If you’re a gamer or a graphic designer, you know how important it is to have a high FPS for smooth visual performance. However, the question still lingers – can thermal paste affect FPS?
Thermal paste is a crucial component that facilitates heat transfer between the CPU and the cooler. The better the heat transfer, the cooler the processor will be, and the better it will perform. On the other hand, FPS is the rate at which your computer’s graphics card can display new images, making a significant impact on the games’ performance.
While it’s easy to believe that thermal paste might be irrelevant to your computer’s FPS, new research suggests that it might not be the case. There are several factors that can affect FPS, and thermal paste application is one of them. In this article, we will explore whether thermal paste can affect FPS, the factors that impact FPS, and how to apply thermal paste correctly.
Now that we’ve set the stage, let’s dive deeper into the world of thermal paste and FPS. But first, let’s understand what thermal paste is and why it’s important.
What is Thermal Paste?
Thermal paste, also known as thermal compound or grease, is a substance that is applied between the processor (CPU) and the heat sink to improve heat transfer. The function of thermal paste is to fill in the microscopic gaps and irregularities between the CPU and the heat sink, which can inhibit the transfer of heat between the two surfaces. By filling in these gaps, thermal paste enhances the contact between the CPU and the heat sink, allowing heat to be more efficiently transferred away from the CPU.
There are several types of thermal paste available in the market. Some of the most commonly used types include ceramic, silicone, and metal-based pastes. Ceramic pastes are known for their high thermal conductivity, while silicone pastes are non-conductive and non-corrosive, making them safer to use. Metal-based pastes, such as those made with silver or copper, have high thermal conductivity but can sometimes be electrically conductive, and therefore require more care during application.
The application of thermal paste can have a significant impact on the temperature of the CPU. Poor application (too much or too little) or using an older, dried out thermal paste can lead to reduced heat transfer, resulting in higher CPU temperatures. On the other hand, proper application of good quality thermal paste can result in a cooler CPU which can lead to better performance and potentially higher FPS.
What is FPS?
FPS stands for “Frames Per Second”, which is a measure of how many images are displayed on your gaming screen in a second. In simple terms, it represents the speed of your gaming system. The higher the FPS, the smoother and faster the game appears.
FPS is an important factor for every gamer, as it helps to create a seamless and immersive gaming experience. It reacts to all the actions like shooting, jumping, or moving on the screen, giving you a better understanding of your character’s movements.
To measure FPS, there are free software and tools available, such as Fraps, MSI Afterburner, and Steam’s built-in FPS counter. These tools display the number of frames being processed per second on the screen at any given moment.
In gaming, FPS is everything. The higher the FPS, the better the gaming experience. As a gamer, you would prefer to have at least 60 FPS or higher for a smooth and uninterrupted gaming session. If your FPS drops below 30, you might experience lag or stuttering in your game, which can disrupt your gaming experience.
Given the importance of FPS in gaming, it is crucial to ensure that your system is optimized for the best possible performance. One way to achieve this is by applying thermal paste to your CPU, which can help to reduce the temperatures and improve the overall performance of your system.
But the question remains – can thermal paste affect FPS? Let’s explore this further in the next section.
Can Thermal Paste Affect FPS?
Now that we have learned a bit about thermal paste and FPS, let’s explore if thermal paste can actually affect FPS. The answer is yes, it can!
When a CPU heats up, its performance slows down as it becomes less efficient. This is because high temperatures can cause the CPU to start throttling, which means that it slows itself down to prevent damage. Thermal paste is crucial in reducing the heat generated by the CPU and preventing it from overheating.
If your CPU runs too hot, your FPS can be heavily impacted. For instance, if you play a game that requires a lot of processing power and your CPU gets too hot, then the CPU will begin to slow down, which can cause the game to stutter and lag. This delay can affect the smoothness of the gameplay and lead to poor in-game performance.
On the other hand, running your CPU at a lower temperature can help enhance your FPS performance. By using thermal paste, you can prevent your CPU from conducting excessive heat, which can result in more stable and reliable performance. This will give you an edge in competitive gaming where every millisecond counts.
To illustrate this point, let us take an example of a CPU running at high temperatures. If you are playing a game, let’s say “Far Cry 5,” with a CPU that’s running at 90°C, then your FPS is likely to be lower than if the CPU was running at 50°C. This is because the CPU at a higher temperature is slower than the CPU at a lower temperature.
In fact, tests have shown that reducing the CPU temperature from 90°C to 50°C can give you up to 20% more performance. This can make a big difference in fast-paced games where smooth gameplay is essential.
To ensure optimal cooling and improved gaming performance due to thermal paste, it is essential to apply it correctly. The applying process is easy and doesn’t need to be done frequently. Depending on the usage of your CPU after every two or three years, reapplying thermal paste is recommended.
By now, we know that thermal paste does have an impact on FPS. It reduces the CPU temperature, which helps the processor perform better and avoid damage from high temperatures. Whatever may be the game, in situations where every millisecond count, the right application of thermal paste can give you that extra gaming edge.
Factors that Affect FPS
While thermal paste can play a role in affecting FPS, there are several other factors that can contribute as well. These include:
- Graphics Card: The graphics card is one of the most important components when it comes to gaming and FPS. Upgrading your graphics card can often result in a noticeable improvement in FPS.
- Processor: A good processor is also important for gaming. Upgrading to a faster processor can help improve FPS as well.
- RAM: Having enough RAM is important to ensure smooth gaming performance. If you don’t have enough RAM, your FPS can suffer.
- Game Settings: Playing a game at higher graphical settings can put more strain on your system, resulting in lower FPS. Lowering the graphical settings can often result in a significant improvement in FPS.
- Overheating: Overheating can lead to lower FPS and other performance issues. Ensuring that your computer stays cool can help improve FPS.
How to optimize FPS
To optimize your FPS, there are a few things you can do:
- Upgrade your hardware: Upgrading your graphics card, processor, or RAM can all help improve FPS.
- Lower graphical settings: Lowering the graphical settings on a game can help improve FPS.
- Close unnecessary programs: Closing out of any unnecessary programs can help free up resources and improve FPS.
- Use a cooling pad: Using a cooling pad can help keep your system cool, preventing overheating and improving FPS.
- Overclocking: Overclocking your hardware can help improve performance, but be careful as this can also lead to overheating and other issues if not done properly.
By taking these steps, you can optimize your FPS and ensure that you are getting the most out of your system.
How to Apply Thermal Paste
Now that we have established the fact that thermal paste can indeed affect FPS, it’s time to learn how to apply the thermal paste the right way. Here’s a step-by-step guide for you:
Procedure of Applying Thermal Paste
- Start by cleaning the surface of the CPU and the heatsink thoroughly to remove any previous thermal paste residue. You can use isopropyl alcohol and a lint-free cloth for this purpose.
- Apply a small amount of thermal paste (roughly the size of a pea) at the center of the CPU. Keep in mind that too much thermal paste can also cause problems, so don’t overdo it.
- Now, spread the thermal paste evenly across the surface of the CPU, making sure that there are no air bubbles or gaps. You can use a plastic spreader or a credit card for this purpose. Avoid using metal objects as they can scratch the surface of the CPU.
- After applying the thermal paste, carefully place the heatsink back on top of the CPU and secure it with screws or clips. Make sure that the heatsink is aligned properly and making good contact with the CPU.
Common Mistakes When Applying Thermal Paste
Now that you know the proper procedure for applying thermal paste, let’s take a look at some common mistakes that you should avoid:
- Over-applying the thermal paste: This is the most common mistake that people make when applying thermal paste. Too much thermal paste can lead to poor heat transfer and even damage to the CPU.
- Under-applying the thermal paste: On the other hand, if you don’t apply enough thermal paste, you may end up with air bubbles or gaps that can reduce the effectiveness of the paste.
- Using the wrong type of thermal paste: Not all thermal pastes are created equal. Some are designed for high-performance CPUs and GPUs, while others are better suited for low-power systems. Be sure to choose the right type of thermal paste for your specific use case.
Tips for Ensuring Proper Application
To ensure that you get the most out of your thermal paste, here are some quick tips to keep in mind:
- Use high-quality thermal paste from a reputable brand.
- Avoid using too much or too little thermal paste.
- Make sure that the surface of the CPU and heatsink are clean and free of any debris or residue.
- Double-check the alignment and seating of the heatsink after applying the thermal paste.
- Monitor your CPU temperatures and adjust the amount of thermal paste as needed.
By following these tips and avoiding common mistakes, you can ensure that your thermal paste is applied correctly, maximizing CPU performance and FPS.
In conclusion, thermal paste does have an impact on FPS by keeping your CPU cool and preventing throttling. However, it’s vital to bear in mind that it’s just one of the many factors that can affect your FPS. The quality of the graphics card, processor, and RAM all play a significant role in determining the frame rate of your games. Therefore, for the best performance, you need to consider all these factors during upgrades.
In summary, upgrading your CPU isn’t simply about replacing a single component; it’s about ensuring you have a balanced system. So next time you’re considering an upgrade, remember that thermal paste plays a role in improving your CPU’s thermal performance, which ultimately helps your system’s FPS. Keep your system cool and your gamers happy!