Thermal pads or thermally conductive pads are a boon to all people who uses a system for prolonged hours. Many hardware components like CPUs, GPUs, gaming consoles, 3D printers, etc., heat up very often. The primary mechanism of thermal pads is to conduct heat and drain it from the heatsink. Isn’t that cool? Yes, it is cool in a literal manner. Thermal pads are usually used by gamers, as their gaming console may heat sooner than usual.
A thermal pad is a thick heat conductive pad used to establish heat contacts between the heatsink and the chipset or source. The thermal pad is concrete in material (generally soft and foam-like) and commonly used to keep us from overheating our stuff and controls the components’ heat. These pads are mostly placed between the heatsink and the chip to fill uneven and more significant gaps left behind when the heatsink is placed on the processor or any other chipset.
A game station tends to heat up, and this makes the CPU and GPU lose their efficiency. Using a thermal pad will improve the performance by cooling the system components. Previously, the thermal paste was used in between the heatsink. Their primary purpose was to fill the heatsink, but this traditional method utilizes a lot of time.
- 1 Types of Thermal Pads
- 2 5 Best Thermal Pads
Types of Thermal Pads
Depending on the usage of the user, there are two types of thermal pads:
- Graphite Thermal Pads
- Silicon Thermal Pads
As many people were facing several issues with thermal paste, Graphite thermal pads came into existence. They are easy to use and reliable for gamers as they do not have to be changed time-to-time. Graphite thermal pads usually contain dry material, and this makes them less reliable when compared to Silicon Thermal pads.
Silicon Thermal pads are better quality Thermal pads when compared to graphite ones. They are thinner and more efficient. People usually have to use glue with Graphite thermal pads to stick them around the heatsinks and heat component. But, in the case of Silicon thermal pads, they do not have to worry about this concern. Silicon ones are more comfortable to use and are ‘modern.’ They are a choice of millions of gamers than the graphite thermal pads.
5 Best Thermal Pads
Are you looking for an idle thermal pad? Your search ends now, and we have the list of the 5 Best thermal pads that will complete your search. Look at the description of each product and read the pros and cons of each.
ARCTIC Thermal Pad
|Arctic Thermal Pad can conduct heat up to 6.0 W/mK. Easy to apply and one of the most affordable thermal pads.||Check On Amazon
ZUPAYIPA Silicone Thermal Pad
|ZUPAYIPA has manufactured the best silicone thermal pads. They on every GPU, CPU, or IC on board.||Check On Amazon
Grizzly Carbonaut’s Thermal pad
|Grizzly Carbonaut’s Thermal pads are made up of carbon fibers which are very adaptable to the surface.||Check On Amazon
nkomax Thermalright Thermal Pad
|nkomax Thermalright Thermal Pad is durable and reliable. It can sustain thermal conductivity up to 12.8 W/mK.||Check On Amazon
Innovation Cooling Graphite Thermal Pad
|Innovation Cooling Graphite Thermal Pad is the most popular thermal pad used by most people. It has conductive levels of 35W/mK.||Check On Amazon
Arctic Thermal Pads uses special fillers to conduct heat up to 6.0 W/mK. They are made of silicone and outperform the majority of other thermal pads in the market. It is effortless to install and can be repositioned without damaging the product.
The product defines the major use of a thermal pad, i.e., filling all the gaps effortlessly. The compressibility helps it act as a bridge between uneven surfaces. They are easy to set up and can be repositioned whenever required. It is free from any metallic particles, which ensures no conductivity of electricity how-so-ever.
- Easy installation
- Idle universally
- High stability and durability
- Poor packaging
- Thicker than normal
- Smaller in size
As the name suggests, Zupayipa’s Thermal pads are silicone made. They are recognized for solving major CPU heat sinks problems. They are reliable for GPUs and chips.
It has a flexible attachment and repositioning quality that ensures higher usage. These thermal pads fill the microstructures on the milled aluminum surface, bringing a much-improved heat path. They are non-sticky and get a great surface texture look to the workspace.
- Non-sticky surface
- Reliable for glass print bed
- Avoids binder clips
- Provides the best utilization if used full
- Higher cost versus quality
Providing maximum thermal conductivity, Grizzly Carbonaut’s Thermal pads are one of the best in the market. They have a tremendous adapting surface that is reusable. It is easier to change the parts if damaged.
Grizzly Carbonaut thermal pads are made of carbon fiber, and they have a special polymer that makes them flexible and provides them with soft gap fillers. With these features, they ensure a good heat transfer performance.
- Reusable and do not dry out soon.
- Flexible comparatively to other thermal pads
- Maximum thermal conductivity and heat transfer performance
- Costly than other thermal pads
- Poor design
With multiple features, nkomax stands to be the best. Some highlighted features are their durability and reliability. They are made up of upgraded thermal silica gel, which induces around 12.8 W/mK.
They are comfortable and convenient to use and fill up the majority of heatsinks. They adapt to the surface and cools down the temperature within seconds. These thermal pads are non-toxic and odorless and are easier to be used by beginners.
- Reasonable cost
- Wide list of application with reliable service
- Non-conductive and fast cooling
- Smaller size
- Throttles at high temperature
Last but not least, Innovation Cooling Thermal pads are the only graphite ‘material‘ based thermal pad on our list. They have a high heat conduction rate of 35W/mK. As any electricity contact may damage the component, IC graphite thermal pads are safer to use.
They use dry material to increase their durability. These thermal pads absorb high temperatures ranging from 200C to 400C. Innovation cooling Graphite thermal pads are considered the best alternative for thermal gel. As they work great with minor or none overclocking of GPUs, it reduces a lot of gamers’ workload.
- Supports high temperature
- Relatively lower costs
- Easy to use
- Less considerable thermal compound
- Size issues
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are thermal pads used for?
Answer: Thermal Pads are used to fill the heatsinks between hardware components and the surface where it is held. As other mediums reduce heat exchange rate, thermal pads fill the space with the perfect cooling compound. They are the high conductor of heat, which makes them absorb the heat, which helps the component cool faster.
- Is thermal paste better than thermal pads?
Answer: Thermal pastes are a traditional way of filling the heatsinks. They are challenging to use as they require a look around once in a while. Thermal pads act as a better alternative for thermal paste with a quicker solution. Thermal pads are more reliable and efficient than paste.
- Should you use Thermal Pads Instead of Thermal Paste?
Answer: If you are looking for the best solution for the heating problem, then thermal pads are the best. Yes, using thermal pads instead of thermal paste is a far better option. It provides flexibility to the person to replace/reuse them whenever they want.