How and how often to change the processor thermal paste

We are going to focus on the processor, since it does not affect the system warranty if we assemble it by parts. This can be applied to the graphics card, but remember that removing the heatsink voids the two-year warranty. If this period has passed, you can perform a complete disassembly of the system without problems.

There are different considerations to take into account.

There is no exact data, but is based on estimates and, above all, on the use of the system. Depending on the thermal paste used, environmental conditions and use, the period is more or less extended. In addition, if we have animals at home (dogs or cats) it is another relevant factor to take into account. Even if we live in a more rural or windy area, we may have other needs

According to the conditions of each user, the maintenance times can vary greatly. The usual thing is that the complete maintenance of the system is carried out annually, preferably in autumn-winter.

Firstly, let’s see how often should we clean the system according to different conditions:

  • Furry animals: If we have dogs or cats (or other furry animals), it is recommended to clean the system every 4-6 months, approximately
  • Rural or windy areas: usually the amount of dust is greater, so it is advisable to clean every 6 months, more or less
  • Cities, in general: They are not usually so problematic and can be once a year

Ok, now we are going to see a little how often we should change the thermal paste:

  • Intensive use: When we use our computer, mainly, for heavy tasks such as gaming, editing or similar, we must change the thermal paste every 12 months. This is because the thermal paste undergoes great thermal stress and this affects its proper functioning, so to speak.
  • Low charge: those who use their equipment for general tasks such as browsing, multimedia, work, should not have any problems either. Without problems we can keep it between 16-24 months
  • Hot or very hot areas: It assumes that the base temperature is higher and the operating temperature will be higher than usual. It generates a loss of properties and, consequently, it will no longer do its job as well
  • Cold zones: We can lengthen the time between thermal paste changes quite a bit. We can leave, in this case at 16-24 months

processor thermal paste

How to change the thermal paste?

Now, we are more or less clear about how often to do maintenance to our team and the change the thermal paste. It is time to see how to change the thermal paste and, more specifically, how this process should be carried out. It is not very complicated, but it should not be done in any way to guarantee the correct removal of this element.

Obviously, to remove the thermal paste we must remove the processor heatsink. This process is very simple, it only requires loosening the screws that anchor it to the motherboard. Now we have exposed the thermal paste on the processor and on the base of the heatsink.

To remove thermal paste two items are recommended. The first option is with isopropyl alcohol and a piece of paper, either toilet paper or napkins. Another more “modern” option is the specific wipes sold by various manufacturers.

Our proposal regarding isopropyl alcohol is this 1-liter EQM solution that costs 9.26 euros

Regarding the wipes to clean the thermal paste, here we have three options:

If you need thermal paste, here are our three recommendations:

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