Top Pick for
Thermal paste for CPUs overall
Top Pick for
Thermal paste for CPUs overall
Top Pick for
Thermal paste for laptops
Top Pick for
Thermal paste for overclocking
Top Pick for
Silver compound thermal paste
Providing a 100% safe paste/component pairing list goes way, way beyond the scope of this guide. There are just too many combinations and variables involved. What we can do is identify the best of the best pastes available in what is an over saturated market encrusted with choices.
Our editorial team selected the products on this list based on extensive research, real customer reviews and personal experience. For each category, we carefully selected parameters based on our research and identified the products with the highest review score within those parameters.
If you want to zip straight to the pinnacle of paste, Arctic's MX-4 2019 Edition comes with a 4.8/5 star rating after 70,000 Amazon reviews. The Arctic brand has been in the thermal compound game for over a decade and is well-respected in the PC enthusiast scene.
First, the good news: the MX-4 2019 comes in a surprisingly large array of various sizes (2g, 4g, 8g, 20g or 40g) and the benefits of that are two-fold. Obviously, the more bulk you buy, the cheaper the price of the paste application in the long run. Secondly, broader portion choice will ensure you never find yourself in a situation where you've left yourself with not enough to complete the application (or too much because your component has a small footprint). Honestly, we'd recommend going a little larger than you think you'll need – Arctic provides resealable packaging that prevents any dry out of anything you don't use.
Other positives include some of the highest thermal conductivity in the market today. In layman's terms, the carbon microparticles in this MX-4 thermal paste are designed to fill the microscopic dents and cavities that exist on all cooler floors and processor chips. Plugging those up on your CPU or GPU ensures that heat is dissipated lickety-split, thanks to improved high thermal conductivity. The roll-on from that: exceptional performance gains for overclockers/gear heads, and it'll be a nice boost that will come at a much cheaper price than other solutions.
Arctic achieves this by being not electrically conductive and metal free, a benefit you won't see in competing pastes that are comprised of liquid metal or metal oxides. Essentially, doing things this way will sidestep the corrosive issues you'll get if you go with liquid metal while also avoiding short circuit risks that can ruin your precious hardware.
Last but not least, MX-4 compound comes in an easy to apply applicator. Providing you do smear it on correctly, Arctic insists you'll reap the benefit of eight years of durability.
Cooler Master MasterGel Maker New Edition has a 4/5 star rating after 203 Amazon reviews and is a great option for pepping up your portable PC. Founded in 1992, the Taiwan-based Cooler Master is a company widely regarded as one of the top producers of thermal compounds.
Now, it's worth noting that we've deliberately gone with a slightly cheaper option for laptop cooling solutions. The fancier and more expensive pastes are typically used more in the realm of larger desktop batcomputers that are custom and purpose built to shoot for serious overclocked speeds. You can certainly apply high-end thermal compound to laptops and notebooks, but very few users buy these sorts of devices in the hopes of breaking stratospheric benchmarks.
This "New Edition" MasterGel Series poses itself as a high performance thermal grease designed to deliver exceptional conductivity to aid in the more economical transfer of heat. So far, so standard. The big difference here is that Cooler Master's compound can be more easily applied than most with a unique, flat-nozzle syringe design that eliminates the usual need to employ a potentially chip destroying applicator/scraper (you get a cloth to wipe up excess as well).
Honestly, this alone makes the MasterGel option a great proposition for avid laptop enhancing enthusiasts. Because, let's face it, poking around in a smaller case and slathering smaller footprint components can be a trickier ask than attempting similar on your desktop machine. You're going to need all the help you can get to make sure that critical application process goes smoothly (figuratively and literally).
Finally, MasterGel is to be sought out because it uses "nanoscale technology", a design choice that pays dividends in terms of reliable anti-erosion while also maintaining high heat conductivity.
19% off Cooler Master MasterGel Maker New Edition
Thermal Grizzly's Kryonaut Thermal Grease Paste has a 4.7/5 star rating from over 13,000 Amazon reviews and it's our pick for high-end, high-heat scenarios. Though it's lauded in PC builder circles as one of the best thermal solutions available, it should be noted that the Kyronaut compound does exist on the slightly more expensive side of paste prices. At this higher RRP, clearly Thermal Grizzly is targeting the die-hard tinkerers out there. Folks who own HAL-9000 behemoths.
That being the case, if you're new to thermal pastes and have yet to acquire any experience in applying this stuff in a cost-effective and economical fashion, maybe skew your aim a little lower. Alternatively, ensure you have an IT professional on hand who can smear it on with aplomb.
Designed to not be electrically conductive at all, Kryonaut is well-regarded as one of the most thermally conductive pastes on the market. Essentially, if you're still opting to boundary push your system via a traditional paste system, what's in this tube can keep even the most extreme overclocked rigs cool. Obviously, if you were to go a more modern, water-cooling route, we'd recommend you use Thermal Grizzly's Hydronaut instead, which delivers a price-for-performance ratio that's just as impressive as Kryonaut.
On the application side of things, Kryonaut comes with its own spatula device but is still reportedly a bit thicker and harder to spread when compared to competing compounds like Arctic Silver or IC Diamond. So if you're going to be using it on an older component, be sure to take the time to detail and clean said bit of hardware (typically via a new, purpose bought paintbrush, air duster and then a quick 91% alcohol rub down).
Get it on correctly, and it seems that a layer of successfully applied Kyronaut will pay off in terms of temperature drops and performance gains. Review sites and professional critics alike overwhelmingly suggest that the extra money paid is worth the investment.
If you're after something with the high durability associated with carbon-based pastes, Arctic's MX-2 2019 Edition enjoys a 4.7/5 star rating after more than 10,000 Amazon reviews. For your convenience, it's worth noting that this lovely, performance-enhancing gunk may be purchased in a variety of sizes (8g, 30g and even 65g).
Ideal for GPU or CPU cooling, and indeed any other applications between heatsinks and power semiconductor components, the MX-2 compound can deliver impressively high thermal conductivity. Arctic has designed this paste with carbon microparticles, a decision that ensures fast and efficient heat dissipation from your hardware (even if you've thrown caution to the wind and overclocked it considerably). As with the other product on this list, you can expect this sort of excellent temperature reduction to make for considerable performance gains. Arctic certainly has a large number of customers and professional reviewers who suggest MX-2 achieves just that.
Better yet, goals are kicked in the application department as well. Arctic insists that the process of slathering on MX-2 will be a safe one. This product eliminates any short-circuiting risks to your hardware, thanks to the non-electrically conductive/metal-free nature of this compound. That's great news for any DIY newbies who are dipping their toes into pastes for the first time.
And the good news is that if you do get this on your components correctly the first go, you won't need to crack open your rig and go through this rigmarole again for quite some time. In contrast to thermal compounds based on materials like silicon and metal, MX-2 is a highly durable paste that won't degrade anywhere near as quickly. Arctic guarantees that one application will remain effective on your hardware for around the eight-year mark.
If you want a simple, effective thermal paste for your computer, Arctic's Silver 5 Thermal Compound boasts a 4.7/5 star rating from over 9,000 Amazon reviews. As its moniker suggests, this thermal compound is comprised of pure, 99.9% micronised silver, a considerably effective, non-electrically conductive material.
Though we're confident in recommending this product to you, here's a quick word of warning right off the bat. The Silver 5 is not a thermal compound designed with newbie DIY-ers in mind. Unlike more viscous and manageable thermal pastes on the market, what's here is a silicone-less synthetic that's more oil-based than many PC enthusiasts will be used to. You're more pouring this stuff onto your components as opposed to smearing it on like peanut butter. The idea being, once your hardware heats up after this application, the compound will metamorphosise to the ideal thickness.
Honestly, it's pretty remarkable stuff that can provide the perfect consistency and an ideal, even spread that most other thermal solutions can't match. Standard, usual suspects compounds will also struggle to provide load temperatures to this concoction of zinc oxide, aluminum oxide and boron nitride.
Even better, the unique design of this solution can stretch this product's usefulness further than most of the competition. With 3.5 grams of Arctic's Silver 5 Thermal Compound, you can expect to adequately coat more than a considerable number of CPUs and GPUs. And when this is on, it'll last for a surprisingly long time; around 6 to 8 years, depending on the environment and how hard you want to push your PC.
All in all, if you're not afraid to get a little bit more hands-on than usual, Arctic's Silver 5 is an effective, durable and long-lasting way to go when you need to keep things cool at a low cost.
21% off Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
Thermal Grizzly's Conductonaut paste has a 4.8/5 star rating after 130 Amazon reviews and it's known for sticking around longer than most thermal compounds out there. Founded in 2014 and based in Germany, Thermal Grizzly is a brand worthy of respect. The thermal interface products made by this company regularly place well in top ten round-ups that are curated by professional tech critics and "super testing" enthusiasts alike.
Put simply, Conductonaut outperforms all other brands in the field in terms of longevity and durability. And, honestly, it really ought to for the exorbitant asking price. The cost of admission may be high, but a correct application of this wonder-stuff on your hottest, hardest-running bits of hardware can deliver amazing results. We're talking double-digit temperature lowerings – the sort of celsius drops that will allow you to seriously overclock and gain brag-worthy performance boosts.
In the interest of safety, we should also like to throw in a quick disclaimer for any devil-may-care types who insist on doing very little research. Liquid metal solutions like Conductonaut are not recommended for use on aluminium components like heatsinks – you'll get awful black stains at best or hardware damage at worst.
Obviously, the flow-on benefit of a compound this well-designed is that it's naturally more viscous and long-lasting than practically anything else on the market. However, the duration of it is largely dependent on what sort of thermal stresses you're subjecting your Conductonaut to on a daily basis. Smear this onto a modest specced PC or laptop that isn't being used to brute force hack into the Pentagon, for example, and it has the potential to last for ages.
Bottom line: yes, the asking price is enough to make most sensible people balk, but there's simply no arguing with the end results you'll get.
When it comes to thermal paste, the good news is that you're already the proud owner of some. At least, we hope you are. Any self-respecting desktop computer, laptop or next-generation console should absolutely come pre-applied with thermal paste, because said device sure wouldn't last for long without it.
Thermal paste is a heat-conductive substance which, when applied between the heatsink and the device it's meant to cool, will ensure a meltdown doesn't occur. Important stuff.
If paste comes as part of the package, why would you need more of it?
The first and most likely reason is because paste doesn't last forever – there are only so many overheating events this marvellous stuff can prevent before efficiency takes a hit. Ignoring that fact is like ignoring an engine fault in your car. You will eventually blow the thing up if it can no longer maintain a healthy temperature, and then you're going to cop a large repair bill.
The second scenario for needing some extra thermal paste (and we're going to keep this automotive metaphor going) is for high-speed tuning purposes. If you're a tech tweaker who wants to milk the absolute best performance out of your rig, scraping off the "standard" thermal paste you got and replacing it with some premium stuff is well worth the time and labour.
You can now overclock your components to beyond their recommended capacity. Conversely, you might opt to simply keep your "RPMs" where they are and enhance the longevity of said component.
The only other thing you ought to know is that not all pastes are made equal, or for the same component. Be sure to do a bit of research into which compound you should be using (PC enthusiasts can choose from pastes based on either metal, silicon, carbon-based, silver or ceramic thermal). Obviously, the base material will yield vastly different durability, viscosity and conductivity characteristics.
We considered thermal paste from the following brands and eliminated any products that aren't widely available across Australia:
We then considered our own testing experience, comparing the design, technical specifications and value for money for each range of thermal pastes, prioritising things like thermal conductivity, density, viscosity and ease-of-application.
We carefully researched each product and read online customer reviews (as of January 2021). We ended up with what we believe are the 6 best thermal pastes in AustraliaWe value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. However, Finder may receive compensation when you click some links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners and why you can trust our guides.
These are the 9 best external hard drives you can buy right now in Australia.