Can Thermal Paste affect FPS? (Here’s The Answer)

Many gamers want to replace thermal paste, but they worry whether it will impact their FPS or not?

Higher FPS usually provides a smoother and more responsive gaming experience; therefore, it is significant for gamers.

So, before doing anything with thermal paste, read this complete guide because I wrote this article after doing a ton of research.

So, Can Thermal Paste affect FPS?

Generally, there is no direct link between Thermal Paste and FPS, but a good layer of thermal paste keeps your CPU or GPU from overheating; as a result, you will see a noticeable improvement in your framerates. 

But, FPS decreased a lot when we replaced the thermal paste; therefore, you must be careful before replacing the thermal paste.

In the below section, all the facts regarding this topic are explained, so keep reading this article till the end.

Thermal Paste & FPS: What’s the Connection?

As Wikipedia explains, thermal paste is a thermally conductive chemical compound commonly used as an interface between heat sinks and heat sources such as high-power semiconductor devices (CPU or GPU).

The primary role of thermal paste is to eliminate air gaps or spaces from the interface area to maximize heat transfer and dissipation.

Generally, the thermal paste is applied to a CPU or GPU before installing a proper cooling solution.

On the other hand, FPS stands for Framerates per Seconds, and it is the frequency at which consecutive images are captured or displayed.

Users need higher FPS for smoother visuals and an incredible gaming experience, but if you want to hold high framerates, you need to remember some important facts.

Overheating CPU or GPU is the most significant reason behind the FPS drops because for a game to run smoothly, you need CPU or GPU both at maximum clock speed; therefore, a lot of heat was generated.

But a good layer of thermal paste protects your CPU or GPU from overheating by ensuring there are no gaps between the heatsink and the CPU. This is how the FPS is indirectly connected to the thermal paste.

Can Bad Thermal Paste Cause Low FPS?

Yes! the bad thermal paste causes low FPS because the bad thermal paste cannot transfer the heat from the heatsink of the processor to the base plate or water block of the CPU cooler, which is designed to dissipate the heat.

In general, the bad Thermal Paste indicates the operational capability of your Thermal Paste. Usually, thermal paste lasts around 2 to 3 years & it’s a good idea to change the thermal paste and apply the new thermal paste every 2 to 3 years.

However, if your PC is 2 to 3 years old and you notice that your CPU or GPU is constantly heating, this can be due to aging and bad thermal paste.

Moreover, if you face sudden FPS drops during gaming, this can be due to old thermal paste.

So, suppose you are facing these issues continuously. In that case, it indicates thermal paste would be so bad of quality that it hinders the flow of heat or is so old that it hinders it; then You would have to replace it with a new one to prevent thermal throttling, causing lowered performance.

Does Applying a new Thermal Paste increase FPS?

Yes! in most cases, after applying the new thermal paste, you will notice a significant improvement in the framerates because the new thermal paste protects your CPU or GPU from overheating. 

Overheating is closely related to framerates, and if your device is heating too much, you will get a lower FPS.

However, in rare cases, after applying the new layer of thermal paste, you will notice a slight decrease in the FPS and some game stuttering, but this problem will remain for very little time for you.

Overall, after applying the new thermal paste, you will get a much better GPU or CPU temperature. As a result, your FPS increases just because of this little heat or temperature.

Also Read: Can High FPS damage GPU?

Why FPS Drops after Replacing the Thermal Paste?

Littlebit of FPS drops is such a common issue after replacing the thermal paste, but it is a worrying sign if your FPS drops too much.

If you decide to change the thermal paste, you need to keep a couple of factors in your mind.

It would be best if you remembered that don’t put too much thermal paste because too much thermal compound is nearly as bad as none at all. 

Moreover, if you put too much thermal paste, it can damage your motherboard & its sockets.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is that when you apply the thermal paste, make sure that the cooler is making good contact with the thermal compound; otherwise, it will not be able to let out the heat generated by your CPU or GPU.

Should You replace Thermal Paste for better FPS?

If your CPU or GPU is several years old and your framerate gets progressively worse the longer you play games, you should replace the thermal paste. 

On average, your CPU’s thermal paste lasts for 2 to 3 years, and it’s a good habit to replace the CPU’s thermal compound over time. It also protects your CPU from overheating.

But, when it comes to GPU, then you should only change the thermal paste on a GPU if it’s hitting temperatures of higher than 90c and your warranty has expired.

Also Read: Why FPS is Not Stable?

Final Verdict

So, based on all the facts, it can be said that the thermal paste doesn’t affect the FPS directly, but a good layer of thermal paste protects your CPU and GPU from overheating.

Heat is a significant factor for FPS, and if you have a good thermal paste, then your processor does not generate lots of heat; therefore; as a result, you will notice a stable and higher FPS.

I hope this article is helpful for you and if you want to know more about the Thermal Paste, FPS, PC Components, Computers, and other technology-related things, then keep following this blog regularly.


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