How to Replace GPU Thermal Paste (Help Keep Your GPU Cool)

One of the most common problems that PC gamers encounter is having their GPU heat up. Thermal paste is one of the cheapest ways to reduce how hot your GPU can get without having to resort to fans or heat sinks. However, in recent years, it’s gotten harder to find thermal paste that actually works, due to the way that it’s created.

This is the United States, and we’re stuck with this dinky thermal paste called Arctic Silver 5. It’s a great thermal paste, and it allows our GPU’s to run cool on a normal usage. But what if you want to overclock? You may want to upgrade your thermal paste, and replace it with something more intense. There are a lot of choices out there, but I’ve found that Arctic Silver 5 is very safe and effective, and it’s cheap.

GPU Thermal Paste is a key part of making your laptop or PC run at a stable temperature. When temperatures get too high, they can cause your GPU to overheat and shutdown. Replacing the Thermal Paste can fix this.

Knowing how to change your graphics card’s GPU thermal paste may dramatically increase cooling and temperature range.

When you purchase a new graphics card, the manufacturer thermal compound or paste that comes with it isn’t necessarily the best. Yes, it may work for a while, but after a while, you may find that operating temperatures are rising.

Using a high-quality thermal paste ensures greater heat transmission between the GPU and the heatsink, as well as a longer-lasting solution that won’t harden and perform poorly after 6 to 12 months.

So let’s get started by going through the procedures for replacing the thermal paste on your GPU.

1. Turn off your computer and remove the card.

How to Replace GPU Thermal Paste (Help Keep Your GPU Cool)Remove the screws on the graphics card as well as the power connector.

Turn down your computer and disconnect any power connections from it. Remove any power connections from the graphics card by opening the case lid.

Remove the screws that hold the card in place in the case.

At the end of the PCI express slot where the graphics card is connected into your motherboard, push the release clip (or slide it to an open position).

Pull the card straight out, keeping it as level as possible and, if required, holding the release clip open.

Make sure you have a clutter-free work area and a few items at your side to work with so you can quickly work on your card.

Important: Once your graphics card has been removed, do not touch the copper connections on the edge connector.

2. Use compressed air to clean the card.

Use pressurized air from a compressor or compressed air from a container before you begin working on the card correctly.

Working on the card will be simpler now that there are cleaner sections to deal with.

You may also use a tiny paint brush to assist clean hard-to-reach areas before using compressed air.

3. Disconnect the heatsink from the heatsink assembly.

  • How to Replace GPU Thermal Paste (Help Keep Your GPU Cool) 2Disconnect the Fan Connector
  • How to Replace GPU Thermal Paste (Help Keep Your GPU Cool) 3Screws must be undone

We may now start dismantling the GPU cooler. Remove the graphics card’s fan connection.

To remove the heatsink from most cards, there are typically screws on the back side of the card that must be undone.

Plastic clips are used in certain versions, which may be removed with a tiny set of pliers.

If the heatsink is attached to the GPU after you’ve removed all of the holding screws, nuts, or clips, pry it free using a plastic lever.

This is a rare occurrence, and it’s typically caused by outdated, low-quality thermal paste that hardens and makes heatsink removal difficult.

4. Make sure the GPU and heatsink are clean.

  • How to Replace GPU Thermal Paste (Help Keep Your GPU Cool) 4GPU with Thermal Paste from the Manufacturer
  • How to Replace GPU Thermal Paste (Help Keep Your GPU Cool) 5Heatsink for GPU Cooler with Factory Thermal Paste

Make sure to use a suitable thermal paste removal agent to make cleaning as simple as possible. In the past, I’ve used rubbing alcohol to remove thermal paste, however it takes a long time compared to the thermal paste remover.

The most effective thermal paste remover and purifier

How to Replace GPU Thermal Paste (Help Keep Your GPU Cool) 6

Thermal Paste Remover and Surface Purifier Kit by ArctiClean

I’ve been utilizing these two items for a long time. I’ve never looked back after discovering how simple it is to remove old thermal paste. Just make sure you have plenty of clean cloths on hand.

  • How to Replace GPU Thermal Paste (Help Keep Your GPU Cool) 7Thermal Surface Purifier and Thermal Material Remover
  • How to Replace GPU Thermal Paste (Help Keep Your GPU Cool) 8Using a Thermal Removal Fluid on a Cloth

Make use of a clean cloth and some heat removal fluid. Then wipe the surface as gently as possible to remove as much as possible in one swipe. Repeat on a clean region with the cleaning cloth until both the GPU and the heatsink are spotless.

Apply some thermal surface purifier to a fresh clean cloth and clean the GPU and heatsink surfaces a few times. This will ensure that the surface is clean and will also assist to avoid corrosion later on.

Take some compressed air and blow away any dust or lint that may have remained on your fabric. This is critical since even a tiny particle of dust may cause the heatsink to not lie flat on the GPU.

This will ensure that the surface is properly prepped for optimal cooling.

  • How to Replace GPU Thermal Paste (Help Keep Your GPU Cool) 9GPU that has been cleaned
  • How to Replace GPU Thermal Paste (Help Keep Your GPU Cool) 10Heatsink that has been cleaned

5. Use a thermal paste.

How to Replace GPU Thermal Paste (Help Keep Your GPU Cool) 11Using a Thermal Paste

Once the heatsink is back in place and pushed up against the GPU, apply a tiny quantity of thermal paste, just enough to cover the contact area of the GPU.

Apply the compound sparingly; you don’t want it to seep out the edges of the targeted region, creating a mess on the GPU’s PCB.

The Most Effective Thermal Paste

How to Replace GPU Thermal Paste (Help Keep Your GPU Cool) 12

AS5-12GR Arctic Silver 5

Out of the numerous kinds I’ve tried, it has produced the greatest results in terms of temperatures while idle or under high load. I’ve tried a lot of different kinds and this thermal paste is one of the best for staying wet and not hardening over time.

We must begin reassembly of the heatsink as soon as feasible once the thermal paste has been properly applied to prevent any additional dust particles settling in the compound or anywhere else on the contact surfaces.

6. Put the heatsink back together.

  • How to Replace GPU Thermal Paste (Help Keep Your GPU Cool) 13Connect the Fan Connector
  • How to Replace GPU Thermal Paste (Help Keep Your GPU Cool) 14While holding the cooler in one hand, add one screw around two or three turns in.

Reinstall the heatsink while keeping the locking screws handy. While holding the heatsink in place with one hand, replace the screws to secure the heatsink with the other.

Begin by hand-fitting each screw (without completely tightening any of them) until you have all of them hand-fitted with a few thread turns in.

You may now tighten them up a few turns at a time with your screwdriver while rotating between between screws to ensure that the heatsink is evenly tightened.

Always take caution not to overtighten screws. You don’t want them to take off their clothes. Attempting to restore stripped threads will be tough, and the GPU cooler will most likely need to be replaced completely.

The GPU’s contact surface should now be in excellent contact with the heatsink.

7. Restart the computer and reinstall the graphics card.

Replace the graphics card in the same manner that you removed it. Keep the card level and line it up carefully when you re-insert it into its slot.

If your card slot’s locking clip was a sliding kind, move it back into the locked position.

To ensure that the card is securely secured, replace the screws.

Read our post on how to test your GPU to check if it’s functioning if you need to see if it’s working to see if it’s working.


You should see an improvement in the range of operating temperatures now that you’ve changed the thermal paste on the GPU. This will help to enhance the stability and durability of the system.

You won’t have to worry about changing the compound for a long time now that you’ve used high-quality thermal paste.

When the GPU begins to heat up, check sure the card’s fan(s) are spinning up as they should. To learn how to install and adjust fan management software for your GPU, see our post on how to speed up graphics card fans.

For a gamer who is serious about their hardware, finding the right thermal paste is essential. The proper thermal paste acts as a key bridge between a heat sink and a heat source, so it is crucial to get both right. When you are running high-end graphics cards, the heat generated by the GPU can quickly exceed the tolerable limit. If you are not prepared to deal with the heat from the GPU, get a better thermal paste today and reduce damage to your GPU.. Read more about thermal paste gpu reddit and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I change my GPU thermal paste?

You should change your thermal paste when the GPU is below 60 degrees Celsius.

How do I reapply thermal paste to my GPU?

To reapply thermal paste to your GPU, you should first remove the old thermal paste. You can do this by using a small spatula or a credit card and gently scraping it off of the GPU. Next, you should apply a thin layer of new thermal paste on top of the GPU. Finally, you should use a clean cloth or tissue paper to wipe away any excess thermal paste that may have been left behind.

How can I improve my GPU cooling?

If you are using a laptop, try to remove the battery and use the power adapter. If you are using a desktop computer, make sure that your case has vents on it for air to flow in.

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