Quantcast Brand NEW 17" Santa Rosa MBP Thermal Paste Nightmare!

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  1. #1
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    Default Brand NEW 17" Santa Rosa MBP Thermal Paste Nightmare!

    Let me start by saying I just bought a brand new, less than a week ago, (from the Apple Store) 17" Santa Rosa MBP with the hi res screen (matte), 160GB 7200 RPM HD, 2.4Ghz CPU and the 256MB 8600 GT. For some more background I am a system administrator and a PC tech so I know what I'm doing with computers (most of the time anyway ). Anyhow, after getting my MBP and installing Vista on it via bootcamp and thoroughly enjoying the dual booting, I notice the thing runs hot. Ok, I do some google'ing and find the various thermal paste horror stories floating around. In windows (I've been spending more time in windows since I got it) I notice that it is IDLING at ~ 53-60C!!! I think perhaps this is not right, something may be wrong with the temp monitor software I use? Well, I use several, one of which is Intel softare called Intel Thermal Analysis Tool that monitors the DTS (Digital Thermal Sensor) in each core, it also will load the pants out of an Intel CPU - ~ 20% higher load than Intel's specified TDC. So for living with the heat for almost a week I decide I must bust the machine open, remove the logic board (mother board for you non apple folk) and see what kind of thermal paste job is in there.

    Let me say that removing the logic board from these machines IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!!! It scared the #@#$%$ out of me a few times! I took my time and marked where every last screw went and every cable, even the yellow tape. Once I had the board out and turned it over (the CPU, NB and GPU face DOWN so they can't be seen unless you remove the logic board) the sight was HORRIFIC!!! In my professional opinion they used about 40x too much paste, yes I said FORTY TIMES! All thermal paste is supposed to do is fill the micro groves and pits in the heatsink so VERY LITTLE IS NEEDED! Too much is worse than none. Anyhow, I'm sure you want pics so here they are. Oh, and my idle and LOAD temps dropped by ALMOST 20C!!!

    Shame on whoever is assembling these machines as the average user will NEVER fix this and would perhaps think 'this is just how hot it is supposed to run'. I would demand Apple fix this, I would show them pictures etc, etc.

    Oh the HORROR!




    Now the heat pipe cooling system before:


    Here is a CLEAN logic board - From left to right: GPU, North Bridge, CPU:


    Proper paste applied - I have some special diamond dust thermal paste that is VERY durable so I used it - I have seen others apply the paste to the chips AND to the heat sinks, THIS IS BAD, VERY BAD!!! ONLY APPLY TO CHIPS.


    And finally the cleaned heat pipe cooler:

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Brand NEW 17" Santa Rosa MBP Thermal Paste Nightmare!

    interesting....i think this was also a problem with first generation macbooks.....

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Brand NEW 17" Santa Rosa MBP Thermal Paste Nightmare!

    Looks like a 4 year old fingerpainted that paste on the mb in the Apple warehouse. =)

    MacBook Air 11' * 13in * 128gb SSD * 4gb Ram

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    Default Re: Brand NEW 17" Santa Rosa MBP Thermal Paste Nightmare!

    I replaced the thermal paste on my Core 2 2.0Ghz Macbook with some AS5 but didn't notice a 20C drop like you did. Mine was more of a 5C drop. However, after using my Macbook for an hour or two, the temps slowly increased and were almost the same as with the old thermal paste.

    My current temps are about 45-50C idle and 50-55C under normal usage.
    Last edited by sp00n; 19th June 2007 at 08:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Brand NEW 17" Santa Rosa MBP Thermal Paste Nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by sp00n View Post
    I replaced the thermal paste on my Core 2 2.0Ghz Macbook with some AS5 but didn't notice a 20C drop like you did. Mine was more of a 5C drop. However, after using my Macbook for an hour or two, the temps slowly increased and were almost the same as with the old thermal paste.
    Saw that thread but your paste didnt look quite as bad, plus, the MBP puts out much more heat with the GPU... I have noticed that EVERYTHING is running cooler, the HD temps have dropped significantly as well. Since all 3 chips are on the same heat pipe system, the effects of proper paste is multiplied.

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    Default Re: Brand NEW 17" Santa Rosa MBP Thermal Paste Nightmare!

    Amazing. Just amazing. Please repost your pictures to all the relevant Apple forums in order to raise awareness of this issue. macrumors.com, discussions.apple.com (macbook pro section), and so on.

    Do you have any more details on the temperature comparison, other than a 20C drop under load? How you tested, things like that? Did you use any guide to help you get the logic board out? Can you provide a link to purchase this "diamond dust" thermal paste you used?

    We had a 6 page discussion about this issue with the Santa Rosa MBPs on macrumors.com, which basically came down to me saying "this is a problem, look at the temperature deltas, look at the pictures, use your head" and two apple fanatics saying "unless the CPU shuts down, everything is fine." If you post on macrumors I will not derail your thread, I've said my piece there

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=314464
    (for that discussion; be sure to check out the links in the original post and in my last post on page 6)

    Anyway, thank you for taking pictures. PLEASE, please, post on more forums so that awareness is raised and Apple fixes this assembly problem on otherwise great notebooks.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Brand NEW 17" Santa Rosa MBP Thermal Paste Nightmare!

    That is pretty savage, got me worried about a future purchase now!

    Wonder if its a problem with all of them (just the 17"?), or a particular batch dealt with by heavy handed builders!

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    Default Re: Brand NEW 17" Santa Rosa MBP Thermal Paste Nightmare!

    I just let my 2.0ghz Macbook idle for about an hour and it's stable at 45C.

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    Default Re: Brand NEW 17" Santa Rosa MBP Thermal Paste Nightmare!

    Those are some very good pictures. I really don't understand what Apple's justification is for sloppy thermal paste work. Seeing how much more they are using, wouldn't it save them money to do it properly and use less? Since this problem carried over form the original MBP, you'd also think it would have been cheaper to apply thermal paste properly rather than redesign the vents on the chassis and have to get manufacturers to change their process in order to control the heat problems.

    I wonder if mine has that problem too. I'd bet it does given that it generally idles at 50-60C although it is summer now. But, I'm too chicken to open it up and risk voiding the warranty.
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    Default Re: Brand NEW 17" Santa Rosa MBP Thermal Paste Nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by ltcommander_data View Post
    Those are some very good pictures. I really don't understand what Apple's justification is for sloppy thermal paste work. Seeing how much more they are using, wouldn't it save them money to do it properly and use less? Since this problem carried over form the original MBP, you'd also think it would have been cheaper to apply thermal paste properly rather than redesign the vents on the chassis and have to get manufacturers to change their process in order to control the heat problems.

    I wonder if mine has that problem too. I'd bet it does given that it generally idles at 50-60C although it is summer now. But, I'm too chicken to open it up and risk voiding the warranty.
    so does mine but both of my Dell laptops (xps 1710 and 1210) idle at the same temp, so I think that this is the norm for intel cpu's
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