Mac Pro 2009 Quad (Flashed to 5,1) fan speeds/noise

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Sharky II, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Sharky II, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014

    Sharky II macrumors 6502a

    Sharky II

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    Hi,

    I've tried googling and searching here but i'm not sure that i can get very reliable results! I have a 2009 2.66 Quad, with 24GB Ram, GT120 (and an SSL PCIE audio card) and it's flashed to a 5,1. The machine is clean, it's apparently only seen 3 months use, and when i got it, i used an air can and brush to clean it.

    I believe that the fans are spinning too fast, and there's also the annoying oscillation and general noise that i've heard people discuss. The machine is noisier than my 2008 Mac Pro, which is soon to be for sale. I have a very quiet environment here as i have a studio. All HDs are currently spun down except for the SSD so HD noise is not a factor. Interestingly, the annoying oscillation noise can sometimes be helped *slightly* by 'unlocking' the side door, but keeping it on. Machine is on neoprene rubber so no vibrations through floor.

    Please can you tell me the proper fan speeds i should be seeing?

    Mine are attached. My understanding is that the PS should be 600 and the intake should be 600 also? The PS is exactly at 799/800 so i believe something is wrong? If the other fans should be spinning at the speeds SMC sets as 'default'/minimum, then that's not good at all.

    So, my Power supply is 200rpm too fast, and the intake is around 90rpm too fast...

    When i reboot, if i launch SMCFanControl quickly, i can see the PS fan go from 599/600 to 800 in a matter of seconds.... I've tried SMC reset, no impact on fan speeds/noise.

    EDIT: launching SMCFanControl was causing the problem - it's clearly not working properly (on my machine at least).

    Cheers

    Ed
     

    Attached Files:

  2. mrh63061 macrumors newbie

    mrh63061

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    #2
    Check your settings in SMC Fan Control

    It sounds more like your settings in the fan control app, or does this happen when the app isn't running?
    Here are the rpm's I've been getting since day one when I bought new and after flashing the firmware to a 5,1 .

    http://cdn.macrumors.com/vb/images/attach/png.gif
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Sharky II, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014

    Sharky II thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sharky II

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
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    #3
    Guys, i think something is wrong with SMCFanControl...

    When i change the 'I/O' setting in SMCFanControl, it changes the fan which it reports as the 'PS'!! And i think it's more than just incorrect naming.

    When i adjust the fan speeds, the WRONG fan speeds up/down.... (see pic) t'd not just in one case:

    1) Adjusting CPU_MEM changes the 'PCI' speed
    2) Adjusting IO Changes 'PS' speed (see pic)
    3) Adjusting Exhaust changes the 'EXHUAST' 'INTAKE' and 'BOOSTA' speeds!!! (see pic2 - this is probably due to the vacuum effect)
    4) Adjusting PS changes the 'INTAKE' speed

    So something is very confused. How do i get SMC to just put everything back to default???! I don't trust SMC Fan Control at ALL...

    If i just shut down, and unplug/do SMC reset, and then never run SMC fan control... things should be OK, right? But how would i know the correct fan speeds then!

    Thinking about it, it shouldn't even HAVE a 'PS' variable there.

    Cheers

    Ed
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Sharky II thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sharky II

    Joined:
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    #4
    Thanks man, that's what i thought, those speeds look great.

    The settings in SMCFanControl are all minimum, and set to 'default', which is all i want, i don't want to mess things up (which i appear to have done).

    I wish iStat still showed fan speeds so that i didn't have to mess with SMC Fan Control!
     
  5. mrh63061 macrumors newbie

    mrh63061

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    #5
  6. Sharky II, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014

    Sharky II thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sharky II

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
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    #6
    Thanks, i was just interested in Fan speeds really, though.

    I will delete SMCFanControl and reset SMC by unplugging, and hopefully i'll notice some quieter fan speeds. It would be good to be able to check the speeds reliably, though!

    Edit: I did as above and downloaded the demo for iStat - and it is now showing the same speeds as you posted above. I guess launching SMCFanControl was the problem all along. I used to really trust that program!!

    Thank you for your help.
     
  7. h9826790, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014

    h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #7
    Those oscillation sound may NOT from the fan. You can try to open the side door (when the Mac is running), give a little push to the HD tray, may be one of them is a little bit loose and cause the sound.
     
  8. Sharky II, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014

    Sharky II thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sharky II

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
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    #8
    I'll give that a go now, thanks - they are all spun down though and it still does it...

    I tried that, no difference there... the HD trays are solid and didn't move at all. I've even tried removing all four HDs.

    With the door 'unlatched' and the fans at the correct speeds, there's much less of a problem with oscillation noise now. Still a hum

    Thanks though!
     
  9. Sharky II, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014

    Sharky II thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sharky II

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
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    #9
    Hey h9826790, i thought you might be interested to know - since using iStat, i tried messing with the fans. Once i turned it all off, my new default fan speed is much lower, see attached - and also the machine is now just as quiet as my 2008 Mac Pro (edit: just turned on the old 2008 Mac Pro and that beast is whisper quiet... this still doesn't compare).

    The low frequency hum is reduced. PS and Exhaust now at 500, and CPU booster is much lower.

    My 'fix': I used iStat pro to turn up the Exhaust, then just turned it back down, and all my values changed. I turned 'Active set' to 'off' and restarted. Oscillation noise gone too (it was from the lower silver metal cage that the CPU/memory board goes into - below the GPU - pushing this reduced the resonance).

    I am not sure if this is normal or whatever, but it's quieter. However, if i restart, the higher fan speeds are observed (assuming iStat is turned off).

    I'm just a bit miffed because the old mac pro allowed me to record in the same room as it, and this one has a noticeable 'there's a PC in the room' sound. Very puzzling... i might flash it back to a 4,1 and see if this continues.

    I think, essentially, at least one of my fans is rather noisy, i'm guessing the Exhaust one. I'm rather disappointed to be parting with such a silent machine, and this is the replacement.

    Cheers

    Ed
     

    Attached Files:

  10. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #10
    Thanks for the info. Do you mind to post your iStat temperature sensors reading and also the CPU loading?

    AFAIK, the default fan speed is around 600RPM under Mavericks (Booster 850RPM). Anyway, for the smcFanControl issue. it's easy to edit the Machines.plist file under ~/Library/Application Support/smcFanContorl/ to modify the minimum speed (For 5,1, it's at the bottom of the plist file), you can change the numbers to whatever you want. After you fix that, you can play around with the smcFanControl, and try to identify which one is the noisy fan.

    Also, good to know that you successfully locate the oscillation noise source is the metal cage. That's shouldn't be a moving parts, may be you can remove the CPU tray, and tighten the screws a little bit (6 captive screws at the back, and 5 mushroom-head screws at the bottom).
     
  11. Sharky II, Aug 13, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014

    Sharky II thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sharky II

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    #11
    No problem - i'll post the temps shortly (i assume you want the temps while the machine is at the lower fan speeds). Is idling OK?

    What's more puzzling - i've actually been a bit 'naughty' and tried to do some troubleshooting - i put my hand in and stopped each fan one by one. The only one i can't stop is obviously the CPU booster fan, but i can speed that up with iStat (iStat allows you to control fans too... probably worth the $16). All fans seemed very quiet, and if i stop them, the decrease in noise is barely audible.

    So there's a low frequency hum that bothers me that is not caused by any one fan. I believe it's an overall resonance coming from the lower half of the machine, although it's hard to tell. On the 2008, there's no low frequency 'hum', just a 'whoosh' of the air moving through the machine.

    I'll definitely try tightening those screws you mentioned, however i'm not so hopeful! :(

    It would appear that i've been one of the lucky ones with my whisper quiet 2008 Octo (or unlucky with the 2009)... helluva machine that!
     
  12. Sharky II, Aug 13, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014

    Sharky II thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sharky II

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    #12
    Hey, here are the temps after being up for roughly 30 mins at the lower fan speeds. The machine is still too noisy for my liking, but i imagine most people wouldn't care. It's just that i have a studio and am pretty anal about this kind of thing. From the rear of the machine the lower portion is about 8db louder than my old mac pro, using the iPhone and a noise/decibel app.

    I tried tightening the screws for the cage, no difference in sound. The middle torn screw seemed threaded and didn't want to turn, though. The philips screws are quite tricky to get to.

    I'm starting to get really fed up as low noise means a lot to me, and it doesn't seem like just one noisy fan, it's a 'system' which is causing a new 'note'. My last hope is that when upgrading the CPU, i put the screws back in properly and this stops the CPU booster fan/machine from resonating...

    I might have to build a cabinet to throw this thing into.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #13
    Thanks for the capture. Yes, that's what I want. Even though your fan speed is low than default, but the temperature is fine.

    Anyway, is your CPU constantly draw 27A even at idle? That's quite high actually.
     
  14. Sharky II thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sharky II

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    Jan 6, 2004
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    United Kingdom
    #14
    I think that's just a quirk - it's hovering very low now. It probably just spiked up for a second while i took the screen grab.

    I'm experimenting with putting paper 'shimmies' in the gaps where i think there are vibration issues... i think it's helping the issue a bit.

    I've noticed a bit of 'play' with the front and rear exhaust fan.

    I'm determined to get to the bottom of this!

    The slower/quieter fan speeds are just so much nicer to be around though, i may have to buy iStat...
     
  15. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

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  16. Sharky II, Aug 13, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014

    Sharky II thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sharky II

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #16
    Thanks Lou!

    Another step closer to the resonance answer: i've noticed that with the 2008 Mac pro (2.8x8, 8800GT, 500GB stock HD), if you touch the case, it's completely still.

    If you touch the 2009 (quad 2.66, GT120, SSD boot drive), you can feel the case vibrating - even with all spinning HDDs off/removed. The fans themselves are not noisy at all.

    Confirms my idea that the low humming noise is general system resonance, whereby some/all the fans act together to generate the noise. The fans easily move in their cages, if you push on them..

    I'm probably going to take it all apart and use a bunch of foam tape to try to dampen all contact wherever i can.

    I did a little testing with some paper shimmies and i believe helped a fair bit.

    Cheers
     

    Attached Files:

  17. carpsafari Suspended

    carpsafari

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2015
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    the Netherlands
    #17
    Wow, even 4x your Spam!

    And you spam 2 year old topics.
     
  18. h9826790, Dec 6, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016

    h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #18
    Do you try this yourself? It looks like this software is not tested on the Mac Pro

    Update 1:

    I just have a quick look of the source code. it doesn't looks like this version fit the cMP.

    This software only define Fan 0,1,2, which doesn't fit the cMP. In cMP...

    Fan 0 - PCIe
    Fan 1 - PSU
    Fan 2 - Exhaust
    Fan 3 - Intake
    Fan 4 - CPU A
    Fan 5 - CPU B

    So, by using this software, it may spin up the PSU fan when the CPU is getting warm. Not very ideal.

    Anyway, the one that fit the cMP is on this thread. But TBH, this software seems not always working, it works on my mac flawlessly, but may cause the fan run at max in another cMP. So, my recommendation is don't use this one unless MacsFanControl really can't fit your need.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mac-pro-2009-2010-fan-control-now-version-2.1340705/
     

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