How To Replace Thermal Paste On CPU & GPU? [With Images]

The thermal paste is the grease that is placed in between the CPU and the stock cooler in a computer. Its main purpose is to transfer the heat which is generated by the CPU and keep it cool.

Here on this page, you’ll find the necessity of a thermal component replacement. And how often you’ll replace it and what are the symptoms the system will show when it requires the thermal paste replacement.

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

Does Thermal Paste Need To Be Replaced?

The CPU is the hottest component in the computer. The thermal component is the nearest material to it for a purpose (heat exchange).

During the process of heat exchange, the paste will lose its volatility and become hard. When the paste becomes hard, it performs less. Because of the hard thermal paste in the computer, the temperature reduction doesn’t happen normally or efficiently. To overcome this issue, we need to replace the thermal paste.

But, there is no need to replace the paste unless you have certain conditions or flaws on your PC. Before going to discuss these errors on a computer, first, let’s see what is the right time to change the paste on a computer that has no issues.

There is no need to replace the thermal paste when your PC doesn’t have any issues. However, if you want to apply it, then the component replacement is the right time to use the new thermal paste on your PC.

My suggestion is, don’t mess up with your PC when it is good for you. If you remove the computer hardware just for the sake of thermal components, there is a chance to damage your PC parts. You can go through the guide “Avoid mistakes in a PC build” to not get caught by those mistakes.

Thermal paste replacement is a delicate and time-consuming thing. You can avoid it when you don’t need to. But, when your PC has issues, then it is one of the best options to go through.

>>Shop the thermal paste on Amazon

Symptoms For Thermal Paste Replacement:

If the computer is facing issues like CPU overheating, unwanted shutdowns, Blue Screen Of Death, etc, then the thermal component replacement is a way to fix the issue. Because of the hardness and time-consuming, keep this on your list with the least priority.

When the computer is in trouble, you should take action accordingly. The following list will help you decide under what conditions you should replace the thermal paste.

When the CPU is Overheating

When the computer is overheating, it won’t listen to your words. Because of this temperature imbalance, the operations performed by the processor will be delayed. And result in slow or lag-performing computers.

The computer is doing systematically gets input and gives output. And the CPU in it plays a vital role. If its operations are disturbed, the entire computer performance will go down.

But, how could you check the overheating CPU on your computer? Well, here is a guide for you on the overheating computer.

If your CPU temperature exceeds the permissible amount, then you should take care to control its temperature. Here you can find the importance of CPU cooling.

In this case, the stock cooler replacement works better than the thermal compound. But, when you believe in your stock cooler, you need to replace the thermal paste.

Apply Thermal Paste When The Computer Is Freezing

Computer freezing can occur for multiple reasons in a computer. The main causes are the low power supply and less temperature optimization. You can find the complete list of causes for computer freezing here.

The above list will help you find the complete causes with fixes. And one of them is a thermal compound replacement.

Blue Screen Of Death On Your Monitor

Blue Screen – It’s a scary thing to most computer users. Windows officially says that the operating system has bugs that cause this error. But this is not for all Windows operating system users.

In most cases, when your PC shows a blue screen, it means you made a mistake with your hardware components. The blue screen itself shows the cause for its appearance. You should take action accordingly to fix it.

When you place the thermal compound improperly or when there is direct contact between the CPU and the stock cooler, then the blue screen page will appear on your PC. And thermal component replacement is the only way to fix this issue.

To know more about the blue screen of death and its causes and fixes, click here.

Black Screen or No Signal on Monitor

Desktop computers in this generation use external graphics cards instead of integrated ones. In fact, this is good to enhance the system’s performance.

In this case, the output signals coming from the CPU are sent to the GPU, and from there, the monitor gets its input. If there is any problem with the GPU, then it leads to signal interruption. And this results in the cause of a black screen or no signal.

The overheating GPU is the main cause of this problem. To avoid it, you need to replace the thermal paste on your GPU.

Here are the helpful guides that help you to fix the black screen error and no signal issue on your PC.

When You Have a Blurry Monitor Screen

The blurry monitor means there is an issue with your video card or graphics driver. However, first, you need to install a compatible graphics card for your GPU.

The incompatible drivers in a computer can cause a blur screen. I recommend you not install the highest recommended version driver pack. It may or may not be compatible with your GPU.

When you face this problem, install another version of the driver pack and see. If it doesn’t work, go for the thermal optimization on your PC.

Here is the complete guide that you can go through to find out what a driver is and why it is important in a computer.

These are the causes of thermal paste replacement in a computer. Again I’m suggesting that you should give the least priority to this action because of its complication.

How Long Should Thermal Paste Last?

The paste couldn’t get dried when it is in a tube. But when it is in between the CPU and the stock cooler, it will get dried anywhere between 3 to 5 years. However, it varies from PC to PC based on different factors like operating temperature, usage time, atmosphere, etc.

Just buy a thermal paste tube on Amazon or any local store near you. You can keep it for years as long as you can and use it whenever it is required.