Pro housings / industrial conversions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Sesshi, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #1
    We need to reengineer our Pros for higher reliability. Mainly re-rating the hardware and also improving the cooling performance. For various reasons including placement issues I'd rather not go with an XServe - and it's debatable whether these would be any more reliable in an uncontrolled environment. I've given the OK to start exploring it and the monetary cost to do it in-house is not high, but I'm currently more concerned that it'll draw manpower away from other things that we should be doing.

    Does anyone know of an industrial computer conversion kit or service that we could turn to?
     
  2. yeroen macrumors 6502a

    yeroen

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    #2
    Perhaps you'd be better off with Linux or BSD on a DIY PC box?
     
  3. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #3
    ^ Pretty sure he needs to stay OS X on supported hardware for software reasons.

    ...and he's not happy about it at all :p
     
  4. bigandy macrumors G3

    bigandy

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    #4
    as if nobody noticed :rolleyes: :p
     
  5. yeroen macrumors 6502a

    yeroen

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    #5
    If only Apple would allow OS X to be virtualized in their EULA.
     
  6. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #6
    For the above reasons mentioned it's not a viable solution at the moment. I need OS X.
     
  7. RichP macrumors 68000

    RichP

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    #7
    Are you having issues with the MacPro in its current configuration? Mine seems to run cool, even under full core use for extended periods (3D rendering)
     
  8. yeroen macrumors 6502a

    yeroen

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    #8
    If heat's an issue (e.g. if you're doing anything computationally intensive such as 3D rendering), then you can get smcFanControl to set the fan thresholds higher. The Mac Pro fans never seem to ramp up for me except on boot-up or when waking from sleep.

    If by reliability you mean data integrity and redundancy, then you should probably work with a RAID (you can get a hardware RAID controller BTO).

    I don't think you're going to gain anything extra beyond that by modding the case or the hardware components (if indeed it can be done). You'll just lose money and time.
     
  9. Kosh66 macrumors 6502

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    #9
    My guess is he's looking at putting a Mac Pro in some unusual/abnormal environment and thus has to beef up/retro-fit the system for that environment. Somewhat similiar to the military wanting rugged computers that are water-tight/air-tight and resistant to sudden shocks for the field. But in this case it sounds like it has to meet certain temperatures that the Mac Pro isn't made for.
     
  10. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #10
    Not exactly. It's not even a particularly rugged use. They're temperatures that our HP xw's and Dell Precisions seem to work perfectly normally in - but the Pro seems not to be able to hack it. Temps in some parts of where we have the Pros situated are fairly high, and there may be slightly more airborne particles than normal - but all the machines are usually dusted on a monthly basis and a workstation should be able to handle it. The problem is with occasional instability, as well as accelerated expiry of some components which doesn't seem to change much through the use of smcFancontrol at reasonable noise levels.

    The most failure-prone machines do run at almost 100% usage. But once again, the xw's and Precisions seem to be able to cope with the same duty cycle just fine.
     
  11. yeroen macrumors 6502a

    yeroen

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  12. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #12
    Parts which we've replaced because we couldn't prove failure (but nevertheless there was a notable increase in stability for a few months at least) include memory and CPU. PSU is the other part most often replaced I'd say.
     
  13. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    #13
    Hmm. Obviously I don't know everything about your scenario, but why not lower the room temp? Or is that not possible because of the "uncontrolled environment"? If the ambient temperature is too high, then at a certain point fans speed won't matter, nor will taking of the side panel. To really improve the cooling performance you might have to provide the system with something cooler (colder air, liquid cooling), rather than try to dissipate the currently generated heat into the "high" ambient temperature.
     
  14. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #14
    I am aware, and my colleagues are also aware, how we can repackage the Pro to make it run better in those environments. As I said, the environment is merely taxing at times, but not outright hostile. The HP xw's and Dell Precisions aren't exhibiting any instability and nor any non-HDD component failure (bar a single PSU failure I believe, and we currently have more xw/Precisions than Pros) in the same conditions.

    I doubt however there's an off-the-shelf "intermediate mod" for the Pro (however if you know of one I'd like to see it). And as for doing it ourselves as I said, the main thing I'm worrying about here is pulling people off projects to work on this when they could be doing other more useful things than getting something that should work properly to work properly - and in that case we might as well buy in and go fully industrial as long as it doesn't sound like a jet engine. I've asked the OSX86 guru to look into it and I'll be doing some digging as well, but if anyone has any suggestions for such a kit it'll be appreciated.
     
  15. RichP macrumors 68000

    RichP

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    #16
    Very strange... considering the HP and Dells handle the heat, and all these machines are essentially the same components.

    What kind of budget and constraints are we talking about? Im picturing a clip on back panel with some serious fans in it to pull air through the machine...noise may become an issue though.
     
  16. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #17
    If we're doing it ourselves then it'll be a remanufactured / custom built case + chassis with modified airflow inside including more actively cooled subsystems. If a third party... well, I guess there's all sorts of ways of doing it.
     

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