Thermal Grease (also known as TIM or thermal interface material) is a thin paste used to fill the microscopic gaps between the contact surfaces of two metal components. This improves heat transfer and dissipation, which helps keep a CPU at its optimal working temperature and protect it from damage due to overheating.
Most modern CPUs produce a lot of heat that needs to be dissipated to prevent overheating and damage to the hardware. CPUs are often mounted on a mechanical heat sink, which is made of a conductive metal, and thermal paste is applied between the microprocessor and the heat sink to improve thermal transfer and reduce CPU temperature.
It is very important to use the right kind of thermal grease, as some blends are better at conducting heat than others. Many hardware enthusiasts will replace the stock thermal paste that comes with their processors with a custom blend from their favorite brand, and new formulations of thermal grease are always being introduced to the market.
There are several types of thermal paste available, including ceramic-based, metal-based and carbon-based. Ceramic-based and metal-based are the most popular options for PC builders as they offer good value and performance, while carbon-based is a cheaper alternative. The best thermal pastes are liquid-metal based as they provide the highest levels of thermal conductivity, but these tend to be the most expensive and require the most skill to apply properly.
It is essential to avoid using a conductive thermal grease paste near any electrical components as it can cause short circuits. It is also very important to only use a small amount of the product, as too much can lead to uneven distribution and ineffective cooling. The simplest method of application is to place a pea-sized drop of the compound in the middle of the CPU and then to clamp the heat sink down on top of it, pressing down evenly across all four corners.