Here is how I made my Quicksilver G4 Noticibly quieter.

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by jihad the movie, Sep 7, 2003.

  1. jihad the movie macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2003
    Smugtown, NY
    So the warranty on my Quicksilver G4 went up.... I think about three or so months ago. Which is fine by me, because, in actuality, I have been waiting for this moment.

    My G4 800 was loud as all hell. I hated it, I like to leave it on at night when I am running SETI, streaming my music to my friends across the nation, and with the computer across the room from me, it gets to be a real pain, and I couldn't get to sleep.

    So , I looked around my machine for various things that could effect the noise level, and fixed them. Some of these methods may/may not have been mentioned, so I will mention them anyways to help other people.

    Power Supply Fan. Now, this has been mentioned many times before. The frame of the power supply does not match up wth the lines on the case. No biggie.

    First you have to do is get a hex wrench to remove the back panel.

    Now be careful, when you remove the back panel, some of it sticks to the metal case. Just remove it slowly, and when it finally gets stuck on the locking mechanism, just try and squeeze it over the lock. Be patient, and it will all come apart.

    Now, get some tin snips, and snip away at the metal grate protecting the power supply fan, so the fan is completely exposed. Put the plastic panel back on, and for now, you are good to go.

    Second, older model G4's, such as the Graphite ones, and I believe the Blue and White G3, have the large 120 mm case fan blowing into the case. On the Quicksilver, it sucks air out of the case. The processor fan also blows air out on previous models, and sucks air in on newer models.

    I noticed the 120mm seemed to blow out some hot air, a lot of it in fact. And when I would often times open the case after the computer was running, the Stock ATi Video card got extremely hot, for it has no fan over the heatsink like newer cards do. Also, having two hard drives stacked on top of one another created a lot of heat, more than the processor.

    So, here was my solution.

    To switch the processor fan, unscrew the two screws on the back part of the case, near the ports. Then, remove the black fan shroud, this shouldn't be too hard. This way, you can avoid removing the heat sink assembly. Just unscrew the fan, and turn it around so it now blows air out of the computer.

    Now with the 120 mm fan, Remove the hard drive sled, and remove the two screws attaching the metal fan housing from the frame. Then remove the four screws attaching the fan to the housing. The finger guard, due to it's shape, creates a lot of noise. (the metal grate that is part of the fan housing) To reduce this noise, cut this out as well. You can replace it with a newer finger guard, one of those metal wire ones, but my fingers are never inside my computer when it is on, so losing the finger guard is not an issue. Reverse the fan so it now will blow air into the computer.

    Hopefully, once you put everything back together, your computer should be loads quieter. You can hear each hard drive spin up and down. Adding ram also makes your computer quieter as well. Also, a lot of cold air gets blown out of the computer. For those of you with PCI cards, having the 120 mm fan blow over these cards is better than having the 120mm fan try to suck air over them. If your warranty is up, this is perhaps, the best way for you to modify your system until a verax kit comes out for the QuickSilver G4s.

    I apologize for there not being any pictures, but my .mac account expired and I have no html skills to make a site. If somebody would like to house the pictures on how to do all this, I will be more than happy to email them to you, and let you create a page about it all.

    i hope this helps... any questions? IM me at Jihad the Movie, or post, whichever works for you.
  2. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    nice post, id like to mention two i did. instead of messing with the metal bracket i simply cut the plastic semi circles blocking the exit air out of the quicksilver I. also upgraded my cpu and the new fan on the owc merc extreme was a little quieter then the stock apple fan. this has helped but the best thing i could do was mount it in a desk with a front door, now even better but not as good as wifes crt imac. now that is very quiet.
  3. flynntastic macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2003
    Santa Cruz, Ca
    someone once suggested throwing it in a tub of water, like a Bathtub.... Gets rid of sound issues, and also makes for great cooling too...

  4. acj macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2003
    I find it hard to believe that Apple's R&D didn't figure this out if it was a better way. They usually have a good reason. But if it works, it works.
  5. groovebuster macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd rock from the sun...
    I also changed my Quicksilver a lot, but I wouldn't change the direction the air goes through the case.

    There must have been a reason why they did it this way. And one thing you should consider is, that the airflow behind a fan is a totally different one than in front of it, it is not only about the amount of air moved by the fan. In your case the air blows concentrated on the PCI slots. Maybe that is exactly what they didn't want, maybe dust was an issue as well as the changing airflow in the case depending heavily on the number, size and shape of PCI cards installed.

    A last thing is that the big fan is temperature controlled. When it sucks the cold air inside the enclosre, it always hardly spins up, because the air is cold anyway (and therefore you hardly hear it). And that the CPU fan is blowing out cold air now doesn't mean a lot as well. Maybe it is just an indication, that the air goes directly from the big fan to the CPU fan without cooling anything, caused by the screwed up airflow into the wrong direction and not cooling enough where it is supposed to.

    I would be very careful with modifications like that. I just build in very silent temperature controlled fans and it helped a lot. And that's what I would suggest for other people too...

  6. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2001
    west of Philly
    A few other tips

    A few months ago when I saw the switch the direction trick, I tried it on my dual 800. For me it started out quieter, but as things started to get toasty the small fan by the CPUs would start going faster and it's whine was more irritating than the original configuration.

    I did a few other things that made a big difference for me. I replaced the powersupply fan, the 120mm fan, and the 60mm(?) by the CPUs. I tried the swap direction trick after the fan swap and still had the same problem as above. The only stock fan is the one on the superdrive which still has a terrible whine. I did the chop out the extra grill on the powersupply thing and I also chopped out the double grill the 120 blows out of. Those holes were lined up so it wasn't as much a difference as the powersupply, but it helped. Finally on the 120, I put some thin rubber washers between the frame of the case and the fan.

    I don't have any measurements to see how much it helped, but before I started I could hear if the Mac was on out of the office, through the foyer and living room, and up the stairs. Now I have to be standing in the doorway to the office to hear it, not as quiet as I'd like (I have to duck my head under the desk to hear the Dell so I know how quiet a machine can be), but it's much better.

    If anyone is interested, I picked up the replacement fans at I don't have the exact model numbers handy, if you want them, let me know and I'll look it up when I get home.
  7. cc bcc macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2001
    You could actually throw the whole thing in a bath of silicon oil and it would still be working. The fans would have a hard time moving all that oil around, but it works. I've seen photo's of computers in an aquarium filled with oil, working hehe, Just make sure that whatever liquid you use doesn't conduct electricity. Also harddrives and cd/dvd players don't do well under oil ;)
  8. acj macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2003
    Someone used mineral spirits. Their cat drank some. That cat had greased slides.

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