Maintaining a 2008 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by theBigD23, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. theBigD23 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hello... I have owned the Mac Pro for about 3 years and I've noticed recently that it's starting to get louder than usual. My guess is that dust has gotten into the fans. Is the best thing to spray with compressed air in the front and back to get out as much dust as possible or should I open the case and get rid of dust that way?

    I've also noticed some buzzing from the back next to the power plug, which I don't recall being there before. Is this normal? Thanks!
  2. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I would think you'd have to open the case or you'll just blow the dust deeper in.
  3. nobiggiestudio, Jun 15, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011

    nobiggiestudio macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2011
    What mac pro 2008 do you have?
    What processors is in it? If you got the 3.2 GHz ones, there are some hazard special cooling compound applied to the heatsinks.
    This need to be removed with care if needed. Use gloves!!
    All this is written in the service manual, only available to Staff members at apple service centers.
    The 3.0 GHz or 2.8 uses a piece of silver pads, this will melt and act as cooling compound.
    Be careful when remove!

    Today is 2011. The cooling compound is 3 or 4 years old, and pretty likely dry as old bubblegum, this should be changed at least once a year.
    Get you some Artic silver S5 at a PC hardware store, costs about ten bucks.
    If they don't have it in stock. Ask for Artic silver Céramique 2 or visit some other PC hardware store.
    Artic silver S5 can move high temperature as 8,9 W/(m*K).
    Other cooling compounds only moves 2 W/(m*K).

    Get your hand on a brush for painting, this you will clean internal parts with.
    Don't use compressed air ever.

    Before doing anything, try to look and understand how to disassemble your mac pro, to get it clean.
    I know it's in german. I understand..kind of nothing of what he is talking about. But hey, just fallow he's steps in the video and you will be fine.

    "Why not use compressed air?"
    Because if you apply compressed air, you will loosen the dust.
    When the fans spin again, the dust just a moment ago was flying around now flying deeper in to the heatsink. Making the heatsink to clog even more and more for each time you use your mac.

    With your brush, clean all the internal parts. Including fans, heatsinks (if they are clogged, blow from the back to forth until you can see trough clearly).

    Now grab some rubbing alcohol. Take the CPU's out of their sockets.
    BE CAREFUL!, don't touch the contacts underneath.
    Rub of the old cooling compound of as good as you can.
    Please do the same to the heatsinks.
    You might find your paper now being black. This is good.
    This means dirt is being removed.
    Re-seat the CPU's carefully in to their sockets. Close the latch.
    Now grab your Artic silver S5 and apply just a little at the CPU's
    Try to spread the compound to the whole surface, you
    might need to apply some more. Now apply some on the heatsinks.
    Spread it just like on the CPU's.
    Attach the heatsinks one by one. Remove each to check that compund has
    spread to the whole surface before screwing the heatsinks to it's place.
    Don't forget to put the Temperature sensors back in to place!!
    And your done!

    Now disassemble your GPU card, on these there are only cooling pads.
    What they are made of is simply wax. And all this has with the time dried out.
    Clean the heatsink and use again, rubbing alcohol cleaning the old compound of.
    When taken a part, if there are differences in levels on memory parts and the cooling compound wont reach the heatsink when putting it all together.
    Cut some small pieces of copper plate and apply all around as many until the level is just perfect to to make contact to the surface of the heatsink. Now apply cooling compound on both sides of the copper plate. Make sure that no part has no cooling compound.
    WARNING!! When cutting the copper plate. Make sure, not to make the pieces to big to short other components. The copper plate should only cover memory components and voltage regulators where heat comes of.
    Try to make them as identical as the old cooling pads, this will make sure that the copper plate is seated where it should be.
    Now put the GPU card together.

    Now on to the next thing. Your PSU.
    Grab a flashlight. Take out the PSU and look in to the grill.
    See if you notice any loose internal cables.
    Anything not attached properly.
    If it is just clogged with dust, take it apart and clean it.
    When taken apart, and you discover something not securely is sitting tight.
    Are your soldering skills good, unsolder the component and reattach it again.
    Other ways visit an electrician at any repair center. Don't need to be an apple repair center because the PSU has nothing with apple to do.
    It's just supplies the mac with power.

    If you can't see any bad components but you still worried, just visit an electrician just to be sure.

    If the noise is not hazard loud and seems dangerous. Now put your mac together and see the temperatures drop.

    Please ask if you need help. This is a mainly service needed to be made on every computer. Computers are not machines which work forever.;)
  4. cwerdna, Jan 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012

    cwerdna macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2005
    SF Bay Area, California
    I'm going to have to call BS on the above advice. You really think all other Mac Pro owners or anyone w/a heat sink and a pad/compound in between does that, ever, let alone yearly? The VAST majority of PC guys and I'm sure Mac owners don't do that and their CPUs are fine.

    Sure, if you want to replace whatever was there before with something better, like Arctic Silver, fine, but making it a yearly exercise is just goofy. I'm all for clearing out dust of the inside of the machine though...

    As for attaching cutting copper plates and attaching them, that's pretty far out of left field, if you ask me. As for unsoldering and resoldering stuff, umm....

    I started w/the original IBM PC in 1983 and have put together most of my own desktop PCs since the 386 days.
  5. Mactrunk macrumors regular

    May 12, 2005
    As far as the dust issue....
    I opened up my Mac Pro and used an electric leaf blower. (on the low setting)
    Believe me, after this mighty wind, there was no residual dust in any crevice.
    Running cool now.
  6. tamvly macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2007
    Huh? Seriously doubt it.

Share This Page