Likely points of failure on a MP 1.1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by PineShack, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. PineShack macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    #1
    I've got a 2006 Mac Pro that I've been working on fixing up, and I'm really happy with it. I've upgraded the CPUs to 3.0 ghz quad cores, found a good deal on an ATI HD 5770, and maxed out the RAM. It's running Yosemite now, thanks to some help from the good folks on this board. Despite its age, I think this machine could easily meet my needs for several years.

    So, if I'm bored and watching eBay for good deals on spare parts, what might be handy to have around? What is most likely to fail on this machine - the logic board, the power supply, RAM risers?

    Thanks in advance for any help.:)
     
  2. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    Jun 12, 2011
    Location:
    AZ/10.0.1.1
    #2
    Power supplies. I have seen those fail in the tower Mac Pros quite often, usually because the user installed a new PCI card that drew just a little too much power. That, and the caps degrade with age. Really, if you can afford to doubles of everything that what I would do, since the parts for the 1,1s have fallen in recent years.
     
  3. bax2003 macrumors 6502a

    bax2003

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    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    #3
    1. RAM
    2. Power Supply
    3. Logic Board
    4. GPU (if it was original 7300GT, it would be #1)
     
  4. PineShack thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 17, 2015
    #4
    Thanks for the replies. I'll keep an eye out for spares of all kinds then. It really is a nice old machine. I would argue it's one of the best Apple has ever built.
     
  5. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #5
    In 2013 FBDIMM prices dropped while quality of new ones improved and run much cooler.

    I have the XP941 with PCIe adapter and seems excellent, bootable.

    Always have it on a good reliable 900W UPS for sure, the 1300VA CyberPower has given mine protection and I think helps avoid some of the problems that otherwise might happen.
     
  6. PineShack thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 17, 2015
    #6
    I'm glad the memory prices have come down. I bought a 8x4gb kit of new RAM and the internal case temperatures are a couple of degrees cooler than with the six one-gig DIMMS that it came with. I have it on a decent UPS/power conditioner, so hopefully it will remain safe from outside damage.

    Right now I've got three assorted SSDs in it. They were just some that I had on hand from other machines. It's nice how the price on those has come down. They really make a big performance difference.
     
  7. Raunien macrumors 6502

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    Aug 3, 2011
    #7
    Sorry to hijack this thread. Is it wise to buy a spare power supply for 2010 MP even though it is like $300?

    Or.. should one wait until it actually fails and buy it then? Mostly worried about suppliers running out of stock.
     
  8. bax2003 macrumors 6502a

    bax2003

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    Belgrade, Serbia
    #8
    If it was Early 2008 (3.1) that would be smart if you depend on that machine.
    3.1 PSU is not compatible with 1.1 / 2.1 (not without new cables and pinout modifications) nor with 4.1/5.1.
     
  9. Raunien macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    #9
    No I know the PSU's aren't compatible. But I'm wondering how many of you cMP'ers have spare PSUs just in case. Or do you guys buy another one when your current one breaks.

    And an extension of my question is, when will the current suppliers (dvwarehouse, macpalace) stop stocking these parts and will not sell them anymore?
     
  10. AidenShaw, Apr 5, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015

    AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    The Peninsula
    #10
    Psu

    Almost all reasonable servers have at least N+1 redundancy - one more power supply than is necessary so that it will continue to run after one supply has failed. (I just installed a couple of ProLiant ML350s with quad 800 watt power supplies - N+2 redundancy.) And of course they're hot-swappable - remove a failed PS and plug in a good one.

    I have spare power supplies in every system - installed and ready to carry the load if the other one(s) fail. And yes, I have a couple of spares for each system type on hand.

    Power supplies are the least reliable parts of the system, especially if you push them close to the rated load. (I consider 50% of the rating to be the max target - having a pair of 800w supplies in a server that tops out at 400-500w is good.)
    ____

    You could consider this as anecdotal evidence - except for the fact that server makers consider it an essential feature to have redundant hot-swap power supplies.

    A truly anecdotal bit is that I've never had a memory DIMM failure outside of infant mortality - and I have about 40 older servers still running with FB-DIMM memory.
     
  11. 666sheep, Apr 6, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015

    666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Location:
    Poland
    #11
    From the perspective of someone who's servicing these machines since 2007, I cannot confirm above statements, especially regarding power supplies in 1,1/2,1.

    From my experience it goes like this (descending):
    1.GPUs (only stock ones: 7300 and X1900XT)
    2. memory
    3. logic boards and memory risers

    I never had to replace failed PSU in 2006/2007 (may be it's ahead me ;)). And statement about "graphics cards power draw damaging PSUs" is just purely false. There's a circuit on logic board which cuts the power off before any chance of PSU overload/damage will might happen.

    Edit: OK, I reall one damaged PSU in 2007, but cause was a surge during the storm.
     
  12. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    Location:
    AZ/10.0.1.1
    #12
    Yes this is true, however PSUs degrade over time. I see it constantly. I have yet to run into a MP personally that had a PSU failure but I have seen quite a few posts and know a few people who had issues with their MP's PSU.

    Usually the machine is reaching EOL (5-7 years, or with MPs usually longer) and the electorlytes inside the capacitors grow weaker leading to a weak PSU. Causing the machine to request more power, usually by popping in a new drive or card (or sometimes by just running an intensive application) will cause the supply to just die. It usually won't die with the machine on, but once you try to do a cold boot, the PSU won't be strong enough to give that surge to turn everything on the machine will just sit.

    I have had a couple G5s do this along with my MDD, so I have seen it first hand in other machines, just not in the Mac Pros. Usually at this point the user just recycles the machine and moves on because most of them don't have the technical know-how like those of us on here.
     
  13. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #13
    OP didn't ask about G5s, MDDs or even about "Mac Pros in general". He asked about specific model weak points, and you're talking about general rule "PSUs tend to die over the time"... And you don't even met a single 1,1 with dead PSU. How could this be a valid answer to the OP?
     
  14. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #14
    My 1,1 has endured EXTREME testing for many years now. A memory riser quit one day without warning. The PSU is still original, and used to endure powering the dual 4870 card, it would regularly shut off everything when there where big explosions in Windows games.

    Slot 1 no longer likes being in x16 lane mode with one brand of GPUs but is fine with other, so it is likely that a pin is bent or broken. But my 1,1 has probably had more than 1,000 GPUs tested in it so not surprising.
     
  15. PineShack thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 17, 2015
    #15
    I'm glad to hear they're fairly durable machines. The power supplies are made by Delta, so I would expect them to last, although i need to remember that this machine is heading towards 10 years old. I won't panic on getting a spare, but I suppose it would be prudent to watch for a good deal on one, just in case. Being in Canada, the shipping is what hurts the most with larger, heavier parts like power supplies.

    I have come across quite a few accounts of memory risers dying, but I'm still not sure if that's a genuine phenomenon or just a coincidence of the anecdotal accounts I've happened to come across. Memory risers seem to be cheap enough that it wouldn't hurt to have a spare or two.

    As for the RAM itself, as a generalization, I can't say I've seen a lot of DIMM failures over the years. Having said that, this is the only machine I've ever owned with FB-DIMMS. I wonder if they were more fragile than plain old DDR, and if the newer ones are more robust. The new ones I got (Micron with Apple-spec heatsinks) certainly run much cooler than the originals.

    The Radeon 5770 I got is a genuine Apple branded card that the seller claimed has had little use, so hopefully that will be all right for at least a few years.

    I guess I'll keep an eye out for good deals on parts, just in case. By and large, though, I have the impression that these machines last pretty well. I hope that is true.

     
  16. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

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    Earth
    #16
    When I had my 1,1 2006 cMac Pro, it ran perfectly. The only part that expired was the video card, Nvidia 7300GT but this was a weak card poorly designed without heat management. It's good you have the Radeon 5770HD. Some of the design studios I do business with still uses a 2006 1,1 cMac Pro up to now and running fine. Just keep the interior free from dust regularly and invest in a UPS. Heavy dusts attracts too much heat. Enjoy your machine :)
     

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