Mac Pro Ventilation Requirements?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Tucom, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Tucom macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2006
    I'm receiving a 2006 quad core Xeon Mac Pro here in a couple days (hopefully), and am considering installing it in a desk I just gone done assembling for it, and concealing it in the CPU/Desktop compartment with the door closed. There's holes in the back of the desk for exhaust, but not sure about the front (of course there's small cracks here and there where air can get in in the front)

    Questions is: Does the 2006 Mac Pro or ANY Mac Pro require tons of ventilation, or will I be fine with the front door closed on my desk, and the Mac Pro concealed within the desk?

    It's one of the computer desks that has the computer compartment concealed and compartmentalized, and it would look super clean with the door closed, but I don't want to risk burning out my tower :eek:
  2. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2008
    The system will likely overheat, or run louder then normal.

    The Mac Pro case is kind of "special" in that the system is divided into parallel thermal zones that run from the front of the case to the rear, in a fairly straight line. If you block off the front of the machine from open air ventilation and place the machine in a constrained space, then there is a good chance that the heated exhaust will be sucked back across the side of the machine and in through the front again.

    So you'll get a bunch of hot air moving around in a circle... Which will probably make the machine run a bit louder then usual- it could overheat if you're loading it down to 100% and the GPU fan is spooled up, but the chances of that happening are fairly slim.

    IMHO; the best place for a Mac Pro is out in the open, or in an enclosed space with open air at either end (front and back). Mine sits on top of my desk away from the operator position, so it gets plenty of fresh air and runs extremely quiet as a result.

    YMMV, the worst that will happen is that the machine will automatically shut down from a thermal runaway. This won't harm the machine. It'll simply get too hot and turn itself off. At that point you'll know that you will need to improve circulation somehow, lest the same thing happen again in the future.

  3. Tucom thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2006
    Epic reply, thanks, and my thoughts exactly, I think I'll leave it with the door off, any unwanted heat can cause stress on the silicon and shorten its life.

    Anyone else happen to run their Mac Pros in a concealed compartment though, and with good results?
  4. NEUengineer macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2010
    Cut out a 3-6" diameter hole in the bottom of the shelf the computer is going to be on. Install a 120mm case fan to force air through the compartment.
  5. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    I accidentally closed the desk door on my MacPro one time and the compartment, even with a pretty open back, got very hot, as well as the toasty desk itself. Didn't need a coffee warmer on top of that desk :)

    Leave the door open or add ventilation fans that get cool air to the front intakes.
  6. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    I have mine in a computer desk and the MacPro fits perfectly in the computer compartment. However, mine does not have a door covering the front, but does have a large cutout on the back exposing the exhaust fans and the I/O jacks for easy hookup.

    It does not overheat ... but it is like a little furnace at the back with a continuous gentle flow of warm air. I think it would get pretty hot if that front-to-back air flow were restricted in any way. Mine is on 24/7 and actually keeps the room (Den) a bit on the warm side year round!

    If you desk has a conceal door ... I would remove it!

  7. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    It wasn't a Mac Pro, but PC workstation... but I had a very similar setup. I cut the entire back out of the compartment (I figured it would never be seen, so I wan't worried about the looks. And I put a bunch of 1" holes in the bottom - especially along the front of the bottom plate. My theory was that the system would pull enough cool air through bottom and exhaust it out the back. It worked well. The compartment would get warm, but never warmer than a warm room on a hot summer day... which I figured any computer should be able to handle.

    One of the advantages of pulling air up from near the floor is that it is generally the coolest air in a room. However, elevating the system even 6 inches off the floor eliminates the majority of the dust that it sucks up and that then clogs the fans and system.

    Be generous with your cutouts, and don't about how the bits you can't see look.

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