There’s a cheap and effective tool available that will make all AMD Ryzen 7000 owners jump for joy. AMD’s Ryzen 7000 processors are fantastic with excellent performance in games and content creation, offering big gains over the Ryzen 5000 series as well as Intel’s 12th-Gen CPUs. If you’ve seen their unique design, though, you’ll likely have wondered will all those open edges pose a problem with thermal paste?
You’d be right, in the case of thermal paste getting stuck in those areas and the problem is significant if you regularly swap coolers or reapply thermal paste. As the cooler squishes out excess thermal paste – which is perfectly normal – it reaches the edge of the CPU heatspeader and usually, this is a simple if messy job to clear up when you come to removing the cooler or processor again.
However, with AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series CPUs, the cut-out sections in the heatspreader trap the thermal paste and make it very hard to remove. Even worse is that left unchecked, the paste can eventually find its way underneath the heatspreader through narrow gaps in between it and the actual CPU below.
Thankfully a simple but effective device can solve this issue and it costs just a few dollars. The Noctua NA-TPG1 is set to retail for around $8 and sits between your motherboard and processor cooler. Its shape allows it to sit between the cut-outs in the silver heatspreader on Ryzen 7000 CPUs and Noctua claims it prevents thermal paste from falling into them.
It’s simple to install, simply slotting over the CPU once you’ve installed it. You then apply your thermal paste and cooler. This process will likely see excess thermal paste squeezed out the sides and removing the cooler will cause this excess to get trapped in these notches.
Above you can see installation with the thermal guard in place. The guard did come away with the CPU cooler, but there’s very little paste over the edges of the heatspreader. However, if you now try and clean the CPU you’ll likely get thermal paste down the sides so it’s best to use another guard that’s included to stop this happening.
Without the guard at all during the installation and the result is this – a mess of thermal paste that’s found its way down the sides of the CPU and will take 10 minutes to clean it properly. I can highly recommend the Noctua NA-TPG1 for AMD Ryzen 7000 owners and it’s $8 well spent.