Can Apple tell if you changed your thermal paste?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ThirtyThr33, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. ThirtyThr33 macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2011
    Boulder, Colorado
    Hey guys, sorry I posted this question earlier but I never really got a reply.

    My question is as the title states but to elaborate I want to change the thermal paste with my friend whose done it plenty of times before and I trust his skill in replacing the TP once I get my MBP. I am doing so because I have heard MBPs just run a lot better and cooler with a fresh coat of well applied paste. BUT if I had to take it into Apple for any odd reason down the road, would they be able to spot that I had re-did the paste and thus void my warranty? I'm not sure how they would test this as long as I didnt carve my initials into the CPU or something stupid like that but I thought it was worth asking.
  2. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    The probability that they would ever notice is basically zero. Even if your computer has a failed logic board, the replacement boards come with the heatsinks pre-installed to the board. There is basically no way Apple will ever look at your CPU.
  3. Cool Runnings macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    Yes, they can see that IF they remove the heatsink. Of course their technicians knows how Apples their default thermal paste is applied and can easily see that someone has re-done it. But if it´s made "professionally" they doubt they ever will care about it.

    But it´s working so why fix something that isn't broken?
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Warranty is not voided unless you damage something or remove a "warranty voided if removed" sticker. At least in Finland, the manufacturer must be able to proof that the failure was caused by user damage, they can't just say that it was and refuse to fix it.
  5. unixperience macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2010
    Yeah, they wouldn't be able to tell except by how much cooler your laptop runs. haha
    Actually I've heard in recent years the TP is a lot better than it's been in the past. SO if yours is brand new it may not be necessary. But that's not what you asked, so I will say no, they can't tell if you changed TP without removing the heatsink, which is highly unlikely for them to do
  6. Macsavvytech macrumors 6502a


    May 25, 2010
    The recent application of thermal paste on the 2010 and 2011 Macbook Pros has been as bad or worse then it has been on the previous models. Nothing has changed.
  7. Lennyvalentin macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2011
    Like others have said, if it's been done professionally, with no visible signs of tampering, I doubt they'd notice/care. Just be careful during disassembly and it should be OK probably. There's a bunch of little ribbon cables and other connectors that need to be removed in order to remove the logic board and get at the heatsink. Some of those cables may be taped in place, and it'd be an indicator somebody's been messing around in the machine if those bits of tape have been disturbed.

    Also make sure there's no warranty seals covering the screws of the heatsink or the logic board. THAT a tech definitely would notice I'd think... I believe I saw such a seal on the heatsink assembly of the CPU in the teardown iFixit did of an iMac, but perhaps Apple doesn't bother with the MBP.

    Anyhow, barring any of the above concerns, there's probably close to zero chance any Apple tech would have need to remove the heatsink anyway in case of a hardware failure - the CPU is soldered to the logic board and can't be replaced without very expensive, specialized equipment (soldering a chip with over 1100 teensy-tiny solder balls underneath by hand and a hot-air, I don't think so! :D), so they'd have no reason to remove the heatsink to begin with.

    Me, I just bought Applecare, I figure if the thing gets heatstroke and dies on me, I'm covered. :p In three years' time I'll be ready to upgrade anyhow...
  8. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2008
    Your girlfriends place
    Nah. I've brought systems in that I've changed the thermal paste on. The dense ones won't notice, the smart ones'd probably applaud you.
  9. sulaiman71 macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2011
    even with them know u did it

    i think the right thing to do is say the truth :)
  10. ThirtyThr33 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2011
    Boulder, Colorado
    Well of course it's functional but it'd be nicer to have a cooler MBP

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