A good PS4 thermal pad works in the same way as a PS4 thermal paste. It transfers heat from hot areas of a circuit board into a heatsink. When you care a lot about PS4 cooling, you must consider a thermal pad. It’s not just PS4 that needs a thermal pad for its CPU, but also the PS4 Pro thermal pad you must consider. They are generally very easy to install and are more often used to cool RAM on graphics cards and motherboard chipsets but they have other uses too.
Why Using a PS4 Thermal Pad
Thermal pads are a lot easier to install than thermal grease. When the PS4 CPU is overheating, the thermal material between the CPU surface and the heatsink is not working properly to dissipate heat. Unfortunately, they aren’t as effective as a thin layer of thermal paste. Now, even with the new thermal pastes you use for PS4, you need to consider multiple options. Some stock CPU coolers come with pads, because they’re nice and clean, and they’ll work fine.
PS4 thermal pads are important to mitigate the heat that the PS4 processor generates once in action. But they are one-shot solutions only. You have to replace the pad if you ever remove the heatsink from its mounted position, because the heat of the operating CPU will have caused the thermal pad to conform the top. Don’t underestimate the importance of PS4 thermal pads when cooling the CPU is on the light spot. So, once you move the heatsink there will be new gaps between the surfaces. So never forget: If you dismount the heatsink, replace the thermal pad and remove all debris.
PS4 Thermal Pad vs PS4 Thermal Paste
Considering what a thermal pad is, the PS4 thermal pads generally work for components that generate lesser heat compared to a CPU. That includes memory chips, VRM, motherboard chipset / northbridge / southbridge or Platform Hub Controller (PCH) or other ICs. They are also used in game consoles, game-stations and some laptops. Just any system where the CPU or GPU is relatively less powerful and generates lesser heat compared to faster processors inside computers. PS4 thermal pads are easy to apply much more than PS4 thermal paste. They are also great for DIY cooling for routers, repeaters and other heat generating components. Thermal pads are available in various thickness (0.5mm, 1mm, 1.5mm, 2mm, 3mm) and sizes. Additionally, here I am going to list down the best thermal pads of different varieties for your cooling needs.
Bear in mind that you don’t really need a new thermal pad for PS4 if yours work fine. Thermal pads replicate the same effect as thermal paste, but by utilizing solid sheets of silicone, rubber, or paraffin wax to conduct heat away from the components. They are generally adhesive and stick to the CPU. You can think about cooling down the PS4 temperature in a different way though.
Like thermal paste, thermal pads also have a variety of names ranging from thermal interface pad to the thermally conductive pad.
Applying PS4 Thermal Pads
It’s not really that hard to apply PS4 thermal pads. In fact, the level of ease is much high in comparison with PS4 thermal paste. The pads are cut to size in pre-formed shapes and sandwiched at the point of contact between the CPU or GPU and cooler. Their function is very similar to paste in that they fill in the imperfections on the metal surfaces at the point of junction, thus preventing air from getting in trap. That’s it. When you decide to use a thermal pad for PS4, you have chosen the easiest method available. As temperatures rise, the pads soften and stick to the surface inconsistencies.
Like thermal paste, thermal pads are a one use product because the heat shapes the pads to the imperfections. If you ever remove the heatsink, the pads need replacing in the same way you would apply a fresh layer of thermal paste.
Suggested thermal pads for PS4
The following thermal pads work for either PS4 or PS4 Pro. So, don’t worry about which one to choose.
- IC Graphite Thermal Pad
- Arctic Thermal Pad
- Soft Silicone Conductive Pads
- ZupayIPA Thermal Pad
So, with these thermal pads you have to rest assured that PS4 CPU will stay cool for too long. Just don’t go beyond the limit when playing on PS4.
Cleaning Thermal Pads for PS4 CPU
It’s important to make sure that the thermal pad you picked for PS4 is clean and sticky. When using thermal pads or thermal paste, there are some mistakes that are often made. So, here are some ideas to avoid those. Dirty thermal pads won’t function properly on PS4 CPU.
Additionally, when PS4 CPU is overheating, you have to think also about maintaining its cooling fan. Never use thermal compounds and thermal pads together. Just because you use both, the effect won’t increase. The reverse is true. Adding thermal grease on top of a thermal pad actually reduces the ability of heat to flow to the heatsink. You can’t just pick any thermal pad and say that’s the best one for PS4. Even PS4 Pro thermal pads need care when choosing them. Also, never stack several pads on top of each other. Two or three pads on top of each other between the CPU and a heatsink might kill the CPU.
Make sure when choosing a PS4 thermal pad replacement that its thermal conductivity is high. Realistically, there’s never going to be a perfectly level foundation—there are too many outside influences and factors that are entirely within our (practicable) control. But I still had to get it to a point for others to pour concrete all over and erect a fantastic foundation that will last for years to come. PS4 thermal pastes are good though, but they need more care and time to apply.
Now imagine that concrete (that will fill the small inconsistencies very nicely) as a thermal paste you pour over your CPU. If you consider PS4 Pro CPU, you’ll find that it doesn’t need any new thermal pad in the long run. This paste will fill all your micro-bumps in exceptionally well. This thermal paste will not only hold for a very long time but will be a far superior option when it comes to the actual transfer of heat to dissipate through your heatsink.
Better head dissipation
Thermal pads vs Thermal paste, on the other hand, will still lay down nicely on this close-to-flat surface (similar to laying down a huge piece of plywood over my close to level ground). Bearing in mind that heat dissipation is the main role of PS4 thermal pad, you’ll have to prioritize it. However, very small gaps will remain between your CPU and your pad. Choose the pads that PS4 experts recommend and labelled them as high-performance. These small air gaps will slightly slow the transfer of heat (as air is not as conducive to transferring heat) making the pads a slightly lesser-performing product. You don’t need the CPU to overheat and that the PS4 thermal pad not functioning as you want. Whichever solution you choose will ultimately leave you with a very close-to-level surface on which to mount your heatsink.
So, what thermal paste is good for PS4? Do you need a new one or the current one is enough? On the other hand, Thermal Pad is a solid material (generally soft and foam like) of certain thickness which experts use to fill uneven and bigger air gaps between source and the heatsink. In fact, discussing the number of thermal pads PS4 CPU needs is not something worthy to spend time on. They generally have lower heat conductivity and because of their thickness, they do offer less performance compared to thermal paste. You can make a good thermal pad for PS4 and PS4 Pro without having to buy a new one. Surely that’s just if you know how to make it.
So, now, if you’re going to replace the current thermal pad of PS4 with a new one, just be careful. However, with advancement of technology there are some highly conductive thermal pads available now that are even better or as good as a carbon-based thermal paste and offers high thermal conductivity. Not all thermal pads are suitable for PS4 CPU. Some thermal pads you have to avoid in order to get the most benefits for PS4 CPU. The most commonly available thermal pads are silicone based thermal pads that have some filler material in it for maximizing heat conductivity. Thermal pads are generally non-adhesive but you can find some self-adhesive thermal pads too.