Want a quieter G5? Try dust.

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Makosuke, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #1
    Lesson learned: dust can, at least on occasion, have a positive effect on your computing experience! Did wonders for quieting down my BTO Radeon 9800, as it turns out.

    I, like a lot of the other people who bought early G5s, was impressed with how quiet it was and very disappointed at the piercing whine emitted by the fan on the graphics card--it easily makes more noise than Apple's seven fans put together.

    Anyway, I recently realized that at some point during the past 10 months I stopped noticing the fan noise. I remembered the whine being a lot louder, but I figured I'd just gotten really good at tuning it out.

    Then (unrelated) I took a can of compressed air and blew all that nasty dust out of the guts of my G5. Boy, was there a lot of dust in the 9800 heatsink. Dust, it turns out, that was somehow damping that annoying whine by about a factor of five.

    My whine is back, and again I find myself tempted to go buy a newer card from ATI with a quieter fan or one of those do-it-yourself quiet fan kits. But, give it a few months and maybe the dust will take care of it again.
     
  2. JLS macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Well a dusty heatsink is just going to mean the chips overheat..
     
  3. kjwebb macrumors regular

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    #3
    Also, dust can reduce the life of the fan.
     
  4. zv470 macrumors 6502

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  5. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

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    #5
    dust will at first fill in the little gaps that cause the noise. then it will wear away and cause much larger and worse gaps that will make an unreversable (cant be fixed) noise. i personally would suggest a drop of oil. or a drop of WD40 (do not spray directly onto a computer) that will make the noise go away AND last a long time!
     
  6. sgarringer macrumors regular

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    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #6
    no it wont, wd-40 breaks down the grease used in ball-bearing fans and will cauze your fan to die much quicker than doing nothing at all (but at least it will be a quiet death) =]
     
  7. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #7
    i'd just get one of those giant arse coolers. they may be huge but they are very quiet
     
  8. rueyeet macrumors 65816

    rueyeet

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    #8
    Back when I did help desk, we had a lady call in to say her PC didn't work. When I got there, I tried various things and determined that a look inside the case was needed (don't remember why). So I opened up that Compaq, and inside was the fuzziest little collection of dust bunnies you will ever see this side of under the bed. No kidding...the dust was so thick that there were clumps of it on top of the layer of dust that coated all the components. It was amazing the thing hadn't managed to catch fire long since.

    So I carefully wiped out the dust, sneezing heartily now and then, and gave the PC a final spray with a can of air before closing it back up. And, ta daaa! it booted up and worked fine. The lady thought I was a miracle-worker.....I just told her please not to put her computer on the floor any more.
     
  9. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #9
    i opened a b&w g3 which had been sitting unopened on a desk for 4 years :eek: the g3 was crashing continuously the fan alone has a 1cm thick layer of dust on it, i even took the thing apart piece by piece and cleaned it dust was under the logic board under the HD's everywhere, i even put the hoover up to the powersupply fan for a bit.

    message to everyone hoover out your macs about once every 6 months minimum.
     
  10. bcsmith macrumors member

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    Jan 6, 2004
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    Oaktown, CA
    #10

    I would second this recommendation. I'm always amazed at the amount of dust that collects inside of my g4 tower. It usually takes a good half hour to clean out about 6 months worth of accumulation. Just like replacing the batteries in your smoke detectors, this is something that should be done on a regular basis.
     
  11. osprey76 macrumors 6502

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    Oklahoma City, OK
    #11
    Is the whine just the fan or is the fan dirty?

    The fan on my 8500 was making a horrible racket. It sounded like a drill running in the case. I realized it was the GPU fan spinning out of round with a friend's suggestion. I took the fan off of the card and cleaned each blade using a moist Q-tip. The noise ceased upon reassembly and hasn't ever occurred since. (I was living in a very dusty place then.)
     
  12. continuum macrumors 6502

    continuum

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    #12
    wd40 is notorious for collecting dust, as well. next time you look where you put that drop of wd will be a big glob of gunk. sorry, but don't agree with ya.
     
  13. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

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    #13
    Just turn up iTunes :D

    Yeah, WD 40 is usually a quick fix but can cause all sorts of problems in the long run with numerous things and most likely this as well.

    I have noticed my iMac fan has gotten noticably louder the longer I have had it. It used to be almost silent. Have not tried to blow out the dust or vacuum.

    Watch out for that compressed "air" as it is actually a gas and nasty stuff really.

    Good luck
     
  14. Makosuke thread starter macrumors 603

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    #14
    Lots of amusing stories here. I seriously doubt lubrication of any traditional type is going to help quiet this fan (certainly not WD40), and there are many, many people with the same card complaining about it. The only permenant solution I've heard of is replacing the fan with something like the Verax G03, but that's a bit on the pricy side and requires a lot of warranty voiding.

    For reference, I'm not so stupid that I think dust is good for a computer, and my G5 was actually surprisingly clean on the inside. But there was an above-average amount of dust stuck in the 9800 heatsink, which I blew out thinking about the overheating risk. In truth, though, I rarely if ever give the graphics card a workout, so I'm inclined to think the slightly reduced cooling won't be a problem, and it's sure less annoying than the fan whine.
     
  15. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #15
  16. friarbayliff macrumors regular

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    MN / IN
    #16
    I had a friend who had a similar problem about six months ago. When we opened up her computer, dust was caked everywhere. I addition to that, the were spiders living and spinning webs inside of the case. I had a good laugh, and then proceeded to sneeze for the next half hour while I cleaned that thing out.
     
  17. x86isslow macrumors 6502a

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    USA
    #17
    what about laptops? i have a powerbook, and your stories have caused me concern.

    thanks.
     
  18. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #18
    i opened up my ibook a while back, there was a bit of dust but not any significant amout, laptops get moved around allot so dust dose not tend to settle so much as it dose on towers that sit under desks for 4 years
     
  19. Hemingray macrumors 68030

    Hemingray

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    #19
    Just be careful you don't build up static electricity in the process (like using a brush attachment). Personally I recommend doing an air can/vacuum combo. Blow the dust in the direction that the vacuum hose is. A shop vac's even better because of the bigger hose and more HP. (HorsePower, not Hewlitt-Packard. :p )
     
  20. bdomz macrumors member

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    Sep 18, 2004
    #20
    I agree with Hector, don't rely on dust to muffle your expensive graphics card. If noise is a major concern then just get one of those huge aftermarket passive heatsinks or a VGA silencer. Or do what I do and turn a ceiling fan in the room on high, that pretty much drowns out any computer noise.
     

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