A look at the 15″ 2011 MacBook Pro

Actually, at the moment the biggest look is inside the MBP itself and is at this…

I think there’s about half a tube of thermal paste on the MacBook Pro’s processor/GPU by default (okay, not half a tube, but way too much). I replaced it with some Noctua stuff in a write-up linked to below.

I recently grabbed a 15″ MacBook Pro (the 2011 flavor with the 6750m). I’d read about the temps being quite high, although I was quite surprised to find out just how high they could get…. 100 degrees C when running OCCT. That’s incidentally Intel’s thermal limit for that chip. The chip throttles down, the fans eventually kick up in speed, and the temperatures drop to the low 90’s.

In any case, I pulled the thing apart and replaced the thermal goop. You wouldn’t believe how thick that stuff is spread on at the factory. I documented the process at a new site devoted to this little thing (I’m typing on it now), simply titled My 2011 MacBook Pro.


If you’re interested in reading about the process (complete with oodles of pics), you can find it here:

Replacing CPU and GPU (6750m) thermal paste to lower temperatures on the 2011 MacBook Pro

In short though, the process was fairly long with cable removal being the biggest issue. Seriously, I think they used every different cable connection type they could… it’s not a process for the feint of heart. The goop was on really thick. After cleaning it up and applying my own thermal paste, temperatures dropped a fair bit although they still managed to hit 100 degrees under OCCT.

There’s a bit of a twist, having to do with the GPU temps, but rather than copy the write-up again, you can find the results page on the site above if you’re interested.

The site’s pretty sparse so far, although much more is coming in the days ahead. I’ve been up for the last 24 hours though testing and writing (and the last 24 hours were “day 2”), so for the moment, I need some sleep.

Edit: a little more’s been added to the site – a MacBook Pro heatsink mod, and a 5400 vs 7200 RPM hard drive comparison.