Can a PC run without thermal paste? How to apply thermal paste to the CPU and GPU? This post from MiniTool Partition Wizard gives you the answer. It also answers some questions related to thermal paste.

What Is Thermal Paste?

Thermal paste (also called thermal compound, thermal grease, thermal interface material (TIM), thermal gel, heat paste, heat sink compound, heat sink paste, or CPU grease) is a thermally conductive (but usually electrically insulating) chemical compound.

It is commonly used as an interface between heat sinks (CPU coolers) and heat sources (CPUs and GPUs). The main role of thermal paste is to eliminate air gaps or spaces (which act as thermal insulation) from the interface area in order to maximize heat transfer and dissipation.

Also Read:Worry about Computer Heat? You Should Know These Things

Can a PC Run Without Thermal Paste?

In general, I recommend you not to do so. If you run a PC without thermal paste, the CPU and GPU will get overheated soon because they won’t be able to dissipate heat effectively.

Then, you may end up with the following situations:

  1. Your computer’s performance will throttle because it reaches unsafe temperatures.
  2. Your computer will shut down randomly to cool down or you might see the blue screen of death.
  3. If you are unlucky, your CPU or GPU is melted and damaged permanently.
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How to Apply Thermal Paste on CPU and GPU

If you notice that the temperature of the CPU and GPU is higher than it should be and the PC performance is affected, it’s time to replace the thermal paste. How to apply the thermal paste to the CPU and GPU? Here is the guide.

For your CPU:

  1. Open up your computer’s case.
  2. Lift the heat sink from the top of the CPU.
  3. Remove the old thermal paste (if any) from the CPU as well as the heat sink.
  4. Grab your new thermal paste and apply it using your preferred application method.
  5. Make sure to get a thin and even layer of thermal paste.
  6. When you have the perfect layer applied, put the heat sink back on top of the CPU.
  7. Close your computer’s casing and start using it as usual.
Don’t apply the paste on the CPU in a bulk quantity. Otherwise, it will drop on the board after you install the stock cooler. Then, the paste on the board will interrupt its working or damage your motherboard.

For your GPU:

  1. Disassemble your GPU by taking off the screws, removing the top plate, disconnecting the fan cable, and removing the cover.
  2. Remove the heatsink and the old thermal paste.
  3. Apply the thermal paste and reassemble your GPU.
  4. Put it back on your PC and start using it as usual.
How Long Does Thermal Paste Last? How to Remove or Clean off It?
How Long Does Thermal Paste Last? How to Remove or Clean off It?

How long does thermal paste last? How to remove thermal paste? If you are curious about these questions, read this post to find the answers now.

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Q1. How Often Do You Need to Replace the Thermal Paste?
A normal user who doesn't do any heavy tasks on their computer doesn't need to replace thermal paste very often. However, if you play games on your computer regularly, it will dry out the thermal paste faster. Then, it's recommended to replace the thermal paste on the CPU every 1-1.5 years and the thermal paste on the GPU every 3-5 years.
Q2. Are There Alternatives to the Thermal Paste?
If you have no thermal paste, you can use toothpaste as an alternative. However, the toothpaste on the processor could only work for a few days around 5 to 10 days. Therefore, a dedicated thermal paste is recommended. In addition, the thermal paste is not expensive.

Bottom Line

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