Reapplying Thermal on CPU = HUGE Temp Improvement

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by clickclickw00t, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. clickclickw00t, Jun 2, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011

    clickclickw00t macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2007
    So after reading a bunch of threads on re-applying thermal compound to the 2011 MBP, I decided to do it myself, and BOY, what a difference it makes.... I've built my own computers before, applied Arctic Silver 5, but NEVER done it on a laptop, mostly because I know MBPs are a PIA to take apart.

    I used this youtube video to follow along:

    I bought some Arctic Silver 5 (my old syringe was about 4 years old, and I wanted to use a new one). It was a whopping $8.95 lol.

    I opened up the laptop, and applied the compound. I'll post pics of what it looked like before.

    As for temps:
    Idle: 44-48C
    Browsing: 50-56
    Load: 65-73

    Idle: 36C
    Browsing: 38-41
    Load: (haven't really run full load yet) but so far peaks at 62

    These temps are reported using SMCfancontrol with fans running at 2000 for idle, 2000 for browsing, and 3500 min for load.

    Here are some pics: (iphone)
    Opening up the MBP

    Bottom of the Heatsink


    CPU and GPU (grossss)

    All nice and Clean:

    Processor Cleaned and GPU cleaned with a dab of Arctic Silver 5

    AS-5 Spread over CPU and GPU (I still spread it more don't worry)

    Some temps:
    50C temp while making a USB image of OSX for my Flash Drive. All while AJA system test running

    Uploaded with
  2. wikus macrumors 68000


    Jun 1, 2011
    Planet earth.
    Thanks for the info. I'll probably end up reapplying thermal paste after a year or so as I'm not inclined to mess around too much with critical components right off the bat.
  3. clickclickw00t thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2007
    Same I thought as well. Just watch the video I'm sure you'll be convinced it's a lot easier than you think
  4. awer25 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2011
    It was the first thing I did, before even turning it on lol (though in hindsight, it would be a lot of work wasted if it never worked).
  5. clickclickw00t thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2007
  6. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    I probably should be doing this...

    My MBP no longer idles around 40 like when I first got it, instead it now idles high 40's sometimes 50 C.

    Just too lazy to take apart everything, clean, reapply and assemble...:p
  7. clickclickw00t thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2007
    Check this:

    50C temp while creating an image of OSX for a USB drive. With my Corsair Force Series 3, SUPERFAST.


    Uploaded with
  8. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040


    May 20, 2010
    Boulder, CO
    I reapplied thermal paste on my MBP back in November-December. It made a huge difference. I was careful not to damage anything, and have brought it in to Apple for unrelated repairs and they have not said anything about it.
  9. Loops macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Arctic Silver is a good compound, but it's electrically conductive and needs a long time (many power cycles) to fully cure.

    There are non-conductive compounds with short/no cure times that have even better performance now.
  10. oButto macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2011
    Arghh you guys are making me want to void my warranty and try this...
  11. Macsavvytech macrumors 6502a


    May 25, 2010
    I plan on reapplying my thermal paste in the near future.

    Is this true?
  12. Dragonforce, Jun 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011

    Dragonforce macrumors 6502a


    Apr 9, 2008
    London (Ealing) UK
    The stuff from (liquid metal) is supposed to be 9 times more effective than AS5. I've used it on my fat PS3 60GB (it's conductive though)
  13. fattire357 macrumors regular

    May 18, 2011
    Wow, Apple really globbed on that thermal paste. That's kind of poor manufacturing, eh?

    It's hard to decide whether or not to do this... it probably saves the lifetime of your laptop, but then you void your warranty. geesh.
  14. jgz macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2011
    how about warranty? Its possible, to let this do at an apple store or ApplePremiumReseller?
  15. Kashika macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
    I haven't gotten my MBP yet, but I have read enough to know that the thermal paste is an issue. Also wondering if this cannot be done by a professional.
    We don't have Applestores here in the Netherlands, but we do have resellers. Though I don't think they do any fixing.

    Never opened a laptop in my life, so I'm unsure if I can do this myself.
  16. MrNomNoms macrumors 65816

    Jan 25, 2011
    Wellington, New Zealand
    There was one report about one laptop from one factory - it could be one or a small number of paste happy employees but not every one of them is affected. I'm sitting in my bedroom with my laptop on the side table, surfing the web and the i7 CPU is sitting at 29 degrees celsius (laptop arrived 5 days ago) and according to the decoder had been assembled recently.

    I'd always be cautious of any reviewer taking one device at random, opening it up and then claiming that it applies to all devices - be the conclusion positive or negative. One is talking about mass produced equipment that will have slight variations in their assembly given that it is assembled by fallible humans.
  17. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Jun 24, 2010
    Glasgow, UK
    I'm toying with the idea of using Arctic Ceramique. It's non-conductive and looks very similar to the stuff Foxconn seem to be using, e.g. it's white.

    I'll check out my system temperatures before starting though, if they look reasonable there's nothing to gain from doing it!
  18. Peteman100 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    I haven't looked for a while but I think Arctic Cooling MX-4 is pretty highly regarded and non-conductive
  19. John89 macrumors regular

    Dec 23, 2008
    I bought some IC Diamond 7 a few months ago...haven't had the guts to apply it to my 13" i7 yet.

    FYI the IC Diamond is supposed to be a couple *C cooler than Arctic Silver, but a bit harder to apply.

    EDIT...and it's non-conductive.
  20. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    Even pre-application specs were good. (Mine idles at 35, web browsing is at 39~40C, average Photoshop use is ~50C, ~67 for playing UT2004 (~60C for Amiga Forever) via Parallels 6, and I've yet to get it higher than 88 for rendering (Poser Pro 2010).)

    Fan RPM is 3000 for all except for Parallels and Poser, at which point I ramped it up to 5500 in SMCFanControl.

    Now, post-application specs you'd mention are fantastic.

    Has differing results.

    I'm keeping mine as it is for now, what with not wanting to void the warranty and all... and my idle temps and even moderate use temps are very good all things considered. Even under load, it runs cooler than my 17" 2009 MBP... :eek: :D

    I have read about people going to the Apple store and getting this done (I bought AS5, but refuse to do the procedure on my own), so I might down the road. But for what I need it for 99% of the time, the specs are absolutely tolerable (under 67C).
  21. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    Sounds like cheap thermal paste... I'll be sure to keep an eye on mine, in case my 17" 2011 model's temp starts to creep up.

    Try to get a local Apple store to apply it - a little effort from them now would save a ~$2000* replacement down the road^.

    * $2000 depending on comparable model
    ^ That much money out of your pocket if you don't have AppleCare, and that much profit from their coffers if you do have AppleCare :D
  22. gorskiegangsta macrumors 65816


    Mar 13, 2011
    Brooklyn, NY
    Sort-of. The ceramic thermal paste compounds are generally more "high performance" because they prevent "electric leakage".
  23. clickclickw00t thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2007
    I don't understand all these people talking about "voiding their warranty".
    Have you taken a second to realize that there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY for Apple to know you opened up your laptop and re-applied thermal paste, because of their shoddy work. Even if you break something on the logic board by accident, I'm sure they'd still replace it.
  24. hashholly macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2008
    Worst advice I have ever seen on these boards. If you break something on the logic board by accident, you are SOL if apple catches wind of it, which they more than likely work if you have to take in your laptop because it's no longer working.
  25. fattire357 macrumors regular

    May 18, 2011
    That's great for you, but I have a 13" 2011 Macbook Pro, and I'll easily get it running 70-80 degrees C. Not only does that get kind of warm on your lap, but I'm also worried about this thing breaking early. Just right now I am watching a movie, charging the battery, and typing into this forum and it is at 66 degrees C.

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