17" i7 Early 2011 MBP thermal paste results (9month update)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Anti-Lucifer, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. Anti-Lucifer, Apr 21, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2012

    Anti-Lucifer macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I'm quite happy with the results - first time I used some $10 TDP from arctic silver 5 compound which resulted in not so satisfactory results. Then i switch it out, cleaned the components and reapplied TDP but with Arctic Silver MX-4 compound and my results are just great.

    Here is the results on idle after nearly 9 months of application since. This is with ambient temperature in room of around 68F. Of course, it's using the HD3000 GPU not the discrete GPU but even with the discrete GPU on, it will max out at around 85 that's with handbrake using custom CLI to encode a bluray disc. With the fans running on max, it goes back down to 79-81C when utilizing all cores to the max.

    Just wanted to share the results if anyone was actually dubious of this application.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

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    #2
    GREAT results!
    Im getting nearly twice that temp (51~60C).
    Thanks for the update!
     
  3. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

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  4. Anti-Lucifer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Thanks guys - the app is iStat Pro

    I love this MBP so much after the 16GB RAM and SSD samsung 830 upgrade. The thermal paste was ballsy move for me because I applied it around 2 months after owning the MBP. Overall, I'm extremely pleased with my MBP. This is one of the best laptops I've ever purchased and if asked to spend over $3000 (including applecare) on this system again, I would not hesitate to do it.

    The improvements I'd like to see in the next gen MBP would be an IPS screen, better grade aluminum case, thinner design, and getting rid of the optical drive so that battery can be improved.

    Other than that, I can still live with the near perfect MBP!
     
  5. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

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    #5
    the temperature app?
    Thats called iStat.
    Its 16USD on their website.
     
  6. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

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    #6
    Oh, I have iStat but it's just a widget, with less info. Not the paid version though.
     
  7. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

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    #7
    Yeah this is the version where it gets on your menu bar
     
  8. shardey macrumors 6502a

    shardey

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    Jan 28, 2010
    #8
    Temperature monitor works well too.

    Good thread here, I have done this myself with MX 4 and I see amazing results, especially with the GPU.

    Did you take any pictures of the thermal paste before you cleaned it off?
     
  9. daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

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    Mar 24, 2006
    #9
    Problem is you were running on integrated graphics which of course lets the machine run much cooler overall. But still if you've noticed an improvement...
     
  10. Anti-Lucifer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    absolutely - if I ran the discrete GPU - or simply attach an external monitor using the TB port, you will see the idling peak up - but between 38-50F when idling. It's when you use the dGPU + encoding at max, you will see it spike up to 85C - but before this paste application, i would suffer beyond 96C with the same intensive tasks.

    So yes, the paste does help. And it's substantial enough to do this is you can do it carefully. I took pics of the paste before and it was the same goop like other MBP's.
     
  11. ThunderSnake macrumors 6502

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    Jul 23, 2010
    #11
    Do you feel confident that you can still use your Apple Care if something goes wrong? I REALLY want to do this, but I don't want to void the warranty.

    Nice work.
     
  12. Anti-Lucifer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    You have to think about it this way:

    If you have applecare, you don't have to do this at all - it's just for people who love to tinker and tweak things. This may seem very unnecessary - and it's true to an extent which is the fact from factory, it runs within "spec". But you know how heat is a killer of all things electronics (that and static electricity) - so you have to ask yourself "do you feel lucky!?" -

    If you have the time and patiences and skill to do this, go ahead. As long as you don't strip any screws or damage anything on the surface, there is no way any apple genius will crack open your circuit board and examine if you reapplied thermal paste. Unless you have water damage, there's just no real way to tell if you've done this. I don't believe the apple geniuses open up the heat sinks to expose the cpu/gpu to determine anything - they ship it back to the apple dept which will deal with these issues.

    Of course servicing your own car will void it's warranty right? Aside from the basic oil change, how about adding a stereo system, aftermarket alarm (this will void warranty if your electric goes bad), adding an air suspension, etc...unless the damage is done directly linked to your modifications, i don't see how it can void anything if done properly.

    I'm not advocating people to do this based on my own results - but I do want to tell people that it's substantial enough to warranty the risk - that is if you don't mind the dirty work of reapplying the TDP compound properly.

    There's always a risk to every surgery - but sometimes you have to take that risk in order to get things to be right.
     
  13. nnyymm macrumors regular

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    Singapore
    #13
    Wow I'm really tempted to try this!

    May I know roughly how much TDP compound did you apply? Is it the size of a grain of rice or size of a pea?

    Oh, did you just allow the heat sink to spread the TDP compound while mounting the heat sink back?
     
  14. ibebyi, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012

    ibebyi macrumors member

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    #14
    hi thanks for the post.
    I'm also curious which method you used to apply the TIM as I can't seem to find a definitive answer googling/searching forums.

    I used the spread method on my 15" 2011 MBP 2.2ghz and am seeing idle temps in the high 30's low 40's in a 24C room. Right now I'm seeing temps fluctuate between 40-47 with a youtube video in one tab, this post in another, and MS Outlook '11 checking e-mails. Load temps using Prime95 torture test (max heat/power test) I'm seeing it hit 92C before the fans kick in to full (6200RPM) dropping down to around 83C. At this points the fans drop to about 3300-3400 and maintain a 85C, which doesn't seem too bad.

    Temps are about 10 degrees higher across the board (idle/load) for when I'm on bootcamp, as the GPU seems to idle @ around 45-50C.

    I think I'm well within the range for a "good" system, but am considering a reapplication using a dot/pea/line method & maybe checking spread afterward, just b/c I love tinkering :)

    I'm thinking the 17" form factor on your laptop might be helping in overall cooling process b/c I've never seen/heard of a 15" idle at 25C!

    EDIT: For me it seems gaming on an external display under Windows 7 gets my temps up the highest, so use Throttlestop to keep my MBP from using Turbo speeds. Keeps my temps within 80C. Just FYI.
     
  15. Anti-Lucifer, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2012

    Anti-Lucifer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I used a single rice grain sized VERTICAL method - dabbing it in the middle then just placing the heatsink on top and squeezing the excess to spread around the CPU/GPU. The first method with the Arctic Silver 5 compound, I spread with a latex glove (fingertip) and then seated the heatsink back on the CPU/GPU - I didn't like the compound or the method - with the MX-4 compound, I just placed a rice grain vertical dab and then re-seated the heatsinks back on and it worked great.

    Here is the idling (AFTER using the computer for a short bit (surfing the net and just editing this picture in the preview app:

    [​IMG]

    Here is the temperature of the room (73.4F):
    [​IMG]
     
  16. ixodes macrumors 601

    ixodes

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    Pacific Coast, USA
    #16
    I've disassembled & cleaned off gobs of excess, carelessly applied thermal paste on every new MBP I've owned. Oh sure I could have ignored it since Apples set the bar high for acceptable operating temps. Yet I prefer a cooler running Mac.

    I never use it on my lap, or an unsuitable surface like a bed, nonetheless they run too warm for my preferences under the heavy loads my work flow generates. The heat is extra noticeable since I also use an equally configured ThinkPad, and it's very fast & cool.

    It's a bit frustrating to have to teardown a brand new Mac, do the labor intense paste removal, cleanup, and then do the job right. But at least by now I'm very fast & skilled at this task. And it's a heck of a lot better when the results are so satisfying.

    It's a Mac-in-Kit Form :)
     
  17. randy98mtu macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

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    Mar 4, 2009
    #17
    I'm very tempted to do this to my late 2011 17". I get annoyed by the fans a bit when I'm running Lightroom. My fans run at a steady 5500 and my temps hover around 90-93 when doing so. If the thermal paste would get my fans down below 4000 and keep the temps in the 85 range, I'd be thrilled. I have already bought the supplies. Just need to get up the nerve, and wait for the wife and kids to be gone, so I can do it uninterrupted. I think my wife would have a fit if she saw me take the computer that far apart. I put in the SSD and moved the HDD to the opti bay when she was gone. ;)
     
  18. Anti-Lucifer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    It's not human surgery - think about it - you are only accessing the heatsinks. They were put together by chinese workers. If a chinese can screw in a heatsink, you can easily take it off. I find the difficulty lies in knowing which screws and pins attached to the mobo you need to remove before being able to access the heatsinks.

    It's really not that big of a deal - get all the disassembling pictures off of ifixit.com and go slow! :)
     
  19. Augure macrumors regular

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    Sep 3, 2009
    #19
    So for my next MBA or MBP, if that's possible (seems like you don't have an unibody version MBA), I would like to try out one of those thermal paste.

    But I'm a complete noob so: What is the point? doesn't it lower the performance, CPU or GPU wise ? Do it make your MBP last longer/better ?
     
  20. randy98mtu macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

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    #20
    It shouldn't effect performance. Heat is going to shorten the life of electronics, so keeping it cooler may help it last slightly longer. Mostly, it's a tinkering thing and may help the fans run a bit cooler.

    Mine is at 38-42C just doing light surfing and nothing else. I definitely plan to do this soon.

    As for the point, as I understand it; the purpose of the paste is to fill imperfections in the surface of these components to improve heat transfer, as heat transfer through air is not great. I don't know if this next part is correct, but in my mind having too much paste will hold the heat against the chip, rather than help carry it away. You just want a thin layer to maximize heat transfer from the chip onto the heat sink/heat pipe, and then it should be dissipated through the fins with the aid of the fans blowing air across them.

    Hope that helps.
     
  21. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #21
    There was another guy on here with the same setup as you. I can't recall the name. Anyway this is something that's puzzled me for a long time. I don't get why Apple has let this slide through. No one likes a hot computer. No one likes noisy fans. You are correct though, the machines get quite hot.

    Mainly you have to be careful about static and not dropping any screws.

    I'm not sure about that really. Some people suggest that it does, but much of that comes from things like the defective NVidia cards where the defects were more likely to become apparent under elevate heat levels. Basically if there's anything wrong with your machine, excess heat can reveal it rather than causing it much of the time. This is one of those things where I wish they'd just run cooler without being taken apart.
     
  22. ixodes macrumors 601

    ixodes

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    #22
    One easy search of MacRumors, reveals many MBP buyers that've received new laptops with gobs of thermal paste. It's rather interesting.

    Once one of my friends watched, as I took my brand new one day old MBP apart, his eyes got wide in total disbelief, it was such a mess. I knew he was sceptical until he saw it first hand.

    The good news is I made some money on the side, by correcting this problem on nearly a dozen of my friends new MBP's purchased over the course of just over a year.

    Having a cool running Mac is very satisfying, especially when our engineering & design work demands we push them hard. With far less fan activity, now cooler & quieter, the piece of mind is priceless. :)

    Nothings quite as nice as a well setup MBP. They've been my favorites for quite some time.
     
  23. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #23
    Re-applying thermal paste and any subsequent reduction in temperature will make zero difference on the practical life of the machine unless you plan to use it for decades. If you're out to reduce the temperature for whatever reason the results speak for themselves. If you're re-applying thermal paste to extend the life of your machine you are wasting your time and money.
     
  24. shardey macrumors 6502a

    shardey

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    #24
    Source?
     
  25. Anti-Lucifer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Ambient room temperature was 59F and damn, how low can you go!?? This is after idling for 59 minutes. Intel 3000GPU only.

    [​IMG]
     

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