I tore my 2018-MM down today to clean and re-apply Thermal Paste.

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Dr. Stealth, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. Dr. Stealth, Dec 16, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018

    Dr. Stealth macrumors 6502a

    Dr. Stealth

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    SoCal-Surf City USA
    #1
    I didn't take pictures and I'm not writing an essay (Sorry) others can and will do that. I was having a lazy Sunday afternoon with plenty of time to kill and thought this would be a great way to have some bonding time with my new Mini. I had already done the RAM upgrade with no issues but when I did that upgrade I hadn't even powered on the freshly delivered Mini. I had screws flying out of the thing before UPS had left my driveway! So although careful, my main goal was to get the RAM in and button it up so I could play with my new toy.

    It's been working great for a few weeks now and I really wanted to do a complete, slow teardown and spend a little time examining the innards. I figured while I was at it I would clean the stock thermal paste and apply some Arctic Silver 5 to the CPU.

    It was no more difficult than swapping the RAM but it took much longer because pretty much everything needs to be disassembled. Plus, I was taking my time carefully observing everything. The RAM has to be pulled, the fan, the speaker, heat-pipe and all. Eight screws attach the heat-pipe from the bottom of the motherboard. All T6 Torx.

    Anyway I finally had the motherboard completely stripped of components. I cleaned off the existing thermal paste (It looked very dry) and applied the fresh Arctic Silver 5.

    I did not do any pre and post benchmarks and I have no idea if it's better in any way but I do know it didn't hurt anything to do this. I like to think it may have helped a bit. Plus, it made for a very fun Sunday afternoon project!
     
  2. tpivette89 macrumors 6502

    tpivette89

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Location:
    Newark, DE
    #2
    Darn... would've been cool to see if this actually improved anything (as per Snazzy Labs youtube uploading on the subject).

    I was contemplating doing this when I upgraded the RAM from 8 to 16 GB... but I was running out of time that night and just threw the machine back together. I've heard the thermal paste Apple uses is garbage, and just about anything is an improvement.

    Maybe next weekend I will do this with some before and after benchmarking to see if I get an improvement.
     
  3. Dr. Stealth, Dec 16, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018

    Dr. Stealth thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dr. Stealth

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    SoCal-Surf City USA
    #3
    That Snazzy Labs video I saw posted somewhere on this forum is what got the idea in my head. I was going to mention it in my post but I'll be damned I searched for that post and couldn't find it. But that's another reason I believe it was somewhat of an improvement. Once you see the Apple applied thermal paste you'll see, it looks like some coarse dry chalk. Not Thermal Grease but thermal something...
     
  4. jasnw macrumors 6502a

    jasnw

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle Area (NOT! Microsoft)
    #4
    What tools did this require (odd-ball screwdrivers and such)?
     
  5. tpivette89 macrumors 6502

    tpivette89

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Location:
    Newark, DE
    #5
    Security T6 torx, and standard T5 and T10 torx
     
  6. Dr. Stealth, Dec 16, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018

    Dr. Stealth thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dr. Stealth

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    SoCal-Surf City USA
    #6

    Yes, same tools for a RAM upgrade. Nothing else I believe. T6 torx for almost everything....
     

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5 December 16, 2018