Best CPU thermal paste in 2023, budget, mid-range & high-end

Best CPU thermal paste in 2023, budget, mid-range & high-end
Image via Prolimatech

Written by 

Tarran Stockton


9th Nov 2023 11:25


Finding thermal paste for your CPU that's best suited to your needs can be an annoying task, but we can help you out by covering a range of budget, mid-range, and high-end hardware to ease the process and ensure you get the perfect one for your PC.

Thermal paste is an overlooked component for building a PC, and considering most CPU coolers come with it pre-applied these days, many users won't need to purchase any when building their PC initially. 

However, it's a good idea to replace your CPU thermal paste every few years when cleaning your PC, so it's worth looking into what paste you should get.

How we chose the best CPU thermal paste in 2023

an image of the best CPU thermal paste picks
Click to enlarge
Images via Prolimatech | ARCTIC | GELID Solutions | NOCTUA | Thermal Grizzly

The two main aspects we took into account when choosing our thermal paste recommendations were how easy it is to apply to your CPU and how it best performs in improving the efficiency of cooling, ensuring your CPU runs better. 

Pretty much all CPU thermal paste looks the same: a coloured paste that comes in a syringe - but like most parts and components for a PC, they don't all work exactly the same, so while you may be tempted to grab the first thing you see, it's worth looking into them a little first.

Best budget CPU thermal paste in 2023


the ARCTIC MX-4 CPU thermal paste
Click to enlarge
Image via ARCTIC

While the new ARCTIC MX-5 CPU thermal paste is now available, it's a different compound to the ARCTIC MX-4 and doesn't directly replace it, making the latter one of the best budget thermal pastes for those who want a super simple application process - and a notable performance improvement. 

What's more, it's made up of carbon microparticles - which guarantee high thermal conductivity - ensuring heat is dissipated quickly away from your CPU and GPU to make the parts run cooler and optimally. 

It's one of the most popular CPU thermal paste on the market for a reason, and you can't go wrong choosing this when replacing your paste.

GELID Solutions GC-Extreme

an image of GELID Solutions GC-Extreme, one of the best CPU thermal paste in 2023
Click to enlarge
Image via GELID Solutions

Another solid pick for thermal paste is the new GELID Solutions GC-Extreme.

It's extremely simple to apply, with a consistent spread that will have you finishing the job within a minute. This also goes for when you need to clean it up, as GELID has prioritised ease of use for their consumers. 

Its performance improvement isn't super noticeable, with it essentially doing its cooling job and nothing more, but for novice builders, it's a good way to start out and still ensure your parts get the cooling they need.

Best mid-range CPU thermal paste in 2023


an image of NOCTUA NT-H2 CPU thermal paste
Click to enlarge
Image via NOCTUA

The NOCTUA NT-H2 CPU thermal paste improved on its predecessor in nearly every way, boasting a new compound that makes it less viscous and easier to apply, and increases the bond-line thickness to lower thermal resistance and dissipate heat at a quicker rate.

The base version also gives you 3.5 grams to work with, meaning it will last you for multiple applications if you mess something up, or have to reapply it in the future. 

Corsair XTM50 High Performance

an image of the Corsair XTM50 CPU thermal paste
Click to enlarge
Image via Corsair

Corsair are a powerhouse of PC components and peripherals, and this extends to thermal paste too, with them offering up high-quality product for a series of budgets.

It features five grams of high-performance thermal paste that provides ultra-low thermal impedance, and is made of a long-lasting zinc oxide compound. It's super easy to apply with the narrow tip, and it will ensure optimal cooling on your CPU for a while, making it a great pick.

Best high-end CPU thermal paste in 2023

Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut

an image of Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut, one of the best CPU thermal paste in 2023
Click to enlarge
Image via Thermal Grizzly

If you have a little extra cash spare when looking for a CPU thermal paste, the Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut is a fantastic choice to really help squeeze the best performance out of your CPU thanks to excellent heat dissipating and cooling capabilities. 

As a premium thermal paste brand, care has been taken to ensure it's super easy to apply and clean up when necessary. The full package also comes with some useful extras, like a spreader to make covering the full width of the CPU even easier.

What is the best CPU thermal paste in 2023?

Prolimatech PK-3 Nano Aluminum

an image of Prolimatech PK-3 Nano Aluminum CPU thermal paste
Click to enlarge
Image via Prolimatech

Our other high-end option, and our pick for the best CPU thermal paste on the market this year is the Prolimatech PK-3 Nano Aluminum, which has all the quality you'd expect for its premium price point. 

An aluminium and zinc oxide compound provides a secure and thermal-resistant barrier between the CPU and cooler, dissipating heat at a better rate than most thermal paste. 

The moderately viscous compound is also one of the easiest to apply from the syringe, spreading with ease, and ensuring the process is smooth as possible. 


Check out our hardware and lists pages for more guides. Otherwise, check out our lists of the best CPU air coolers, 1440p gaming monitors, and reclining gaming chairs.

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Tarran is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon. He previously wrote reviews for his college newspaper before studying Media and Communication at university. His favourite genres include role-playing games, strategy games, and boomer shooters - along with anything indie. You can also find him in the pit at local hardcore shows.

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