Whiny Dual G5

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Makosuke, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #1
    I'm finally getting settled in with my G5--worked the last of the app glitches in Panther out, got my files transferred, got my perl modules of choice built, got the thing under my desk.

    All around, I'm an ecstatic customer; Panther is the smoothest OS upgrade I've had yet and runs like a dream, the G5 is scary fast and absolutely beautiful, and all my peripherals work just fine.

    Now I just have one annoying problem: The beast is in my living room (same as my old dual G4), and it makes a whine that gets maddening after a few hours sitting here. I'm not looking forward to having to put up with it for the next 3 years (the amount of time it'd better keep me happy), and even less explaining to my wife that that's just the way it's going to sound.

    Ironically, other than that whine it's as quiet as my old G4 DP533, if not quieter.

    This isn't the chirps that people have complained about--I've heard a couple, but they're barely audible and not annoying. I'm assuming it's the Radeon 9800 fan, since I've heard other complaints about them and I doubt Apple'd put a whiny fan like that in for cooling themselves, but I'm having a bugger of a time figuring out if that's really what it is, since when I take the plastic cover off to listen the whine is drowned out by the rest of the ramped up fans.

    It could also be the 250GB Maxtor drive (which is rather loud on seeks, particularly compared to the whisper-like Hitachi drive I added to go with it), but that's not where the noise seems to be coming from.

    I'm assuming other G5 owners know what I'm talking about, or else I've got a bum unit. Has anybody positively identified this as the 9800 fan? If that's the case, I would seriously contemplate trying to get a 9600 instead for the quieter operation (I don't game, really, just got the 9800 as a hedge against the future so I wouldn't need to worry about upgrading).

    Anybody have any experience with noise-damping measures? (Not easy with a big, metal case, particularly since you don't want to block airflow within by covering it with anything.)
     
  2. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    My AMD fan rattled, added a little suspension fluid, runs like a dream.

    If you think it's a fan, open up the case, and stick you finger in all the fans you have access to, when the whine stops, you've found the problem fan. (I don't recomend the suspension fluid solution) I'll leave it up to you how you fix it.
     
  3. Macette macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Location:
    Melbourne
    #3
    I have a dual G5, and i know the whine you mean. I haven't indentified what it's coming from, but I'd love to know if you work it out... I'm too chicken to mess around with the fans myself!!
     
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #4
    It is probably coming from the front two fans on the power supply...

    These are the fans people have been saying are buzzing, chirping, whining, etc.

    It's been the duals with the problem, because they use a different power supply than the other machines.

    ---

    Though there are reports that Apple is most likely working on a kit (like the PowerMac G4s) to fix the problem.
     
  5. robotrenegade macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    Location:
    Greenville,SC
    #5
    I'm having the same problem. I also have the 9800. I'm calling apple care today to see what they can do. To tell us that it will not make any noise and have it do this is crazy. It's as load as my old Dual 800.
     
  6. robotrenegade macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    Location:
    Greenville,SC
    #6
    Well people I found the awser!!! I call apple and bla bla bla. Told me take it to a apple store. So I did, and I got a good answer. I'm told its over heating and can be replaced if it under apple care or 60days of buying it. New card is coming!!
     
  7. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    PRK
    #7
    What I did was put the G5 on the floor under the table. Sure, its not visible and you don't get to see the G5 all that much.

    But when I'm on the table working, I can't hear any noises coming from the G5. The speaker on the G5 is not the best for audio anyway, so aside from the power button and the DVD tray, you don't need all that access to it.
     
  8. Foxer macrumors 65816

    Foxer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #8
    Hey. I've got noise coming from my dualie. I just assumed it was the hard drive, since it is intermittent. Could anyone describe this a bit more? Is it a steady noise. I know this is difficult, but how loud is it? Louder than the fans at start-up? Loud enough to hear when there is a TV on in the room, or iTunes is playing (at a normal level)? If this is a defctive card, I'd like to get it fixed.
     
  9. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    PRK
    #9
    Mine seems to come from deep inside the machine. Not that loud really, it could be hard drive noise. Its loudest when I'm doing a large copy from the network, though I'm not sure since the last time I copied via ethernet, I had a G4 next to it, so it could have been the G4 as well.
     
  10. Makosuke thread starter macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #10
    First, by way of description:

    The dual G5 seems to make a number of interesting sounds. There's the quiet "woosh" of the large processor fans (and probably others); this is very quiet by modern computer standards, and not obtrusive at all.

    When the processors work harder, you'll hear those big fans ramp up a bit, making a little more noise, which mainly noticible because it's not constant. Not annoying once you get used to it, though.

    The hard drive may or may not make noise, depending on the model. My Maxtor (man, why couldn't Apple have used a different brand) makes a little tiny bit of a whine, and the seeks grind a bit, but after closer inspection, I don't think it's what I'm talking about--it's still pretty quiet, and the drives are way at the back.

    Once in a while, due to Nap mode or whatever, the G5 will make a bit of an electric 'whirr' or 'zip' sort of noise--high-pitched (not TV whine high, for those who can hear that, but much higher than the fans), quiet, and only lasts a few seconds if that. Sounds a little like the sound a consumer CD or DVD player makes seeking when you first put in a disk, if you know that sound. To me, at least, the sound is mellow despite being high pitched, so it doesn't bother me.

    Then there's the sound I'm talking about. It is definitely constant, probably a little quieter than the rest of the fans when the computer is idling or as loud, but the frequency is much higher than a fan hum and has a bit of harshness to it (hence "whine"), so it's very annoying. I'd say the best analogy for the sound is like a small pump or similar motor. It sounds like a fan to me, which is why I'm suspicious of the 9800 card. If it's not that, then Apple must've accidentally used a bum fan that whines when it's turned down too low (or I got a bum one), because I'm sure Apple wouldn't have done that intentionally on this machine.

    I'm almost certain it's not the power supply, since the bottom of the case seems very quiet--the sound almost certainly seems to be coming from the top-ish area, which seems like it'd be easy to determine due to the channels. Listening from the back, it seems to be coming from the graphics card area; from the front, I can just tell it's near the top of the case. The only other things in that area are the hard drives and the hard drive fans, but neither seems to be the source of the noise.

    I also noticed that the DVI-VGA adapter, at certain angles, makes a bit of a high-pitched buzzing sound (like a slightly loose part vibrating slightly) at almost the same frequency as the whine. This further seems to point to the graphics card as the source (the vibrations moving through the card causing some sort of resonance in the external adapter).

    Guess it's time to call Apple and see what they say, but my nearest Apple store is 300 miles away, so I'm not going to be taking it in to one of those.
     
  11. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #11
  12. cgundlach macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2003
    #12
    Whine

    I experience the same problem. It is a really high pitched whine. It seemed bad at first, and went away for a while. Now it seems to make the noise sometimes when it wakes up but not others. BTW, I don't have the 9800 card.

    I have it sitting on a hardwood floor under my desk. I am contemplating putting something more sound absorbing under it to see if part of the problem is that the noise is being reflected by the floor.
     
  13. Makosuke thread starter macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #13
    Re: Whine

    Whether you've got the same whine as me or not (I'm doubting it, since mine is very constant), the hardwood floor is going to make a big difference; even sitting on a carpet (which mine is) moving my head around near my desk will find "dead spots" with almost no noise and other areas that are very loud. Big sound reflectors (the floor) are just going to exacerbate that, and the sound might even be caused by some sort of resonance with the floor, which would explain it being intermittent.
     
  14. robotrenegade macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    Location:
    Greenville,SC
    #14
    It's my grahpics card for sure. To the people that own the 9800 when the screen is black (not meaning off) like booting to a game or screen saver. I saw little red dots moving all over the place. The dot were about the size of a pen mark. Once I told apple this they said my card is over heating and thats why the card is making so much noise to cool itself down. I'm also running two apple displays on this card. 22" and 15".
     

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