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macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 15, 2012
I have my MM dissembled at the moment and it has been recommended that I apply a heat sink compound (Arctic Silver 5 is the specific rec) and, as a novice to internal computer hardware, I'm a little uncertain what action is required once I get the compound.

Any tips on where to apply, how to apply, how long to let it sit before reassembling the MM, additional steps?

Thanks in advance!


macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2004
Here is a pretty good article on the subject.

Basically you clean the surfaces with rubbing alchohol. Then you apply a very small amount of compound on the CPU. I use a credit card to scrape off the excess and spreading myself.

All you are trying to do with the compound is fill minute scratches and imperfection. Don't use what was there originally as a guide Apple and every other manufacturer uses way too much. This reduces the efficiency of your heatsink. They use so much because it is quicker on the assembly line and good enough.

If you put on the correct amount you won't have the fans cranking up full tilt as often. Assuming you don't run the computer at heavy load most of the time.


macrumors regular
Apr 25, 2012

See this for instructions on removing the heatsink.

I use Arctic Silver 5 heat sink paste and so does ifixit.

One of the other forum members has suggested Tuniq heat sink paste in one of the posts. I disagree with him, but accept his point that the matching of the heatsink surface and cpu surface is not the best. Tuniq seems like a quality compound, but I have used Arctic Silver 5 on both my Mac Minis, two Mac Book Airs and various laptop PC with no problems.

Just make sure you don't use too much paste (or two little). Do a few web searches on this or watch you tube if you have never done it. Or you can always do one application and then check the spread of the paste, clean it again and then reapply for the final go. I use pure Methylated Spirit (Alcohol) to clean the old past of and clean the surface. Use tissues and cotton ear buds. make sure both surfaces are immaculate.

I follow the instructions available on the Arctic Silver website. Three schools of though in application of the compound: spread it on the surface, or put a bead in the middle, or put a line. I use a line for a rectangle surface and a bead for a square surface. I totally disagree with the spread (Tuniq) method because you run the potential for an air pocket.

Note also it can take a week (200 hours) for Arctic Silver to "bed in". It effectively becomes a little firmer.

In summary, there is a lot of material on the internet on heatsink installation and Arctic Silver (or Tuniq) has application details on their website. Note finally, you can get the paste easy on ebay, and squirt out the first 5% or so of the syringe and throw it because it can be a touch oily with the first little bit (i.e. make sure you get the pure mix because you don't need a lot).


Staff member
May 3, 2009
AS5 is a little long in the tooth and I'd look for something else in its place like PK-1 or MX-4

Personally, I've done this on my Macs before and really didn't incur a huge temperature savings. Unless your mac is running abnormally hot I'd not do it
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