Mac Pro 2009 upgraded to 6870, now PCI fan high RPM

10k300

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 10, 2010
27
0
Hello all,

I have the following:

* 2009 Mac Pro, 2 x X5570, 24GB RAM
* GT120

All is great, boots up, works, all is fine - PCI fan at 700 rpm or so, PS fan at 500, totally quiet.

I bought a 6870, put it in, all works, except PCI fan is now at 2000-2300-2500-2200-1900. If you ever cranked up that fan with smcfancontrol, you'll know that it's VERY ANNOYING to listen to at >1100 RPM.

I suffered with this for a week trying over and over everything, reset SMC, reflash EFI, everything. Even did the netkas flash for 4,1 -> 5,1 MP firmware. Same thing, fluctuates between 1489 and 2500 rpm the PCI Expansion fan, and PS fan at 900-1500 all the time.

Removing the 6870 and putting in the GT120 OR a GTX260 I had on site, immediately stops this problem and everything runs normally again at 600-700 rpm. Therefore it is perfectly obvious the card is causing this, but why?

I have found since then a workaround, which is a bit silly, but it works.

* Boot Mac Pro with 6870
* Listen to the extremely annoying PCI fan for a few moments
* Start up "Open GL Extensions Viewer"
* Run the "Open GL test" for about 20 seconds

IMMEDIATELY after the test completes, the fan quiets down and operates EXACTLY as normal, with 600-700 rpm. Even if I fully utilize the machine after this "initialization", I'm talking about all 8 cores/16 HT running at 100% in FCP, still, PCI fan never goes over 700 rpm again.

I discovered this by accident by reading some other guy's flames on another apple forum about the same behavior which started when he put a Quadro 4000 in his MP 09. Therefore, we know that since it happened to him with the Quadro, it's not an ATI 6870 problem, it's a MP issue.

Anyone else have any comments or experiences with this one?
 

Loa

macrumors 68000
May 5, 2003
1,610
47
Québec
Hello,

Thanks for your idea, but stressing the machine was a known solution. Doing it with the Open GL app is a good and simple way to do it.

Loa
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,541
6,806
Does this happen to everyone with the 6870 in OS X? Lots of people report success, but I haven't seen other people report this fan problem.
 

G-Force

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2006
657
20
Well I have this issue, but there are several reports of this issue even with officially supported graphics cards like Apple's 5770 and the Quadro 4000.

I still don't get what is triggering this.

Quadro 4000:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3003177?start=0&tstart=0

Apple 5770:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2662757?start=0&tstart=0

Also notice that on the Online Apple Store, the 5870 is officially supported on the 2009 Mac Pro and the 5770 isn't.

Thanks for the GL Extension Viewer tip, that makes it a lot quicker to get it quiet. ;)
 

alvindarkness

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2009
559
396
This is definitely an irrelevant post, but just to further verify it isn't a 6870 problem. I've had a 6870 in an i7-2600k hackintosh pretty much from the day they were "supported" (early to mid 2010 - since around 10.6.6 or 10.6.7). Absolutely no fan problems at all.. Of course. </irrelevant post>
 

G-Force

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2006
657
20
It is completely irrelevant because a Hackintosh does not have an expansion slot fan like a Mac Pro.

Just to be clear, it is not the graphics card that is making noise, it's the Mac Pro's expansion slot (sometimes call pci-e fan) fan.
 

Flocarino

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2010
201
29
Montreal, Canada
I have the same problem here with a new ATI 5770, at the begginining, the RPM would have gone down to 824RPM from approx 2000RPM, after a few minutes.......then after 1 hour and now, no more...Only with the Open GL Extensions Viewer test:confused:
Apple told me to bring the MP to the Apple Store so a genius look into the problem.....right:)
I'll wait a bit as maybe some fix is on its way.
 

Neodym

macrumors 68020
Jul 5, 2002
2,034
599
Does this happen to everyone with the 6870 in OS X? Lots of people report success, but I haven't seen other people report this fan problem.
No problem here with a 6870 in a MP 1,1 running 10.6 Snow Leopard. Could be connected to the various graphic card designs out there, aiming at different operating points (temperature) and using different cooling solutions (though my 6870 has an "open" cooling system that will mainly vent to the inside of the computer and still the only time I can hear any fans - audible, but not really annoying and probably only the onboard fans of the graphic card - is when I put 3D load a.k.a. Gaming onto it).
 

Flocarino

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2010
201
29
Montreal, Canada
Because I don't want to carry a Mac Pro in a shopping mall by hand(need 2 people to carry it) and I'm not a newbie in this matter so a so called ''Genius'' notice the same problem, doesn't know what to do so he'll change whatever he wishes and thinks may be the culprit.....my Mac Pro is not a guinneea pig.
I 'll take this road ONLY if there will NOT be a remedy issued in the short future.

----------

No problem here with a 6870 in a MP 1,1 running 10.6 Snow Leopard. Could be connected to the various graphic card designs out there, aiming at different operating points (temperature) and using different cooling solutions (though my 6870 has an "open" cooling system that will mainly vent to the inside of the computer and still the only time I can hear any fans - audible, but not really annoying and probably only the onboard fans of the graphic card - is when I put 3D load a.k.a. Gaming onto it).
I had a 1.1 which was totally quiet, even with new X5365 Quad Cores installed and flashed ATI 4870 1GB, honestly...I start to regret selling it.

But this thread is about a 4.1 Model, Early 2009 and NOT a 1.1 2006 Model.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,541
6,806
Because I don't want to carry a Mac Pro in a shopping mall by hand(need 2 people to carry it) and I'm not a newbie in this matter so a so called ''Genius'' notice the same problem
Fair enough, but "Genius" techs do have access to things that many people do not; things that enable additional troubleshooting. For example, having another 5770 to swap in and see what happens.

I wouldn't want to walk into a mall with a MP either. Fortunately my Apple Store has an exterior door, should I ever need it.
 

Flocarino

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2010
201
29
Montreal, Canada
Fair enough, but "Genius" techs do have access to things that many people do not; things that enable additional troubleshooting. For example, having another 5770 to swap in and see what happens.

I wouldn't want to walk into a mall with a MP either. Fortunately my Apple Store has an exterior door, should I ever need it.

Well, under Leopard it works perfectly, RPM's go down to 800 but NOT in Lion, only with the OpenGL Extensions Viewer trick
:mad:
 

G-Force

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2006
657
20
This suggest its a software issue and not a firmware issue if I'm correct?

Maybe some changes in AppleGraphicsPowerManagement.kext can fix this?

I'm making a bootable copy right now so I can try some things.

Edit:
I've tried some things, but no change. It has got to be something in the drivers or firmware of these machines in combination with certain cards (Apple 5770, PC 6870, NVIDIA Quadro 4000).
 
Last edited:

Flocarino

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2010
201
29
Montreal, Canada
I just noticed that when I start from a regular hard drive the fans are quiet but starting from the SSD gives me the same result, HIGH RPM FANS, no matter that is SL or Lion installed:mad:
 

Neodym

macrumors 68020
Jul 5, 2002
2,034
599
I just noticed that when I start from a regular hard drive the fans are quiet but starting from the SSD gives me the same result, HIGH RPM FANS, no matter that is SL or Lion installed:mad:
When you compare SSD vs. HDD are you comparing the exact same installation cloned with e.g. SuperDuper or is it separate installations? In that case I would suspect that the installation on the SSD is somewhat flawed and suggest to clone one of the "functioning" systems to it (or do a fresh installation) for testing purposes.
 

Flocarino

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2010
201
29
Montreal, Canada
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Neodym said:
I just noticed that when I start from a regular hard drive the fans are quiet but starting from the SSD gives me the same result, HIGH RPM FANS, no matter that is SL or Lion installed:mad:
When you compare SSD vs. HDD are you comparing the exact same installation cloned with e.g. SuperDuper or is it separate installations? In that case I would suspect that the installation on the SSD is somewhat flawed and suggest to clone one of the "functioning" systems to it (or do a fresh installation) for testing purposes.
I've used Carbon Copy Cloner everytime without any problems. I will update the SSD from SL to Lion(fresh install) but I'm sure the results will be similar.
 

G-Force

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2006
657
20
Weird, I'll have to test this because I also use an SSD as boot drive (Intel 320). The problem however is that I had problems booting from my USB drive so I'll have to make a new clone.
 

gwalia4

macrumors newbie
Jan 16, 2012
1
0
No problem here with a 6870 in a MP 1,1 running 10.6 Snow Leopard. Could be connected to the various graphic card designs out there, aiming at different operating points (temperature) and using different cooling solutions (though my 6870 has an "open" cooling system that will mainly vent to the inside of the computer and still the only time I can hear any fans - audible, but not really annoying and probably only the onboard fans of the graphic card - is when I put 3D load a.k.a. Gaming onto it).
Which brand/model card are you using? I searched ebay and sellers state that hd6870 cards do not work with 2006/2007 mac pros. Did you have to flash the card?

I am PC person and just bought a Mac Pro 2006. Upgraded the Ram to 16gb,($40 used Hp server ram) from fleebay, have a vertex 3 ssd, and I need a good video card before i can start using my mac pro. I booted the computer with the 7300gt but do not want to use with an ancient card.

Any help about a good video card is appreciated. For my use GPU is more important than a CPU. I have one dell 30 inch display and need something powerfull enough to run full resolution without any hickups.
 

MacZonie

macrumors member
Nov 15, 2010
41
15
Thanks, 10K300. Worked as advertised with my 2009 PM and single 5770 card. The funny thing is this is something that started recently but I can't pinpoint what brought it all on.

At least it is quiet again :)
 

Atmos4

macrumors newbie
Apr 15, 2013
10
0
GTX 680 Mac Edition

Well I have the same issue with an EVGA GTX 680 Mac Edition: Expansion slot fan runs at ~1100-1300 RPM at boot, after running OpenGL Test it goes back to 800 RPM. The GTX 680 is actually cooler than my previous Apple Radeon HD 5870, so I think is is some bug in the SMC controller firmware.

I'm also running the MacPro5,1 firmware on a MacPro4,1 under 10.8.4b12e33a.
 

GP-SE

macrumors 6502
Feb 27, 2013
329
51
Well I have the same issue with an EVGA GTX 680 Mac Edition: Expansion slot fan runs at ~1100-1300 RPM at boot, after running OpenGL Test it goes back to 800 RPM. The GTX 680 is actually cooler than my previous Apple Radeon HD 5870, so I think is is some bug in the SMC controller firmware.

I'm also running the MacPro5,1 firmware on a MacPro4,1 under 10.8.4b12e33a.
this happens mostly on 2009 Machines, I have the same issue, and if you Google, even people with the official Apple 5770's can experience this issue on the 2009 4,1
 

Mac Hammer Fan

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2004
795
120
Belgium
I had the same experience with my MacPro with an ATI Radeon 5770. I replaced it by the 5870, where the problem didn't occur.
But perhaps you can try to flash your machine's firmware from 4,1 to 5,1.
The ATI Radeon 5770 was fully compatible with the 5,1 computers (2010).
 
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