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Old Jul 27, 2007, 11:24 AM   #1
The Red Wolf
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Thermal Repair: Success!

Let me start by saying I'm an Apple Authorized Repair Technician. I've certifications to work on Macs. So, with that said, I took out my Motherboard and reapplied the thermal paste.

My machine had been rather cool, except when playing games. (World of Warcraft/Halo etc..)

Upon digging deep into the computer to extract the blue motherboard, I found the ATI X1600 to be caked with thermal paste. It flaked off. Compleetely useless. The Northbridge and CD2 Merom were okay, not too much paste. I easily removed the remaining thermal paste with Rubbing Alchohol and a non static cloth. (You can use Coffee filters if you're worried about not being gounded. I always use a grounding strip and pad) and applied Arctic Silver 5 to all the chips.

I use a buisness card to spread the small paste evenly over the chip. DO NOT USE A RAZOR BLADE! YOU CAN DAMAGE YOUR DIE as there is no protective heatsink!

Once the chips are sufficiently glazed with AS5, reassembly began. This is a painstaking process to do correctly. With my trusty 15" MacBook Pro take apart manual it was easy to keep track of everything. THERE IS A SCREW ORDER TO RE-SEATING YOUR MOTHERBOARD! Do not randomly toss screws in any order. The order is key to applying the motherboard tention to the heatsink and temperature sensor array.

Once the task of assembly was complete, I checked both Temperature Monitor Lite and iStat Pro...

Fans 2002 RPM and 1997 RPM. (Note I did not cut the tape covers over the fans as Apple suggested, I don't trust Kapton tape)

My cores were at a shocking 28C
More notabley the ATI Core was only at 22C

Mind you this is just from turning on, no heat up.

Next test: Wood Surface 8 hours at idle with iTunes.

Cores: 41C
ATI: 36 C

Final Test: Wood Surface 4 Hours
Applications Running:
Handbrake
Mac The Ripper
iTunes
Logic Pro
Firefox
iChat
Mail
Safari
World of Warcraft
Processors Window (From the Developer's Kit)

With everything running I played WoW in Shattarah City for 1 hour windowed and full screen each. The remaining two hours were spent here and checking mail chatting and ripping/burning etc...

Processor Cores after test: 57C
Processor Cores during test: 78C
Fan Speed under stress: 4005 RPM Left 4002 RPM Right
Fan Speed after compleeting test 1996 RPM Left 2002 Right
Core Temp: 54C
Current CPU Usage: less than 10% of cores

ATI Core during test: 44C
ATI Core after test: 42C
ATI Core During World of Warcraft Session Full/Windowed mode: 57C

During all of this, I downloaded the Boot Camp Beta 1.3

I stand shocked, awed and amazed...

My GPU used to hover around 70C while under stress, then immediately cool off to idle at 55C. My cores would sit at about 49C and under stress go to 59C. Fans gun at 6000 RPM with WoW open for about half an hour.

This repair was so worth the two hours I spent. I thought I was lucky and had a cool MacBook Pro. It would seem CPU wise, I was fine, but the GPU was taking a serious hit...

4000 RPM for both fans with 2 hours of WoW? Priceless...

I can rest the machine on my bare thighs and play for hours. This is how Apple intended their machines to be. This is why they are who they are. This is why I bow down before my Goddess of Technology and cry for enough capacity to understand just what the transition to 10.5 will bring me.

I make my future perfect. Apple has always been a part of that.

So, for all of those who have read this if you have a MacBook Pro of any type. Get the thermal repair done! You don't need to be without it for months or get your FOURTH MBP replaced. I feel so sorry for all of those who have encountered this problem and haven't had a solution. I was able to take it into my own hands, but I'm trained and certified to do this.

Take it to Apple, take to the Stores. Print this out. Show them the results demand satisfaction. No Techomancer shoulder be without their beloved Book of The Religion of Technology... But know this, Apple will address this and fix this.

Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions about the repair or would like to set up a fix (If you live in California).

Thank you for the time reading this post.

Devin Merner
honouredwolf@gmail.com
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 11:35 AM   #2
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Boot Camp 1.3

Okay, I've fallen in love with Apple agian...

Boot Camp is gorgeous.

I hate windows. I use it every day. Infections, driver issues, Windows compatibility nightmares, memory leaks and that new virus, what was it called? There are about six versions to watch out for, Vis something. Vista? Maybe...

Sorry, I'm not a windows hatter. It's a necessary evil, but I will take XP or Media Centre over any version of Vista.

The Partition resizing tool was amazing. I've not seen something so cool since FWB and Norton Disk Tools 2.0 for OS-7. It was flawless. Driver disc created in OS-X and burned for me with the question to write a new one when I open the Boot Camp Assistant. Just wondrous. Lastly...

Install. SATA drivers are included when the partition is recreated. Don't delete them or the install will be succesfull, but windows won't be able to find your drive.

Switching back and forth takes less than 30 seconds... This is amazing. I could see Fast User Switching style of Fast OS-Switching or even suspending one for the other or a Hybrid verision or asigning each to a core... So much could be done.

With all that said... My Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHz Merom is so much machine.

The test I just did and the Boot Camp install went flawless. For those of you who have 4 GB of ram in the new Santa Rosa chipset, I do not envy you, I bow to you. My 2 GB of ram currently paired... Never saw more than a GB of RAM usage.

My cores never went above 66%... Doing all of what I did in the above test and install.

Do that on a $1999.00 PC, I dare you...

Every single penny... Every hour spent on this machine, paying homage to my custom Apple IIc... Has been worth it. 128K RAM when the Comodore 64 wan't even new.

Welcome be upon all who take up the name Apple and Macintosh... Our time has come. Where is my iPod 6Gen and iPhone Nano and 700MHz WiFi Apple/Google band?
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 11:36 AM   #3
RichL
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You're a beast.

Fix my computer <3
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 11:37 AM   #4
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WoW I am so JEALOUS of you. I hope my new SR MBP will be close to that...
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 11:44 AM   #5
The Red Wolf
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You're a beast.

Fix my computer <3
Do you live in California? If not, you can send the machine to Redshift Internet Services where I work. We're located in Salinas CA, feel free to call 831-755-7700 option 7 and set up a free shipment. I can usually turn around a thermal repair CD or CD2 or SR CD2 in about 2 hours. Shipping is the only issue. We do this repair for $79 + shipping to us. I'm hoping we can get a shipping service to send customer's boxes, but we don't have that in place yet.
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 11:47 AM   #6
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WoW I am so JEALOUS of you. I hope my new SR MBP will be close to that...
Don't be Jealous. You'll get an amazing machine. I just hope you don't get the yellow screen issue or the poor fellow who had 90C cores with MR, iTunes, mail and iChat up... Poor soul.
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 11:54 AM   #7
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would doing this also help out the older iBook G4/Powerbooks? I have seen my temps reach about 68 C when staying on for a few hours and running safari/iTunes/iChat. right now with just safari open my CPU top and memory/power are at 40 C!
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 12:02 PM   #8
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would doing this also help out the older iBook G4/Powerbooks? I have seen my temps reach about 68 C when staying on for a few hours and running safari/iTunes/iChat. right now with just safari open my CPU top and memory/power are at 40 C!
We currently have a TiBook 500MHz and a G3 iBook in that had the repair done while working on failed internal parts. The iBook's thermal paste was a little wedge of what looked like gray bubblegum. But thermal paste it was not. It felt like glass.

As for the TiBook, the thermal paste was good at one time. I'd never seen green before that was cool. But it was like so much dried toothpaste. We also do the repair to desktops and PCs AMD or Intel. We build custom Macs and PCs and do custom upgrades for people.

I'm going to speak with my manager today about shipping that seems to be the biggest issue. Mainly 3-5 days here one day in the shop 3-5 days back and we can only cover one side of the shipping. Back for now. Feel free to contact myself or my manager at the number posted.

These repairs work for older machines and surely cool them off PowerBooks and iBooks gladly accepted.
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 12:14 PM   #9
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Will Mac Geniuses do this kind of job for you?

Btw, have you tried running WoW in windows? Is it comparable to OSX on max settings? and is it hotter? o.O
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 12:27 PM   #10
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Is it covered under apple care?

It sounds great, and I would love to do it for my new C2D SR Macbook Pro, but is it covered under apple care?
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 02:41 PM   #11
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With my trusty 15" MacBook Pro take apart manual it was easy to keep track of everything. THERE IS A SCREW ORDER TO RE-SEATING YOUR MOTHERBOARD! Do not randomly toss screws in any order. The order is key to applying the motherboard tention to the heatsink and temperature sensor array.
Any chance of finding my own trusty 15" MBP or MB take apart manual? Did you use the instructions on www.ifixit.com or an official Apple manual?

Learning the proper MBP and MB screw re-seating order would be nice.
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 03:15 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by The Red Wolf View Post
I can rest the machine on my bare thighs and play for hours. This is how Apple intended their machines to be. This is why they are who they are. This is why I bow down before my Goddess of Technology and cry for enough capacity to understand just what the transition to 10.5 will bring me.


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Then why on earth does Apple deliberately throw the thermal paste on like it's frosting?
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 03:28 PM   #13
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Then why on earth does Apple deliberately throw the thermal paste on like it's frosting?
Saves time I suppose lol.
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 03:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by pinwanger View Post
Will Mac Geniuses do this kind of job for you?

Btw, have you tried running WoW in windows? Is it comparable to OSX on max settings? and is it hotter? o.O
As long as you're nice but firm (if they resist initially), most Geniuses will have no problem reapplying the thermal paste for you. Its a simple job, really, just takes a bit of time to completely disassemble the machine, reapply the paste, and put it back together.

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Then why on earth does Apple deliberately throw the thermal paste on like it's frosting?
Because its very likely done quickly to keep the production lines from being slowed down by a single process. There is very little profit incentive associated with meticulously applying the thermal paste by hand and, after all, Apple is a corporation. Low benefit, high cost in both money and time = it ain't gonna happen.
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 04:32 PM   #15
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Will Mac Geniuses do this kind of job for you?

Btw, have you tried running WoW in windows? Is it comparable to OSX on max settings? and is it hotter? o.O
Most Mac Geniuses won't do this type of repair.

1: It is Apple policy to say so long as it's under 100C it's "Within Spec".

2: It's costly to Apple if they damage any parts during the procedure.

3: I'm a Genius, you're not, go away.

I've heard allot of stories.

Sometimes they're cool and you get your machine fixed. But I know for a fact the manual shows far too much thermal paste applied in the images and has a shot of a syringe of it and a mark of how much to use. It will be too much.

You can ask. But if they don't don't be surprised.
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 04:33 PM   #16
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It sounds great, and I would love to do it for my new C2D SR Macbook Pro, but is it covered under apple care?
As I'm Apple Certified to work on all Apple Laptops, if anything goes wrong it's covered by Apple Care. No your warranty and/or Apple Care will not be voided. Unless your cores are running at 100C+ they're not going to do the repair or cover it for free. Unless you get a really cool Mac Genius. But there are some mean ones out there.
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 04:40 PM   #17
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Will Mac Geniuses do this kind of job for you?

Btw, have you tried running WoW in windows? Is it comparable to OSX on max settings? and is it hotter? o.O
I did install WoW under windows. Unlike the new SR MacBook Pro, I actually got worse framerates. I downloaded ATI Tool 0.26 beta and overclocked. I played about 15 minutes and then it crashed. Even at 470/470 which other had reported worked okay I couldn't get more than 15 minutes out of it. That is post thermal repair. Keeping it at 418/433 worked. But it was slower at X6 Anti Aliasing than in OS-X. Multi-Threaded open GL is much better than Direct X with World of Warcraft as it runs additional video support off the twin cores. I'm going to try installing a newer version of Driect X and see if it makes a difference. I also turned up the Catalyst options, but that didn't help. Hovered at about 20-24 FPS. I get 60-90 in OS-X.
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 04:42 PM   #18
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Any chance of finding my own trusty 15" MBP or MB take apart manual? Did you use the instructions on www.ifixit.com or an official Apple manual?

Learning the proper MBP and MB screw re-seating order would be nice.
Unfortunately, it is Apple documentation and you have to have either training access or certification to download it. Also a NDA to even get it has to be agreed to. I can't help you there. Sorry.
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 04:45 PM   #19
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Then why on earth does Apple deliberately throw the thermal paste on like it's frosting?
Honestly I don't know. The documentation amount is wrong. However the way to apply it is correct. Anyone who does the repair should do a good job if they follow it and know anything about thermal paste. As for from the Factory, I think there are giant communist robots who whip the workers to work faster rather than applying it properly.
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 05:50 PM   #20
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As long as you're nice but firm (if they resist initially), most Geniuses will have no problem reapplying the thermal paste for you. Its a simple job, really, just takes a bit of time to completely disassemble the machine, reapply the paste, and put it back together.
Actually it's not that simple. It's rather scary. Several components are easily broken if you don't know what you're doing. Even removing kapton tape can rip the more delicate components right off the motherboard. It take a good two hours solid work. Documentation and good work. But it's not brains surgery like the iBook G3 MB replacement... That one sucks and takes about 8 hours and 70 odd screws.
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 05:51 PM   #21
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Saves time I suppose lol.
No, it's not about time. It's the overseer robots whipping you that does it... I'm sure of it.
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 05:56 PM   #22
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Actually it's not that simple. It's rather scary. Several components are easily broken if you don't know what you're doing. Even removing kapton tape can rip the more delicate components right off the motherboard. It take a good two hours solid work. Documentation and good work. But it's not brains surgery like the iBook G3 MB replacement... That one sucks and takes about 8 hours and 70 odd screws.
With a take apart manual, its not all that hard as long as you're patient. Don't worry, I've done it before too; you're not the only Apple employee/certified repair technician here.
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 08:11 PM   #23
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With a take apart manual, its not all that hard as long as you're patient. Don't worry, I've done it before too; you're not the only Apple employee/certified repair technician here.
How come I become one
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Old Jul 27, 2007, 08:38 PM   #24
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what questions should i ask the technician to make absolutely sure they know what they are doing? I live in vancouver so I'm not near any apple store, but am near apple certified resellers with techs, and am willing to pay to get the thermal job done... its just i would prefer to do it somewhere i don't - 1. have to pay shipping -and 2. have to wait 6 to 10+ days for considering I need the machine for work. there is no way in hell i will try to do it myself, because, you see, I know myself, and when I'm done, tears will certainly flow over silver shreddings.

or better yet can anyone in vancouver recommend a place or person?

cheers.
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Old Jul 28, 2007, 01:42 AM   #25
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Can either of you techs comment on ifixit's disassembly manual for the macbook pro? Is it still good for the santa rosa version? Do they mess up any details regarding screws / screw order?

Basically, I want to do this on my MBP sometime. Shipping to California isn't really an option, unfortunately I have plenty of machine building experience.

I'm also surprised that the apple defender trolls haven't come out with their cries of "it's in spec!" "there is no thermal paste problem!" yet...
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