How Long Does Thermal Paste Last | 6 Interesting Things You Must Know

How Long does Thermal Paste last? A question every computer person asks after his CPU gets heated like a pan but it’s a nice query because it affects the performance of your device. So we are going to dig deep into this today and we will try to cover all your doubts.

Thermal paste, if you don’t know what is this then first of all let me tell you what is thermal paste.

What is Thermal Paste

How long does thermal paste lastImage Source: FixingPort

Its silvery grey substance (thermal grease/gel) that you apply to a processor before installing the cooling solution allows for an efficient transfer of heat from the LHS of the processor to the base plate or water block of CPU cooler that is designed to dissipate that heat.

Yes, this was the complicated definition of thermal paste but don’t worry here is the simplest definition of thermal paste, which is a compound that goes on the area between the heat sink and is meant to cool the heat sink of the device.

It improves the conductivity and connection between the CPU and its heat sink.

According to Wikipedia, the main role of thermal paste is to eliminate their gaps or spaces which act as thermal insulation from the interface area to maximize heat transfer and dissipation it’s an example of thermal interface material.

How Long Does Thermal Paste Last

How Long does thermal paste last

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Well, the durability depends on the thermal paste material but in general, the good quality thermal paste lasts at least 5 years sometimes up to 8 years if the container is airtight.

Types of thermal paste:

How long does thermal paste last

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There are different types of thermal paste in the market. Some of them are mentioned below:

1) Ceramic Thermal Paste:

These type of thermal paste do not contain metal that means they are not conductive.

Ceramic thermal paste is the cheapest, safest and easiest thermal paste to use, that’s why they are popular and you can get them in different sizes which helps you to get what you need and then not having to worry about them expiring.

Ceramic thermal paste is not recommended for people who overclock regularly as they will not conduct as much heat and if exposed to the extreme heat they will degrade faster.

2) Silicon thermal paste :

This type of thermal paste is usually applied to the thermal pads when you get them.

These pads are easy to use but they do dry out a bit quicker than some other thermal paste like ceramic thermal paste and they aren’t as effective as conducting heat.

3) Metal Thermal Paste:

It is a thermal paste that is most effective in conducting heat but they are also electrically conductive.  So you can see that if there is any benefit then there is also a drawback.

When you apply this thermal paste to your motherboard you need to take extra precautions.  The metal thermal paste is supposed to last longer on your machine, but if you can turn it into a tube it will expire much quicker than other types.

1. How long does the thermal paste last in the tube

How Long does thermal paste last

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If you make sure the tube is well sealed it can last up to 5 years.

But always remember one thing that the long-lasting type of thermal paste depends on whether it is creamy thermal paste then it will last longer in the tube but if it is metallic thermal paste then it will expire quicker than creamy.

2. How long CPU thermal paste lasts

It is recommended for the aware user to regularly check the thermal paste and ensure that it is not cracked or cracked.  Generally, if you are using a good quality thermal paste then it will last 2 to 3 years in the CPU.

3. How long does thermal paste last after opening

Well the answer has been given above that thermal paste evaporates quickly after opening but you can take care of it by keeping the container airtight.  If it is metallic, it will expire sooner than ceramic.

4. How Thermal Paste Work

How Long does thermal paste last

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By the way, thermal paste looks complicated but it is actually very easy to use. This is one of the oldest ways to improve heat conduction in your CPU.

It doesn’t matter what type of thermal paste you’re using, they all do the same thing.
Even the best products like based applications have some minor flaws.

CPUs, heatsinks, coolers, and other pieces may have dents and cracks that can trap hot air in them and affect performance.

Here the thermal paste helps to lubricate some of the thickets and fill in the cracks so that they can all work with the best possible efficiency, so we can say that it helps the heatsink to transfer as much heat as effectively as possible.

5. How to tell if thermal paste needs replacing

If the old thermal paste is cracked or broken that can be seen by the naked eye you should consider that it is time to replace the thermal paste.

If the the the breaking or cracking can’t be seen then if you are getting some symbol like overheating of computer then you must check the thermal paste and do accordingly.

6. How long does thermal paste last in Ps4

There isn’t a specific time after which you should take the PS4 CPU cooler off, remove the old thermal paste and apply the new one.

The main thing is that even after a wall or to the performance of PS4 will not decrease at all. So if you are deciding to change the thermal paste of your PS4 every year or every 2 years then relax, you don’t need to change.

You just need to simply clean out your PS4, which is more beneficial than applying the new thermal paste.

Just regularly check the thermal paste whether it gets broken or cracked, it happens so, this is the only case you need to replace it.

Here are some questions which are rapidly searched on Google related to the thermal paste. Hope you will find your doubt in these questions.

  • How often should thermal paste be changed?

In general, you have to change the thermal paste every year. It will eventually dry out and begin to lose another crack, it loses its effectiveness.

If you don’t send thermal paste your computer might start to perform in strange ways and eventually it will overheat this can be the reason for damaging many parts of your computer including the CPU.

  • Does thermal paste go bad? (Can we use old thermal paste)

Generally, the thermal paste can be used after a very long time ie. approx 3-5 years (if contained airtight).

If you are in a pinch and you cannot get new thermal paste it is better to use old thermal paste instead of keeping thermal paste that has cracked or broken.

  •  Can I use toothpaste instead of thermal paste?

It can be used in the rarest case as a substitute for thermal paste but if you are asking me, I personally don’t recommend toothpaste instead of thermal paste because it can damage your appliance.
In some of the YouTube videos the Tech guy showing that you can use toothpaste as a thermal paste but they don’t tell you how dangerous it is for your computer.

Well, I am not against toothpaste. it can be used as an excellent substitute its structure decays after a few days.

  • Does vaseline work as thermal paste?

A big NO to this question. It is not in any way a substitute for thermal grease.

Thermal paste is design to not break down with the temperature as it has to deal with from the processor and your mixture will. But this will not help you and it will create high damage to your computer.

• What can we use instead of thermal paste?

Well if you are searching for alternatives to thermal paste first of all you need to know from which material the common thermal compound is made up of.

Generally thermal compound is primarily silicone grease mixed with zinc oxide or Aluminium oxide (metallic paste).
If you want to mix your own concentration you can substitute silicone grease with Automotive dielectric grease which is essentially the same stuff and it is widely available.

What you want to achieve in a wide operating temperature range and high thermal conductivity, the less important in your application are dielectric strength and volume resistivity.

The kinds of stuff which are mentioned above (toothpaste and Vaseline) can be used in A Pinch as an emergency measure but IM pretty sure that you will Discover the original substitute because it is not a permanent solution.
It is better to use genuine thermal paste in your precious appliances.

After puzzling over all these pieces of stuff, If you are still interested in ‘which things can be used as an alternative to thermal paste ?, Have patience, my friend.

Here is some alternative which can be found in your home, but keeps in mind that these are only short term solutions.

Once a tech guy experiments some household things like toothpaste, yellow cheese, hair wax, moisturizing cream, butter, banana, and paper at intervals of fifteen minutes under a ninety-watt load.

The results were quite amazing, In order from least to most thermally conductive:

  • Yellow cheese -67.9°C
  • Paper -67.7°C
  • Banana -58°C
  •  Hair wax -56°C
  • Toothpaste -45 to 55 °C
  • Moisturizing cream -54°C
  •  Butter -53.2°C

Taken at face value, it appears that butter and moisturizing cream are the best short-term solutions, but the truth is that both liquefied before the allotted 15-minute deadline approached.

Given that a motherboard sits under the CPU inside the computer, liquefied oil risks spilling over the underlying electronics.

The best solution turned out to be hair wax and toothpaste, which exhibited relatively low temperatures without completely drying and breaking.

If you’re impatient or under a tight deadline and need to squeeze in a few hours of extra work, consider toothpaste or hair wax when nothing else is available.

When it comes time to replace it with actual thermal paste, use a sharp edge to remove the dried compound and gently scrub off any excess particles.

Well, I believe that if you are on this page you must be totally aware of thermal paste also called heat sink compound.

Well through this article I suppose that this article has cleared your doubt about the lifespan of thermal paste as the main theme of this article is how long does thermal paste last.

Well after reading all sub-topic and question answers, you have got your points for which you have landed on this page.

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