Just how loud is the "windtower" MDD's

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Muttster, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. Muttster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    #1
    I am thinking of buying a G4 MDD 1.25 computer but heard about how load they are. I have a mac mini now which is practicall silient and a xbox 360 which is not quiet. How would the MDD's rank as far as noise. Don't know anyone who has one so i will have to rely on your opinions. What would you compare it to?
     
  2. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    lol

    i have one of those babies. i love it. performs great. looks great. been a very solid machine. can stuff 4 HDs inside. awesome.

    BUT the sound, oh my Lord...the sound for my beloved windtunnel, comparable to:

    1. a low passing fighter jet

    2. being a mile away from the shuttle launch

    3. kitchen fans.

    ok..so maybe not THAT bad, but it's loud enough that i can be upstairs (1 flight of 12 steps) and i can hear it, and it's in another room. no kidding.

    compared to your mini, it would be excruciatingly loud. deafening almost compared to the mini for sure. when i'm running both my g4 and g5 and i shut the g4 down, i notice a massive difference in loudness.

    they are not quiet whatsoever.....not in the least.

    sorry for the bad news.

    cheers,
    keebler
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    When I got my dual 1.4 home a few years ago, I was appalled as soon as I started it up... couldn't really use iTunes on it unless with closed-cup headphones. Bought the entire Verax kit (M10+M11) within 4 months which made a lot of difference but there is still no way it is comparable to a new iMac or Mini.

    It sounded awful and purely from that angle, the worst Mac I've ever purchased for home or for work. However, it'll be 4 years old this April and is still serving me well. Might try and get another couple of years out of it with some judicious upgrades.

    On volume alone, I guess I would have compared it to a high-powered (800w) microwave with its fans going... something like that.
     
  4. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    Canada
    #4
    BV makes a great point about the verafax kits. i WISH...no..check that... I REGRET not buying that b/c they are no longer selling the kits :(

    ugh.

    Cheers,
    Keebler
     
  5. spicyapple macrumors 68000

    spicyapple

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    #5
    Haven't experienced the MDD's firsthand, but I had an older model Quicksilver 867Mhz and I considered it fairly loud, to the point I thought of putting it in the closet. I ended up switching out the fans for German made Papst fans and nearly electrocuted myself changing the power supply fan. :eek:

    I sold it to buy a G5 and couldn't be happier. Why not pick up an older model G5? Those are nice and quiet. :)
     
  6. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #6
    I thought my Digital Audio was a bit loud (partially due to the fans but also the OEM hard drive) - but it has NOTHING on the MDD when it comes to noise. It really does sound like a wind tunnel, no joke!
     
  7. Jasonbot macrumors 68020

    Jasonbot

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    #7
    How does the MDD WIndtunnel compare to an xbox 360?
     
  8. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502

    AlexMaximus

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    #8
    It depends which MDD you go for...

    Well, some of the early MDD's where loud because of the fans Apple used to put in the powersupply. However it is very important to know that the latest editions are really ok and not loud any more. Apple had a powersupply replacement program for free and they put those in there later MDD models.

    If you go for a model that was produced at the end of the G4 MDD line, you will not experiment issues regarding noise.
    Check out the Apple history site to find out which model numbers they had. The last ones where the MDD 1,42 Gig with FW800. After that one they had a last edition, which was a single 1,25 gig as far as I know. They did the last edition because of some Mac os 9 users because this was the last that could boot from os9.
    In addition to that just in case you did not buy your G4 yet, you want to buy a G4 with verax fans. From time to time there are G4 verax systems on the market. they appear seldom but they are the best systems out there on ebay.
    Anywas, if you cant get a late model for a low price tag, you still can change the fans yourself, which is not a problem. The low noise fan Panaflow with hydro bearing works great in my system. The verax fans where the best ones till today, however they are not on the market any more.
    Good luck, my G4 beats most of the G5's, it's an awsome system!
     
  9. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    good info alex. can you shed more light on the panaflow fans? which model? do they keep the temp down too? was it hard to install? i'm looking for something to help me out.
    and your msg jogged my memory that the op can call apple as they may still have the replacement fans available. they're not as cheap as the replacement plans, but as of last year, they still had them.

    cheers,
    keebler
     
  10. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502

    AlexMaximus

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    #10
    A word to the heat/nois issue..

    The G4 CPU is a great designed chip because of the high amount of Level 3 cache. This is the main reason why you can outrun almost every G5 once you have eliminated every bottelneck in the system. Because of the L3 the chips are getting hotter especially in dual cpu systems. In order to prevent overheating on the standard G4, apple put some smart script software in place to switch on the case fan once the system hits a certein heat level. Every time this happens you have the vacuum cleaner noise. Maybe you noticed, that your system noise level is ok till the big case fan kicks in.
    Out of all the fan upgrades I put in my system, there are three fans that brings the most benefit to heat and noise, so my case fan never even kicks in anymore.
    However these fan upgrades require different crafs skills and I do not know if you would feel comfy with it.

    The by far best fan, that brings the most benefit is a Zalman 80mm fan. This fan is "extra thin" and usually designed for a GPU graphic chip. The fan fits behind the dual CPU in the corner close to the RAM banks. Because of a significant amount of heat from hot RAM this is a critical spot. The hot RAM actually heats up the CPU heat sink because Apple put the case fan too low.
    This fan cools down the Ram and about 40% of the CPU.
    However, putting in the fan requires some grinding and milling of the fan frame with a dremel tool to get it installed in this tight spot. It might be easier to put it on the outside, then you can use an even bigger fan. I didn't want to see the modifications from outside so I have choosen the grinding way. This is the fan that gets hot air out of the system.
    The same two slim Zalman fans goes into the front of the HD tray below the CD/DVD units. You can fit in two 80mm fans without grinding. These two fans bring additional air in the system.
    A fourth Zalman goes on top of the Airport slot. However this one mekes sense only if you remove your built-in speaker to use the open for air.
    I put my speaker on the top inside wall of the tower. Because of the perforated plastic cap you will not see the missing speaker.
    Finally you can use a standard PCI slot fan to cool the back of the graphic card. When you run all Zalman fans with reduced voltage (there are plug&play cables for 6V and 9V I think) then you will not hear them.
    This may work already because the case fan will not kick in anymore. Anyways, the casefan is a Panasonic Panaflow 12H10 or something like that. (I have to look up the right number if you are interested). Because of the bigger Airflow the Panaflow fan is thicker and you have to mill two or three small section to fit it in the standard slot. The original Delta fan is 25mm and the Panaflow is about 38mm I think. Not a big deal with a Dremel milling tool.
    I will see if I can upload some pictures if you are interested.
     
  11. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502

    AlexMaximus

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    #11
    ..when an engineer is going mad on his G4..

    Alright Keeby, as promised here are some premium pics just for you regarding fan location on my MDD..
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Muttster thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    #12
    Are the quicksilver dual 1 ghz's any quieter. Any other issues with these?
     
  13. volvoben macrumors 6502

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    Feb 7, 2007
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    nowhere fast
    #13
    That's a great little tutorial there...

    The quicksilvers were quieter in general, yes.

    The MDDs with replaced power supplies really were fine though, unfortunately it's probably a pain to figure out which units have had the replacement. When i was an intern, they gave me a MDD without new fans...it was loud, even on the floor in a busy open office. It reminded me of when a G5 had some kind of crash and ran all its fans on full; absolutely hairdryer/jet/vacuum/microwave sound. It would vary with load, but I can't imagine using one in a studio or quiet room.

    The early G5s were indeed very quiet thanks to the slow fans and perforated design, but I recall that ad agency i interned at hated the first G5s (the single processor models at least) because they simply weren't as fast. They bought a load of MDDs before they disappeared, luckily by then they were around the sonic level of the quicksilvers and not overly noticeable.

    If you can get an early G5 dual 1.8 or something, it might be worth it. If the cost differential is great or you just like the G4, go for it. if it's terrible and you're not afraid of some modification, it can be done.
     

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