Reapplied thermal paste to my 2011 Macbook Pro 13" I5 with small improvement

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by BlingBling, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. BlingBling macrumors member


    Jul 8, 2004
    Spent the past day re-applying Thermal paste to my Macbook pro 13" and have some moderate results to report, my fans rarely get to 6200 rpm anymore unless there's a quick spike in performance.

    I'm running a stock model with a 500gb HD upgrade. I have a fairly tame Macbook to begin with compared to the hot/noisy macbooks other people are having.

    Idle means no apps open
    Full load means handbrake running, plus a facetime webcam on running fullscreen (quicktime->new movie recording, not recording just rendering webcam image in hd)

    Idle: 46 2000 rpm
    Full Load: 88 6200 rpm
    Handbrake only: 86 5647 rpm
    Dev Null 4 windows: forgot to take results! :(

    Idle: 41 2000 rpm
    Full Load: 87 5583 rpm
    Handbrake only: 85 5078 rpm
    Dev Null 4 windows: 86 5182 rpm

    Temperature changes are minimal, but the fans run at a lower rpm which was the whole point.

    Some pics of the dismantled Macbook before I reapplied thermal paste:



    Note: I did not need a Tri wing screw driver to remove the battery, I just unplugged it and managed to remove the logic board with it in place. I followed the ifixit guide online, and was nervous with all the delicate wiring, but after the second try it became very easy. You just have to know how to remove them and your fine.

    I reapplied thermal paste almost 4 times before I got the best results I think I could get. Applying as thin coat as possible (with a cut up business card) and being careful on tightening the heatsink makes a big difference. I used arctic MX4 thermal paste, but brand won't make much difference.

    The results aren't really that great, the thing still gets hot, but the fans do a better of job of staying a tad quieter as the heat dissipation has improved. I can run minecraft fullscreen with thee fan occasionally going to 5000, but quickly going back down. I have no big issues with flash apps either.

    Is it worth it? Unless your obsessed with those noisey fans, probably not, but I was dying to find out if it would make a difference and it made a small one. The thing that bugged me the most was recording in hd using the facetime camera using quicktime with an external sound card plugged in for a mic, right now I marginally hit 84 degrees with the fans bellow 4000, just at the cusp of becoming annoying, it used to go to 6000 regularly and that change (if it lasts) was worthwhile.
  2. zwodubber macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2011
    I guess I've been lucky so far:

    here's a shot of my istat while:

    Watching a 1080P vid on youtube

    Ripping a movie with handbrake

    Rendering a pdf in photoshop CS5

    Music playing in itunes

    Safari on Macrumors

  3. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    Wow, thats a hot MacBook pro. Kinda makes me glad for my c2d that doesn't even get past 150 degrees while doing that sort of workload.
  4. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    He's got it set to fahrenheit not celsius like most everyone else.

    (how dumb am I that I had to look up the spelling of both fahrenheit and celsius? lol!)
  5. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009

    Those temps are fairly low, considering 212F (100C) boils water.

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