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View Full Version : What are the prospects for quieter fans?


hydrocetacean
Dec 2, 2002, 07:53 AM
It had been disappointing when the last new Power Macs were released and -- instead of being an improvement in this regard, like the cube, or even staying the same -- the new cases actually had noisier fans. Several had commented upon this in these forums and elsewhere, so the company knows it is an issue.

What are your thoughts on when we are likely to see an improvement?
Next speed bump, on all Power Mac models? Next speed bump, but only on the new high end model? Can't be improved untill there is a new case design, and we won't see that until the post G-4 processor Macs arrive in about a year, because they recently spent a lot of money retooling to produce these cases and will keep them through the presumed winter ~1.50 and summer ~1.75 speed bumps? Other scenario?

BenderBot1138
Dec 2, 2002, 10:18 AM
Well, without addressing the core heat issues, fans are here for a bit... but there is this rumor that Apples got cool new heat sinks and frame conduction in the works.

I was thinking about fans the other day, and basically wondered why we worry so much about them? PCs sound like tractors compared to Macs. I'm still baffled why voice systems and sound input systems don't automatically compensate for fan noise. Seems like a simple issue in some ways, although I'm sure the programmers would disagree with that.

Oh well, until that time those unruly rioting fans will worship our processors.

:cool:

barkmonster
Dec 2, 2002, 11:12 AM
PCs sound like tractors compared to Macs.

bit of general statement there, I've never heard a PC make so much noise you can even hear it outside of the room. infact a friend of mine's got a tower with about 6 hard drives, 4 fans, 5 optical drives and a GeForce4Ti and it seems quieter than my beige G3 with only 1 fan and 2 very silent hard drives.

It's not the number of fans or drives that make the noise it's the quality and RPM of the fans themselves, apple could spend a little more on the cooling and then cut the noise down quite a bit. I doubt the DDR models would be dubbed 'wind tunnel' by most people if it wasn't an issue.

I know those cheap PCs you get in newspaper ads for under a grand have cheap components all the way through and maybe comparing those to a typical mac would make them noisier but I've yet to see a PC that can make enough noise for it to be annoying apart from an Athlon based PC a friend of mine has and even that can't be heard from another room.

I'm still baffled why voice systems and sound input systems don't automatically compensate for fan noise.

I know if you were trying to record a miked instrument in the same room as any kind of computer with a fan no amount of coding is going to eliminate the noise. One thing that could work is having an inverted recording of the fan noise playing through a speaker in the case at exactly the same db level as the fan noise. If you play an inverted signal over the original they cancel each other out and it becomes silence. Then you'd only have the very gentle hum of any drives or graphics card fans in the background and they're generally very quiet anyway.

mymemory
Dec 2, 2002, 11:55 AM
I have a dual 500 and the other day a guy came to my house with another dual 500 and his computer didn't make any noise compared with mine.

I was about to ****ch the hard drive and give him mine without sying anything:D but I'm a good guy.

I think that Apple may be using the components with the best deal at the time, there is not reason why my computer generates more noise than his (and his fan was working), I even opened up his computer to see what was different.

My computer is very noise, it is more noisy than LG mini split AC I have in my studio.

springscansing
Dec 2, 2002, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by barkmonster


I know if you were trying to record a miked instrument in the same room as any kind of computer with a fan no amount of coding is going to eliminate the noise. One thing that could work is having an inverted recording of the fan noise playing through a speaker in the case at exactly the same db level as the fan noise. If you play an inverted signal over the original they cancel each other out and it becomes silence. Then you'd only have the very gentle hum of any drives or graphics card fans in the background and they're generally very quiet anyway.

Obviously in practice, due to mic and driver inaccuricies, and the inherent latency of reproduction, silence or nothing very close is ever achieved.

springscansing
Dec 2, 2002, 01:05 PM
I personally have a new dual 867... and... it's not noisy. It's noisier than my dual 450, sure, but its no PC. I really think this is being blown WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY out of proportion. It's louder, yes, but I got used to it in 5 minutes, and my friend's Pentium 4 2ghz Dell still is about twice as loud.

Apple gives you faster computers, then you whine they are louder. Come on people!

barkmonster
Dec 2, 2002, 01:26 PM
Obviously in practice, due to mic and driver inaccuricies, and the inherent latency of reproduction, silence or nothing very close is ever achieved.

It was just something I read about that some aircraft have, they play an inverted recording of the engine noise through the pilot's headphones and it cancels the sound of the engines.

The only thing that's going to solve the noise with the towers is if apple accept it's a problem and do something significant to solve it when the next range of towers come out. It's the first time they've put reasonable audio hardware on a mac and they've done 2 things to piss off audio people to compensate for it. Noisy Fans and a Motherboard that screws up with audio cards.

I think they should using water cooling or something, anything that doesn't make lots of noise. There's an article (http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/g4_mirrored_drive_doors/noise_reduction/g4_ddr_noise_reduction.html) on xlr8yourmac about changing the powersupply fans in the DDR models. They're meant to be quite noisy too.

insidedanshead
Dec 2, 2002, 02:19 PM
Every one of my friends... as well as all my coworkers, In total probably 15 people all have PCs.. and for a fact.. my G4 is louder than all of theirs, most of which are custom built. Heck I have one friend whos machine is so thrown together he can't even fit the case around all his components so he leaves it open and even thats quieter than my G4.. I would love to keep my machine in my bedroom running at night to serve a few sites but I have to power it down because sometimes it's just too much to take. I have noticed that Dell Towers are EXTREMELY quiet, We aren't whinning.. it is just an issue. I also don't want my machine running hotter than my oven so don't eliminate the fan system just think of something better apple.

ddtlm
Dec 2, 2002, 03:07 PM
BenderBot1138:

PCs sound like tractors compared to Macs.
Check yourself into a mental hospital before you hurt someone.

springscansing:

It's noisier than my dual 450, sure, but its no PC.
Another load of biggotted crap. Don't you even know what "the enemy" is selling these days? I have yet to see a modern Dell (as an example) that does anything other than embarass Apple's towers as far as noise goes.

daveg5
Dec 2, 2002, 04:01 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by barkmonster
[B]

bit of general statement there, I've never heard a PC make so much noise you can even hear it outside of the room. infact a friend of mine's got a tower with about 6 hard drives, 4 fans, 5 optical drives and a GeForce4Ti and it seems quieter than my beige G3 with only 1 fan and 2 very silent hard drives.



I have a biege g3 also and know what you mean my 8600 more fans is quieter, do you know of any solutions

MrMacMan
Dec 2, 2002, 04:20 PM
Originally posted by ddtlm
BenderBot1138:
Check yourself into a mental hospital before you hurt someone.
springscansing:
Another load of biggotted crap. Don't you even know what "the enemy" is selling these days? I have yet to see a modern Dell (as an example) that does anything other than embarass Apple's towers as far as noise goes.

Um... First of all the noise on most Pc's aren't too bad. My friend has a loud fan but that is cause his comp is getting old and it was an earily P4. Normal Dells are pritty quiet.
ddtlm - Your advice would of been better if you told him something like check a new PC before making comparisons.

Pc's aren't the 'enemy' they are the competition. And they embarass them, eh not Really.

Getting back to the topic, rip out the normal G4 fans and get yourself some quietfans that run on the same or lower electriciy. It is pritty easy. BTW, apple is coming with a update to fix that annoying 'super blow' effect when you go into OS 9. Or run the processor really hot. :)

fatalerror101
Dec 2, 2002, 07:11 PM
I Have to say that my PM dual 1ghz tower is very loud, but it is not as loud as many of my friends linux boxes and wintel boxes. er yeah and 1 more thing my G4 450 is silent compared to my brothers G3 tower. I would love to have a more quiet system but ya have to deal w/ what cha got.


PowerBook G4 1ghz

ddtlm
Dec 2, 2002, 09:33 PM
MrMacman:

ddtlm - Your advice would of been better if you told him something like check a new PC before making comparisons.
Uh huh.

Pc's aren't the 'enemy' they are the competition.
I used scare quotes around "the enemy" to make fun of my targets and their bizzarre world-view.

And they embarass them, eh not Really.
Yeah, believe whatever you want. :rolleyes:

rip out the normal G4 fans and get yourself some quietfans that run on the same or lower electriciy
Why on Earth should users of "superior quality" computers have to do that? I am distinctly upset with Apple for their pathetic loud-tower track record.

topicolo
Dec 2, 2002, 11:14 PM
As I always say: Watercooling is the ******. If you want to keep computers cool and quiet and be able to have faster processors, watercooling is the only way to go.

ddtlm
Dec 2, 2002, 11:18 PM
topicolo:

Mmmm, a watercooled Mac. :) Now that would set Apple ahead of the pac.

benixau
Dec 2, 2002, 11:40 PM
ddtlm, you are absolutley right.

lets get water cooling and a massivley higher price while we are at it. apple should make it an option on all macs and then give the top of the range (all) pmacs it as std. now that would do the trick.

also, apple did reduce the noise from what it could have been, if you reboot your mac you will know that when it first turns on the sensors are not turned on so the fan goes full bore for a bit. then things start to slow down, the fact is that by using the big fan at slower speeds they get the same effect as a smaller one at higher speeds.

anyone got a CFM per RPM rating on the new fans??

ddtlm
Dec 3, 2002, 12:07 AM
benixau:

Your sarcasm is misplaced. A mass-produced, purpose-built water-cooling system would not be an especially expensive item, I say $25 over what we pay now. But lets say $50 to be safe, which is still well worth it.

also, apple did reduce the noise from what it could have been
Stop defending Apple already; you've lost. Everyone who thinks critically about this can see that Apple has failed to provide a cooling system that is remotely compeditive acoustically.

MacNut
Dec 3, 2002, 01:54 PM
You are complaining about loud fans? I was in the apple store with 5 towers running and the noise wasnt that bad. Further more have any of you heard of white noise. Im sure the fans cant be much louder than a white noise machine u pick up at sharper image. Further more do you shut off the a/c at night because its noisy no get used to it its not a big deal

hvfsl
Dec 3, 2002, 06:21 PM
Well I got a new G4 after not having a mac for a year and have forgotten how quiet it is compared to my PC. I dont have to put the volume on full blast to drown out the fan noise.

Also an easy way to cut a bit of noise out on new Macs is to put the Mac under a desk or something. Most people put them by the monitor so it sounds loud compared to PCs that are generally put out of site because they look ugly.

Bregalad
Dec 3, 2002, 07:42 PM
We just got some new 2.2GHz P4s at work. They are in cheap generic cases so I was expecting to be able to hear them from the other end of the hall, but they're amazingly quiet. The HP PIIIs we have are also really quiet. I think they beat any of the G4 towers.

At home my AthlonXP based PC is much worse. I went for a quality case and a big variable speed CPU fan, but it's still loud. The P4 puts out just as much heat as the Athlon so I don't know how they can get away with near silent cooling.

Unfortunately my graphite G4 has always made a funny noise which sounds like constant hard drive activity. I traced the source of the problem and it's a signal from the power supply to the main cooling fan inside the case. You can still hear it (much quieter of course) with the cooling fan unplugged. Interestingly enough the sound almost completely disappeared when I yanked my second video card.

MrMacMan
Dec 5, 2002, 03:49 PM
ddtlm-
If you belive that the G4's make so much noise find but I really don't need the Extra expense of water cooling, sure it's great but it really isn't needed.
I am distinctly upset with Apple for their pathetic loud-tower track record.
Ha-ha-ha. Not funny.
If you need quite fans pay extra for them. Many people find that there computers don't need to be right next to them. If I were to get a G4 then I would have the Tower :
A under where the screen is or
B Next to the machine. If the sound can't reach you it is never the problem.
I really hope that this argument doesn't last much longer. :D

Water cooling or Quiter Fans are the way to go!

steeleclipse
Dec 5, 2002, 04:39 PM
HVFSL SAYS:Also an easy way to cut a bit of noise out on new Macs is to put the Mac under a desk or something. Most people put them by the monitor so it sounds loud compared to PCs that are generally put out of site because they look ugly

You couldn't be more right... I guarantee most mac users have theirs on top of the desk... since the quicksilver at least.

I ordered a dual 1ghz, and there is no way that I am going to put it under my desk.

Sure, maybe some of you think thats tacky, but I am designer, and I have an eye for aesthetically pleasing things. Plus when clients come over, they know that the computer I use to design their work isn't the same as their *cough* Dell that is sitting in their den.:)

makkystyle
Dec 11, 2002, 11:20 AM
The new ADC Newsletter states that apple has released a new firmware patch that modifies fan activity in the powermacs. I definitely see this as near future possibility for the powerbooks to readjust the operation of the fan during use under AC power (this seems to be wear fan activity is excessive). Lets just hope apple is listening to its customers.

blogo
Dec 11, 2002, 11:52 AM
My G4 466, that was the low end for over a year ago is relly loud, even when i have it under my desk.
Is it possible to change the cooling system on the mac i alredy got?

e-coli
Dec 11, 2002, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by springscansing
I personally have a new dual 867... and... it's not noisy. It's noisier than my dual 450, sure, but its no PC. I really think this is being blown WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY out of proportion. It's louder, yes, but I got used to it in 5 minutes, and my friend's Pentium 4 2ghz Dell still is about twice as loud.

Apple gives you faster computers, then you whine they are louder. Come on people!


You have a samsung power supply. those of us that have ac bell power supplies have to deal with VERY loud fans. I have one, it sucks. I can literally hear it all over the house.

ddtlm
Dec 11, 2002, 01:33 PM
MrMacman:

Ha-ha-ha. Not funny.
If you need quite fans pay extra for them. Many people find that there computers don't need to be right next to them. If I were to get a G4 then I would have the Tower :
A under where the screen is or
B Next to the machine. If the sound can't reach you it is never the problem.
I really hope that this argument doesn't last much longer.
It's pathetic that you make excuses to cover for one of Apple's most obnoxious failings. Pay $3000 to get a "superior" and "higher quality" computer, and then go in with wire cutters and aftermarket fans to make it as quiet as less expensive, faster, "lower quality" PCs from any major OEM. Oh yeah baby!

barkmonster
Dec 11, 2002, 03:21 PM
It's pathetic that you make excuses to cover for one of Apple's most obnoxious failings. Pay $3000 to get a "superior" and "higher quality" computer, and then go in with wire cutters and aftermarket fans to make it as quiet as less expensive, faster, "lower quality" PCs from any major OEM. Oh yeah baby!

True

Apple are certainly not getting any of my money when I've got enough for a tower next year, noisy, soundcard hell (even some protools system don't work with them!!!) and unable to boot into an OS that will run all my software without me spending s on upgrades or even replacements for some of the more quirky OS 9 apps I use.

Not that I'd move platforms, I'll be on the look out for a used QS instead.

I agree with you, it's pathetic, there's being an apple user, then there's being a blind moron with nothing better to do than defend every bad thing apple do, the only defense is, "well it doesn't run on windows!", that's enough to defend the mac as a whole but all this 'superior' or 'higher quality' crap has got to stop as a defense.

As far as the design of both the G4 tower and it's motherboard, in what way does it fit these claims?

It's not speed, it's not expansion, it's certainly not a form over function case design and it's definately not ignoring the issue of how quiet a computer operates at.

It's bad enough that I've had an entry level - mid range powermac for nearly 5 years now and apple havn't even got something 3 times the clockspeed in it's place.

I see no need for such elborate cooling, the G4 is smaller than the Pentium 4 and uses far fewer watts but P4 systems run virtually silent where as the words 'wind tunnel', 'leaf blower' or 'doesn't even boot with my soundcard' crops up all the time with these FAKE DDR models.

All I can say is I hope apple get their act together before they have powermacs with the IBM chip in them, they WILL need better cooling than a G4 would typically need but no more than a Sawtooth G4 had given the watts and heat involved.

railthinner
Dec 11, 2002, 04:42 PM
I couldn't care less what's going on in the pc world, my dual 867 is way too loud. It actually woke me up the other night and I had to shutdown. It's in a seperate room with the door closed. sick man. I wouldn't even consider moving it into my audio room (not why we got it anyway) It would certainly need to be isolated somehow. Whining? I don't think so. People work on audio on Powermacs. People like to sleep without having to shutdown their machines. It's an issue and Apple's engineers should be spanking themselves.

barkmonster
Dec 11, 2002, 07:30 PM
People work on audio on Powermacs. People like to sleep without having to shutdown their machines.

I bought my mac for audio, it's fairly silent because of the drives I'm using so I leave it on over night sometimes. I can see where you're coming from, I have my beige G3 on the floor on thick carpet at the back of my desk. If I'm using protools LE, even in quiet parts of a tune, I don't notice the sound of it enough for it be distracting.

My CD writer makes a terrible noise, but it's still inaudible from another room, everything I read about the Mirrored Door G4s as far as noise or other issues that make them less than ideal for music puts me off them even more.

Sorry if I was implying I thought PCs were better or something, it's just that I see no need for such noisy cooling when 1 fan is enough in a 1Ghz TiBook and the G4 tower case appears to have ample ventilation to use far more subtle cooling methods.

MrMacMan
Dec 11, 2002, 07:43 PM
Originally posted by ddtlm
MrMacman:


It's pathetic that you make excuses to cover for one of Apple's most obnoxious failings. Pay $3000 to get a "superior" and "higher quality" computer, and then go in with wire cutters and aftermarket fans to make it as quiet as less expensive, faster, "lower quality" PCs from any major OEM. Oh yeah baby!

Whatever you wish to say, but apple has no Major flaws with it's computers, if you fine 'noise' a problem, whoope-de-do-da-day. If you fine 'noise' a problem I'm supprised you haven't started an anti-apple campaign starting in these fourms. :rolleyes:
There are many reasons people buy apple computers you might point out that apple's computers cost more money, I can counter that they last longer.
If you say that The G4's are noisey, I take pitty, for there is only one reason for such a quiet room. You like in some alaskan tundra? No noise what-so-ever? ;)
If you point out that one of my alternatives is going in with 'wire cutters' to take my computer quieter, Many, MANY Pc users make/build there own computer. Oh yeah 'wire cutters' are rarely ever used to do Anything with a computer, ever because all the 'wires' you need are already there.
Pc's are fine and good, but making a case to the normal user saying:
'Mac's make more noise' most will give the answer 'Um ... So?' There is no big deal.

ddtlm
Dec 11, 2002, 08:53 PM
MrMacman:

To paraphrase: "Nooooo... you lie! Apple is perfect!"

Go see a doctor.