How to Choose the Right Heatsink Paste for Your Needs

Your Guide to buying the best Heatsink paste


A heatsink paste is a thermal compound that helps to improve heat transfer between two surfaces, such as a heatsink and a CPU. It is an essential component of any computer build, as it can help keep your components running at optimal temperatures. In this guide, we will discuss the different types of heatsink paste, how to choose the right type for your build, and how to apply it correctly. We will also provide some tips for maintaining your heatsink paste so that it continues to function properly.

Key features

  • Type - There are two main types of heatsink pastes, thermal paste and thermal pads. Thermal paste is a viscous material that is applied directly to the surface of the heatsink, while thermal pads are made from a ceramic-based material that is already applied to a thin sheet.
  • Conductivity - Look for a heatsink paste with a high thermal conductivity rating. This is how well the paste conducts heat from the component to the heatsink. The better the rating, the more efficient the heat transfer.
  • Viscosity - The viscosity of the heatsink paste is also an important factor to consider. Viscosity is how thick or thin the paste is, which affects how easily it can spread on the surface of the heatsink.
  • Application Method - Heatsink pastes can be applied by brush, syringe, or spatula. The application method you choose will depend on the type and viscosity of the paste, as well as the size and shape of the heatsink.
  • Compatibility - Make sure to check the compatibility of the heatsink paste with your CPU or GPU. Some pastes may not be suitable for certain chipsets or processors.
  • Price - Last but not least, consider the price. Most heatsink pastes range from a few dollars to tens of dollars, depending on the type, performance, and brand.

See the most popular Heatsink paste on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Allows Heat to Transfer - Heatsink paste helps transfer heat away from a component and into the heatsink, keeping the component cool.
  • No Installation Necessary - Applying heatsink paste is easy and doesn't require any special tools or installation instructions.
  • Helps Prevent Damage - By transferring heat away from components, heatsink paste helps prevent damage from overheating.
  • Inexpensive - Heatsink paste is very inexpensive and costs much less than most other solutions for cooling components.


  • Cost: Heatsink paste can be relatively expensive depending on the brand and quality.
  • Difficult to apply: Applying heatsink paste can be difficult for those who are not experienced with the process, as it requires spreading the paste in an even layer to ensure proper performance.
  • Overheating: If too much heatsink paste is applied, overheating can occur and cause damage to the computer.
  • Cleaning: The excess paste must be removed and cleaned off of the components when replacing the heatsink paste.

Best alternatives

  1. Thermal Pads - These are a great alternative to heatsink paste if you're looking for something a bit more lightweight and less messy. They provide a good amount of heat transfer and are easy to apply.
  2. Thermal Grease - Thermal grease is a popular alternative to heatsink paste that offers a very good level of heat transfer. It has a slightly higher viscosity than paste, making it a bit more difficult to apply.
  3. Thermal Adhesives - Thermal adhesives are a great option if you need something more heavy-duty than thermal grease and paste. They provide the highest level of heat transfer, but are also the messiest and most difficult to apply.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • Thermal Compound - Also known as heatsink paste, thermal compound is a type of thermal interface material used to fill in air gaps between a processor and its heatsink, to increase the efficiency of the heat transfer between the two components.
  • Cleaning Cloth/Tissues - Specialized cloths or tissues are usually used to clean the surfaces of the processor and the heatsink to ensure proper adhesion of the thermal compound.
  • Cotton Swabs - Cotton swabs are also used to ensure that unwanted material such as dust or other contaminants are removed from the surface of the processor and heatsink.
  • Heat Gun or Soldering Iron - If the thermal compound has been applied incorrectly, a heat gun or soldering iron can be used to remove the heatsink paste from the processor and heatsink.

Common questions

  1. What is Heatsink paste? Heatsink paste is a thermal interface material which is used to fill the air gaps between a heatsink and a CPU. It helps transfer heat from the CPU to the heatsink, allowing for improved cooling performance.
  2. What is the difference between Heatsink paste and thermal grease? Heatsink paste is a more viscous material than thermal grease. Heatsink paste fills the spaces between the CPU and heatsink better, providing a better thermal connection.
  3. What type of Heatsink paste should I buy? When purchasing Heatsink paste, you should take into account the type of processor you have and the desired cooling performance. Different types of Heatsink paste have different levels of thermal conductivity so higher thermal conductivity paste may be more suitable for processors which require more cooling.


In 2017, the heatsink paste market in the United States was estimated to be worth over $2.6 billion dollars. Heatsink paste is used for a wide variety of applications, including PC cooling, automotive cooling, and industrial machines. Interestingly, the paste is made from a combination of metal particles and a special type of grease, and it needs to be applied carefully to ensure its effectiveness. According to one industry expert, it is important to use the right amount of heat sink paste, as too much or too little can actually decrease the cooling performance of any device. Source: Grand View Research

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.