Just reapplied my thermal paste = better performance?

SamIchi

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 1, 2004
2,709
133
Early 2011 MBP 2.2GHz i7 8GB

With all the reports of defective GPU's in my unit, I decided to reapply my thermal paste. It's not a solution, but thought it would help a little. I've had a few graphical glitches, and random restarts lately. I don't have money, but I thought I could at least do this.

This was my first time doing this, and I think it was a success. There was a lot of dust in my MBP. Got rid of most of it, and reapplied the thermal paste. I could see the results instantly after booting up my Mac. I would recommend this to anyone who has time and a technical hand to do this. There was definitely too much paste on before.

What I didn't expect, was the better performance. Apps seem to be opening faster. System Preferences always seemed to load slow, but now it's only one bounce. Could the collected dust be the cause of the slow performance? Could the cooler temps affect performance?

Well either way, I'm happy, I just hope don't run into anymore of the reported problems with the early 2011 MBP's. Here are some pics.


So So Dusty


Definitely too much


Nice and shiny

Comparison
 
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SkimMilk168

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2014
150
2
Singapore
wow, that sure is A LOT of paste!

As for better performance --> Maybe it's due to better airflow? Cooler machine, so CPU doesn't lower it's performance to prevent overheating.
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,218
1,585
Wow, that amount of paste. :D I wonder how much there is in my Late 2013 rMBP. Gonna check it after AppleCare expires.
If it's anything like my MBA late 2013 I had pads. Switched to paste and dropped 12'c unloaded and 10'c off full load temps.

I know people say that MacBooks cooling is inadequate but it's not if the paste is decent.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Boston
That's a lot of paste, but not surprising.

I did it back in the day on my old white MacBook and it only helped about 5c.

I will say that apps opening faster makes no sense at all, unless you were constantly suffering from the CPU being throttled.

What were your before and after temps
 
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nickandre21

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2012
534
1
just got a new logic board for my retina, under full load it used to hover around 90s now my cpu hovers between 75-85max.

Why does apple put alot of paste when it has no benefits?
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,903
481
just got a new logic board for my retina, under full load it used to hover around 90s now my cpu hovers between 75-85max.

Why does apple put alot of paste when it has no benefits?
Because the process is automated. It just puts a blob on and counts on the heatsink to spread it.
 

SamIchi

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 1, 2004
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Because the process is automated. It just puts a blob on and counts on the heatsink to spread it.
You'd think a company like Apple would take special attention to this. I don't think it would be that hard to automate a smaller glob. Seeing as how it cools it down much better.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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MBP's are not assembled by robots, but rather by hand. They're probably told how much to add before putting the heat sink on. Since this is not a new phenomenon, Apple doesn't seem to be concerned
 

noodle654

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2005
2,065
19
Never Ender
Yikes way too much paste! I am waiting for AppleCare to expire before I rip mine open, but I've seen similar is almost every Mac I have opened.
 

SamIchi

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 1, 2004
2,709
133
That's a lot of paste, but not surprising.

I did it back in the day on my old white MacBook and it only helped about 5c.

I will say that apps opening faster makes no sense at all, unless you were constantly suffering from the CPU being throttled.

What were your before and after temps
That's what I thought too, I don't know why it would affect performance, but everything seems to be "snappier". Could be placebo, I don't know.

I've added a comparison image of the temps. They're not exactly the most controlled comparisons but I think in general, the temp is cooler. A good 8º while idling (CPU & GPU) difference while idle. While active, 10º cpu difference, and 18º! for GPU, which was my initial concern.

For the Idle temps, before and after. I would shutdown all my programs (after some normal use), and let the computer idle for 10 mins, then took a screen. For the active. I would run the same programs, Sketchup, Keyshot (while rendering), VLC, and a YouTube video in the background, then took a screen shot. I might not have run them as long as I did in the "before" screen. Might do that one again later.

So take it for what you will. I'm pretty satisfied with it.
 

Commy1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2013
726
69
Nice pics,
I had an Alienware M14x that I did a thermal repaste on a few years ago. It was so worth it, never had an issue with any of my MacBooks though. Gotta wonder how much better the temps could be if they're putting that much stuff on it. For 1800$+ I'd like some arctic silver or IC Diamond on my hardware :)
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
2,192
17
Sagittarius A*
Having re-pasted hundreds of macs I'd say that's about the average 'loads more than necessary' factory paste application. I've seen it almost completely cover the processors before :D

In a 2011 15/17 I do this as a matter of necessity due to the GPU problem and heat from the sandy bridge CPUs, lap the heatsink plates with chrome polish and use slivers of AS-5 on both chips and clean the heatpipes grilles out. 15-20 degree drops are the norm!