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MIKX

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 16, 2004
1,800
670
Aussie in Japan
Today I did a test install of the Noctua NFaA12x25 120mm fan for my 4,1>5,1's PSU.

The fan comes with a "low noise / LOWER RPM" adapter cable connected to the original PSU fan socket on the motherboard,
NOTE 1 : I had to shave off one of this cable's 'raised locater guides" to allow the Nocuta socket insertion.
With this cable connected Noctua states that the fan speed will be limited to 1,700rpm but iStat Menus shows speed at 1,614.
Note 2: At the time of writing this post I had the cMP's side cover OFF as I have not yet re-routed the Noctua's power cable
that will affect the iStat's Menus screen grab temps.
Note 3: The original Apple DELTA ELECTRONICS AFB1212HHE 120mm PSU fan is still installed BEHIND the Noctua as today's
test was just to see if it would power up without issues. It did !


The Noctua in place for testing.
Noctua cabling.jpg

( apologies for typos .. .did everything in a hurry )

======================================================
Noctua PSU fan operation temps.
( bear in mind that the cMP's side cover was removed whenI did the iStats Menu's screen grab)
Noctua NF-A12x25 in 4,1 cMP iStats MENUS.jpg


=====================================================================
PWM Speed control :
I have ordered the Noctua NA-FC1 PWM speed controller which will be powered by one of the DVD Drive area SATA cables. https://www.amazon.com/Noctua-NA-FC1-4-pin-PWM-Controller/dp/B072M2HKSN
Noctua Fan controller NA-FC1 sml.jpg

SATA socket is on the left side.

==================================================
Noctua PSU fan noise level

To be honest, I can't tell the difference between the Apple or the Noctua fans. This with the cMP's side cover removed so far.
The Noctua is supposedly running at 1,614rpm but the Apple fan was running at 1,000rpm before and is due for a de-dusting & cleaning.

With the side WPM NA-FC1 conenctedcover replaced I expect even better noise reduction. I have no idea what levels audio professionals expect but so far, for me Im quite happy with the Noctua's nocie levels at 1,614 rpm with the side cover off.
With the original Apple fan removed and the Noctua NA-FC1 PWM speed controller inline and the cMP's side cover installed I expect very good results in terms of low noise and much lower PSU temps.

==================================================
Conclusion thus far.

Considering that in a standard 4,1 or 5,1 cMP standard PC replacement fans can be used but will not have any fan speed control due to Apple's propriety PWM design. On top of that, the apple standard PSU fan cabling requires the motherboard ( backplane ) to be removed. . so replacing this fan is a real nightmare.

The Noctua installed with the PWM NA-FC1 PWM controller makes this a lot easier. the only hassle I had was connecting the Noctua power cable to the cMP's on board PSU power socket .. I elected to remove the PCIe area fan which made this a 5 minute job.

Considering that in this test, the original Apple fan was still in place BEHIND the Noctua but disconnected; not powered, the resulting dramatically reduced PSU temps were amazing. I expect lower temps after I remove the original fan and correctly install the Noctua.
===================================================

Additional bonus : Due to the fact that I had to remove the cMP's PCI bay fan to get at the PSU fan power socket .. I decided to clean this fan .. I got it so clean, no dust and polished teh blades& internals util they were in their original SHINY, dust free condition that when I booted up ALL pcie bays temps were DRAMATICALLY reduced. I surmise that with the Noctua installed PLUS the PCI bay fan working at peak performance that there was a general, overall case temp reduction ( I already have a USB externally powered 16.14 CFM fan up against the NorthBridge Tdiode's heatsink. )

I'm going to wait a few days before uninstalling the original Apple PSU fan which I will clean & de-dust and keep as a spare.
It has earned a well deserved rest.

As for the CPU tray fans, over the coming week I will be removing all of them for cleaning & a thorough de-dusting to an " as new " looking state with all blades returned to a polished condition.

Last year I started out with the goal of reducing NorthBridge Tdiode temps having achieved that my goal has matured into reducing the cMP's OVERALL case temps in preparation for Japan's, ( where I reside ) notoriously hot and humid summer.

After I have re-routed the Noctua's cable and sorted everything out I will post my progress.
 
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MIKX

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 16, 2004
1,800
670
Aussie in Japan
This morning I re-routed the Noctua power cable, replaced the 4,1's side cover.

I cannot hear the Noctua at all at 1,613rpm, even with my ear close to the side cover. Then again, I'm not as young as I used to be 🙄

iStat Menus reports the PSU temp as either 36°C or 30°C ( there are two entries for the PSU in iStat Menus . Prior to the Noctua iStat Menus was reporting the PSU at 43°C.

The original Apple PSU fan is still installed . . . I'll remove it on the weekend to give this test a chance.

========================================================

If for nothing else, having the Noctua installed and working much better better than expected and gives me a chance to remove, thoroughly clean & de-dust & do a 'blade polish' for the original Apple AFB1212HHE at my leisure.

Nice to know I will no longer have long fan maintenance shut downs if the PSU gets too hot in 2020 Japanese summer.

NOTE : I've learned that bring fan blades back to a 'polished, shiny state' pays off in that after restoring my PCI / SATA bays area fan, temps have dropped substantially . . especially with the side cover replaced. My Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500gb is reporting 23°C so I can safely remove my USB powered fan for this blade until summer temps hit.
 
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MIKX

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 16, 2004
1,800
670
Aussie in Japan
Finally got round to correctly installing the Noctua PSU fan
NOTES :
1. To replace the Apple cMP 4,1 & 5,1 PSU fan the motherboard/backplane + PSU + the CPU Tray fans must be removed to get at the fan's power cable because the PUS fan cable runs UNDER the backplane ( stupid design ) . . . but . . good news ! I could route the Noctua cable through the front left corner of my 4,1's DVD drive cage.

That means that now that I have two working PSU fans, in future I can much more easily change fans as with this cable routing I need only remove the PSU; I've gotten the PSU removal/ + fan change + PSU re-nstall down to 30 minutes.

Re-route PSU fan cable.jpg


This is the first time I have ever removed my 4,1's backplane and to be honest it was hell ! The hardest part by far was removing the CPU Tray fan assembly AND the fans NOTE : there are three cables to be removed first = small cable next to the FRONT intake fan cable and the the Intake & Exhaust fan cables. Each of the fans power cable sockets locations are printed on the backplane.
There are TWO fan locking latches on the CPU Tray assembly. One at the top of each fan and a SLOT latch under the assembly.

Use a flathead screwdriver to loosen the top ones and then use a chopstick or similar to move the fans INTO the assembly to get clearance to lift the whole assembly out of the cMP

=============================================

The Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM fan comes with a short 'noise & power reduction cable' which reduces the fan speed to 1,700rpm. NOTE : The first time I connected the fan using this SPEED REDUCTION cable iStat Menus reported around 1,614rpm and I must say that for me at least, my 4,1 fan noise was barely audible but today after correctly installing it the RPM is reported as 1,721 the Noctua is a little too loud. It could be that I have the aforementioned cable in the wrong connection order - I will experiment & report back.
I have ordered the Noctua NA-FC1 WPM speed controller to bring the fan speed down to a reasonable cooling & noise level.This controller will be powered by one of the two SATA cables in the DVD drive cage area.
Noctua Fan controller NA-FC1 sml.jpg
====================================

Finally .. installed
Install 01.1.JPG



Here is the fan connected and running. The PSU temps reported by iStats Menus show temp reduction from 40°C down to 32°C ( system ambient = 23°C ) in iStats Menus PSU temps.
Install spinning 03.JPG


=========================================

Obviously, replacing the PSU fan is not a trivial operation but for those whom have installed replacement backplanes it will be a lot easier so for novices I highly recommend Googling " Replace 2009-2010 -2012 Mac Pro backplane " = save the video, get comfortable understanding the whole process before attempting PSU fan replacement.

Seeing that the 4,1 & 5,1 cMPS are now getting really old it's time to seriously consider having a replacement PSU backup fan. Bear in mind that due to now beng able to re-route the PSU cable more conveniently from the DVD drive bay, that removing the backplane & CPU Trays Assembly only need to be done ONCE ! Future PSU fan removal & replacement will only require the PSU to be removed.

==========================================
A little off topic but relevant :

During this project I elected to remove the PCI fan ( two screws ! ) and then THOROUGLY de-dust is and bringing the fan blades back to a polished finish. I did this too to the INTAKE & EXHAUST fans as well.

The resulting temperature reductions were STUNNING ! !

Seeing that the CPU Tray fan assembly MUST be removed ONCE to allow the PSU fan to be re-routed through the SATA cable gap one might as well DE-DUST & POLISH ALL fan blades.
Polished blades are more efficient, move more air for the same power input & noise level.
Whatever, I am certain that my 4,1>5,1 is 99% DUST FREE and running significantly cooler today.
 
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MIKX

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 16, 2004
1,800
670
Aussie in Japan
I am absolutely astounded !

Yesterday, I correctly installed the Noctua NF A12x25 PWM 120mm fan as a replacement for my 4,1 cMP PSU fan.

I installed the short Noctua "LOW SPEED" cable which restricts fan speed to 1,700rpm. from the cMP backplane PSU power socket to the main Noctua fan power cable.

After installation iStats Menus was showing the Noctua fan at around 1,740rpm and the fan was quite noisy, racing, I was disappointed but I as I have already ordered the Noctua NF-FC1 PWM fan speed controller I wasn't too perturbed.

Also, after the Noctua PSU fan install .. the cMP INTAKE fan speed was showing up as " 0rpm " ! That did indeed worry me.
I decided to leave the Mac Pro on overnight and most of the next evening.

Late. last night I suddenly noticed that the Noctua was pretty well INAUDIBLE !
The Noctua speed in Istats menus was showing 1,673rpm. Moreover, ALL my internal case temps were way below usual. Bear in mind that after I had removed teh backplane to get at the Apple PSU fan cable to install the Noctua & re-route the fan cable through the gap where the SATA cable runs to the PCI area I had decided to de-dust and polish the blades on the PCI fan + Intake + Exhaust fans. It seems that my Mac Pro 'whole case internal temps ' are now significantly reduced !

My INTAKE fan is now showing rpm in iStats Menus but the speed varies from 0rpm & 145rpm but is indeed running as normal and cooling the CPU Tray area.

You can see from the iStats Menus screengrab below that all temps are quite low and indeed they ( all ) represent the best OVERALL cMP case temp s reductions I have been able to achieve without having to set high fan speeds.

Best of all is that it seems that my 4,1's sensors seem to have been handshaking with my Noctua, and indeed unbelievable as that may seem. The Noctua RPM/NOISE DOES fluctuate occasionally and becomes more audible. . but . . . then settles downight . .. now. . I CANNOT HEAR it. This is quite puzzling but good news.
It feels as if my 4,1 is 'getting acquainted' with the Noctua 🤣

I'm going to leave the 4,1 running for another 24 hours to see what happens

====================================

The object of this project has been to . .
. . . .
1. Replace the Apple PSU fan withe Noctua NF A12x25 PWM 120mm PCU fan = DONE

2. Re-route the fan cable through the SATA cable gap from the DVD drive cage area =DONE
NOTE : This re-routing means that for me at least it will no longer be necessary to have to remove the
backplane to change this fan
.. BUT.. the PSU MUST be removed but that is trivial compared to
removing the backplane 😇.

Before attempting this I highly recommend getting familiar with removing the backplane ( not hard but detailed ) ( make notes & record the various backplane SCREW locations. Also get familiar with how to remove & re-install the CPY tray's INTAKE & EXHAUST fan assembly = hardest, frustrating but doable.

Noctua installed with low speed cable.jpg





NOTE : The NON-Noctua fan speeds shown above are arbitrary and for testing only.
After the Noctua NF FC1 PWM controller arrives the Noctua fan speed can easily
be reduced.


NOTE : Now, at the time of writing this text, the Noctua is virtually silent = mysterious but nice !
 
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macinPr1mus

macrumors newbie
Mar 21, 2020
27
1
Thanks you for posting this! I've ordered some fans and controllers myself, Do you think the Noctua NF-A12x12 120mm's could work as well?
[automerge]1584834223[/automerge]
Also, what are the best apps for tracking temp and speed? I installed that fan widget but it only gives me speed, no CPU temp.
 
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MIKX

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 16, 2004
1,800
670
Aussie in Japan
Thanks you for posting this! I've ordered some fans and controllers myself, Do you think the Noctua NF-A12x12 120mm's could work as well?
[automerge]1584834223[/automerge]
Also, what are the best apps for tracking temp and speed? I installed that fan widget but it only gives me speed, no CPU temp.
No idea but I noticed that the " low noise adapter cable " reduced the RPM to 1,200 which would make it much quieter than the NF A12x25 PWM https://noctua.at/en/nf-f12-pwm. scroll down to "Low-noise adapter".

Having said that .. if you also buy the NA FC1 PWM speed controller you will have complete fan speed control.

You should Google the fan specs and check voltage you want 12v.

Personally, to be safe, I'm sticking with the NA 12x25 PWM
 
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macinPr1mus

macrumors newbie
Mar 21, 2020
27
1
Ah, duh, iStatsMenus... got it haha.
[automerge]1584834820[/automerge]
I've had a ball upgrading my 2009 4,1 -> 2x3.33GHZ 6 core 5,1 High Sierra Mac. Next up, probably Mojave and a 580x.
[automerge]1584834985[/automerge]
Yes, I ordered a controller as well. I got one of the skinny ones to test out. Will report back! Noctua NF-A12x15 PWM, Premium Quiet Slim Fan, 4-Pin (120mm, Brown)
 
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MIKX

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 16, 2004
1,800
670
Aussie in Japan
My 4,1 's new Noctua NA A12x25 is still virtually silent and the previously noted speed fluctuations have diminished in the past 5 hours.

I'll still be introducing the NA FC1 1WPM controller into the PSU fan's power chain when it arrives - if Corona allows. 😐
 
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macinPr1mus

macrumors newbie
Mar 21, 2020
27
1
This is my baseline, just fyi:
 

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MIKX

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 16, 2004
1,800
670
Aussie in Japan
How about changing to Celsius ? Only the U.S. uses Fahrenheit

On the keyboard hit Shift + Option + 8 to type the " ° "

Macrumors is an international site 😇 save us from having to convert to Celsius every time you post.

Can you send a Celsius grab for everyone please?

==========================

Your Northbridge Tdiode is at 62.2°C . . . OK. Mine is at 51°C now ( I have a 50mm x 50mm x 10mm 16.14 CFM ) USB powered fan leaning up against the Northbridge heatsink https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...mp-reduction-in-dual-cpu-cmp-4-1-5-1.2179729/
 
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macinPr1mus

macrumors newbie
Mar 21, 2020
27
1
Hey, any advice when removing the CPU fan from the heatsink? I found the proper replacement - NF A6x25 but I'm unsure what to do with the connector from the original fan. Do I just cut it out?
 
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macinPr1mus

macrumors newbie
Mar 21, 2020
27
1
PCIe fan is 92mm I guess... tracked that down. How are you attaching Noctua NA-FC1 to power? The SATA connector supplied is mSATA I think? It doesn't fit with the on board connectors.
 
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macinPr1mus

macrumors newbie
Mar 21, 2020
27
1
Intake / exhaust done :
[automerge]1585423558[/automerge]
Finally got the PSU out that took work, as the bottom two screws were hard to access. Ended up using a bike tool for the last two.
 

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macinPr1mus

macrumors newbie
Mar 21, 2020
27
1
Yes I see what you mean now by rerouting the PSU fan power. Removing the mb wasn’t that hard really!
[automerge]1585425265[/automerge]
Just cut out the fan, removing the screws on the fan didn’t do anything.
 

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macinPr1mus

macrumors newbie
Mar 21, 2020
27
1
Ok I did it hopefully I don’t have to buy a new tray hah.
[automerge]1585431243[/automerge]
Aaah, did I get it reversed?
[automerge]1585431281[/automerge]
I swear I matched what was there but the other one was opposite

(In one unit, the air flow was going out, the other, going in. Can anyone confirm this is correct?)
 

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macinPr1mus

macrumors newbie
Mar 21, 2020
27
1
Wow and it worked!!! Thanks again for posting your process helped a lot. Also got some pointers from some guys on YouTube about how to cut the SATA connectors to fit. I’m amazed this worked on the first try.

For now I ripped out the super drive and used those connectors to power the controllers. One controls PSU / intake / exhaust, one controls CPUs. Will add the PCIe fan most likely when it arrives.
 

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macinPr1mus

macrumors newbie
Mar 21, 2020
27
1
Oh, btw, I did end up trying the 12x15 for the PSU fan - seems to be fine, I'm getting the same great results, and it was a $15 fan!
 
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macinPr1mus

macrumors newbie
Mar 21, 2020
27
1
Hacky, but was able to grab a screen shot (of Celsius) using quicktime of the current state. Not optimized at all for sure, but seems cool.
[automerge]1585442357[/automerge]
 

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MIKX

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 16, 2004
1,800
670
Aussie in Japan
Hacky, but was able to grab a screen shot (of Celsius) using quicktime of the current state. Not optimized at all for sure, but seems cool.
[automerge]1585442357[/automerge]

( Sorry for late reply, I've beenin hospital for a month after a motor scooter vs car accident = broken left hip )
Three of your CPY Tray fans are showing 0 rpm.

And your CPU tray Intake is at 3,208 RPM . . that's too high.
 
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yurc

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2016
814
966
inside your DSDT
Another tested 5,1 setup with full fledged Noctua Fans, just put it here, might be useful as reference.

 
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macinPr1mus

macrumors newbie
Mar 21, 2020
27
1
( Sorry for late reply, I've beenin hospital for a month after a motor scooter vs car accident = broken left hip )
Three of your CPY Tray fans are showing 0 rpm.

And your CPU tray Intake is at 3,208 RPM . . that's too high.
Yeah I'm not sure what's up with that... the fans are definitely running, but they don't show on the monitor. The max speed might be true as I have one of the controllers maxed out to keep it cool. Back to messing with this Mac again after a hiatus. Going to mine Chia on it if I can get it going.
 
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macinPr1mus

macrumors newbie
Mar 21, 2020
27
1
Machine runs awesome though, it's kind of a beast now. I just need to decide what to use it for.
 

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macinPr1mus

macrumors newbie
Mar 21, 2020
27
1
I'm getting temps between 58c and 66c on the two CPUs... can't remember if that's too hot or not. Also, is the relative to ProcHot the better number to look at? Thanks.
 
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