Thermal paste: What is it and what is it for? Its function, types and how to replace it on your PC

Carrying out maintenance work on computers is an activity that goes through different phases. Each of the pieces that make up your computer requires special attention.

It is not enough just to do a superficial cleaning inside your CPU, or to clean files and malware that may be on your system, to optimize the functioning of the computer, you must be attentive to the details.

What is thermal paste?

One of the relevant aspects when performing preventive maintenance on your computer is related to the use of thermal paste.

thermal paste

Thermal paste is a substance that serves as a conductor of heat. It is a thick liquid, metallic in color. Its use in computers is quite popular and is generally inexpensive and easily accessible in any electronics store.

What is thermal paste for?

This substance serves as a heat conductor between various components or parts that, despite not maintaining a direct connection, are very close to each other.

As long as these parts or components are running, they will generate heat, and in the absence of thermal paste, overheating between the components could cause significant damage.

Function of thermal paste

It is very important to apply thermal paste on some metal surfaces of the computer and thus extend the life of the parts that make it up.

Function of thermal paste

  • Its use is very common between the processor and the heatsink, effectively directing the heat produced by the first element, towards the second.
  • In this way, metal surfaces will not suffer as much from the high temperatures caused by their operation.
  • Directing the heat from a component such as the processor towards the heatsink will allow the fans of this second element to expel the heat towards the outside of the computer.

Types of thermal paste

In the market you can get an interesting variety of this substance, due to the elements that serve as components for thermal paste. Among them are:

  • Thermal metal paste : Although it is usually the most expensive, it is also the best and most popular. It has components based on silicone and aluminum or silver, which enhances the heat conduction capacity.
  • Ceramic thermal paste : Like metal, part of a silicone base, but this time, the second element is ceramic powder. It is something more basic and less expensive, although it is not recommended for use on computers.
  • Silicon : It is the lowest range in terms of thermal paste, and although it can do its job in heat dissipation in graphics or video card processors, its use is less recommended than that of ceramic thermal paste.

Thermal paste replacement

Once you have purchased the ideal thermal paste to perform this type of maintenance on your computer, you must comply with some instructions:

  1. The first thing you should do is turn off and unplug your computer, so that there is no active power source.
  2. Proceed to unscrew the heatsink from your computer to remove it, so that you can work on the processor.
  3. Try to locate a plastic object that can serve as a spatula to remove the old thermal paste. It is important that, under no circumstances, use metal that could scratch the surface.
  4. Get a tissue that does not leave fibers to remove remains of the thermal paste that could not be removed with the plastic object. You could moisten the tissue with rubbing alcohol.
  5. Apply a drop of thermal paste on the processor. One of the most popular methods of application, it indicates that the size of the drop should be equal to that of a pea or half a pea.
  6. Make sure that, when lifting the syringe from the thermal paste, you can use some paper or cloth to prevent threads of this substance from forming that can fall on another metal component of the computer.
  7. Begin to join the heatsink and, progressively, the rest of the components.

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