How To Apply Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste To CPU And GPU

Arctic Silver 5 is a thermal compound that is used to enhance the heat transfer from CPU core to the heatsink. Arctic silver 5 contains 99.9% pure silver which is a very good conductor of heat. It is not a silicone based thermal compound. The reason behind choosing arctic silver 5 is its efficiency to cool down the processor by 12% better than other thermal interface materials at 100% CPU load.

Arctic Silver 5 is a grey coloured, oily and sticky paste. By rubbing a tiny drop of it between two fingers you can see the silver in it. Arctic Silver 5 starts working whenever the cpu temperature increases. When the processor is idle you won’t notice any changes in temperature but when you play games then CPU usage will increase upto 100% at this stage you will notice a change in temperature, it will be 12% less than the previous temperatures. Most people see that there laptop or desktop CPUs are running hot, the reason is dried out thermal paste. The thermal paste should be changed once in every two years to extend the life expectancy of CPU and GPU.

arctic silver 5 thermal paste 3.5 gm

In this tutorial I am going to teach you how to apply Arctic Silver 5 to CPU and GPU. This tutorial is applicable for desktops but if you have knowledge about laptop/notebook disassembling then this tutorial will also work for them without any problem, but you have to take extra care while using this tutorial for your laptop/notebook’s CPU and GPU.


  • Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound.
  • Cotton swabs and clean cotton cloth.
  • 70% Isopropyl Cleaner for cleaning the older dried out thermal paste.

Find Your Processor
First of all get to know about your processor’s make and model, whether it is of Intel or AMD. Because Arctic Silver 5 have different application instructions for different processors. Some use the vertical line method of applying thermal compound and others may use the horizontal line method, surface spread and middle dot. So follow the steps below.

  • Go to this link.
  • Choose your CPU make, either Intel or AMD.

  • After choosing the processor maker you will see the list of all CPUs. 
  • Locate your CPU and read the instructions carefully by clicking the ‘Application Method’ . It is both applicable for laptop and desktop processors.

  • I have Intel Core 2 Duo processor so I will be using the vertical line method.

Important Instructions

  • Before opening the computer cabinet disconnect the power cord.
  • Make a note of each wire that you disconnect from the motherboard because if you unable to find where to connect the wires then you will get yourself into trouble. Just write on paper about the all the wire connections in the motherboard. Do check the motherboard manual first carefully.
  • If your desktop is using an Intel heatsink then read the instructions carefully to how to remove it from CPU. You can find the instructions in motherboard manual or check Intel’s website.
  • If your desktop’ motherboard is using a custom heatsink then it uses a “backplate” that is attached at the back of the motherboard right behind the CPU socket.

heatsink backplate

  • This backplate should not move while installing the heatsink because it has 4 screw holes in which the heatsink would be fixed. 
  • I placed the motherboard over a book so the back plate won’t move and when I install the heat sink the back plate won’t fall down because the heatsink has springs in its four screws. 
  • We have to press these screws two at a time to fix them in the back plate holes before screwing them.
  • Watch some videos on YouTube about how to install and uninstall a custom heatsink with back plate.

Warning: Whatever you are doing is at your own risk. I will not be responsible for any damages to your computer.

How To Apply Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste On CPU

  • I am assuming that you have read the instructions to apply arctic silver 5 on its official website. I have Intel Core 2 Duo so I will be using the vertical line method.
  • You have already opened the cabinet and disconnected all the wires from the motherboard. Also remove the button cell on the motherboard.
  • In my case I removed the motherboard from the cabinet and placed it on a book so the back plate won’t move here and there. You can do the same if you have a custom heatsink, if you have Intel’s heatsink then no need to remove the motherboard out of the cabinet.
  • Remove the heatsink and place it a side. I am assuming that you have watched some videos on YouTube about how to remove it.
  • Now you can see the CPU on which older thermal compound is still present.
  • Take a cotton swab and gently clean the older thermal paste from the CPU and bottom of the heatsink. Clean it thoroughly.
  • Apply some Isopropyl cleaner with a cotton swab to clean the top of CPU and bottom of heatsink. Make sure the cleaning liquid should not spill on processor circuits. Use clean cotton cloth to dry the cleaning liquid.
  • Now the processor will shine like new.
  • Now just drip the Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste on top of CPU in form of thin vertical line ( application is CPU dependent, as you have read earlier). Don’t apply too much paste otherwise it will come on motherboard circuits and may damage it. See the image below.

arctic silver 5 apply on cpu

  • Now place the heatsink above the processor and press it gently so that the thermal paste spread on the entire surface of the processor. Don’t press it too hard.

  • Now twist the heatsink 1 or 2 degrees in clockwise and anti clockwise just 2 to 3 times. Now at this stage do not pull the heatsink above otherwise the thermal paste seal will be destroyed.
  • Now just srew the heatsink with the back plate. Or if it is Intel’s then just fixed it, I think you have read the instructions.
  • While screwing make sure heatsink won’t move here and there.
  • Connect all the wires to the motherboard and before starting the PC double check that you have made right connections.
  • Start the PC and monitor the temperature with Specyy Hardware monitor. Download Specyy.

Observation And Result
Before applying arctic silver 5 the CPU temperature while playing games at 95-100% load was 61 degrees celcius. After applying Arctic Silver 5 the temperature for the same condition at 95-100% load is 50 degree Celsius. While playing some games a process named ‘rundll32.exe’ starts automatically, it makes high CPU usage. After starting the game kill this process in task manager to cool down the processor even more. Now the max CPU temperature remains between 45-50 degree celcius even while playing games and previously it was crossing 60 degrees. So you can see there is a 10 degree drop in temperature after applying Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste.

How To Apply Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste To Desktop Motherboard GPU
This tutorial is applicable for the older motherboards which are using a Intel GMA GPU. This procedure is not applicable for Intel Core processors because they have Integrated Graphics in the CPU chip.

  • The Intel GMA GPU uses an aluminium sink fixed on the motherboard with two clips. It is easier to remove. See the image below.

  • Remove the GPU heatsink and clean older thermal paste as I taught you above.
  • See the image below. The black line is where you have to apply Arctic Silver 5 a very thin line.

arctic silver 5 on laptop gpu

  • After applying the Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound press the heatsink gently.
  • Re-install the GPU heatsink.
  • You have done it.

Where To buy Arctic Silver 5 In USA
In USA you can order arctic silver 5 via or Check the list of all retailers and resellers of Arctic Silver 5 in USA.

Now you have successfully applied Arctic Silver 5 to your desktop’s motherboard CPU and GPU.

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