Liquid Metal Thermal Interface material for Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by CNTIM, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. CNTIM macrumors newbie

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    Apr 16, 2007
    #1
    I just bought my Mac Pro with two Quad Core 3.0GHz Xeon Processors. I removed the heatsink and notice that Apple is using a Liquid Metal TIM. Does anyone know what this is and who the manufacturer is? I've attached pics.

    -thanks
     

    Attached Files:

  2. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    Feb 17, 2002
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    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    #2
    So, you ordered a $4,000+ machine and immediately remove the heatsinks out of curiosity?

    You've either got serious balls, or serious money! :eek:
     
  3. alexprice macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 8, 2005
    #3
    Dont Leave Them Off For More Than 15mins!!!! The Copper Will React To The Air.
     
  4. CNTIM thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 16, 2007
    #4
    I've had the heatsink off for about 5 days now and everything looks the same...no oxidation and the Liquid Metal TIM is still liquid.
     
  5. CNTIM thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 16, 2007
    #6
    It also appears that they use a special containment ring for the Liquid TIM. See pic.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. CNTIM thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 16, 2007
    #7
  7. alexprice macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 8, 2005
    #8
    I can't tell by the pics but if thats seals ok you can put it back on.

    Otherwise ask an AASP to provide you with part number 076-1258 thats a UK part number so if you're elsewhere then ask them to search for Grease Kit part.

    Good luck!!

    Thinking about it, if its been off for that long then buy the kit. Just to pre-warn you, it will cost a min of £110!! for the kit.
    :(

    Plus as the Mac Pro (8x) has only just been released so part availability will be an issue for a short while.
     
  8. CNTIM thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 16, 2007
    #9
    Thanks! The ring is removable and there appears to be a vaseline-like material around the outside of the ring.
     
  9. alexprice macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 8, 2005
    #10
    I'm afraid I wont be able to help you anymore. I wish you all the best.

    Sorry.
     
  10. CNTIM thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 16, 2007
    #11
    I was curious to see what they were using and thought about applying a different TIM.
     
  11. alexprice macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 8, 2005
    #12
    Curiosity is natural human stuff. Nothing wrong done. At least not in Apple's eyes.

    I've been taking things apart for as long as I can remember.
     
  12. CNTIM thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 16, 2007
    #13
    Thanks! I called Apple to get a replacement heatsink and Grease Kit. They said that they don't sell them for DIY and I must take it in an Apple Store for replacement.

    But, no more than 5min later, Apple called me and asked me why I wanted to replace the heatsink? They also recommended against its removal due to the caustic Liquid Thermal Interface material (not AS5 or SE) and heatsink corrison. He recommended me to take it in Apple for "Professional replacement".

    What do you think?
     
  13. dex22 macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2003
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    Round Rock, TX
    #14
    I think Apple has found a very clever way to dissuade people from upgrading Mac Pro processors themselves.

    Your choices are to replace the TIM with Arctic Silver or similar, or to cough up the cash and have Apple fix it for you. Arctic Silver will probably be just fine, but do you wish to gamble with your Mac Pro?

    That's the question.
     
  14. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #15
    It's a Xeon, not some exotica. Arctic Silver will be fine.
     
  15. mustang_dvs macrumors 6502a

    mustang_dvs

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    Durham, NC
    #16
    I wouldn't be so glib, as the Quad Core 3.0GHz Xenons aren't found in the wild, yet -- they're specific to the Mac Pro at the moment -- so who knows what kind of special needs it might have.
     
  16. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #17
    It's not based on a different core. Supplies are just tight.
     
  17. Lycanthrope macrumors 6502a

    Lycanthrope

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    Brussels, Belgium, Europe
    #18
    Now that's is interesting. As I was looking to throw new processors into my Pro at the end of the lifecycle this could present a new obstacle indeed.

    Is the liquid-cooling all self-contained in the heatsink itself?
     
  18. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

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    The Msp
    #19
    Looks like just regular thermal compound, no liquid whatever. It's just a huge heatsink on top of some CPU's. I don't see what this huge fuss is all about.
     
  19. John McCullough macrumors newbie

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    May 2, 2007
    #20
    That's an LMA!!

    I'm VERY familiar with all sorts of TIM material (I work for a TIM researcher).

    That stuff looks like a Low Melt Alloy. If it's liquid at room temperature then it's most likely Gallium-Indium. If it gets exposed to air or moisture it starts oxidizing and turns to powder (which explains the 15-minute warning in the heatsink instructions). And unless the surfaces are treated, the gallium will eat into them.

    If you remove the heatsink the LMA is undoubtedly exposed to enough air/moisture to start uncontrollable oxidation. You must remove all of the material and replace it with a new TIM (such as high-performance grease) or have Apple install a new heatsink.

    There was a huge recall from Dell and IBM a few years ago when they tried to use an LMA without doing an adequate job of sealing the interface and trading the surfaces and the machines burned up. Can anyone confirm that the processor lid has a well milled into it and if the heatsink has a containment structure built into it? (but...please don't remove your heatsink just to answer my question or because you're curious)
     
  20. piltupso macrumors regular

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    Apr 29, 2006
    #21
    Ok so I am not brave enough to take my Mac Pro apart but would a 2.66 dual core have a similar cooling set up and materials?
     
  21. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #22
    Ok so the point is. Do NOT buy a $4k machine, take the heat sinks off and leave it sit for 5 days. It's just not smart. If Apple is using a different TIM in the 8 core machines then is the 4 core machines, there is most likely a good reason for it. The processors are fully end user replaceable and Apple it not trying to screw you. Just don't be stupid when pulling apart your machine.
     
  22. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #23
    It's the Passive version of the Xeon. They have two variants - Active, the usual with the fan on top of the heatsink, and Passive, which is designed to be cooled by the side-fan settings as used by Dell, Apple, etc.
     
  23. JeffDM macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2006
    #24
    It is the same core, but that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be handled differently. The thermal rating of the Apple's quad chip is reputed to be 150W. The standard Clovertown is 120W. Standard Woodcrest is about 75W.

    I think that is just two different offerings of the exact same chip with the same ratings. I think you can buy the bare chip in bulk from Intel, or buy the retail box which generally includes a heat sink & fan. There is also a separate kit yet again for 1U computers because of the height limitation.

    I question buying a such expensive computer, disassemble it and leave it disassembled for days, why spend that much and not use it days? I did take out parts of my Mac Pro, but I never touched the heat sink.
     
  24. CNTIM thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 16, 2007
    #25
    I went to go see Mickey :)

    I wanted to put AS5 in instead of their usual Shin-Etsu. Taking the heatsink off was quite easy...just 4-3mm hex screws.
     

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