Should I reapply thermal paste?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Vinsanity93, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. Vinsanity93 macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2010
    So I've seen a lot of threads saying that the thermal paste Apple applies is at best sloppy. People have said reapplying the paste makes the computer run cooler. My comp idles around 98-110F internet surfing and light stuff, max temp I've reached is 180F playing SC2 and Red Alert 3 and that's with discrete graphics.

    Do you guys think that I should reapply the paste or is my mac already running as cool as it could be?
  2. Mac-key macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2010
  3. Tiki35 macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2009
    Nanoose Bay, BC, Canada
  4. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Oct 14, 2010
    Be careful ... your warranty says ... no you should not
  5. escogido macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Those temps look reasonable. Mine were much higher when I got my MBP, so I had to replace the thermal paste (the thermal paste that was there was a total disaster) - maybe :apple: cleaned up their act now? How recencently did you get yours? But even still, to be on the safe side (if you have the patience) I'd still replace it, with either arctic silver or IC diamond (I personally went with IC diamond). After I replaced the TP, my idle is 84-91, and playing SC2 is around 165-170...
  6. Vinsanity93 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2010
    I ordered it last week of April and got it in May. Does ifixit have a guide to reapplying the thermal paste? I don't want a $2000 paperweight -__-
  7. DWBurke811 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2011
    Boca Raton, FL
    80*C is well within normal, safe operating temps of your processor.
  8. murdercitydevil macrumors 68000


    Feb 23, 2010
    iFixit has a complete teardown of the MBP (what I used when reapplying thermal paste). As for the application itself, once you remove the logic board and take off the heatsinks, it's pretty simple. Take some isopropyl alcohol and q-tips (or a cloth, or whatever) and remove all the gunk that's on there. Clean the chips again once more with alcohol, then apply a THIN, EVEN layer (just enough to fully cover the surface evenly) of paste back on using something like a spudger or the edge of a credit card. I recommend Arctic Cooling MX-2 or Arctic Silver 5. Then put everything back together following the steps backwards.

    The bottom line is to be careful, take your time, and avoid static electricity.

    EDIT: That said, yeah 80C is fine. If you're worried about screwing something up, I wouldn't recommend doing it. It's the type of thing you should do if either 1) Your temps are dangerously high or 2) You know what you're doing and do it for "fun" (and lower temps, either way). Get SMCFanControl and control your fan speed manually so it doesn't reach such high temps, if you're worried.
  9. Vinsanity93 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2010
    I know but it gets uncomfortable on the lap :/

    Yea one of the first apps I downloaded
  10. i4k20c macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2005
    what are abnormal temps for when people reapply the thermal paste?


    might want to check out a "ilap"

    i use it and like it a lot. though they are $ if you purchase them new and thus suggest looking for them used.
  11. marshallbedsaul macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2007
    You could try to have it elsewhere besides your lap???
  12. SavMBP15 macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2010
    Not made to be used directly on your lap. Apple does not call them laptops, they call them notebooks.
  13. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    FWIW, I've not seen too many posts here or else where re-applying the thermal paste made an incredible decrease in the temps. For the most part, I've only see a few degrees.

    To that end, I don't see the value in reapplying the thermal paste exceeding the risk of damaging your computer, applying it incorrectly, and voiding your warranty.
  14. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    1) if your temperatures are staying under 90C when doing everything but playing games, you are fine. You don't need to mess with SMC at all in this case; I have a 2011 13 inch and the machine stays at 2kRPM until temps in the core hit 80C; at that point the fans cut on and increase gradually until the temp drops.

    If this is how your machine sounds, then you're fine. The machine chooses to run up to 80 before cutting fans to save battery and, from what i see, it isn't needed.

    2) If you have to put it in your lap, use a thin, hard backed book, like a small year book or picture book or something. The machine won't overheat in your lap but if you have to use it that way, at least put it on your knees sort of so the back middle isn't touching anything.

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