CPU Without Thermal Paste? – What Will Happen?

Thermal paste is not a big thing to consider in a computer but CPU is.

If there is a CPU without thermal paste on it in a computer, the components like the CPU, GPU, or motherboard will get burned. Sometimes, the computer won’t even turn ON to prevent physical damage because of overheating.

Not only the lack of thermal paste but sometimes there are other reasons like not applying thermal paste properly, no regular maintenance, etc., which can impact your computer performance.

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The thermal paste function in a computer is simple, it transmits and dissipates heat from the CPU.

What to do if You Have No Thermal Paste?

cpu on the motherboard
CPU on the motherboard

If you don’t have thermal paste for your computer, go, buy it. That’s what I recommend. It may be a small yet important thing.

There is no reason for you not to have thermal paste. Its cost is cheap and you don’t need any maintenance time or cost afterward. Here is my recommended product.

Some people can say that you can use Vaseline, toothpaste, cheese, chocolate cream, etc, as thermal paste alternatives. But I won’t recommend them at all because I don’t want you to spoil your computer components.

Some stock cooler manufacturers provide thermal paste along with their products. You can use it without a doubt.

What Happens if CPU Doesn’t Have Enough Thermal Paste?

If the CPU in a computer doesn’t have enough thermal paste, then it can control the CPU temperature efficiently which leads to problems like Blue Screen, unwanted shutdowns, etc.

The biggest problem without having thermal paste is the rising CPU temperature. In general, the CPU operating temperatures are between 20 to 65⁰c. It may vary from one CPU to another based on the manufacturer.

Without thermal paste, the maximum number of CPU temperatures rises and exceeds the bearable limit. Hence, the burnout will occur.

The direct contact of the CPU and the stock cooler won’t help as much as thermal paste.

dry paste on the stock cooler
dry paste on the stock cooler

Here is a tool core temp that helps you find what temperature your CPU is running with.

With proper fan cooling and an efficient stock cooler, you can control the CPU temperature. 

Does The CPU Work Without Paste On It?

The CPU can work even without the thermal paste on it but the heat coming from the CPU is not controlled.

The other components like RAM, Hard disk, etc, won’t be affected much but they are also electronic devices so there should be a rise in temperature in all the CPU components.

Before the entire computer is overheating, the heat in the CPU will lead it to die or stop working. Here you can find the overheating temperature of a computer.

Can I Run My PC Without Thermal Paste?

There is no reason to run a computer without a thermal paste. However, if you turn ON your PC without thermal paste on it, then it will only work for a few seconds to minutes and then it will shut down automatically. In a typical situation, burnout might occur.

This is not the same for all computers. The capability of a computer to run or not without a paste is based on the hardware manufacturer. If Windows OS recognizes the high CPU temperature, it will not boot at all. This is to prevent damage to your PC.

The thermal paste is a cheap element in a computer. And it helps a lot to improve the system’s efficiency. So I recommend you use the paste on your PC.

Adding CPU fans, installing stock coolers, and applying thermal paste all these things are all for heat reduction in a computer.

Can Thermal Paste Damage the Motherboard?

There is no direct contact or relation between the motherboard and the thermal paste. However, if you apply the paste on the CPU in a bulk quantity, then it will drop on the board after you install the stock cooler. And the paste on the board will interrupt its working. Sometimes, it damages your motherboard.

This is why you are suggested to add a drop of paste on the CPU. Not more or less. Even if you apply it in less quantity than the drop, computer problems like Blue Screen of Death, freezing, etc, will occur.

Also, find the other causes and symptoms of a dead motherboard.

FAQs of CPU Without Thermal Paste

Can I Use Vaseline Instead of Thermal Paste?

Vaseline, no way, it is a petroleum product. Using vaseline as a thermal paste is like pouring petrol on heated metal. You know the result. It’s bad, don’t do this.

Can No Thermal Paste Cause Overheating?

Yes, no thermal paste in a computer can cause overheating and lead to burnout, especially the CPU and GPU. Using thermal paste, stock cooler, and sufficient fans can prevent this.

Can I Use Toothpaste as Thermal Paste?

Toothpaste is not designed for heat-conducting purposes but thermal paste is. Toothpaste can cause severe component damage because the water level in it causes short-circuit.

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