Aging Unibody

designgeek

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 30, 2009
1,064
0
"Town"
Hey friends, my beloved MBP is starting to show its age a bit. My fans are starting to get a little noisy and I'm convinced the thermal paste should be redone. Also my battery is almost worthless at around 981 cycles. No I don't know how it has so many so don't ask. ;)

I'm wondering, has anyone bought parts off of ebay successfully? I seefans there for about $13 a piece, new, which is way better than $50-$60 from ifixit.com. I'll admit I don't usually shop on ebay since I don't think the typically marginal savings justifies all the scam hunting.

Also, when it comes to batteries, I found replacements for much cheaper than apple's $130 :eek: but are these reliable? They say they're more powerful but I don't really believe that. The reviews on this one are split 50/50.


Specs: Oct 2008, 15" Unibody, 2.53 Core 2 Duo, 4GB 1066 RAM
*Does have a removable battery* for those of you that don't know. ;)

Thanks :)
 

Hisdem

macrumors 6502a
Jul 3, 2010
772
49
South Florida
When it comes to the battery you could take a look at OWC, I think they are cheaper than Apple's and as their other products are good, I assume the batteries are as well :)
 

TheBritishBloke

macrumors 68030
Jul 21, 2009
2,532
0
United Kingdom
I'd buy the battery from apple just so you get the warranty. You've probably got all the cycles from constantly unplugging and plugging it in. Mine only has 2 cycles :D

As for fans, I'm sure the ebay ones should be fine if they're from a reputable seller.
 

Meever

macrumors 6502a
Jun 30, 2009
630
24
The fans are from the same factories (probably) I don't see why it would be a bad idea to go right to the distributor and save some cash.

When it comes to battery it's kind of a grey area. I can't imagine those batteries apple has are very fresh. They took removable batteries out 2-3 years ago. Have they been making the removables just for those first gen unibodies or are they just selling their stock inventory from few years back?

But at the same time wrong or bad batteries can be outright deadly. Explosions, acid leaks, etc, etc. You would want to go to a really reputable 3rd party vendor or to Apple.
 

kernkraft

macrumors 68020
Jun 25, 2009
2,456
1
I think he was referring to the cheap batter and fan that he was wondering about.
I know. But the same principle applies to everything. It is just foolish to ignore an option just because of bad perception, while the whole reason for needing the battery and the fan is that Apple's parts don't last.
 

acfusion29

macrumors 68040
Nov 8, 2007
3,128
1
Toronto
Hey friends, my beloved MBP is starting to show its age a bit. My fans are starting to get a little noisy and I'm convinced the thermal paste should be redone. Also my battery is almost worthless at around 981 cycles. No I don't know how it has so many so don't ask. ;)

I'm wondering, has anyone bought parts off of ebay successfully? I seefans there for about $13 a piece, new, which is way better than $50-$60 from ifixit.com. I'll admit I don't usually shop on ebay since I don't think the typically marginal savings justifies all the scam hunting.

Also, when it comes to batteries, I found replacements for much cheaper than apple's $130 :eek: but are these reliable? They say they're more powerful but I don't really believe that. The reviews on this one are split 50/50.


Specs: Oct 2008, 15" Unibody, 2.53 Core 2 Duo, 4GB 1066 RAM
*Does have a removable battery* for those of you that don't know. ;)

Thanks :)
i reapplied arctic thermal paste on my unibody macbook a few weeks ago. my fans don't go on that often anymore, and my computer runs a lot cooler.
 

Corndog5595

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2010
1,112
0
I know. But the same principle applies to everything. It is just foolish to ignore an option just because of bad perception, while the whole reason for needing the battery and the fan is that Apple's parts don't last.
It sounds like this man works his machine to death, not faulty parts from Apple. almost 1000 cycles in two years is pretty ridiculous. I’m sure that usage also reflects on the rest of the machine too.

But then again, everything is really cheap and made in china so it probably is a mix of bad hardware and extensive overuse.
 

7thMac

macrumors 6502
May 10, 2010
284
2
You get what you pay for...
Generally true, but most people would agree that the relationship of value to price is not a constant, and that there are situations where one does not need the more expensive item.
 

designgeek

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 30, 2009
1,064
0
"Town"
Thanks for all the replies! I too was wondering about the freshness of Apple's batteries. It's been almost two years and I don't know if they're still making them, and I doubt they are. I'm hoping someone with experience will pipe in.

And yes, I do beat the hell out of this thing :p I've converted dozens of movies, hundreds of TV episodes and what not using HandBrake, it's also been left on for days straight downloading stuff. Thankfully I had the foresight to stop folding@home after my first piece. ;)

I'm excited about the thermal paste, I've done it once before with my sister's PB G4, seems pretty straight forward. I'm hoping to improve on this: ≈160 ºF at about <20% utilization. I'm terrified to transcode video.



I would just up and by a more powerful machine but that's not in the cards right now, I'll probably get a cheap server, possibly a mini, to do my downloading and just ripping DVDs, not converting. I'll save that for my future i7 iMac. :D

On a side note, does anyone know how to change the backup intervals in Time Machine on 10.6.4? The .plist doesn't have the interval entry. I like it to be two hours instead of what seems to be all the time.
 

treichert

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2007
397
155
Aachen, Germany
It sounds like this man works his machine to death, not faulty parts from Apple. almost 1000 cycles in two years is pretty ridiculous. I’m sure that usage also reflects on the rest of the machine too.

But then again, everything is really cheap and made in china so it probably is a mix of bad hardware and extensive overuse.
Well, I'm sorry, but Apple advertise 80% battery capacity after 1000 cycles, not 80% after 1000 cycles within 10 years....
 

designgeek

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 30, 2009
1,064
0
"Town"
Well, I'm sorry, but Apple advertise 80% battery capacity after 1000 cycles, not 80% after 1000 cycles within 10 years....
IIRC that's on the new, non removable batteries. I'm pretty amazed at how mine's holding out honestly. I'd expect it to be completely fried by now. 94% health on 980+ cycles isn't so bad, but it seems that it only lasts a little over an hour now instead of three or four.
 

treichert

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2007
397
155
Aachen, Germany
IIRC that's on the new, non removable batteries. I'm pretty amazed at how mine's holding out honestly. I'd expect it to be completely fried by now. 94% health on 980+ cycles isn't so bad, but it seems that it only lasts a little over an hour now instead of three or four.
Oh I didn't realize that, then I'd say you've got one hell of a battery there :D
 

Bill Gates

macrumors 68030
Jun 21, 2006
2,500
14
127.0.0.1
IIRC that's on the new, non removable batteries. I'm pretty amazed at how mine's holding out honestly. I'd expect it to be completely fried by now. 94% health on 980+ cycles isn't so bad, but it seems that it only lasts a little over an hour now instead of three or four.
You're correct. I believe the old removable batteries are rated at something like 80% after 300 cycles.
 

ouimetnick

macrumors 68030
Aug 28, 2008
2,563
1,143
Beverly, Massachusetts
Have you tried cleaning out the fans? Maybe dust is causing them to spin up and be noisy. Also, the thermal paste should be fine. So just clean the fans. I know this sounds stupid... But I took the fan out of my Mac, and poured water on it to clean it. Then I dried as good as I could, then I left it in the sun for the day. I also blew all the dust out of the heatsink fins. And I removed any dust that I saw. It runs better now. It very quiet.

I think as long as the fan is off, and nit recieving any electrical current, pouring clean water on it is fine... As long as it's 100% dry before being reinstalled. FYI. I removed the fan to clean it. No water came in contact with the computer.
 

AlphaDogg

macrumors 68040
May 20, 2010
3,415
6
Boulder, CO
Have you tried cleaning out the fans? Maybe dust is causing them to spin up and be noisy. Also, the thermal paste should be fine. So just clean the fans. I know this sounds stupid... But I took the fan out of my Mac, and poured water on it to clean it. Then I dried as good as I could, then I left it in the sun for the day. I also blew all the dust out of the heatsink fins. And I removed any dust that I saw. It runs better now. It very quiet.

I think as long as the fan is off, and nit recieving any electrical current, pouring clean water on it is fine... As long as it's 100% dry before being reinstalled. FYI. I removed the fan to clean it. No water came in contact with the computer.
IF you really decided that you need to do this, I recommend doing it with rubbing alcohol, NOT water. Just to be on the safe side.
 

ouimetnick

macrumors 68030
Aug 28, 2008
2,563
1,143
Beverly, Massachusetts
IF you really decided that you need to do this, I recommend doing it with rubbing alcohol, NOT water. Just to be on the safe side.
Normally I just use a cotton swab (Q-Tip) and dunk it in rubbing alcohol, and carefully clean the fan blades. I only submerge the entire fan if there is a lot of dust.
 

jck1634

macrumors regular
Mar 16, 2009
221
17
Leaving it plugged in all the time is a great way to ruin your battery.
Absolutely correct. I barely unplugged my MacBook Pro when I first got it. After about 8 months use the battery indicator would reach about 95% and say it's fully charged, I then started getting an error message and the damn thing wouldn’t even charge. Luckily I had already bought a spare and Apple were nice enough to give me a replacement battery.

These batteries need the charge inside them to be constantly moving or something to get the most out of them. I've been monitoring my battery using Coconut battery and, more importantly, charging it to full capacity, using it down to about 30% and then recharging again. I never leave it plugged in and at least once a month try and do a battery calibration. That way you get a good idea of of what your battery's capable of and you don't get any nasty surprises when it does eventually fail.

I've been doing this for a few months now and my battery capacity has increased slightly from when I got it. I know it'll eventually decrease but treating it like this is definitely helping to get the most out of it.
 

designgeek

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 30, 2009
1,064
0
"Town"
Absolutely correct. I barely unplugged my MacBook Pro when I first got it. After about 8 months use the battery indicator would reach about 95% and say it's fully charged, I then started getting an error message and the damn thing wouldn’t even charge. Luckily I had already bought a spare and Apple were nice enough to give me a replacement battery.

These batteries need the charge inside them to be constantly moving or something to get the most out of them. I've been monitoring my battery using Coconut battery and, more importantly, charging it to full capacity, using it down to about 30% and then recharging again. I never leave it plugged in and at least once a month try and do a battery calibration. That way you get a good idea of of what your battery's capable of and you don't get any nasty surprises when it does eventually fail.

I've been doing this for a few months now and my battery capacity has increased slightly from when I got it. I know it'll eventually decrease but treating it like this is definitely helping to get the most out of it.
Yup, I bet that's how mine has lasted so long. I calibrate it frequently, charging it all the way and draining it until it sleeps, mostly by accident since I would typically ignore the battery warning. :p Since I got iStat Menus (paid version) they have two warnings so I don't do it quite so much anymore. At one point it held 4624 mAh, just slightly higher than the original 4600 mAh.

Currently I'm at 95% health and a max charge of 4350 mAh. switching video cards seems to be helping a bit. :confused:

I've taken the bottom case off a few times to check things out and the fans look a little dusty so maybe I'll take them out and clean them. They do make this odd clicking sound sometimes too, after I first got my MBP it had to be sent back to have the fans replaced since they were malfunctioning. It is a similar clicking noise though. :(

Thanks for all the replies. :)
 
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