Re-siliconing a MacBook Core Duo 1.83

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by r-sparks, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. r-sparks macrumors 6502

    r-sparks

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #1
    I offer this advice for anybody who's interested. I'm not recommending this procedure, or advising it, but if you suffer from the same symptoms as I did then it's worth investigating.

    My MacBook's fans had a habit of spinning up at the drop of a hat. Even just playing a YouTube video, or visiting a Flash-heavy webpage, could do it. Using Photo Booth caused the fan to spin up too.

    Back when the MB and MBP were launched, I read that the Apple service manual advises engineers to use too much thermal compound on the CPU-heatsink. This had an insulating effect, making the chip warmer than it needed to be. People reported that if they disassembled their notebooks, cleaned the CPU and heatsink, and reapplied less silicon, then they were able to run their computers a few degrees cooler.

    Well, I gave it a go, and they're right. It works. The fans on my MacBook are quite a bit less inclined to spin up and I can even run VMware Fusion without them getting hot and bothered. It hasn't stopped them spinning up completely, of course, but it's an improvement.

    The MacBook is a supremely serviceable machine, and once the keyboard panel has been removed, it's a piece of cake to get at everything on the logic board. The FixIt site has a good guide to disassembly: http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac/MacBook/86/

    The heatsink/heatpipe mechanism comes away easily and I was able to clean and apply small dabs of silicon. I used Akasa silver-based compound. You'll need to clean and regrease the CPU and GPU chips, which share the same heatpipe arrangement (in my 1.83 machine, at least).

    I've had experience of building PCs from scratch, and I wouldn't advise anybody do this unless they know what they're doing. And, of course, you will invalidate your warranty. But it's well worth it if you have a noisy MacBook, especially considering the 12 month warranties on the first run of MacBooks are now coming to an end.
     
  2. -::ubermann::- macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    #2
    interesting, and I thought it was just bad optimization to flash, or that iLife apps were that CPU demanding
     
  3. aliquis- macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    #3
    of course that is why it becomes hotter so they spin up, but they might run cooler and not spin up as much with correctly applied thermal compound.


    Which make me wonder why he call it re-siliconing, I thought this was a guide in changing the cpu or something ;D
     
  4. r-sparks thread starter macrumors 6502

    r-sparks

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #4
    The CPU appeared to be removable when I was in the bowels of my MacBook, but can anybody confirm this?

    This might be a neato upgrade for those with Core Duo chips in a year or two's time—upgrading to cheap (by that time) Core 2 Duo chips will give us 64-bit power for Leopard.
     
  5. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #5
    I wouldn't say that is true. Unless Apple notices your warranty would still be good.
     
  6. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a

    KD7IWP

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    American living in Canada
    #6
    It is not a replaceable CPU, it is soldered on.
     
  7. r-sparks thread starter macrumors 6502

    r-sparks

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #7
    I managed to mangle on of the screws on the case, so one is now missing :( That said, I'm not sure even that would alert Apple's engineers.

    My MacBook was a refurb unit, so I wasn't the first person to open it up after manufacture. Presumably the unit had had a fault that had meant a return first time around.

    The fact I was the second person inside the unit was obvious from what I found inside—there's some metallic shielding tape across the fan assembly and optical drive, to hold down some wires. It had been peeled back by the Apple refurb engineer, for whatever reason, and then simply stuck back down again when he finished! He hadn't used a new piece of tape, despite the fact it probably costs pennies. I wasn't sure whether to apply a new piece of tape myself, so I didn't, and simply stuck the original tape back down :)

    I try really hard to have faith in Apple products but sometimes it's hard work.
     

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