How long does the thermal paste behind my CPU last?
Standard thermal material probably lasts about a year, but an overclocking enthusiast might change it every few months.
Attention can be drawn to cases where thermal grease has been over-applied due to a larger or improper amount.
Thermal grease may also be applied too heavily when the manufacturer applies the amount at manufacturing and not enough is left exposed for the user to apply by hand. In these instances, overclocks fail under a mix of cooling temperatures as limited heat transfer will not occur between objects in close proximity and/or through extrusions or protrusions that are too thick from peripheral features on processor die package surfaces.
Thermal paste can last for around 3 years. It’s true that the CPU runs hot, but it is also called thermal grease because it should be used to fill in any gaps in heat transfer from the processor or graphics card to its surface.
It depends on how often you use your PC, how well you clean up the inside of the case afterwards, and how much dust is inside.
If you don’t open your PC for 6 months and there are lots of dusty parts in there then the thermal paste will last longer. Otherwise it should be changed about every year to prevent heat leakage. This can obviously cause problems like early shutdowns or overheating. Fortunately fixing this isn’t expensive.
A typical lifespan of thermal paste is between 3-7 years. Older thermal pastes may not adequately transfer heat from a chip to cooler surface, while new thermal pastes can perform admirably for some five years or more.
If you’re overclocking, don’t count on it. If you’re just maintaining a stable system speed, use a thermal paste between 3-5 years of stable operation.
Depending on the quality of paste and CPU, it can last from a few months to years.
Processor manufacturers recommend replacing thermal compounds every year or two for optimal performance. Some people believe that you should wait until there is an issue with your computer before spending money on replacement thermal compound. But just like with anything else we use, if we treat it well then it will serve us well. Otherwise, repeatedly and prematurely replacing parts can lead to additional future costs as those replaced parts eventually need replaced again! So why not take care of your processors now? Save yourself money down the line!
If you’ve been allowing your computer to idle instead of running it 24 hours a day, the lifespan of your computer’s thermal paste should be the same as that for any other household appliance.
The life expectancy of a CPU’s thermal paste is dependent on two factors:
- The number and type of applications installed or run on it.
- How much, if any, heat is generated from whatever process it performs.
As an example, high-end graphics cards put out tremendous amounts of heat when doing complex computations like 3D rendering or game simulations. This means their heatsinks have to deal with more stress and complexity because they can’t simply dissipate the heat through air as quickly nor as efficiently.
I think that thermal paste typically lasts six months to one year. As it deteriorates, heat can’t flow as easily from the CPU to your computer’s cooling fan and it will get hotter, overheat quicker and produce noise in the form of coil whining. Give your thermal paste a quick squeeze with your fingers if you’re not sure it needs replacing for guidance on how hard to press. If it doesn’t move at all, or flakes start falling off when you apply pressure then it’s time for a new application of thermal paste .
If your old thermal paste had already started bubbling or dust was collecting in neat lines around the edges then that is another signal that there isn’t enough interfacial surface or pressure between the two metals.
Generally, a tube of thermal paste can last up to 3-5 years, but this does vary depending on your specific situation. Important things to consider are the thickness of the paste (the thicker it is, the better), how often you clean your CPU and heatsink (everyday if possible) and what kind of temperatures you’re using from your CPU cooler throughout the day. So as long as you care for your PC, you should practice good habits such as cleaning your CPU every time you remove it or replacement/upgrading after 3-5 years (or sooner if there’s problems).
The lifetime of thermal compound is widely debated, but the most common answer seems to be anywhere from one year up to seven years – it all depends on the quality and purity of the product.
The reason that thermal compounds lose effectiveness overtime is because either air or a liquid have managed to get inside, which decreases conductance . Also, liquid reactions degrade curing agents not only by inactivating them but also by slowly causing them to solidify and create residues.