Xbox Thermal Paste is a silvery gray substance that you apply to a processor in order to facilitate heat transfer. The paste allows the heat from the processor to move efficiently to a heat sink, where it is dissipated. The heat sink, in turn, helps to keep the CPU cool and running efficiently.
Depending on the type of CPU cooler you have installed, the amount of heat that it dissipates may be very low or quite high. If the temperature of the CPU is too high, it can result in damage to the hardware, so it is important that you monitor its temperatures carefully. The best way to do this is with a good quality CPU temperature monitoring tool, which will show you the current CPU temperature, as well as allow you to set up email or text message alerts.
Over time, the thermal paste can become dry and reduce its ability to conduct heat. This is why many people suggest re-applying the thermal paste on a regular basis.
If you have a newer console, it may be equipped with a heat sink that has the thermal paste already pre-applied. This is often called stock thermal paste and can be a little bit tricky to remove and replace, especially if you have never done it before.
If you’re using a heat sink that has the thermal paste pre-applied, follow the instructions for the specific thermal solution to make sure that you are doing it correctly. Then, use a piece of isopropyl alcohol to clean up any residue and ensure that the paste is applied evenly to both surfaces. If there is any excess, it can cause the cooler to be too tight and prevent proper cooling of the processor.