Is it good to change the thermal paste of the processor or graphics in summer?

As Jarabe de Palo said: it depends. There is no single answer, there are different scenarios and you have to look at them carefully because what seems like something obvious and simple is really not so, and there is always a common key factor.

Changing thermal paste in summer: a dubious practice?

Yes, it is doubtful, because we are not talking about cleaning the heatsink or radiator as such, but simply about a pure and simple change of paste. Therefore, we hope to gain thermal performance with it, that is, less temperature in our components, but is this so? Let’s see it by scenarios.

Ripe thermal paste and no cleaning of the PC or heatsink

In this case, the thermal paste is probably already hardened by changes and thermal cycles, the zero humidity that normally exists inside a PC tower and of course the dust particles that come from everywhere to the heatsink and that make everything worse.

In this case, it is the only one that we really recommend changing the thermal paste now when summer arrives, mainly because we will see a profit even if there is no cleaning of the PC in general. The ruptures of the thermal bridges between the IHS and the cold plate they will be huge and a change and refreshing of pasta will reseal them improving heat transfer between them.

Pasta changed less than a year ago

In this case, and if the application was correct, a change would not really be necessary come summer. Another thing is that we buy a better one and want to try it, which is a separate case, but if it is a year old or a little more, it is not really necessary to disassemble and change, perhaps a general cleaning would help to face the high temperatures that await us.

The reason for this refusal is that the paste is consolidated. Thermally and mechanically speaking it is settled, the microbubbles that are generated by temperature changes have been expelled, its distribution will be as perfect as possible and therefore the performance, as its thermal capacity and viscosity are still in force, will be ideal, only being able to help the mentioned cleaning.


We don’t know how the thermal paste is or when we put it

In this case we can only guide ourselves between the delta of a cold day with low ambient temperatures and a hot day in terms of what the CPU and GPU mark as such. If he delta is greater than 40º C then we have to consider the change because the paste is not good, and even the thorough cleaning of the PC piece by piece.

Temperature reading software such as Core Temp or GPU-Z will help with this task. If we approach 80º C or exceed it, the change is mandatory and if we have a cooling system of dubious quality, it is time to do a two for one.

Beware of opening graphics cards under warranty, most manufacturers do not accept an RMA after breaking the sticker on one of the screws, except for EVGA. It is not always fulfilled, however, we can find manufacturers who understand the situation and do not object, but it is by no means the rule to follow. In those cases, it is necessary to increase the cooling of the box by means of a correct flow system in the same or better/more fans.

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