The MacBook family was first introduced in May 2006 and replaced the iBook as Apple's consumer laptop.

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Do I need a new logic board for a new heat sink?

Hi, really quick question that I can't seem to find the answer to:

Do I need a new logic board to install a new heat sink?

My Macbook (late 2008) has a partially blackened heat sink, and the guy in the Apple store said I need a new one AND a new logic board to go with it. I'm not adverse to a bit of DIY - is it possible to just buy a new heat sink and (using your guide) stick it in myself... rather than shell out for a whole new logic board?

Thanks and sorry if this has already been answered elsewhere!


Thanks for your help again - I'll disassemble it tonight and post a photo.

I've used the temperate/fan apps and they tell me that the fans are always way too high - 4000 when resting and 6000 at least most of the time. The processor is the bit that seems to get the hottest, 110+ like I said...

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The heatsink and the logic board are two completely separate things, both of which can be replaced by itself. However, if you say it is black, the guy at the Apple store may have seen damage on the logic board that led to the blackening. Have you had any other issues with the computer? There may be something burned on the board that also needs replacing, which unfortunately means that the whole logic board needs to be replaced.

Hope this Helps.

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I agree, we need to figure out what the actual problem is, and go from there. I've never known a computer to specifically "need a new heatsync", so I doubt simply replacing a heatsync would end up solving much. Maybe re-seating the heatsync with thermal paste, but the stated need to replace it sounds very odd.


Thanks for your help. Well the Apple guy didn't actually look inside it, I just told him what I'd seen when I had a look in there myself to clean it out. The top third of the copper C shaped thing (which I think is the heatsink?) is blackened, the rest of it is still copper.

I took the Macbook in due to constant overheating and thermal shutdown. Anytime I watch a video/doing anything in flash or processor intensive, it gets ridiculously hot (110C+) and shuts down. It's got to the point now where it shuts down after about 1min of flash video. Thought it might be the fan so, like I said, I opened her up and cleaned her up, but made no difference.

The Apple guy did tests that they do and just concluded that it needs a new logic board and heatsink, I just wasn't sure if I could have the heatsink without the new logic board.

Thinking of cutting my losses and throwing her in the bin...


Alex, to early for the bin.... disassemble it and post some images on here. Those Mac guys on here are a great bunch of people and I am sure they are going to help you with this.


The heatsync could easily just need the old thermal paste cleaned off, and new paste applied. If the heatsync has been taken out at any point, which would break the thermal paste seal between the chips and the heatsync and cause heat to not conduct properly, that could easily explain the overheating. As for the fan, verify it is on when you have the top off of the laptop. A program like iStat Pro will also show fan RPMs. And make sure the heat sensor connectors are in place, because the fan will never know to spin if it doesn't have a connection to the logic board.


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I have a very similar question - I am replacing my logic board as the macbook died, and I have noticed that the heatsink has turned black along the top (its still mostly copper, but 2-3cms of it has gone black (as has a bit of the surrounding casing) but there is no heat damage to the logic board. Is it ok to use this heatsink, or does this blackening mean its damaged in some way? I've got a photo of the heatsink still connected to the fan) here

Hope someone can help! Thank you!

Karen Williams

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Alex será eternamente grato(a).
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