Tech For Mass is supported by readers. If you buy products from links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more

Does A CPU Cooler Come with Thermal Paste?

By: Robert Llarves | Date Posted: December 26, 2022

Does A CPU Cooler Come with Thermal Paste?

Maintaining your CPU at a safe temperature is essential to ensure it runs smoothly and lasts longer. The CPU cooler is an important component when it comes to cooling the computer processor.

Most pre-assembled CPUs come with a stock cooler that includes thermal paste, but if you’re building your own system from scratch or replacing the existing cooler not all of them come with thermal paste. However, there are some CPU coolers out there that come with thermal paste pre-applied.

What Is A Thermal Paste?

Thermal Paste

Thermal paste is a material used between the CPU heat sink and the processor, which helps to fill in any air gaps. It also helps to improve thermal conductivity by filling in any microscopic imperfections between the two components.

Thermal paste works by transferring heat from your CPU to the cooler more effectively than air alone.

It’s important to use quality thermal paste as it will have an impact on your computer’s temperature and performance. A good quality thermal paste can help keep your system cool and running at its best for longer.

How To Apply Thermal Paste Correctly?

Apply Thermal Paste

Applying the thermal paste to a computer processor is an integral part of keeping your CPU cool and functioning properly. The process is relatively straightforward and only takes a few minutes.

First, be sure that both the processor and heatsink are clean. Use rubbing alcohol to remove any dust or debris. Then, apply a small amount of thermal paste directly to the center of the processor. Finally, install the heating sink onto the processor, ensuring it makes contact with the thermal paste.

Keep in mind that too much thermal paste can actually cause problems such as overheating and undue strain on the fan, so it’s important to use only a small amount and make sure it is evenly distributed.

With these steps done correctly, your CPU should be able to work at its optimal temperature for maximum performance.

Is Thermal Paste Necessary?

Thermal Paste for CPU Cooler

Yes, thermal paste is necessary to ensure that your CPU, GPU, and other components are adequately cooled.

As I said above, the thermal paste helps reduce the air gaps between components and the heat sink so that there is better contact, leading to improved heat transfer. Furthermore, the thermal paste also helps fill any small imperfections in the surfaces of both the component and heat sink which again increase their contact area resulting in more efficient cooling performance.

It should also be noted that thermal paste will eventually dry out over time so it should be replaced as needed to maintain good cooling performance. However, years of usage without replacement is possible since it does not evaporate or break down over time.

It is recommended to replace the thermal paste every two or three years depending on your system’s usage, whether you use air or liquid cooling, and other factors.

How to Remove Old Thermal Paste from a CPU or Heatsink?


When you replace your CPU Cooler, it’s best to remove the existing thermal paste from both the CPU and Heatsink before you apply the new thermal paste. This ensures that your cooling performance will be optimal.

The easiest way to clean off old thermal paste is to use a lint-free cloth dampened with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol), or a cotton swap dipped in some rubbing alcohol.

Gently rub the cloth in circles on both the CPU and heatsink until all of the old thermal paste has been removed. If there are stubborn spots, try using more concentrated isopropyl alcohol, but make sure not to get any inside of your PC as this can cause damage. Once everything has been cleaned off, you’re ready to apply the new thermal paste.

Finally, it’s important to note that you should never use water or any abrasive materials to clean off thermal paste as this can damage your components. Stick with isopropyl alcohol and a lint-free cloth for best results.

Tips for Keeping your CPU Cooler Running Cool and Quiet

CPU Cooler

Check If the Fan Blades are Spinning Freely

Keeping your CPU cooler running cool and quiet is essential to ensuring that your computer runs effectively.

One tip that can help keep it running properly is to check if the fan blades are spinning freely. This should be done from time to time since a more frequent cleanup can prevent the accumulation of dust, which can cause the fan to become noisy or stop completely.

A regular cleanup will help maintain optimal airflow, leaving you with a quieter setup and ultimately an improved cooling performance for those hot days. Additionally, examine whether the surrounding space around the fan has adequate ventilation; this allows for unobstructed air movement thus providing better cooling performance.

By taking these precautions and checking on them regularly, you can feel secure that your CPU cooler will continue operating optimally and keep working noiselessly as expected.

Ensure that the Cooler is Properly Seated on the CPU

Another important tip to keep your CPU cooler running cool and quiet is to ensure that it’s properly seated on the processor. If the cooler isn’t securely attached, then air will be able to escape from underneath, reducing its cooling capability.

By making sure that all screws are tightened firmly, you can guarantee a secure fit for optimal performance.

Reduce the Load on your CPU by Closing Background Applications

It’s also important to reduce the load on your CPU as much as possible in order to prevent overheating.

You can do this by closing any background applications or programs that aren’t necessary. This helps reduce stress on the processor and keeps temperatures at a safe level.

Use a Program to Monitor Your System’s Temperatures

Finally, you can use a program to monitor your system’s temperatures. This will allow you to keep track of your CPU cooler’s performance at all times, making it easier for you to identify any potential issues before they become serious problems.

By monitoring the temperature of your system regularly, you’ll be able to spot warning signs early and address them quickly and easily.

Upgrade Your CPU Cooler

If it seems like no matter what you do, your CPU cooler is still running hot, then it may be time to upgrade or replace your current CPU cooler.

There are many different types of coolers available with varying levels of performance, so make sure to research the best one for your needs.

Final Thoughts

You probably have a better understanding of whether a CPU cooler comes with thermal paste or not. The answer is that it depends on the manufacturer, but most of them will include thermal paste with their coolers.

We also did explain why thermal paste is essential and provided some tips to keep your CPU cooler running cool and quiet.

Henz Llarves

Robert Llarves

Robert Llarves is a PC hardware enthusiast, gamer, and writer. He has been building his own rigs for a long time and is passionate about helping others do the same. Robert is also an avid competitive gamer, having played games such as Dota 2 and Far Cry.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x