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How Long Does Thermal Paste Last?

How Long Does Thermal Paste Last?

How long does thermal paste last? This is one of the most repeated question among pc-building experts, computer gurus, and even engineers. Like maximum things, thermal pastes also come with an expiry date. The only issue is that it is not desirable on the thermal paste tube.

There are many factors involved in knowing precisely how long does thermal paste last? This article will talk over the configuration of thermal paste, and the proper ways of storing it to extend its shelf life.

Read on to learn how long does thermal paste last in the package and on your computer. 

How long does thermal paste last?  

Normally, thermal pastes can lasts between 2-5 years when still in the tube. However, this period may vary depending on the components and the producer. The most usual types of thermal gels are metal, silicon, ceramic, and carbon, each with different performance, function, and longevity. If you want to purchase one, though, it’s not an intelligent idea to base your decision on the solvent and longevity since thermal conductivity is much more important.

How long does thermal paste last?  

Make sure you’re purchasing from a genuine company, and you need to check the expiration date on the back of the bottle to see how long does thermal paste lasts. Also, make sure you store the product in the perfect circumstances, so it won’t go bad before the expiry date.

Here are some points:

  • Make sure you firmly close the cap after each use.
  • Keep the paste away protected from immensely hot or cold temperatures
  • Put it in a close vessel or plastic bag
  • Don’t reveal it to direct sunlight

What is thermal paste?

Thermal paste is an adhesive substance used as a heat-conductive interface between a microchip and its heatsink. This agent protects the microscopic air gaps between the heat source and heatsink and escalates heat transfer and cooling effects. It is also known by other names such as thermal grease, conductive paste, heat sink compound, CPU grease, and thermal gel.

How long does thermal paste last?  

Whatever you call it, without good paste, you” ll risk overheating your CPU, which could compromise your whole system. That’s why it is crucial how long does thermal paste lasts while in the tube and then once utilized.

What is a thermal paste made of?

Thermal paste is made out of a cyclisation liquid matrix and some dynamically insulating conductive fillers. For this liquid matrix, there are many materials that can be used to make the thermal paste. While there are many materials that can be used to make the thermal paste, the finest thermal pastes for computers are almost made completely out of liquid metal. However, these contain Gallium which is highly caustic to aluminum.

How to tell if a thermal paste is spoiled?

If you see important changes in a thermal paste’s appearance, it’s not functional anymore. Thermal pastes are homogenous to glue. Hence, if you find them too hard or too watery, they may have lost their sticky possessions.

Read More: How Long Do Gaming PCs Last?

An acrid transparent liquid is another sign of wasted paste. Nevertheless, if you scrape out the colorless liquid and a white or gray mixture comes out, you can still use it. 

Signs of Deterioration:

As thermal paste ages, it may show several symbols of deterioration:

a. Increased Temperatures:

During operation, if you notice a gradual rise in CPU or GPU temperatures, it could be due to deteriorating thermal paste.

b. Poor Performance:

Reduced thermal conductivity can lead to reduced cooling efficiency. This can result in a decreased version, as modern processors often lower clock speeds to prevent overheating.

Also Read:   How to Choose RAM ?
c. Dried or Cracked Appearance:

Over time, the thermal paste can dry out or develop small cracks, indicating its deteriorating condition.

d. Uneven Spread:

If the thermal paste has not been evenly spread across the CPU/GPU’s heat spreader, it can cause hotspots and lower cooling efficiency.

How long does thermal paste last on the device?

A quality thermal paste will last about 5 years on your CPU or any other chip. Depending on the environment, the computer’s cooling system, usage, and the compound’s quality, this number can lessen to three years or enlarge to as much as 10 years.

Factors affect the time span of Thermal Paste

1. Excessive use

You may need to replace your thermal paste more shortly than normal if any of the following circumstances is true about you:

  • You have overlocked the PC
  • You have observed a temperature increase in your PC, especially in the motherboard area, but you’re damn sure there’s nothing wrong with the fan and cooler
  • You are a gamer and run graphically demanding games on your computer

All the above storylines make your CPU overrun and extremely hot. A hot CPU means a shorter lifetime for the potential grease. 

2. Thermal paste Quality

If you categorize price over performance and refuse to invest in a quality thermal paste, then you shouldn’t expect it to work for more than a maximum of three years. Apart from quality, the components play an important role here. As a rule, the more heat thermal paste conducts, the sooner it becomes unusable.

3. Climate and Surroundings

If you live in a hot environment or happen to place your PC in a hot room like a loft, your thermal compound loses its regulation more easily. Try to stabilize your computer’s interior temperature putting the right fans. However, just maintaining the temperature won’t be enough. Dust, lint, grime, and dirt also cheapen your thermal gels possessions. 

How to apply thermal paste?

How long does thermal paste last?  

Accurate application of thermal paste helps lengthen its lifetime on the chip.

Here are the points:

  • Pull apart your PC using a screwdriver no matter what tool you have. Eliminate your CPU fan, heatsink, and CPU.
  • Depending on the gadget, you might not have to remove the heatsink. Irrigate a lint-free rag with isopropyl alcohol, and then rub it all over the heatsink surface. 
  • In the event, you observe bumps and pits on either of the surfaces, use fine-grit sandpaper to polish it out.
  • Clutch a tiny drop, twice the size of a rice grain, directly to the middle of your cooler base.


How long does thermal paste last? If you search this on other sites and platforms, they would all have different answer. The only thing alike you can take from this would be their long approximations. It can last for over a year up to even a decade. As long as you can take all the elements pointed into account, you indicate how long does thermal paste last.

Normally, thermal paste tubes should last for over a year as long as it kept away from the sun or hot area. Most of the thermal paste can only be utilized once anyway since you can indicate how much you would require.


How often should I change the thermal paste?

How Often Should You Replace Thermal Paste? In most cases, you shouldn’t need to reapply more than once every few years, though you should return your paste if you emit your cooler for any reason. You may also want to consider reapplying thermal paste if you find your CPU temperatures are rising.

How long is thermal paste usable?

Keep in mind that not all thermal compounds support efficacy in the same way. Most value options are good for two to three years, while higher-end compounds can go up to seven years. Replacing it every two to three years is a good concept and will keep your chip at its optimum.

Does GPU need thermal paste?

However, you may not know that thermal paste is crucial in the GPU, too. That’s right, just like how thermal paste is used to control the temperature of your CPU, it’s used to cool down your GPU, as well. Every once in a while, you have to adjust the thermal paste on your GPU to keep it functioning nicely.

Is dried thermal paste OK?

Being a grease is the best option for a gap-filler in this case unless… it dries out and becomes tangible. Sort of. Dried or “cured” thermal paste can lead to serious cracking and a loss of heat transfer capability.