05 May 2006

How to cool down a Macbook Pro

The Macbook Pro runs hotter than some would expect. An intrepid user on the Something Awful forums (warning, Something Awful is rarely work safe) cracked open his Macbook and found huge gobs of thermal paste. Thermal paste is the compound that allows heat to flow smoothly from hot electronics to heatsinks and heatpipes.

But anyone who has built a PC knows that you're supposed to use a very thin layer of paste. The paste is there to fill in the microscopic imperfections in the two surfaces, and no more. Too much paste, and the heat doesn't get transferred.

Apple's service manual says to use an entire tube of paste on each component, which is way too much.

After removing the excess thermal compound and reapplying a reasonable amount, his computer's cooling system became far more efficient, resulting in a much cooler-running laptop.

Apple's response? They've written a nastygram to Something Awful demanding that they take down the excerpt from Apple service manual which gives the incorrect procedure.

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