New 2.26 (2009) Mac Pro Humming Noise

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by newtown, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. newtown macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    #1
    Just got a 2009 Mac Pro. And I can't stand it. The Mac Pro makes this low pitched, oscillating humming noise. Not too loud...but definitely there. And because it's oscillating, I can't seem to ignore it. Ugh!

    I opened up the case and checked the location of the noise. Not from the hard drive. But seems to be coming from the bottom of the case. It looks like it might be from the CPU heat sink/fans. Is this possible? Should I return the machine? Nothing I've done seems to reduce the noise (pressing against the case, checking screws around the hard drive, cushioning the hard drive, etc).

    Help!
     
  2. newtown thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    #3
    Too low to be PSU?

    Thanks. The oscillation (about every second or 1.5 seconds) makes it seem like its related to AC and the PSU. But the sound is definitely coming from much lower than the PSU--near the CPU fans.

    If this is normal for the Mac Pro, I think I might just go back to a Dell workstation. At least the fan noise--while loud--doesn't oscillate.
     
  3. aibo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #4
    Perhaps you can check iStat Pro to monitor the fan speeds. If the sound is oscillating, you might be able to see if there's a fan ramping up and down.
     
  4. amoergosum macrumors 6502

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    Oct 20, 2008
    #5
    I hope it is NOT.
     
  5. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

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    Sep 4, 2006
    #6
    I guess the problems of the 2008 mac pros are continuing on the 09 models. I remember there were a few threads about some 2008 mac pro users about the oscillating noises similar to the one posted by the OP.

    But those 08 models were described as a humming noise that sounded like a refrigerator.
     
  6. newtown thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    #7
    Hum or more Grrrrr sound

    It's hard to describe the noise. It's not quite a hum. More like a grrrrrrrrr sound when I listen closely. Is this like a refrigerator? I took out the hard drive and turned on the computer. Same low-pitched grrrrrrrrrr sound.
     
  7. amoergosum macrumors 6502

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    Oct 20, 2008
    #8
  8. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #9
    Thanks for that, brings back ALOT of memories!! Yea remember and it shows from my previous post on that thread that the 08 2.8GHz 8 core Mac Pro model that I had had no humming noise or any oscillating/vibrating/resonating noise at all.

    I guess it depends on what type of PSU or fans that you get (kind of like a lottery)?
     
  9. Lucibelle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #10
    How quiet/noisy is the environment you're working in? The reason I ask is because I can't hear my '09 MP at all over the ambient noise in my environment. I can't even hear it over the standing oscillating fan I have in the same room. Now, I've yet to get it set up for doing audio yet, but fully expect to isolate any computer for recording mic'ed sound.

    Is asking Apple for a replacement an option? I honestly don't know how Apple might respond to such a request.
     
  10. newtown thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    #11
    mac pro noise

    My prior computer (a Dell) sounded like an aircraft engine. And it was fine because the noise was constant. I'd much rather my Mac Pro sound like my Dell. Instead, the Mac Pro (2009) makes an oscillating low-pitched sound. Grrrr....Growl....Grrrrrr....Growl....Grrrrr..... and on and on and on.

    Sure, if I put a loud box fan next to the computer, it blocks out the sound. Playing loud music also does the trick. But I'd rather not have either while working.

    I'm not sure what Apple is going to say. But I'm within the 14 day return period. Even if there's a restocking fee I'm going to return (although hopefully I'll get an exchange that doesn't oscillate).
     
  11. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #12
    Mine is fine, albeit far from silent. It doesn't help that it's sitting on a metal CPU holder (lined with some gaffer tape) suspended from my desk which seems to provide some resonance. On average, it's quieter than my MBP when its fans spin up to warp 9.
     
  12. Dragonforce macrumors 6502a

    Dragonforce

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    Apr 9, 2008
    Location:
    London (Ealing) UK
    #13
    I was about to open up a thread on the same thing.
    I got a quad 2.66 with stock config and it exactly does what you described as
    "Grrrr....Growl....Grrrrrr....Growl....Grrrrr....."

    Its not really loud but clearly audible, especially at night when theres
    not much ambient sound - and its definetely going on my nerves
    because of that osciallating nature of this noise.

    I have a hard time locating the source but the suspect is the
    fan known as "BOOSTA" in iStat, which resides inside the Xeon heatsink.
     
  13. omgitscolin macrumors newbie

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    Aug 5, 2008
    #14
    It's the little dog that pushes out the DVD tray when you open it. Try putting some beef jerky on the drive tray and closing it, that shuts them up for a while.
     
  14. Dragonforce macrumors 6502a

    Dragonforce

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    #15
    OK; I'll try that, but you're responsible for any damage caused :D
     
  15. student_trap macrumors 68000

    student_trap

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    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #16
    thought i'd chime in as i went through this last year (my thread above).

    The noise my mac pro made was similar to that of a fridge, a kind of humming or low pitched drone. Furthermore, in the end it started to oscillate, although in my case did so around about a 2-4 second cycle.

    I called apple and after a couple of replacements that failed, they sent me a new machine that didn't have the issue.

    I though id let you know that it is not normal, and in the end in my case was found to be a combination of a faulty PSU and ill-made case, the latter of which served to amplify the oscillating hum from the faulty PSU.

    Hope this helps, and good luck:eek:
     
  16. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #17
    If the machine is on a hard surface, you might try putting it on a couple $1 mouse pads (thin neoprene) or on a couple cork floor tiles.

    Sometimes the hard surface will reflect the vibrations, and you get a nice beat frequency sound (the oscillating sound where it gets loud/soft).
     
  17. Lucibelle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #18
    Agreed, though I said standing oscillating fan in the same room, not a loud box fan next to the computer. I guess I wasn't clear enough, as the point was that I can't hear my MP over a small fan that's soft and quiet, and not right next to it. My MDD 1G DP was loud... loud enough to be heard very well if it was where my MP currently is, but I put up with the noise of the MDD as it was common with those models. It was also a steady drone, so like you said, it was tolerable.

    Good luck with exchanging it. I certainly would if I knew my MP was abnormally noisy. It's been said before, but bears repeating...when it comes to contacting Apple support, be NICE! ;)
     
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #19
    Sounds like the CPU fans might not be balanced.

    Yes, the pun was intended. :p
     
  19. $BPM$ macrumors newbie

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    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Wales UK
    #20
    I got my 2.26 a couple of days ago, after about an hour of use I also noticed an oscillating noise but mine's more of a 'chugging sound' similar to what someone mentioned in the '08 thread, like a very quiet little diesel engine hidden away in there.

    I was just going to ignore it because it's not over loud and I do work in a quiet environment, but I've also seen posts in here saying their MP 09 is whisper quiet. If it's not normal I'll investigate further and maybe give apple a call.

    UPDATE
    Just taken the cover off and it's the 4870 fan making the noise, should I try and get a replacement or just put up with it, anyone else have a noisy 4870 fan?
     
  20. Jarman74 macrumors regular

    Jarman74

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #21
    Sounds exactly like my PSU fan. Never bothered too much though, but I see how it can get on your nerves.
     
  21. Dragonforce macrumors 6502a

    Dragonforce

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    Apr 9, 2008
    Location:
    London (Ealing) UK
    #22
    "whisper quiet" ... is not a good description and everyone has his own definition of it.
    Depens on your environment, hearing sensibility, place of your Mac Pro where and on what its standing and even the size and shape of your room.

    IMHO each and every Mac Pro on this planet are far from whisper quiet - you can clearly hear them if they're standing on or below your desk and you're less than 2 feet away. Friends coming to my house, seeing and hearing a Mac Pro for the first time always say "wow, its such a quiet machine, you almost can't hear it" - but for me, I _do clearly_ hear it, maybe because I'm spoiled by all that neato, "almost" silent Apple hardware in my house, like a MBP, Air and MP which _are_ compared to other companys notebooks and workstations - quiet.

    Anyway, there are 5 fans in each Mac Pro plus at least one HDD.
    6 moving, mechanical parts. They can NEVER be _whisper_ quiet.

    So, there you have my 0.02 :p
     
  22. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #23
    I remember on my 08 2.8GHz 8 core Mac Pro that it was whisper quiet. I had the machine for 6 months and I used it mostly in a room upstairs where its absolutely silent especially at night time.

    The mba's fan revving up to 6k rpm was super noisy (been through 3 mba's rev. a's) and the mbp 15 and 17" is loud at full throttle of the fan but not as loud as the mba's vacuum noise.

    Anyway the only thing that made a noise that wasnt tolerable was the ati 3870 card at the time. I remember when I held the fan of the 3870 it was whisper quiet. I know its not good to do that but I wanted to make sure it was the ATI cards fan that was making the noise.

    Otherwise the Mac Pro itself was so quiet that you had to put your ear right up close almost touching the Mac Pro to hear any of the gentle fan noise. Sounded like a quiet yet gentle.. hhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaa
     
  23. Dragonforce macrumors 6502a

    Dragonforce

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    Apr 9, 2008
    Location:
    London (Ealing) UK
  24. $BPM$ macrumors newbie

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    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Wales UK
    #25
    Apart from the 4870 fan noise it would be very quiet, maybe wrong to say whisper quiet but considering the amount of fans etc that Dragonforce pointed out it's a lot better than I expected.
     

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