quick question: PCI screws for MP3,1?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by coredump4, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. coredump4 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Location:
    northern VA, USA
    #1
    I hate the PCIe card retainer bracket used in the 3,1. It does not apply enough force to slots 3 & 4 to even hold the filler panels in when there's a double-width graphics card in Slot 1 or anything in Slot 2. So I'd like to replace it with individual #6-32 screws. However, the screw holes don't go all the way through. Does anyone know the proper length screw to use to anchor a PCIe card?

    TIA
     
  2. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #2
    Hmm, I had a 3,1 and now have a 5,1 Mac Pro. The PCIe retainer brackets are the same in both. I think the bracket is a great design. I hated the old single screw design, to tough to control those darn little screws. In fact I lost a couple of screws in my old G5 and G4 towers.

    What I didn't like about the PCIe design of the 3,1 was the plastic tab that secured the dog leg in long cards. It was flimsy and, yup, I broke a couple. The 5,1 sliding mechanism is far superior.

    Lou
     
  3. coredump4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Location:
    northern VA, USA
    #3
    I agree the design of the bracket is very Apple-ish and clean. Did you ever have any issues with it when 2 or more slots were occupied with cards though?
     
  4. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #4
    Not to overlook the obvious ... is the retaining leverage clip at the top of the PCI panel missing or bent? The top end of the retaining bracket should slip into the clip securely, and then the leverage from tightening the bracket down with the two thumb screws should apply plenty of pressure on all 4 card slots.
     
  5. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #5
    Nope, all of my slots are occupied and all cards seat firmly in place. What hfg writes is very true.

    Lou
     
  6. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Location:
    Fox River Valley , Illinois
    #6
    Forget the non-factory screws, please .
    You might want to apply gentle force on the two PCI bracket screws with the 'ol #2 phillips screwdriver until secured . And you might want to gently push on the outside of the enclosure near the bracket at the same time . Naked fingers are not enough if there are a lot of cards putting pressure on the PCI bracket . Align the screw holes of the cards with the bracket , too . If you do it right , everything will be secure enough to safely ship the Mac . Take a close look at enclosed picture for proper installation . Bracket is secured under case retaining tab at the top of case (left in picture) and the two PCI bracket screws have no air gaps when tightened properly . Good luck .
     

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  7. coredump4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Location:
    northern VA, USA
    #7
    Thanks for this. There's definitely no clip holding the retaining bracket at the top, so there's my problem.
    Now I have to figure out if it's missing or, more hopefully, I'm just blind.
     
  8. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #8
    In the drawing above, you can see it just above the "2" on the left. The retaining bar snugly slips under it prior to being screwed down at the other end.
     
  9. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #9
    The first time I added PCIe cards to my 5,1 I had the same problem. The issue was that I didn't get the longer end of the retaining bar under the clip (if you want to call it that, I call it a lip). I didn't realize it was even there. The next time I removed it for an upgrade I realized what I had done, and a quick inspection of the retaining bar revealed that I had slightly bent the bar when I over tightened the screws trying to make it hold PCIe cards 3/4 more securely.

    The solution for me was to straighten the bar and install it correctly.
     
  10. sigmadog macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    near Spokane, WA
    #10
    My only complaint with the bracket is the screws are made of fairly soft metal and after many rounds of in and out, they're almost stripped.
     
  11. coredump4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Location:
    northern VA, USA
    #11
    So, embarrassing as it is, this is what turns out to be the case for me as well. The clip was there, undamaged, and I'd somehow managed to not even notice it. Also luckily, the retaining bar didn't seem to be bent.

    Everything works fine when you actually use the clip! :rolleyes:
     
  12. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #12
    Actually I had a hunch that was your problem. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. We all learn by trial and error. I've never made that mistake again and neither will you ;)
     

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