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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Has anyone replaced/upgraded the thermal paste on their Mac?

Has anyone replaced/upgraded the thermal paste on their Mac?
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RoamingGnome
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Jun 26, 2010, 04:01 PM
 
I'm working on a plan to trick out a white 13" macbook and one of the problems I'd like to address is heat. I know that MacBooks haven't had problems 'officially' with heat since the Core Duo Macbook Pros, but we all know they like to get a bit toasty.

Even if I lower the temp by 3-5C I think the savings would be worth it, has anyone else done this?
     
AKcrab
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Jun 26, 2010, 05:17 PM
 
You think there is thermal paste out there that is that much better than the stuff Apple uses? (Apple commonly uses two different kinds of paste.)
     
ghporter
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Jun 26, 2010, 05:27 PM
 
The point behind thermal paste is to provide a very uniform and consistent contact between the heat source (the CPU's thermal plate) and the heat sink. The basic materials are silicone grease and very finely divided materials like zinc oxide. Arctic Silver, a well reputed thermal paste, has (depending on which "generation" you get) a very high silver content as well. Is there a measurable difference? Yes. Is there a practical difference? Not really.

Mucking around inside a notebook computer is pretty complex and difficult enough. I do not believe that changing out the thermal paste on a working computer with no already identified problems is worth the hassle, time and trouble.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
seanc
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Jun 26, 2010, 06:15 PM
 
I agree with leaving it alone, everything inside MacBooks with regards to connectors are tiny and fragile.
     
RoamingGnome  (op)
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Jun 27, 2010, 05:40 PM
 
I've taken apart well over a few hundred macbooks before. It wouldn't be something I'd be afraid to do.
     
ghporter
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Jun 27, 2010, 05:51 PM
 
But is there really anything wrong with what you have now? If it ain't broke, why bother trying to fix it?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
imitchellg5
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Jun 27, 2010, 06:16 PM
 
I love how these people come on MacNN and think that they can make a notebook better than Apple did by using different thermal paste, etc.
     
cubedubbie
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Jun 27, 2010, 07:38 PM
 
I agree if ain't broke don't fix it. And if it's still under warranty for sure don't touch it. For me, when the warranty is up then I might consider a new hard drive and some memory. But, those are the only things I would consider touching. Personally my Macbook Pro is running at 144% right now, has anyone found out where the danger point is?
     
AKcrab
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Jun 27, 2010, 07:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by cubedubbie View Post
Personally my Macbook Pro is running at 144% right now, has anyone found out where the danger point is?
Eh? You talking cpu percentage or what?
     
RoamingGnome  (op)
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Jun 28, 2010, 12:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
I love how these people come on MacNN and think that they can make a notebook better than Apple did by using different thermal paste, etc.
If you think that Foxconn uses the most expensive thermal compound on their manufacturing you're kidding yourself. That's like saying "I love how these people come on MacNN and think they can make a notebook better than Apple did by using hard drives with better RPM/Cache, etc."
     
P
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Jun 28, 2010, 05:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by RoamingGnome View Post
If you think that Foxconn uses the most expensive thermal compound on their manufacturing you're kidding yourself. That's like saying "I love how these people come on MacNN and think they can make a notebook better than Apple did by using hard drives with better RPM/Cache, etc."
I think you can bet on that Apple specs which thermal paste to use, and while it may not be the best, the difference to the best is likely to be tiny.

Obligatory link.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
ghporter
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Jun 28, 2010, 07:05 AM
 
Can anyone show any real correlation between "the most expensive" and "the most effective" in heat sink compound? Probably not. Arctic Silver ain't all that expensive and it has a lot of silver in it-one of the most thermally conductive metals there is.

Apple specifies the qualities of the thermal compound they want used for a reason. Much of this reason is to keep their products running for a very long time.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ibook_steve
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Jun 28, 2010, 11:24 AM
 
The only reason I would do it would be because I had to open the machine for other reasons. On my old MBP, I just recently took the whole thing apart to "roto-rooter" the dust and crap out of it. This required taking out the logic board, which of course messed up the contact between the main chips and the heatsink. I replaced Apple's compound with new silver compound. In other machines, Apple uses thermal pads (or at least they used to), so you might want to continue using those if they don't fall apart when taking the machine apart.

But if there's no reason to do this, don't do it.

Steve
Celebrating 10 years and 4000 posts on MacNN!
     
   
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