I got this thing nearly a year ago, haven't changed the pre applied thermal paste yet, at what point do I need to change it? Also, what thermal paste should I use for it?
Unless you temperatures are climbing you should not worry.
I literally just came here to post about this because I built my PC two years ago and I changed the TIM on my 7700k and H100i V2 yesterday. It had been running at 1.41v. The idle temperature did not change. However, the max temperature dropped 10c.
I suspect the HEAVY benchmarking and stresstesting slightly degraded the TIM over the last two years. Also, I added more TIM this time around. I was still getting good temps (max of 85c during Prime95) but now I'm maxing out at 75c during Prime95 at 1.41v since I changed the TIM.
The stock TIM isn’t very good, which is why you saw a drop.
Also 1.41v is riding the line of degradation and so be vary of that.
You're 100% right, but wrong in this scenario. I should have clarified that I never used the stock TIM. I only use MX-4. My point was to show what 2yrs can do to TIM if you 'play hard'. Swapping out my MX-4 after 2yrs reduced my max temps by 10c.
Normally I would agree with you about 1.41v if it was running 24/7. I'm using adaptive voltage though. I sit around .8-1.2v. It only jumps up to 1.41v under full load.
OP, BetrayedPredator is correct. He's only wrong regarding me because I didn't clarify my comment.
EDIT: OP, if you do decide to apply new TIM try out Arctic MX-4 or Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut. Those are hands down the best IMO because they have excellent performance, have great thermal conductivity, and they DO NOT CONDUCT ELECTRICITY making it super safe.
Well since my temperatures are normal, I won't be changing the TIM but when I do, I'll keep your suggestions in mind! Thanks!