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Old Jun 9, 2011, 04:16 PM   #1
telequest
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Power Supply Failure in 2010 MP Hexacore

Nothing earth-shattering here, but thought it worth reporting that my business partner's 2010 6-core, purchased last August, just suffered a complete power supply failure. The supply was quickly replaced by our local Apple service center and the MP back up and running.

Symptom was pretty basic: Pushing the power button on the front of the machine did nothing but produce a faint click inside the machine. Did all the obvious stuff like checking the power cord, etc. AppleCare rep on the phone walked us through all the other tests before concluding that servicing was the only option.

Never had a power supply failure before on dozens of Macs owned by our company since 1996. Wondering how common it might be, especially in recent generations of Mac Pros?

Yes, we got AppleCare for our new machines!
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Old Jun 9, 2011, 04:37 PM   #2
philipma1957
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well if you ran it 24/7 for 10 months the question is your machine a canary for psu's. Do you have an UPS for it?
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Old Jun 9, 2011, 06:54 PM   #3
supercooled
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That's very disconcerting with my warranty up and my machine running pretty hard in summer months rendering video.

Are there any proactive steps like monitoring the temperature to curtail or at the very least, mitigate this from happening?

I rely on my MP for a lot and would be chuffed if it died.
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Old Jun 9, 2011, 07:22 PM   #4
philipma1957
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imenus has psu temps and psu fan speed control. the deluxe version is 16 bucks. you can set up to 6 sets of speeds for the fans.

So my psu is 102 and 97 my fan is 630 rpm. if i was pushing the machine like you do I could set a higher set of fan speeds to keep the psu at good temps.

see screen shot:
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Old Jun 9, 2011, 08:37 PM   #5
supercooled
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Is mine abnormally high? I cranked all the fans to max. and my room was filled with dust. I guess it's time to clean the tower.
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Old Jun 9, 2011, 09:33 PM   #6
philipma1957
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your fans are a little lower that may be why.

how warm is your room.


my house had ac on and was around 77 f the temp near the computer was 82 f

you read a lower temp near the computer 79...

we have a 20f difference in temp for the psu. my screen shot was with lite use.
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Old Jun 10, 2011, 10:53 AM   #7
telequest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipma1957 View Post
imenus has psu temps and psu fan speed control. the deluxe version is 16 bucks. you can set up to 6 sets of speeds for the fans.

So my psu is 102 and 97 my fan is 630 rpm. if i was pushing the machine like you do I could set a higher set of fan speeds to keep the psu at good temps.

see screen shot:
Thanks - do you have a link for "imenus"? Can't seem to find it just by Googling. Other options for monitoring temps? Any utility built into the OS, or is 3rd-party software necessary?

And any guidance on what represents "good temps" for the psu and other components would be helpful too.

Yup, we plug our machines into UPS units ... APC Back-UPS XS 1300. I know these aren't sine wave ... but so far they seem to do the job when power goes down, as it does every now and then. My MP keeps on running without a hiccup when the UPS kicks in. For extra safety, I shut down if a major electrical storm is on top of us.
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Old Jun 10, 2011, 11:22 AM   #8
philipma1957
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telequest View Post
Thanks - do you have a link for "imenus"? Can't seem to find it just by Googling. Other options for monitoring temps? Any utility built into the OS, or is 3rd-party software necessary?

And any guidance on what represents "good temps" for the psu and other components would be helpful too.

Yup, we plug our machines into UPS units ... APC Back-UPS XS 1300. I know these aren't sine wave ... but so far they seem to do the job when power goes down, as it does every now and then. My MP keeps on running without a hiccup when the UPS kicks in. For extra safety, I shut down if a major electrical storm is on top of us.
http://bjango.com/mac/istatmenus/

it is iStat menus


http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it..._c=site_search

this is a large mark down on a pure sine wave unit.

it was built for home theater . so it had a nicer shell and a big mark up it is a steal at 300 they have 4 or 5 left out a stock of 200 .

color is silver which for a mac pro is a plus. I have a few photos of the one I purchased. it is a 70 pound unit due to the batteries


as for temps
cpu should be under 152f or 67 c

psu should be under 140f or 60 c

hdds should be under 140f or 60 c

gpu 175f or 80 c

ram 203 f or 95 c samsung as per this pdf page 22

http://www.samsung.com/global/system...dimm_rev10.pdf

Last edited by philipma1957; Jun 10, 2011 at 11:35 AM.
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Old Jun 10, 2011, 02:46 PM   #9
nanofrog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supercooled View Post
Is mine abnormally high? I cranked all the fans to max. and my room was filled with dust. I guess it's time to clean the tower.
Clean it out, and see if that drops the temps to an acceptable value (the left side of the linked image is running near the limit, but the one on the right is even worse and it's at a lower ambient temp).

If that doesn't help, turn down the Air Conditioning a little (try to get the ambient room temp to 75F/25C).

Quote:
Originally Posted by philipma1957 View Post
as for temps
psu should be under 140f or 60 c
Where did you get this value?

PSU's and most electronics are designed around max values of 55C (131F) for safety reasons (figure was obtained from testing that determined the hottest safe temperature for hot water heaters <hot tap only>). Though 125F is more common on hot water heaters (at least here in North America for sure), and is to do with the precision of the thermostats used (low cost units).
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Old Jun 10, 2011, 04:42 PM   #10
philipma1957
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanofrog View Post
Clean it out, and see if that drops the temps to an acceptable value (the left side of the linked image is running near the limit, but the one on the right is even worse and it's at a lower ambient temp).

If that doesn't help, turn down the Air Conditioning a little (try to get the ambient room temp to 75F/25C).


Where did you get this value?

PSU's and most electronics are designed around max values of 55C (131F) for safety reasons (figure was obtained from testing that determined the hottest safe temperature for hot water heaters <hot tap only>). Though 125F is more common on hot water heaters (at least here in North America for sure), and is to do with the precision of the thermostats used (low cost units).
not sure lets go with your number. I pulled that number from memory.

the cpu I have check on many times so i knew it.

hdds range from 55 c to 65 c

the gpu i looked up.


the psu I will double check.
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Old Jun 10, 2011, 04:53 PM   #11
philipma1957
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here is a pdf for a 1050watt thermaltake psu


http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Produc...5&ID=2042#Tab1


ENVIRONMENT:
- Operating Temperature 10 ℃ to 50 ℃
- Storage Temperature -40 ℃ to 70℃
- Operating Humidity 20% to 90%, non-condensing
- Storage Humidity 5% to 95%, non-condensing


they like 50c max that is 122 f and even lower then nanofrog's suggestion.




so the psu is hot for that mac pro 122 and 117


the 122 equals thermaltake's max. the fan speed could use a boost and a good cleaning should help. I am glad nanofrog mentioned I might be off with temp.
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Old Jun 10, 2011, 05:42 PM   #12
nanofrog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipma1957 View Post
hdds range from 55 c to 65 c
HDD's shouldn't be running that hot either (stand alone is usually under 45C for a 7200rpm disk or slower). Faster rpm SAS disks run hotter, but don't get to 65C (Hitachi's Ultrastar 15k600 has an operating temp limit of 5C to 55C, and a non-operating temp range of -40C to 70C).

Another note, thermal alarms in rackmount or tower HDD enclosures usually have a physical switch on the back to set them at either 45C or 55C (most disks usually run under 45C). I think of the difference as slower spindles (up to 7200rpm) to faster spindles (10k or 15k, which is usually SAS disks; though there is the Velociraptor SATA @ 10k, but it runs cool for that speed).

No product should go over 55C where a human can touch it. It's a safety issue, and the manufacturer could be held liable for medical expenses, punitive damages, and legal fees of a person injured by their products. This definitely gets the attention of management, and is something they'll heed (money = language they understand clearly, no matter what nation they're from ).

As a general rule, CPU's and GPU's run hotter than 55C, but they also have cooling systems of some sort attached to them (rather big hint ). And the temps on the fins you can touch (i.e. CPU or GPU cooler) run at 55C or less. Anything hotter, and it will be enclosed (such as a GPU cooler shrouded in plastic - granted, one of it's major functions is to direct airflow, but it's also for safety as well on the fastest GPUs that run like their sole purpose is to create a volcano).

Quote:
Originally Posted by philipma1957 View Post
here is a pdf for a 1050watt thermaltake psu

ENVIRONMENT:
- Operating Temperature 10 ℃ to 50 ℃
- Storage Temperature -40 ℃ to 70℃
- Operating Humidity 20% to 90%, non-condensing
- Storage Humidity 5% to 95%, non-condensing
PSU's usually aren't meant to run as high as 55C, but the won't go over that due to safety reasons mentioned previously.

From a technical POV, the cooler they operate at, the longer they will last, given PSU's rely heavily on capacitors, particularly electrolytics for the largest value parts = reduced life as the working temp goes up (this is seen with other types as well, including polymer capacitors, but electrolytics are affected faster than polymer types = why the industry is switching over to polys where ever possible in top tier products).

Another thing to note, is that figure of 50C should be under full load, which is a continuous 1050W for this particular PSU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by philipma1957 View Post
so the psu is hot for that mac pro 122 and 117
It is.

PSU's run cooler if the load is less than it's continuous rating, which is usually the case inside a MP. So unless I missed something, this is WAY to hot for the load (screen shot shows: Power Supply 1 = 165.5W; nothing shown for PSU #2, which does have a thermal reading, but I don't expect both to add to 980W).
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Old Nov 21, 2011, 01:15 PM   #13
subtracticus
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Bumping this because I also have a 2010 6-core purchased in late September of 2010 that has the exact same symptoms - I push the power button and it makes a small click sound but never chimes or turns on, no fans, nothing. I tried the SMC reset to no avail, and Apple phone support didn't have anything else to offer except a genius bar appointment, which I went ahead and scheduled for tomorrow.

In the meantime I finally got it to boot again after disconnecting all peripherals and waiting a few minutes before trying to power on. Then I shut it down again and tried to boot with my RAID (attached via mini-SAS) connected so that I could copy some projects over to external drives, and it wouldn't boot. I removed my AJA Kona card and tried to boot again with the RAID, and this time it worked.

If this is a bad PSU, which seems to be most likely to me, does anyone know if that's something that the Apple store can replace in-house, or should I expect that they'll have to send it out and leave me without a machine for a couple weeks?
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Old Nov 21, 2011, 01:43 PM   #14
nanofrog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subtracticus View Post
If this is a bad PSU, which seems to be most likely to me, does anyone know if that's something that the Apple store can replace in-house, or should I expect that they'll have to send it out and leave me without a machine for a couple weeks?
I suspect you'll have to wait, as they'll do a diagnostic, order the part (tend not to keep MP spare parts in stock from what I understand), wait to receive it, and finally get it installed.

Might be worth a shot to see if you can get them to send the PSU to the store over the phone before you carry the unit in (IIRC, some owners have been successful at this). Hopefully, the unit is at least somewhat useful to you without the Kona card if you can get them to agree to this.
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