Heat sink paste is a dense compound used to facilitate the interconnection between the CPU and its cooling system. It is normally composed of zinc oxide and silicone and helps to lead heat from the CPU to the surrounding area, thus allowing the microprocessor to operate optimally.
In addition to thermal conductivity, the other main determinant of a good or bad thermal paste is its specific gravity. The higher the specific gravity, the denser the product and the better it will perform.
Aside from the actual material, one of the most important factors in selecting a thermal paste is its ease of installation. Liquid metal compounds require a little more focus and attention during application, but they also tend to have superior performance. However, they are more prone to getting all over your motherboard and other components inside the case.
If you are in the market for a high-end option and don’t want to go with liquid metal, Arctic MX-6 is a great choice. Its new formula is a step above the previous MX-5 and has proven to be very effective in the lab during testing. It comes in a minimal black syringe with blue accents that gives it a very nice look.
This is a solid, middle-of-the-road product that offers a bit better performance than most other options on this list but still isn’t as good as the top dog from Kryonaut. It’s very easy to apply, has a low viscosity and is priced well enough to make it a solid pick for most computer builders.