ATI 4870 owners: how's the fan noise?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by k2director, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. k2director macrumors regular

    Jan 2, 2006
    I'd love to get the ATI card with my new Mac Pro, but am always nervous about fan noise on the higher end cards.

    Some PC reviews of the card say that it's not exactly quiet, but Apple, in the past, has worked with the graphics card manufacturers to dampen the noise on the Mac edition of certain cards. is the 4870 fan noise? In particular, can you hear it over your computer's own fans when the Mac is idling? And does it noticeably ramp up when you're doing some more demanding work?

    Thanks much!
  2. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    Okay not to be mean but WTF?

    If there is a problem, there are after market ways to cool it down. Wish there was rivatuner for Mac.
  3. grue macrumors 65816

    Nov 14, 2003
    Throw the computer under the desk where it belongs, problem solved ;)
  4. gelid macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2008
    When I do that, I have a worse problem... hella dust!
  5. k2director thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 2, 2006
    1) I'd rather not void my 3 year Applecare warranty by researching and installing a third party fan.

    2) My current computer already *is* on the floor! And I can still hear the ATI XT1900 graphics card over the Mac Pro's own fan. Seems a pity for Apple to go to great lengths to design a quiet workstation, only to have the $300 graphics card wipe out any benefits...

    So I ask again, can any 4870 owners give their impressions of the card's fan noise? Thanks!
  6. grue macrumors 65816

    Nov 14, 2003
    1. Only the warranty on the card would be voided by installing a third party cooling system, not the whole computer.

    2. Fair enough
  7. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I'd like to know this as well.. I remember the x1900 was freaking LOUD. I had to use the x2 mod to quiet it down to a whisper, not to mention made the x1900 MUCH cooler.
  8. barefeats macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    I recently acquired the "unreleased" OEM Radeon HD 3870 which "escaped" from Apple. It is a full length card with a heatsink/fan assembly designed by Apple. It was very quiet -- much quieter than the retail 3870. From the photos, Apple appears to be using a similar heatsink/fan for the 4870.

    I speculate that it will be quiet but as soon as I get one in our lab, I'll give you the scoop using our dB meter.
  9. eelmac macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2009
    never owned the 4870, but like most high end cards it should normally be loud during the boot, and only speed up when it gets hot (from doing demanding work etc) sound doesnt bother me tho, im used to it from my Custom PC :D its loud as hell! but you get used to it, i hardly notice it now
  10. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    I would appreciate any actual owner piping in. All the extraneous comments about 3rd party solutions are not that helpful.

    I had a x1900 and modded it with an aftermarket cooler to quiet it down and keep from overheating, I would never want to do that again. One of the reason I pay more for mac computer is to have them just work. Hassling with taking things apart and modding with possible damage and definite warranty issues is not my idea of fun.

    I've ordered a 4870 from apple, but it says 5-6 weeks until it ships.
  11. mackmack macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2009
    If it helps at all, I have a PC x1900xtx and 4870 and the 4870 is much quieter than the x1900xtx. Both have stock reference coolers just like their mac counterparts.

    The 4870 fan doesn't seem to make as much mechanical noise as the x1900xtx does and it spins down at idle so you can barely hear it.
  12. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006

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