How loud is a Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by yadmonkey, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Western Spiral
    #1
    I'm curious as I'm starting to think about upgrading. I've had a G4 MDD "windtunnel" for years and I'd hope that it's better than that. I couldn't really tell in the Apple Store though. I didn't think my G4 was too bad in the store and boy is this thing loud!

    Does Apple still use liquid cooling? I couldn't find anything about that on the Apple mac pro page.
     
  2. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #2
    The Mac Pro is not as loud as the MDD G4, but it is louder than my PowerMac G5 was, and is definitely louder than any of the other Macs currently on the market. I'll admit, it's louder than I'd like it to be. With that said, it is not as loud as most PC towers.

    Apple no longer uses liquid cooling.

    EDIT: After reading the post after mine, I feel I should point out I have the ATI x1900 card in my Mac Pro, and the machine is in fact loudest when it is doing tasks that engage the video card.
     
  3. Simon R. macrumors 6502

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    Sep 25, 2006
    #3
    Depending on how many and which harddrives you put in it, and the graphics cards, it can be very silent. I can hardly hear it running from 1,5 meters distance with just one harddrive running with standard nVidia gfx card. I have four harddrives in it, and they create some humming, but it isn't too bad. It is still much more silent than my PC with custom "silent" fans and PSU, so I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  4. NATO macrumors 68000

    NATO

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    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #4
    Mine's virtually silent. It makes so little noise its barely audible in a quiet room, and even when I go to sleep (it sits in the opposite corner of the room from my bed), its only just audible, and only when I actually listen for it. I don't think that's bad considering its got 2 Xeon CPUs, 8 memory sticks, a X1900XT Graphics card and 7 hard drives all spinning (5 internal, 2 External).

    The only time it makes noise above the 'barely audible' described above, is when the 3D card is being heavily used either by a game, or a 3D Screensaver etc. However, that can be solved by installing a quieter cooler to the graphics card, but I'm not that bothered about it myself as it's not excessively loud.

    It's definitely the quietest computer I've ever owned (and I've owned a Power Mac G5 and several PCs specially equipped with noise-reduced hardware)
     
  5. MikeDTyke macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 7, 2005
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    London
    #5
    Have to agree with the others here it is virtually silent.

    Mostly disk noise, especially with shipped hard drive. I'm running 4 WD HD's and the ati 1900xt card, there's barely a hum. I do have to disagree regarding the G5, it's definitely the louder of the 2 machines even with stock hardware.
     
  6. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    Ireland
    #6
    Much, much quieter than my previous G5, but then it doesn't keep the room as warm :)

    FJ
     
  7. bmcgrath macrumors 65816

    bmcgrath

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    London, United Kingdom
    #7
    We got a new 3.0 Ghz in work and compared to the quad G5 its much much more silent than that. But after hours of photoshop it does get a bit noisy but nothing compared to the G5
     
  8. akadmon macrumors 68010

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    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    Mine (standard nVidia card, 3 hds) is virtually quiet, although sometimes it starts to resonante for no apparent reason. I give it a slightly more than gentle slap and it quiets down immediately:D
     
  9. Carniphage macrumors 68000

    Carniphage

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    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sheffield, England
    #9
    Mine is silent too.
    A have a LaCie external hard drive. It is louder than the Mac Pro.

    EXCEPT WHEN THE SUPERDRIVE IS RUNNING.
    That sucker is loud.

    C.
     
  10. techster85 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    #10
    yea, the superdrive sounds like a jet engine when its burning a dvd, but otherwise, i can't hear the thing over any other noise in my house (i live on a busy corner...it's never really quiet). My previous PC was like a 737 trying to take off, but this thing is silent with three harddrives and the 7300gt in it...
     
  11. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #11
    My Mac Pro is silent! The only thing I really hear is the hard drive seek noise but, that can even be silenced if you have Windows XP running in Boot Camp. Boot into Windows and download WinAAM and you can set your drive setting to silent mode. It works great but, you do sacrifice a LITTLE bit of a performance hit but, I couldn't physically notice the difference with speed. The drives were a lot quieter though.
     
  12. Kuraudo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    #12
    Everything in Mac was designed for silence, but there are 2-3 ugly culprits that rob the efforts in Vain.

    IF you got the lottery crap end of the stick you will own

    Sony dvd drive (loudest device in the computer I Have ever owned!) Other random pick is Pioneer. There is no excuse to be this noisy, the drive reeks!

    Seagate HDD. The newer device by Seagate does not mirror its past accomplishments, it trades places to the once slightly noisy WESTERN DIGITAL (other builder pick). IT likes to make a lot of crackling sounds when seeking, it won't be a bother unless you like to defrag in windows a lot (fat32 gets fragmented a lot quite to my dismay). But in MAC osx, the drive won't seek too much except for loading data before game saves or other similar things.

    If you did a BTO, the noisy x1900xt fan is a vacuum cleaner. Its not as loud as the dvd drive, but still combined with all these problems you start ripping out hair.

    A. I ordered a samsung drive, known for silence. I hope it will work.
    B. Nothing is done about the seagate
    C. X1900 xt was upgraded with Accelero X2 fan, now this kitten is quiet!
    No ramping up and down during games or rendering :) Always the same speed, and always good reported temperatures about 15-20 c quieter !
     
  13. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    May 30, 2006
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    Denmark
    #13
    The Mac Pro is much more quiet than the Power Mac G5 we have at work. I would say whisper quiet compared to the G5.

    The new Mac Pro uses large workstation coolers with air running form the front to the back of the entire case.
     
  14. daveporter macrumors regular

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    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    Green Cove Springs, FL
    #14
    Virtually silent here to. I have 3 HDs and 4 GB of RAM, so if anyone should have a noisy Mac Pro it would be someone like me.

    I use it for audio recording and never have had to even think about doing anything to reduce its noise.

    Dave
     
  15. yadmonkey thread starter macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

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    Aug 13, 2002
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    Western Spiral
    #15
    Wow - so many great replies! Sounds like no matter what, the Mac Pro will be a much kinder companion than the MDD G4 I have now. It's also nice to hear that some people have quiet Mac Pros while loaded with hard drives, memory, and beefy graphic cards.

    I'm curious about why Apple chose to abandon liquid cooling. Was it at all problematic or innefective?

    Thanks so much to everybody for your replies.
     
  16. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

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    Aug 9, 2002
    #16
    The liquid cooling system that Apple employed in some of the PowerMac G5 models had a very limited lifespan, in general 3-4 years before it would start leaking.
     
  17. product26 macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #17
    If you get a mac pro with the western digital hard drives you can use WinAAM in windows to set the drive to quiet mode.

    I did that with all 3 of my drives and my mac pro is the quietest mac I have ever owned! And i did quicksilver to g5 case conversion that until now was the quietest computer i had ever owned.

    the question should not be 'how loud' but 'how quiet'
     
  18. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #18
    I have been hearing some people talk about how load it is (Mac Addict), but really mine is ultra quit. My fans usually peek at about 750rpm. I have a WD Rapto 10k HD and an external WD MyBook Pro that add some noise, but very very little from the computer.:D
     
  19. yadmonkey thread starter macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

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    #19
    I'm curious - how noticeable is the performance hit in quiet mode?
     
  20. product26 macrumors 6502a

    product26

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    May 30, 2005
    #20
    I did not notice a difference. but I ran Xbench on the drive only, before and after and there was a difference in the numbers.
     
  21. macenforcer macrumors 65816

    macenforcer

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    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
    #21
    8.5 ms access time set to fast

    14 ms access time set to quiet.

    Equivalent of a 4200rpm notebook drive. SLOOOOOOOW.
     
  22. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    May 30, 2006
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    Denmark
    #22
    It was needed in the higher G5 models because they produced so much heat.

    The highest had a Thermal Design Power of 135 Watt if I recall correctly.

    The new Xeons are rated at 65 Watt for the 2.66Ghz and below and 80 Watt for the 3.0Ghz version. Although next week Intel is set to launch a Quad-core 2.93Ghz Xeon with a Thermal Design Power of 120 Watt.

    The problem with the Power Mac G5 is that it has two processors producing a total of 200 Watt to 270 Watt. That's a lot of heat to cool.
     
  23. yadmonkey thread starter macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

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    #23
    Wow - fantastically detailed answer, Pressure! Thanks a bunch.
     
  24. product26 macrumors 6502a

    product26

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    May 30, 2005
    #24
    strange, the Xbench scores were consistantly LOWER when i had the drive set to 'loud' or 'performance' mode.

    could NOT get it to go higher than when it was on quiet. even after a couple of reboots and running it multiple times
     

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