"There's no problem with the thermal paste."

skipsandwichdx

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 23, 2006
106
0
Just got off the phone with my brother, an Apple genius. I asked if he'd like to crack my MBP open and reapply the paste. He said, and I quote, "NO! Just update the firmware, there's no problem with the thermal paste."

But it's pretty obvious there is (or was?) some overzealous pasting going down. How can a firmware update fix an abundance of grease?

I'm guessing it increases fan activity, but won't that diminish battery life even more? Now I'm a bit worried about opening it myself, because I'll never hear the end of it if I screw up.
 

dr_lha

macrumors 68000
Oct 8, 2003
1,587
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Yes, it turns the fans on more. No idea what effect this has on battery as I only have a Mac Mini, but my mini is now far cooler, and far noisier than before.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,199
6
Adelaide, Australia
Theoretically a firmware update could re-calibrate the sensors to account for the extra thermal paste. However, I'd personally attack the bastard with a can opener and drain the extra juices. Don't use your tongue for this last bit.
 

skipsandwichdx

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 23, 2006
106
0
Heb1228 said:
Yes! Another thermal paste thread! w00t w00t
I searched and couldn't find what the firmware update actually does, so I asked. And I provided a little input from an Apple employee.

If you don't like it, don't read it, and certainly don't post about it, please.
 

Heb1228

macrumors 68020
Feb 3, 2004
2,216
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Virginia Beach, VA
skipsandwichdx said:
I searched and couldn't find what the firmware update actually does, so I asked. And I provided a little input from an Apple employee.

If you don't like it, don't read it, and certainly don't post about it, please.
Chill man. Isn't it fairly obvious that if the thermal paste is applied badly that a firmware update isn't really going to help?

They might be able to make the machine run cooler by limiting performance, but if your thermal paste is something that worries you, open the thing up and fix it.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,257
1,339
Heb1228 said:
Chill man. Isn't it fairly obvious that if the thermal paste is applied badly that a firmware update isn't really going to help?
Did you read the MacDev article?
 

Timepass

macrumors 65816
Jan 4, 2005
1,051
0
Apple admiting they f-up. Yeah that not going to happen. Really apple just needs to fess up anda admit that they are used to much pasted and that where the heat issue has been coming from. Not try to cover it up with a software bandaid for a hardware and design issue that is really easy to fix.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,257
1,339
Timepass said:
Apple admiting they f-up. Yeah that not going to happen. Really apple just needs to fess up anda admit that they are used to much pasted and that where the heat issue has been coming from. Not try to cover it up with a software bandaid for a hardware and design issue that is really easy to fix.
Hmm. The guy in the MacDev article applied the Artic Silver (properly) and saw a 2'F reduction in his case temperature. The only thing that made his laptop cool to the touch was the fans running all the time (when he accidently forgot to hook the thermal sensor back up).

This is the million dollar question, IMO:
But you have to ask, why did Apple and their design partners, including Intel, spec so much goo in the first place? After all, they use a sophisticated heat-pipe system and have spent a lot of time optimizing every other part of the design. And these systems are obviously built with quite sophisticated equipment. Why would they ruin a great design with too much paste?
http://www.macdevcenter.com/pub/a/mac/2006/05/23/thermal-paste-question.html?page=1
 

stefan15

macrumors regular
Oct 2, 2005
199
0
Canada
MacDevCenter--
A reader with an objective viewpoint will notice that their test subject's initial situation is not as bad as both the assembly manual and other instances reported. They had a unit with a modest (yet still somewhat heavy) amount of thermal grease, and therefore the benefits from modifying that setup are minimal..

Whereas in some cases, there seems to be a significantly larger amount applied, therefore re-applying the thermal grease in that situation would yield a larger improvement.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,257
1,339
stefan15 said:
They had a unit with a modest (yet still somewhat heavy) amount of thermal grease, and therefore the benefits from modifying that setup are minimal..
The point I got from the story was that even with Artic Silver applied, his MBP was still too hot, and the only thing that cooled it down to a comfortable level was fans.
 

chosenwolf

macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2006
507
0
Los Angeles
The SMC Firmware update is only available for the 15 inchers because when I try to update my 17" the self-installer prevents it from doing so. My 17" gets so hot that one of these days I'm going to flip it over an fry some eggs on it :p
 

Abulia

macrumors 68000
Jun 22, 2004
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Kushiel's Scion
stefan15 said:
MacDevCenter--
A reader with an objective viewpoint will notice that their test subject's initial situation is not as bad as both the assembly manual and other instances reported. They had a unit with a modest (yet still somewhat heavy) amount of thermal grease, and therefore the benefits from modifying that setup are minimal..

Whereas in some cases, there seems to be a significantly larger amount applied, therefore re-applying the thermal grease in that situation would yield a larger improvement.
Unfortunately they totally neglected to measure the heat PRIOR to changing the paste. The 2 degree difference was between MBP "A" and MBP "B," so it's really not a valid test.

For all we know, post-paste, the computer saw a 15 degree drop in temperature. All we know is that the "fixed" unit is now within 2 degrees of a "non-fixed" unit. Doesn't tell us a whole lot.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,257
1,339
from the MacDevCenter article said:
And, my MacBook Pro was cool; actually, it was cold to the touch. I compiled a fresh install of Subversion, which is known to strain the system, and left the laptop on my lap while wearing shorts. I felt only the barest amount of warmth from the laptop. The keyboard area was actually cool to the touch. It was the most amazing thing.
IMO, if a "fixed MBP" feels like above, then I don't see why any nonfixed MBP couldn't feel like that.

It really seems like the fans are what caused that experience, not replacing the paste.
 

Abulia

macrumors 68000
Jun 22, 2004
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aristobrat said:
IMO, if a "fixed MBP" feels like above, then I don't see why any nonfixed MBP couldn't feel like that.
Sure, if they disconnect the heat sensor and have the fans running full bore, every MBP could feel like that.
It really seems like the fans are what caused that experience, not replacing the paste.
Agreed. The downside is that running your fans like that a) is loud and b) will kill battery life.

With that said, some users have seen great benefits in re-applying their paste. This person was not one of them.
 

someguy

macrumors 68020
Dec 4, 2005
2,323
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Still here.
Abulia said:
With that said, some users have seen great benefits in re-applying their paste.
I redid the thermal paste application in my PowerBook G4, now it's nice and cool without any audible fan activity. Go me. :D
 

Abulia

macrumors 68000
Jun 22, 2004
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someguy said:
I redid the thermal paste application in my PowerBook G4, now it's nice and cool without any audible fan activity. Go me. :D
Makes me want to rip apart my wifes PB and see as well as my work PC (ThinkPad) too! :D
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
10,644
2,793
Bay Area
Abulia said:
For all we know, post-paste, the computer saw a 15 degree drop in temperature. All we know is that the "fixed" unit is now within 2 degrees of a "non-fixed" unit. Doesn't tell us a whole lot.
FWIW, he says that there's no noticable difference in his subjective experience of heat before and after the "surgery."

But I agree, the lack of an objective "before" temp is a glaring omission that mostly ruins the article. :-/
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,257
1,339
Abulia said:
The downside is that running your fans like that a) is loud and b) will kill battery life.
Why would they have run full bore all of the time?

I think that if the fans kicked on full bore when the system was doing something "heavy" (like the MacDevCenter guy was -- compiling subversion or whatever) and then throttles down when the CPU returns back to normal (i.e. when the compile is over), life would be a lot better.

A lot of people who didn't touch their paste felt a big improvement with Apple's last SMC update. I think that once Apple gets all of the variables right and releases another SMC update that life could be a whole lot cooler -- without mucking iwht the paste. :)
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,257
1,339
Abulia said:
Makes me want to rip apart my wifes PB and see as well as my work PC (ThinkPad) too! :D
Ack! My work stock ThinkPad T42 and T60 are very cool running machines!!! :eek: :D
 

bbrosemer

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2006
638
1
my 17'' MBP is running fine temperature wise even when I am playing half life 2 i can still keep it on my lap
 

Gokhan

macrumors 6502a
Oct 7, 2003
703
0
London
k

why do u guys keep bıtchın u knw apple dnt gıve a shıt and plus why buy a faıled product thas why ı stuck wıth my rev d powerbook no probs at all so dnt buy the macbook tıll all ıssues are resolved that wıll teach apple