New thermal paste and cleaning the fan?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by slipper, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. slipper macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2003
    So i saw this on lifehacker today:

    I'm curious, how difficult is it to change the thermal paste and clean the fan on a 13" unibody macbook pro? The extend of the work i have done on the MBP has been changing the HDD and RAM, but i know this would be a lot more difficult.
  2. mulo macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
    i'm quite tech savvy so i'd say its easy. of course reapplying thermal paste means you basically have to take the entire machine apart, so make sure you have everything sorted and labeled!
    also follow a guide like on ifixit, or some youtube video.
  3. guitargoddsjm macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2008
    It really depends on your comfort and experience level. I have a decent amount of experience and I was comfortable making repairs until I butchered the replacement of my old iPhone 3G digitizer :(
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Why do you want to do this?

    For the most part you'll not really decrease the operating temperature very much. The risk of damaging the laptop is rather high.
  5. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040


    May 20, 2010
    Boulder, CO
    I actually did this a little while back in my 2010 13" MBP. You can read about my success here.

    And, all I can tell you is make sure you have the right tools, a good guide, patience, some Arctic Silver Ceramique, and a lot of time (about 2-3 hours)
  6. SudoSSD macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2010
    Apple uses a high quality thermal paste, Shin Etsu X23-7783D.
    It's quality and performance is on par or even better than Arctic Silver 5 or ceramique. Sadly it's not applied with much care, which is why re-application shows temperature drops.

    Unless you know what you are doing and are using a high quality thermal paste, I do not recommend changing it. In turn you might have higher temperatures after re-applying a lesser quality thermal paste.

    I do recommend cleaning the fan, as it's very simple. Just take off the top or bottom case (depending on which model you have) and use a can of compressed air.
  7. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040


    May 20, 2010
    Boulder, CO
    True, but when thermal paste (even of high quality) is applied in copious amounts, like that which apple applies, it becomes an insulator, rather than a conductor (of heat). Even a low quality paste applied correctly would be better than a high quality paste applied in such a fashion that Apple uses.

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