Problem Solved: Mac Pro Heat Issues in XP

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by slughead, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #1
    ------
    EDIT:
    More coverage available here:
    Windows XP Heat Issues On the Mac (Fix Included)
    =================

    OK this may have been covered, but all mac pro owners should note that their X1900 XT's have been under-clocked by Apple.

    from barefeats
    Why did they do this? you may be asking. Well, after much tinkering I have found the answer: fan speed.

    Yes, the 80 bajillion (4) fans in the mac pro are apparently only there for show as far as they're concerned. They have the things running so slow that the hard drives approach critical temperatures in windows XP.

    My x1900 XT started having serious heat issues in XP including shutting off video, displaying horrible video errors, and running at up to 70C. This was happening in spite of me clocking the thing to Apple's 'detuned' level.

    I messed with the fan speed using ATI Tray Tools and got some of the problems to go away.

    However, in searching for answers, I installed a program called SpeedFan (For XP), which, though it could not interact with the case fans, communicated quite well with the internal temperature sensors. SpeedFan told me that the active hard drive(s) in my mac pro were dangerously hot.

    There are no (and I mean ZERO) programs that can communicate with the Mac Pro's fans from within XP, but in my research, I found that SMCFanControl 2 can manipulate fan speeds on the Mac Pro from within OS X, and the settings will stick when you restart (note that shutting down will erase the settings)!

    I just tested it out and found that simply boosting the minimum PCI/HD bay fan speed to 40% (still really silent), I can drop the PCIe/Hard Drive bay sensors from 5-10°C (!!).

    Coupled with my GPU fan speed increase via ATI tray tools, I can now do GPU intensive tasks (such as C&C 3, as I just noted) free from artifacts and AT FULL CLOCK.

    The GPU fan is still loud due to my speed modifications, but I'll deal with it for faster FPS with no video errors.
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    Thanks for the heads up. I'm interested in gaming on a possible Mac Pro. Apple really needs to work on their fan speeds. Silent operation is going to kill a lof of hardware.
     
  3. CyberPrey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    IGH, MN
    #3
    SMCFanControl2 is a very handy utility. I recommend all Mac Pro users use it.... I have set to just keep all the fans at about 990-1100 RPM, which is BARELY above a whisper... and it keeps my system nice and cool....
     
  4. Blogger macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Local
    #4
    Also note that the ATI X1900 XT has a poorly designed intake throat and the more it's used, the quicker it gets partially clogged. That causes overheating issues. It's a good idea to blow it out occasionally with canned air.
     
  5. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #5
    How many hard drives do you have? I haven't had any issues with heat in Windows while gaming, with the card at its default clocks. Perhaps if I had more "stuff" inside my Mac Pro it would get to more dangerous heat levels though?

    Also it's probably a tad hotter in Arizona, so I'm guessing that's a factor (though of course, you shouldn't have to be so location limited with the Mac Pro).

    p.s. what Windows utility can I use to monitor temperatures? Does the Task Manager have something like that?
     
  6. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #6
    I have 4 hard drives, which definitely contributes to the ambient temp of the HD/PCIe area. The Mac Pro's fan doesn't react to the sensors in Windows from the looks of things, which ends up causing problems.

    lol, probably, but it's nice and cool in my apartment. I have to keep the room temp under 85 to reduce errors. Sucks because I love leaving the windows open.

    EDIT: Oh, something I realized is that the way the software is setup, it's probably assuming there's going to be a fresh supply of 72°F air outside the case. So the RPM on the fans may be too slow if your room temp is any warmer.

    Also, the default settings on the X1900 don't have the fan going full speed until the core temp reaches 80°F, which is totally retarded. I changed the threshold so it reaches 100% at 65°F, which is about when I start getting video errors using ATI Tray Tools.

    http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php
     
  7. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #8
    I was just gaming in Vista and afterwards I looked at the ATI Catalyst Control Center and the temp was at around 80 C. That's in the orange temperature zone according to the Control Center. Pretty hot. :) No problems with the card though, no video errors.

    My Core '0' and '1' according to Speedfan are at 50 and 51 C with a flame icon next to them. I don't know what normal core temps are though (the second two cores are at 47 C... I don't think the game was using them). Speedfan doesn't show my any other temperature readings.

    It's a hot sunny day here in California too, in the upper 90s (F). The room with my Mac gets especially warm.
     
  8. macenforcer macrumors 65816

    macenforcer

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    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
  9. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #10
    80C is only ORANGE?!?

    When ATI-Tray tools tells me my vid card is approaching 70, I get huge video problems.

    I must have an especially temperamental card. Lame.

    Speedfan tells me my HD temps.. does it not do so for you? Mine were 'on fire' according to speedfan before I start using smcfancontrol.
     
  10. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #11
    It might have meant 80ºF, but the temp definitely had a "C" next to it. Just into the orange zone, about 60% of the way up the meter (dunno what temp 100% is, but probably means a melted card :D).

    Nope, it only showed me CPU core temps. I just have one HDD, the stock 250GB Western Digital that shipped with the machine.
     
  11. krunk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    #12
    These are good things to know, I hope these are just the run of the mill Rev. 1 type issues I've seen in the past with mac and it'll be cleared up when the Rev. 2's come out.

    I would think intentionally crippling a card and still billing it as an x1900XT might be walking the line of false advertisement though.
     
  12. FireArse macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    #13
    Issues

    You also have a card that's not supplied by Apple. Those who are replying may (or may not be) talking about their Apple supplied cards.

    Perhaps the Flashing of your card did something to it?

    These 1900's have been known to fail. I think they are getting too hot - but I hope you have a nice long period on your warranty left, cos you shouldn't be seeing these kinds of artifacts at such low temperatures.

    F
     
  13. Evergreen macrumors member

    Evergreen

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    #14
    Isn't there an AppleFan.kext extension that you can edit to make the fans run permanently faster than the default settings?
     
  14. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #15
    /System/Library/Extensions/AppleFan.kext

    I'm not going to touch it though.
     
  15. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #16
    Yes, especially the sapphire model like I have. :)

    However, the article was about heat issues in general. As I said, I had other components overheating as well.
     
  16. andy603 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #17
    ATI Tray tools on Mac?

    Stupid question I'm sure, but where the heck are these tools on my Mac OS (Im also running XP on Parallels)?

    thx
     
  17. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #18
    It's only for XP, unfortunately
     
  18. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #19
    Lemme clarify further:

    ATITrayTools is only available for Windows, and it doesn't work in parallels (parallels has weird hardware emulation to avoid conflicts). I was speaking earlier mainly about Bootcamp on intel macs.

    I don't know how to adjust GPU fan speed in OS X, but you can simply speed up the fan in the PCIe/HD bay by using SMCFanControl 2 to cool the GPU more effectively.

    ATIAccelerator II is a great program for fooling with fan speed and overclocking of GPUs on the mac from within OS X, but it doesn't work with intel macs (yet ?). I don't think there exist one that does yet.
     
  19. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #20
    Regarding SMCFanControl2, is there a significant risk of overusing the fans and wearing them out prematurely, possibly causing them to seize?

    I have the program installed, but I know that each fan only has a certain RPM lifetime, so I Am just curious as to what some of you think about running those extra RPMs off the lifetime of your Mac Pro fan.
     
  20. dusanv macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #21
    My new MBP is having exact same problems. It seems they elected to keep the fans down across the entire line of hardware at any cost (including burning your crotch and frying the hardware). There was a thread yesterday on the MBP forum about a guy burning his finger on the MBP. I don't think they'll come to their senses until someone slaps them with a law suit for second degree burns.
     

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