Best Thermal Paste for Water Cooling in 2023

Are you looking for the Best Thermal Paste for Water Cooling in 2023? Perhaps you’re unsure of which type of thermal paste to employ? Thermal paste is a component that is frequently ignored by new computer installations created by home builders. There are many reasons for this, such as not having enough experience or the fact that coolers already have thermal paste on them.

However, while the pre-applied thermal paste is functional, it is frequently outdated and has been lying in a box for months on end. With this in mind, it is usually preferable to purchase and apply your own thermal paste when installing your CPU in order to get better temperatures at stock speeds.

Thermal paste should be replaced on a yearly basis since it will ultimately dry out and lose its efficacy. If you keep the thermal paste on for an extended period of time, you may notice performance difficulties as well as progressive overheating, which can cause permanent harm to your CPU.

Computers create a large quantity of heat, and they contain components called heatsinks that are designed to reduce that heat. In electronics, a heatsink is a passive heat exchange component that absorbs the heat created by electrical devices and dissipates it through the use of an air or liquid coolant in order to manage the amount of heat generated by the device. Simpler terms: this is critical in order to avoid overheating while doing so in the most effective manner feasible. Thermal paste is a component of the overall cooling equation.

A apparently simple process such as selecting the finest thermal paste may quickly become a time-consuming one due to the overwhelming number of alternatives available on the market today. In order to reduce tiny air gaps and imperfections between the surface of the cooler and the CPU’s IHS (integrated heat spreader), which is a piece of metal incorporated into the top of the processor, thermal paste is used.

In addition to improving your processor’s performance, good thermal paste will help it to transmit more of its waste heat to your cooler, allowing it to run cooler while still performing at peak performance. In addition, if you intend to overclock your system to its maximum capacity, selecting the best thermal paste is critical. Even the finest CPUs for gaming can frequently achieve significantly higher overclocks when used in conjunction with a high-quality thermal paste.


Best Choice

Best Price


Arctic Silver 5

Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut


Product Dimensions

8.5 x 2.5 x 6 inches; 0.12 Ounces

3.94 x 3.94 x 3.94 inches

0.59 x 3.11 x 7.36 inches

Item Weight

3.5 Grams

0.176 ounces

0.141 ounces


Arctic Silver

Thermal Grizzly


Item model number








More information

Is it possible to just apply any thermal paste? What is the Best Thermal Paste for Water Cooling in 2023? Let’s take a look at what is actually the best thermal paste available right now and break it down picks.

Arctic Silver – Top Pick

Due to the unique high-density filling of micronized silver and improved thermally conductive ceramic particles used in Arctic Silver 5, the material achieves a higher degree of performance and stability than ever before. Arctic Silver resellers may be found all over the world. This one of the Best Thermal Paste for Water Cooling in 2023 is the industry-standard premium thermal compound for use in high-temperature applications. Arctic Silver 5 is designed to work with a broad range of bond lines, including those between contemporary high-power CPUs and high-performance heatsinks or water-cooling systems.

This one of the Best Thermal Paste for Water Cooling in 2023 has a thermally conductive filler that accounts for more than 88 per cent of its weight. Arctic Silver 5 also contains sub-micron zinc oxide, aluminium oxide, and boron nitride particles, in addition to micronized silver. It should be noted that Arctic Silver 5 does not include any silicone.

The suspension fluid is a proprietary blend of sophisticated polysynthetic oils that work together to create three separate functional phases, each of which is distinguished by its colour. Arctic Silver 5’s consistency is designed to be simple to apply right out of the syringe as it first comes out. It is important to note that during the initial usage of the CPU, the compound thins out to improve the filling of microscopic valleys and to guarantee the optimum physical contact between the heatsink and the processor core.

Over the course of 50 to 200 hours of usage, the compound thickens a little more, reaching its ultimate consistency, which is suited for long-term stability. The term “phase change pad” should not be confused with the usual phase change pads that are pre-attached to many heatsinks. Those pads melt every time they are exposed to heat and then solidify again when they are allowed to cool.

  • Price Point
  • Editor’s Pick
  • Company claims it will never dry out
  • Thermally conductive

2. Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut – Overclocking Pick

This one of the Best Thermal Paste for Water Cooling in 2023 is designed for overclockers who are serious about their work. Thermal conductivity rating of 73 W/mK makes it the most efficient material available on the market. That’s a seven followed by a three, correct? This is technologically superior to the rest of the competitors by a factor of many.

It is true that this has a very physical effect, in case you were wondering. It may not keep your CPU seven times cooler than the other pastes on the list, but it does reduce the temperature by as much as ten degrees Celsius more than the others.

This one of the Best Thermal Paste for Water Cooling in 2023 is included with all of the equipment necessary for installation. It’s also worth mentioning that you should properly clean the CPU before applying the paste in order to ensure the greatest possible performance during the process. In addition, you must avoid using it on aluminium heatsinks since the liquid metal thermal cooler will leave black stains on them when used on aluminium.

While it is the most costly paste on the list, it is not outrageously so, especially when you consider the additional performance benefits it may assist you in obtaining while overclocking your computer.

  • Easy to apply
  • Comes with all the tools needed
  • Excellent Cooling
  • A bit expensive
  • Not for aluminum heatsinks

3. ARCTIC MX-4 – Best Budget Option

This one of the Best Thermal Paste for Water Cooling in 2023, which is based on carbon, is one of the least costly pastes available on the market. Additionally, due to its viscous nature, it is regarded as a mid-range thermal paste and is not recommended for inexperienced users of thermal pastes.

It shouldn’t be too difficult to complete the application process correctly, even if you’re just starting out in the field. And it is for this reason that this thermal paste is considered to be one of the best CPU thermal pastes available.

With a heat conductivity of 8.5 W/mK and an 8-year lifetime once fitted, you can almost completely forget about it and get back to enjoying your gaming life as you normally would with this one of the Best Thermal Paste for Water Cooling in 2023. To be honest, there’s a high possibility that you’ll need to replace your CPU before you’ll ever need to repair this.

MX-4 is simple to use, especially for those who are new to the sport, because of its consistency. To show alternative application approaches to eliminate air pockets between CPUs and coolers, please see the movie in the photo gallery.

This one of the Best Thermal Paste for Water Cooling in 2023 is made up of carbon micro-particles, which have a very high heat conductivity and are therefore very efficient. Fast and effective heat dissipation from the CPU or GPU is ensured as a result of this design. The ARCTIC MX-4 thermal conductive paste is one of the most effective thermal conductive pastes available on the market, thanks to its exceptional performance.

ARCTIC MX-4 is a paste that contains no metal and is not electrically conductive. This reduces the possibility of short circuits and provides the best possible protection for your computer. In addition, the application is simple due to the consistency being excellent for usage on chips.

Thermal paste has been packaged in a variety of ways throughout the years, but the formula’s basic ingredients have remained consistent. MX pastes have long been associated with superior performance and quality.

  • Very affordable
  • Easy application
  • Extraordinary performance
  • Safe application
  • None

4. Cooler Master MasterGel Maker – Best Performance

Thermal paste with a thermal conductivity value of 11 W/mK, such as the Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano, is an excellent choice when it comes to thermal grease cooling capability. Therefore, if you want to overclock your air-cooled CPU, this is a highly recommended paste for you!

In fact, this one of the Best Thermal Paste for Water Cooling in 2023 can perform on par with some of the higher-end thermal pastes available on the market. Cooler Master has also been thoughtful enough to include a spreader and a box of alcohol swabs, ensuring that you’ll be prepared when it comes to adjusting your CPU’s thermal settings.

Just keep in mind that this paste requires some burn-in time, so you may not achieve the claimed cooling temperatures immediately after installation.

  • Easy to apply
  • Best Performance
  • A bit expensive

5. GELID GC-Extreme – Non Corrosive Thermal Paste

In our testing, the Gelid Solutions GC-Extreme met or exceeded expectations, and it performed admirably when compared to some of the more well-known brands on our list.

This one of the Best Thermal Paste for Water Cooling in 2023 is non-corrosive, non-toxic, and does not require any curing time to be applied or removed. A convenient spreader is also included, which eliminates the need for guessing when spreading the paste to the surface.

However, because it comes in a bigger tube, you will end up spending more on thermal paste in the long run, even if you do not use it very often.

  • Comes with spreader
  • Non-conductive
  • Expensive

Buyer’s Guide for the Best Thermal Paste for Water Cooling in 2023


It’s important to double-check the amount of thermal paste you’re purchasing before you make a purchase. Thermal paste images on the internet are typically large, but in fact, the majority of thermal pastes are rather tiny. However, even though they appear to be large in person, they often only contain enough material for one or two applications. That being said, as long as you are purchasing from a reputable brand, it should be plenty for at the very least a single usage. As a result, unless you’re planning on using it for more than one unit, it shouldn’t be a major consideration.


Price is typically proportionate with the volume and efficacy of the product; nevertheless, companies can occasionally charge a premium for their name, as they can with any other product in the market today. Having said that, it’s typically still within respectable bounds. It goes without saying that the greater conductivity rates of thermal pastes– i.e., the more expensive ones– are only suitable for those who are serious about overclocking. If you do not want to overclock your CPU, maybe due to the fact that your CPU is locked, a thermal paste with a lower conductivity rate should be sufficient.


In general, this will have an impact on your purchase in one of two ways. If, as previously stated, the chemical is metallic in nature, it must be handled with extreme caution in order to avoid introducing it into the circuits of the computer. Furthermore, in addition to being electrically conductive, it has the potential to damage your circuit boards, resulting in the complete failure of your pricey gaming motherboard.

Thermal Cycles

Some items must be subjected to a number of heat cycles before they can be considered completely functioning. This means that they must be subjected to significant temperature variations in order to settle in all of the nooks and crannies. The higher the viscosity, the greater the number of heat cycles required for the chemical to become completely active.


A few considerations should be made while searching for thermal paste. The higher the heat transfer values are, the more conductive the paste will be in terms of conductivity. As a result, pastes with 12.5 W / mk (watts per metre Kelvin) will be less conductive than pastes with 38 W / mk Having said that, your results will vary depending on your cooling and component configurations, thus any thermal paste from a reputed manufacturer will do the trick. In fact, you’ll barely notice a few degrees difference between your current thermal paste and your old thermal paste.

Also read: Best Motherboard for Future Upgrades

FAQs for the Best Thermal Paste for Water Cooling in 2023

1. What Is The Best Way To Apply Thermal Paste?

Prior to applying thermal paste to your processor or graphics processing unit (GPU), it is strongly advised that you consult internet resources because each paste is different. The majority of them do, however, come with instructions.

However, there are some elements that remain consistent. It is never a good idea to apply too much product; it is always better to put on too little and then need to add more than to apply too much and have to clean up a mess from your motherboard. When it comes to CPU coolers, a pea-sized dot in the centre of the chip is usually sufficient because you don’t need much to distribute uniformly throughout the chip when you install the CPU cooler.

What Is The Lifespan Of Thermal Paste?

Each product has a different life span as well as a different lifespan after application. Generally, they have a shelf life of up to two years at the most in most situations. The lifespan following application, on the other hand, is frequently much longer, lasting as long as 5 years in certain cases after it has been applied to your CPU or GPU. It goes without saying that if you’re going to keep the leftover paste and utilise it years later, it’s better to double-check things ahead of time.

Spencer A. Hamlin
Spencer A. Hamlin

Writing and reading are both my hobbies. I find excitements in writing, as well as I love reading and always craving for the latest technology and knowledge worldwide.

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