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macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 1, 2006
Vancouver Island
Just how critical or necessary is redoing the thermal paste when upgrading the internal ram stick in a G4 iMac.
The iFixit guide I've located makes no mention of thermal paste whatsoever.


macrumors G3
May 3, 2014
I consider it essential to any incursion into the "dome."

Unfortunately, it's a messy job and I almost always end up with some on the outside. Fortunately, a little bit of rubbing alcohol will clean it up without too much fuss.
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macrumors 68000
I have a 20" that has been running for some time without re-applicaton of paste.
I'd changed the HD and after thorough cleaning of both location faces, found myself with a dried-up tube of thermal paste. Perhaps foolhardy, but I decided to refit the base regardless. That same iMac has been running faultlessly even with extensive use of music videos, so I assume that it has a fairly high tolerance for high temperatures. Having said that, as this serves as a valid reminder of an additional task to be performed, it will be completed this weekend.
For info, the early G4 iMacs have the one location for application of thermal paste. Later ones (believe it's the USB 2 models) have two separate locations that require thermal paste application. I'll post photos when I get a moment.


macrumors 68040
Dec 18, 2007
(Central) NY State of mind
You're tempting fate running without the paste....the biggest killer of electronics is heat. I'd hate to see a great machine like the iMac G4 killed needlessly when it could be saved for $7 worth of thermal paste.


macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 1, 2006
Vancouver Island
Ready and waiting...
got some thermal paste and a new pram battery, just waiting for the ram modules to arrive so I get on with the upgrades.


Sep 3, 2016
yeah, paste is cheap and easy. Ive done this to most every computer I own - most recently I redid the CPU & GPU paste on a trash picked compaq that I'll give to a coworker's son. Rubbing alcohol cleans up the old paste and any drips effortlessly.
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