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View Full Version : Buzzing Fan inside G5 : Prolly the ATI




Sdashiki
Feb 14, 2006, 11:45 AM
I have had this "buzzing" sound inside my G5 for a long long time.

Nothing nasty sounding, but if you listen to it you can tell its something attached to a fan because it speeds up and slows down its pitch.

So I got a can of air and some pipe cleaners and went to town on the G5, pulled all but the top HD fan (can anyone figure out how to pull the HD fan without disassembling the ENTIRE machine, cuz I couldnt), that I just gave a once over.

So it looks clean, but it still has the buzzy sound.

What makes it difficult to pin point is when you remove the air deflector the fans go on full blast and U cant hear the low buzzing.

So I figured out if i just move the air deflector out a tiny bit, leaving its 3 tabs in place, I can finally tell that my graphics card is the culprit.

I pulled it a while ago and cleaned the fan/heatsink of dust, so its clean.

So my question is, can the fan become loose somehow over time?

I can still be wrong about the sound coming from the Graphics Card Fan, but it seems like it. Though to pull it and clean it again seems kinda silly.



TMA
Feb 14, 2006, 12:56 PM
Not sure if it's relevant but there were some problems on early first released iMac G5's regarding dodgy PSU's.

The PSU is located towards the bottom (between the speakers) and if you had a faulty one it could be identified as a sort of fizzing/buzzing sound.

They used to do a home install kit for this - They'd send you a new PSU with instructions and pick up your old one. I've done 2 and they were pretty easy.

Eric5h5
Feb 14, 2006, 01:27 PM
Not sure if it's relevant but there were some problems on early first released iMac G5's regarding dodgy PSU's.

Since the OP is obviously talking about a Power Mac, I'd say it's not relevant. ;) To answer the question, I find it hard to tell if the fan in question is actually the graphics card fan, or the PCI bay fan. So it could be either. I assume this is an X800?

--Eric

Sdashiki
Feb 14, 2006, 01:44 PM
Its the ATI 9800 Pro 128.

Isnt the PCI fan the fan located towards the front of the machine with the speaker attached?

i know its not that one.

I am 90% sure its the ATI card fan.

Black&Tan
Feb 14, 2006, 02:45 PM
If I'm not mistaken, the 9800 did suffer from a noisy fan. I was considering upgrading my 9600 to a newer card, but am leaning towards the X800 because its supposed to be virtually silent.

Sdashiki
Feb 14, 2006, 04:59 PM
If I'm not mistaken, the 9800 did suffer from a noisy fan. I was considering upgrading my 9600 to a newer card, but am leaning towards the X800 because its supposed to be virtually silent.


the card was quiet until about a few months ago.

is the fan loose now from just use?

can it be tightened?

Xephian
Feb 14, 2006, 05:26 PM
Fans usually begin die after a while depending on their quality. My mobo fan on my PC bagan to die after around one year. Before it died it made louder than usual noise at boot.

I would suggest taking a look at it from the inside, maybe cleaning it with compressed air may help.

thestaton
Feb 15, 2006, 08:11 AM
Before I sold my windows tower I had been through 3 9800 PRO's. The fans would just die after around 3-6 months - I would then have it overheating locking up windows. ATI on the other hand has top notch customer service each time I called I was overnighted a new card without any questions.

iGary
Feb 15, 2006, 08:17 AM
If I'm not mistaken, the 9800 did suffer from a noisy fan. I was considering upgrading my 9600 to a newer card, but am leaning towards the X800 because its supposed to be virtually silent.


Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!

Sdashiki
Feb 15, 2006, 10:36 AM
Before I sold my windows tower I had been through 3 9800 PRO's. The fans would just die after around 3-6 months - I would then have it overheating locking up windows. ATI on the other hand has top notch customer service each time I called I was overnighted a new card without any questions.

I noticed about 2 years into owning the machine that if i played a game (thusly using alot of GPU) it would lock up about halfway thru playing. And I knew it was NOT crashed because the sound continued and i could still do keyboard shortcuts, I just ouldnt see what I was doing, the game's final frame was frozen there.

I finally came to the conclusion it was the video card, and lo/behold it was dirty as shiite. So I cleaned it and its never happened again.

I just cleaned it again, before it got bad, and the noise is still there!

i want a newer/better graphix card, but I dont usually upgrade my GPUs, I just buy a new machine with a BTO card. Like I did with the one I currently have.


ps: iGary why was the previous post about the X800 funny?

Mr. Mister
Feb 15, 2006, 10:46 AM
On some Macs with ATI cards, dragging a window, minimizing, or whatever makes the fan temporarily speed up.

Mr. Mister
Feb 15, 2006, 10:47 AM
ps: iGary why was the previous post about the X800 funny?
The X800 is loud or something? :confused: I dunno. I thought the X800 was pretty quiet as well, at least in comparison to the Apple dual-dual-DVI 7800 with an inch-thick heatsink.

Sdashiki
Feb 15, 2006, 10:48 AM
On some Macs with ATI cards, dragging a window, minimizing, or whatever makes the fan temporarily speed up.


no its a buzzing sound, that sometimes wavers in its sound (its hard to describe but you heard it, youd know what I mean) its obviously from some sort of fan.

but its constant.

Mr. Mister
Feb 15, 2006, 10:50 AM
no its a buzzing sound, that sometimes wavers in its sound (its hard to describe but you heard it, youd know what I mean) its obviously from some sort of fan.

but its constant.
I have a 9800 Pro Mac Special Edition and sometimes it goes on for a few minutes (usually when waking from sleep) and then quiets down.

Lord Blackadder
Feb 15, 2006, 10:53 AM
The X800 is loud or something? :confused: I dunno. I thought the X800 was pretty quiet as well, at least in comparison to the Apple dual-dual-DVI 7800 with an inch-thick heatsink.

The X800XT is a tad noisy...though it isn't too bad judging by the Macs I've played with at the Apple Store.

My 6800GT's fan is always running, yet I can't hear it at all over the din of my PSU fan....

Sdashiki
Feb 15, 2006, 10:55 AM
i really just need to record the sound, no one seems to get what it sounds like.

its not a noisy fan because its got a high RPM due to a GPU workload.

its not the sound you get from anything like that.

it sounds more like the fan is loose and is not centered, like something is rattling/buzzing to the fans movement.

iGary
Feb 15, 2006, 10:56 AM
I'll try and load mine up and record it if I can.

Normally it IS silent, but put a workout on it and it is LOUD.

gamera~
Feb 15, 2006, 10:59 AM
Perhaps this is related... with my 9600xt, I get a whiny, high-pitched sound when I play games and on certain screensavers (things done in quartz composer, for instance, make it go crazy.) However it isn't like a rattling sound.

Lord Blackadder
Feb 15, 2006, 11:04 AM
It's certainly possible that the bearings in your GPU's fan have failed, causing it to run rough.

You can buy aftermarket heatsink/fan kits for most video cards. They are usually better than the stock setup. IF the fan is malfunctioning you may be in danger of cooking your GPU - I strongly suggest downloading an app called Temperature Monitor from the VersionTracker website and keeping an eye on your GPU operating temperature.

Mr. Mister
Feb 15, 2006, 11:18 AM
Sdashiki: have you called ATI about this? You might be able to get it replaced cheaply.

Sdashiki
Feb 15, 2006, 11:26 AM
Sdashiki: have you called ATI about this? You might be able to get it replaced cheaply.

its way out of warranty.

and as I stated above, when the GPU got cooked, it froze the screen. and that hasnt happened. My guess is what has been said, the fan is worn.

Temp monitor shows nothing abnormal.

My machine runs fine, fan speed is relative to what I am doing and that always made sense to me.

This buzzing is a constant noise.

The computer is in my bedroom, and it has been on 24/7 for months now, thanks BitTorrent. Anyway, i sleep with a fan in my face so I cant hear the computer. But until I turn on my fan, and the comp has been sitting for hours, I can still hear this constant noise.

Its like when your computer is on, you hear a general white noise that you recognize as your computer being on. Electronics with fans make noise. And we all accept that.

its just the sound my computer makes has changed to something less white noise and more ANNOYING sound!

Lord Blackadder
Feb 15, 2006, 11:57 AM
If the temps are normal, but the sound is not, it probably means that the fan still works but is in the process of failing.

Some fine day it will stop working altogether, probably while you are asleep or out of the house, and then a nice charred surprise will be waiting for you when you investigate the burning smell coming from your CPU box.....:rolleyes:

Seriously though, it would probably be best to replace that fan...I've seen fans run noisily for years, and I 've seen fans fail after just a few hours of becoming noisy...it's like Russian roulette for video cards.

Sdashiki
Feb 15, 2006, 12:06 PM
but upgrading mac graphics cards SUCKS.

they cost way too much and are hard to come by.

Lord Blackadder
Feb 15, 2006, 12:13 PM
That depends on how much is "too much"....

Do you have a PC with an AGP slot? if you do, you can put a GeForce 6800GT into your G5 for $230. I did. :)

All you have to do is go to Newegg and buy the same card I did...slap it in the PC, flash the Mac rom onto it, stick it in your G5 and voila!

Of course, if you don't need all the performance that your 9800 Pro gives, you can buy one of the 9600 Pro cards from OWC - they don't need a fan and are totally silent.

Sdashiki
Feb 15, 2006, 12:15 PM
That depends on how much is "too much"....

Do you have a PC with an AGP slot? if you do, you can put a GeForce 6800GT into your G5 for $230. I did. :)

All you have to do is go to Newegg and buy the same card I did...slap it in the PC, flash the Mac rom onto it, stick it in your G5 and voila!

Of course, if you don't need all the performance that your 9800 Pro gives, you can buy one of the 9600 Pro cards from OWC - they don't need a fan and are totally silent.

I like a nice PHAT graphix card in my macs, because when it boils down to it, they are difficult to upgrade and go out of style quickly. So buying top of the line assures a long life inside the machine without it becoming obsolete.

Id only go forwards, not backwards, in terms of performance.

Are you telling me I can pick up "ANY" ATI card for PC, flash it and use it in my Mac....?

Lord Blackadder
Feb 15, 2006, 01:14 PM
Are you telling me I can pick up "ANY" ATI card for PC, flash it and use it in my Mac....?

No. I specifically mentioned the nVidia GeForce 6800GT, because I sucessfully flashed it with no hardware mods and can vouch for it.

On the ATI side, the best cards that are currently flashable are the Radeon 9800 family (9800 Pro + 9800XT) and the Radeon X800XT. HOWEVER, the PC version of the Radeon X800XT comes with a caveat. The Mac X800XT has two DVI ports; the PC version has one DVI and one VGA. The PC card can be successfully flashed to the Mac, but the DVI port will become non-functional...you are limited to the VGA port. This is why I did the 6800GT instead, since it can be flashed into a Mac card that retains both DVI ports' functionality. On the whole I'm an ATI fanboy and would hgave preferred the X800XT but I need a working DVI port. If you don't need the DVI, the X800XT is a great option.

A week or so ago, nVidia rolled out an AGP version of the GeForce 7800GS...which means that soon it may become an option to G5 owners with an AGP port who are looking at flashing a high-end card. Overall though, the 6800GT is a great performer - way better than the 9800 series.

But flashing is not for the lazy or impatient. I spent hours on the Strangedogs forum reading about how to do it and what possible problems might arise. In the event, I had no trouble but your mileage may vary. Read my thread about it by clicking on the 6800GT in my sig and go to Strangedogs for more specific info, as well as rom downloads.

There is one way to flash a fully working X800XT to the Mac: the ATI FireGL X3 workstation-class video card can be flashed with a Mac rom to make a perfect X800XT. However, the FireGL X3 is horribly expensive, at least a couple hundred bucks more than the real Mac Edition X800XT. So it isn't an option, really.