IC Diamond 24 Carat
IC Diamond 24 Carat is so stiff that it practically forms a conductive layer of armor between the CPU and its mated cooling system. This firmness makes it perfect for video cards, though it’s somewhat of a pain to scrape onto fine surfaces.
- Effective under high or low pressure
- Performs extremely well
- Consistency is overly tacky
The Arctic Pad is designed for installation onto the smallest chips, keeping heavily overclocked systems from frying their circuits. It’s also incredibly effective at filling gaps inside laptops, reducing their operating temperatures significantly.
- Completely free of metal
- Can be cut to any dimensions needed
- Not recommended for desktop cpu use
One of the easiest to use, Arctic MX-2 is a good choice for the majority of upgrades, because proper application is extremely important to how well these products work. It’s suitable for all but the most intricate cooling setups.
- Carbon-based formula
- Zero electrical conductivity
- Can be tough to remove
Containing a proprietary blend of ceramic particles and binders, Noctua NT-H1 is effective on the hottest-running components, and it’s safe to use on any type of metal, as it won’t stain the surface and possibly void the warranty.
- Very popular with overclockers
- Lasts at least 3 years per use
- Not ideal for graphics processors
Innovation Cooling Graphite
Available in 3- and 4-centimeter squares, the Innovation Cooling Graphite isn’t actually a paste, but a sheet of highly conductive material that doesn’t need any spreading or scraping. Its dry nature means it can even be reused for multiple upgrade cycles.
- Won't run or crack over time
- Forms an extremely solid bond
- More expensive than most
Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut
While many liquid metal varieties are extremely thin and prone to running, Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut boasts a heat transfer potential on a par with the best and is much easier to put on evenly than similarly formulated options.
- Can lower temperatures by 10 degrees
- Ideal for video production systems
- Perfect for delidded chips
Arctic Silver 5
A 3-1/2-gram tube of Arctic Silver 5 can accommodate the hottest chipset faces, and is one of the least expensive options around. It’s performance is not the absolute best, but it does just fine in most PCs, even if they’re pushed past stock clock speeds.
- Above-average density
- One of the most popular choices
- For both cpu and gpu use
Mastergel Maker Nano
From a top name in temperature management, Mastergel Maker Nano delivers great thermal transfer at a cost that’s barely noticeable after buying all the other components. Unlike many high-end pastes, this one’s not a huge challenge to spread evenly.
- Middle-of-the-road viscosity
- Good for laptops and gaming consoles
- Resists streaking and running
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
In real-world testing, Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut keeps temperatures as low as just about anything else. It isn’t difficult to spread, and you won’t have to rough up or extensively clean the opposing faces before applying it.
- Works on any processor or heat sink
- Almost as effective as liquid metal
- Well worth the moderate price tag
In addition to being extremely popular, Arctic MX-4 is a breeze to apply and also to remove, once it’s time to upgrade again. Its formula was recently updated to keep it from drying out, so it lasts longer even in heavily used machines.
- Available in bulk
- Contains no metal
- Relatively inexpensive