MBA revision A. Do I need to reapply thermal compound?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by alne, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. alne macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2010
    Hi everybody. It's my first post here but I read almost all threads, so I'm not a complete novice.
    I have an original MBA (1.6 ghz, 80 gb HDD) and there are couple of points I need some advise about.
    My MBA had always had some thermal issues, but they were not fatal, just annoying (fan was at 6200 rpm almost all the time). After 8 months of using MBA fan became too loud. I brought it to apple store and they send computer to TX for repair (warranty). As far as I understood they changed heat sink assembly. As a result fan became less noisy but it's still running at 6200 rpm almost all the time. SInce apple technicians already changed the heat sink, do I need to reapply thermal paste? WIll it be worth the efforts? Somebody please advise me and if it's possible please point to good how to page or share some advice. Also I noticed that my fan is very dusty. What is the best way to clean it?
    Couple of weeks ago left hinge of my MBA broke. Apple repaired it (free of charge on out of warranty product !) by changing whole top halve of the case (including lcd). Yesterday I noticed that new lcd has very light diagonal lines on light grey or white background. I remember that this wasn't present on old lcd. Issue is most noticeable when display is open at max angle and on light grey or white background. I saw that this is typical for revision B MBA's and for some macbooks and MBP's. Is there any new info on this? Is it solvable?
    I recently bought 128 gb runcore SSD to upgrade my stock 80 gb HD. Can somebody share good how to and specific tips for this procedure? I have read iFixit guide and whole 14 pages thread here on Macrumors, but it will be nice to get latest update. I want to avoid the sleep issues with SSD by all means.
    Sorry for long post and thank you very much for your help in advance!
  2. iltwtv macrumors newbie


    Jul 4, 2010
    I recently installed the Runcore 128 SSD in my Rev. A Air. It's working great. Just follow the instructions at and you'll have no trouble. I would get a larger #00 phillips screwdriver, though. Some of the screws were quite tight, and the little yellow screwdriver that came in the kit was too small. As I took out the screws, I positioned them on a piece of paper so that when I put them back in, the same screw would go back into the same hole.

    I installed a fresh copy of Snow Leopard and then reinstalled all my applications. I installed my old 80 GB HD in the case provided and now have an 80 GB external drive.

    The speed difference is incredible. It's like a whole new machine. I never had wake up from sleep problems, and have experienced none with the SSD. When I use the Air to play videos or open pages in Safari with lots of Flash content, my fan revs up to 6200. Otherwise, when surfing non-Flash pages and using Office and iWorks, the fan runs at 2500.
  3. AtmChm macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2010
    Excuse my ignorance, but how do you determine the real time fan speed?
  4. noodle654 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2005
    Never Ender
    SMC Fancontrol and iStat Menus both monitor...SMC you can adjust fanspeeds.
  5. alne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2010
    SO what do you guys think about reapplying thermo paste after geniuses? SHould I do it? I can't find any update about very light diagonal lines on the screen since late 2009...Was there anything new since that time?
    I'm still waiting for my SSD to arrive. I will probably also do a fresh install. I collected too much crap on my HD since I've bought this computer.
    Thank you all in advance!
  6. sevimli macrumors 6502a


    Jun 26, 2007
    wakeup and SSD problems are not valid for REV A.
  7. alne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2010
    Please advice me on thermal compound...
    I already ordered Arctic Silver 5. I've heard that Artctic MX-2 is slightly better and easier to apply... Some reviews say that OCZ freeze is the best one....I'm totally lost. Which one should I get to replace stock thermal paste in my MBA rev A?
    Thanks in advice
  8. wkw macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2004
    Eugene, OR
    Arctic 5 is fine. Have you figured out your current temps? I did this to my rev A and it seemed to help a little bit. It took 3 attempts to get it applied correctly. In the end I had to bend the heat sink a little bit to get it to fully contact the chips. My temps dropped a few degrees to about 180F max but the overall behavior of the fan didn't change much. Pretty much running full blast or idling. I finally sold it when I couldn't stand the noise any longer
  9. MacRuler macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    i would say yes, re-apply the thermal paste but also MORE importantly i would really REALLY suggest buying coolbook, it is the best ten dollars i spent on the macbook air rev A. not only does it keep the laptop cool, and the fans down, but it increases the battery life by an hour or so. and thats in real time use!
  10. jrabbit macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2008
    St. Louis, MO

    I agree with MacRuler: start with Coolbook. If you are patient (and you will need to be), you may find that you don't need to reapply the paste.

    Good luck...
  11. alne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2010
    I'm using coolbook since day one with my MBA.
    But I want my computer to be a bit more quiet....
    Thanks for advise anyway!
  12. MacRuler macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
  13. alne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2010

    Yesterday night I finally did two upgrades to my MBA revision A. I swapped original HD to 128 gb Runcore SSD and results are great. I also reapplied thermal paste. Interestingly to mention that my MBA was serviced in TX service center before (problem with fan). I noticed that apple guys in TX still left too much paste on the chips... Long story short, I reapplied AS5 paste and now curious if i did it correctly.
    My base temperature is about 55C. During 1 h watch of regular flash clip temperature is about 69C. Today i tried watching youtube clip in HD (720p). After 5 min clip with this settings in full screen mode temperature sets at about 83-85C.
    Initial temperature after turning computer on is about 80C, but it drops to 50-53 very quickly.
    I'm using coolbook. If I use CPU load option in this program set at 10 (max) temperature stays at 83C and don't raise anymore. AFter relieving heavy CPU load temperature drops very quickly. I'm using SMC fan control to check fan rpm and temperature.
    Gurus, please advise me if my results are within normal range or I need to reapply paste...I tried to put least quantity of paste possible to entirely cover chips and HS assembly. I used credit card to spread compound.
    Thank you in advance!

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