How loud is your Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by AdiosVista, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. AdiosVista macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #1
    I'm running the latest Mac Pro, bought this past month. It is the default model with the ATI 2600 video card. I was doing some reading a while back on how some people were having issues with the 3870 fan being loud and they had said prior to installing the card, their computer was virtually silent. I'm a little confused by this because my Mac Pro is not loud by any means but it is definitely not silent. I don't remember hearing the demo models in the apple store running at all but with my computer in my room, I hear a constant woosh/hum that I always assumed was one of the fans. What confuses me now is I took of the side panel tonight and it seems like the noise is coming more from the Mac hard drive. I even stopped the front case fan just below the hard drive and did the same with the video card fan and neither of these were the ones causing the noise. The sound I hear is not hard drive writing noises or anything like that, it's always constant, which is why I though it was a fan but I don't see any other fans unless there are more directly above the hard drives where I can't look into. If I use my ear as a guide, I'm continually brought back to the front of the case right near the mac hard drive. What confuses me further is I have 2 other drives installed but the noise is definitely centered around the first drive only.

    How would you all describe the noise level of your Mac Pro? If the room was completely quiet, would you hear your machine at all or is it totally silent??
     
  2. umbilical macrumors 6502a

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    FL, USA
    #2
    mine is close to silence, I think that next model of macpro are complete silence or if is not next, maybe in 2 years or something, but is almost silenece, I love it.
     
  3. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #3
    Thanks for the input. I'm not sure I understand though. Do you currently own a recent Mac Pro and if so, would you say it's completely silent or is there definitely an audible "hum" or "woosh" always coming from it?

    The best way to describe my type of sound and noise level is if you imagine someone steadily exhaling through a straw. Sounds pretty close to that.

    EDIT: Sorry, I misread your post as "mini" instead of "mine"
     
  4. AppleNewton macrumors 68000

    AppleNewton

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    #4
    ATI always seems to have pretty vigorous fans on their graphics cards; not insanley loud or annoying (most of the time)
    i had a pc wiht one and it was fairly audible...but also i have the 1st gen MP with the x1900 and that is basically the most audible thing about the machine, and its not too bad, but everyone seems to know that case of that fan/card.

    i also use at a small studio, the 2008 MP 2.8 Octo with the 8800 card and that machine is dead silent...you'll hear it evry so often, but it depends on the size of the room, the temperature (fans kick in, etc) how good your hearing is, etc etc.

    an apple store is a pretty tough place to test any audible sounds on those machines..so much ambient noise going on, i mean if you can install istat pro n that machine while in store im sure you can generally judge how it operats (not audible but in general) a machine that runs all day every etc etc.

    but to answer your question, te most noise you should hear would be coming from the harddrives and the graphics card fans.
     
  5. iamcheerful macrumors 6502

    iamcheerful

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #5
    Applies to a Mac Pro 2.8 GHz x 8

    note: CPU - 100% is full-load (i.e. all 8-cores)

    under full-load for over 6 hrs (i.e. CPU usage of 96 - 98%), and in an environment of approx. 24ºC - 28ºC ...

    a) it is considered silent if you have your TV on, if you have music in the background (inc. soothing and classical instrumental).

    b) in the silent nights, there is an audile sound which consist of both the fan and hdd (WD 640GB series first gen). if certain applications are using the optical drive, generally that's the loudest source. nb: not all optical medias operate at a high-noise level.


    in normal situations (i.e. just surfing, mail ... just the simple daily tasks of a normal computer user) the CPU usage doesn't even report a single %-age mark. in iStats Menu, it shows 100% idle.

    one has got to really have keen hearing to detect noise from the machine (with the exception of the optical drive in use and also when excessive disk swapping occurs).

    hope the above little details are sufficient for you to come up with a conclusion. do note that not all (probably is NOT ONE) mac pros are made the same and each person's perspectives differ due to various factors involved.

    bottom line, it is one of the quietest computer i ever used. the other silent one was my pb3400c booting from the RAM Disk, running from there and having the hdd unmounted.
     
  6. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #6
    I have the 2008 2.8 80core as well but it's just the 2600 and as I mentioned, I even opened the case and physically stopped the video card fan with my finger and the noise continued so it's definitely not coming from the card. The noise is constant and comes right from around the hard drive bay 1. Anyone else have this on their Mac Pro??

    Thanks for all that input. My noise is definitely constant, doesn't matter if the cpu is maxed or idling. I would still call the machine quiet but by no means silent, which I hear a lot of people saying. Any ideas why I'm hearing this woosh coming from the hard drive area? Is there a fan in the very top of this case above the drives? Could just the spinning of the disks be causing a steady hum/woosh sound? Sounds too load to be the hard drives though, like I said, just like someone inside my machine blowing through a straw...
     
  7. bigbird macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    My dual 2.8 MP is definitely not silent. The fans make a very low level "swish" noise without any fan control on my part. I have replaced the stock HD and have 4 HD's in there. There are 2 Seagates and 2 Western Digitals. The fans are louder than any of the HD's. I use SMC fan control and have all fans set to 800 rpm to keep the RAM at 52C (125F). At that speed the fans can definitely be heard, but are certainly not objectionable. Don't expect any MP to be totally silent, as there are moving parts. Only SSD drives are totally silent.
     
  8. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

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    Jul 8, 2008
    #8
    Mine is super quiet most of the time.

    But when I put a disc in it sounds like a jet engine.
     
  9. umbilical macrumors 6502a

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    May 3, 2008
    Location:
    FL, USA
    #9
    I mean the my macpro 08, is quiet... almost silence, I have pro mac around 5 years back and everyday are more silence... I think that new one are complete silence like a imac.
     
  10. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #10
    sounds like you have the infamous Mac Pro hard drive hum. search the forums for the solution. a member did a guide with pictures.
     
  11. iamcheerful macrumors 6502

    iamcheerful

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #11
    Current configuration

    you are most welcome.

    i forgot to add the additional config. of the mac pro i'm using.

    Current Config:
    4 x WD640 GB
    2 x 2 GB(3rd party) + 2 x 1 GB(stock)
    PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-112D(stock)
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 (stock, came with updated firmware 113-B1480A-252)
    AirPort Extreme (which is not in use most of the time, added as it wasn't a user installable item)

    additional info if interested:
    - one of the better value (specifically in terms of power consumption and performance; not the best but like i said, better value) hdds around during the time of my purchase
    - WD6400AAKS-65A7B0, 75A7B0, 00A7B0 x2
    - RAM appears generic from Transintl
     
  12. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #12
    Thank you everyone for the great feedback, and glad to hear I'm not the only one with a MP that makes some noise, though it is remarkably quiet. I've only had the new machine for about a month but so far this board has been a HUGE help with my mac questions, thanks again.
     
  13. umbilical macrumors 6502a

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    FL, USA
    #13
    test your fans with istat widget... see my macpro fans... and so quiet...
     

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  14. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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  15. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #15
    My fans are nearly identical except my PSU fan is 20 degrees cooler than yours with my current room temp.

    I found this thread and it sounds like I have the same exact problem:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=457977&highlight=Mac+Pro+hard+drive+hum

    As a test, I just took out all of my hard drives and started the machine. There was still some noise but it was greatly reduced. The issue is almost positively the mac hard drive in bay 1 that came standard with the machine. Whether or not it is simply a flaw in the case that is resonating the HD vibrations or if it's the HD itself, I'm not sure.
     
  16. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #16
    Here's a question I have in order to further test this: Is there any way to have to computer running but put the main Mac HD completely asleep? I know my other drives go to sleep automatically when not used but I've taken them out one by one and it's definitely the main Mac HD in bay one.

    Second question: can I simply swap drives to different bays and will Leopard automatically handle them correctly? For example I have my Mac HD in bay 1 and then two extra drives in bay 2 and 3. Can I move my Mac HD from bay 1 to 4 and reboot without any issues?
     
  17. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
  18. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #18
    I've been looking for info on whether or not I can simply shut down, swap my Mac HD from bay 1 to bay 4, and reboot without causing any issues but still can't find an answer. If anyone knows, I would greatly appreciate your insight. Thank you.
     
  19. gotzero macrumors 68040

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    Jan 6, 2007
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    #19
    Mine is very quiet, but far from silent. If I listen for it in a quiet room, it is easily audible.

    I believe there is more than one front fan, it may be what you are hearing.
     
  20. minik macrumors 65816

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    Jun 25, 2007
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    Bellevue, WA
    #20
    low-end Mac Pro 2 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon with ATI Radeon X1900 XT.
     

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  21. alam macrumors regular

    alam

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    Location:
    Saudi Arabia
    #21
    well guys your are really hurting my feeling cuz look at my fan speed
     

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  22. pwn247 macrumors 6502

    pwn247

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    Aug 30, 2008
    Location:
    West Virginia, USA
    #22
    Mine is next to silent. The only sounds that I really hear is the RAM ticking, and the peaceful hum of fans.


    Why is your fan speed up that high? xD

    Mac Pro ≠ Icebox
     
  23. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #23
    It is not any of the front fans, I have traced the sound with my ear and it brings me directly to the hard drive in bay way. It is the HD vibrations that resonate through the case. I would still like to know if I can simply swap drive from bay 1 and put it in bay 4, I think that would at least help get the sound away from the front of the case where I hear it so prominently.
     
  24. iamcheerful macrumors 6502

    iamcheerful

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #24
    imho, there shouldn't be any issues with the swap.

    if for some reason, it doesn't boot up with that drive (assuming u have more than 1 boot drive/system), just select the startup drive from the System Prefs.

    keep us posted.
     
  25. Infrared macrumors 68000

    Infrared

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #25
    Yes. It's almost certainly the hard drive spinning. I've heard three
    different Mac Pros - they all made the same sound. I don't consider
    the noise to be a problem, though some people might. And in a
    different environment (more ambient noise or more noise dampening)
    the sound will not be audible.

    A hard drive spinning:

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=9eMWG3fwiEU

    The bit in the centre is not a smooth surface like the platter. It
    will naturally make noise as it spins through the air at 7200 RPM.

    If you want to do it for a noise test, yes.

    Set your machine to go to sleep after 1 min. Don't do anything on it
    but make sure iStat Pro is running. The HD will go to sleep before the
    machine as a whole does. You can even wiggle the mouse to prevent
    full sleep mode and the HD will remain asleep (unless it is accessed by
    some program).

    At that point you can look at iStat Pro, and see that the fans are still
    rotating. I suspect you will find the machine near silent at that point.
     

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