hot n dusty

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jigen08, May 4, 2007.

  1. jigen08 macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2006
    I have a Mac Pro with the Intel inside. I live in the city, which is dusty, and I use processor-intensive rendering that needs a lot of fanning.

    Previously I had a G5 and G5 Quad. Both of these would let me have access to the area behind the fans to remove the dust that gets sucked through. When the dust would get thick the fans would run constantly at high speed and I knew I had to open the computer up and take care of it.

    My Mac Pro has been running the fans loudly and constantly but I cannot readily access the area behind them where the dust is probably collecting. When I called Apple Support all the fellow told me was to look through the manual and cautioned me against removing things that it doesn't say can be removed.

    Well, it's still revving hard and constantly, and summer's not even here yet. Any suggestions on getting the dust out from behind those fans? Should I simply ignore it and turn the music up to compensate? It doesn't sound good and I'd like to remedy it. (And how come there's no air filter to sort this out?) Thanks in advance...
  2. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    Well, how about a good vacuuming?
  3. dogbait macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2005
    London, England
    Once a year I use a high pressure air blower (carefully) and no closer than a foot away from my computers, giving them a thorough dusting inside. Not a good idea to do it indoors, since dust basically flies around everywhere.
  4. jigen08 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2006

    Thanks for the responses. It's not so much the method as the access that I'm having difficulty with. In my G5 I could pull the fan out and have access behind it, where the dust accumulated. With my Mac Pro it's like a solid mass of metal, there seems to be very little room and nothing is easy (or possible without voiding warranties) to take out.

    I'd like to vacuum it out - carefully so as not to bring static into it - but it seems impossible to access the areas where the dust travels. Perhaps it's a bi-yearly trip to the Mac store with my Applecare...
  5. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    If I was forced to live in your situation, I'd look into buying or building a case to hold my Mac. A large box with filters and extra fans might do the trick. There are cases on the market that are made to supress noise; they are used in recording studios. At the minimum, I would make a simple frame covered with fine mesh panels that could be easily removed and dusted. This will keep the dust down inside your Mac and allow for more efficent cooling. You might also try closing your windows during the day and running the AC more often. Sounds like a terrible environment to live in!
  6. PianoPete macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2007
    The AC is a good idea as it should filter out some dust providing you keep the windows and doors closed. Vacuuming the room daily with a hepafilter vacuum would help also. But it's still not a real solution. I'll be watching this thread closely as my place is dusty too and I just ordered a Mac Pro.
  7. JeffDM macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2006
    Vacuuming inside the computer is said to be a major static hazard.

    You can blow the processor heat sinks from behind, that part is open. If you have access to "canned air", you can direct the straw nozzle a little into the front grate holes and have it blow in any direction that you can. The air current should This probably should be done with the computer off so you don't accidentally stop the fan if you stick the nozzle in too far. I don't know the proper name for canned air.
  8. murfle macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2007
    canned air, compressed air, air dusters... same diff... I have two recommendations going that route. First, make sure you wear a dust mask AND do it outdoors. Second, when 'dusting' anything with a fan, make sure to use a toothpick or something to hold the fan blades in place (of course, while the machine is powered off). Otherwise, the airflow will cause the blades to spin, which is slightly damaging to the motor. And trust me, you don't want the fans to fail... ever...
  9. dr01dy macrumors member

    May 3, 2007
    I don't recommend canned air.. sometimes if you spray too much you will get that cold liquid that can kill your computer I know because I have done it to a few soundcards :)

    I do recommend an air compressor with the blow extension but some people say they disburse oils
  10. MacBass macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2005
    La Crosse, WI
    I vacuum plenty of computers out at work using a shop vac and the nylon bristle brush attachment. You really should shut your machine off and discharge the power supply. To discharge all remaining power in the system, unplug the power cable from the machine, hold down the power button until any internal lights go out and you are fine.
  11. Dustman macrumors 65816


    Apr 17, 2007
    I live in a dusty area too, oddly enough found quite a bit of dust in my imac.. anyways, for my dell tower, i just opened up the side of the case and took a can of compressed air and sprayed it out (outside, its a dirty job) after i did that it made the computer run soo much more smoothly and no more blue screens :)
  12. timish macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2002
    Yes, this is correct. An electrical air compressor CAN shoot oil and/or liquid places you don't want it.

    Be very careful you read the directions to make sure the compressor you are using has some sort of liquid filter/separator prior to the air shooting out the air nozzle.
  13. kdetroit macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2007
    I use compressed air from a dive tank.
    Dive tanks are only filled with dry, clean air, no oil to worry about.
    Of course you have to have a tank and a dive shop near you to fill the tank occasionally.
  14. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    I've also seen those dusters that take co2 cartridges.
  15. sblasl macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2004
    Heber Springs, AR
    Use at your own discretion, you are ultimately responsible for your own actions. I am not responsible for any damage that you may incur.

    I perform this procedure about 4 times per year and have been doing so for many years. I have performed this process on B&W G3, QuickSilver G4, PowerMac G5, and my Mac Pro.

    You can use an electric leaf blower to clean the internals. You can control the speed/force very well. Take it outside in a clean non-dusty area, with the side panel off starting in the inside blowing out, blow toward the front grill and then repeat the process blowing toward the back grill. Then blowing from the outside to the inside start at the front grill and then from the rear grill. Then blow from the side starting at the top of the Mac around the optical drives moving down & across the hard drive bays then move on to the PCI expansion bays and then across the memory area, etc.

    I remove the x1900 and clean it separately with a blow dryer with no heat.

    Use caution and don't be foolish by thinking that you are Tim the Tool Man Taylor and that more power is better.

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