Fan speeds in a decked out 2010 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ScottishCaptain, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    #1
    Greetings to all.

    So I just got a new system, which is radical and all. Everything is working fine- I couldn't be happier with the system, however I do have one question out of curiosity more then anything...

    The system sounds a lot more... I don't know... "Macho", from my 2006 Mac Pro. It's definitely emits a more obtrusive noise then my last aforementioned workstation- now I'm not sure if this is because of the excessive system specifications, or not. Apple isn't exactly forthcoming in what "normal" is for these systems. Given the cost of this piece of hardware, I'd simply like to know that everything is A-OK.

    I recently downloaded iStat Menus to check up on my system fans, and it reports the following values. The machine was largely at idle while these readings were taken (and had been for several hours):

    Booster 1: 1112 RPM
    Booster 2: 1113 RPM
    Exhaust: 599 RPM
    Expansion: 1519 RPM
    Intake: 599 RPM
    Power: 939 RPM

    What I'm wondering about here is the ~1000 RPM readings, and if they're normal or not. From what I've read, the Expansion fan should generally idle at around 800RPM, but I'm running close to twice that right now.

    The system is a dual 2.93ghz 6 core, with 32GB of RAM, the Mac Pro RAID card (running RAID5 chopped into several partitions, if it matters), and a 5870 GPU.

    I have /not/ run anything like SMCFanControl on the system, nor did I monkey with iStat's fan control setting(s). These are, to the best of my knowledge, what the machine generally sits at.

    So... Is this generally normal for a system of this calibre?

    I'm really just looking for a "yes" or "no" here. All I want to do is make sure this is what the system /should/ run at (and if it is, I'm perfectly fine with that). If it isn't, and there is an issue, then I obviously want to get it corrected ASAP.

    Cheers,
    -SC
     
  2. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #2
    My 2010 single-processor which is listed in my sig has fans reported as follows...

    PCI 800
    BoostA 850
    Exhaust 600
    Power 600
    Intake 600

    Ambient 22C

    The only modification I have made is to replace the stock cooler on the 5870 with an Arctic Cooler Accelero Xtreme Plus 3-fan cooler.
     
  3. ScottishCaptain thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    #3
    Hmm. Well, you do have the 5870... So that eliminates the GPU from causing the expansion fan to rev.

    My booster fans are now at 850/900RPM, which is fine (apparently they throttle quite a bit on this box?)... Power is still at around 1000, and the Expansion is still around 1500.

    Can anyone with a dual 2.66/2.93 confirm their fan speeds? Ultimately, I'd love to hear from someone else with a RAID card as well as a dual processor + 5870 configuration, just to confirm that my box is A-OK (it cost a lot of money- I just want to know it's happy and all).

    -SC
     
  4. sharkymac, Feb 23, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011

    sharkymac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Location:
    evil empire
    #4
    Well, my Mac Pro has exactly the same specs.
    12 core 2.93
    32 gb of ram
    ATI 5870
    Apple Raid card with 4 WD RE4 drives running RAID 5

    and iStat shows the following
    Booster 1: 1128 RPM
    Booster 2: 1128 RPM
    Exhaust: 602 RPM
    Expansion: 1463 RPM
    Intake: 602 RPM
    Power: 910 RPM
    So as you can see it's very close:) The reason expansion fan runs a bit faster is the apple raid card . Without it and with a single drive my expansion speed was around 1100-1200 rpm and it was dead silent. BTW how many and what kind of hard disks do you have?
     
  5. Schismz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    #5
    Mac Pro 2010: 12 core 2.93
    48GB of ram
    ATI 5870
    4 Hitachi 3TB, RAID0, software.
    2 OWC 240GB, RAID0 ("Superdrive" removed)
    FirmTek SeriTek/2ME4-E 4-Port eSATA

    and iStat shows the following
    Booster 1: 1113 RPM
    Booster 2: 1113 RPM
    Exhaust: 599 RPM
    Expansion: 812 RPM
    Intake: 598 RPM
    Power: 598 RPM

    Would have to agree, mine is dead silent, no Apple RAID card being the only significant difference, saved the RAID5 for external backup :cool:.
     
  6. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #6
    Those seem high. Granted you have and extra processor at 95W.
    My numbers with 3.33 6-core, 5870, 10GB DDR3 1333MHz.
    My Proc idles at 29-34ºC.

    Booster 1: 855rpm
    Exhaust: 599rpm
    Expansion Slot: 789rpm
    Intake: 599rpm
    Power Supply: 599rpm
     
  7. ScottishCaptain thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    #7
    Ahh, thanks Sharky. That's what I wanted to know- if the addition of the RAID controller was modifying the SMC fan profiles somehow. It appears as though Apple has taken the card's presence into effect and it changes the idle machine RPMs accordingly.

    4x WDC WD1001FALS-41Y6A0 (Cavier Black).

    They're the units that Apple offered. Yes, I know they're ~2x what you pay via retail, and the RE4's are probably faster (and slightly cheaper)- but I wanted the storage to be covered by Applecare, so I could complain to Apple if the RAID card ever went flaky with -their- drives.

    Last question- does your MP tend to "resonate"/buzz a lot when under high CPU load, or under high GPU load? I've noticed that the 5870 GPU fan (or the expansion fan, I can't really tell- they both rev up in unison) seems to make a definitive WhooOOoomm... WhooOOoomm... that gets faster and faster as the card revs up, until it finally blends into the background noise and stabilizes as a (mostly) constant tone.

    It's pretty easy to get it to do this- the Starcraft 2 menu will do it, if you just let it sit there at the login screen (since the framerate is unlocked, the machine will spool up pretty fast).

    I'm not sure if the resonating noise(s) are worth complaining to Apple about, if it means I have to send my machine back or in for service. My old 2006 unit had a resonating noise from the disk drives, but the chassis fans produced a constant noise.

    -SC
     
  8. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #8
    I can hear a slight resonance that seems to pulse up and down on my machine at idle. It is a little more audible at load and a little faster. It is probably just fans spinning at *nearly* the same speed as a neighbour.

    If you feel brave and want to improve the cooling and lower the noise of your 5870, here is that guide I wrote about replacing the cooler... http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1097022

    Remember this is both a 5870-warranty voiding and *permanent* change. You will need to have a spare Apple 5770 if you want to AppleCare the rest of the Mac Pro at any time.
     
  9. sharkymac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Location:
    evil empire
    #9
    Unfortunately I haven't tried Starcraft yet. I can only judge by using Aperture, HandBrake, Photoshop and Premier. For example Handbrake conversions put my Mac at stress and I often see the CPU load up to 60-70%. During this time all the fans go faster at a constant rate, but expansion fan stays at its normal level and I really don't hear any speed increase or any resonating noise. Probably I got used to it:) You have Applecare so you have some time to think over if it really bothers you.
    BTW My congratulations to you on getting such a great mac:)
     
  10. ScottishCaptain thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    #10
    Could you by chance do me a huge favour? (Anyone with a 2010 Mac Pro- not just Sharky)

    Download and install smcFanControl from here: http://www.eidac.de/?p=134

    Open it, then pop open the preferences panel (it sits in the system tray as a temperature/RPM reading) and override the "PCI" fan to either 1750RPM or 1800RPM, and click save (you can do this by clicking on the "800" in the RPM column next to PCI, then typing in 1800 and pressing enter).

    I'm wondering if your fan emits a certain obtrusive "tone" around this speed. You'll definitely hear it if it does, because it sounds like a really loud constant buzzing noise and is audible across the room. In my case, the fan doesn't make the tone at 1700RPM (or 1725RPM), but is audible at 1750RPM, even moreso at 1775RPM or 1800RPM, but not past 1800RPM (then it just sounds like a normal fan- as it should).

    If someone can confirm/deny that this is the case with their system, I would be eternally grateful. Trying to convey this stuff to Apple is like pulling teeth- all I wanted to do was confirm if this was normal for that particular fan or not, and they wanted me to go through and reset the PRAM, trash the finder preferences, etc (all of which I did- no effect though).

    If another 2010 Mac Pro does this, then at least I know I'm not alone and I'll ignore it. If it doesn't, then I know something is wrong with my box and I'll push Apple to replace the expansion fan.

    PS: If you do try this, once you're done with SMCFanControl- reset the sliders to the far left in the preference panel, click "Save", and your fans will soon return to normal, then you can quit the program and drag it to the trash.

    Thanks in advance.
    -SC
     
  11. sharkymac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Location:
    evil empire
    #11
    I tried smcFanControl. I could hear the pci fan going faster and louder at a constant rate until it reached 1800rpm and produced "stable" uuuuuuuu sound. I noticed one interesting thing. When I stopped the smcFanControl and the fan was slowing down and returning to its normal speed at some point I heard the fan sounding louder for a couple of seconds when it was @ 1800rpm.:confused: Regarding the buzzing noise you have I think I have experienced something like this. In my case the buzzing sound was coming from the power supply grill on the backside. I didn't want to go to the service ( I live in Russia and here we have terrible Apple support. It can take up to 2 months to get a new replacement part) and I tried the following. In iStats readings (in system tray) I went to temps.speed section, the first line is fan speed control and Active set is Default by default:) and I changed it to medium. All fans went faster and I left them running this way for one night. After I switched back to Default settings the buzzing sound was gone.... Not sure if it is an universal cure, but it helped in my situation. :) I also want to say that I understand your worries. Before my present 2010 MP I was running 2008 MP with raid and 4 hd as well. All I can say is that 2010 MP is louder. :) It really made me nervous for a first few weeks but later I got used to it and don't pay any attention anymore and enjoy my mac.
     
  12. ScottishCaptain thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    #12
    Yeah, that may or may not have been it. It's more of an "nnnnnNNNNNNNNNNN" noise.

    Thanks for testing though. I will probably get Apple to ship me a new fan if it's an issue over here- they list the Expansion fan as a DIY part, so I'm guessing that means that the user could conceivably replace it.

    I have noticed that the machine noise is significantly changing- I've only had the box for 5 days now. Maybe it still needs to "break in" or something...

    -SC
     
  13. bluesteel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Earth
    #13
    my system:

    12-core 2.93GHz
    24GB RAM
    2xMicrocenter G2 64GB SSD RAID-0
    2xCaviar Black 2TB HDD RAID-0
    1xCaviar Black 1TB HDD
    ATI 5870

    at idle:

    PCI 852
    BoostA 1114
    BoostB 1113
    Exhaust 600
    Power Supply 600
    Intake 599
     
  14. lazy4u macrumors newbie

    lazy4u

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    #14
    Is there anyway to control the fan speed of the ati 5870? I know in windows i can adjust the speed using the catalyst control center in windows.Is there a way to do this in snow leopard
     
  15. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #15
  16. gabicava83 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    #16
    It's interesting reading the dual processor owners stating on here how quiet the MP is, I purchased a 2 x 2.4 2010 model with a 5770, had to take it back as it was so loud. Tried another 2 with the 5870 and just as bad, there seems to be either that it's too loud or very quiet.

    I do realise that "quietness" is subjective though.

    Good luck :) hope you are enjoying it
     

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