Introduction: Adding Extra Cooling to Your Ibook G4/macbook

Picture of Adding Extra Cooling to Your Ibook G4/macbook

Well, this started both with my dead xbox and dremeling it in half and when I recently took my ibook apart to take the thermal pad off and replace it with thermal paste (Funny, I thought it would have thermal paste already). Well this failed because I didn't tighten the heat sink on enough with the two adjustable screws. Long story short, I haven't been able to get it back apart to fix it as I lost my key key O_o. I then just had a brilliant idea of using the xbox heatsinks to add cooling and since they already had sticky thermal paste on the bottom, I figured, why not, my laptop sits on my desk all the time anyways. <------ Special note to that, if you plan to be using your laptop other than on a desk most of the time, I would recommend you get a commercial cooling pad or the such that has fans in it and plugs into your usb port. This is just simply a quick and easy mod that's easily removable in the event that you need to move your laptop or go somewhere with it.

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need

Well of course it will help to have your savored ibook or macbook which ever, it should work on both I'm hoping. And most likely and large to medium and a small heatsink will work, I wouldn't recommend using thermalpaste, like the regular stuff as it is too messy, if you have to use sticky tack it works fine.

Step 2: Let's Get Started

Picture of Let's Get Started

Now, I am not responsible for anything you might do to your ibook or yourself. You shouldn't be able to mess anything up but MAKE a mess. To start, I'm using my ibook as an example. Start by removing the keyboard, there is two tabs at the top left and right corner of the keyboard. You may also have to "unlock" the keyboard using a small flat screwdriver and using it on the small screw beside the num lock button.

Step 3: Clearing the Area of "crud" Erm Contaminants

Picture of Clearing the Area of "crud" Erm Contaminants

Now, I don't know about you folks, I don't use the actual keyboard on my ibook much, I have an external one for that, but even still there is a lot of crap like dust, hair crumbs that get not only between the keys but right underneath it. Take the time to clear it out with your finger(s) (depending how many you have :-P ) or vacuum it out. You defiantly do not want stuff like that interfering with heat transfer. As you see below, there is a space between the plastic case and the airport "extreme" (I never believed in the whole "extreme" business). This is where on the inside, the cpu's heat sink lies. Now if you've ever had one of these apart to replace the hard drive, you'll know that there's more metal in a knife and a fork put together than in the heatsink, I'm rather disappointed with apple. Even my Toshiba satellite 2520cds (old old computer) has a bigger heat sink for it's ENORMOUS k6. Adding a heat sink on the outside will help somewhat to at least dissipate heat from the case as if you feel that area when it's on, especially if it's been on all day and night, it will actually heat up enough to burn you or enough that you can't hold on. On top of the airport card, it also gets relatively hot due to the ram chip(s) directly below it. You don't have to do that step, but I did just for shits and giggles and because those cards are EXPENSIVE.

Step 4: Now for What Seems to Be the Quickest Part of the Job ;-)

Picture of Now for What Seems to Be the Quickest Part of the Job ;-)

Well, let's cut to the chase shall we? If you have a smaller heat sink, you can start by attaching it onto the airport card. Be firm and hold it on for a few seconds, but be gentle. The next step is adding what is defiantly going to help cool it. Press down on it a bit more firm than last time, but again being gentle with it aswell. Make sure they are stuck on there and that's about all you have to do.

Step 5: Final Thoughts

Picture of Final Thoughts

You will notice that after about 10 minutes, the heat sinks will be very warm, if not hot. This is a good sign that it is working well. If you use a external display, an idea would be to use a heat sink/fan combination and power it off the usb port. But being as I DO use my screen, I'm leaving it like this. I did also notice that my fan doesn't come on nearly as much as it did. Enjoy, and try not to make a mess with thermal paste. If you need to clean it off, wait till it's cooled down, and use rubbing alchohol. Also, can someone tell me how the hell you add the notes to the picture in mac os x? It just keeps wanting to drag the picture out of the window. I even downloaded firefox to try.


Astinsan (author)2012-04-05

The GPU is the problem in these macs... its on the bottom of the board. Shimming the gpu,cpu and chipset would be a better solution. Shimming can be done with silver heat sink compound and aluminum sheetmetal. Your going to have to figure out the best thickness to use.

cvogt1 (author)2011-04-18

wow dude, wow

Punkguyta (author)2008-04-04

Your first computer was probably 200mhz, this laptop used to run soooo fast, until the cooling system broke down, this laptop is probably faster than any laptop you've owned.

Yerboogieman (author)Punkguyta2008-04-04

my new laptop is 2.8ghz AMD althlon X2

Punkguyta (author)Yerboogieman2008-04-10

And I care because? You haven't even seen my own pc, of course the mac is a bit weak, I only need it for music.

bigt4616 (author)Punkguyta2009-04-06

it all went downhill when programmers started setting limits. exp. you need this much and this much to do this. if they never did that, computers would be capible of so much more, also, if computers didnt have to be so cosmetic to the sight(exp. windows vista using one gig mostly for visual effects) they would be so much more powerful, most of the time, my dual core laptop is always at 5% to 10 process power usage. it seems they let anyone program these days, my uncle told me how his first computer had 16mb of ram and like 200mhz too and it could do most stuff that vista cant even do(other than graphics, that seems to be the only thing that gets better overtime)

Punkguyta (author)bigt46162009-04-09

You have the right idea, that's why I still have my P2 and my P1 from my early years, sure I don't use them because I really don't have the need to, they will come in handy when I decide to create a cluster network. I will agree that vista's GUI is a little overkill for what extra little productivity you may get out of it. But at the same time, the computer's gui does need some work, and I'm sure there will be better things yet (Look at SphereXp for example, although it's more of a cover-up gui than a replacement one) My 2ghz sempron idles at 0-2% when it's not doing anything, and maybe 9% with a flac file playing in the background, and msn going. Try putting xp on a 200mhz machine (I've done it countless times as the extra functionality, is worth the slowness), but the cpu is almost always going to be utilized, if sliding one of your windows around your desktop makes the cpu jump to 100%, you know it's not running the software optimally for what the computer was designed for...

bigt4616 (author)Punkguyta2009-04-09

sliding a window is always horrible to look at when you see the proccesors. my first core almost jumps to 100%. rofl. i wish i could have goten xp for my new laptop that i just got. it would have been so much better.

Punkguyta (author)bigt46162009-04-14

Ditch that vista garb my friend

bigt4616 (author)Punkguyta2009-04-14

i noes, i think im going to get the upgrade pack for win7 when it comes out.. if that sucks too, ima try linux altho im way too accostomed with window extentions.

Punkguyta (author)bigt46162009-06-14

I tried windows 7 on my pc, I was actually half impressed with it, but still wasn't QUITE as fast as xp.

Derin (author)2009-02-05

I do want an macbook.

Ian01 (author)2007-03-27

I'm also having trouble adding notes to my pictures. How did you get it to work?

Punkguyta (author)Ian012007-03-30

Well you have to publish the instructable right? Then go back into it, in edit mode, go to the pictures and drag the mouse across it, it just doesn't work when your're making the instructable in the first place.

pmac93 (author)Punkguyta2008-03-13

i have the same problems on a mac. but usually it works for me after i save it and edit's pretty screwy

Mr. Smart Kid (author)2007-06-24

haha i got a 70 gb in my gateway notebook

Punkguyta (author)Mr. Smart Kid2007-06-24

Most likely an 80gb drive, I really think hard drive manufacturers should have it so their hd's include an extra 2gb onto the total hard disk size to allow space for the file system.

Mr. Smart Kid (author)Punkguyta2007-06-25

well the 2 together is 74.43 gb

Punkguyta (author)Mr. Smart Kid2007-06-25

same as my desktop's 80gig, after the ntfs file format, it drops down to 74 gigs

Mr. Smart Kid (author)Punkguyta2007-06-25


Punkguyta (author)2007-02-18

Oh, I forgot to mention that I have this puppy sit on my desk most of the time. But in the case of taking it somewhere, you turn it off, let it cool a bit, pop the heatsinks off, close the keyboard up and walk away with it, simple as that.

dogsrcool2me (author)Punkguyta2007-02-18

you need a thermal conducter between the proccessor and the heat sinc. You will have to buy more every time you take it off.

Punkguyta (author)dogsrcool2me2007-02-19

Sink. And the type that was already on here, seems to stay on the heat sink just fine, but when you let it cool down, it pops off no problem. It's some kind of pink sticky stuff. And if you use sticky tack (I imagine it's thermal properties would be good enough). Then you shouldn't have a problem. Again, it's what you use, and how bad you're wanting to keep it cool to have the performance. Like I've said time and time again, It sits on my desk and there's a ring of dust around it. :-P

LasVegas (author)2007-02-18

Apple continuously wins awards for the engineering of their notebooks. More metal doesn't mean better. The original heatsink was more than sufficient for the processor used. I would recommend to others that they purchase a replacement OEM heatsink to replace the damaged one. Good sources for a replacement heatsink include eBay, PBParts and iFixIt.

Any Macbook is currently under warranty (and a very good warranty, it is!) and uses an entirely different processor. This should not be attempted on a Macbook.

Punkguyta (author)LasVegas2007-02-18

Sigh, looks like I need to add a few things in here. Such as, This will NOT void your warrenty as replacing ram does not and this is only half way there. It's fine vegas and it works brilliantly. Also, my heat sink is not damaged, I'm guessing I probably shouldn't have taken the thermal pad off, but it's too late so I just have to try tightening it up. I actually think I left it a little too loose.

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