Has anyone tried liquid metal vs conventional thermal paste on MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Adam.Kb2Jpd, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. Adam.Kb2Jpd macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2018
    Hi all.

    I use a i7 MacBook Air that is always running hot and running the fan fast and loud.

    Read about using liquid metal paste as a substitute to the factory crap job done by Apple?

    Does the CPU actually run cooler by as much as 20 Degrees using the factory heatsink/heat pipe?

    How successful were you?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. c0ppo macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2013
    Yes, Liquid Metal would help. But I would use it with extreme caution, because one small mistake could leave you without your laptop.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    you're probably not going to see that much of a savings. If you're handy, and have done this sort of thing before, then go for it. If not, then I'm not sure if the risk is worth the reward.

    The question is does your MBP run too hot? What temps are you seeing and what are you doing when you see those high temps?
  4. htc fan macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2011
    The risk outweights the performance instead just use a better cooling paste instead . Liquid metal is conductive, so if it get on motherboard , it's game over.
  5. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Apple wouldn't leave that much on the table
  6. Ries macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2007
    Make sure it doesn't come in contact with leads / components (mask or coat the components on the CPU for safety) or if they use aluminimum as heatsink. It is very corrosive when in contact with other metals other than the CPU top and a copper heat sink.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 22, 2018 ---
    They don't want to deal with liquid metal, it's hard to apply and if it seeps out you're ****ed. They do what every other manufaturer does, apply a good amount of standard paste and smack the heatsink on.
  7. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Apr 29, 2003
    Not on a Macbook Pro. You may experience a bit of change in the core temperatures under full loads. My view of the Macbook Pros (since 2008) is that the thermal transport on a Macbook Pro is not interface-limited at the CPU - Heatsink contact. It is much more limited by the raw capacity of the heatsink(s), i.e., the heatsink can't get rid of it heat fast enough, which is fair because in a portable form factor, this is usually the limitation. If you notice that the higher capacity heatsinks in desktops (DIY PCs) are all large fan + large radiator, you'll see that then it is worth it to use a more conductive thermal interface material, because the heat flow choke point is at the CPU - heatsink interface. Another way to look at this is that smaller heatsinks require much faster air flow to achieve the same cooling capacity as a larger heatsink, which means that for really small heatsinks (like in the Macbook Pros), the amount of air is the limiting factor as the form factor of the device shrinks. The amount of air controls the heatsink capacity.

    In extreme cases where the thermal paste application is suspect, you can expect a more drastic drop in temperatures by upgrading the thermal interface material, but those are far and few in between. But you really don't need liquid metal in this case, as a proper application of any decent thermal paste suffices.

    I have personally tried 4 different kinds of thermal pastes, from the generic white aluminum oxide stuff to the more expensive stuff. Nothing made a difference in terms of long-term sustained-load temperatures, which supports my idea of the capacity-limitation.
  8. jerryk macrumors 601

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I would just remove all of the old paste, and clean the surfaces really well. Then apply a tiny amount of good thermal paste like Arctic Silver or Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut. Most of the time people put too much of the stuff and the heatsink and CPU or GPU barely make direct contact. The idea is to just fill in the imperfects, not float the heatsink on the thermal compound.
  9. ionantonak macrumors newbie


    Mar 1, 2017

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9 February 21, 2018