How Quiet is the Mac Pro Nehalem

zebulon9

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 8, 2009
6
0
Hello all,

I have a mac mini (meaning no noise at all) and i 'd like to switch to a mac pro Quad core 2.9ghz. I would like to know if there are some configurations (graphic board, fan, etc..) that makes the mac pro TOTALLY quiet when doing some basic works (surfing, reading mail, listening itunes..). If not, can you please give me your feedback about the noise generated by the Mac Pro Nehalem? I am very sensible to this point so i really like to have comments about how silencious it can be (e.g. as quiet as a butterfly:) )

Thanks in advance.
 

Black107

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2009
122
20
I have my nehalem in my bedroom and its a pretty quiet machine, especially considering its a tower. I usually put it to sleep at night to save power but its by no means noisy. I dont think its going to be "100% silent" like an iMac or MacMini would be, but under normal use the fans run pretty quiet.
 

dvince2

macrumors 6502
Mar 6, 2007
283
1
Canada
I find my fans rev up when I first start the machine for like 10 seconds... other than that, I dont know its there.
 

Kronie

macrumors 6502a
Dec 4, 2008
929
0
I'm replacing my Mac Book Pro with a Mac pro as we speak and while the fans aren't "that" loud its definitely louder than the laptop. I thought Apple would have made the fans super silent like the unibodies.

Its not a deal breaker by any means.....
 

seisend

macrumors 6502a
Feb 20, 2009
506
0
Switzerland
I got my Mac Pro 09 on my desk and I hear him pretty good. It's not loud but I hear the fans. It's like a low humming noise.
 

2002cbr600f4i

macrumors 6502
Jun 21, 2008
489
0
Unless I'm doing something 3D intensive or seriously CPU intensive, I don't even hear the fans on the Pro.

It's not like the older MacMini I had was completely silent either! I'd say they were about the same...
 

zebulon9

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 8, 2009
6
0
Thank for the answers.

1) What about controling the fan speed manually (smcFan, etc..) to reduce the fan noise to minimum? Would that help, or does it runs already at minimum when the Mac Pro is at Idle or in low cpu activity (web browsing)...

2) have anyone tried a graphic board with a quiet system ?
 

ooninay

macrumors member
Mar 19, 2009
75
7
Toronto
Not sure if the Mac Pro I bought from the Apple store about a month ago is a "Nehalem" but I'm guessing it is... anyway it sits on my desk next to me and I can hear the fan when the room is otherwise quiet, but if my window is open I don't hear it. The fan noise is low in frequency--not at all the kind of high-pitched fan noise that drives me mad. I can also hear the hard drive clicking when I do stuff, which is a sound I personally like but others may not. Of course, when doing video stuff or playing games the fan(s) get louder, but still not to the point of irritation for me. I would reinforce what others are saying that the Mac Pros aren't silent like the iMacs, but they're not like refrigerators either like some other towers I've had!
 

seisend

macrumors 6502a
Feb 20, 2009
506
0
Switzerland
This is how my Mac Pro sounds. Recorded with an iPhone. I laid the iPhone on the table on the left side from the Mac Pro. 10 centimeters between the objects.Tested in a silent room with closed windows. The quality of the MP3 isn't that good. The low frequencies that you hear is the Mac Pro .Think away the high frequencies...

I always have my windows opened. At daytime I don't hear my Mac really good, but at night you can't overhear it. I added a picture so you can see where he stands.

There was a topic in this forum a few weeks/months ago about the 09 Mac Pro models

"New 2.26 (2009) Mac Pro Humming Noise:"

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=674185&highlight=Mac+Pro+humming
 

Attachments

gugucom

macrumors 68020
May 21, 2009
2,136
0
Munich, Germany
It depends a lot on the installed gear. Since I have a RAID card the Mac Pro is generally louder. If you fit a high power graphics card you also get more heat that needs extracting.
 

blinkfrog

macrumors member
Mar 10, 2009
43
0
All 2008 mac pros that I heard were much quieter than my 2009 mac pro.
It seems something wrong with (my) 2009 mac pro's fans - likely fans not balanced.
 

zebulon9

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 8, 2009
6
0
Thank you for all your replies, and also for the mp3 record (which is a bit louder but i think this is because the mic is placed on the mac instead of being on the desk while the mac pro is on the floor maybe).
Anyway, from all the posts I read on the Internet, it seems that it is not as quiet as I would expect. But we never know... so my plan is to order a 2.93 quad core on the apple store as I have still 14 days to return it if iI am not please with it, right? I suppose the gT 120 card is the quieter one, so I will order it: If the graphic boad is only the bad guy, I would be able to change the fan or use another board. If not, i 'll try to manually setup all fans to the minimum speed, and maybe disable some fans as well in the box (looks like there are a lot inside).

Looks like a plan?

Cheers.
 

Justinf79

macrumors 6502
May 28, 2009
412
0
Oregon
My '09 MP is really quiet in terms of fan noise. The hard drive is rather loud when it's crunching away though. :rolleyes:
 

gugucom

macrumors 68020
May 21, 2009
2,136
0
Munich, Germany
I have been running the beast with 90% CPU activity on all cores for the first time today with some transcoding programs and it got considerably louder than my 2006 x5365 ever was under similar loads. The small cpu heat sink fans go over 4000 RPM but they are relatively quiet. But the main intake and outlet fans for the CPU & RAM become very loud when they go over 2000 rpm. PCIe and PSU fans kept very low and were no concern. I have mainly SSDs and green WD drives for mass data. They are totally quiet. The RAID card is passive.
 

Msbeezy

macrumors member
Sep 20, 2009
75
15
Mine is virtually silent unless I work it with video rendering.Then the fans ramp up only just moderately..it's so pleasantly quiet!
 

GeneralAntilles

macrumors member
Jan 5, 2002
45
0
Ridiculously quiet. Speaking as a former G5 owner (dual-2.5GHz liquid-cooled—which "bought" my new Mac Pro and a single-1.8GHz) it's so quiet it's silly.
 

2002cbr600f4i

macrumors 6502
Jun 21, 2008
489
0
Seriously, compared to EVERY other tower I've ever had/built, this one is BY FAR the quietest, unless you're really cranking on things, and even then it's nowhere near as loud as some of my older machines...
 

hoj

macrumors newbie
Sep 25, 2009
10
0
Where are noise mesurements in decibels?

Why doesn't Apple publish noise info in its tech specs? I've asked in the past if they had measurements of noise in decibels, but did not get any numbers. Sure, the sound varies with CPU load and fan speed, but a min/max/average would be nice. Maybe if 1000s of people demanded these numbers... :)
 

handheldgames

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2009
1,691
906
Pacific NW, USA
Why doesn't Apple publish noise info in its tech specs? I've asked in the past if they had measurements of noise in decibels, but did not get any numbers. Sure, the sound varies with CPU load and fan speed, but a min/max/average would be nice. Maybe if 1000s of people demanded these numbers... :)
If they did, it would show that overall noise, heat, and power consumption increased under average usage.
 

Keniff

macrumors 6502a
Dec 21, 2008
525
1
United Kingdom
Mine only makes a fan noise boost when it starts up (which lasts 2 seconds)
Or when I'm burning a CD/DVD.

The only time I notice the tiny bit of fan noise, is when I see or read threads like this.

:cool:
 

Techhie

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2008
1,160
0
The hub of stupidity
Thank for the answers.

1) What about controling the fan speed manually (smcFan, etc..) to reduce the fan noise to minimum? Would that help, or does it runs already at minimum when the Mac Pro is at Idle or in low cpu activity (web browsing)...
SMC fan control cannot lower the default RPM of the respective fans. You can mess around with the app and set the values at max (2600 RPM on my 2009 quad), it literally vibrates my desk and sounds like the Mac is getting ready to take off.

I don't notice any noise at all from this machine, it's about on par with an iMac at idle. The fans in the MP were designed to only come on in extreme situations, so I can have it under intense loads without it breaking an extra decibel. The only thing I notice occasionally is the HDDs clicking around, and for that you will get an SSD if you want absolute silence.
 

zebulon9

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 8, 2009
6
0
SMCfanControl indeed let you just setup the minimum speed. Is there any tool that lets you manually force the fan to a given speed?
 

seisend

macrumors 6502a
Feb 20, 2009
506
0
Switzerland
SMCfanControl indeed let you just setup the minimum speed. Is there any tool that lets you manually force the fan to a given speed?
I would not recommend setting the speed lower than the original speed of the fans. That could cause overheat of your Mac Pro and I think thats very risky...