Exactly two years ago we started talking about the problems some users were having with their MacBook Pro, then the new Apple laptops. Those problems were due to the microprocessor overheating, and a few days later the firmware was updated, which seems to have solved it.
Today’s problem is somewhat similar, but in the new MacBook Air : the microprocessor in Apple’s ultra-thin notebook carries twice the thermal paste it needs , which is counterproductive and ends up causing overheating which, under certain conditions, can burn out the processor.
While it is possible that not all MBAir have a higher than normal amount of thermal paste, it appears that there are a good number of them that have left the factory defective. If this is true, Apple cannot fix it by updating the firmware , because it is a physical issue and not a software issue .
Apple has another option, which would surely be very badly seen by users: updating the firmware to set the microprocessor to a slower frequency, so that it heats up less and is not damaged.
The thermal paste is a compound formed by a mixture of substances whose mission is to make contact between the heatsink (usually metal) and the microprocessor itself. Its mission is to transmit the heat generated by the microprocessor to the dissipator itself, and the dissipator will be responsible for the fan that includes it to the outside of the computer.
An excess of thermal paste causes the heat not to exit as well as it should to the heatsink, but allows the heat to remain very close to the core, and therefore overheating.
In Apple’s case, since it is a laptop, the only solution would be to return it to the factory, or to an authorized technical service, and have the experts in these stores make the necessary changes.
Let’s see if we’re lucky and next week we’ll find a press release from Apple reporting on everything that happened.