Difference between Thermal Paste And Thermal Pads

As we all know that the surface of the CPU or a heat sink is not flat. So the uneven surface of both types of equipment give rise to the small gaps, and these small gaps are poor in thermal conductivity, as a result, the Gaming Computer gets heated off quickly.

To fill these gap we require a thermal conductive which delivers the entire heat coming out from the CPU to the heatsink and there comes the role of Thermal paste or Thermal pads for more info about thermal paste see here (https://glinkster.com/best-thermal-...)

But the real question here is which should you chose to avoid heating problems? Is it either thermal paste or thermal pads? So without wasting much time let's get to know what are the basic differences and when you should apply what?

What is the difference between thermal paste and thermal pads?
Thermal paste or thermal compound actually it has a lot of names. Thermal paste is a greasy conductive paste directly applied to the heatsink. It is most commonly used as the interface in between the non-conductive parts for the cooling purpose. A good thermal paste made with the best quality of thermal compound can work well for the system. To apply thermal paste, you have to very careful as you have can also sometimes drop it near to the main CPU. But this is not the only option to fill the holes in between the CPU and the heatsink, there is one more thing that you can use is Thermal Pads.

Thermal Pads
Thermal pads are easy to put as compare to thermal pastes. But they are not as effective as compare to the thermal paste. You will find some stock coolers come with thermal pads as it looks clean. If sometimes you have to replace the heatsink, then you have to remove the pad too. So remember whenever you remove the heatsink ot dismount it, always change the thermal pad.

Common Mistakes you have to avoid
There are some common mistakes that a lot of people make while applying the thermal paste or thermal pads.

1) Never use thermal paste and thermal pads together.
2) But you can use thermal paste on the top of the thermal pads to improve the efficiency.
3) Use of two or three pads altogether can kill the performance of the CPU.

  • 16
    And also, thermal pads have more height, depending on how the cooler is mounted, you cannot simply replace a pad for paste.

    A old IBM ThinkPad i had came with thermal pads, that had dried out and lost effectiveness. That was my first encounter with a thermal pad. After tossing it, the cooler did not reach down to the CPU. In my case I solved the issue by using thermal paste as a glue on both sides of a small copper coin... And ugly hack if I ever saw one, but it did work. The laptop stopped overheating.
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    @gnutt now this is actually the best ghetto way to fix heating issues! I did that too for one poor gaming weabo sob that was too cheapskate to buy a tube of cooling paste.
  • 2
    @NeatNerdPrime Yes actually it works pretty much fine for my PC. I haven't use Thermal Pads but Thermal paste are good
  • 3
    @gnutt How you rate thermal pads in comparison to thermal paste
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    Recently changed out the thermal paste for liquid metal in my new laptop. I strongly advice you do it! Was scared as shit but after it was done, temps are at around 78° and no thermal throttle
  • 4
    Have applied paste a lot of times, but didn't even know pads existed.
  • 3
    This happens if you miss some 🙃
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    Pads have the advantage that they are faster and more idiot-proof to apply, at the cost of thermal conductivity.

    Paste is the usual choice if you want to have it properly and know how to apply it. Too much sucks, to little sucks too, but take your time, and you'll get it just right. When I built the PCs in my household, I used paste, of course.
  • 6
    I've only seen the paste used so far and my dad uses paste only I think. I didnt know pads were a thing. Learn something new everyday. Nice description. Thanks!
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