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Liquid metal vs. thermal paste: Which CPU compound is better?

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Liquid metal as a heat transfer medium offers much better heat transfer compared to classic thermal paste. However, in practice it also harbors dangers, for example due to spillage. In the worst case, this can even cause damage to the PC components. Liquid metal should therefore be used with great care.

Liquid metal consists of metal alloys such as gallium, indium, and tin and has a higher thermal conductivity than thermal paste. This leads to better heat transfer and more effective cooling of the processor.

IDG

Despite these advantages, there are also reasons why many users continue to use conventional thermal paste. This is because liquid metal not only conducts heat particularly well, but also electrical current. Improper application can lead to short circuits and damage to PC components. Furthermore, liquid metal can be corrosive, especially when using aluminum heatsinks—when using liquid metal, you should use copper heatsinks for this reason.

In most cases, conventional thermal paste is sufficient for the PC. For powerful computers that require stronger cooling, switching to liquid metal could offer advantages, especially when overclocking. But even in such cases, it is advisable to weigh the risks thoroughly and seek expert assistance if necessary.

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Further reading: How to check your PC’s CPU temperature.

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This article was translated from German to English and originally appeared on pcwelt.de.

Recent stories by Friedrich Stiemer:

Micro-ATX vs. Mini-ITX: Pros and cons for tiny motherboardsCPU-FAN versus CPU-OPT on motherboards: What’s the difference?Is your motherboard defective? Here’s how to identify warning signs

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