rMBP, anyone applied after-market thermal paste / TIM ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by harshw, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. harshw macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2009
    On iFixIt, the disassembly of the rMBP looks easy ( provided one has the newer pentalobed screwdrivers ) - at least removing the rear panel, disconnecting the battery and taking out the heatpipe/heatsink for the CPU/GPU looks to be simpler than before.

    So was wondering ... has anyone applied any good thermal paste / TIM such as Arctic Ceramique or Tuniq TX-3 on their rMBP CPU/GPU ? If so, please share the results ...
  2. AzN1337c0d3r macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2010
    There's basically no need to. The new thermal solution that Apple has designed keeps the notebook on max Turbo for almost all use-cases here in the Texas summer heat.
  3. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
  4. Spicedham macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
  5. harshw thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2009
  6. Centsy macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2011
    I've done it, but my temp drops weren't quite as drastic. I think it's running about 5-8C lower now. I thought it was pretty easy to do since all you have to do is remove the backplate and the heatsink.
  7. harshw thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Thanks Centsy, info is much appreciated. What paste did you use, and is the 5-8c drop in idle or load temps ? And are you measuring the GPU temps by any chance ?
  8. Wafflausages macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2010
    My guess would be MX4 very good at conducting heat and more importantly its non conductive :)
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    That's consistent with what I found with reports of others doing it on MBPs (older models).

    Given that you're only saving yourself a few degrees, I don't see this as something that's worth the risk. that is why fix what's not broken - just my $.02
  10. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Cocked, Locked, Ready to Rock
    Correct, this what I have observed over the years that 5C - 8C is the best you will achieve and for some significantly less, those that are considering this need to determine if there is actually an issue in the first place.
  11. DaffyDuck macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2007
    Yes but they always use too much and the kind they use isn't that great. I'm at a loss as to why they haven't just switched to thermal tape. At least you get a repeatable result.
  12. TibookAktive macrumors member

    May 27, 2010
    All credit to those doing this, but personally find it amazing. I was big OCer in my *cough* PC days (about 15 yrs ago I may add - before I saw the mac light...) so know all about applying arctic silver or whatever today's best thermal pastes are to cool/OC chips.. but to me these devices are now commodities (like a tv or washing machine or an iphone for that matter) and the trade off we now are asked to accept for the thinner and lighter models is that they are "non-tweakable".

    It is obviously not that difficult to open up and change the thermal paste (hence the responses to the OPs question where people have done this), but to me its like getting a new Sony 50-inch LED TV and cracking it open to play with the transistors to try and boost the contrast or something.... not advisable. But hey your money and you tweak away... its not as though its an expensive bit of kit or anything... :rolleyes:
  13. Centsy macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2011
    I used IC Diamond. This is for load temps. For both GPU and CPU.
  14. harshw thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Hi Maflynn - correct, this would be useful only if the temps are higher than normal (indicating some assembly line worker smothered the chips with TIM love) or then one wishes to overclock the GPU - in which case even a 5c-8c drop is very welcome :)


    There are many people for whom Windows or Mac laptops and desktops are commodity hardware, like washing machines and TVs. Then there's those of us for whom NOTHING is commodity or too sacred. Those of us who overclock monitors and remove their AG coating, those of us who fit SSDs into older Macbooks or mod Dell servers or iPhones or do the hundreds of things that normal people would not dare think of. It's nothing to do with Macs or Windows or Linux PCs. It's a mindset that's independent of brand or type.
  15. Snesley Wipes macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2009
    I applied AS5 to mine. I typically do this without even looking at the current temps because I know Apple usually dollops an outrageous sloppy amount right from the beginning.

    Sure enough, I popped it open and looked like two big wads of gum were stuck on the processors. Again, I did not record previous temps but now, when I play CS or something, my temps will read 57-58C, and 67-68C for the CPU and GPU respectively.

    Easy as heck to do!

  16. TibookAktive macrumors member

    May 27, 2010
    Fair enough - I didn't mean my post to come across as against doing this kind of thing as I'm all for people doing whatever they want with their own equipment, and I do understand that mentality as I said I came from a long-background of overclocker, watercooling and casemodding in the PC world before I made the mac jump.

    Just for me personally it shocks me that people would risk breaking such an intentionally locked down machine by opening it up and modifying it to gain 5-8 deg cooler CPU temp. Its an expensive bit of kit for me, and the thought of breaking it for minor efficiencies pains me :) But again I obviously am not a hardcore hacker/modder. Don't have the nerves for it :)

    Each to their own and I definitely wish you good luck in your modding endeavours!
  17. harshw thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Those are great temps when gaming ! I found a thread on MacRumors: http://att.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1397006 that compares cMBP v/s rMBP thermals. It seems the new case design really pays off - but I guess there's still room for improvement i.e. better application of proper thermal material as opposed to cheap thermal grease ...


    I wasn't knocking your post at all ... in fact I know & understand totally where you're coming from. I use the Mac as a kind of computer that I like USING at home as a normal user as opposed to always thinking about ' can I do X with it ' ... because then it's just work. But I'm interested specifically in OC'ing the GPU in Windows hence the question about TIM and temps ... there the 8c drop does make a big difference.

    From what I can make out the new rMBP case design gives 10c lower temps than the corresponding cMBP thermals ... which is great for normal day-to-day use. If I wasn't OC'ing, I wouldn't bother with putting good TIM :)
  18. Servantz macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2011
    I'm looking forward to replacing the thermal paste on my new 2.7 rMBP. I order some arctic mx-4 from amazon. Just waiting for it to arrive... Any decrease in temperature is worth while to me.
  19. Dronac macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2012
    I would do this in a heartbeat if I wern't afraid of voiding Applecare, and this wasn't such an integrated device. I use self built PC's as desktops (I can't kick the built-it-yourself bug) so the procedure isn't a big deal for me, but with the lack of repair-ability in the MBPr, I can't justify modding it like this. If you can though, more power to ya!

    I may try this on my old 2007 Macbook. It could use some new RAM, a HDD, and a dust cleaning.
  20. Jazwire macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2009
    What kind of thermal paste do they use?

    The white junk?

    I wouldn't mind doing it, but I'd prob wanna pick something that is close to theirs so in the event of a warranty issue down the road it isn't painfully obvious.
  21. Servantz macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2011
    I don't really see how anyone from apple is ever going to find out if you reapply an aftermarket thermal paste to the rMBP. It doesnt look like you have to break any warranty seal in order to do it (you have to peel back a battery sticker to disconnect the battery but it looks like it you can just stick the sticker back on afterwards - at least according to the ifixit pictures). I bought applecare for my rMBP and I am not really hesitant about performing this task. Maybe I'm crazy?
  22. shansoft macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2011
    Those who claim the temperatures are low, please use Throttlestop first before claiming it...

    I was playing couple games and notice the slowdown after 1-2 min of running, then I realize the CPU frequency drops to 800Mhz on MBP 2011 15" High-End..

    Boost up to 100% Turbo on all time, the temp reach to unbearable 100c+ within a chill AC room.

    This happened on MBP 2012 as I am aware of, not quite sure if rMBP have the same problem, but most likely it does to keep it cool.
  23. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I have to drop my room temperature to 16C and use a laptop cooler (Cooler Master Infinite Evo) before my games run without throttling. The decision to pass the same air over the CPU and GPU (at least in the normal MacBook Pros) was retarded and results in incredibly bad cooling.

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