MP 6,1 Stains on GPU PCB ...?!

th0masp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 16, 2015
499
256
germany
Hey,

Just powered down my Trashcan for a little cleaning. Upon lifting the shell I discovered stains on one of the GPU PCB's. Looks like water damage or an oil spill but I am certain this machine has not seen a drop of that. It's only on that PCB and on both sides left and right from the SSD.
They don't put motor oil in these, do they? :)

I'm the first owner, machine is 1.5 years old, has never been taken apart and I'm 99,99% certain that the last time I had the case off there were no such stains.

mp2.jpg
 

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
7,634
8,355
Brazil
Hey,

Just powered down my Trashcan for a little cleaning. Upon lifting the shell I discovered stains on one of the GPU PCB's. Looks like water damage or an oil spill but I am certain this machine has not seen a drop of that. It's only on that PCB and on both sides left and right from the SSD.
They don't put motor oil in these, do they? :)

I'm the first owner, machine is 1.5 years old, has never been taken apart and I'm 99,99% certain that the last time I had the case off there were no such stains.

View attachment 893386
If it was an area with several capacitors, you could suspect of capacitor electrolyte leakage, but it's not. Maybe the thermal paste degraded and is gradually leaking the oil, it's uncommon, but happens.

If you can, do a inspection of the other side of the board.
 
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chkwong

macrumors member
Jan 17, 2020
45
6
I have these oily stains over both GPU cards
Seems no abnormal effect on function
Don’t worry
 
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flygbuss

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2018
636
1,021
Stockholm, Sweden
I.. I can't take my eyes off the sad face on the heatsink..

Sorry. I just checked my 6,1 and don't have those stains. I second @tsialex suggestion to inspect the other side if possible.
The system runs fine?
 
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Ph.D.

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
548
465
It may be slight residual flux from the manufacturing process, possibly combined with a little smoke or dust that accumulated over time. Flux is used to assist in the soldering stage. A lot of flux in use these days is not intended to be removed, to reduce the usage of volatile organic compounds that would have been needed to clean it off.

Don't worry about it.
 
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Snow Tiger

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2019
854
567
looks like denatured residue from thermal gap material .

Possibly , in your case , its from denatured thermal paste from the GPU dice .

It's found all the time on PCBs , especially older ones .

Harmless .

Why does your SSD heatsink have a Transformers Sad Face ?
 
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Snow Tiger

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2019
854
567
My bet is flux, as above. Looks very much like flux to me, and its in an area where it would be appropriate.
Wouldn't that have been noticed at the factory during a QA inspection ?

Apple is very finicky ( usually ) about these cosmetic issues .

Although there were some surprising fit and finish issues with my gorgeous MP7,1 when it arrived . Hopefully , by users publicly complaining about them , Apple will notice and rectify the faulty procedures .
 

th0masp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 16, 2015
499
256
germany
Hey guys, thanks for the replies.

No, I'm not a vaper. I'm only addicted to chocolate.

It looks indeed like it may be coming from the thermal paste - I found a few similar looking pictures on Google. Always from GPU's. And on mine its only on that board - from what I can see. Since the machine is still under warranty I'm not going to disassemble it but made a note to check again a few weeks before that warranty runs out. Runs fine otherwise, I only had it open to finally upgrade that firmware.

As for the sad SSD face - that's the brand logo on the forum-recommended SSD heatsink.
 

Category 5

macrumors member
Jul 31, 2011
49
0
Looks like oil from thermal pads. Harmless and common. My guess is that there is a thermal pad under that ek heatsink that is the culprit
 

teagls

macrumors regular
May 16, 2013
172
70
Hey guys, thanks for the replies.

No, I'm not a vaper. I'm only addicted to chocolate.

It looks indeed like it may be coming from the thermal paste - I found a few similar looking pictures on Google. Always from GPU's. And on mine its only on that board - from what I can see. Since the machine is still under warranty I'm not going to disassemble it but made a note to check again a few weeks before that warranty runs out. Runs fine otherwise, I only had it open to finally upgrade that firmware.

As for the sad SSD face - that's the brand logo on the forum-recommended SSD heatsink.
Yep it's just oil leaking out of the thermal pads from normal usage. If it bugs you – you can gently clean it with isopropyl alcohol and a non-fiberous cloth like a coffee filter. Cleaned this off many a GPU.
 
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Snow Tiger

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2019
854
567
Yep it's just oil leaking out of the thermal pads from normal usage. If it bugs you – you can gently clean it with isopropyl alcohol and a non-fiberous cloth like a coffee filter. Cleaned this off many a GPU.
To the OP , if you do this operation , please exercise very gentle force so as not to knock off any SMCs .

It's just a cosmetic stain , but they are annoying . I try to remove them when I do my Builds .

BTW , I second the coffee filter as they are regulated by law to be fiber free . What I personally use would be cotton swabs on wooden sticks , but this approach is best left to experience technicians .
 
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