Re:Powermac G4 1.42 MDD/Heat & other issues. Request input, advice, experience

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ActionClaw, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. ActionClaw macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2008
    I just purchased a new (used, of course, but new to me) PowerMac G4 Dual 1.42GHz MDD. I've been using Macs for many years but this is a new beast, apparently, with a bunch of its own idiosynchrocies: some I've not encountered before with previous Macs. Reading about others' unfortunate experiences with these, I'd like to exercise caution and practice a bit of preventative maintenance to avoid making some of the same mistakes.

    It's loud and noisy. I understand it's supposed to be, I believe this is the one nicknamed "WindTunnel", but just how loud and noisy is what's considered "normal"? The fan speed changes, I understand, because it's thermally controlled but sometimes it gets scary high-speed-fast like it's trying to take off! I shut it down. Is this "normal"? (The speed, that is, not the fact that I shut it down.;))

    Perhaps the loudest fan is the one on the graphics card. Not so much motor noise, I think, as rattling/vibration or some internal contact/rubbing. The inside is extremely clean with virtually no dust. What can be done about this and, in general, do these small onboard fans require any sort of lubrication?

    Researching these, I keep coming across references to "thermal paste", "thermal grease", Arctic Silver Fox, etc. Is this something that actually needs regular periodic attention, reapplication or only during processor upgrades?
    (I realize G5s now have cooling systems and radiators but does this MDD have to "go in for a lube and oil change"?)

    It seems heat or general overheating is a major issue with these models. Reading an archived post concerning installing additional drives got me thinking.

    Since I have 3 open slots and more than that many extra drives, I thought I'd fill the cages. However, since at this time, I don't really NEED the extra drive space and probably won't usually use them, is this a bad idea?

    The warnings of "heat issues, especially for the second drive in the ATA/100 slot (closest to the heat sink) and "toast(ing) the second ATA/100 drive" has gotten me a bit concerned. I've lost a drive or two in the past and do NOT care to again!

    However, as I do want to install at least one extra, if heat/circulation is that much of a problem, might it be more advisable to install the second drive in the front to allow for more air space around each thus better ventilation of both? To me, forfeiting a wee bit of speed in exchange for not "toast(ing) the second " drive is a fair trade-off.

    If this were to be done, should both be set as "masters" with no slaves?

    I see all sorts of suggestions to add extra fans, install pci slot fans, replace the speaker with another fan, etc. Is all this additional ventilation just "not a bad idea", total overkill or an actual necessity?

    Are there any other issues, behaviors, quirks, etc. peculiar to this machine that I should be made aware of?

    Thanks in advance for your words of wisdom and the benefit of your experience! :)

  2. Tracer macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2007
    Search Google for MDD, NAP, Leopard.

    It is pretty easy to create a Applescript that enables processor NAP, this makes the processors run much cooler when idling.

    Another solution is to download the Fan Package and swap the .Kexts so that the fans run at a lower speed.

    Also be sure to grab Temperature Monitor to read the CPU board temperature.

  3. shu82 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2007
    Rocket City, AL
    I would not turn down your fans. It wants to blow, let it blow. The fact there is a fan on your graphics card tells me you have an aftermarket 9800 or something similar. This could be an issue if the fan ever breaks. But, I have ran 4 hard drives and 2 optical drives in mine with all the pci cards filled up for 6 months now. I never turn it off. You should be just fine.
  4. Chromako macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2007
    The Wired
    I have a similar model- a few of my experiences:

    Yes. The thing is loud. Really loud. Swapping fans was not all that helpful- most of the noise in Apple configured MDD's were from the power supplies on the early models (Not 1.42 Ghz). By opening your computer up you should be able to tell if the graphics card is really loud, though- those little fans do tend to get very loud before dying. Replacements are easy to get. If the large, thermal controlled fan, though, is ramping up, I wouldn't worry. If you really do, though, check the Temperature monitor, it is a free application. Just make sure that your temps are less than 70C.

    And yes, that hard disk space you mentioned does tend to get toasty. I'd fill it last.

    I've done, actually, quite well with cramming seven high rpm drives into my MDD and besides things getting loud, I haven't had to make any major modifications to the machine. I think that in 99% of cases, all those extra ventilation mods are overkill, though fun to do.
  5. Firefly2002 macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2008
    Didn't Apple offer a recall of the noisy PSUs and replace them with quieter ones so they weren't so... Windtunnel-ey?
  6. ScRat0i71 macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    I have the opposite, no noise...

    I'm running this G4 MDD:

    Dual 1.42 2GB RAM, OS X Leopard 10.5.4

    Fans wont ever speed up, my temperatures always run hot. Fans will not speed up for CPU intensive operations, but stays a steady temp...?

    Check out this link to see what my iStat Pro says currently after an hour of up time:

    Anyone have a clue how to control my fan speed? Hack leopard to change numerical values to tell leopard to automatically try to keep it at XX degrees? Any experience with this happening?

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