When it comes to liquid cooling, you always need a strong interface material. This is where thermal paste comes into the picture.
So, do you need thermal paste for liquid cooling, or can you work without it?
To answer honestly, yes, you definitely need thermal paste for liquid cooling. Thermal paste plays a huge role in reducing microscopic air gaps that help in allowing your processor to get rid of additional heat to the cooler. It also has a role in electric insulation, which is necessary for high-performance applications.
If you’re new to liquid cooling with thermal paste, our discussion covers all the basics you need to know about thermal paste.
What Is Thermal Paste?
Thermal paste is an interface material that consists of ceramic and metallic components. The components are suspended inside a patented binder to facilitate smooth application. Another plus point of such suspension is that you can clean it up easily in a short time.
These compounds have definite formulas which influence their conductivity. You can find both electrically conductive and non-conductive thermal pastes, and you can choose the one that suits your needs. Generally, thermal pastes are of liquid metal and traditional metallic types.
Liquid metal thermal pastes are usually electrically conductive compared to standard ones. They also tend to have a higher thermal conductivity which helps them offer the best results.
Standard or traditional metal thermal pastes are usually non-conductive electrically, so they cannot offer well-defined performances. However, they are beginner-friendly, so they can be used by individuals at all levels.
How Does A Thermal Paste Work?
Thermal paste plays a big role in liquid cooling. Let’s talk about how it actually works.
If you deal with CPUs on a daily basis, you can have an idea of how hot CPUs can get. This is why it’s so necessary to get rid of all the excess heat trapped inside and relieving your CPU to make it work well.
You might’ve noticed that your CPU surface and the plates on the heat sink are composed of different grooves and spaces. So, when your CPU has a lot of heat trapped, air circulates between your processor and the heat sink, adding to the problem.
The efficiency to transfer heat declines to a great deal and lows down your CPU performance. Thermal paste works in solving all these problems. This compound, called thermal paste, works in keeping the transfer heat far from the CPU, which is later let out from the hardware.
Apart from being a good heat conductor, it fills in the grooves and spaces on your processor and seals the surface completely. The air transfer between the processor and sink is closed, and the rate of heat transfer is expedited.
So, what are the net results?
Your CPU is cool and so are your tasks processed smoothly. There is no issue of overheating, and you can carry out liquid cooling every time this kind of situation arises. Even if your thermal paste gets dry after some time, you can always reapply it and fix it back.
Sounds interesting, right? This is how a thermal paste works in maintaining the heat transfer in your hardware and helps in liquid cooling to a maximum extent.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which is the best liquid metal thermal paste for liquid cooling?
The Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut is the best liquid metal thermal paste due to its good quality and strong features. With a thin and fluid texture, you can use it in your CPU easily. The mode of application involves a syringe and capillary needle tip that makes it convenient to use.
2. What is the best thermal conductivity for a thermal paste?
70W/mK is the best thermal conductivity than a thermal paste can possess. With this kind of measure, the thermal paste will have better heat conduction. The thermal conductivity can affect the liquid cooling process, so it’s better to choose a compound with such a high rating.
3. How can you clean thermal paste residue?
You can use a lint-free absorbent paper towel for cleaning up any residue left behind from thermal paste application. Besides, alcohol pads also work great in cleaning up thermal paste residues.
Wrapping up, it can be said that thermal paste plays a pivotal role in liquid cooling. So, if you’re just starting out with liquid cooling and thinking about the question ‘do you need thermal paste for liquid cooling or not’, our discussion should have been helpful for you.