Main menu


What is the purpose of thermal grease on heatsinks and CPUs?

What is the purpose of thermal grease on heatsinks and CPUs?

The Answer

Thermal grease, also known as thermal paste or thermal compound, is used to improve the thermal conductivity between a heat sink and a CPU (Central Processing Unit), or between any two surfaces that need to transfer heat efficiently. The purpose of thermal grease is to fill the tiny gaps and imperfections that exist between the mating surfaces of the CPU and heat sink.

When a CPU operates, it generates a lot of heat, which can damage the processor if it is not removed effectively. A heat sink is used to transfer the heat away from the CPU and dissipate it into the surrounding air. However, the contact between the CPU and heat sink is not perfect, and there are tiny gaps and irregularities in the surface that can create air pockets or "hot spots." These pockets of air or hot spots can cause the temperature of the CPU to rise and potentially damage it.

Thermal grease helps to fill these gaps and imperfections, providing a smooth and continuous thermal interface between the CPU and heat sink. This allows for better heat transfer, as the heat can flow more easily from the CPU to the heat sink, reducing the temperature of the processor and preventing damage. By using thermal grease, the performance and lifespan of the CPU can be improved, making it a crucial component in many high-performance computing systems.
You are now in the first article