Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Mid 2014 MacBook Pro fan cleaning, should I also re-paste the CPU/GPU?

Bitter
 Share

Basically the title has it. I'm planning to pop the rear clamshell and blow out the fans/heat sinks on her mid 2014 dual graphics retina macbook pro. It's not much more to pull the heat sink assembly and re-apply the thermal compound. I have some Arctic Silver 5 on hand, would that be good to use or should I wait and order something more special in? I keep seeing everyone and their brother using Canadactonaukt or whatever from Thermal Grizzly, is that what I should use? Not gonna risk liquid metal on her $20000000 laptop.

 

The reason I'm embarking on this endeavor is because it's never been cleaned since purchase and to my ear it sounds like it's spinning the fans pretty hard very often and she's getting some applications crashing after the fans are going full tilt for a while. I don't know if cleaning the fans and heat sinks will do anything for that, but I'm sure they're nasty with dog fur and dust and need to be cleaned anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

It can't hurt to reapply thermal compound, and it might actually help it. Arctic Silver 5 should be fine to use.

"It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out." - Carl Sagan.

"If you place a piece of bread somewhere on Earth, and another one on that point's antipodes, well you made yourself an Earth-sandwich." - Michael from Vsauce.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, I think I'll see what cleaning the fan does first. I'm going to run prime95 to see what it's doing temp wise so I have a before and after comparison.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Bitter said:

Thanks, I think I'll see what cleaning the fan does first. I'm going to run prime95 to see what it's doing temp wise so I have a before and after comparison.

That's a good idea. If temps are acceptable, then you can certainly just leave it as is. Thermal paste lasts a while, so considering it's approximately 5 years old, it's probably still in a liquid form. If it was dry, then definitely replace it.

 

If you do decide to remove the heatsink assembly anyway, you'll need to replace the thermal compound as re-applying the cooler without doing so could result in air bubbles forming, reducing cooling performance.

"It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out." - Carl Sagan.

"If you place a piece of bread somewhere on Earth, and another one on that point's antipodes, well you made yourself an Earth-sandwich." - Michael from Vsauce.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea so just cleaned the fans out, they were bad but not clogged totally, the heat sinks both had dust bunnies in them as well. I did not have the intel power tool before hand so I don't know what it was dropping CPU speed to, but running prime95 small fft torture test it's still hitting 95-100C across all 4 cores. The CPU bursts up to 3.3Ghz (4980HQ should be a max turbo of 3.5), one core smacks 100C, the CPU throttles down to 3, 2.9, 2.8, 2.7, 2.6 and hangs out at 2.6Ghz under full load in prime95. The Intel tool shows a peak power draw in the mid 70W range and then falls to around 45W and it thermally throttles. Seeing how tiny the heatsink area is, I'm not even sure re-applying thermal compound will do anything. It's certainly better than it was but this is....disheartening. I guess maybe this is as good as one can expect for form over function.

 

Good news is I'll soon have this same CPU re-packaged into a 1150 desktop package so I can compare side by side what one can do with proper cooling vs the MBP.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just ran Cinebench R15, got 616cb CPU score. Hows that jive with normal?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Been thinking of doing the same to my mid-2014 as well, both cleaning and repasting. What’s your cpu? I’ll run Cinebench this week and can share the results to compare.

 

If you are having temp issues and confident in replacing the paste, then give it a try. Plenty of people do it and get favorable results if it was a poor paste job at the factory, not uncommon to read 10c drops and/or less fan noise during normal operations. I haven’t used AC5 in years but if you have it on hand then use that. Otherwise, I use Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut (not their liquid metal) or MX4 on my builds (Gelid Extreme is also favored by many but no personal experience). Kryonaut is a bit pricey but I think worth it if ou are someone that doesn’t go through paste quickly, MX4 is a great price with great results. Just stay away from liquid metal. It’s too risky in a laptop, won’t give much better results with this cooling system and some people have had issues with it pitting their heatsinks and cpu/gpu heat shields even within a year or two. 

 

But ya, will try to run Cinebench tomorrow or the next day and may do the cleaning and repasting this weekend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

She's got an i7 4980HQ, in daily use the fans are much quieter than they were before but some of that may have simply been noise created by the buildup of dust on the fan blades themselves creating more turbulence. It's certainly much improved from an acoustic stand point but doesn't seem to be much change thermally, at least in the absolute worst case scenario of prime95 which isn't a particularly real world problem. It seems rather easy to replace the paste so I may do that, after reading more about Kryonaut I think I'm going to get a tube of it and retire my AS5, it's got markedly higher thermal performance. My only concern would be it's durability, I pull off stuff that's had AS5 on for almost a decade and it's still in a paste like state and 'wet'. However for her laptop, I doubt it'll still be a viable machine in a decade because Apple.

 

But now I'm reading some about TG KN breaking down in temps over 80C...more research required.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just ran Cinebench but my CPU is the i7 4870HQ, so that won't really help you out. It got a CPU score of 571 and was hitting 98.2-98.9C most of the test with a few drops to 96.xx here and there. So definitely want to give it a good cleaning and repasting.

 

Ya, I am debating if I want to use MX-4 or Kryonaut when I repaste mine. The MX-4 is a little more "runny" so was thinking of Kryonaut and manually spreading it out like I always do with that (do the pea/rice sized drop method with other pastes) since the pressure from a laptop heatsink isn't quite as much as with a desktop cooler. I also have an unopened tube of Noctua NT-H1 or whatever that is highly praised that I could use, but will probably save that for whenever I run out of the MX-4. I doubt there would be any performance difference between the three in this use case, or even over AC5. I'll have to do some research on what you mentioned about it breaking down over 80c, that is pretty surprising seeing how it is marketed to OCers and whatnot. 

 

If you are worried, may as well just use the AC5 you have on hand and just replace your stock with something with higher thermal performance later. Like you said, a 2014 MBP probably only has a couple more years of daily type use to her before she'll want to upgrade and then it will be someone else's problem, and I'd assume any application of new paste would be better than stock at this point. I'm honestly surprised I am still using mine as I used to be someone that upgraded laptops every 2 years or so, but really have no plans to upgrade this in the near future.

 

Will post my results here once I get it all done if you or anyone are curious and still debating if its worth the trouble.

 

edit: can't find my P5 screwdriver so had to order a new one, guess it will be the weekend before anything happens.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Got the new P5 screwdriver in and opened it up and blew out the dust. There was visible dust on the fan blades and a little dust bunny trapped against each heatsink. My laptop has mostly been on a Rain MStand, so it doesn't collect dust off the surface of the desk, just in the air for the most part. So I'd imagine others that use theirs more on the couch, bed, or directly on the desk would have more dust at this point in theirs (and I don't live in a particularly dusty area and the humidity usually keeps the dust low).

 

Put the bottom back on without screwing it in and ran Cinebench again. Temps hit up to 98.3C but really stuck in the 96.0 - 97.6C range with some dips to 93C. CPU was mostly in the 2.8-2.9GHz turbo boost range, while it was pretty much locked at a 2.7GHz boost due to throttling prior to me taking an air duster to it.

 

So my Cinebench score got up to 581, a 10 point improvement. Just doing daily tasks like web browsing and running a youtube video, the temps are 55-64C, where they were more in the 62-68c range before.

 

So I'll try the repaste sometime over the weekend, and while I have that heatsink off, give it a more thorough cleaning in case the dust bunnies got trapped somewhere rather than blown out (didn't see where either went after hitting it with my electric air duster). Already happy with that improvement, and worth it to anyone who has a MBP that is out of AppleCare (otherwise just take it to them to clean out before your apple care runs out).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Repasted it with MX-4. It wasn't my best pasting job, but when I started it up and did Cinebench, the temps now jumped between 95.3C - 97.7C with some bumps to 98.5C and drops to 93C. It was now jumping between 2.9-3GHz and a score of 590. So a little improvement at the top end. My stock paste wasn't actually dried out like others. I did get a refurbished model, so maybe Apple repasted it during the refurb process and used better paste? They still used a little too much, but wasn't really that bad. So that is my guess.

 

Idle is jumping between 53-65C, so it seems overall the lows are lower and the highs are the same or slightly higher even than the stock paste but I am getting a higher clock under load. Like I said, its not my best pasting job and the paste was just applied. So I will use it for a week or so and see how it does over that time period. Was really hoping to get under 50C at idle and get turbos higher than 3.0GHz under load during Cinebench (the highest I saw was 3.12GHz, or maybe it was 3.012GHz). 

 

I should note that those previous tests were with a monitor connected via the HDMI port so the discrete graphics is on and generating more heat. Unplugging that and the idle temps drop to 44-47C with just the Intel utility or that and a Safari window open doing some browsing. Cinebench was only maybe 0.4C lower, but it stayed closer to the 3GHz even sometimes hitting over 3.1GHz, and the score jumped up to the 593-596 range, one run even hit 601, but was pretty heat saturated after that and didn't go over 595 after. Plugging the monitor in and it goes back to 51-53C idle/browsing temps.

 

Anyway, I'll wrap it up with that. Dusting/cleaning is a must. Pasting is more of a YMMV depending on condition of stock paste.

 

edit: the next day, no monitor plugged in, it is idling in the mid-30c's now after waking from sleep and jumps up to the mid-to-upper 40c's when I go to a new web page or some other menial task, but then drops back to the 30c's. So daily use it will be in the mid-30's to mid-40c's. Very happy with the repaste if it continues with this trend. Would recommend it for any MBP old enough to be out of extended Apple Care.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×