Just bought a mac pro--couple questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by nutritious, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. nutritious macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2008
    These are the specs:
    Two 2.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Westmere processors
    6GB (six 1GB) memory
    1TB hard drive
    18x double-layer SuperDrive
    ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5

    I plan on adding my own intel SSD to it. And another 1.5TB HDD to it.

    Anyway, my biggest question is about the noise and the fans. What are the size of the fans in the Mac Pro? Are they 120mm? I couldn't find the specs for them anywhere. And are they easily replaced? I'd like to use my own fans. Also, will there be enough space to add a dust filter to the front intake fan?

    Also how is the dust situation in it? Does it get very dusty? Also, from what I notice, the CPUs are passively cooled by huge heatsinks, but I am wondering if they do a good job keeping the CPUs cool?

    Also, I am completely out of the loop, but what is the best card available for the mac? Is it the 5870? And also what are the specs of the PSU? I read that it is 1200 watts from somewhere, but I can't verify it. Can anyone shed some light on that?
  2. diazj3, Feb 11, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011

    diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    a) The MP fans are not user replaceable... but anyhow, IME they are quiet and do a good job. Some users have improvised dust filters with mixed results... see this and this. Personally, I'd rather have 100% of airflow/cooling capacity and just open it every 6 months for a quick inside dusting.

    b) depends on your personal environment - but I'm not gonna lie to you: it does accumulate dust inside. Placing it some inches above the floor makes a huge difference. The CPU cooling is IMO very good and very quiet, given its simplicity (compared with similar spec PC workstations and liquid cooling systems, for example). In most cases, the noisiest and hottest part is the GPU card.

    c) which card is best depends on each users needs. Up until now, regarding high end cards, you can choose between ATI 5870 and NVidia Quadro FX4800. Correct, PS is 1200w.

  3. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    The stock fans are effective and quiet. I see no reason to replace them.

    Dust can be mitigated a lot by placing filter material in front of the front intake fans. There is a thread here about doing that. However, the entire case is perforated, so dust will get in.

    The best Apple approved card you can get is a 5870. There are people who flash PC cards and use them, so maybe there are fast PC cards that are compatible, but I don' t know much about that.
  4. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    The Mac Pro fans are proprietary and plug into purpose-made power connectors. You wouldn't be able to replace these fans with standard ones without warranty-voiding modifications.

    The CPUs actually aren't passively cooled, per se. There are intake and exhaust fans attached to either side of the cage surrounding the processor/memory daughter card. And the PCIe card cage gets its own intake fan, as well.

    But in any case, the fans already do a pretty good job at keeping things cool and quiet. As mentioned before, your biggest source of noise is generally going to be the GPU's fan.

    A Mac Pro can get pretty dusty inside because its entire front is ventilated. You can do a DIY filter if you're really concerned about that, but in my situation I'm swapping internal drives so often that the inside of my Mac Pro gets a quick dust cleaning every couple of months.
  5. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
  6. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Don't forget the HD's. They are the noisiest thing to me by far. Especially with 4 seeking Western Digital's. Damn. But other than that, they are very quiet.
  7. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    OWC specifically says that the drive mount you linked to isn't for use in the Mac Pro Tray. You could get the Icy Dock so you can put the SSDs in a standard Mac Pro Tray.
  8. nutritious thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2008
    Yeah, I bought an Icy Dock the same second I bought my Mac pro. Going to use my intel g2 ssd in it. 6GB of ram between two processors is kind of low, but I'll upgrade it eventually. I feel like I made a mistake getting the 8 core instead of the 12 core and also not waiting for ivy bridge, but this thing should be a monster regardless, and I didn't have the funds for the 12 core. I'm looking to get the Dell U3011 display because it has good sRGB emulation or a used 30" ACD, so I could not justify the added cost of the 12 core MP. It would've just been too much money to spend.
  9. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    Apple's fans are pretty top notch compared to any PC's I've owned. They're also pretty well calibrated, so it's not suggested that you replace them. Apple has the case divided into zones and has a controller dedicated to keeping the fans quiet but cooling the proper zones.
  10. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    It's a 980W PSU for all 2009 and 2010 Mac Pros.

    The CPUs are actually active cooled. Each heat sink has a little fan inside. If you take a look into the heat sink from the side, you can see it. The only possibility to swap this fan, is to replace the whole heat sink.
  11. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Noise from modern hard drives actually doesn't bother me that much. And I own several WD Caviar Blacks. They may be on the upper end of the dBA scale for current hard drives, but they're still nowhere near as noisy as some the 10-15k rpm Ultra SCSI-3 discs I've owned back in the day. If you want to hear noisy, listen to one of those. ;)

    You're right, I totally forgot about that!
  12. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2010
    Edinburgh, UK
    I can say that in the past couple of days of owning my new Mac Pro (see sig), I can verify that the main case fans are good and quiet, especially once they idle down. The 5870 fan is just audible at idle and quickly becomes noticeable as you work the card. Some casual WoWarcraft raises the temp to around 60C and by then the fan is clearly audible.

    I am waiting for some parts to arrive from Hong Kong and I will be attempting to fit an Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus onto my 5870 and I will report on its performance and difficulty of fit into the case.
  13. FluJunkie macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2007
  14. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008

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