The humble thermal grease is one of the unsung heroes of the PC hardware world. It is a thin substance that goes between the CPU heat sink and the processor, and it allows for better heat dissipation and lower CPU temperature. It’s also a requirement for high-end Intel and AMD processors, as higher clock rates cause more heat and can fry the chips if not adequately cooled.
Most of the time, you’ll find thermal paste in small tubes at electronics stores accompanied by a small shovel-like applicator. Some processors even come with it pre-applied so you can just install the heat sink and go. However, many hardware enthusiasts swear by their favorite brands of thermal paste and manually apply it to the heat sink.
A silicone oil compound that contains fillers for thermal conductivity and is used as a Thermal Interface Material between a heatsink or other heat source and a microprocessor or other power semiconductor. Often, the Thermal Grease will be diluted with solvent to reduce its viscosity during application. Once the solvent evaporates, the Thermal Grease will increase its viscosity to provide a better seal and a smoother bondline between the surfaces being joined.
Some manufacturers also add materials such as carbon particles, graphene oxide or diamond powder to their Thermal Grease compounds for improved performance. These compounds tend to be the most expensive, but they claim to offer safe foolproof application and superior performance. Others claim that their thermal grease has adhesive properties but most of them are too viscous for true adhesives and require slow consistent pressure on the syringe plunger to spread consistently.