Toasty MacBook Pros cured with paste transplant
Apple too liberal with the thermal gunge?
If you think your 15.4in MacBook Pro is running too hot, it appears you could do a lot worse that reapply the thermal paste Apple uses to conduct heat away from the notebook's processors. Contributors to a number of online forums have opened up their MacBook Pros and found, like this gent, that Apple's manufacturer's have been a little too enthusiastic in slapping on the paste.
According to poster Jean-Cyril, "there was tons of excess compound leaking out around the silicone border of all three chips and very little on the chips themselves". Having got as far as opening up his laptop to expose the silicon, he "cleaned all the gunk off until I had the chips and surrounding surfaces completely clean and shiny" then "replaced the thermal compound with sparing quantities of Arctic Silver 5", a brand of over-the-counter thermal paste.
The upshot? "Since then - and it's been only a couple of days - my MBP is very cool to the touch."
Approaching the problem more scientifically - ie. actually measuring 'before' and 'after' temperatures - a poster on Something Awful claimed his MacBook Pro's operating temperature fell from 50.8/54.0°C - measured at the front and back of the casing, respectively - to 36.6/39.9°C after application of Jean-Cyril's paste reapplication technique.
That's a decline of 27.4 and 26.1 per cent, respectively.
Of course, not all MacBook Pro owners are complaining online about excessive notebook temperatures. For those who are, many would probably shirk at disassembling their laptop for a re-greasing. As ever, if you want to try this, you do so at your own risk, and don't expect Apple to pick up the tab if the process goes wrong. You can find out how to do open up a MacBook Pro here. ®