Mac Pro fans revving up.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Chriscotech, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Chriscotech macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #1
    The fans on my Mac Pro have developed a mind of their own no matter how many times I reset the SMC and/or PRAM. These things only provide temporary relief at best. I am also getting "no wake from sleep and kernel panics on startup.

    The fans sound like a motor race. Any activity, however small starts them accelerating. They usually, but not always slow back down. The air coming out of the back is pretty cool, as is the ambient temperature here.

    I am hoping this is not because my Mac Pro is an early 2009 machine with a "professional" 12-core processor upgrade. It has been working fine but not really since OS 10.8 and it really lost the plot when I installed iTunes 11.1.

    Has anyone else experienced this?

    OS 10.8.5

    Hardware Overview:

    Model Name: Mac Pro
    Model Identifier: MacPro5,1
    Processor Name: 6-Core Intel Xeon
    Processor Speed: 3.06 GHz
    Number of Processors: 2
    Total Number of Cores: 12
    L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
    L3 Cache (per Processor): 12 MB
    Memory: 64 GB
    Processor Interconnect Speed: 6.4 GT/s
    Boot ROM Version: MP51.007F.B03
    SMC Version (system): 1.39f5
    SMC Version (processor tray): 1.39f5
    Serial Number (system): H09471BH20H
    Serial Number (processor tray): C070266005KDCVHA8
    Hardware UUID: EAAEE5C7-6E2E-55CB-995C-CC497B60142E
     
  2. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
  3. Studio K macrumors 6502

    Studio K

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    #3
    Which fans are speeding up? What's your temperatures look like?

    Do you have iStat? It's a free trial for 14 days. Shows CPU Diode temps and all fan speeds. Give it a go if you haven't got it. Let us know what you see if you install and run it.
     
  4. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020

    8CoreWhore

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    Location:
    Big D
    #4
    Make sure dust isn't impeding the ability of the machine to cool itself. Do a thorough inspection and cleaning.

    Then - is any of the fans making a noise that is different than in he past? If so, that would mean it is failing and not doing it's job of cooling, and driving the others to go faster.

    It's possible the CPU heat sink isn't doing it's job of conducting heat from the chip if the thermal paste layer is old and not doing its job any more.

    Maybe you need a new heat sensor…
     
  5. Chriscotech thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #5
    Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I will get iStat and report back.
    In regards to the other suggestions, I don't know about the thermal sensor. Are they available as a spare part? I dismantled the chassis down to the back plane board a month ago and clinically cleaned it. I removed and inspected the heat sinks on the processors and made sure they where spotless. I carefully torqued them back. The computer was behaving after that for quite a while so I can probably rule those things out. I regularly clean all of the easy to get to parts of my Macs. I have not had one give me trouble like this since the G5 iMac which was faulty by design.
     
  6. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #6
    iStat Menus should give an indication of which sensors to check for. The CPU heatsink has one with may not be seated correctly when reattaching the heatsink... RAM should have their own thermal sensors and you can check by pulling them out one at a time for trial and error testing... Video cards have their own...
     
  7. Chriscotech thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #7
    This is what seems to be all of the relevant information from iStat but I don't know what is normal.

    I ran a photoshop sharpening action on a folder of images. Here are a couple of screen shots of iStat. The fans were revving moderately but they get faster than that. As you san see, the processors are barely working. I am not sure where it is reading it's ambient temp of 31ºC from but I make it 25.5ºC. The first screen shot (with the lower fan speeds) is on idle and the other two are under light load.

    Any help with interpreting these figures would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Chriscotech thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2008
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    #8
    Thanks pastrychef

    I am fairly confident I seated the heat sinks properly and that did actually coincide with it running well afterwards for a while. I checked them from all angles and was very careful with them. I do notice that CPU A always runs a few degrees hotter than CPU B. Is that normal? (because of where they are in the case).

    My RAM is third party. While it is reporting as being there I am not sure if I can test it as hardware test won't run on my configuration. As there are 64GB of the stuff I could try half of it at a time and see if that fixes it.
     
  9. pastrychef, Oct 2, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013

    pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #9
    Yes, this is normal. They will almost never run at the same temps.

    Based on the images you posted, your Booster A, Booster B, and PCI fans all run considerable higher than mine. Mine are running at 1114, 1112, and 799, respectively.

    I don't know which video card you have, but some people have issues where their video card needs to be stressed a bit before the PCI fan will throttle back to normal speeds. Try the following:

    1. Goto http://unigine.com/products/heaven/download/
    2. Download Unigine Heaven
    3. Run the benchmark
    4. Check to see if your PCI fan throttles back to normal speeds

    As for Booster A and Booster B, you can try checking the heatsink fan connectors, thermal compound on the CPUs, and the RAM. Testing with half RAM and then other half should be good.

    Also, 2009 Mac Pros with dual CPUs used "lidless" CPUs from the factory. When CPU upgrades are done, the CPUs used are always "lidded". How much torque you apply to each of the screws holding the heatsinks can be the source of your problem. One technique used by some upgraders is to count the number of revolutions they turn the screws to try and balance the heatsink properly. Since the original "lidless" CPUs are a bit shorter in height than their "lidded" counterparts, the fan connector on the heatsinks are also sometimes not well connected. Remember not to over tighten the screws for fear of damage to the CPU and/or socket. Err on the safe side and under tighten before you over tighten. It is very much trial and error.
     
  10. Chriscotech thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #10
    Nightmare!

    Things are going from bad to worse now I'm afraid.

    I checked the heat sinks again and the connections seemed spotless under a magnifying glass. I re-torqued them very carefully to a low tightness (still very easy to undo). The computer wouldn't chime or start up. I took out half the ram (leaving it in slots 1,2,5 and 6 as it should be). still the same. I tried the other half of the ram, still no start. after reseating the heat sinks 3 more times it booted but with most of the fans on full, except "BoostA" which appears to not be working at all. I reset the SMC and PRAM at every stage.

    By the way, which CPU is A and which is B? A isn't even showing up on the temp chart.

    I am going to have to turn it off now it sounds like it is about to explode. I have no idea what to do next. I desperately need this to work or I will miss a deadline.

    Here is what it is doing now.
     

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  11. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #11
    Sounds like you need to tighten the screws for the heatsink a bit more. The connector for the fan on one of the heatsinks is not making enough contact.

    Here is an article on how one person did it.

    Here is an article on how someone messed up the upgrade and gives good warnings on what to be aware of.
     
  12. Chriscotech thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sydney, Australia
    #12
    pastrychef you are a genius, thanks!

    I am pretty sure the connector to the fan and sensor was in far enough but maybe one of the hundreds of pins wasn't contacting. I have been looking at the side of the connectors as I screwed them down X pattern 1/4 turn at a time.

    The upshot is it is working very well now. these are my readings after giving the graphics card a workout with "Heaven" (ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB).

    Thank you so much for your help. I thought my deadline (and savings) were toast.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Location:
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    #13
    That's great news! I'm happy I was able to help. Those fan speeds look very similar to mine now. Good luck with your project deadline. ;)
     
  14. Chriscotech thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sydney, Australia
    #14
    Stressful as this was, I have learned a lot. I will donate to iStat. It is a useful little piece of software.

    I currently have half of the 64GB of ram in it (way more than I need for what I am doing at the moment). I will put the sticks back 2 at a time once my deadline is over and see if that was part of the problem too.
     
  15. Chriscotech thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sydney, Australia
    #15
    Fan problem back

    I spoke too soon. The problems are back, with some differences/other observations.

    Every time I boot the computer the PCI and power supply fans run erratically at over 1100 rpm. Sometimes faster, not usually slower. The highest temp is usually processor A and it is usually under 40ºC. I don't see any abnormal temps.

    I am really suspecting the video card now. Any time I scroll or do anything much with windows the fans start to accelerate. This is even when iStat is reporting 0-1% CPU load. Here's the clincher: If I run Enigine "Heaven" they really ramp up then, after about 30 seconds start to slow down until my Mac is eventually like it should be. It stays this way, even if I use GPU intensive apps until I turn it off or sleep it. This can be hours. Running "Heaven" at startup is the only way I seem to be able to stabilise the machine. It works even better than a SMC and/or PRAM reset. I suspected the motherboard battery but that was ok. I replaced it with a new one anyway. Has anyone had a similar experience? Does my video card theory sound right?

    Thanks
     
  16. Studio K macrumors 6502

    Studio K

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    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    #16
    Is your fan problems limited to the PCI fan now?

    What you describe sounds like what I experienced when putting my graphics card in Slot 1: Erratic fan behavior 'cured' temporarily by running the Heaven benchmark.

    My card is an unsupported PC GTX 650. I moved it into Slot 2 and PCI fanspeeds remain at 799 rpms much of the time. No more erratic fluctuations.

    What Graphics Card do you have installed?
     
  17. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Location:
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    #17
    It sounds like your CPUs are running fine. Temps seem very good.

    What you described for the video card is actually fairly common and quite a few others have reported the same symptoms on this forum. This thread discusses it briefly. There has yet to be any definitive explanation as to why it happens or why it happens. Plus, it happens to different models of video cards.

    For now, the only solution anyone has been able to come up with, is to stress the video card briefly to bring the expansion slot fan back to normal.
     
  18. Studio K macrumors 6502

    Studio K

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    #18
    Yes, do this. Or try putting into the other x16 slot.
     
  19. Chriscotech thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2008
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    Sydney, Australia
    #19
    I hadn't thought about trying the other 16x slot. Can slots "go bad"? Is it fixable?

    As far as stressing the video card goes, as I said, this works well but has to be done every time I re-boot the computer, or on some occasions when it goes to sleep and can be woken up (more often than not, it can't). It always reverts back to the fan problem eventually.
     
  20. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
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    #20
    Some people have reported that using slot 2 fixes the issue of the expansion slot fan revving up. But it seems to be random and doesn't work for everyone.

    I really doubt it's an issue with a faulty PCI-e slot.

    Sleep is a whole different bag of worms... So many people have issues with sleep that I gave up trying to follow what causes it. There are just too many variables involved.
     
  21. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #21
    I believe both the GTX650 and the HD5770 have only one power lead. Are you both (Studio K & Chriscotech) sure you plugged it into the correct power plug on the MB. If plugged into the wrong power plug, you will get excessive fan noise.

    Lou
     

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  22. Chriscotech thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    Thanks. Any thoughts on the fact that stressing the video card works but needs to be done every boot? It's like the SMC is not holding its settings, and why I checked the motherboard battery.

    ----------

    I didn't know that. I seem to remember seeing it in the left one (B). I'll shut it down now and check. I'll let you know after I have run it for a while.

    Thanks
     
  23. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #23
    Thus far, no one seems to have any definitive answer as to why it happens and to what hardware configs it happens to. It seems very random.
     
  24. Chriscotech thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #24
    No, it was in the right one (A). That picture is upside down in my opinion. Then again, I am from Australia.
     
  25. Studio K macrumors 6502

    Studio K

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    #25
    Yes, the GTX 650 is a single power plug. I've had it in Slot 2 much of the time I've been using it. I've recently switched the power plug from A to B (because the service manual reccomends it).
    The result: No difference in PCI fan behavior whatsoever. No fan noise at all in either arrangement.
    Fanspeed is 799 rpms almost always. A couple of Benchmarks like Luxmark and Oceanwave will run it up to 1000 rpms, but this is not audible.

    ----------

    Chrisotech,

    Do you have Apple 5770 video card? I read over the thread but can't see whether you specified which card you are using.
     

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