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Does CPU Come With Thermal Paste? [ANSWERED & HOW TO APPLY]

    ✅ Fact Checked
    Updated on October 6, 2022
    John Chad, Bachelor Computer Science Degree & Computer Engineering.
    Written by
    John Chad, Bachelor Degree in Computer Science & Computer Engineering.
    Russel Collins
    Fact Checked by
    Russel Collins
    John is a certified IT & Computer Engineer with a Bachelors Degree. He has worked for a International Insurance Company in the IT department before deciding to become a full time blogger to help his readers. Holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from Stanford University.

    Do you know if CPUs have pre-applied thermal paste? Do they? Do they not? Do we need to buy it separately or is it included in the box with the CPU and motherboard when we purchase them from a store? Do we have to buy it separately like we would for RAM?

    These are all questions that you may be asking yourself as someone who wants to build their own computer. Here at TechReviewTeam, we will answer these questions for you so you don’t have to waste any more time Googling!

    Does CPU Come With Thermal Paste?

    It depends. No CPU ever comes with it pre-applied, however, the CPU Cooler that comes with your CPU generally has it pre-applied, so you don’t have to buy any.

    This doesn’t always happen depending on what kind of CPU you buy, for example, an unlocked CPU from Intel doesn’t come with any cooler which means that there’s no thermal compound applied to it, thus not only do you need to buy a CPU Cooler but you also need to buy thermal paste.

    Either way, If you are building a computer from scratch, there’s nothing wrong with having an extra thermal paste around, especially so you can reapply it after a year or two to make sure your CPU is cool for many years to come and keeps performing at its best.

    If you are buying a pre-built computer or laptop, then it’s most likely already applied on the CPU and you don’t need to worry about it.

    Why do CPUs need thermal paste?

    A lot of people think that if their computer starts overheating, then all they have to do is go out and buy another fan for their CPU.

    This isn’t how it works, unfortunately. Fan speed cannot always fix an overheat problem on your computer because what causes heat problems on processors are tiny imperfections between metal surfaces that make up your processors such as the Chipset (CPU), Cooling Fins (heatsink) and even RAM sticks can cause heat issues. This means you will need something like the thermal compound to fill in these imperfections so heat can be dissipated properly.

    The main reason for this is because the metal surfaces on your computer components have microscopic pores that trap air and when they get too close together or touch each other then that creates a lot of problems such as high temperatures which reduce performance and damage your hardware over time.

    That’s where the paste comes into play! It fills up those little pores with grease (thermal compound) so they’re not touching anymore but still remain very close enough to transfer heat back and forth between them allowing proper cooling. If your computer has a huge heat issue, then you might need to reapply it every six months or so.

    Does Ryzen CPU have pre-applied thermal paste?

    They do! All Ryzen processors come with a Wraith Stealth cooler or a similar one, which includes a pre-applied paste.

    How to Apply it

    If you are ever in a situation where you need to apply it to your CPU, here’s how we usually suggest people do it:

    The right way to do it is to put a small amount (pea-sized) of it in the center of your Processor and then install the heatsink. When you tighten down the screws, it will evenly spread out the thermal compound across your Processor.

    We recommend Arctic Silver because it’s cheap, easy to use, and has never let us down. It’s the golden standard brand, can be found in every hardware shop and it gets the job done!

    We personally recommend the Arctic Silver 5 AS5-3.5G as it is quite efficient and very cheap.

    Hope our article cleared your doubts, if you have any more don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. And always remember, at TechReviewTeam we are here to help!