Just decided to upgrade the thermal paste in my MacBook Pro (early 2011) and was astonished to see the factory application. The North/South Bridges were done decently, but the CPU/GPU was completely fucked. The part I find the worst is that last week I did the same thing to my old HP laptop, and the factory application on that was easily 10x better then Apple's. Even using only 10% of what they did would have been enough. I've used my (3.5g) tube of Arctic Silver 5 for 8 different applications, and I still have plenty. It's crazy to see they probably used half a tube just for the CPU and GPU.
Northbridge (Factory Application)
Northbridge Close (Factory Application)
CPU/GPU (Factory Application)
CPU/GPU (New Application)
I ALWAYS use either the dot or line method when applying thermal paste, I'd much rather do it twice (the first time to make sure I applied the proper amount) then have the air bubbles that you get with the spread method.
This is why I don't like to pre-spread the paste:
I'm already seeing a 10C difference at idle, and that's without my cooling pad.