MDD quieting - Success!

philz4life

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 15, 2013
54
0
I have a dual 1.25 GHZ Powermac G4 MDD, and for a 10 year old computer, it is blazing fast. However, as many of you may already know, the MDD was notoriously loud, and the culprit is the power supply fans. After hours of googling the problem, I found several sights that helped me to successfully replace the PSU fans in my Powermac. I would encourage anyone with an MDD who is bothered by the noise to do this, the results are well worth the effort.
The fans I used were the Everflow F126025DH DC, which can be found on the Thermaltake Volcano 5 heatsink. Just search for the fans or heatsink on ebay, you should be able to find them.

After removing the optical drives, I laid the Powermac on a couch so that I could access the power supply without having to rewire everything.

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Then I unscrewed the power supply and carefully rested it on the hard drive cage.

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After taking the cover off the PSU, the fans are revealed. Take note of how the red and black wires are positioned.

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Then unscrew and unplug the fans. The tricky part is that you have to swap the connectors from the old fans onto the new ones because the Everflow fans come with 3 pin connectors and the original ones have 2 pin connectors. The yellow wires in the new Everflow fans are for speed control, and because the power supply fans in the MDD spin at a constant rate, this is not needed, so you can cut them off.

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It takes a bit of work to get the connectors off the old fans and onto the new ones, but you just have to be patient.

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Plug the fans back in. Now just reassemble everything, and you have a quieter mirrored drive door Powermac!
 
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havokalien

macrumors 6502a
Apr 27, 2006
646
46
Kelso, Wa
How quiet?

Ok so what was the cfm change in the fans? How quiet are they? Are they getting full speed since no speed is sensed? I am curious, before I do a mod like this I want to make sure it's getting enough flow. If its just quieter but warmer I would second guess it.

Thank you for the work on the posting, it's informative, it just gave me those questions.
 

philz4life

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 15, 2013
54
0
Ok so what was the cfm change in the fans? How quiet are they? Are they getting full speed since no speed is sensed? I am curious, before I do a mod like this I want to make sure it's getting enough flow. If its just quieter but warmer I would second guess it.

Thank you for the work on the posting, it's informative, it just gave me those questions.
It isn't silent, but it is noticeably less noisy. The main source of noise now is the case fan. I'm planning on replacing it as well, which should make it whisper quiet. The original PSU fans pushed 38 cfm and constantly produced a very loud 47 db or noise. The Everflow replacement fans have an airflow of 32 cfm and are a much quieter 31 db. The air I feel coming out the back of the power supply is about the same temperature as before, and there isn't a noticeable decrease in how much is coming out. 32 cfm is plenty.
Here are some of the sites I used to get the information on the fans:

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/g4_mirrored_drive_doors/noise_reduction/g4_ddr_noise_reduction.html

http://coolstuff.wordpress.com/2007/02/19/powermac-g4-mdd-cooling-and-noise-reduction/

Make sure that you transfer the rubber pads to reduce vibration noise. I forgot to mention that in the original post.
 

madhatmac

macrumors newbie
Jun 25, 2013
27
0
The tricky part is that you have to swap the connectors from the old fans onto the new ones because the Everflow fans come with 3 pin connectors and the original ones have 2 pin connectors. The yellow wires in the new Everflow fans are for speed control, and because the power supply fans in the MDD spin at a constant rate, this is not needed, so you can cut them off.
Thanks for posting this! I want to do the same to my MDD, also. I've just ordered from eBay 2 x Thermaltake VOLCANO 5 heatsink/fans and a SilenX Ixtrema Pro fan.

I am a complete noob to computer tinkering, however, so just had a question regards the yellow wire on the Everflow fans... When you say you just "cut them off", do you literally mean you just snipped them off and let the remaining bit hang there?

I don't know much about electronics but is this safe to do? Do you need to cover the ends up somehow? Maybe electrical tape or something?

Alternatively, is there a way to completely remove the yellow wire rather than snipping it off?

Sorry if this is a silly question, I've never done this before.

Cheers
 

Swampus

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2013
396
1
Winterfell
...I want to do the same to my MDD, also. I've just ordered from eBay 2 x Thermaltake VOLCANO 5 heatsink/fans....
Did you order heatsinks too? All that you need are the fans.

If you cut the yellow wire at the base of the fan, it shouldn't even be possible for it to make contact with anything else. However, if you'd rather leave enough to put some tape or a small wire nut on, that's fine too.

The most important things to remember:

1) Observe correct polarity. Red to red. Black to black.

2) Install the fans so that air flow is into and through the PSU. Fans often have an arrow on the case to indicate airflow.

In a design such as this, where air is blown into a unit, a fan with high static pressure will, to some degree, compensate for a lower CFM rating.

You said that you're new at this, so I'll also ask if you know about CHUD? There is nothing more important when it comes to maintaining a cool running MDD.
 

Swampus

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2013
396
1
Winterfell
In a design such as this, where air is blown into a unit, a fan with high static pressure will, to some degree, compensate for a lower CFM rating.
Ignore that. Irrelevant. The Volcano 5 fans are more powerful than I thought. Heatsink fans often focus more on static pressure, but an air flow rating of 32 CFM is plenty on its own. Interesting fan choice.
 

Cox Orange

macrumors 68000
Jan 1, 2010
1,787
234
Here are the fan details for a Single-CPU MDD. http://aquamac.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=talk&thread=1174&page=1#8403
666Sheep informed me, lately in another thread, that the Single-CPU MDDs have other fans than the Dual ones!

Swampus said: In a design such as this, where air is blown into a unit, a fan with high static pressure will, to some degree, compensate for a lower CFM rating.
I once did a research (not really to an end) and focused on static pressure as well. The problem I have with the numbers (for static pressure as well as cfm and dB(A)) is that every manufacturer uses another test, another test equipment etc. and so they are not really comparable. Some manufacturers even recalculate values for newer versions taking just the old data of the previous versions/models.
But what else, should one make a decision by? In the end one would have to sit down and make various tests on his/her own, using a temperature sensor and cfm rating control. But who has the time, let alone the nerves, for that.
 

madhatmac

macrumors newbie
Jun 25, 2013
27
0
Did you order heatsinks too? All that you need are the fans.
Yep, the fans come in a bundle with the heatsinks - so I'll just throw the heatsinks away :) I could have bought the fans separately from someone else but they were used. I chose to go with the brand new heatsink/fan bundle - plus it was cheaper anyway.

If you cut the yellow wire at the base of the fan, it shouldn't even be possible for it to make contact with anything else. However, if you'd rather leave enough to put some tape or a small wire nut on, that's fine too.
OK, thanks. So, by the sounds of it, it's not a big issue if it doesn't make contact with anything else. I've never heard of a wire nut before. I googled it - sounds like normally they're for connecting two wires together?

You said that you're new at this, so I'll also ask if you know about CHUD? There is nothing more important when it comes to maintaining a cool running MDD.
Yes, in my reading online I did come across CHUD and I downloaded it from some guy called japamac's website. I haven't installed it yet, however, as I started to read about more complicated stuff like the need to add a script in terminal so that Nap isn't turned off every time you reboot. I'll put my fans in first and see what effect that has and then experiment with CHUD.

Thanks for your helpful advice :)

Cheers
 

Swampus

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2013
396
1
Winterfell
Yes, in my reading online I did come across CHUD and I downloaded it from some guy called japamac's website. I haven't installed it yet, however, as I started to read about more complicated stuff like the need to add a script in terminal so that Nap isn't turned off every time you reboot. I'll put my fans in first and see what effect that has and then experiment with CHUD.

Thanks for your helpful advice :)

Cheers
Japamac is one of the most respected names in PowerPC computing. I purchased a video card from him a while back. Whatever advice you're getting there should be gold. The script isn't that complicated. You should be able to find step by step instructions by searching here. If not, I'll post the code for you. Its purpose is to enable nap mode every time you start the computer. You can also do it manually each time. Once you see the value of CHUD though, I suspect that you'll want to automate it and be done with it.

Japamac also has a nice tutorial on redoing the CPU's thermal compound. Since you're going to all of this trouble anyway, you might as well go all of the way. ;)
 

philz4life

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 15, 2013
54
0
Thanks for posting this! I want to do the same to my MDD, also. I've just ordered from eBay 2 x Thermaltake VOLCANO 5 heatsink/fans and a SilenX Ixtrema Pro fan.

I am a complete noob to computer tinkering, however, so just had a question regards the yellow wire on the Everflow fans... When you say you just "cut them off", do you literally mean you just snipped them off and let the remaining bit hang there?

I don't know much about electronics but is this safe to do? Do you need to cover the ends up somehow? Maybe electrical tape or something?

Alternatively, is there a way to completely remove the yellow wire rather than snipping it off?

Sorry if this is a silly question, I've never done this before.

Cheers
Yes, you can just cut the wires. When you get them out of the original 3 pin connector, only the red and black ones will go in the smaller 2 pin connector, so the yellow will be free and you can throw it out.
 

philz4life

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 15, 2013
54
0
Japamac is one of the most respected names in PowerPC computing. I purchased a video card from him a while back. Whatever advice you're getting there should be gold. The script isn't that complicated. You should be able to find step by step instructions by searching here. If not, I'll post the code for you. Its purpose is to enable nap mode every time you start the computer. You can also do it manually each time. Once you see the value of CHUD though, I suspect that you'll want to automate it and be done with it.

Japamac also has a nice tutorial on redoing the CPU's thermal compound. Since you're going to all of this trouble anyway, you might as well go all of the way. ;)
I downloaded CHUD, but it did almost nothing. The main fan actually got a bit louder when I turned it on. Is there a specific version I need? I'll be replacing this fan too, but also having CHUD work would help out a lot.
 

Swampus

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2013
396
1
Winterfell
I downloaded CHUD, but it did almost nothing. The main fan actually got a bit louder when I turned it on. Is there a specific version I need? I'll be replacing this fan too, but also having CHUD work would help out a lot.
For dual CPU MDDs, version 3.5.2.

As madhatmac mentioned, Japamac has it available for download.

Apple used to have them all available for download. Not sure if they still do. Can't find them at the moment.
 

666sheep

macrumors 68040
Dec 7, 2009
3,623
211
Poland
You need to enable Nap to take advantage of CHUD. Nap is basically something like DFS.
Here is an app which will do it automatically at startup, when placed in login items.
 

Swampus

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2013
396
1
Winterfell
You need to enable Nap to take advantage of CHUD. Nap is basically something like DFS.
Here is an app which will do it automatically at startup, when placed in login items.
I think that one is just for Tiger, no?

If you're running Leopard and that linked application doesn't work for you, make your own:

1) Open Script Editor (Applications > Applescript > Script Editor).

2) Paste into window the following code:

Code:
tell application "System Preferences"
 activate
 set current pane to pane "Hardware"
 tell application "System Events"
  if not UI elements enabled then
   display dialog "GUI Scripting is not enabled. Enable?"
   set UI elements enabled to true
  end if
  tell application process "System Preferences"
   set napModeBox to checkbox 1 of group 1 of window "Hardware"
   if value of napModeBox is 0 then
    click napModeBox
   end if
   end tell
  end tell
 close the first window
end tell
3) Choose "Save As" and select "Application" under the file format menu.

4) If desired, add it to your login items. (System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items > + > navigate to the location where you saved the application).

Edit for clarity: This script should work with CHUD version 3.5.2 on a dual CPU MDD running Leopard. 3.5.2 is the only version that should be used on a dual CPU MDD. Also, be aware that the preference pane will misreport Level 2 and Level 3 cache sizes. This might give you the impression that it's not working correctly, but ignore it. Enabling nap mode is the only thing that you want to do.
 
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Swampus

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2013
396
1
Winterfell
For those who are installing CHUD for the first time, take a minute to post your before and after average CPU temps so that others can see the actual value of doing this.

I just disable nap mode for the first time in several years and watched my temps shoot up 10 degrees Celsius in less than three minutes. I'm currently running with two displays, one with TenFourFox and a few tabs of Mac Rumors, and the other with my local PBS station (via Elgato Eye TV 500 streaming through the firewire port). My CPU is at about 30 to 35%. I was running at 43.2C (ambient room temperature of 70F) with nap mode. Within three minutes of disabling nap, I was over 54C.

I know this thread is about quieting MDDs, but temperature is a part of that. If you keep your fans from kicking on full blast, they will naturally be quieter. Your beloved machine will also last much longer. ;)
 

archtopshop

macrumors regular
Dec 13, 2011
206
1
MDD temperatures

MDD FW800 1.25GHz Dual temps, at idle with/without CHUD, no other applications running other than whatever the system is using. Ambient room temperature was 73 Farenheit.

After turning off CHUD, it took about 15 minutes for the temperature to rise to 137F. At that point, the fan kicks higher and reduces the temperature to 135.6 F before throttling back down. The fan never reaches the "wind tunnel" stage.

http://forums.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=420716&d=1372610444

http://forums.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=420717&d=1372610444
 

madhatmac

macrumors newbie
Jun 25, 2013
27
0
After turning off CHUD, it took about 15 minutes for the temperature to rise to 137F. At that point, the fan kicks higher and reduces the temperature to 135.6 F before throttling back down. The fan never reaches the "wind tunnel" stage.
Hi archtopshop,

What application do you use to measure your temps? I downloaded iStat v.1.3 (I think it's the lastest version compatible with Tiger) but the temperature gauge for the processors isn't working. The temperature keeps climbing and climbing - it got to a figure of something like 9,000° C. (Hard drive temps displayed OK.)

Also, iStat does not show any RPM figures for the fans. Is there an app for that also?

I'm running Tiger 10.4.11

Cheers
 

MisterKeeks

macrumors 68000
Nov 15, 2012
1,832
25
Hi archtopshop,

What application do you use to measure your temps? I downloaded iStat v.1.3 (I think it's the lastest version compatible with Tiger) but the temperature gauge for the processors isn't working. The temperature keeps climbing and climbing - it got to a figure of something like 9,000° C.
If you are using a G5, 9,000° C sounds about right to me.

Just kidding.

He is using Temperature Monitor.
 

archtopshop

macrumors regular
Dec 13, 2011
206
1
Hi archtopshop,

What application do you use to measure your temps? I downloaded iStat v.1.3 (I think it's the lastest version compatible with Tiger) but the temperature gauge for the processors isn't working. The temperature keeps climbing and climbing - it got to a figure of something like 9,000° C. (Hard drive temps displayed OK.)

Also, iStat does not show any RPM figures for the fans. Is there an app for that also?

I'm running Tiger 10.4.11

Cheers
Yep, I'm running Temperature Monitor Version 4.96. The same version runs on Tiger.

The two fans in the power supply run at full speed all the time--6800 rpm. They create most of the noise one hears when the MDD is running at normal temps.

I don't know, off hand, how fast the big fan runs. Its speed increases as temps rise. At full speed, it is very loud. Like, vacuum cleaner loud.

I've only ever hear it run at full speed if I turn the computer off when it is hot, and then restart it immediately. The big fan will run at full speed while the unit is booting, then settle down to a normal speed.

I don't know of an application for fan speed.
 

Swampus

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2013
396
1
Winterfell
MDD FW800 1.25GHz Dual temps, at idle with/without CHUD, no other applications running other than whatever the system is using. Ambient room temperature was 73 Farenheit.

After turning off CHUD, it took about 15 minutes for the temperature to rise to 137F...
I should mention that my temps were still climbing when I turned nap mode back on. Once it reached 54C, I had seen enough. I should also mention that this particular machine has a FireGL card that seems to add at least 4 degrees compared to another machine with a Radeon 9800.

I think the "GL" stands for good luck, as in "good luck with the fire that this card will probably cause". :D

My Radeon 9800 machine is my living room entertainment system. It plays videos all day long. It's clocked at 1.5 GHz and never gets above 40C running with nap mode enabled (ambient temperature 70F).

 
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philz4life

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 15, 2013
54
0
I should mention that my temps were still climbing when I turned nap mode back on. Once it reached 54C, I had seen enough. I should also mention that this particular machine has a FireGL card that seems to add at least 4 degrees compared to another machine with a Radeon 9800.

I think the "GL" stands for good luck, as in "good luck with the fire that this card will probably cause". :D

My Radeon 9800 machine is my living room entertainment system. It plays videos all day long. It's clocked at 1.5 GHz and never gets above 40C running with nap mode enabled (ambient temperature 70F).

Image
Well I'm about to buy a Radeon FireGL for my MDD, so that certainly won't help it. But it still hast the stock graphics card in it, which is ancient and really holds it back.
 

Swampus

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2013
396
1
Winterfell
Well I'm about to buy a Radeon FireGL for my MDD, so that certainly won't help it. But it still hast the stock graphics card in it, which is ancient and really holds it back.
It's a nice card and I like the two DVI ports. It'll definitely put out more heat than the stock card, but CHUD nap mode should more than offset the difference. Did you get that working?
 

philz4life

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 15, 2013
54
0
It's a nice card and I like the two DVI ports. It'll definitely put out more heat than the stock card, but CHUD nap mode should more than offset the difference. Did you get that working?
My MDD is currently not functional and is awaiting a new SSD to arrive, because recently the SATA port on my old one broke when I was closing the door. As soon as its up and running again, I'll be starting nap mode.