Thermal GLUE in Mac Pro 2,1 -- and Mac Pro 3,1 ?

ggalaximm

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 16, 2019
11
0
Yesterday or so I had the semi-unpleasant experience of trying to remove the heatsinks from a Mac Pro 2,1.

My first challenge was that secret hidden screw that hides from humans, holding down the front fan...

as seen in step 16 of this guide:

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Replacing-Upgrading+Mac+Pro+Processors+%28Early+2008%29/17562

=== === ===

so when I got to the second challenge, removing the heatsinks, all the YouTube videos make it look easy, showing people using their Elkind 3mm super-long allen wrench to unscrew four screws, then just tug upwards.

Well I learn the hard way that "just tug upwards" doesn't work for me, and the heatsinks were all but GLUED to the LGA771 Xeon chips.

This is probably well known to frequent users of this forum, but it was unknown to me.

=== === ===

So now I am spooked. Was this same technique used with the Mac Pro 3,1 ? I started out with simple and naive hopes, of cracking open a basic 2 x 2.8GHz Mac Pro 3,1 just to put some X5482s inside for that tiny bit of speed boost. But, not if the CPUs are glued in with liquid metal, and I'm just going to be pulling off the entire surface-mounted LGA771 socket, pins and all, straight off of the motherboard...

??

The first thing that had me stymied was how difficult it was to remove the front fan assembly. Many a time in the past, after removing the main black screw, a solid yank would make the fan slide right out --- but this time it was really putting up a fight.

Turns out the clever lads at Apple put in **one extra screw** to hold down the front fan, one that I didn't know about or think to look for.

As seen in step 16 of this guide:

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Replacing-Upgrading+Mac+Pro+Processors+%28Early+2008%29/17562

Oh well, found that screw too, finally got the front fan out.
 

G4DPII

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2015
247
300
The front fans are not glued in place in a 3,1. They are kept in place by 2 screws, nothing more.
 

1madman1

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2013
181
79
Richmond, BC, Canada
I upgraded several 1,1 systems a few years back, never used a guide. I do not recall any glue. It's probably just solidified thermal compound, just twist a little and it will break free as the stuff isnt exactly tough.
 

ggalaximm

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 16, 2019
11
0
I upgraded several 1,1 systems a few years back, never used a guide. I do not recall any glue. It's probably just solidified thermal compound, just twist a little and it will break free as the stuff isnt exactly tough.

That's just the thing, innit --- ever try to upgrade a 2,1 system? There's a second screw holding down the front fan assembly.

The processors seem fused to their heatsinks, after twelve years.

=== ==== ===

Or, maybe I just got a really bad one.
 
Last edited:

tsialex

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
5,580
6,387
Brazil
That's just the thing, innit --- ever try to upgrade a 2,1 system? There's a second screw holding down the front fan assembly.

The processors seem fused to their heatsinks, after twelve years.

=== ==== ===

Or, maybe I just got a really bad one.
It's just adhesion from the thermal paste. When it's really bad, power on your Mac Pro and run a process that will use all CPU for 15 minutes. It's easier to remove when warmed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alex Sanders74

ggalaximm

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 16, 2019
11
0
It's just adhesion from the thermal paste. When it's really bad, power on your Mac Pro and run a process that will use all CPU for 15 minutes. It's easier to remove when warmed.
Amazing! This is the hint I needed, thank you!

=== === =====