Can Lack Of Thermal Paste Overheat Idle CPU?

If you are here for the short answer then it’s a YES. Lack of thermal paste can overheat idle CPU.

I remember when we were younger and we used to think that the thermal paste was only there for processors which are overclocked and required more cooling to stay cool. We were wrong.

The thermal paste helps keep the heat down in the processor by making a connection between the heat sink and the CPU. When there is no thermal paste or not enough of it, the heat cannot be pulled away from the processor as well so the temperature of the CPU would rise.

Does Thermal Paste Stop Overheating?

Yes, the primary purpose of thermal paste is to fill the non-uniform (i.e.: bumpy) surface of metal surfaces such as those used in heatsinks and CPUs. As these components expand or contract due to temperature changes, uneven gaps between the metals will form, causing poor contact and thus poor heat transfer between them.

Signs of a Faulty or Missing Application of Thermal Paste

A few signs that indicate your CPU may be overheating:

  • Fan constantly running,
  • booting problems like Blue screen, Black screen etc.,
  • computer restarting itself or freezing randomly.
  • Your computer is having delays when you open heavy programs or run multiple programs simultaneously
  • Your computer emits strange sounds
  • Your computer is running slower than normal and your fan is making lots of noise

Can Lack of Thermal Paste Cause PC to Shut Down?

It’s not likely. Lack of thermal paste wouldn’t cause the PC to shut down, but rather it would affect the system’s cooling capability. Without this important component, your computer will reach unsafe temperatures and force your body’s security mechanism–overheating–to initiate a shutdown sequence to protect both you and your machine from irreversible damage.

Your computer might coast along for a while with no visible problems before suddenly shutting down once too many of its components are damaged, but there are indications that are occurring that are worth watching for if you suspect your thermal paste has dried up or has already been worn away by use over time. To keep you running cool again, read on how to replace thermal paste!

How to Replace Thermal Paste?

1 Clean both surfaces thoroughly to remove any previous thermal compound.

2 Apply a small amount of thermal compound on the top of your processor or GPU chip.

3 Then cover that area with your heatsink. Do not spread it around and do not use too much paste. Just enough so it can cover all the areas between the heatsink and the CPU’s surface will be fine.

NB: Some people prefer applying thermal compounds on their cooler rather than their processors’ top, but this is entirely up to you as long as you know how to apply it correctly without causing gaps between those two surfaces that would ruin its function or performance later down the road.

Can Overheat Cause Immense FPS Drops? How Do I Fix It?

A woman playing games and experiencing FPS drops because of her CPU is overheating

Overheating is a common issue that may cause a noticeable fps drop. It can also lead to hardware damage, which will ultimately affect the performance of your computer.

One solution to this problem is to use a cooler, which has been proven to be effective in improving the fps drop. There are other ways as well such as:

1) Disable unnecessary programs and services.

2) Turn off background tasks such as antivirus and security software.

3) Update all the drivers for your graphics card and motherboard.

4) Defragment your hard drive (file management).

5) Proper cooling is the best way to keep overheating at bay. It may seem like it takes less time, but in reality, this will take much longer than you could imagine since proper cooling requires knowing how to properly install fans.

Is it necessary that I use expensive thermal paste in the CPU?

No, not at all. You don’t have to use expensive thermal paste in the CPU. Some people think that thermal paste price makes a huge difference for everyday use. Turns out that the difference isn’t that huge as you would expect – the expensive thermal paste gives you better temps but the difference is only between 33.8°F – 41°F (1-5°C)

Is a 55C Idle Temperature For A CPU Good?  

It is not bad, but it is not perfect. The average CPU idle temperature is 30 to 40 degrees Celsius. 55 degrees Celsius seems a bit higher than the average for most of the CPUs, but there are some models (like Ryzen 7) that idle between 35 and 55 degrees Celsius. It’s best to check your manufacturer data to be sure.

Does Overheating Cause a CPU Bottleneck?  

No, a bottleneck will not cause overheating. The case is that you may not have enough cooling fans in your PC case or you should check other reasons for overheating such as old thermal paste or dust.

What Happens If You Start Up a PC Without a CPU Cooler?

Chances are that it will stop working before it gets ruined. It’s not a good idea to try it unless you are after permanent damage.

What Are Some Ways To Lower my CPU’s Temperature?  

If you’re playing for an extended period of time and notice that your game is running slow or lagging, this could be because your CPU is overheating due to its increased activity level.

It’s important to note that because your computer is working harder to process the extra information from gaming, this will increase the heat levels in the CPU. Let’s take a look at some ways you can reduce the amount of heat generated by your computer during gameplay:

1. Clean Your Computer

Over time dust and other particles accumulate on and around all parts of your machine and the more dust is present, the harder your cooling fans will need to work. The result is that they can’t do their job as efficiently and this will increase the temperature of your CPU. Make sure you perform routine cleanings of your computer to lower its temperature and make it run as efficiently as possible.

2. Lower Your Graphics Settings

Aside from the amount of processing power required for a game, graphics settings can have a major effect on your CPU’s temperature. If you’re an avid gamer and run games at their highest possible setting, they will put a lot more stress on your computer and this could lead to overheating. This is why it’s important to lower the graphics settings on most games before you begin to play. If you’re not sure how to do this in the game, check out their FAQ section or look online for some advice on how to lower your graphics settings.

3. Get Rid of Unnecessary Programs

When it comes to information on the temperature of your computer while gaming, background programs can be just as dangerous as graphics settings. If you have a lot of programs running in the background, this will increase the workload of your CPU and could lead to increased heat levels. Make sure you close out of any programs that don’t need to be used when gaming and check to see if there are any updates for your computer’s anti-virus program. This should help to lower the temperature of your CPU while you’re playing and give you a better performance.

4. Clean Your Computer’s Fans

The more dust that accumulates on and around your computer’s fans, the less efficiently they will work and this will lead to increased heat levels in the CPU. Instead of waiting for this problem to get worse, take the time to wipe down your computer’s fans at least once a week. An air compressor might be necessary if there is too much dust on the fans, but you can also try using a soft cloth or cotton swabs to clean them.

5. Keep Your Computer Ventilated

Constant airflow over your computer will help prevent heat from building up inside the case. If you notice that there are areas where air doesn’t flow quite as freely, consider removing some of the dust buildup with compressed air. This will allow better ventilation for your computer and could lead to a drop in the temperature of your CPU.

6. Upgrade Your Fans

If you have an older version of your computer, the fans might not work as efficiently as they could. A drop in cooling power can lead to an increase in CPU temperature when gaming and this is why you should consider upgrading your computer’s fan if possible. It’s important to follow manufacturer instructions when working on your computer in case you make any mistakes while upgrading; otherwise, your CPU could overheat.

7. Consider Water Cooling

If you have a CPU that runs very hot while gaming, it might be time to consider water cooling. This method works by transferring heat away from the CPU into another substance, usually flowing water. It’s important to note that this solution would require you to open up your computer case and install new parts, so it’s important to talk this decision over with someone who is familiar with the process before making any changes.

8. Get More RAM

The more RAM that you have in your computer, the better its cooling system will be able to work. If you’re a gamer and find that you’re frequently running out of memory while playing certain games, you should consider upgrading your RAM. This will allow your CPU to work more efficiently and give you better performance.


Now you know that the lack of thermal paste can affect how hot your computer gets. But it’s not the only reason why your computer may be overheating, so it’s worth checking other reasons too.