Thermal Paste Replacement of a Mac Mini Knockoff


For the past few years I had a Mac Mini knock-off as a pfSense router. It's a little dual-core celeron that served me well until it started getting unstable and halting every few weeks. The replacement I picked up from pcEngines and I'll talk about it another day. After this little guy got retired from routing, I decided to install Kodi on it and use it in my media centre.

It seemed to do a bit better in that role, but still had some instability issues. I had enough of it tonight and decided to crack it open to see if there's anything I could do. I was in luck as after removing the motherboard I was greeted by some nice shiny dies and a ton of thermal paste.

I cleaned up the dies and thermal interface block with some ArticClean and applied some fresh Artic Silver 5 before reassembly. It's been running for a few minutes now and the load temperature has stabilized at 47c (down from a toasty 55c.) I've also noticed immediately that the menus no longer hang while also playing a video in the background. Success!