Open CPU surgery

I don’t talk much about my dark early days in technology, but lets just say that I know my way around a soldering iron and I remember a time when the only reason you needed heatsink compound was on a TO-3 style power transistor (and it was white and came pre-slathered over a piece of mica).

So anyway, hardware innards and I have a pretty good relationship. However, having established that, I’m still pretty intimidated with cracking open my MacBook Pro. I mean what right minded individual would relish the idea of spending a stressfull hour trying to remember where all the screws go (and whether you’ve reconnected all of those fiddly microscopic connectors, and the urine coloured celephane tape, my god the horror).

Still, this whole “I’m too hot, shutting down now!” thing was driving me batty. I’ve been hobbling along using Fan Control and turning off one CPU on tasks I knew would take it to the brink, but I finally had enough.

Since the MacBook is my primary computer, I can’t afford send it away to Apple for a week when I can re-goop the cpu myself in an hour. So I pulled out the handy tube of Arctic Silver 5, grabbed a bottle of 99% Isopropyl alcohol, Q-tips, and my jewelers screwdrivers and went to work.

With the help of some decent instructions the dis- and re-assembly wasn’t too hard. And the difference has been pronounced. Just watching Fan Control is quite exciting. The CPU gets hot, the fans rev up, the cpu cools down.

I’m pleased. It’s a nice change from the CPU gets hot, the fans rev up, the CPU gets hotter, the book shuts down.

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