How do I Locate and Clean my "Heatsink" on a G4?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by frizzwoman, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. frizzwoman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    #1
    Thank god I found this site...Here's my problem:

    My G4 keeps going in and out of "sleep" mode and is overheating like crazy(also seems to be running louder than normal). I've looked at some other posts and a few people have fixed the problem by cleaning out heatsink and re-applying thermal paste.

    I have no idea where or what the heat sink is. But I feel like this may be the problem. I just updated final cut, but it was running loud before that too. I only have 1.5GB RAM in it for now and have under 1GB available. I just bought an external drive for it but cant get more RAM just yet.

    Your help is greatly appriecated. I'm behind on 2 projects and dying to fix this problem! Thank you in advance for your time and help.
    Kate:eek:
     
  2. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030

    Darth.Titan

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #2
    Iif you cannot pop the side open and immediately spot the CPU heatsink in a G4 tower, you should probably stay out of your computer's innards. Find someone who knows what they're doing.

    P.S., you may just have dust accumulated inside the case blocking airflow. Hit the innards with some compressed air before messing with your heatsink.
     
  3. jodelli macrumors 65816

    jodelli

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    Windsor, ON, Canada
    #3
    A heat sink is usually a block of aluminum or copper metal that has many fins to increase the surface area for cooling. The bottom of the heat sink sits flush atop the metal casing of the processor to leach away the heat. There should be heat conducting thermal paste between the surfaces to ensure a good contact. Most have fans on or nearby them pushing or pulling air across to cool them.

    If it's a PowerMac you can just open it up and cleanout any dust. If it's a laptop it depends on the model.
     
  4. G5power macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    #4
    No offense but if you don't know what the heat sink is you really shouldn't take the heat sink off and mess with thermal paste.

    However you can check out the situation by unplugging your power cord and open the case and looking inside.

    If you can visually can see dust buildup clogging fans then that can be an issue.

    Then compressed air might resolve the issue. Also with the case open plug your power cable in and power up and look for any fans that are not turning.

    Hopefully it is just a massive dust bunny since that will be easiest and least expensive to resolve.

    Good luck.
     
  5. frizzwoman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    #5
    I have opened it and looked in it. I used compressed air on it when it stopped working 3 months ago which I figured out was because of faulty RAM. I now know where the heatsink is. I do not wanna mess around with it seeing I'm unfimilar. The fans all seem to be pretty clean. I see that there are just 4 screws holding in the spike thing above the heatsink, is thermal paste something I can do myself, how much would this repair cost? I know I sound like an idiot. I'm cursed when it comes to computers. Thanks for your responses so far. I'm gonna go make sure all fans are working....
     
  6. jodelli macrumors 65816

    jodelli

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    Windsor, ON, Canada
    #6
    Thermal paste is cheap, but you shouldn't replace it in the normal course of use.
    I never use it just for maintenance. I use it if for some reason I had to remove the heatsink from the cpu and then replace it, or when replacing or installing a new cpu.
    If the heat sink is dust free and seated solidly and the fans are unblocked and working you should be good to go.

    Thermal grease isn't as good a conductor as the metal. For that reason the layer must be only thick enough to fill in the micrroscopic gaps between the surfaces. Excess paste can make things worse.
     

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