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Old Oct 30, 2010, 05:18 AM   #1
Lucagfc
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Mac Pro noise: How to reduce it?

Hi

I' ve just recieved new entry level Mac Pro. I used an iMac 27 up to now and, and probably for this reason, My Mac Pro seems noisy. A part of the HDD noise, the main noise source seems to be the fans.

What I wan' t to ask you is: If I replace the GPU with a passively cooled card I can reduce the noise substantially? or noise is caused by the system fans and not from the GPU fans? thanks!
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 05:20 AM   #2
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GPU is usually the noisiest part. You can replace the GPU but then you have to take a look at flashing since PC cards won't work with OS X straightaway
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 06:07 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Lucagfc View Post
Hi

I' ve just recieved new entry level Mac Pro. I used an iMac 27 up to now and, and probably for this reason, My Mac Pro seems noisy. A part of the HDD noise, the main noise source seems to be the fans.

What I wan' t to ask you is: If I replace the GPU with a passively cooled card I can reduce the noise substantially? or noise is caused by the system fans and not from the GPU fans? thanks!
Thats odd, because I have an identical model to you (Well, mine is the entry level 2.8 Quad, which I assume you have, but still, 2010 MP/Quad, and Its incredibly quiet - and yes, mine is right next to me on the desk, all I hear is the HDD occasionally, and its a heck of a lot better than my Entry-Level iMac 17" CD or my MacBook). - Im pretty sure the noise will be a combo of the lot, but just be thankful were not in the G4 Windtunnel days :P
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 06:20 AM   #4
Lucagfc
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If your does not make noise mine could have any problem that cause the noise? or it' s only a different evaluation situation? I hear the fans turn!

For the discussion of changing the graphics card: there are no graphics cards with passive cooling already made for the Mac Pro without flashing them ?
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 06:43 AM   #5
Transporteur
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If your does not make noise mine could have any problem that cause the noise? or it' s only a different evaluation situation? I hear the fans turn!
Noise perception is very subjective. Some people say the Pro is silent, some say it's noisy.

What you can do is to check whether your fans spin correctly. If you don't stress your machine over hours, they should remain at their minimum rpm all the time.

To check if your GPU causes the noise, just stop the GPU fan with your finger for a while.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 07:08 AM   #6
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Interesting - my 3.2 2010 quad is quieter than I expected. In fact, it is quieter than my iMac when you take into consideration I don't need the farm of external FW drives anymore. Plus the fans are running in the tower underneath the desk instead of on top of the desk with the iMac+FW drives.

I think it is very quiet ( I have the default ATI 5770 with 4 internal HD's - 3 WD Caviar Blacks and a Samsung 5400 RPM for Time Machine).
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 08:29 AM   #7
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Surely noise leve is subjective. But I don't understand when some people say that their Mac pro Are more silent of thriller iMac. This is no subjective. My iMac when in idle is absolutly silent! The Mac pro is present Aldo in idle siti The fans noise
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 08:37 AM   #8
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All you need to do is manually stop the various fans one at a time and determine which one is the loudest. Focus on quieting that one, then move on to the next loudest sound, and so on. In the pc world, companies like Zalman make a little resistor box with a knob that you can put in-line with the fans to reduce their speed manually. Not sure if these would be compatible with the Mac, or if they would interfere with the software fan control, but this is how we used to do things before software control became common.

Saying that - it seems like somebody must have written a little program for OSX to give you control of the fan speed?
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 08:40 AM   #9
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I'm more concerned with the temperature than with the slight noise. Using iStat Pro to measure, when left to the Mac Pro's own devices the temperatures of memory and CPU are in the 60-80 C range (8 core 3GHz, room temperature 20C). Upping the fan speed with smcFanControl reduces the temperature to 30-50C which should result in a much longer component life.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 09:05 AM   #10
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Surely noise leve is subjective. But I don't understand when some people say that their Mac pro Are more silent of thriller iMac. This is no subjective. My iMac when in idle is absolutly silent! The Mac pro is present Aldo in idle siti The fans noise
Exactly what kind of noise are you having?

Normally an iMac will be more silent than a MacPro... and thats expected: the iMac is almost sealed, it has a screen between the user and the rest of the computer, it only has two medium fans and relatively small GPU. On the other hand, the MacPro is not sealed - the front grill lets noise out quite easily - its 5 fans are much bigger, and the space inside makes it easier for mild vibrations to resonate.

Nevertheless, when you compare a MacPro with other similar workstations, its dead silent. But if you are looking for a very silent computer (e.g. for pro audio recording and editing), the MP only makes a good choice if your recording setup is outside the recording booth. Otherwise you will always have some noise. And if this is not your case - pro audio recording and editing - and the noise is the "normal" fans and HDDs, you'll get used to it.

cheers!
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 09:24 AM   #11
philipma1957
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product placement is key. it has a big open grill and 3 or 4 fans. that mac pro is off to the right of the work station. most sound is stopped by its placement.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 09:37 AM   #12
Transporteur
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it has a big open grill and 3 or 4 fans.
1 x 80mm in PSU
1 x 80mm PCI section
2 x 120mm in CPU tunnel
1 x 60mm in single CPU cooler
or
2 x 40mm in dual CPU cooler

+ graphics card(s)

Fan sizes are estimated, I haven't measured them exactly.

Results in at least 6 fans for the single CPU Pro with one GPU.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 10:19 AM   #13
johnnymg
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Originally Posted by Lucagfc View Post
Hi

I' ve just recieved new entry level Mac Pro. I used an iMac 27 up to now and, and probably for this reason, My Mac Pro seems noisy. A part of the HDD noise, the main noise source seems to be the fans.

What I wan' t to ask you is: If I replace the GPU with a passively cooled card I can reduce the noise substantially? or noise is caused by the system fans and not from the GPU fans? thanks!
In my 2010 3.2GHz MP (with 5770) the video card fan is virtually silent. what ISN'T silent is the processor fan. It has a lowish amplitude noise that is just below where I would be complaining.

Occasionally, this same fan has made a more irritating growl sound. This same growl has been reported by a couple MR members. Mine seems to have fixed itself............... for the time being.

cheers
JohnG
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 12:22 PM   #14
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I have a Mac Pro mid 2010 6 Core Westmere and it is very quiet except for the HD5870 fan. You can hear it but it isn't annoying. Only when you actually use the card then it becomes annoying.
My previous Mac came with a XT1900 and I replaced the fan with a fan from Arctic Cooling. Never heard that fan again.
But a replacement for my HD5870 would make one or more PCI slots unusable.
All slots are in use now.
Are there other solutions to replace the fan?
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 12:38 PM   #15
wafl iron
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I keep hearing this low pitched oscillating sound on 2008 8core,

it goes away when i touch the side of the machine or tilt it slightly. I suspect that the first HD bay is in contact with the grey plastic below it, causing something to vibrate.whenever i take off the side panel it seems to not make the sound. So might be a combination of something touching the side panel as well. anyone ever have this problem and solved it? it gets a little annoying when i pay attention to it...

Hopefully itll go away when i put an OWC SSD in drive bay 1. Since ssd prices can Only go down, i think ill spend my money on a 5870 first. and get an ssd in 6 months
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 01:01 PM   #16
philipma1957
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I keep hearing this low pitched oscillating sound on 2008 8core,

it goes away when i touch the side of the machine or tilt it slightly. I suspect that the first HD bay is in contact with the grey plastic below it, causing something to vibrate.whenever i take off the side panel it seems to not make the sound. So might be a combination of something touching the side panel as well. anyone ever have this problem and solved it? it gets a little annoying when i pay attention to it...

Hopefully itll go away when i put an OWC SSD in drive bay 1. Since ssd prices can Only go down, i think ill spend my money on a 5870 first. and get an ssd in 6 months
buy some duct tape 3m makes a no residue tape. put a piece on the edge of the hdd aluminum sled. if the sled is touching the outside wall the duct tape will stop the vibration of metal on metal
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 01:20 PM   #17
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buy some duct tape 3m makes a no residue tape. put a piece on the edge of the hdd aluminum sled. if the sled is touching the outside wall the duct tape will stop the vibration of metal on metal
If you have a photo store that caters to professionals, go get a roll of "gaffer's tape" It is a heavy cloth tape that leaves absolutely no residue regardless of how long you leave it on. We (photographers) use it to stick down cables, rig up temporary lighting gizmos and attach junk to lenses and flash units. Great stuff - a little pricey though.
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 01:39 PM   #18
philipma1957
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If you have a photo store that caters to professionals, go get a roll of "gaffer's tape" It is a heavy cloth tape that leaves absolutely no residue regardless of how long you leave it on. We (photographers) use it to stick down cables, rig up temporary lighting gizmos and attach junk to lenses and flash units. Great stuff - a little pricey though.
the 3m tape is about 9 bucks a roll at lowes.
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 02:55 PM   #19
wafl iron
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thanks for the tip, i'll head down to my local lowes.
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Old Nov 19, 2010, 12:01 AM   #20
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I have a Mac Pro mid 2010 6 Core Westmere and it is very quiet except for the HD5870 fan. You can hear it but it isn't annoying. Only when you actually use the card then it becomes annoying.
My previous Mac came with a XT1900 and I replaced the fan with a fan from Arctic Cooling. Never heard that fan again.
But a replacement for my HD5870 would make one or more PCI slots unusable.
All slots are in use now.
Are there other solutions to replace the fan?
you could put a accelero s1 rev 2 on the 5870 maybe
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Old Nov 19, 2010, 12:40 AM   #21
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Over the ear headphones or noise canceling earphones are awesome for that.
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Old Nov 19, 2010, 04:36 AM   #22
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you could put a accelero s1 rev 2 on the 5870 maybe
Has anyone done a GPU Fan change on a mac before? I'm a bit scared of voiding my warranty (not the warranty of the card, I know that will be void.. I'm talking about the Mac pros warranty). Are these third party fans really less noisy? that one has 3! fans...
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Old Nov 20, 2010, 08:45 AM   #23
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I put an aftermarket cooler back when I had the ati x1900 - made it a LOT quieter. No biggie, and you can always put the stock cooler back on if you need to take it in for service. Of course you will void the warranty on the card.
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Old Nov 21, 2010, 06:07 AM   #24
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product placement is key. it has a big open grill and 3 or 4 fans. that mac pro is off to the right of the work station. most sound is stopped by its placement.
That looks like the worst possible place to site the computer. Sure, it may be quiet, but it's in the corner of a room, surrounded by furniture, with another computer on top. Where does all the heat go? And how much dust gets in there?
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Old Nov 21, 2010, 07:19 AM   #25
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My Mac Pro is 2 feet away from my face, and I cannot hear anything coming from it. There is more sound from the default fan speed from my Macbook Pro than my Mac Pro.
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