Need noise help with Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by msintros, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. msintros macrumors member

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    Jul 7, 2014
    #1
    I have a 2 x 3 ghz quad-core Xeon MP that is rather loud. I want to use it for recording music, but right now it is just too damn loud. It would really be advantageous if it were in the same room as the recording, at the moment, but this is just not possible with all the noise it makes. Even for mixing it is too loud unless I wear noise-cancelling headphones.

    One possible reason for some of the noise is that it also has a Radeon 5770 graphics card with its own fan, but I feel like that fan isn't as loud as the other two (?).

    I read on another forum someone saying that Mac Pros are supposed to be very silent and that if yours is making a lot of noise there is something wrong with it. Is this true? I find it slightly hard to believe. I have a friend who's a certified tech and he said that they are never really all that quiet.

    I have a Mac Mini which is pretty silent. If possible I'd love to get my MP as quiet as that, but I know that might be asking a bit much. I know they make silencing cases, but I tend to assume this is a bad idea because it will just got hotter in there and it may start to run poorly or even risk overheating to a dangerous (for the computer) degree.

    Any thoughts on this or tips? I've actually been considering buying a laptop just because it would be quieter, but it seems this is a potentially more powerful machine.
     
  2. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #2
    Do you have iStat? Or any temperature + fan monitoring software?

    Which fan cause the noise? And what's the temperatures at idle and under loaded.
     
  3. msintros thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    It seems like the front and back fan both produce quite a lot of noise. The graphics card one does seem to make a bit too but it's the one furthest inside the computer body, so it's hard to tell.

    I just downloaded iStat. It's giving me a lot of different temperatures in the menu - I don't even know which ones I should be looking at. The two in the menu bar say "97 degrees 99 degrees" but I don't know what else I should be looking at.

    Here's a screenshot of the menu that pulls down:

    http://imgur.com/oxUPYua
     
  4. brentsg macrumors 68040

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    #4
    I only have a single socket, but I've never seen my CPU or fan exhaust fans spin like that.

    I think most use Celsius for computer temps so to me, that's hard to interpret.
     
  5. msintros thread starter macrumors member

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  6. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #6
    The temperature is very normal, and the fan speed is abnormally high. The 1st thing to try should be SMC reset.
     
  7. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

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    #7
    Active Set

    I also notice that the Active Set is in "custom" mode, should be default.
     
  8. msintros thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 7, 2014
    #8
    Ok, I haven't done this before and looked it up. I'm getting several ways of doing this. Any recommended ways of doing the reset? I see one, for instance, that just says you have to disconnect the power cable, wait, then plug it back in, wait, and then hit the power button. Another says you have to hold the power button for 15 seconds before plugging the cable back in. Another still says to use the SMC reset button on the inside of the computer.
     
  9. msintros, Jul 7, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014

    msintros thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    I just tried the method where I told down the power button for 15 seconds in between removing the power chord with no real change in the fan speed. In fact, now it's even a bit higher, although subsiding slowly back down to where it was originally. When it first came back on it, they were above 2000 rpm. Now about what it was originally. I'm not sure the SMC reset properly though. Should I use the reset button on the motherboard?

    EDIT: Just tried that as well with no change.

    Also tried a PRAM reset with no effect.
     
  10. Riwam macrumors 6502a

    Riwam

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    Basel, Switzerland
    #10
    ..........................................................
    Just to eliminate one of the things you suspected being behind the noise.
    I had the Radeon 5770 in my MP 5.1 for over a year and had no noise problem coming from the graphic card. I then changed it for a 5870 and again no noise.
    The only noise from the computer besides the spinning HDDs and DVDs was at booting (fans) and it quieted after a few seconds.
     
  11. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #11
    May be try to install "Macs Fan Control" and manually set the fan speed.
     
  12. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

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    May 25, 2014
    #12
    Interesting your system lists four fans and mine lists five. All of my fans are spinning at 800 RPM or less. I have a 2010 5,1 quad core @ 2.8GHz with 32GB of memory. My readings were taken with an essentially idle system and it is quiet.
     
  13. msintros thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    Yeah I really don't think the graphics card is the culprit. I can clearly hear the front and back fan (I'm assuming this is CPU and Exhaust, respectively) are both very loud.

    Re: the 4 vs 5 fans - yeah I noticed that too. When I get home from work I am going to have to check to see if there is another fan hiding somewhere that is not plugged in or something.

    Re: fan control - I've read these types of apps are generally a bad idea but hadn't read of this one particularly. The idea of setting the fan speed seems potentially problematic, and I've heard some such programs have a bottom speed of 1000 rpm, and in addition can then be difficult to change the speed back even after uninstalling the program, but I have no experience with them so I could be wrong.
     
  14. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Can you tell us which specific Mac Pro model it is (2,1 / 3,1 / 4,1 / 5,1)? Is this something you just acquired? Perhaps it needs a dust cleaning?

    Another data point: Mine also has the 5770 graphics card.
     
  15. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #15
    For the fan control apps, it's more like a diagnoses. Of course you can keep the apps as a work around if it solve the problem. Anyway, this one is quite good (i've try few this kind of apps), you can hard tune a number, or setup the fan characteristic related to the temperature. If you don't like it. Simple uninstall it and do a SMC reset (just remove the cable by 15s is good enough, no need to press the button), this action should reset the fan back to factory setting (controlled by OSX).
     
  16. msintros thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    Not sure what model it is. I'm at work now so I can't get more detailed stats at the moment but can when I get home and try to figure it out.

    I've had it for a while - maybe about a year. I got it used on Ebay. It has always been this loud since I got it.

    It does need a bit of a cleaning, I can tell you that. It's not terrible in there, but there is a very fine layer of dust on everything and the fans I can see do have dust trailing off each blade. I sort of assumed that that itself wouldn't cause this problem, as people are saying the temperatures look normal. Also, it was pretty clean when I first got it and it's always been about this loud, I think.

    ----------

    I'll definitely try installing the app you mention as soon as I get home.

    Thanks, by the way, to everyone who's responded. I really appreciate all the suggestions.
     
  17. sebseb macrumors 6502

    sebseb

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    May 24, 2014
    #17
    Well it must be a 1,1 or 3,1 since it has 4 fans, only those models have 4. The 4,1 and 5,1 have 5 in the single cpu config. and 6 in the dual cpu!
     
  18. msintros thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
    Where will it tell me which model it is exactly? In System Profiler?
     
  19. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Since it's a dual quad core 3.0GHz it would need to be a 2,1 or 3,1.

    ----------

    That is correct. It would be the Model Identifier line.
     
  20. msintros thread starter macrumors member

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    #20
    It's a 2.1

    ----------

    OK, so this is kind of interesting...

    I installed Mac Fan Control. Using the 'constant RPM' option, I can lower the fan speeds to whatever I want. However, the computer then starts making a regular "click clunk" sound approximately every 2 seconds, as though it's reading intermittently from one of the drives or something.

    Setting it back to "auto", the fans begin spinning very very fast (approaching 3000 rpm) but then slowly returning back to the speed they were before (around 1600-1800 rpm).
     
  21. sebseb macrumors 6502

    sebseb

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    May 24, 2014
    #21
    Yeah any clunk is the drive, it's the head (actuator arm) returning to home position! but it's weird, what does fan speed have to do with that? should he just reinstall the OS?
     
  22. msintros, Jul 7, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014

    msintros thread starter macrumors member

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    #22
    I am not sure yet, but I think the sound may be caused by the fan control program itself. I noticed that it was still going even when the fan sped back up to its original speed but stopped when I quit the application. (I just checked and indeed, starting Mac Fan Control causes the sound to return without even changing any settings). Not sure what that's all about. Maybe it keeps actuating the drive to get the sensor information from it? I'm not sure how the sensors work so that might be a dumb theory.

    I think it might be useful for diagnostic purposes to set the fans to be "sensor dependent" but I'm not sure which sensor I should have it linked to - there are several CPU options, which I would assume I should have one of those linked to the CPU fan.

    For kicks, I tried setting the CPU fan to be based on CPU Diode (this is the highest temperature of the CPU readouts at 50 deg C) and the fan does slow a little bit but stays around 1600 still. Likewise, CPU A Core 0 is about 49 deg C). Does this indicate that it is indeed trying to cool the CPU core? Most posters here seemed to think my temp readings looked normal, but I can't help (in my lay view) thinking that some of these values look high. The Dimm modules are both approaching 80 degrees.

    All of the numbers/stats I've posted so far in this thread are at idle, too. Basically running Firefox to be able to post here.
     
  23. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

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    May 25, 2014
    #23
    For some reason the system believes additional cooling is required. I'd recommend a thorough cleaning. Also is this a true 2,1 or a 1,1 upgraded to a 2,1. I believe you can check based on serial number. Perhaps if it's an upgrade the upgrade may have resulted in the higher fan speeds.
     
  24. msintros thread starter macrumors member

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    #24
    It looks like it is a 2.1 based on the serial number lookup I used. I will have to try to clean it, I guess. Maybe one of the sensors has dust on it and is causing it to think it needs more cooling - who knows. At this point I'm a bit stumped.
     
  25. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    A thorough cleaning is a good place to start.
     

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