Can Thermal Paste Damage Your Motherboard?

Can Thermal Paste Damage Your Motherboard?

If you’re the kind of person who manages to regularly upgrade the internal hardware of their computer then there’s one thing you definitely might have noticed your CPU and motherboard need thermal paste to keep functioning when large amounts of heat pass through them.

So if you are applying thermal paste then it is going to be good or bad for your motherboard? Let us find out.

When the thermal paste is applied correctly it manages to improve heat transfer significantly but if a large quantity of thermal paste is used then this has the tendency to damage the motherboard greatly as well as its sockets.

So for this case, we would recommend you to go easy on the motherboard with the thermal paste because if things go south then it’s going to be pretty difficult for you to handle things.

Can Thermal Paste Damage The Motherboard?

The thermal paste that you use on the internal parts of your computer, especially the motherboard is a solution that has high conductivity that helps with heat transfer. This paste is applied between an electronic component in computers and the heat sink. When this thermal paste is applied correctly, it allows for the CPU and heat sink to have their heat removed completely.

This allows your system to attain a more stable and safe temperature so that you can keep on performing functions on your computer regularly. One more important thing to note is that using the thermal paste frequently is going to shorten the life of your computer so the less thermal paste applied, the better your motherboard is going to be.

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Thermal paste is used to cover imperfection whenever the heat sink is installed on the surface of a component. When too much of this thermal paste is put between the components then this has the tendency to spread over the surface of the motherboard which causes a lack of connectivity and the worst-case scenario is that you can have a short circuit. This won’t be good for your PC now, will it?

This is the reason why some CPUs come with thermal paste right from their day one use which has already been applied in place by the manufacturer of the motherboard. This reduces the risk of something happening to the motherboard.

What If Thermal Paste Gets On the Motherboard Socket?

The two types of thermal paste are a non-conductive compound and a conductive one. The former is made of silicon and zinc whereas the latter is made up of Arctic silver which has a pretty high conductivity. Both these types not only vary on their level of conductivity but on their viscosity as well. Their composition is what varies their viscosity so you check their composition and decide accordingly.

Many users prefer to use conductive thermal paste but the reality is that although this paste might easily get rid of heat, it needs to be applied very carefully because if it is not then it can cause a short circuit in your motherboard. So when the thermal paste comes in contact with the motherboard sockets then the motherboard may never work again.

One con about these sockets is that they are super delicate and can never be touched. So if an accident takes place where the thermal paste accidentally gets onto these sockets then just don’t use your hands in any way whatsoever. You are not devouring a cheeseburger here so you can keep your hands in control.

The motherboard also has sockets that help attach the processor as well. These sockets have small pins that end up being lined up processor by processor until they eventually manage to reach the motherboard.

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As for the sockets, they contain chipsets that manage data on the motherboard. These are electronic components and when these are blocked by anything such as thermal paste then this technology is going to refuse to work ever again.

Thermal paste is a solution that needs to be applied super carefully regardless of it is conductive or non-conductive. If you don’t have any sort of expertise in this matter then it’s better if a professional jumped in and helped you with the entire process.

Can Thermal Paste Damage Your Motherboard?

During Motherboard Changing is Thermal Paste Needed?

There are several split opinions about this by tech experts. Whenever the motherboard changes, it is because the process was changed as well. This is why the thermal compound which was applied before is now gone and it has been applied once again on the new processor.

If the motherboard is then changed for any other reason and it isn’t related to a new processor being inserted then it isn’t necessary for you to apply the thermal paste once again. Some people on the other hand would recommend you clean the old thermal paste using alcohol and then apply it again to avoid air bubbles that occur on the surface of the processor and the heat sink. 

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If the paste has dried then it needs to be changed, cleaned up, and reapplied with some new thermal paste. The gaps that are present between the heat sink and the processor help to avoid heat dissipation. The surface of both complements is not perfectly flat which then obstructs the heat after transferring from the CPU towards the heat sink. This is the part where the thermal paste plays such an important role.

We’ve already told you above which thermal paste you need to be using from the conductive compound and the non-conductive thermal compound so make sure to keep in mind the consequences of whichever paste you apply on your motherboard.


The thermal paste can very well damage your motherboard which is why you will need to be super careful at times whenever you are applying it. A little error and it could cause your entire motherboard to blow up! 

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