Thermal Paste replacement in MacBook Pro mid 2012/A1286, and its effect.


macrumors 603
Original poster
Jun 5, 2012
Today I have replaced thermal paste in MBP from 2012. I did it for my friend, I am not an Apple certified serviceman, computer is way off its warranty.

2 days ago I have installed iStat menus to monitor temperature over some period of time, under load, and without load.

While browsing the web, watching twitch gameplay streaming, and having just application run in the background the CPU would heat up to 70 degrees celsius. All of what has been opened:
Opera Reborn, Mail, That is it. In Opera there was 8 tabs open. Twitter, three pages, two tabs, and two forums tabs. That is all what heated up the CPU to 70 degrees celsius.

Next I run the Hearthstone app, and tested the temperatures over some period of time. The temp on the CPU bounced between 88 and 93 degrees, under load.

For thermal paste replacement I picked ThermalGrizzly Kryonaut, because it is supposedly best conventional Thermal paste on the market.

Replacement took me around 45 minutes.


The same job while watching two streams at the same time: ThijsNL stream(Hearthstone) and HGC Korea(Heroes of the Storm), at the same time, while having the same tabs open - 45 degrees celsius, and stayed there all of the time.

Then I have run Hearthstone app, and played few games. The temperatures never exceeded 73 degrees on the CPU.

I am pretty much amazed. Those results you can have with desktop parts on crappy Intel cooler with pretty much every single CPU they offer(I mean, that the temperatures at stock around 45 degrees and 75 under load). I think this computer will get another life after adding to it an SSD, and it can go another two to three years, without any problem. And it is already almost 5 year old computer.

Sorry for no pictures, was a little in a hurry.

If you ever thought about changing thermal paste in your computer - I hope this post will convince you to do it.


macrumors regular
May 25, 2008
San Diego, CA
Agreed! I have used the same product on my Alienware 13R3 and the difference was amazing. Going to repaste my 2012 mini quad soon.

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
Hmmm... I might do this with my girlfriends 2009 MBP.. It is likely in need of it, and my GPU reflow of my 2011 iMac went quite well, so..


macrumors regular
Oct 19, 2014
I just did the same on a 2012 15" mbp that I had, before I sold it off. The paste was pretty much completely dried out. I just used some Arctic MX-4 that I already had around. I didn't take any temperatures, but it definitely helped the machine out.

I should probably do the same on the 2009 17" mbp that I have.