What kind of capacitors do Macs use?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by generik, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. generik macrumors 601

    generik

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    #1
    I just found this little image from another PC mainboard manufacturer:
    Picture

    The picture was originally referenced here.

    Since I am a Mac user, naturally I believes everything span out by marketing, and likewise now I am all into these new big beefy looking capacitors even though I have no idea what they do! Has anyone actually had the experience of opening their Macs? Does Apple use the big one or the puny cheap ones?
     
  2. mattjgalloway macrumors member

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    #2
    Why does it matter?!

    You generally don't get a PC dying because of it's capacitors dying. I've had a couple of leaky ones after many MANY years of use, but nothing too bad.

    A capacitor is a capacitor.
     
  3. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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  4. generik thread starter macrumors 601

    generik

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    #4
    Is a flux capacitor a good one?
     
  5. exsanguinate macrumors member

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    #5
    Hahaha.

    I hope mine does too!
     
  6. mattjgalloway macrumors member

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    #6
    HAHAHA! Seriously generik, you are joking right?!

    A flux capacitor is what they used in Back to the Future and Busted's "Year 3000" song for time-travel!

    "... Stood there, was my neighbour, called Peter and a flux capacitor ..." ... "... Oh I went to the Year 3000. Not much has changed but they live underwater. And your great great great granddaughter, is pretty fine. [is preeeety fiiine] ..."
     
  7. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #7
    I hear Apple employs children from India to make cheap capacitors that only have a charge of 0.05 mH (micro Henry's).

    I say "Why not exploit 3rd world nations!" we are talking about CAPACITORS people!
     
  8. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #8
    Yes, once I get it up to 88 mph...
     
  9. mattjgalloway macrumors member

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    #9
    You're joking too right?? 0.05 mH is milli Henrys, micro Henrys (no apostrophe aswell!) is uH (well, a mew symbol, but u will do)

    And Henrys is NOT a measure of the charge stored! It kind of is, but it depends on the voltage across it as to how many coulombs of charge are stored on it!

    Anyway, it's moot because the size of the cap is chosen, it's not like the size is dependant on how well they are made!!!
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #10
    Do not, I repeat, do NOT let the Lithuanians steal back the bomb parts!!!! :D

    For what it's worth, weren't electrolytic capacitors implicated in the rash of failures on Rev. A iMac G5s? There are definitely electrolytic capacitors in Macs... Linkety.
     
  11. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #11
    Are you seriously trying to tell us that you don't know the story behind bad capacitors and you are not trolling?
     
  12. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #12
    Hehe.. kick ass!
     
  13. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

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    #13
    People with almost 2500 posts don't usually troll. That said, this is kind if a silly thread, but I am reasonably sure that modern Macs use solid capacitors.
     
  14. generik thread starter macrumors 601

    generik

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    #14
    Dang, I didn't have the slightest clue :eek:
     
  15. generik thread starter macrumors 601

    generik

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    #15
    Well, IANAEE (I Am Not An Electrical Engineer) so quite honestly I don't really know what difference it makes. But I certainly do know that cheap resistors = *poof*, and back in the day when I used to frequent 2CPU.com, a mainboard manufacturers (iWill) will always use the fact that their boards have some kind of digital voltage regulator and have no capacitors, while the competiting board at that time (Tyan K8WE) has rows after rows of caps.

    Heck, I still own a system with a K8WE in it, still works as it should, but in some sense iWill's marketing has gotten to me :rolleyes:

    Anyhow I spent some time looking at MBP "pr0n" shots and it seems like on its logicboard there don't seem to be any capacitors, does that mean Apple uses the newer digital regulators as well?
     
  16. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    #16
    I am a 4th year EE student (and work as one), and I think that's just marketing hype on the part of GIGABYTE. Things can't be simplified so much. Electrolytic capacitors are in use in just about every electronic device, and with a proper design and good quality suppliers (ie. non-defective parts) they'll last for a long long time. Capacitors are used for many many different things in a typical circuit from reducing noise on a power supply line, to creating an oscillator, to being used as a temporary RAM backup for battery swaps in a laptop.

    There are MANY other types of capacitors besides electrolytic and "solid" (which is just a type of electrolytic actually). It's just that non-electrolytic caps are typically not very large and don't stand out on a circuit board, so no one notices/thinks about them.

    All in all, electrolytic vs. solid isn't going to make a big difference.
     
  17. mattjgalloway macrumors member

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    #17
    Well put. I too am a 4th year EE student and so I was finding it quite hard to beleive what was being said here about capacitors.

    Are they really used as RAM backup when battery swapped out? I've never seen that before! I find it strange to beleive a cap can hold enough charge for enough time to allow a stick of RAM to hold its data... you got a link?
     
  18. emotion macrumors 68040

    emotion

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    #18

    Libyans?
     
  19. emotion macrumors 68040

    emotion

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    #19
    There was a mass recall of Dell Optiplex machines recently due to capacitors burting and causing disk failures.

    I know because I had a disk failure in my Dell (all my dell hardware is bought by my employer...not me!) and they nearly blamed that.
     
  20. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #20
    Apple like most PCs probably use almost every type and value of cap on their motherboards. The reason for the vast majority of the capacitors is to smooth the power supply which can be affected by any oscillating signal on the board (read:clocks). Since computers have the processor clock, FSB clock, FSB data signals, PCI(X)(Express), Firewire, etc. all running at any given time there is a wide range of frequencies bouncing around all the time on the MB. The type and size of the capacitors that are used determines which frequencies it filters and how well it filters them. With large enough capacitors you could easily hold ram contents while swapping batteries but that's limited to only a few seconds that they need to hold a charge.

    It is extremely rare for a capacitor to fail by exploding unless it is an electrolytic capacitor installed backwards. Most other failures are going to be due to cracks and age which will probably never be noticed since most are chosen to handle worst case conditions which rarely occur.
     
  21. emotion macrumors 68040

    emotion

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    #21
  22. mmmcheese macrumors 6502a

    mmmcheese

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    #22
    I think they are just taking advantage of the fear people have of getting a board with bad capacitors on them because of the bad batches that were out there a few years back. Since all of them blew out the top, I guess they figure buy showing ones that don't have soft tops, that people will somehow think these are better (which they may or may not be for this application).
     
  23. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #23
    You're right, milli-Henry's.
    You're right, I'm joking (making fun of this thread).
     
  24. generik thread starter macrumors 601

    generik

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    #24
    So... basically what Gigabyte said is bullsh1t? That those big capacitors are no better than the smaller ones?
     
  25. mattjgalloway macrumors member

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    #25
    What do you mean by that though? The two types of capacitor do the same job - maybe one has a longer lifecycle, but that's about it...
     

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