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DualShock
Aug 10, 2008, 08:56 AM
Hi,

I recently got a Radeon 3870 direct from ATI for my Mac Pro. The fan is always spinning and is quite loud, even when idle. It is significantly louder than the stock 2600 XT, which was absolutely silent when idling.

I've read some threads where people say they hear their 3870's fan speeding up and slowing down in OS X, but mine is always audible, and I never hear any speedups or slowdowns.

In Windows XP (Boot Camp), GPU-Z from techpowerup.com is reporting a fan speed of 43% when idling, with a temp of ~45C. When I play a game (GRiD or DiRT), it reports a fan speed of ~70%, with a temp of ~75C. The fan speed never slows down below 43%.

Has anyone else noticed this happening? I have installed the Mac ATI drivers that came with the card, and am running Catalyst 8.7 on the Windows side.



kahine
Aug 10, 2008, 09:07 AM
My bottom ATI 3870 is silent except when playing games , the top one stays spun up some due to heat coming from the bottom one on it , nothing bad though

But I have seen/heard people with the 2600 say it was quite loud and their 3870 is quieter -

But we also keep the air going most all the time as I cannot stand to be hot inside so the highest ambient temp it is in is about 73 , so not sure what yours is in

Mangaroo
Aug 10, 2008, 09:09 AM
i know you might have hinted at it, but just to clear things up, is it a "Mac & PC Edition" ?

DualShock
Aug 10, 2008, 09:29 AM
Wow you guys reply fast. :D

Yes, it's a Mac & PC Edition card.

According to the iStat Nano widget, the ambient temp inside the case is 31C/88F.

One other thing of note. When I turn on the machine, the graphics card fan spins up pretty loud, then goes silent about a second after the Apple chime. The 2600XT behaved this way too. But with the 3870, after 3 seconds or so it spins up again and stays that way while the machine is on. I tried resetting the PRAM and SMC soon after I installed the card, but neither changed the fan behavior.

Any chance I have a bad card? Was thinking of making audio recordings of the sound differences between the 2 cards, but it's a bit of a hassle to swap out since the Mac Pro is sitting inside a cubbie hole in my desk (with the door open when running). I don't think it's a heat related issue due to it being inside my desk, because the fan startup behavior happens even from a cold start.

Mangaroo
Aug 10, 2008, 09:39 AM
Is it only the one card inside your Mac Pro? If it is, then from what I gather of other people have been saying across the board it should be significantly quieter. Just to be sure, why not take your machine outside the cabinet and have it run for a while? It's probably not it but I think it's worth a shot, especially if the card affects you so much that you may try and attempt to return/sell it?

kahine
Aug 10, 2008, 10:23 AM
Yeah I would say with just one it shouldnt spin right back up after getting quiet unless it's quite warm room temp it's in

My one was almost silent , its the second top one I can hear

Mangaroo
Aug 10, 2008, 10:59 AM
Yeah I would say with just one it shouldnt spin right back up after getting quiet unless it's quite warm room temp it's in

My one was almost silent , its the second top one I can hear

i dont own a mac pro yet, but im guessing you can't space them out by placing them in more distant slots?

kahine
Aug 10, 2008, 11:16 AM
i dont own a mac pro yet, but im guessing you can't space them out by placing them in more distant slots?

No , the two x16 slots are side by side -

jimithing1
Aug 10, 2008, 11:42 AM
Mine was the same as yours, it was spinning constantly all the time. So much so I returned it. My 2600 is so much quieter.

DualShock
Aug 10, 2008, 11:42 AM
Is it only the one card inside your Mac Pro? If it is, then from what I gather of other people have been saying across the board it should be significantly quieter. Just to be sure, why not take your machine outside the cabinet and have it run for a while? It's probably not it but I think it's worth a shot, especially if the card affects you so much that you may try and attempt to return/sell it?

That's the only graphics card in my Mac Pro. I'm not sure if taking it out of my desk would make a difference, since the fan spins up almost immediately after turning the machine on from a cold boot.

Yeah I would say with just one it shouldnt spin right back up after getting quiet unless it's quite warm room temp it's in

True. Though the room the Mac Pro is in isn't currently "hot" by any means, it could be that it's just warm enough to cause the graphics card to heat up right away.

I wonder if it's possible that the Mac Pro may be supplying too much voltage through the power cable. I have the card plugged into the bottom power connector. Maybe I should try the top one.

Could you do guys do me a favor post your ROM and EFI revisions from System Profiler? I'm wondering if I have an older or different revision of the card. I've attached a screenshot of my System Profiler info.

DualShock
Aug 10, 2008, 11:46 AM
Mine was the same as yours, it was spinning constantly all the time. So much so I returned it. My 2600 is so much quieter.

For me, the noise is definitely noticeable since the 2600 was almost completely silent. But I love the gaming performance of the card in XP, so I suppose I could live with the fan noise.

Who knows, maybe when winter comes along it might get quiet. :D

jimithing1
Aug 10, 2008, 11:49 AM
For me, the noise is definitely noticeable since the 2600 was almost completely silent. But I love the gaming performance of the card in XP, so I suppose I could live with the fan noise.

Who knows, maybe when winter comes along it might get quiet. :D
Well if it does slow down keep this thread updated. Before I returned it I did some render tests in Maya and some other Pro Apps that I use and there really wasn't a difference in render times between it and the 2600 to warrant keeping it with the fan noise. I'm not really a big gamer, though i'm quite excited for Spore next month which the 2600 will run fine so I'm not too worried about that.

kwarwick43
Aug 11, 2008, 03:17 PM
Hi,

I recently got a Radeon 3870 direct from ATI for my Mac Pro. The fan is always spinning and is quite loud, even when idle. It is significantly louder than the stock 2600 XT, which was absolutely silent when idling.

I've read some threads where people say they hear their 3870's fan speeding up and slowing down in OS X, but mine is always audible, and I never hear any speedups or slowdowns.

In Windows XP (Boot Camp), GPU-Z from techpowerup.com is reporting a fan speed of 43% when idling, with a temp of ~45C. When I play a game (GRiD or DiRT), it reports a fan speed of ~70%, with a temp of ~75C. The fan speed never slows down below 43%.

Has anyone else noticed this happening? I have installed the Mac ATI drivers that came with the card, and am running Catalyst 8.7 on the Windows side.

I just received my 3870 today and installed it in my previously dead silent Mac Pro (1st gen) which came with a Nvidia 7300 card. Obviously I'd been a little spoiled by the lack of noise of that fanless card, but I have to say I'm very disappointed with the noise level with the 3870 installed. Certainly this is way louder than reviews of this card lead me to believe. If there's no solution I'm afraid this card is going back.

highjumppudding
Aug 11, 2008, 08:19 PM
I have the PC and Mac Edition 3870 and since day one the fan spins faster during even minimal CPU usage. Even at times when I just move the cursor or open/close/minimize an app. It gets annoying, but it is definitely not constant as some have experienced. How often do you think ATI will release updated drivers for this card? Have there been any updates for it yet?

DualShock
Aug 11, 2008, 08:28 PM
I have the PC and Mac Edition 3870 and since day one the fan spins faster during even minimal CPU usage. Even at times when I just move the cursor or open/close/minimize an app. It gets annoying, but it is definitely not constant as some have experienced. How often do you think ATI will release updated drivers for this card? Have there been any updates for it yet?

No updates that I'm aware of.

Since I'm still within the 30 day return window, I'm RMA'ing the card with ATI. Hopefully the replacement will be quieter.

kwarwick43
Aug 12, 2008, 09:40 AM
No updates that I'm aware of.

Since I'm still within the 30 day return window, I'm RMA'ing the card with ATI. Hopefully the replacement will be quieter.


I've opened a ticket with AMD/ATI and we're discussing getting a warranty replacement, but I'm not sure if this is likely to change anything. They comment that if the replacement card isn't any different that there are third party fan solutions...

kwarwick43
Aug 19, 2008, 09:53 PM
I've opened a ticket with AMD/ATI and we're discussing getting a warranty replacement, but I'm not sure if this is likely to change anything. They comment that if the replacement card isn't any different that there are third party fan solutions...

Well ATI tech support was pretty much useless dealing with this issue. Even their online RMA processing doesn't seem to know of this card so rejects any attempts to submit an RMA request. Basically ATI said I'd be better off getting a replacement from the original store, but this is hardly convenient as they are a mail order retailer on the other side of the country. :rolleyes:

I've decided to take a different approach, that being a replacement cooler. Since noise level is my primary concern I'm going to give the Arctic Cooler Accelero S1 Rev. 2, which gets great reviews, a shot. *fingers crossed*

ventro
Aug 19, 2008, 10:00 PM
The 3870 is the dumbest possible design for the Mac Pro. The fan sucks in air and vents it out the side, TOWARDS THE INSIDE OF THE CASE. This air then rises, and gets blown by the IO fan towards the 3870's intake fan, which then gets sucked in again. It's like an endless cycle of hot air which causes the 3870 to rev its fans up after a while even if you're not doing anything graphically intensive.

I also have settled with the Accelero S1 Rev 2 and am waiting for stock locally here. It has a nice simple single slot exhaust vent (unlike the 3870) and takes up only a single extra slot (so Crossfire is still an option). I might have to jack up the IO fan a bit, but it seems like a good solution.

nanofrog
Aug 19, 2008, 10:21 PM
I've decided to take a different approach, that being a replacement cooler. Since noise level is my primary concern I'm going to give the Arctic Cooler Accelero S1 Rev. 2, which gets great reviews, a shot. *fingers crossed*

I also have settled with the Accelero S1 Rev 2 and am waiting for stock locally here. It has a nice simple single slot exhaust vent (unlike the 3870) and takes up only a single extra slot (so Crossfire is still an option). I might have to jack up the IO fan a bit, but it seems like a good solution.
I'm interested as well.
Please keep us posted on the results. :)

SuperGrobi
Aug 19, 2008, 11:15 PM
I'm interested as well.
Please keep us posted on the results. :)

I ordered the aftermarket GPU cooler today as well (Switzerland). My stock HD3870 vent is driving me crazy (full speed all the time). I'll let you know how it works out.

philby
Aug 20, 2008, 03:37 AM
Very interested in aftermarket GPU cooler results as well...
I'm currently considering iMac vs Mac Pro; one of my main requirements being "silence".

BTW: SuperGrobi - grezi and where in Switzerland did you order your kit, and which one?

Thanks.

cxc
Aug 20, 2008, 03:44 AM
Very interested in aftermarket GPU cooler results as well...
I'm currently considering iMac vs Mac Pro; one of my main requirements being "silence".

BTW: SuperGrobi - grezi and where in Switzerland did you order your kit, and which one?

Thanks.

The Mac Pro is not really silent. It is very silent for a 8core workhorse but if you are coming from the (ultra) silent PC realm you wont be happy.
As far as the iMac is concerned, a quad core machine should be around shortly. Maybe Apple will sort the display issues.

SuperGrobi
Aug 20, 2008, 06:19 AM
The Mac Pro is not really silent. It is very silent for a 8core workhorse but if you are coming from the (ultra) silent PC realm you wont be happy.
As far as the iMac is concerned, a quad core machine should be around shortly. Maybe Apple will sort the display issues.

Well, actually my Mac Pro was pretty silent BEFORE I installed the ATI 3870 :(
... even with my flashed XFX 8800GT

SuperGrobi
Aug 20, 2008, 06:20 AM
Very interested in aftermarket GPU cooler results as well...
I'm currently considering iMac vs Mac Pro; one of my main requirements being "silence".

BTW: SuperGrobi - grezi and where in Switzerland did you order your kit, and which one?

Thanks.

... not swiss though ;)

I ordered here: http://www.pc-cooling.ch/product_info.php?products_id=6452

kahine
Aug 20, 2008, 07:37 AM
Those of you with just one 3870 either have warm rooms or a bad card if its loud

I dropped back to just one 3870 (got an XPS for gaming rig beside it) and with just one it rarely spins up enough to be heard even in gaming on the Mac

Not in gaming it cannot be heard - zero - as in the harddrive is the loudest thing in the Mac Pro now

SuperGrobi
Aug 20, 2008, 08:35 AM
Those of you with just one 3870 either have warm rooms or a bad card if its loud

I dropped back to just one 3870 (got an XPS for gaming rig beside it) and with just one it rarely spins up enough to be heard even in gaming on the Mac

Not in gaming it cannot be heard - zero - as in the harddrive is the loudest thing in the Mac Pro now

Lucky you! Well, could try to decrease the temp in my room :p ... or I'll get an exchange card from ATI without any guarantee that this will solve the problem, or, my favoured alternative, I'll try the aftermarket cooling solution :rolleyes:

kahine
Aug 20, 2008, 09:47 AM
Both of my 3870's were silent - it was only having both with one blowing on the other that caused it to heat up and spin up

So they definitely are not supposed to be loud at all - theres someone else on here who switched out their first one with ATI and the replacement was virtually silent also

Was just letting people know if yours is "loud" then there is definitely something wrong with it

SuperGrobi
Aug 20, 2008, 10:33 AM
Both of my 3870's were silent - it was only having both with one blowing on the other that caused it to heat up and spin up

So they definitely are not supposed to be loud at all - theres someone else on here who switched out their first one with ATI and the replacement was virtually silent also

Was just letting people know if yours is "loud" then there is definitely something wrong with it

I do not expect all 3870 cards to have a constantly runnig fan (full speed) but if you look through the threads I am definitely not the only one in this unpleasent situation. If I just order another card from my supplier I might end up with one from the same defective (?) lot.

btw, did you switch your two cards to actually proof that the position within the Mac Pro causes the fan to speed up? My fan starts up 2 or 3 seconds after I turn on the Mac, so in that I agree with you - there is clearly something wrong with the card.

jhaifley
Aug 20, 2008, 03:10 PM
Glad to hear I am not the only one with this issue. Just got my Mac Pro yesterday and installed the card. It starts running at full speed the moment the computer is turned on. Guess it is time to RMA it for another one. I am just happy that it is not normal as I would not be able to stand listening to that after my silent iMac or almost silent Mac Pro with the 2600.

kwarwick43
Aug 20, 2008, 04:44 PM
Glad to hear I am not the only one with this issue. Just got my Mac Pro yesterday and installed the card. It starts running at full speed the moment the computer is turned on. Guess it is time to RMA it for another one. I am just happy that it is not normal as I would not be able to stand listening to that after my silent iMac or almost silent Mac Pro with the 2600.

I'm wondering if this is a hardware problem or perhaps a firmware revision that resolved the high speed fan issue. For those that have a quiet fan can you look at the video card info in System Profiler? Select Hardware - Graphics/Displays and grab the info that appears and then we can compare quiet to loud cards.

Thanks!

DualShock
Aug 20, 2008, 05:08 PM
For those that have a quiet fan can you look at the video card info in System Profiler? Select Hardware - Graphics/Displays and grab the info that appears and then we can compare quiet to loud cards.

Thanks!

Yes, please post! I posted mine on the first pg of this thread.

My replacement 3870 has shipped. I should have it by next Monday. Will keep everyone posted.

kahine
Aug 20, 2008, 05:14 PM
Here's mine - turns on fan on power up like all video cards but then quiets back down immediately to silent except if playing 3d games or heavy video work and then is barely audible - both were this way separate - only time I heard is if had both in at same time and top one would rev up some -

ATI Radeon HD 3870:

Chipset Model: ATI Radeon HD 3870
Type: Display
Bus: PCIe
Slot: Slot-1
PCIe Lane Width: x16
VRAM (Total): 512 MB
Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
Device ID: 0x9501
Revision ID: 0x0000
ROM Revision: 113-B3390F-270
EFI Driver Version: 01.00.270
Displays:
FHD2401:
Resolution: 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
Depth: 32-bit Color
Core Image: Hardware Accelerated
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Quartz Extreme: Supported
Rotation: Supported
SyncMaster:
Resolution: 1440 x 900 @ 60 Hz
Depth: 32-bit Color
Core Image: Hardware Accelerated
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Quartz Extreme: Supported
Rotation: Supported

DualShock
Aug 20, 2008, 06:36 PM
Hmmm those specs match up (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=6010589&postcount=10) to what my first 3870 had. I guess it's not a firmware issue then. Could be a wonky temperature sensor on the GPU or heatsink?

kahine
Aug 20, 2008, 07:27 PM
Not sure , possible though -

Only other thing I can say about my setup is I keep the Pro on top of the desk and in fairly cool environment - during the summer we keep the air on 73 or lower and ceiling fan going also (cannot stand to be hot inside) so the ambient temperature the overall unit is in is always fairly cool

seasterling
Aug 20, 2008, 09:30 PM
Mine doesn't run fast all the time. When I watch a movie file I have noticed that it spins up and down and up and down which is a little wierd.

SuperGrobi
Aug 20, 2008, 11:16 PM
Humh, also have the same ROM version ... hope the problem is not my GPU - otherwise my card might get fried as soon as I get my new cooler ... well what can I say, I love the risk :D

nanofrog
Aug 20, 2008, 11:50 PM
... well what can I say, I love the risk :D
So you're saying, you like living dangerously?
Adrenaline junkie! :p

ungraphic
Aug 21, 2008, 01:39 PM
Lucky you! Well, could try to decrease the temp in my room :p ... or I'll get an exchange card from ATI without any guarantee that this will solve the problem, or, my favoured alternative, I'll try the aftermarket cooling solution :rolleyes:

Perhaps those with dealing with heat issues could install a simple PCI Fan such as this one:

http://www.alfa888.net/ebay/verimage/c4p/vibb261re.jpg

or move up to something more badass like this:

http://images.tigerdirect.com/SkuImages/gallery/large/V13-4200-B.jpg

This should help circulate the airflow out of the case. Looking at the video card, whoever designed the cooler was an idiot, it blows off the processor straight back into the mac pro inside. It should have a passage using the bracket as a vent.

kwarwick43
Aug 21, 2008, 05:02 PM
Hmmm those specs match up (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=6010589&postcount=10) to what my first 3870 had. I guess it's not a firmware issue then. Could be a wonky temperature sensor on the GPU or heatsink?

One other possibility... and this is a real long shot. Could it be the revision of Mac Pro? I have the first gen (dual core) PCIe 1.0 and my 3870 is loud. Can those with a the later quad and 8 core (PCIe 2.0) Mac Pros chime in?

jjahshik32
Aug 21, 2008, 05:17 PM
When I had the mac pro with the 3870 card it used to make a mooing affect like when the card was in use say playing a 1080p mkv movie or something then the card would spin up fast and slow like a mooing affect.

But most of the time it was quiet.

kahine
Aug 21, 2008, 05:36 PM
One other possibility... and this is a real long shot. Could it be the revision of Mac Pro? I have the first gen (dual core) PCIe 1.0 and my 3870 is loud. Can those with a the later quad and 8 core (PCIe 2.0) Mac Pros chime in?

Mine's the 2008 version and no loud fans with just one in

DualShock
Aug 21, 2008, 08:16 PM
2008 mac pro here, loud as a hair dryer

kahine
Aug 21, 2008, 08:47 PM
Just in case for reference took a shot of temps - about what they stay at whenever have checked
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v282/xdaishanx/Picture1.png

SuperGrobi
Aug 21, 2008, 11:52 PM
My temps look similar - still I have a hairdryer in my Mac Pro as well :p

Is there a way to check the GPU temp in OS X? In vista my GPU runs at about 42C when idle. Maybe the sensor measures a too high temperature all the time?

pmdiaz23
Aug 22, 2008, 03:20 AM
Sup all... new to the board...

I Just got mt ATI 3870, and I hate that I can hear this fan spinning so hard.

It would be great if the folks with and without problems can post room temps and placement of Mac Pro in the room. I am trying different scenarios, and noticed if I drop my AC to 73, the card fan spins lower.

Still wondering weather to RMA or not.... :confused:

ungraphic
Aug 22, 2008, 03:50 AM
just got my ATI 3870!

Its pretty silent but the fan is REALLY loud when gaming. though it doesnt bother me, ive either got my headphones on or sound turned up rather high.

ive yet to test it out in OSX....

kahine
Aug 22, 2008, 07:16 AM
Sup all... new to the board...

I Just got mt ATI 3870, and I hate that I can hear this fan spinning so hard.

It would be great if the folks with and without problems can post room temps and placement of Mac Pro in the room. I am trying different scenarios, and noticed if I drop my AC to 73, the card fan spins lower.

Still wondering weather to RMA or not.... :confused:

My room temp is 73 or lower all the time - our air runs fairly non stop in summer and its in a room with most thick blinds/curtains over windows during summer also - I prefer the cold over hot and barely use the heat in the winter - just my thing

So I'm sure my ambient temp helps keep it always quiet and is around 70 most of the time - ceiling fan on always too

Mine sits on top of my side desk connected to my main one

CaptBlood73
Aug 22, 2008, 11:23 AM
Here's mine - turns on fan on power up like all video cards but then quiets back down immediately to silent except if playing 3d games or heavy video work and then is barely audible - both were this way separate - only time I heard is if had both in at same time and top one would rev up some -

ATI Radeon HD 3870:

Chipset Model: ATI Radeon HD 3870
Type: Display
Bus: PCIe
Slot: Slot-1
PCIe Lane Width: x16...

Hi !

I just bought this card too and i'm also annoyed by the fan noise...
When I look at my specs, i have :
PCIe Lane Width: x1 ... but not x16 like you... what's the deal ?

CaptBlood73
Aug 22, 2008, 12:06 PM
Hi !

I just bought this card too and i'm also annoyed by the fan noise...
When I look at my specs, i have :
PCIe Lane Width: x1 ... but not x16 like you... what's the deal ?

Well ok, never mind, i just found the answer, the card must be on the first slot...

ungraphic
Aug 22, 2008, 12:08 PM
When I had the mac pro with the 3870 card it used to make a mooing affect like when the card was in use say playing a 1080p mkv movie or something then the card would spin up fast and slow like a mooing affect.

But most of the time it was quiet.

Yup, mine too. Though the fan turns on when playing *any* video in OS X, both in VLC and Quicktime. However, i tried messing around in Final Cut Pro, added a divx movie to the sequence and played it back: fan did *not* turn. Odd.

When browsing files in the finder the video card is silent, but when coverflow is used, say for a folder of 50 images, the fan turns on. The same is true about coverflow in iTunes.

The fan is not at full speed though when this happens. Otherwise, its pretty much silent. I wonder though, would an updated driver fix the fan issue?

apfhex
Aug 22, 2008, 11:23 PM
Yup, mine too. Though the fan turns on when playing *any* video in OS X
...
The fan is not at full speed though when this happens. Otherwise, its pretty much silent. I wonder though, would an updated driver fix the fan issue?
Sounds like mine. I just installed it today on my August 2006 Mac Pro. When watching any video, or the second I launch WoW, the fan spins up. It's not really loud — not like the hair dryer/vacuum cleaner of the X1900 XT! — but clearly audible unless I'm listening to music at a moderate volume. It sounds about the same as a CD spinning in one of the drives.

Under normal OS X use it's quiet, but still noticeable. The X1900 XT was normally silent under same use. If the room is otherwise quiet, I can hear it "mooing" like other people have reported.

In short, at its loudest (that I've heard it... I'm sure it can get quite loud under extreme load) it's far quieter than the X1900 XT, but at it's quietest it's a little louder. Unless they change fan sensitivity in a future firmware or driver update, I might consider finding a 3rd party cooling solution like the Accelero (which seems hard to find for some reason).

Here's the stats and a iStat Pro screenshot (temps in F mind you :)).

Chipset Model: ATI Radeon HD 3870
Type: Display
Bus: PCIe
Slot: Slot-1
PCIe Lane Width: x16
VRAM (Total): 512 MB
Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
Device ID: 0x9501
Revision ID: 0x0000
ROM Revision: 113-B3390F-270
EFI Driver Version: 01.00.270

pmdiaz23
Aug 22, 2008, 11:26 PM
My room temp is 73 or lower all the time - our air runs fairly non stop in summer and its in a room with most thick blinds/curtains over windows during summer also - I prefer the cold over hot and barely use the heat in the winter - just my thing

So I'm sure my ambient temp helps keep it always quiet and is around 70 most of the time - ceiling fan on always too

Mine sits on top of my side desk connected to my main one


This is good to know... In a couple of days I'll be finishing a gig and I will try creating the same setup and see what happens.... Will post back... Thanks!

wfehres
Aug 23, 2008, 11:14 AM
I have good situation to judge this fan problem.

I have a 1st Gen Mac Pro and purchased the 3870. The fan appears to be stuck at 100% speed at all times. Was very disappointed.

At work i have a 2nd Gen Mac Pro and purchased the same 3870. The card is virtually silent unless under heavy load. Was very happy with the card.

I wanted the quiet card at home on my 1st Gen Mac Pro...so I switched them. Sure enough the card was still silent on the 1st Gen Mac and now my work computer is loud. It's still under the 30 day warranty with OWC so i plan on getting an RMA.

I hope this helps. Also, both cards had identical specs and firmware.

SuperGrobi
Aug 23, 2008, 01:54 PM
Good News! I just installed the Artic Cooling Accelero S1 passive cooler on my 3870. Of course, NO hairdryer-noise anymore and in Vista the card is about 3-4C cooler than with the active cooler that came with the card. :D
Well, the installation was relatively simple. Just the small RAM coolers are not really sticky enough - I am worried that one of them will come off sooner or later. So all in all I am quiet happy with this solution. There is just one concern: I am not sure if the Bridge that connects two cards in Crossfire will still fit - the large cooler might be in the way ... I have to check that before I go and buy the second card.
Hope this info is useful ... just a pitty to have to spend even more money to turn the card silent again :o

... apparently others had the "no space left for Crossfire bridge" problem before. Only way is to find a long bridge (or make one yourself) - or, someone managed to get the bridge through the fins of the cooler ... so it doesn't seem to be impossible ...

nanofrog
Aug 23, 2008, 02:58 PM
Good News! I just installed the Artic Cooling Accelero S1 passive cooler on my 3870. Of course, NO hairdryer-noise anymore and in Vista the card is about 3-4C cooler than with the active cooler that came with the card. :D
Well, the installation was relatively simple. Just the small RAM coolers are not really sticky enough - I am worried that one of them will come off sooner or later. So all in all I am quiet happy with this solution. There is just one concern: I am not sure if the Bridge that connects two cards in Crossfire will still fit - the large cooler might be in the way ... I have to check that before I go and buy the second card.
Hope this info is useful ... just a pitty to have to spend even more money to turn the card silent again :o

... apparently others had the "no space left for Crossfire bridge" problem before. Only way is to find a long bridge (or make one yourself) - or, someone managed to get the bridge through the fins of the cooler ... so it doesn't seem to be impossible ...
Nice to hear! Yes, pun intended. :D :p

I'll keep my fingers crossed on the crossfire cable fitting. :) I sure hope they didn't drop the ball on this. :eek:

kwarwick43
Aug 23, 2008, 05:32 PM
Nice to hear! Yes, pun intended. :D :p

I'll keep my fingers crossed on the crossfire cable fitting. :) I sure hope they didn't drop the ball on this. :eek:

Check out Arctic Cooling's web site, they have a longer SLI cable available if it turns out you need one:

http://www.arctic-cooling.com/vga2.php?idx=147&data=7&disc=

SuperGrobi
Aug 23, 2008, 11:40 PM
Check out Arctic Cooling's web site, they have a longer SLI cable available if it turns out you need one:

http://www.arctic-cooling.com/vga2.php?idx=147&data=7&disc=

Yes, someone in another forum mentioned the long SLI-bridge. However, at the same time he was told by Arctic Cooling that they do not sell longer Crossfire Bridges because the manufacturer didn't respond to their request.
Does the SLI- bridge work with Crossfire? ... same dimensions etc? Don't think so. :( ... oh wait, I can at least check if my short Crossfire Bridge (the one that came with the card) fits on the 8800GT I had in the Mac before :rolleyes:

SuperGrobi
Aug 23, 2008, 11:48 PM
Just an idea: A lot of guys here noticed that a non-EFI card is extremely loud when "running" in Mac OS, meaning although it is not recognized the fan blows at full speed. Using a passive cooler should be a good way to stand the noise. Of course it would be important to make sure the card doesn't eat hundreds of Watts without working. Artic Cooling claims the passive cooler I used for the 3870 works as well for the 4870 ;)

DualShock
Aug 25, 2008, 07:30 PM
AW YEAH! :D

My replacement card arrived today. It's SUPER QUIET! It's just as quiet as the stock 2600 XT card.

Idle temps are higher on this card than my previous one though. 54c now vs ~43c on the loud card in Windows XP.

Haven't tried out a game yet, but so far I'm a happy camper. A bit saddened by the news posted on the MacRumors home page about the Radeon 4870 and 4850 coming to the Mac (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/08/25/atis-4870-hd-and-4850-hd-graphics-cards-coming-for-mac/), but eh you can't win 'em all I suppose.

Version numbers in OS X System Profiler show the same values as with the old card. Something tells me that Sapphire has a bunch of wonky coolers that just sound really loud for whatever reason. (It does appear that Sapphire makes these cards, based on the output from GPU-Z by techpowerup.com.)

Here's a screenshot of GPU-Z running on my system, for those that may be interested:

DualShock
Aug 25, 2008, 09:23 PM
Quick update.

Just played GRiD for about an hour. The fan spun up during the game and was quite loud. In fact, it was as loud as my first 3870 was when it was idling. So the new card is definitely much better than the first one. Right after I finished playing the fan spun down and got quiet again.

I'm definitely a very happy camper now. :D

kwarwick43
Aug 26, 2008, 06:19 AM
Quick update.

Just played GRiD for about an hour. The fan spun up during the game and was quite loud. In fact, it was as loud as my first 3870 was when it was idling. So the new card is definitely much better than the first one. Right after I finished playing the fan spun down and got quiet again.

I'm definitely a very happy camper now. :D

It really appears like there is a bug or hardware problem, with regards to the fan speed control. Seems they have a temperature set point that the fan speed kicks up. Perhaps it is possible to calibrate this threshold and this is not being done properly at the factory? Hopefully with time we'll find out the true story... I wouldn't be surprised to see a future firmware or software update to resolve this issue.

kahine
Aug 26, 2008, 08:42 AM
Quick update.

Just played GRiD for about an hour. The fan spun up during the game and was quite loud. In fact, it was as loud as my first 3870 was when it was idling. So the new card is definitely much better than the first one. Right after I finished playing the fan spun down and got quiet again.

I'm definitely a very happy camper now. :D

Yeah that's they way your 3870 should be , mine even during gaming gets barely audible -

rshanahan
Aug 26, 2008, 08:52 AM
I'll add my 'vote' for having a noisy (full speed) fan. My driver/firmware are the same as the ones previously posted.

This morning, after the machine was sitting off overnight with a room temp of about 75 deg F, I turned it on. Fan was high but went silent almost at the same time as the chime. OSX came up to the desktop (about 20 seconds) and started the fan then sped up to full speed and stayed there.

Sounds like some sort of flakey sensor or something. Hope it can be fixed via firmware/software. I may open up an incident with ATI just to bump up the counter of loud 3870 card issues.

ventro
Aug 26, 2008, 08:59 AM
I also have installed the Accelero S1. In OSX, it works fine and ended up cooling the temperature of nearby components as well (since it wasn't blowing hot air on it all the time) - my Velociraptor went from 46C to 35C. And of course, the only sound now are the big built-in 120mm fans now.

I tried Portal for a few minutes and the card seemed to run fine with no artifacts or anything. If I end up doing a lot of heavy gaming i might consider getting the turbo module for my card.

ungraphic
Aug 26, 2008, 11:14 AM
Quick update.

Just played GRiD for about an hour. The fan spun up during the game and was quite loud. In fact, it was as loud as my first 3870 was when it was idling. So the new card is definitely much better than the first one. Right after I finished playing the fan spun down and got quiet again.

I'm definitely a very happy camper now. :D

Kick ass game by the way. I've got the game but havent installed it yet (no time), but ive had the demo for a little bit and omg the graphics are amazing. The game does hiccup a little using the 3870 depending on the map when using Level 2 or higher aliasing, or 4X FSAA (1920x1200, max quality).

kentech
Aug 26, 2008, 06:21 PM
This is a very interesting discussion!

I bought a Quad-core Mac Pro in May and got the "better" Nvidia 8800GT. I thought I was happy, but there were redraw issues after sleeping and a display "roughness" I found annoying.. I ascribed it to funky drivers from Apple.

The store I bought the Mac from offered to swap for my suggestion of an ATI HD 3870, so I went for it about a week ago.

This card is far smoother than the 8800GT and just as fast in rendering benchmerks for graphics. (I'm not a gamer.) I am a happy camper! There is no stuttering, oddball redraw, or jerkiness as there had been with the 8800. It's perfect.

BUT, as I now see from others here, I wasn't alone is getting a screaming-Mimi at first! The first 3870 ran at nearly full fan speed at power-up. The speed changed a little with resolution changes on my big Mitsubishi CRT monitor, and actually *stopped* when I switched to 1080x1920 @ 72Hz! Then the fan would start and quit, start and quit randomly -- convincing me it was defective.

I returned this RED-shrouded unit and the store replaced it, this time with (randomly) a BLUE-shrouded unit. (Slightly lower serial.)

Bottom Line: This replacement 3870 is quiet as a mouse! Fan runs near-silently at startup and after hours of regular use in a 75F room. I get the distinct feeling that a bunch of cards with wonky fan controllers were built, and some of us got 'em.

*******
Regarding the Mac Pro fans: smcFanControl works like it should and has helped me understand which fans are which. The CPU_MEM and EXHAUST fans (bottom-most compartment) are actually tied together in speed: You set the CPU_MEM speed, and the EXHAUST runs 100 rpm faster at a minimum, no matter what. But you can independently set the EXHAUST fan even faster; it's just that you can't go below that minimum. Mine is nearly silent at CPU_MEM set to 600 rpm (=EXHAUST at 700).

The IO fan is an intake at the front, and it responds to the fan control SW. There is no exhaust for this compartment, which contains the hard drives and video cards. I leave mine at 800 or 900 rpm.

I find that the PS (power supply) fans are not controllable by the software. They run at the stock 600 rpm.

*******
Bad News: The ATI HD 3870 does NOT support multiple refresh rates under Windows XP-SP2 booting the Mac Pro, with or without Boot Camp drivers installed. No version of the ATI drivers fixes this. You can choose a resolution okay, but you're stuck at 60Hz refresh -- a pain for those of us who hate 60Hz flicker. (I like 100Hz refresh.)

Hope this is useful to the discussion.

Ken Peterson
Portland, Oregon

jhaifley
Aug 30, 2008, 10:10 PM
I just got the replacement for the one I sent back and it also has a loud fan. Not happy. I see only several options, keep sending them back until I get one that works, get the 8800GT instead, or put an aftermarket cooler on and risk warranty issues. Is it really that hard to get a working card?

kentech
Aug 31, 2008, 02:03 AM
I just got the replacement for the one I sent back and it also has a loud fan. Not happy.

With my initially-noisy card, I called ATI tech suppport to ask if this behavior was normal, and I was told no, that the fan should stay slow unless there is stress on the card. I.e. the card should be QUIET for normal desktop activities. Armed with that, I had no trouble getting the dealer to swap cards. The "blue" one I have now must be an earlier production run or something -- it's the one typically in the reviewers' photos, and the serial number is 180828 010475-01.

So make sure you hold ATI responsible! These noisy cards do NOT conform to ATI's own intended behavior. Their phone number is 877-284-1566. (You'll have to push 1 a bunch of times to get to a person.)

The question to ATI should be: When are you going to put 3870s with corrected fans into the pipeline? Where can I buy one now?

kentech
Aug 31, 2008, 02:04 AM
[Moderator: Please delete this accidental repost.]

kentech
Aug 31, 2008, 02:05 AM
[Moderator: Please delete this accidental repost.]

CaptBlood73
Aug 31, 2008, 04:37 AM
Well, I went for the Accelero S1 rev2 solution and it's just perfect !
Really quiet obviously and the temperatures inside the MacPro are even lower !

kentech
Sep 2, 2008, 01:42 PM
Bad News: The ATI HD 3870 does NOT support multiple refresh rates under Windows XP-SP2 booting the Mac Pro

I wrote this on 8/26, but it is bad information. Sorry. No thanks to ATI, as they were no help at all. I had to play persistent detective.

My monitor is a VGA-connected Mitsubishi 20" CRT. The cable/monitor apparently does not support the monitor's reporting of its characteristics; and so the card defaults to a safe 60Hz maximum refresh rate.

The solution, in Windows (if this issue should affect anyone alse):

(1) Install the latest drivers and Catalyst, for me version 8.8 from late August.

(2) Open Catalyst Control Center in Expert Mode.

(3) At the left, click Monitor Properties, then Attributes.

(4) Uncheck the "Use EDID" option, and set a reasonable maximum refresh rate and resolution. I chose 100Hz and 1600x1200.

(5) Click Apply, then OK.

(6) Now you can use CCC or the Display control panel to set your display refresh rate to anything within the limits set above.

NOTE: The monitor has to inherently support the rate you choose!

DualShock
Sep 2, 2008, 03:57 PM
The "blue" one I have now must be an earlier production run or something

So wait, there's more than 1 model of the 3870, with different PCB colors? :confused:

kentech
Sep 2, 2008, 06:11 PM
So wait, there's more than 1 model of the 3870, with different PCB colors? :confused:

The same model was produced with both blue and red fan shrouds (not pcbs). I am inferring the blue ones were earlier-production than red, but who really knows.

I am beginning to think that one should accept whatever card seems to work okay videowise, then apply the Accelero S1 Rev2 cooler. Fan problem gone!

Even though mine is relatively quiet, I see this as a superior cooling solution, period. I will be getting one of these coolers.

ungraphic
Sep 3, 2008, 12:35 AM
Someone should post a video or step by step images (or link) on how to replace the 3870 fan with the Accelero S1 Rev2 cooler (or a similar mod).

I'm willing to pay extra for the cooler, but im worried on how to actually replace the fan and all myself.

rshanahan
Sep 3, 2008, 08:13 AM
hmm, post a video? My luck I'd brick my card for everyone to see. I decided to get a cooler and replace the fan on mine. Don't really want the hassle of trying to get it replaced.

Not sure when I'll do it, I did receive the fan over the weekend but it's still in the box. If I do film it I'll post it up.

pmdiaz23
Sep 4, 2008, 04:48 PM
Just posting back. i RMAed mine and threw in the new card today. So far, no noise (actually you hear the fan but only if you listen close and it's quite) and my room temp is 2 degrees above normal.

Send it back and get a new one. This keeps ATi honest and that way they correct the problem on future cards.

pprior
Sep 4, 2008, 08:54 PM
Just a data point. I was one of the first to get a 3870 and mine has always been quiet. In fact I've never heard the fan spin up at all. FWIW. I'm running a 2007 mac pro and my card info matches the screenshot posted above.

kwarwick43
Sep 5, 2008, 09:31 PM
Well I've installed the Arctic Cooler S1 Rev 2 and of course it is totally silent. But now I'm concerned with the temperatures I was seeing while playing a heavy 3D game such as Crysis in bootcamp. According to various tools like ATI Tool and GPU-Z I was seeing temps of 97C during game play. I could see that the card was attempting to ramp up the speed the non-existent fan, so I'm wondering if I need to be concerned for the long term durability of this card with a passive only cooler?

nanofrog
Sep 5, 2008, 10:15 PM
Well I've installed the Arctic Cooler S1 Rev 2 and of course it is totally silent. But now I'm concerned with the temperatures I was seeing while playing a heavy 3D game such as Crysis in bootcamp. According to various tools like ATI Tool and GPU-Z I was seeing temps of 97C during game play. I could see that the card was attempting to ramp up the speed the non-existent fan, so I'm wondering if I need to be concerned for the long term durability of this card with a passive only cooler?
I have to ask, did you apply thermal paste between the GPU chip and the cooler? :confused:

Assuming you did, and the temps are accurate:

You might want to look at the turbo module (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186021) that was designed for this cooler. ;)
Given that much heavy use, it may required. Better to be safe, and $8.99USD is cheap insurance. :D

kwarwick43
Sep 5, 2008, 11:02 PM
I have to ask, did you apply thermal paste between the GPU chip and the cooler? :confused:

Assuming you did, and the temps are accurate:

You might want to look at the turbo module (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186021) that was designed for this cooler. ;)
Given that much heavy use, it may required. Better to be safe, and $8.99USD is cheap insurance. :D

The cooler came with thermal paste already installed and I verified I had good contact between the cooler and the GPU.

I think I've found a possible solution: Using smcFanControl to alter the Mac Pro fans.

I bumped the PCIe/HDD fan speed up from the default of 500 rpm to 2000 rpm and then rebooted into bootcamp (fan speeds stay set through a reboot) and when I ran Crysis again GPU temps reached a max of 55C. Since the fans were a bit loud at 2000 rpm I tried again at 1200 rpm (pretty much unnoticeable vs. the default 500 rpm) and when tested with Crysis temps reached a max of 65C. For now I think I'll stick with 1200 rpm and keep an eye on it.

I would say in essence I'm doing the same thing with the Mac Pro fans as the turbo module would do which is to get some additional air flow over the fins of the passive cooler. I'm considering the turbo module but I'm concerned that since the fan speed controller on this card clearly has issues that it might cause the turbo module to run faster and therefore louder than it needs to.

Karl

nanofrog
Sep 5, 2008, 11:35 PM
The Turbo Module fans spin at 1500 rpm (42 cfm), so I don't think it would be loud even at full tilt. ;)

apfhex
Sep 10, 2008, 06:54 PM
I reported earlier than I could always hear the fan in OS X even when idle. In comparison, under Windows Vista during normal use (web browsing, etc) the card is completely silent. When I start up a game I can hear the fan about as loud as it is doing the same in OS X. So I'd say it's definitely a driver thing. I wish it were as quiet in OS X.

I don't know the temps under Vista because ATI Control Center crashes upon startup and I had to uninstall it. :rolleyes: Don't have any other temp apps installed.

heboy
Sep 11, 2008, 01:34 PM
Just got the Arctic cooler Acellero S1 with Turbo fan Module...only problem is that the fan comes with a 3 pin power connector and the 3870 only has a 2 pin connector. Does anybody know how to resolve this little problem...?

kwarwick43
Sep 18, 2008, 07:45 PM
Just got the Arctic cooler Acellero S1 with Turbo fan Module...only problem is that the fan comes with a 3 pin power connector and the 3870 only has a 2 pin connector. Does anybody know how to resolve this little problem...?

Did you ever figure out how to connect the fans? I'm still considering if I need the turbo fan module or not as it seems just boosting the PCI bay fan has done a good job keeping the temperatures under control.

Karl

apfhex
Oct 4, 2008, 04:39 PM
Did you ever figure out how to connect the fans?
I'd like to know too.

Has anyone experienced crashing due to overheating with the stock cooling? It seems that any demanding game, whether it's in OS X or Windows, will eventually crash the card. This wasn't even a problem with the X1900 XT — untill it died of course. :rolleyes: I kind of regret getting another ATI card. But the fan noise combined with this is all the more reason to get a cooling module.

irontony
Oct 5, 2008, 11:21 PM
Just got the Arctic cooler Accelero S1

Add me to the list, but I got the Arctic cooler Accelero S1 rev 2.

I have the Sapphire 3870 Toxic edition which also blows hot air into the tower :mad:

I replaced the slot fan with the Accelero S1 rev 2 and now enjoy sweet silence... No more jet engines ramping up every once in a while. Im using it without the turbo module. I dont do heavy gaming, just AOE 3 and Unreal. They play fine. I cant check the 3870 temps BUT my system temps have gone down of course.

Easy install. Just remember to use isopropyl alcohol to clean the ram modules and GPU (the heat sinks stick on fine once cleaned)

I may add a spare 120mm fan to it if I feel obliged... just use plastic ties to keep it on wrapping through a heat spreader fin.

I recommend it the Accelero S1 Rev 2 :)

moutian
Oct 9, 2008, 06:49 PM
I installed the s1 rev.2 too. The installation would be much easier if the ram heatsinks would not fall off. Now it is quiet, of course. The stock fan is loud. The big heatsink is only warm to touch. I am wondering what the gpu temperature is.

highjumppudding
Oct 10, 2008, 11:08 PM
my fan is still constantly loud. when are updates going to be available from ati for this card? we still only have the original drivers right?

DualShock
Oct 11, 2008, 07:25 AM
my fan is still constantly loud. when are updates going to be available from ati for this card? we still only have the original drivers right?

Given that my replacement card is quiet as a mouse, while my original sounded like a hurricane, and I used the same drivers for both, I believe it is a hardware issue.

I think Sapphire (mfr of card according to GPU-Z under Windows) released a set of cards with defective coolers. It appears to be hit or miss as to whether or not you get a quiet card.

Sandman824
Oct 15, 2008, 09:27 AM
I just got this card last week. I am a casual gamer. I just picked up Crysis to play on my XP partition.
THe card is virtually silent. I replaced the stock 7300 on my 2006 Mac Pro. The only time I have heard it is when playing Crysis, but I have the game volume up so I don't notice it. When I reboot back to MacOS the fan runs for a couple of minutes to cool down then I never hear it again while web surfing email etc. I can't say I have heard it during UT 2004 either. Maybe I just didn't play that enough yet.

I was worried after reading a lot of posts but have to say that I couldn't be happier!

Got it from Otherworld computing.
Running the latest os upgrade, 3gb ram

Rankrotten
Oct 15, 2008, 11:46 AM
Mine is also loud but is drowned out by the 3870x2 beside it :rolleyes:

I installed the drivers last month when they were posted on Rapidshare and then updated to 10.5.5 with its own built-in Radeon drivers. Never bothered to reinstall the ATI CD.

highjumppudding
Oct 15, 2008, 02:35 PM
my fan is still constantly loud. any word on updated drivers from ati on this card yet?

DualShock
Oct 16, 2008, 03:28 AM
my fan is still constantly loud. any word on updated drivers from ati on this card yet?

It's not a driver problem. It's a hardware problem.

jazz1
Oct 28, 2008, 06:54 PM
Well, there is a fan, that is for sure. My stock NVIDIA did no fan. So to be fair there is a constant whoosh. Waking from sleep it seems to kick up a notch but go right down. Compared to my old Mac G5 Dual 500 and 1.25 it is quieter. But I'm going to have to put this down on a shelf under my desk instead of on top of my desk. I was trying to avoid the dust bunny issue.

nanofrog
Oct 28, 2008, 07:08 PM
Well, there is a fan, that is for sure. My stock NVIDIA did no fan. So to be fair there is a constant whoosh. Waking from sleep it seems to kick up a notch but go right down. Compared to my old Mac G5 Dual 500 and 1.25 it is quieter. But I'm going to have to put this down on a shelf under my desk instead of on top of my desk. I was trying to avoid the dust bunny issue.
Vacuum/sweep the floor around it often. It might help prevent the large chunks/rolling dust bunnies from invading the internals. :p

Chaos123x
Oct 28, 2008, 07:25 PM
you guys must have defective cards my 3780 is totally silent my 2600xt was not loud at all but the 3870 I can't hear at all. My 2.16ghz iMac is louder than my 2.8ghz octo Mac Pro.

jazz1
Oct 29, 2008, 07:11 PM
you guys must have defective cards my 3780 is totally silent my 2600xt was not loud at all but the 3870 I can't hear at all. My 2.16ghz iMac is louder than my 2.8ghz octo Mac Pro.

O.K. I'm into day two with this card. I'm getting a constant "whoosh" sound. Is the fan always on for this card? I'm having a hard time determining if I was unlucky and got one of the bad cards, or that this is the good card and fan noise is always present?

I'm hearing no difference in fan speed/noise while I watch Hulu video or run iDVD or iMovie. My CPU temps are 85 and 77 degrees. The closest description I can give is that it sounds like the DVD player is running all the time.

nanofrog
Oct 29, 2008, 07:16 PM
O.K. I'm into day two with this card. I'm getting a constant "whoosh" sound. Is the fan always on for this card? I'm having a hard time determining if I was unlucky and got one of the bad cards, or that this is the good card and fan noise is always present?

I'm hearing no difference in fan speed/noise while I watch Hulu video or run iDVD or iMovie. My CPU temps are 85 and 77 degrees. The closest description I can give is that it sounds like the DVD player is running all the time.
If it's driving you crazy, you could opt for a passive cooler. ;)
Links in previous posts, IIRC. :)

jazz1
Oct 29, 2008, 07:19 PM
If it's driving you crazy, you could opt for a passive cooler. ;)
Links in previous posts, IIRC. :)

I think under the desk first, and then the DIY fan option. That last one makes me nervous on a new piece of hardware. Looks cool though with the modded cooling.

nanofrog
Oct 29, 2008, 07:30 PM
I think under the desk first, and then the DIY fan option. That last one makes me nervous on a new piece of hardware. Looks cool though with the modded cooling.
Think of it this way. Passive doesn't use moving components (fan), so not as apt to fail. ;) So nothing to really be scared about. :p

Chaos123x
Oct 29, 2008, 11:31 PM
Seems like if you have the Blue 3870 in a 2008 Mac Pro it will be silent.

Is it Red card? or older Mac Pro systems that seem to be having the noise problem??

jazz1
Oct 29, 2008, 11:49 PM
Seems like if you have the Blue 3870 in a 2008 Mac Pro it will be silent.

Is it Red card? or older Mac Pro systems that seem to be having the noise problem??

Blue card but 2.66 old MacPro. Wonder if there is a firmware update for the MacPro that would fix this?

So if this constant running of the fan is not intended I think I have a problem here. Is anyone just putting up with it thinking it is okay?

Turin
Oct 30, 2008, 08:32 AM
Blue card but 2.66 old MacPro. Wonder if there is a firmware update for the MacPro that would fix this?

So if this constant running of the fan is not intended I think I have a problem here. Is anyone just putting up with it thinking it is okay?

I didn't put up with it, RMA'd it back to Canada, got a replacement yesterday, still noisy! Tried ATiTool on Vista, the average temp is 52C and according to the app, the card is always at least on 25% fan speed. Lowered the fan speed to 2% (very quite) and tried Crysis on highest possible settings, it didn't miss a beat, the highest the card temp went over an hours worth of gameplay was 85C on 2% speed.

Does anybody know a similar utility suitable for the Mac? If I RMA this one, I'll have paid half the cost of the card in posting it to Canada, which obviously is not something I'm happy about doing.:(

petterf
Nov 9, 2008, 11:24 AM
Seems like if you have the Blue 3870 in a 2008 Mac Pro it will be silent.

Is it Red card? or older Mac Pro systems that seem to be having the noise problem??

I'm on the 2.66 2006 model with a blue 3870 (P/N 100-435928) a few days old and the fan rev at max speed in both 10.5.5 and Vista 64-bit home prem.

I asked ATI about what to do about the rev'ing fan and the only thing they did was to supply me with a link to the RMA.

Will try ATI tool and look at the fan speed.

jazz1
Nov 9, 2008, 11:55 AM
I'm on the 2.66 2006 model with a blue 3870 (P/N 100-435928) a few days old and the fan rev at max speed in both 10.5.5 and Vista 64-bit home prem.

I asked ATI about what to do about the rev'ing fan and the only thing they did was to supply me with a link to the RMA.

Will try ATI tool and look at the fan speed.

How can you see what the 3870's fan speed is? I am using iStat Pro but not seeing that piece of hardware listed. Is there another way.

I just did a clean install with an archived "previous system" and did not have the ATI CD drivers installed in that new system. On re-boot under an older version of OSX the screen was real jaggy. On system prefs. updates to the newer/newest version the jaggies were gone. In other words, as others have said, they must be included in the newer versions of 10.5XX.

Anyway, upon re-boot the fan was much quieter, for about 60 seconds, and then it returned to the higher fan speed/noise.

I really don't want to give up the better performance that the 3870 gives, but the fan noise seems to be a little much when I'm just surfing and listening to music.

I wish I knew if this is just the way it is, or people are in fact getting less fan noise in 2.66 MacPros under the ATI Blue 3870. It is hard to gauge what different people find acceptable. If I could find a way to read the fan speed on the ATI, and post it, maybe we could all compare?

Chaos123x
Nov 9, 2008, 01:15 PM
Well I just started playing Spore on my Mac Pro with the 3870 and for the first time I heard the fan noise.

When I am not playing games I do not hear the fan AT ALL!

Now while playing spore the fan will come on low, but when I am in more detailed areas of the game, the 3870 will throttle the fan up and down depending on the detail in the game. I only hear the really loud hairdryer like noise when things in the game are super complex and it will go back down right away when things get less detailed in the game.

When surfing the net, playing videos, or even using pro apps the fan is way quieter than the 2600xt.

nanofrog
Nov 9, 2008, 02:11 PM
How can you see what the 3870's fan speed is? I am using iStat Pro but not seeing that piece of hardware listed. Is there another way.

I just did a clean install with an archived "previous system" and did not have the ATI CD drivers installed in that new system. On re-boot under an older version of OSX the screen was real jaggy. On system prefs. updates to the newer/newest version the jaggies were gone. In other words, as others have said, they must be included in the newer versions of 10.5XX.

Anyway, upon re-boot the fan was much quieter, for about 60 seconds, and then it returned to the higher fan speed/noise.

I really don't want to give up the better performance that the 3870 gives, but the fan noise seems to be a little much when I'm just surfing and listening to music.

I wish I knew if this is just the way it is, or people are in fact getting less fan noise in 2.66 MacPros under the ATI Blue 3870. It is hard to gauge what different people find acceptable. If I could find a way to read the fan speed on the ATI, and post it, maybe we could all compare?
You could try a 3rd party cooler, such as this (http://www.arctic-cooling.com/vga2.php?idx=166). Other members have successfully used this (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186017) one as well.

EntityDC
Nov 9, 2008, 04:05 PM
I just purchased a Mac Pro which currently has a 2600XT, but I'm going to be powering 1x30" monitor and 2x20" monitors rotated 90 degrees. I will be using a decent amount of Photoshop, Motion, and After Effects so I'm looking at the 3870, but I'm wondering which manufacturer is best for reliability when it comes to fan noise/heat dissipation? I'd be willing to buy an aftermarket cooler if necessary, but I'd really prefer to keep things as simple as possible.

I will be running Bootcamp occasionally and will be frequently using VMWare on the Bootcamp partition.

I see the ATI version for $217.99 on OWC but also see a MSI version of what looks like the same card on MacMall (http://www.macmall.com/macmall/shop/detail.asp?Redir=1&description=MSI+Computer-RADEON+HD3870+PCIE-Video+Cards&dpno=7514987).

Really looking for the best chance of the fan being silent as I work in a shared office, so any recommendations would be very much appreciated. :)

thanks,
Rob

Chaos123x
Nov 9, 2008, 11:29 PM
You have to buy the mac version unless you want to take a chance flashing the ROM on a PC version.

nanofrog
Nov 10, 2008, 12:32 AM
You have to buy the mac version unless you want to take a chance flashing the ROM on a PC version.
AFIAK, the ROM hasn't been extracted successfully, and this isn't possible ATM. :(

urchinboy
Nov 10, 2008, 02:14 PM
Just thought I'd add my experiences...

I received my 3870 last week (a blue one, mac and PC version) and it was incredibly noisy. Fans on very high speed all the time, from cold boot. I couldn't be bothered to send it back so having found this thread, I got myself one of the Arctic cooling Accelero S1 passive cooling things and installed that.

Really simple to install if you have a screwdriver and some sort of cleaning solution for getting the old thermal paste off the GPU. The instructions that came with it are not brilliant but you can find a few videos of installing (on various vid cards) on youtube and that helped a lot (didn't find a 3870 vid but watching an install on any recent ATi card seemed similar enough).

Although the Arctic cooling thing does come with some thermal paste stuff on it, you might want to order some different stuff for a slightly neater application.

The card with just the Accelero on it is obviously completely silent which is a very joyous thing after the jet engine noise of the last few days. However, I also decided to add the turbo module fans to the top of the Accelero heatsink just to keep a bit more airflow going (the turbo module isn't much to buy anyway).

I had read somewhere about the problem of where and how to power the fans but managed to get mine powered from the old 2 pin power supply on the card. You can do this by modifying the turbo fans 3 pin socket to fit the 2 pin power on the 3870. Just snip the fans yellow wire where it emerges from the black cable sheath and tie the end away neatly with some insulation tape. Then use a sharp knife or something to slice the yellow cables socket away from the side of the 3 pin socket, leaving you with a slightly ugly two pin socket with a black and red wire emerging from it (I should say that I don't know what the yellow wire does, but the original 3870 fan was running off just a black and red wire, so I took a chance on it not being essential)

You then need to get a pair of pliers and gently pull the white piece of plastic off the two pin power prongs on the card, leaving the two prongs exposed. You can then attach your newly chopped two pin socket from the fans. Then clip the fans onto the heatsink as per the instructions. When you boot, they will spin. Mine stopped again quite soon after and I worried that they had stopped functioning. However, after a bit of COD4 or intensive Motion work, they span up to add a bit more cooling. Which was cool (and more important, still silent)

So far so good. Not sure I've explained this brilliantly, so if anyone is really interested, I could post a pic or two I guess. But the bottom line is that I now have a 3870 in an early 08 mac pro working silently via an Arctic cooling Accelero S1 rev 2 and the turbo module fans.

Would be a lot simpler if ATi could just make it work in the first place of course...

DualShock
Nov 10, 2008, 09:29 PM
Seems like if you have the Blue 3870 in a 2008 Mac Pro it will be silent.

Not necessarily true. My first 3870 (a blue one) in my 2008 Mac Pro was incredibly loud. My replacement 3870 (also a blue one) in the same machine is silent when idle. It's only audible when under heavy load, such as gaming in Windows.

Do they even make a red one that is Mac compatible? Early promo photos of the card before it was released showed a red one with a dual slot cooler, but soon after all the sites that showed red cards started showing pics of a blue one with a single slot cooler.

nanofrog
Nov 10, 2008, 10:38 PM
Not necessarily true. My first 3870 (a blue one) in my 2008 Mac Pro was incredibly loud. My replacement 3870 (also a blue one) in the same machine is silent when idle. It's only audible when under heavy load, such as gaming in Windows.

Do they even make a red one that is Mac compatible? Early promo photos of the card before it was released showed a red one with a dual slot cooler, but soon after all the sites that showed red cards started showing pics of a blue one with a single slot cooler.
As AMD/ATI don't manufacture finished cards, they likely sourced production of the Mac & PC ed. to vendors that buy their GPU chips. So it is possible the cards were made by different companies using their existing components and custom parts used in the PC side. So differences such as color of the cooling housing, and even the fan issue would differ between some units.

apfhex
Nov 10, 2008, 11:12 PM
Do they even make a red one that is Mac compatible?
All the Mac & PC edition cards are blue. Or, I've never seen or heard of one that was not. It closely resembles the cards made by Sapphire.

I just got a replacement card from ATI - my first one was crashing inexplicably - and the new one has constant fan noise. Not full speed, vacuum cleaner loud, it's a step slower than that. It's almost identical to the sound of a CD spinning in the disc drive. ATI cards, at least the ones I've had, seem to have overheating issues anyway so I'm definitely getting one of those coolers (I think I've said this before earlier in the thread, but I wanted to report more news of constant fan noise).

Not sure I've explained this brilliantly, so if anyone is really interested, I could post a pic or two I guess. But the bottom line is that I now have a 3870 in an early 08 mac pro working silently via an Arctic cooling Accelero S1 rev 2 and the turbo module fans.
I'd like to see some pics if you can. :) I'm thinking about this one with the Turbo module, and you're the first I've seen post a solution to hooking up the fan power. Also, where did you order the cooler and the turbo module? (and is this (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186021)the right part?)

nanofrog
Nov 10, 2008, 11:30 PM
I'd like to see some pics if you can. :) I'm thinking about this one with the Turbo module, and you're the first I've seen post a solution to hooking up the fan power. Also, where did you order the cooler and the turbo module? (and is this (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186021)the right part?)
Arctic Cooling has another model (http://www.arctic-cooling.com/vga2.php?idx=166) specifically indicating it works with the HD3870, and the fan module is included. So hopefully, this will eliminate the need to mod the fan's power connector to make it function.

Accelero TWIN TURBO (http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8100/vid-117/Arctic_Cooling_Accelero_TWIN_TURBO_Quad_Heatpipe_Universal_VGA_Cooler_NVIDIA_and_ATI.html) for $47.00 at frozencpu. For the slight cost difference, it may well be worth it for an easier installation. ;)

apfhex
Nov 11, 2008, 01:37 AM
Ah I didn't realize that's what the Twin Turbo was. :cool: Sounds good.

nanofrog
Nov 11, 2008, 02:01 AM
Ah I didn't realize that's what the Twin Turbo was. :cool: Sounds good.
They also have a twin fan unit (http://www.arctic-cooling.com/vga2.php?idx=139) meant to attach to the Accelero S1 Rev2 (http://www.arctic-cooling.com/vga2.php?idx=147) (also fits the 3870), and sells for ~$10. When you combine the two together, they are just slightly less expensive than the model I linked above (http://www.arctic-cooling.com/vga2.php?idx=166). The arctic cooling site clearly displays it as a separate product. It's a more elongated cooler, and rated for 120W. Perhaps the different shape can make things easier/less crowded. Not sure on this, as the photos make it a little difficult for me to tell. :o

I just thought it might be prudent to list the different unit, as it could be useful. ;)

Hope this clears things up. :)

petterf
Nov 11, 2008, 02:22 AM
The fan on the card is fed from a simple 2 wire connection so speed detection is not possible. It can only be controlled voltage wise and not with revs/time Can it be that thermal detection is simply messed up or broken since many cards including mine runs at full speed no matter of load or system as in OS X/Vista.

urchinboy
Nov 11, 2008, 06:55 AM
Slightly wishing I'd seen the twin turbo one first as it seems to be a simpler installation.

BUT... I am very pleased with the accelero s1 rev2 now that its in there.

I'd like to see some pics if you can. :) I'm thinking about this one with the Turbo module, and you're the first I've seen post a solution to hooking up the fan power. Also, where did you order the cooler and the turbo module? (and is this (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186021)the right part?)

Yes that is the right part. I'm in the middle of an edit today so I can't get the card out to show you the power mod. I'll do it as soon as I can. Although the twin turbo may be the way to go.

One other thing to bear in mind is that these coolers are huge. If you have other cards in other pci-e slots, you may have problems. If you're just running the one gfx card, you should be ok. I'm running mine in slot 2 at the moment and it obscures slots 3 and 4, but leaves slot 1 free for a (non accelero modded) vid card should I wish (stuck it in slot 2 to increase airflow under the card on the off chance that it may help keep temps down)

AdiosVista
Nov 11, 2008, 12:20 PM
All the Mac & PC edition cards are blue. Or, I've never seen or heard of one that was not. It closely resembles the cards made by Sapphire.


Here is a picture of the red one. I've been searching for a 3870 for a 2008 Mac Pro and have seen this red version pop up on many sites. It says in the description it is mac and pc compatible. I would love for someone to be able to tell us what the differences are between the red and blue versions. Was one released before the other? Does one only work with a certain model Mac Pro? I personally like the red one better because it exhaust heat OUT rather than keeping it inside like the blue one, but I'm not sure if the red one is compatible the the newer MPs because I can't find any info on it.

http://www.amazon.com/ATI-100-435928-Radeon-3870-512MB/dp/B001CN9EC4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1226427441&sr=8-1

apfhex
Nov 11, 2008, 02:23 PM
Here is a picture of the red one. I've been searching for a 3870 for a 2008 Mac Pro and have seen this red version pop up on many sites.
That is not the Mac & PC Edition card. I'm not sure what the current situation is regarding the ability to run a PC-only card in the MP but that's not the card we're discussing. The real one comes in a retail ATI branded box and is called the "Mac & PC Edition".

Here's the Sapphire 3870 with "Single Slot Fansink". Besides the stickers on the top, it's identical looking to the Mac & PC Edition card (which just has an "ATI" sticker on the fan).
http://www.sybaritic.co.za/store/images/SC-S3870H512v.jpg

AdiosVista
Nov 11, 2008, 02:28 PM
That is not the Mac & PC Edition card. I'm not sure what the current situation is regarding the ability to run a PC-only card in the MP but that's not the card we're discussing. The real one comes in a retail ATI branded box and is called the "Mac & PC Edition".

Here's the Sapphire 3870 with "Single Slot Fansink". Besides the stickers on the top, it's identical looking to the Mac & PC Edition card (which just has an "ATI" sticker on the fan).
http://www.sybaritic.co.za/store/images/SC-S3870H512v.jpg

And what is your proof for saying the Amazon link to the red card is not mac compatible. Not only does it say it right in the product description but I've seen this same card elsewhere. I even contacted OWC directly and asked them and they said it appeared to be the same card because it has the same SKU number. If I'm wrong, SHOW THE PROOF.

apfhex
Nov 11, 2008, 02:43 PM
If I'm wrong, SHOW THE PROOF.
Sorry, yes, the product for sale by Amazon in your link is the Mac & PC edition card. The card pictured is not, and I've seen no evidence to the contrary unless you want to buy it and show me a picture of the red card. Amazon is not the be all and end all of correct product pictures.

kabelabs
Nov 11, 2008, 02:48 PM
well, i just insalled mine and was watching it. the fan starts during the boot then shuts down, and only comes on as it takes on load. so maybe i am lucky, but mine is quiet, and i couldn't be happier. well, i'd be happier if it was a 4870, but thats okay. i think i'll live.

AdiosVista
Nov 11, 2008, 02:57 PM
Sorry, yes, the product for sale by Amazon in your link is the Mac & PC edition card. The card pictured is not, and I've seen no evidence to the contrary unless you want to buy it and show me a picture of the red card. Amazon is not the be all and end all of correct product pictures.

There's a magical thing called Google image search, you should try it some time. If you type in "Mac 3870" you'll find LOTS of RED 3870 cards for the Mac, on other sites than just Amazon. And you've still shown no proof that the red card is not for the Mac. Nice job.

apfhex
Nov 11, 2008, 03:29 PM
...
Every review and every owner report I've seen with pictures has shown the blue card only and no one that I've read about has ever mentioned receiving a red version. The lack of evidence is proof enough for me, though it doesn't have to be so for you. Your own post indicated you can't find any information on the elusive red card. I require proof too. :) Show me someone who bought the Mac & PC Edition and got that red card from those pictures and I will believe you. It's only been out since June/July and they've only ever sold one version of the card that works with all Mac Pros. For them to be selling such a significantly different product (at least in terms of cooling) without any differentiation at all would be surprising and frustrating considering the issues we're having.

petterf
Nov 11, 2008, 03:47 PM
My blue card temps are like this:

Idle in Vista @46C with fan@86% speed.
With a few secs of screen saver the GPU temp @52C and then fan @99%

And for what I can hear the fan rev in OS X when idling are more or less the same. It's definitely not less noisy.

nanofrog
Nov 11, 2008, 03:54 PM
There's a magical thing called Google image search, you should try it some time. If you type in "Mac 3870" you'll find LOTS of RED 3870 cards for the Mac, on other sites than just Amazon. And you've still shown no proof that the red card is not for the Mac. Nice job.

Every review and every owner report I've seen with pictures has shown the blue card only and no one that I've read about has ever mentioned receiving a red version. The lack of evidence is proof enough for me, though it doesn't have to be so for you. Your own post indicated you can't find any information on the elusive red card. I require proof too. :) Show me someone who bought the Mac & PC Edition and got that red card from those pictures and I will believe you. It's only been out since June/July and they've only ever sold one version of the card that works with all Mac Pros. For them to be selling such a significantly different product (at least in terms of cooling) without any differentiation at all would be surprising and frustrating considering the issues we're having.
The red units seen may be from 2 main reasons.

1. PC card images were used in place of opening a Mac & PC ed. and taking good photos.
2. Multiple manufacturers were licensed by ATI to produce them. Those different companies would then likely use the same cooling components, including the plastic shroud, that they would use on the PC versions those same companies build.

Ultimately, it doesn't really matter, as the fan issue is present in quite a few cards. This needs to be addressed by ATI, since it is their name on the box in this case. Even if Sapphire and/or other companies are manufacturing this thing.

OSXconvert
Nov 11, 2008, 09:39 PM
Since this is a 3870 thread, I'd thought I ask if people are finding that photoshop cs4 is in fact running faster with the gpu enhancements. Anybody using this combo on a mac pro?

apfhex
Nov 12, 2008, 01:34 PM
I didn't mean to get the thread sidetracked about the meaningless issue of what color the card is. :D Either way, ATI hasn't exactly had a good track record with Mac Pro cards, have they? The X1900 XT was a total failure a good card for the most part, but all destined to fail prematurely it seems and now the fan speed issue with the 3870. I just hope it doesn't indicate any further problems down the line with the card. I wonder what the 4870 will be like if they actually to release a Mac version.

Since this is a 3870 thread, I'd thought I ask if people are finding that photoshop cs4 is in fact running faster with the gpu enhancements. Anybody using this combo on a mac pro?
I just tried it out the other day actually and posted a thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=598710) about it in the Apps forum. There is bad display corruption when using the new OpenGL features, I had to turn them off. :( Curious if other 3870 users have seen the same thing.

AdiosVista
Nov 12, 2008, 07:17 PM
Check this out:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/ATI%20Technologies/630ATI3870/

I've been checking the macsales site quite frequently and this must have been added in the last day or so. Haha, looks like we can squabble over red, blue, and grey cards now ;)

Besides being ugly as a toaster, I like this one better than the blue because of the better heat exhaust. Hopefully, this one has less fan issues, I will let you all know.

nanofrog
Nov 12, 2008, 07:23 PM
Check this out:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/ATI%20Technologies/630ATI3870/

I've been checking the macsales site quite frequently and this must have been added in the last day or so. Haha, looks like we can squabble over red, blue, and grey cards now ;)

Besides being ugly as a toaster, I like this one better than the blue because of the better heat exhaust. Hopefully, this one has less fan issues, I will let you all know.
Who cares about the color. ;) :p

It's cheaper! :eek: :D

gigatexel
Nov 16, 2008, 07:17 AM
Has anybody tried putting aftermarket coolers like the Arctic Cooling Accelero on 2 3870s? Is there enough room to fit the second card into the next PCI express slot?

gadgeteeer
Nov 16, 2008, 08:20 AM
Mine is not that loud.. I can hear it but you may sleep with it.
check for its bearing man!

apfhex
Nov 17, 2008, 11:07 PM
I had read somewhere about the problem of where and how to power the fans but managed to get mine powered from the old 2 pin power supply on the card. You can do this by modifying the turbo fans 3 pin socket to fit the 2 pin power on the 3870.
Here's an update: I received and installed the Twin Turbo today, in fact I've just booted my Mac. So far so good — that is, I didn't break the card, and there's no smoke or funny smells. :D I ran into one significant issue though, that is that the power connector for the fans is incompatible, just like the original turbo module that Urchinboy was talking about. It's a 3-pin connector with a black, red, and green wire. The original 3870 fan unit had a 2-pin connector with black and red.

I'm not entirely sure how I will be able to get the fans powered. Since the Twin Turbo is essentially the same as the S1 Rev 2 with the turbo module already installed, I think I should be safe running it for the time being with just the passive heatsink. At least I will be able to enjoy some peace and quiet, as the always-spinning fan was starting to drive me nuts.

Edit: here's some pics, first of the board with the original cooler removed. The CPU is naked and the RAM units have new heatsinks installed. Second, the power connectors. The one coming off the twin turbo fans has a 3 and 4-pin connection, assume either can be used, instructions don't mention the fans at all. :( It did come with an adapter that I can plug the 3-pin end into, but it's a molex adapter which is useless for the Mac Pro.

I can come back and post some temps after it's been on a while, but as I've no way to check specific GPU temps in OS X, all I can go by is the general temps of everything else. So far, the "Ambient" temp is about the same at around 70F and "Expansion Slots" temp is also the same at 94F. Does anyone have any idea what the normal safe operating temps are for the 3870? I can check them out later in Windows.

Edit 2: GPU-Z shows current temps at 52C, this is idle in Vista x64 that I've only been booted into for several minutes. I think this is normal but not cooler than temps from the stock cooler (I wish I had checked first, but I was anxious to install the Twin Turbo), however it is also silent. ;)

kabelabs
Nov 18, 2008, 03:09 AM
I didn't mean to get the thread sidetracked about the meaningless issue of what color the card is. :D Either way, ATI hasn't exactly had a good track record with Mac Pro cards, have they? The X1900 XT was a total failure a good card for the most part, but all destined to fail prematurely it seems and now the fan speed issue with the 3870. I just hope it doesn't indicate any further problems down the line with the card. I wonder what the 4870 will be like if they actually to release a Mac version.


I just tried it out the other day actually and posted a thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=598710) about it in the Apps forum. There is bad display corruption when using the new OpenGL features, I had to turn them off. :( Curious if other 3870 users have seen the same thing.

i have mine enabled and advanced enabled and i haven't had any corruption issued in photoshop. mine seems to be running really well.

apfhex
Nov 19, 2008, 12:16 AM
i have mine enabled and advanced enabled and i haven't had any corruption issued in photoshop. mine seems to be running really well.
If I turn off just "Use for Image Display" but leave the other OpenGL options enabled, it runs fine, though that may be obvious. I can't tell any difference with it on/off while leaving the other OpenGL options on, so I guess that's fine.

EntityDC
Nov 19, 2008, 06:33 PM
Check this out:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/ATI%20Technologies/630ATI3870/

I've been checking the macsales site quite frequently and this must have been added in the last day or so. Haha, looks like we can squabble over red, blue, and grey cards now ;)

Besides being ugly as a toaster, I like this one better than the blue because of the better heat exhaust. Hopefully, this one has less fan issues, I will let you all know.

I got this card but it was unfortunately dead -- I must've got a lemon but I'm not very happy right now. Needed to get some work done today so I went off and bought a retail 3870 and I think I'm just going to deal with any noise that comes up -- if it gets very loud I'll look to other solutions but for now I'm ok with the noise of the stock 3870.

Rob

AdiosVista
Dec 27, 2008, 12:09 PM
Was there ever a fix for the loud 3870? I bought the Apple version over 6 weeks ago. Immediately sent back because it kept black-screening while gaming. OWC shipped the ATI retail version as a replacement because they were out of the Apple version. Just installed the ATI 3870 today and, of course, the fan is at full speed in both OSX and Bootcamp. This is unacceptable. I don't see buying a passive cooler as an option because I'm not going to invest even more money into this mess. What are my options, other than hate Apple for the lack of options and try my luck with the far overpriced 8800GT?

By the way, I'm running a new Mac Pro 2008. I followed instructions perfectly, installed drivers, rebooted, shut down, installed card, etc. Also reset PRAM as a test, nothing resolved.

Chaos123x
Dec 28, 2008, 12:07 AM
Yeah return it and get one that is not loud.

Mine was never loud unless I am gaming full blast.

During normal use it is quieter than my 2600XT.



If you keep getting loud ones, maybe you could put a new heatsink and fan on it.

MacVidCards
Dec 28, 2008, 01:01 AM
installed drivers,

This isn't good.

Try running the 10.5.6 update again...the drivers on the 3870 disk are older than the ones that come with the OS.

If Apple improves fan control, it will be in the drivers.

Would be nice if someone would dump the ROM from an OEM 3870...could maybe lead to some fan help.

AdiosVista
Dec 28, 2008, 12:15 PM
This isn't good.

Try running the 10.5.6 update again...the drivers on the 3870 disk are older than the ones that come with the OS.

If Apple improves fan control, it will be in the drivers.

Would be nice if someone would dump the ROM from an OEM 3870...could maybe lead to some fan help.

I did try running Software Update from the menu bar after installing the drivers but nothing came up. Is there a place I can manually download the latest Apple update?

Also, the fan speed was full blast in Boot Camp as well, which leads me to believe it's hardware related.

UltraNEO*
Dec 28, 2008, 05:50 PM
Check this out:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/ATI%20Technologies/630ATI3870/

I've been checking the macsales site quite frequently and this must have been added in the last day or so. Haha, looks like we can squabble over red, blue, and grey cards now ;)

Besides being ugly as a toaster, I like this one better than the blue because of the better heat exhaust. Hopefully, this one has less fan issues, I will let you all know.

Umm.. The illustration shows it's a dual slot card. Mine's only a single slot. Could it be an error?

AdiosVista
Dec 28, 2008, 08:33 PM
Umm.. The illustration shows it's a dual slot card. Mine's only a single slot. Could it be an error?

Which card are you referring to? If you ordered the gray Apple/ATI card, it's a dual slot with a much larger fan. If you ordered the blue ATI retail card, it's single slot.

UltraNEO*
Dec 28, 2008, 11:24 PM
Which card are you referring to? If you ordered the gray Apple/ATI card, it's a dual slot with a much larger fan. If you ordered the blue ATI retail card, it's single slot.

Mine are both ATI retail cards now with passive sinks, vastly reduces the fan noise from the annoyingly loud 125dB to 0dB!! I figure with the MacPro having cooling zones and hardware thermo monitoring, having fans on the cards are just meaningless.

MacVidCards
Dec 28, 2008, 11:41 PM
Go the the Apple site and look up downloads. Should be under "Most Popular" or something. You can typically either download the "Combo" or an incremental. (10.5.5 to 10.5.6) I'd get the Combo and run it.

AdiosVista
Jan 2, 2009, 01:26 AM
Go the the Apple site and look up downloads. Should be under "Most Popular" or something. You can typically either download the "Combo" or an incremental. (10.5.5 to 10.5.6) I'd get the Combo and run it.

I'm used to being on a PC.... do I need to uninstall the old Mac video drivers or will doing the latest update overwrite the old ones?

Unfortunately, OWC is screwing me over with this new card. I originally bought the Apple ATI 3870 over 6 weeks ago. I returned it as soon as I got it, kept black screening during games. They shipped this ATI 3870 with the loud fan which I received last week and now they say they can't RMA because I'm over the 30 days on the Apple card. Ridiculous. I've had the ATI card for less than a week, the 30 days should have started over when they set up the exchange between the Apple and ATI cards (which they had to do because they don't carry the Apple one anymore).

UltraNEO*
Jan 2, 2009, 02:20 AM
I'm used to being on a PC.... do I need to uninstall the old Mac video drivers or will doing the latest update overwrite the old ones?

Unfortunately, OWC is screwing me over with this new card. I originally bought the Apple ATI 3870 over 6 weeks ago. I returned it as soon as I got it, kept black screening during games. They shipped this ATI 3870 with the loud fan which I received last week and now they say they can't RMA because I'm over the 30 days on the Apple card. Ridiculous. I've had the ATI card for less than a week, the 30 days should have started over when they set up the exchange between the Apple and ATI cards (which they had to do because they don't carry the Apple one anymore).

Honestly... All that time wasted sending stuff back and forth. Why don't you just buy a generic heatsink that's suitable for the ATI 3800 Series? OK, it might be a little more money spent but it's hell of less of a headache. ThermalRight does a couple, so does Zelman, take your pick!

AdiosVista
Jan 2, 2009, 09:24 AM
Honestly... All that time wasted sending stuff back and forth. Why don't you just buy a generic heatsink that's suitable for the ATI 3800 Series? OK, it might be a little more money spent but it's hell of less of a headache. ThermalRight does a couple, so does Zelman, take your pick!

I paid for a product and have yet to received a working unit, simple as that. No way I'm going to be satisfied until they send me a card that actually works. I talked to OWC tech support and they even told me to fill out the form for an RMA and to specifically ask to have the new card tested before it's shipped out. After I filled out the RMA form, I got a response saying I couldn't get the RMA because of the 30 days. This is bad business and I'm going to keep bugging them until it gets fixed. I can still use the 2600 in the meantime so it's not like I can't use the machine like it is.

UltraNEO*
Jan 2, 2009, 09:35 AM
I paid for a product and have yet to received a working unit, simple as that. No way I'm going to be satisfied until they send me a card that actually works. I talked to OWC tech support and they even told me to fill out the form for an RMA and to specifically ask to have the new card tested before it's shipped out. After I filled out the RMA form, I got a response saying I couldn't get the RMA because of the 30 days. This is bad business and I'm going to keep bugging them until it gets fixed. I can still use the 2600 in the meantime so it's not like I can't use the machine like it is.

Please yourself! Good Luck with your mission.

If you've paid by Visa, you could talk to your creditcard company regarding the product. Explain to them it's 'unfit for the purpose', that the company your dealing with is horsing around and they might even refund you. Afterwards, you can buy the card direct from ATI.

AdiosVista
Jan 2, 2009, 10:02 AM
Please yourself! Good Luck with your mission.

If you've paid by Visa, you could talk to your creditcard company regarding the product. Explain to them it's 'unfit for the purpose', that the company your dealing with is horsing around and they might even refund you. Afterwards, you can buy the card direct from ATI.

Thanks for the info, that may be what I end up doing. I've had good experiences with OWC in the past so I'm giving them a fair chance to correct the situation but it's been over two months since I originally ordered the Apple card. I immediately returned the Apple card when I knew it was defective and immediately contacted them when I installed the ATI card so all of this waiting has been from their slow responses and the back and forth shipping. It's unfortunate the 3870 has this fan issue, it seems like a good card otherwise.

dpaanlka
Jan 2, 2009, 03:55 PM
As many others experienced, so was my brand new Radeon 3870 fans unacceptably noisy, running at 100% upon cold boot and never varying from that level.

I physically drove to OWC and exchanged my Radeon in person, explaining the issue to them. Lupe, who was very nice and polite, claimed to have never heard of the issue, but I said it had been reported a lot on the internet, and the Radeon is "supposed" to be a loud card. In any case, she happily gave me a new one and away I went.

After installation, the fans are now spinning up and down as you would expect fans on a hot card to. However, I notice that even the most seemingly trivial tasks cause the fans to eventually spool up. Trivial as in, doing absolutely nothing. To my ears, I think I can detect varying levels of fan speed, so it's not the same 100% problem as before, and occasionally the fan shuts off entirely in which case it's as quiet as the old GeForce 7300.

So that is where I am now. No more 24/7 100% fan speed, but the fan is on a lot and is loud when it is. At this point, I'm still disappointed in the noise, but not as much as before, and the card is powerful enough that I'm going to keep it this time.

justit
Jan 2, 2009, 04:59 PM
Can SMC fan control manage the 3870? If so you can run terminal /Applications/smcFanControl.app/Contents/Resources/smc -k F0Mx -w 4e20
in this case to 5000rpm and so on.

UltraNEO*
Jan 2, 2009, 11:49 PM
Can SMC fan control manage the 3870? If so you can run terminal /Applications/smcFanControl.app/Contents/Resources/smc -k F0Mx -w 4e20
in this case to 5000rpm and so on.

In short, no.

The fans inside the all Mac's have four wires (Pulse Width Modulation), this allow for a power supply, some leave of control and performance feedback. However, the fan on the ATI 3870 only has two wires, that means it's for power!! Control would only be possible of there's a way to adjust the current fed into the fan.


Looking at the Mac's innards there's lots of added monitoring hardware, posted here and there... those are used to keep track of the system's operating environment. Examining the graphics card, there's no such hardware - unless it's built into the GPU itself... In which case the enclosed drivers ain't active for monitoring.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3099/3161663701_6933461666.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ultraneo/3161663701/)

In my system, I've removed the default heat-sink and fan, replacing it with a high performance passive unit with six heat-pipes (means it's completely silent!) I've installed the GFX card in the second slot, this allows air to flow over and under the card. By using smcFanControl I've boosted the minimum fan speed of the second zone. It's set to just below an audible rate - means my system remains completely quiet with the exceptions of the hard drives.

nanofrog
Jan 3, 2009, 11:03 AM
In short, no.

The fans inside the all Mac's have four wires (Pulse Width Modulation), this allow for a power supply, some leave of control and performance feedback. However, the fan on the ATI 3870 only has two wires, that means it's for power!! Control would only be possible of there's a way to adjust the current fed into the fan.
The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_control wiki page might help those who are curious. ;)

ventro
Jan 3, 2009, 07:59 PM
After using the Accelero S1 for a few months I HIGHLY recommend it.

Installation is simple. It is a fanless passive cooler. Initially my fear was that it would not be able to sufficiently cool the 3870 passively, especially with games. However, after playing Left4Dead for 10 hours non stop with it with no artifacting or slowdowns whatsoever (let alone crashes) I can safely say that this passive cooler is up to the challenge. Highly recommended.

gundam789
Jan 3, 2009, 11:14 PM
There was a known problem with the 3870 series of cards where the fun would run at full speed.
On regular PC you can can use something liek riva tuner to slow down the fan , don`t they have any apps for Mac to control the fan on the ati cards?

nanofrog
Jan 4, 2009, 12:39 AM
There was a known problem with the 3870 series of cards where the fun would run at full speed.
On regular PC you can can use something liek riva tuner to slow down the fan , don`t they have any apps for Mac to control the fan on the ati cards?
SMC fan control.

The problem is, it was designed to work with Apple's fan configuration which are PWM units (4 wire). The fans used in the 3870 aren't (2 wire), so it doesn't work. :(

Paper Mill
Jan 12, 2009, 08:00 PM
After using the Accelero S1 for a few months I HIGHLY recommend it.

Installation is simple. It is a fanless passive cooler. Initially my fear was that it would not be able to sufficiently cool the 3870 passively, especially with games. However, after playing Left4Dead for 10 hours non stop with it with no artifacting or slowdowns whatsoever (let alone crashes) I can safely say that this passive cooler is up to the challenge. Highly recommended.

I just received one of the always-full-on-loud cards, and rather than return it, I've decided to try the Accelero S1 Rev 2. While I wait for it to arrive, I have a question. I see that on Arctic Cooling's Web site it recommends for the 3780 to leave the current RAM heatsinks intact and just swap out the fan. Is this what everyone else has done? Since I'm new to anything involving thermal paste and since everyone complains about the lack of stickiness of the RAMsinks I'd just as soon fuss with as little as possible. Still, I want to do it right. Any thoughts?

SuperGrobi
Jan 12, 2009, 11:26 PM
Good Morning. Just for the info, I managed to install 2 HD3870 (one Mac/PC, one PC only) in my Mac Pro. Both are passive cooled by Accelero S1 Rev2 and the setup just fits into the Mac Pro without any need for Modifications. Even the Crossfire Bridge fits between the fins of the lower cooler grill. Crossfire works in Windows Vista64 giving me 15011 points in 3dmark06 (compared to 11582 using a single card). I am quiet happy with this installation and can post pics if someone interested. :)

apfhex
Jan 13, 2009, 12:08 AM
I see that on Arctic Cooling's Web site it recommends for the 3780 to leave the current RAM heatsinks intact and just swap out the fan. Is this what everyone else has done? Since I'm new to anything involving thermal paste and since everyone complains about the lack of stickiness of the RAMsinks I'd just as soon fuss with as little as possible.
Impossible. The regular cooler covers both the CPU and RAM, once you remove it you will have to install the Accelero heatsinks. Going by what the instructions said, I rubbed them with an eraser first. I didn't have any problem with them not sticking. As for the main unit, it came with thermal paste pre-applied. Just be careful when installing it over the CPU.

Can I ask people with the Accelero S1 Rev 2 to post some temps running from Windows? I have the Twin Turbo version of the cooler but was never able to get the fans powered, and without them was seeing temps up to 100C. No crashing, but I'm afraid I'll fry the card with too much use.

SuperGrobi
Jan 13, 2009, 04:04 AM
Can I ask people with the Accelero S1 Rev 2 to post some temps running from Windows? I have the Twin Turbo version of the cooler but was never able to get the fans powered, and without them was seeing temps up to 100C. No crashing, but I'm afraid I'll fry the card with too much use.

I got temperatures in Vista64 around 46C, however, I never checked the temperatures during extensive gaming. All I can say is the card is 2-3C cooler when idle compared to the stock fan. :rolleyes:

MacVidCards
Jan 13, 2009, 09:35 AM
"I have the Twin Turbo version of the cooler but was never able to get the fans powered"

Did you try removing the little white plastic part of the original plug from the PCB? It should leave the two pins standing alone on the card. These typically will have a constant 5V at them(especially true of fans that run at a constant speed)...usually I find that all sorts of weirdo fan connectors can be fit onto these pins and work. You may need to try different ways of plugging it, especially if the fan has 3 pins and card only two, but usually there is a way that results in spinning fan.

Og Oggilby
Jan 13, 2009, 01:32 PM
Good Morning. Just for the info, I managed to install 2 HD3870 (one Mac/PC, one PC only) in my Mac Pro. Both are passive cooled by Accelero S1 Rev2 and the setup just fits into the Mac Pro without any need for Modifications. Even the Crossfire Bridge fits between the fins of the lower cooler grill. Crossfire works in Windows Vista64 giving me 15011 points in 3dmark06 (compared to 11582 using a single card). I am quiet happy with this installation and can post pics if someone interested. :)

How did you do it? Pics would be great!

apfhex
Jan 14, 2009, 12:18 AM
Did you try removing the little white plastic part of the original plug from the PCB? It should leave the two pins standing alone on the card. These typically will have a constant 5V at them(especially true of fans that run at a constant speed)...usually I find that all sorts of weirdo fan connectors can be fit onto these pins and work. You may need to try different ways of plugging it, especially if the fan has 3 pins and card only two, but usually there is a way that results in spinning fan.
Yup, in fact I did exactly that, but didn't work. :( I've been wanting to explore some other options, but just haven't felt like messing with it for a while.

I got temperatures in Vista64 around 46C, however, I never checked the temperatures during extensive gaming.
I get around 52C when idle, which is fine, but after like 5 minutes of any intensive game it shoots up.

BakeJohnson
Jan 17, 2009, 05:22 AM
Skimmed this thread and read several posts and just wanted to share my opinion on the matter. In comparison to the 2600XT the 3870 is noticeably louder when the fan is spinning. The 2600 is a stock card and I am sure apple chose it due in part to how quiet it is. When you compare the size of the two cards its not surprising that the 3870 is louder due to its larger size and greater graphic capabilities. Like many have stated my fan does start spinning loudly on startup, yet does calm down after 30 seconds or so. The fan does get louder with cover flow or any other graphic intensive applications or uses. In general it is a louder card; however, it does slow down when not being used and is reasonably quiet. That being said I don't think it's unbearable whatsoever and the trade off of a faster card being louder and faster not only makes sense but is worth it in my opinion. Will be interested to see how much louder adding a second card in crossfire config is...

PS--> The ATI card im using is the Retail version; not the apple one.

Chaos123x
Jan 17, 2009, 08:42 AM
Skimmed this thread and read several posts and just wanted to share my opinion on the matter. In comparison to the 2600XT the 3870 is noticeably louder when the fan is spinning. The 2600 is a stock card and I am sure apple chose it due in part to how quiet it is. When you compare the size of the two cards its not surprising that the 3870 is louder due to its larger size and greater graphic capabilities. Like many have stated my fan does start spinning loudly on startup, yet does calm down after 30 seconds or so. The fan does get louder with cover flow or any other graphic intensive applications or uses. In general it is a louder card; however, it does slow down when not being used and is reasonably quiet. That being said I don't think it's unbearable whatsoever and the trade off of a faster card being louder and faster not only makes sense but is worth it in my opinion. Will be interested to see how much louder adding a second card in crossfire config is...

PS--> The ATI card im using is the Retail version; not the apple one.

My 2600XT was louder during normal usage (internet, Photoshop, Word, etc.) MY 3870 is really quiet, my hard drive makes more noise.

My 3870 only makes noise if I am playing games then it gets louder than the 2600XT.

AdiosVista
Jan 17, 2009, 09:17 AM
It's not unreasonable at all to think that thte 3870 would cause a little more noise than the 2600; there's a huge size difference and obviously one is more powerful. Like the thread title states though, some of these 3870s have fans that are ALWAYS loud, like the one I received. There's a difference between having a slightly louder card and a having a jet engine in your computer, even at idle.

What's interesting is I sent my 3870 to OWC and they called me about a week later and said they tested the card fine. Now, either the card still did the 100% fan load for them and they thought that was normal, or whatever system they put the card in somehow supported the card better. I'm on a new Mac Pro with the latest drivers but I would love if someone finally narrowed down problem drivers or reasons why one card can have full fan speed in one machine and not another.

AdiosVista
Jan 22, 2009, 11:03 AM
Just received another new 3870, installed, same exact thing (hairdryer inside my computer). I think this is clearly a driver issue and not related to hardware. Where can I download the latest drivers from Apple?

kahine
Jan 23, 2009, 09:51 AM
Just received another new 3870, installed, same exact thing (hairdryer inside my computer). I think this is clearly a driver issue and not related to hardware. Where can I download the latest drivers from Apple?


The latest driver was in the 10.5.5 update I believe or 10.5.6 - which I've got installed and before was using the one on the ATI CD

It's not driver related , I had two 3870's at one point - initial one has never had this problem , other one did so sent it back

AdiosVista
Jan 23, 2009, 09:59 AM
The latest driver was in the 10.5.5 update I believe or 10.5.6 - which I've got installed and before was using the one on the ATI CD

It's not driver related , I had two 3870's at one point - initial one has never had this problem , other one did so sent it back

Yeah, I'm on 10.6 but I tried downloading the latest driver combo update just to see what would happen and still have the same fan issue. I finally caved and bought the Accelero. So glad I had to overpay for a 3870 (compared to pc version) AND pay more for an aftermarket cooler...

nanofrog
Jan 23, 2009, 10:10 AM
Yeah, I'm on 10.6 but I tried downloading the latest driver combo update just to see what would happen and still have the same fan issue. I finally caved and bought the Accelero. So glad I had to overpay for a 3870 (compared to pc version) AND pay more for an aftermarket cooler...
Not ideal cost wise, but at least it did solve the problem. ;)

AdiosVista
Jan 23, 2009, 10:14 AM
Not ideal cost wise, but at least it did solve the problem. ;)

Hopefully solved the problem... I haven't received it yet :)

nanofrog
Jan 23, 2009, 10:41 AM
Hopefully solved the problem... I haven't received it yet :)
You left that little detail out. :D :p

I would think it will though, as other members have posted success with it. :)

AdiosVista
Jan 27, 2009, 07:13 PM
Just finished installing the Accelero, very nice! The directions was terrible and I didn't use the black little clips, but it seems to be on there good. In Windows XP, my idle seemed to be around 55 and 3Dmark06 it was up around 65. Not too bad at all. And no noise!!!! I can only hope to see similar results during the summer when the ambient temp isn't this low...

TimmyDee
Jan 28, 2009, 11:05 AM
How did that compare to your temps with the stock cooler?

AdiosVista
Jan 28, 2009, 11:28 AM
How did that compare to your temps with the stock cooler?

Unfortunately, I never recorded the stock temp of the 3870 with the fan on it. I'm not sure that would have been accurate anyway since the fan was always on full which isn't acceptable. My ATI 2600, however, that came stock with the computer used to run at about 70 - 75 degrees idle.

TimmyDee
Jan 28, 2009, 11:48 AM
Thanks. In any case, the temps sound promising. Where did you get it from?

AdiosVista
Jan 28, 2009, 11:55 AM
Thanks. In any case, the temps sound promising. Where did you get it from?

I got mine from the marketplace on Amazon. The accelero is very cheap for what you get but the trouble is finding them! The manufacturer is pushing their newer product which has three fans but it's not silent like this one and costs more. Look hard, it's worth getting the Accerlero S1 Rev2.

walindour
Feb 8, 2009, 10:36 PM
After researching my loud (and second) ATI HD3870 I opted for the Accelero S1 rev. 2 plus the Turbo Module and have to chime in on what a huge difference the aftermarket cooler makes. Silent - at last. I had to rig the power for the fans and kicked myself for not buying the Twin Turbo but so far so good.

Thank you guys for the advice.

<-----A newbie since 2003? Guess I need to stop lurking and start typing.

apfhex
Feb 9, 2009, 12:49 AM
I had to rig the power for the fans and kicked myself for not buying the Twin Turbo but so far so good.
Can I ask how you managed to get the fans working? I'm the one with the Twin Turbo and I've tried everything I can think of to power the fans and have made zero progress. :(

ndriver182
Feb 10, 2009, 12:52 AM
Can anybody confirm if there is enough room to install another 3870 into the second 16x slot if you have a 3870 in the first slot with one of the accelero s1 heatsinks? From my research it looks like it would fit, but running the turbo fan add-on would partially cover the second 16x slot so you couldn't run crossfire in bootcamp (which I may do some day).

SuperGrobi
Feb 11, 2009, 12:21 AM
Can anybody confirm if there is enough room to install another 3870 into the second 16x slot if you have a 3870 in the first slot with one of the accelero s1 heatsinks? From my research it looks like it would fit, but running the turbo fan add-on would partially cover the second 16x slot so you couldn't run crossfire in bootcamp (which I may do some day).

I can confirm you can install 2x HD3870 in the Mac Pro early 2008 with the passive Accelero Cooler. Even installation of one Crossfire bridge works without modification - just had to fiddle around a little bit to get the bridge through the cooler slits. I don't see the point in installing the fans ... again the card gets noisy and I suspect that this way you just blow the hot air in circles inside the machine rather than let it flow over the passiv heatsink and out of the rear of the Mac Pro?! ;)

ndriver182
Feb 11, 2009, 12:35 AM
I can confirm you can install 2x HD3870 in the Mac Pro early 2008 with the passive Accelero Cooler. Even installation of one Crossfire bridge works without modification - just had to fiddle around a little bit to get the bridge through the cooler slits. I don't see the point in installing the fans ... again the card gets noisy and I suspect that this way you just blow the hot air in circles inside the machine rather than let it flow over the passiv heatsink and out of the rear of the Mac Pro?! ;)

Very nice. That's the same MP I have. I have my OWC 3870 on the way and may pick up a PC 3870 on Newegg to crossfire with any luck at some point. By any chance do you happen to have any pictures or be willing to take any? :D

ndriver182
Feb 12, 2009, 08:51 PM
Well here's an interesting issue. I got my 3870 today and installed it just fine. For whatever reason the fan does not always spin. The fan spins on boot (at full speed) then once it gets into to OSX it's silent. I thought that was great until I realized it's because the fan wasn't even spinning. I have noticed that when not under any load at all it doesn't spin, but then the fan kicks itself into full speed once the card starts to heat up some. Is this normal, a bad card or did I do something wrong?

Chaos123x
Feb 12, 2009, 10:48 PM
Well here's an interesting issue. I got my 3870 today and installed it just fine. For whatever reason the fan does not always spin. The fan spins on boot (at full speed) then once it gets into to OSX it's silent. I thought that was great until I realized it's because the fan wasn't even spinning. I have noticed that when not under any load at all it doesn't spin, but then the fan kicks itself into full speed once the card starts to heat up some. Is this normal, a bad card or did I do something wrong?

Your just one of the ones who got a card that works properly.

You should feel lucky.

Mine is the same and I love it, always quiet till I start playing games at high res.

ndriver182
Feb 12, 2009, 11:29 PM
Haha. Well, it stays silent for all of maybe 30 seconds or a minute until the fan kicks on for about the same. Rinse and repeat. So, I'm not sure how "lucky" that is. I'd almost rather the fan just be on all the time. I guess it doesn't really matter since I plan to run one of the Accelero heatsinks, but I just wanted to make sure I didn't screw something up or have any symptoms of a bad card.

Chaos123x
Feb 12, 2009, 11:59 PM
Mine stays off unless I am playing spore and I go past something really detailed.

Other than that no noise.

I never hear it when using FCP, Photoshop, Motion, or After Effects.


Only playing games sets it off for me.

ndriver182
Feb 13, 2009, 12:24 AM
Mine stays off unless I am playing spore and I go past something really detailed.

Other than that no noise.

I never hear it when using FCP, Photoshop, Motion, or After Effects.


Only playing games sets it off for me.

Well now I'm wondering if I have something wrong with the card. The fan goes on and off in an alternating pattern regardless of what I'm doing with the machine. Often times tonight I was literally only running firefox, apple mail and entourage.

Sounds like the card is heating up faster than it should or something. My ambient room temperatures were in the upper 60's and my case/hardware temps were in the 27-30C so my system wasn't exactly running hot.


**UPDATE**
Well, I spoke with ATI this morning. The tech sure didn't seem very knowledgable... very basic and uninformative answers that I thought of myself or have already heard before. Regardless, the guy seems to think everything is normal, but to just keep an eye out for graphics corruption.

I just got off the phone with OWC as well and although the support tech didn't have any direct experience with the card he said that things sounded okay and was adamant that as long as the fan comes on to cool the card I'll be fine. He said to run the system for a couple of hours and feel the card to see if it felt relatively cool. He said if it feels extremely hot then there's probably an issue there. He also said to essentially beat the heck out of the card right now to "try to make it fail". I didn't take that literally, but I got his point.

I suppose I was just being a little paranoid. I wanted to see if anything sounded fishy with the card before I went sticking one of those Accelero coolers on the card.

apfhex
Feb 15, 2009, 10:36 PM
I suppose I was just being a little paranoid. I wanted to see if anything sounded fishy with the card before I went sticking one of those Accelero coolers on the card.
I think it was mentioned earlier in the thread but some of these cards seem to do that, fan spinning up somewhat randomly even just web browsing, etc. My first 3870 did that. ATI support doesn't know jack about this card. If you're going to put an Accelero on it anyway, as long as it stays cool I don't think there's anything to worry about. <rant>I seem to be the only one who installed an Accelero and getting really high temps under load. At any rate I've given up on ATI forever and I just placed an order for the 8800GT (yeah, even if a possible upgrade might be on it's way in the coming months, I'm sick of all this BS I've have to put up with 4 total ATI cards since 2006! I just want to play my games in peace :().</rant>

ndriver182
Feb 15, 2009, 11:43 PM
I think it was mentioned earlier in the thread but some of these cards seem to do that, fan spinning up somewhat randomly even just web browsing, etc. My first 3870 did that. ATI support doesn't know jack about this card. If you're going to put an Accelero on it anyway, as long as it stays cool I don't think there's anything to worry about. <rant>I seem to be the only one who installed an Accelero and getting really high temps under load. At any rate I've given up on ATI forever and I just placed an order for the 8800GT (yeah, even if a possible upgrade might be on it's way in the coming months, I'm sick of all this BS I've have to put up with 4 total ATI cards since 2006! I just want to play my games in peace :().</rant>

Just out of curiosity, what sort of temps were you seeing?

apfhex
Feb 16, 2009, 12:05 AM
Just out of curiosity, what sort of temps were you seeing?
Previous page...
seeing temps up to 100C.

ndriver182
Feb 20, 2009, 08:24 PM
Got my Accelero installed a couple of days ago. For those curious how it looks in there I've attached a photo. It's hard to believe you can crossfire two of them each with an Accelero as the 2nd 16x PCI-e slot is sooo close to the top of the first Accelero. But I guess it would technically fit.

I noticed that in XP my 3870 with stock fan would get up to 43C and then the fan would come on to cool it down to 37C. During 3Dmark and gaming the temps would get to 55-60 degrees (just limited testing on my part) with the stock fan at full blast.

With the Accelero I was getting idle temps at about 35C and my highest temp so far under 3dmark was about 53C. I do not have any fans installed on the heatsink as shown in the photo. When I installed the new heatsink I completely removed all traces of the stock thermal compound and applied Arctic Silver 5 (reminds me of my old PC assembly days). I'm not thrilled with the sticky tape on the ramsinks. I just wanted to make sure that everything works for a while before I go using some sort of thermal epoxy that's going to be permanent. I don't plan to OC the card though so maybe the stock sticky tape will be sufficient.

http://i443.photobucket.com/albums/qq159/naadofett/Accellero.jpg

Platonist
Mar 7, 2009, 01:02 PM
I am planning on upgrading from from the stock 7300 to the 3870 soon and hope a few people could help clarify a few things. In the event that the card is loud (which is likely, as I like a silent machine) I plan to install the accelero1 Rev2 passive cooler.

1. Some people are removing all of the thermal compound from the GPU and the cooler -- is this the best way to go? Given that it is, what is the best compound to use instead (I hear mention of arctic silver) and is regular ol' Isopropyl alcohol sufficient for the cleaning?

2. What is this 'sticky tape' that people refer to?

Sorry if these are newbie questions, but I am a newbie to these things (never installed a new graphics card, let alone replaced a cooling system on one)! I also cannot afford to be without a machine for more than an afternoon so I need to make sure I have some understanding of what is involved here and what resources I will need.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!

ndriver182
Mar 8, 2009, 02:46 PM
1. I removed all stock goop from the stock GPU AND the Accelero heatsink with paper towels and good ol' rubbing alcohol. I also used some rubbing alcohol on the memory chips as well for good measure (even though there was no thermal grease). I used Arctic Silver 5 and have used their stuff for ages when I used to build PCs all the time in the past years. It just takes a very small dab of AS5 on the GPU and you can use a razor blade to thin it out as evenly as possible on the GPU. Don't put too much otherwise it won't transfer heat as efficiently. I also put a dab of AS5 on the heatsink (after it's been cleaned and rub it in very well with one of my fingers (put your hand in a plastic sandwich bag or something). Once it's rubbed into all of the small crevices just wipe off the remainder with a paper towel. Is this excessive? Maybe, but it's how I did mine and all my PC stuff back in the day with good results.

2. The sticky tape is what holds the ramsinks in place. It's pretty terrible. It barely holds at all, but I didn't use anything more permanent for now because I wanted to wait to see if everything would work. Maybe I'll switch to an Arctic Silver thermal adhesive later on.

It took me about 30 minutes to do it all, but I was going very slowly and carefully.


I am planning on upgrading from from the stock 7300 to the 3870 soon and hope a few people could help clarify a few things. In the event that the card is loud (which is likely, as I like a silent machine) I plan to install the accelero1 Rev2 passive cooler.

1. Some people are removing all of the thermal compound from the GPU and the cooler -- is this the best way to go? Given that it is, what is the best compound to use instead (I hear mention of arctic silver) and is regular ol' Isopropyl alcohol sufficient for the cleaning?

2. What is this 'sticky tape' that people refer to?

Sorry if these are newbie questions, but I am a newbie to these things (never installed a new graphics card, let alone replaced a cooling system on one)! I also cannot afford to be without a machine for more than an afternoon so I need to make sure I have some understanding of what is involved here and what resources I will need.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!

Platonist
Mar 8, 2009, 03:51 PM
Thanks so much for reply! On some of the videos and such around the web there are those saying that one should just remove the stock and cooler and replace it with the Accelero -- leaving the ram as-is. It sounds as though people here are modifying the ram heatsinks as well. Is this a precautionary thing, a matter of preference, or are the people leaving the ram in its stock condition asking for trouble?

Thanks again for the help!!!

ndriver182
Mar 8, 2009, 08:44 PM
Thanks so much for reply! On some of the videos and such around the web there are those saying that one should just remove the stock and cooler and replace it with the Accelero -- leaving the ram as-is. It sounds as though people here are modifying the ram heatsinks as well. Is this a precautionary thing, a matter of preference, or are the people leaving the ram in its stock condition asking for trouble?

Thanks again for the help!!!

I guess it depends. If RAM gets too hot it's most likely that you'd start to notice artifacting. This is especially true in games. You may notice texture popping or strange colors on the screen. I'm not sure I'd go without heatsinks, but you could probably get away with it if you're not pushing the card very hard. Heatsinks are also good for people who overclock the memory on video cards although I'm not sure if you can OC these cards in bootcamp or not.

Platonist
Mar 8, 2009, 11:53 PM
Great info, thanks! I was under the impression that the card already had heatsinks on the RAM and that others were removing those heatsinks and replacing it the ones from the Accelero kit. I thought this as some instructions on the net said (I thought) to keep the stock heatsinks on the RAM, but I could have misunderstood. I doubt that I would go without heatsinks at all, and if there aren't any there when the cooler is taken off then I guess I will have to use the ones from Accelero kit.

The stuff should be here in a few days, so we'll what happens...

JPamplin
Mar 12, 2009, 08:22 PM
Folks,

I just received my HD 3870 and the Accelero cooler today. The stock cooler on the 3870 was constantly running and noticeably loud. I've taken some shots of the cooler install and posted it with Picasa. Everything's running great so far.

http://picasaweb.google.com/pamplin/ATI3870Cooler#slideshow

I've posted comments as captions - just click the slide show and you'll see.

JP

Platonist
Mar 12, 2009, 09:06 PM
My card's fan is on all the time, too. It sucks -- perhaps better to say it 'blows'. My Accelero will be here on Monday. The step by step pics are wonderful! I must say I am a bit nervous about how close that pipe is to the RAM heat sink...

JPamplin
Mar 12, 2009, 09:13 PM
I think that particular RAM heatsink could move 1mm to the right and it would be no problem at all, but just make sure they are not touching.

Be mindful of where I put the plastic clips for the upper brace - it's the only 2 spots without circuitry.

RECAP: Pics of my install are here: http://picasaweb.google.com/pamplin/ATI3870Cooler#slideshow

Video of stock cooler removal (someone else's): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCJHa8pXiNY

Turn off the audio on that YouTube video - trust me on that one. ;-)

JP

Platonist
Mar 17, 2009, 06:52 PM
Well, the Accelero is installed and everything seems to be running fine. I wish I had a way to check the GPU temp, but the only thing I can find is a reading for the expansion slots (currently 34 degress C according to iStat, been running all day).

The install was pretty smooth, overall. I had to remove the stock heatsink from the voltage regulator because it was too tall. The heatsinks that come with the Accelero are lower in profile and fit under the Accelero unit. So, if anyone else is planning on doing this swap, make sure you have some needle nosed pliers handy (you'll see why when you see how the heatsink is attached to the card).

So far, this is wonderful! No noise, and an updated GPU!

sparkie7
Apr 7, 2009, 06:03 AM
was there ever a fireware update to deal with the fan noise :confused:

awmazz
Apr 20, 2009, 04:02 AM
Well, the Accelero is installed and everything seems to be running fine. I wish I had a way to check the GPU temp, but the only thing I can find is a reading for the expansion slots (currently 34 degress C according to iStat, been running all day).

The install was pretty smooth, overall. I had to remove the stock heatsink from the voltage regulator because it was too tall. The heatsinks that come with the Accelero are lower in profile and fit under the Accelero unit. So, if anyone else is planning on doing this swap, make sure you have some needle nosed pliers handy (you'll see why when you see how the heatsink is attached to the card).

So far, this is wonderful! No noise, and an updated GPU!

I've just done the Accelero installation myself. I've had the card since it was first released but pulled it after a couple of days due to the noise so it's been sitting in its box all this time.

It seems only one DVI connector works now though. The computer won't boot properly if a display is connected to the second connector (furthest from the PCIe slot), but does boot with that connector empty. The other DVI connector works fine as it should so I don't know what the problem could be. Can anyone help shed some light on what the problem could be? Is it possible I did something while changing over the fan to the Accelero or reinstalling the card, ie would one display still work like it does if I'd damaged the card somehow? Help, I have only half a 3870 now!

awmazz
Apr 20, 2009, 11:31 AM
Okay, sorted now. I assumed it was some sort of physical fault due to one connector worked fine but the other didn't. Looking at the card in the slot, the free corner was sagging down a mm or two under the weight of the Accelero, so I deduced this must be putting strain on the DVI connector at the other end of the card. I cut a wedge of the eraser I used to clean the RAM chips and used it to prop that corner up and re-level the card. Both display connectors are now working.

I assume I must have weakened the card at the point of the connectors otherwise I expect the card should sit straight in the slot even with the weight of the Accelero on it. No idea how I did that. Maybe I applied too much force when attaching and holding the RAM sinks for 30 seconds each to ensure a good bond after reading other peoples' concerns that they wouldn't stay on.

Ah, the joys of having to bodge a brand new $400 (AUD) piece of hardware just to make it usable. Do the fan designers at AMD not test their fan designs, or is 'hairdryer decibels' actually within their acceptable testing levels?

DualShock
Apr 20, 2009, 11:43 AM
was there ever a fireware update to deal with the fan noise :confused:

Everyone has the same firmware. In fact, my original and replacement cards had the same firmware. But the original was really loud, and I can't hear my replacement card at all (except when gaming). So I highly doubt it's a firmware problem; rather, it seems to be poor quality control with the coolers.


Do the fan designers at AMD not test their fan designs, or is 'hairdryer decibels' actually within their acceptable testing levels?

I'm not sure if ATI/AMD did any testing. Based on the board/cooler design of the PC/Mac 3870 and information pulled using GPU-Z, the board was actually manufactured by Sapphire. See here:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102719

I'd say blame Sapphire. :)

awmazz
Apr 20, 2009, 12:15 PM
Is Sapphire the Chinese manufacturer under contract to AMD/ATI? The packaging of the card is 100% AMD and ATI branding, no mention if any other company at all.

The sticker with the bar code and model number has this list:

Graphic Card - Made in China
Adapters - Made in China
Cables - Made in China
Interconnect - Made in Mexico
CD-ROM - Made in USA
Printed Materials - Made in Canada.

awmazz
Apr 20, 2009, 11:04 PM
Oh well, the faulty connector has failed (frozen screens, reboot, nup, no boot) after less than one day so my attempt to seat the card straight isn't enough to rectify the fault. Even when it was working I was getting jerks and skips on video that even a 64MB should handle easily, so it was always going to be a problem. The nVidea 7300 is back in there now and working perfectly and silently as before with its OEM passive heat sink. Ol' reliable.

What to do now? The warranty was voided as soon as I turned the first screw to remove the fan, so I'm stuck with it. I have 4 monitors so if I want to reinstall this 3870 with just the one working connector I'd need to keep both 7300s in there as well for three more connectors, which means running both 7300s at below par x4 if I want the 3870 to run at full x16, or run all three cards at below par x8. Juggling lane speeds arithmetic...

Or.. do graphics cards split the lane speeds between the connectors? ie, 2 connectors on a x16 lane slot use x8 each? If that's how it works, an x8 slot would be okay for this card as it is now, wouldn't it?

awmazz
Apr 22, 2009, 02:40 PM
do graphics cards split the lane speeds between the connectors? ie, 2 connectors on a x16 lane slot use x8 each? If that's how it works, an x8 slot would be okay for this card as it is now, wouldn't it?

Just to update with an answer to my own question - tried configuring all three cards at x8 and the HD 3870 doesn't work at all, its screen stays blank. So it needs x16 or nothing. I would have thought it'd at least still work at slower lane speeds like the nVidias can, but apparently not.

Addendum: Seems it's only the x8x1x8x8 configuration where it doesn't work at x8. This card does indeed run at x8 in other configurations. Go figure.

PS. Anyway, after reinstalling it to do all this testing on lane speeds, it looks like it's working perfectly as it should now. Maybe my original problem was it just wasn't seated in the slot or tightened down properly. D'oh. Hope I didn't put anyone off trying this Accelero option themselves. It's dead quiet without a fan at all so I'd recommend it to other 3870 owners who are annoyed by the fan noise.

awmazz
Apr 23, 2009, 12:57 AM
Addendum: Seems it's only the x8x1x8x8 configuration where it doesn't work at x8. This card does indeed run at x8 in other configurations. Go figure.

Updating my own post again. The second graphics slot can't go any higher than x4 either, so it's more than one problem so I googled it - FYI in case it hasn't already been posted, for anyone else with an early Mac Pro wanting to install two graphics cards, the 10.5.6 update broke the Expansion Slot Utility used to configure the PCI lane speeds.

Apple is working on a fix for the problem and until then the only option they suggest is to downgrade to 10.5.5. I'm just going to leave it and check Software Update regularly I think...

ungraphic
Sep 28, 2009, 06:22 PM
So my ATI 3870 has been running with an Accelero S1 rev2 heatsink on it, and its been running quite cool, under load when playing UT2004, the highest temperature it reached was 61 deg. Celsius.

So I have a question now:

Do I now, literally, throw the old fan in the garbage or....??

gugucom
Sep 28, 2009, 06:57 PM
I replaced it with an AKASA heat piped sink with fan and its been very silent that way. I keep the old junk all the time in case I come across a problem in the future that can be solved with it. I briefly considered using the old cooler on a very primitive active sink on a RAID card processor, but decided against it. The spec told me the RAID card processor would easily run with passive heat sink in a Mac Pro and all the mechanical work of cutting the base plate to shape would be wasted. I may need it in the future though.

remmy
Sep 29, 2009, 10:10 AM
Keep in case you decide to sell it in the future, its not that big.

-gugucom - how do you power the fan, I am using both dvd power supply leads already for the dvd drives?

gugucom
Sep 29, 2009, 01:16 PM
-gugucom - how do you power the fan, I am using both dvd power supply leads already for the dvd drives?

I used the 2-pin socket on the card to power the fan. Just connect the black and red cables. The third I left away without a problem. The fan control still works nicely.

ungraphic
Sep 30, 2009, 01:47 AM
This is odd. I just ran Counter Strike: Source, keep in mind my ATI 3870 is using an Accelero S1 rev2 cooler


1920x1200 resolution
Everything set to max
4X Anistropic Filtering
4X FSAA

I checked the temperatures via GPU-Z and it read 80 degrees celsius. checked the catalyst control centre, the temperature dipped to about 75 degrees (game stopped).

I played for about half an hour to an hour. Is that a normal temperature? I played Unreal Tournament 2004 the other day and my temperatures never went past 61 degrees. What gives?

I've got another 3870 thats still got the old fan on it (not installing it until i get another accelero s1), and am thinking of swapping the two and playing some CS:Source with the same settings and seeing how my temps go from there. Idle temperature is usually around 35-42 degrees celsius.

ungraphic
Sep 30, 2009, 07:11 PM
Ok, so I ran counter strike source again with my 3870 using a stock fan. Same graphic settings, I got up to 83 degrees celsius (that was the maximum it hit). No artifacts or anything showed. When idle, the temperature was between 50-52 degrees.

I put my 3870 with Accelero S1 in, and did the same tests;

CS Source; max temperature was 80 degrees (3 degrees less than the stock fan, same game map). When idle, the temperature was between 38-42 degrees celsius. On average, during gameplay in Counter Strike Source, I was seeing temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees.

Both stock fan and accelero s1 performed roughly roughly the same in UT2004, but with the accelero I noticed lower temperatures by about 5 degrees.

What kind of temperatures are you guys getting? I'm a little concerned that my 3870 may fry with the accelero (paranoia is kicking in, eventhough all things point that the new passive cooling is performing better).

zorinlynx
Apr 1, 2010, 04:58 PM
Sorry for reviving an ancient thread, but this is very on topic. My 3870 was noisy, but ever since installing 10.6.3 it has been whisper quiet unless I'm running something 3D-heavy like Second Life.

Is anyone else noticing? I just want to confirm that this is due to 10.6.3 and not because of something else that may have changed. If 10.6.3 has resolved the noise issues with this card I'm going to be one happy cat!

-Z

DualShock
Apr 2, 2010, 12:21 AM
I noticed the same thing.

After upgrading from 10.5.x to 10.6 the fan made a bit more noise when idle. After installing the 10.6.3 combo update the fan noise dropped back down to where it was under 10.5.x.

Haven't tried running 3D stuff under OS X yet, but there's definitely an improvement when idle.


EDIT: Hmmm may have spoken too soon. Just booted up my Mac Pro and the graphics card fan sounds about the same as in 10.6.2. Odd though, could've sworn that it was quieter the other day. :(