Do motherboards come with thermal paste? (Answered)

Are you in the process of building a high-performance gaming PC and discovering that there are more details to consider than you initially realized?

Perhaps one question that has come up is whether motherboards come with thermal paste already pre-applied.

After all, opting for the wrong thermal compound or applying it incorrectly could have disastrous results.

Don’t worry — we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll be discussing everything from why thermal paste is important and how to apply it properly to answering your chief concern: Do motherboards usually come with a ready supply of thermal paste?

Read on if you want some insight into maximizing your system’s performance potential.

Do motherboards come with thermal paste?

Motherboards typically do not come with thermal paste pre-installed, however, it may be included in some computer builds.

Thermal paste is a special compound designed to fill the gap between the processor and heatsink, which helps to create an efficient thermal bond.

This helps to dissipate heat away from the processor, keeping temperatures in check and preventing overheating.

Thermal paste is easy to apply and replace, making it an essential component for any serious PC build. Not only can it help to reduce temperatures but it can also provide improved stability and reliability.

Furthermore, if your current thermal paste has degraded over time due to repeated usage or environmental conditions, then a fresh application could go a long way toward ensuring optimal performance.

How do I apply thermal paste to a motherboard?

Applying thermal paste properly can help keep your system running cool while also providing better performance overall due to improved heat dissipation from components such as processors and GPUs (graphics processing units). While it may seem intimidating at first glance, applying thermal paste doesn’t require any special tools or skills.

Choosing Your Thermal Paste

Selecting the most suitable thermal paste for your requirements is the crucial initial step in this process.

There are a few different types available, including synthetic grease, ceramic-based pastes and metal-based pastes.

Synthetic greases tend to be the least expensive option but may not offer as much protection against heat as ceramic or metal-based pastes.

Ceramic-based paste offers more heat protection but can be difficult to apply without leaving streaks on the motherboard.

Metal-based pastes offer good heat protection and are easy to apply without leaving streaks, making them a popular choice for many users.

Applying The Thermal Paste

Once you have chosen your thermal paste, it’s time to apply it.

  • First, make sure that both surfaces—the processor and heatsink—are clean and free of any dust or debris before beginning.
  • Then take a small amount of thermal paste (about the size of a pea) and spread it evenly over the top of the processor using either your finger or a lint-free cloth.
  • You want to ensure that there are no air bubbles in the paste as this will affect its performance.
  • After you have applied enough thermal paste, carefully place the heatsink onto the processor so that it sits flat against it with no gaps in between them.

Make sure that all four corners are securely fastened in place before continuing.  

Final Tips 

After applying your thermal paste, it is important to monitor your system’s temperature regularly by running benchmark tests or monitoring software such as Core Temp or Real Temp on Windows systems or iStat Menus on Mac OSX machines.

This will help ensure that everything is running smoothly and allow you to adjust settings if needed.

Additionally, make sure that all cables connected to your motherboard are secure so they don’t interfere with airflow around components like RAM modules or graphics cards which could cause overheating issues down the road.

And lastly, always remember to wear appropriate safety equipment such as gloves when handling computer hardware.

How much thermal paste should I use?

The amount of thermal paste you need to apply will depend on the size of the processor or heatsink itself. It is generally recommended to use a pea-sized drop of paste, but if your processor or heatsink is larger it may require a bit more.

It’s important not to use too much thermal paste as this can lead to air pockets which can cause overheating and performance issues. On the other hand, if you don’t use enough thermal paste then it won’t be able to properly dissipate heat away from your components, leading to potential damage or instability.

I recommend using just enough thermal paste so that a thin layer covers the entire surface of the processor or heatsink. This should be enough to provide good heat dissipation without any air pockets present.

It is also important to check that all four corners of the heatsink are securely fastened, as inadequate mounting can lead to uneven distribution of thermal paste which can affect performance.


In conclusion, motherboards typically do not come with thermal paste pre-installed. However, it is often included in some computer builds and can be a huge asset for cooling your system down.

Using the right thermal paste for your requirements is the crucial initial step in this process. Several types are available, each with its own set of advantages and drawbacks.

Once you have chosen your thermal paste, make sure the surfaces are clean before applying a pea-sized drop of it evenly over the processor or heatsink. Then carefully place the heatsink onto the processor or heatsink and make sure that all four corners are securely fastened.

Finally, remember to regularly monitor your system’s temperature and check for any signs of instability or overheating. Doing so will help ensure that everything is running smoothly and can avoid potential damage down the road.

Leave a Comment