Whether you’re a casual PC builder or an avid overclocker, using the best thermal paste is essential to keeping your system cool. Thermal paste acts as a conductor and fills in any gaps between the processor and heat sink, transferring heat away from your CPU/GPU quickly. As you might expect, each type of thermal paste has different benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to find one that’s right for your setup.

The Corsair XTM50 is a decent budget-oriented option that’s surprisingly well-performing. The brand’s stencil kit is a great way to ensure a clean application, which isn’t always easy with cheap thermal paste. Additionally, the paste has a thermal conductivity of 8.5 W/mK which makes it better than many competing options with absolutely abysmal specs.

As an added bonus, this thermal compound comes in a two-gram container which should last you for several CPU installations or dozens of cooler swaps. The paste also doesn’t dry out easily, allowing it to retain its functionality for years after application.

The Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut is another high-end option that’s designed with the overclocking community in mind. It features an extremely high thermal conductivity to disperse heat quickly and efficiently. It’s also non-electrically conductive and metal-free, ensuring safety. Additionally, the paste is incredibly easy to apply and comes with a spatula for convenience. The container also has a shelf life of up to three years, giving you plenty of time for multiple builds or a few years of cooler swaps.

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