As already noted, the new Zen 4 architecture processors from AMD have a somewhat unusual design of built-in heatsinks (the metal part on top of the processor). You need to be careful when applying thermal paste to these parts, as the holes on the sides of the top can get paste that is squeezed out when you put a heatsink or water cooling unit on top. To solve this problem, Noctua came up with an ingenious solution: NA-TPG1, thermal paste protection for AMD AM5.
As you may have noticed, Zen 4 processors have symmetrical openings on all four sides to make room for surface mount components. If the user is not careful when applying thermal paste, it can get into these holes.
However, if the paste gets into this space, it won’t be a big problem, even if you’re using electrically conductive thermal paste. The reason is that the surface mount components are connected through the processor substrate, so no electrical connections are visible. However, when this happens, it gets a little bad, especially if you want to sell the processor later. Cleaning is also problematic due to the shape and size of the holes.
That’s why Noctua developed the NA-TPG1 thermal paste protector. This is a small plastic piece that is placed on top of the processor after being placed in the socket and closing the SAM (socket activation module). The part wraps around the metal part on top of the processor. Because it is a very thin piece of plastic, it will be much easier to clean than CPU holes. According to Noctua, this part is capable of completely sealing the area around the processor and is designed to be installed with a cooler or block on top.