefore, the lower the value of this characteristic, the better.

Working temperature range

A higher indicator of this characteristic means an increased resistance to wear of the thermal paste. The higher the temperature range, the less the properties of the heat-conducting compound are lost. This is especially true with the strong overclocking of the video card. The best option is a paste that can withstand temperatures up to + 150-200 ° C.

Safety

A good thermal paste should be chemically neutral, that is, toxic safe with no harmful impurities. The composition must be selected without components that promote corrosion of metal parts and substances that can cause chemical damage to component devices. Therefore, in order to prevent damage to the laptop, it is advisable to purchase products in specialized stores.

Packaging

The most common forms of packaging for thermal pastes produced are small tubes, syringes, disposable sachets, or jars. Syringe, the most convenient form of packaging, since when using a tube, the paste is not consumed sparingly, and too much of the product is placed in cans, which over time leads to the formation of a crust.

Price

The cost of thermal paste is one of the most important aspects when choosing this product. As elsewhere, the more expensive the product, the more effective and long-term its performance. Therefore, it is better not to skimp on paste and purchase a quality substance. However, the price may poorly match the quality. Therefore, in addition to the price, you need to choose a product with a focus on the market demand for the product and positive user reviews.

If you choose a high-quality laptop thermal paste, it will last long enough to change the substance infrequently. When using a poor thermal interface, you often have to disassemble the device to replace it, which leads to the gradual loosening of many plastic fasteners holding the laptop lid. Over time, the plastic clips begin to creak or even break. Therefore, in order to avoid the breakage of these parts, it is better to choose a good thermal product.

Next, we will talk about which thermal paste is best for the normal operation of laptop cooling systems.

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Conclusion

The thermal interface is an essential component in the cooling system of both PCs and laptops. It plays no less significant role than even the cooling modules themselves (fan, radiator). Therefore, before deciding which is the best thermal paste for laptop, it is important to understand that a poor quality product can significantly affect the cooling of component chips.

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