Re-applied the thermal paste on my MacBook Pro... AMAZING results!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Hodapp, May 10, 2006.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2003
    New York, NY
    Apple REALLY doesn't know how to apply thermal paste.

    Temperature before:
    Idle: ~70C
    Load: 95C+ (Highest I saw was 97C)
    Case Temp: Too hot to handle.

    Temperature After:
    Idle: ~40C
    Load: ~60C
    Case Temp: Barely warm.

    What did we learn here kids? Apple makes great products, but thermal paste should be left to grown ups- not children in chinese assembly lines.


    Look at how much paste I was able to remove in solid chunks!!!
  2. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    Thats what happens when you have something made in China, takes a American. Thats a piss poor job of applying thermal paste. On a 0-10 i give it a 1.
  3. macrumors 68000


    Jan 24, 2006
    Damn straight. I'm sick of Chinese manufacturing. I'd love to see Apple's reaction to your results.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    count chocula

    Apr 7, 2006
    noun. a particular place or position
    wow, apple really screwed up. how hard was it to do that? i've looked on the ifixit guide to take it apart, but i think i would be way too scared to attempt it :eek:
  5. macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2005
    Wow. Those are very strong results there and very hard to argue against. People that were hoping for a firmware fix, well it is a total hardware issue. In this case not even straightout hardware, just poor application of something very basic. I wonder why the MBP's are the only ones with poor thermal paste implementation. I mean all the PB's ran fine temperature wise, so that probably means that these Intel chips require a certain amount that Apple overlooked or since there are some good ones in the market I guess those had the TP applied correctly.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2004
    Are the fans coming on more often?

    I keep asking this question, but no one answers it...
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2003
    New York, NY
    I used the guide. It was very hair raising. I have a fully loaded MBP, so I was pretty scared of turning it in to a $3000 paper weight. It was difficult as much as it was just scary. The best tip I can give is use an egg carton, or the egg holder from your refrigerator and separate the screws in to steps from the guide as you take them out.

    It is totally inexcusable for Apple to be having these problems. Applying thermal paste is a skill I learned when I was like 12 and built my own PC. What really makes me wonder is if the reason the PowerBooks ran so hot was because of this same problem. People are noticing it on the MBP because you can have a computer that uses the same processor with very similar hardware running with half the heat... that raises eyebrows.

    There isn't a comparable PPC machine to compare temps with the old PowerBooks though.

    The fans don't seem to come on any more than they did before. Instead of heat bouncing around inside of the case and radiating up through the keyboard it just goes out the heat pipe like it should.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2005
    I fixed someones iMac. I reapplied the thermal paste with some AS, they have said theirs temps on the CPU decreased by 15C.

    I was shocked to see how much paste Apple applied. It is the same in their service manuals also. I just apply a layer as thick as a piece of paper, just as I was taught by IBM and Intel when I used to review hardware for **name here** magazine/websites.
  9. macrumors 68040


    IO Burn do you mind if I use you post (pics, temp data) to raise some hell with Apple to reapply my thermal paste THE RIGHT WAY!!!

    by the way, does anyone have the link to that .kext that reads the MBP temp?
  10. macrumors 6502


    Oct 31, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Those results are staggering! Is Apple going to be able to brush off and ignore this issue? Wonder if a MBP manufactured today will still have bird droppings of thermal paste.

    I Wonder if this May 20th hounding of AppleCare will take place, anyone else hear about this?
  11. macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2003
    Southern California
    What really worked well for me when fixing my iBook a few times was:
    1. Print out all high resolution photos from the guide, each on a separate full page
    2. Lay them all out on a large table
    3. Whenever you remove a screw, put it on the picture it goes with, exactly in its spot on the picture
    4. Make sure nobody bumps the table too hard! :eek: :D

    I haven't needed to open up a PowerBook or MBP, but I found that this made me much more confident in proceeding to dissect the little iBook without worry.
  12. asencif, May 10, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2011

    macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2005
    If that mass call to Applecare goes through then they have more evidence to back up their purpose.

    Same here. I am a technical consultant and have found that iFixit's .pdf guides are great and indespensable. The pages identifying all the screws with their picture so one can place them in the correct spot is an excellent idea. I use them to service my clients iBooks and Titaniums. I haven't opened a MBP yet.
  13. macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2005
    Now those results are very interesting. I wonder what Apple think?
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2005
    Yeah, blame china. This doesn't happen and isn't an issue on millions of other chinese made laptops except for the macbook pro, so it's china's fault
  15. macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    I agree. This has nothing to with China and the Chinese.

    It has everything to do with quality control, cost savings, companies and their business deals.
  16. macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Again, I've found the best way is the old mechanic's trick: a long piece of cardboard where you can illustrate each step and push the screw into roughly where it would go in the diagram. So you end up with step-by-step coverage and all screws intact...
  17. macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    So if this is how apple applies thermal grease, is this why we never saw a G5 PowerBook (and the main reason for the switch to Intel)?
  18. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2005
    I've gone as far as taking the top case off my macbook pro, but realized that I don't have any thermal paste. After putting it back together I've realized that the front left corner (near the HD) squeeks pretty bad.

    I wish apple would just use screws all around the notebook instead of those annoying clips that wear out.
  19. macrumors 68030


    Sep 8, 2003
    Seconded. Think about it, assembly where you splurt 3 syringes onto the heatsink pads, and then press the logic board firmly to 'spread' the paste is /faster/, and therefore /cheaper/ than doing it right. Dell does this, HP, Asus, etc... the difference here is that Apple's design doesn't have the leeway that the 2+" Dells do in terms of temp because of the small case and aluminum shell. Basically... Apple had a design, and using thermal paste for the first time in awhile (normally using thermal pads), got bit in the butt, as they should be.

    For the record, I also have a 'self-repaired' MBP and the laptop is now like what I was hoping/expecting when I purchased it.
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2004
    of my hand will get me slapped.
    Just for the record, how much paste did you put back on? Got any pics of the after?
  21. bericd, May 10, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2011

    macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2005
    Bay Area, California
    I did my heatsinks last week. Down from 70 deg idle (95 load) to 40 idle (68 load).

    My fans do come on more often, but it doesn't seem to make much difference to battery life.

    Better still - someone wrapped it into a nice gui:
  22. macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    Perhaps the quality of thermal grease Apple uses is in question.
  23. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2005
    I'm going to go out and buy some arctic silver 5 so I can do this tomorrow morning. Is it difficult connecting and reconnecting all like 20 little fragile cables connecting to the macbook pro logic board? I was fine until I got to that point.
  24. Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    You know, they could use a pound of thermal grease...that isn't the problem...the problem is that the chips and the heatsinks are not being pushed together tightly enough.
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2005
    The problem could be a combination of anything really, so it's not really possible to claim it's one thing in particular without evidence. In this case, the evidence is everywhere, and results from fixing this issue are apparent. Apple has been making notebooks since forever, give them a little credit.

    On another note, without the mod, my temp maxes out at 70 degrees C when the fans kick on and lower it. It idles around 45-50. I dunno how you guys could get 95 degrees, but then again I'm on the 1.83ghz model.

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