Keeping your system’s temperature at a safe spot can sometimes be a challenge. You have to resort to good coolers, and you need to pay attention to dust and thermal paste. In this article, we will check whether processors of popular brands such as AMD Ryzen and Intel come with thermal paste. It is not that thermal paste is expensive, but if your CPU already comes with it, it is a nice treat and you don’t need to worry about one more thing.
Just want a CPU model with thermal paste pre-applied? Alright, then go with the highly rated Ryzen 5 3600. It is a great CPU and its stock cooler has thermal paste that should last a bit. If you are looking for an Intel model, then the Core i5-10400F is a great choice. Worry not, if the CPU that you want comes without thermal paste. You can easily apply it yourself. For that, we recommend the high quality Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut High Performance Thermal Paste. It’s perfect for cooling all processors, GPUs and Heat Sinks.
Do CPUs Come With Thermal Paste
Some of them do, but most don’t. Usually, the thermal paste comes already applied on the stock cooler that is included in the CPU box.
However, some CPU models nowadays don’t feature a stock cooler. You buy your preferred model and you get only that, then you need to look for some type of cooling solution for yourself.
Depending on the model of CPU, it is better this way. Some CPUs reach very high temperatures, and to sell a decent cooling solution together, companies would have to sell the whole package for a very high price.
Also, if you are buying a used CPU from somebody else, then don’t expect thermal paste to come applied. In that case, you will have to invest in a good thermal paste and learn to apply it yourself.
Does AMD Ryzen Come With Thermal Paste
As already said, it is common for thermal paste to come applied to the stock cooler of the CPU you buy. If the CPU model you are buying doesn’t come with a stock cooler, it is most likely it won’t have any thermal paste applied on it.
Let’s check two specific, popular models and learn whether they come with this handy treat.
Does The Wraith Prism Come With Thermal Paste
Yes, it does.
Some AMD CPUs come with the Wraith Prism cooler (check the price here), and you can check that there is a bit of thermal paste applied on it out of the box.
Furthermore, any CPU you buy from AMD that has a cooler in the box will have a pre-applied thermal paste.
Other CPUs come with Stealth Prism or other variations, all of them with thermal paste.
If it is the first time you are buying a CPU, it can look very nice that the stock cooling solution already has some thermal paste applied to it.
However, many people who buy these models change the thermal paste immediately.
The reason is that the thermal paste used to ship these coolers is not the best you can get.
It is better than nothing, of course, but you can get high-quality thermal paste for a few bucks and apply it yourself.
We recommend the highly rated Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut High Performance Thermal Paste.
It does a great job cooling all processors, graphics cards and heat sinks in computers as well as consoles.
Does The Ryzen 5 3600 Come With Thermal Paste
Yes, it sure does come with thermal paste.
The Ryzen 5 3600 comes with the Wraith Stealth Cooler, so you can expect to see thermal paste applied to that cooler.
Remember that these stock coolers are not always well suited for your purposes.
They can hold the temperature a bit depending on your whole setup, but if you are going for extreme uses with pushing hardware, you are going to need proper thermal paste and a cooler with high RPM.
You can get this CPU by clicking here.
Do Intel Processors Come With Thermal Paste
The answer for Intel processors is the same as for AMD. You won’t find thermal paste applied on the CPU, but rather on the stock cooler in case you buy a CPU that comes with one.
Intel Core models of series K and X don’t come with a stock cooler (for these models it would just be wasted effort, as they reach too high a temperature for a stock cooler to handle).
Do I Need Thermal Paste For i5?
Yes, you certainly need it. Thermal paste is something you can’t live without no matter the processor you are running.
Some generations of i5 come with a stock cooler that has thermal paste pre-applied on it, so you don’t need to worry about it immediately.
However, the thermal paste will dry off and you will need to apply more.
You should check your hardware’s integrity once in a while and see if there is a need for a new thermal paste.
i5 models that are not K or X series will come with thermal paste pre-applied on their stock cooler. You can check one great deal here.
Does The i9 10900K Come With Thermal Paste?
No. K Processors of the Intel Core series are not known for coming with stock cooler or pre-applied thermal paste.
Because of that, you should already have a thermal paste on your side when your new CPU arrives and you are planning to install it on your system.
Especially for models that go a long way to deliver powerful clocks, quality thermal paste makes all the difference. You will want to keep the temperature as low as possible to make sure your processor lives long.
Preapplied Thermal Paste FAQ
Do All CPUs Have Thermal Paste?
No, not all. It depends on the model you are buying. Also, it is not on the CPU itself that you will find pre-applied thermal paste, but rather on the stock cooler that comes in the box.
Some AMD models come with coolers, and this means you will find pre-applied thermal paste on them.
For Intel models, you should just check if the model has an X or K. If it has, then no stock cooler is on the box, and thus no thermal paste.
If you are buying a renewed or second-hand CPU, then it probably won’t come with pre-applied thermal paste even if it has a stock cooler together.
However, again, thermal paste is very cheap, so you shouldn’t really worry much about your CPU coming with it.
Can You Run A CPU Without Thermal Paste?
You technically can, but you should never do it.
First of all, CPUs run very hot. Depending on the model you bought, you will see temperatures rising to 90-100ºC. This happens even with thermal paste on and proper cooling from an AIO cooler.
Now, try to picture the situation without thermal paste on. To answer very quickly, thermal paste is as indispensable as air or liquid cooler. Also, it is very cheap, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t buy it to protect your system’s physical integrity.
Now, getting a bit more technical, let’s understand exactly what function the thermal paste performs. Its cooling function is different from coolers but is complementary and just as important.
Thermal paste is one of the main computer components that help keep the temperature of a processor low. It is a viscous liquid, usually white or silver (depending on the material), which is applied to the surface of the processor next to the cooler.
Its main function is to serve as a conductor of heat and assist in its dissipation. Thus, it helps the cooler when keeping the processor at a suitable temperature.
Its price can vary (but will always be affordable), depending on the quality and what it is made of. The best pastes have silver in their composition, which is a great conductor of heat.
After a few months of use, the paste invariably needs to be changed, as it becomes hard, dry and, when it reaches that point, it no longer serves its purpose.
In more extreme cases, the processor might even be operating without it and this is causing it to reach very high temperatures.
It is always recommended to keep an eye on your CPU’s temperature and check thermal paste as well as cooler performance whenever you notice something is off.
If you have chosen to use cheaper paste, the ideal is to change it at least once a year. The highest quality ones last longer (some as long as 5 years).
Even so, checking regularly prevents unhappy surprises.
You won’t be disappointed, and your CPU will see the quality of life at low safe temperatures.
Final Words About Do Processors Come With Thermal Paste
Now that you learned that some processors come with thermal paste, you can choose between buying one with a stock cooler or not. Also, even if your chosen processor has a stock cooler with pre-applied thermal paste, you will have to buy more paste in the long run.
Two great processors that come with stock coolers that should handle their temperature up to a certain point are the Ryzen 5 3600 and the Core i5-10400F. Since you are going to need more paste after a few months, you can safely buy the Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut or the Arctic MX-5.