How to change thermal paste on a laptop


Replacing thermal paste is a procedure that is necessary for the normal operation of the device. Timely cleaning and application of thermal paste will extend the life of the gadget and make work more comfortable.

How often do you need to change the thermal paste

Thermal paste is a special substance that is applied to the processor and ensures its tight contact with the heatsink, as well as improves chipset heat dissipation. If the thermal conductivity is high, then the chipset quickly gives off heat and does not overheat. As you use the device, it dries out and loses its properties. At this point, you need to replace the thermal paste in the laptop.

thermal paste

How often you need to change the thermal paste in a laptop is an interesting question and left without a definite answer. There are many opinions on this matter. There are users who say that this should be done every time you clean your laptop, and the recommended cleaning frequency is once every six months. Other experts claim that they have been using the device for five years and have never cleaned or changed anything.

To get an answer to the question of when this should be done, you should pay attention to three important factors:

  • chipset type;
  • frequency of using the gadget;
  • brand of thermal paste.

Depending on the chipset, the number of thermal paste replacements may decrease, and vice versa. It is believed that Intel processors heat up less, which means that the thermal paste on them dries longer. For processors from AMD, the situation is, accordingly, the opposite. In this case, you should not rely on the generally accepted opinion and should look at the chipset coding. There are energy-intensive models that consume little energy and have a low TDP (heat dissipation), and there are powerful options that have a much greater heat dissipation. Obviously, for the latter, the frequency of replacement will be higher. Finding out the heat dissipation is easy — just google the chipset parameters and look at the TDP indicator.

TDP heat dissipation

The second point that can affect how often you need to change the thermal paste is device usage intensity. If the device works day and night, then you should take care of it more. In addition, it affects how the device is used, and in what conditions: gaming models heat up more, and if the user likes to sit with the gadget on the couch, then even more so.

Important! Every thermal paste has its own lifespan. It may not exceed a year, and may reach 10 years.

It is impossible to determine by eye which thermal paste is applied, therefore, during the first cleaning, it should be changed, and also remember the service life of the paste applied again. After that, it will be necessary to change as needed, or after the recommended period has elapsed. It makes more sense to change the thermal paste. as needed. If the gadget began to get very hot, and, in particular, the temperature of the chipset is high, then it’s time to take care of its thermal conductivity.

How to change thermal paste yourself

The easiest way to change the thermal paste on a laptop — contact the service center, where they will not only perform this procedure, but also clean the gadget from dust. But each user wants to save money and tries to do everything on their own. In this case, it will not be superfluous to learn how this is done and how to properly apply thermal paste.

Disassembled laptop

Disassembling a laptop

The first thing that is required from the user is to disassemble the device to the processor. For different devices, the procedure is different, so for a specific brand and model, you should look for your own parsing scheme. It is worth noting that for some manufacturers it is quite easy to get to the chipset — Toshiba is such a company, but Acer hides the chipset so deep that the device literally disassembles to the screws. Before starting the procedure, it is worth watching a video on the topic and assessing your strength, it may be more expensive to collect everything back than just paying for cleaning.


Another point to consider when working is the availability of suitable tools. Often the user is armed with improvised screwdrivers and as a result “licks off” the bolts that secure this or that element. A similar problem occurs with devices from HPthe material of the screws is very soft, and sometimes the user simply spoils the screw so that unscrewing it becomes an impossible task.

Interesting feature laptops Asus – the heatsink is attached to the motherboard with 7-8 screws. They are numbered and should be unscrewed strictly in the order indicated. Tighten should be in the reverse order, and do it not completely, but sequentially — screw everything a little, and then screw them all the way. Otherwise, the radiator will become uneven, and the device will make noise during operation.

Rules for applying thermal paste

When the user gets to the processor, it’s time to replace the thermal paste. To do this, the processor clean off old paste, and also remove its traces on the radiator. You can use a soft cloth for this. The paste is removed easily, and excessive force should not be used, and even more so, something should not be picked here. After removal, the surface is treated with alcohol applied to a rag, and then wiped dry.

Important! It is imperative to remove the old paste, otherwise it will interfere with good heat transfer.

Thermal paste application

After cleaning the surface, apply thermal paste. The logic “more is better” is wrong in this case. The layer must be thin, less than a millimeter. To do this, a small amount is squeezed onto the chipset and stretched. It is convenient to do this with an unnecessary credit card. Excess that protrude beyond the edges should be removed. Now a heatsink is placed on the chipset. It is advisable to do this the first time and not crawl one over the other, as the layer may be broken, and any contact of bare surfaces will cause overheating.

Checking work

The last thing left for the user to do is to assemble the device and check if the device is heating up. For this, suitable software is installed, for example, AIDA64. In addition, it is worth listening to how the gadget will work: if there is extraneous noise, then something was assembled incorrectly. In the event that the chipset is still heated, it is worth disassembling the device again and repeating the procedure. Perhaps during the assembly the layer was broken, or a lot of paste was initially laid.

The main characteristics of thermal paste

To buy the right thermal paste, you should understand a little about its characteristics.

  1. Thermal conductivity shows how well heat is given off, measured in W / m * K, the higher the figure, the better. For office models, a paste with a value of 1.5 to 2 W / m * K is suitable, if the gadget is designed for games and heavy tasks, then it is better to choose the option with 4 W / m * K.
  2. Viscosity. Optimal performance — 160 — 450 Pa * s. Many firms do not indicate this parameter, but knowledgeable people say that it is easy to determine by touch. It should feel like a toothpaste — that is, not very liquid so that it does not flow out, but not thick, otherwise the desired contact of the surfaces may not be achieved.
  3. Thermal resistance inversely proportional to thermal conductivity, the lower it is, the better the device cools.
  4. Operating temperatures. The indicator is indicated on the packaging and indicates at what operating temperature the substance will not lose its properties. If the device is gaming, and even overclocked, then the upper indicator should be looked for high. An excellent option is 150-200 degrees.

Overview of good thermal pastes

The range of prices for thermal paste is quite large — from 100 rubles to several thousand. It is easy to get lost in such a variety, so the best options in 2019 are suggested below.

Important! Looking ahead, let’s say that buying pasta for more than 500 rubles does not make much sense. As they say in the reviews, it is good, but there will be no significant differences from the average price options, so it will be unnecessarily overpaid.

Zalman ZM-STG2

Supplied in a syringe, which is convenient for application, has a good consistency according to reviews, painted gray — very convenient for subsequent removal. A tube is enough for 5-6 processors. It is completely safe for health, as well as for the internal nodes of the laptop (if it accidentally gets on them). Thermal conductivity — 4.1 W / m * K, retains properties at temperatures from -40 to 150 degrees. Service life — 1 year. Price — 450-500 rubles.

Zalman ZM-STG2

Titan Nano Grease (TTG-G30015)

One of the most affordable thermal pastes, comes in small tubes, enough for 2-3 chipsets. Thermal conductivity — 4.5 W / m * K. The service life is not more than a year, the temperature, according to reviews, lowers by 10-15 degrees. Working temperature from -50 to 240 degrees.

Important! The low price of 100 rubles is due to not the best homogeneity (lumps occur) and the fact that the paste is quite viscous. You have to carefully apply to make a thin and even layer.

Titan Nano Grease (TTG-G30015)

Arctic MX-2

Inexpensive pasta with a huge number of positive reviews. Supplied in a syringe, has an excellent consistency. The manufacturer’s website states service life 8 years. Heat conductivity — 5.6 W / m * K. The tube has a convenient shape that provides an immediate thin layer. Operating temperature up to 150 degrees. The average price for a tube of 8 grams is 350 rubles. There are lower dosage options.

Arctic MX-2


The thermal conductivity index is 2.0–5.0 kV/mm, depending on the heating temperature. The maximum allowable is 180 degrees. Has a good consistency. The average price is 150 rubles. White color. The paste is completely safe, produced in Russia for over 20 years. This is one of the most popular thermal pastes among domestic users. Service life — 5 years.


Coollaboratory Liquid PRO

Thermal paste from Germany with a thermal conductivity of 80 W / mK, such a high figure explains expensive price tag. The paste is safe for health and the device, comes in 1 gram tubes and comes with cotton buds and a sponge for easy application. Able to lower the temperature by 20 degrees. Service life — 10 years. Price — from 800 rubles. According to user reviews, the paste is too expensive, and it is not advisable to use it for office models.

Coollaboratory Liquid PRO

How much does it cost to replace thermal paste in a service

The range of prices for replacing thermal paste and cleaning a laptop is large. On the Internet you can find ads from 500 rubles and more. It is worth noting that the average cost is 1000 rubles. At the same time, the workshop will not only perform cleaning, but also give a guarantee for work for about 5-6 months, that is, in fact, until the next procedure.

Advice! You should not settle for the most inexpensive options, since the degree of qualification of specialists is questionable, in this case they usually do not give guarantees, and, as practice shows, they use the most budgetary thermal paste, bought for a penny through Chinese stores.


Many are interested what happens if you don’t change the thermal paste for a long time? It’s quite difficult to say for sure, it all depends on the quality of the original paste — after all, the average life of a laptop is 5 years, while the paste can retain its properties for up to 10 years, but you should understand that overheating of the processor can lead to its breakdown, and replacing the chipset — this is not always a real procedure, but always expensive. If there are any signs of strong heating, you should not rely only on cooling pads and blowing dust off the device, but it is recommended to immediately change the thermal paste. This will allow you to use your favorite device for a long time and comfortably.

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