12-core Mac Pro is noisy! Or is it just the graphics card?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ApplesAOranges, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. ApplesAOranges macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2011
    I just got the new 12-core. Upgraded from 2008 8-core (which was quite loud too, but definitely not this loud).

    The 12-core is annoyingly loud. There is this weird loud buzzing noise, but on some rare occasions it went away and the noise level dropped to satisfying levels. Could this be the graphics card Radeon HD 5870?

    Not a very good start with this expensive machine. :(
  2. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2010
    I would guess its the graphics card.
    If you have a good friend, see if you can borrow his graphics card and see if it is loud.
    If not, remove the graphics card and boot headless.
    I'll have no display, but it will boot. You'll have to hold the power-button to shut it down, but you'll hear how loud it is without power.
  3. Gonk42 macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2008
    near Cambridge
    It might well be the graphics card. I had a very noisy graphics card in my new Mac Pro. After it was replaced the machine is very quiet (it is only a 4 core base model though).

    I have an 8 core Dell at home which uses the 5570 chips with similar power requirements to the 12 core Macs 5670 chips and that is fairly quiet (not as quiet as the Pro but not unpleasantly noisy) so the 12 core Mac shouldn't be that noisy.
  4. bluesteel macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2007
    after seeing your post i had to reply cause....funny enough, just yesterday, while working on a project, i leaned back in my chair and looked at my 12 core Mac Pro with ATI 5870 under the desk and was kind of amazed at how quiet it was. i wonder why yours is loud....
  5. highdefw, Jan 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011

    highdefw macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2009
    My 09 8-core is dead silent, if anything I can hear a very slight "hum" if the room is quiet. I wouldn't expect the 12 core to be any louder, even with the 5870 unless under full load of course...
  6. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    Those machines should be really silent.
    If they are not, there's probably something wrong with it.

    My tip is to simply stop the suspicious fans with your finger and see with one makes the irritating noise.
    Also check your fan speeds (iStat Pro is a free tool).
  7. packsherpah macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2010
    I have a 2010 Mac Pro 12 core system and the only noise it ever makes is the hard drive whirring on boot up (is the standard 1tb WD caviar black drive) which can get a little noisy on boot or if Spotlight starts to index. But otherwise the machine is very quiet - almost zero fan noise. Oh, and I even have the 5870 which I put under stress frequently, and its still silent.
  8. ApplesAOranges thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2011
    Today when I started up the machine, it hasn´t had that annoying buzzing sound. So it´s been fairly quiet. Could be quieter still though.

    I hope just that buzzing sound don´t come back.
  9. ApplesAOranges thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2011
    ...And just after I posted my last post, the buzzing sound came back! :eek:

    I feel like I have a 500$ PC desktop in my room. :(
  10. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    First thing to do is inspect the fans visually. Tighten the screws that secure them as well. If they are the least bit loose, a vibration will cause a buzzing sound.
  11. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    Tighten the fan screws in a Mac Pro? :D No es possible.

    Anyhow, ApplesAOranges, instead of weeping yourself out here, take action on that problem.
    Locate the origin of the buzzing (power supply, fans [do stop them with your fingers as I mentioned before], hard drives, vibrations of the ODD bay) and report back. If might just be a very easy fix, or might as well be a faulty part that needs to be fixed by Apple.
  12. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    The 5870 is louder then the GT120. I just got it a few days ago and there's a noticeable difference.

    Its still a quiet system overall, though - I can't hear it through my headphones.

    e: At boot the fans run at max RPM and spin up when there's a load put on it, so I'm not too surprised. If you don't like it wear some headphones.
  13. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Open the side case and run your Mac Pro. Check and see where the actual noise comes from. If it's the CPU, check the heat sink and fan. If nothing is wrong move to the GPU and check corrected seated and if the fan isn't being obstructed.

    If nothing of this, call Apple.
  14. DeeEss macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2011
    Hey - I just got a 6 core a few days ago. at first I was concerned by the noise.

    The graphics card fan was noisy and the hard drive made a racket with it's disk search.

    A few days later the noise has gone. I can't even tell it's running unless i put my ear right up to the cheese grater.

    I had read else where that this is normal.

    I've also just now installed some SSD's which has just eliminated the constant disc searching that was being amplified buy the aluminium case and I ditched the 1tb Caviar Black in place of 4 Hitachi Deskstars which are so much more quiet.

    hopefully your noise will disappear too!
  15. suuri macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2011
    Make sure your hard drive tray(s) are seated fully and locked. Pull on each tray to be sure the lock is engaged. If the tray is not completely locked, the drive can vibrate the case and sound much like a faulty fan.
  16. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I've got the ATI 5870 in my 2010 2.8GHz QUAD Mac Pro and its dead silent. Only when I'm playing games I can hear the fan rev up and it still doesnt seem that loud at all. I've got the Mac Pro on top of my desk right next to me as well.
  17. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Got a 5870 in my 2008 Mac Pro. Unless I throw a significant load at it, it's dead quiet (and even still pretty quiet with load, significantly quieter than my GeForce 8800.)
  18. gglockner macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2007
    Bellevue, WA
    Buzzing can be caused by many things. In my Mac Pro, the door is a bit loose. I applied some Dynamat to the door, which helped. Now, occasionally the rear latch will buzz. I tend to leave the latch partially closed, which silences the buzz.

    It's possible but unlikely it's the fans. More likely it is some other part that is loose.
  19. BobD2 macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2008
    I have the 6-core 2010 Mac Pro with 4 internal 1 tb drives (2 WD caviar blacks, 2 WD RE3 drives in RAID 0). Pretty much dead silent. Quietest computer I've ever used. Graphics card is the 5770.
  20. seclusion macrumors regular


    Jul 15, 2007
    Bet's are on the hard drive tray's.
    when I first got my mac, I installed 3 hard drives, rebooted and rattle, rattle rattle.
    The fix, I removed each hard drive (tray) gently pulled up on the front of the tray so they fit more tighter. Rattles all gone.
  21. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    FWIW, my 2010 3.2GHz Quad had an occasional annoying buzzing/rattling sound. Turned out to be the processor/heat-sink fan was rattling. This fan noise eventually just stopped happening................. perhaps a month or so after delivery. As crazy as it sounds, it almost acted like the fan bearing had to break-in. The only reason I mention this is so that you don't hit the panic button when it comes to occasional fan noise.

    Congrats on the new MP and good luck with the noise
  22. mrgladstone macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2011
    I have the hex core 2010 Mac Pro with the 5870 graphics card. The machine is fairly quiet, but I am bothered.

    - The GPU fan seems like a big contributor to low frequency noise even at idle, when I stop it with my finger, the difference is clearly noticable. I think I will replace it with an after market cooler.

    - The harddrive (standard 7200 rpm that came with it) is very audible, this is fixed with an SSD.

    BUT then there is something else that does not seems like a fan, or a vibration but more like an "electrical" noise from the power supply (my guess).

    Attaching a sound clip of my boot up, note the noise after the chime, recorded at about 40 cm distance above the case, mic aimed at the rear "arc".

    Is this normal? Do your machines make this noise?

    Attached Files:

  23. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    I heard the hdd searching many clicks is that the noise you meant?

    I also heard fans pump up then down = normal.
  24. mrgladstone macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2011
    Thanks for replying. The noise I am referring to is not the fan noise, and not the HDD noise. It is the "buzzing" noise after the chime that is worrying me, that buzzing will come and go even when the HDD is idle and silent.
  25. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    Yeah I heard the buzz right after the chime and right before the drive making search clicks. I would open the case door put it on the side and boot the machine then listen for the buzz after the chime and before the drive seek noise. If you hear no buzz you will realize your problem is the large door has the tiniest of rattles.

    If you hear the buzz. the big door is not the problem. I would power off the machine and remove all hdd sleds and all hdds except the boot hdd. Then boot, if the noise is gone one of the boot sleds vibrates. Just stick in one at a time and test each one.

    If the buzz occurs with just the one boot drive. move it to another sled boot again. if it buzzs. it then is not the sleds or the drives. it could be fans, gpu card or power supply. the buzz sounds like vibration of a sled /hdd to me .

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