Risk of shorting a Graphics card in a Mac Pro 4,1 without a bracket?

TruckdriverSean

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 28, 2009
662
4
Texas, US
I just bought an early 2009 Mac Pro. (8-core, 2.66Ghz, 16GB Ram, it's very sweet!)

I wanted to install a newer graphics card, and a friend has a GTX 460 SE (PC Version) that I can borrow to try out.

But one thing I noticed was that the GTX 460 SE does not have a covering or bracket around the bottom face like the Radeon 4870 it replaces. The soldered board is flat against the bottom rubber pad on the chassis in slot 1.

Is there a risk of shorting something out?

I see the rubber pad on the chassis, but is that enough insulation?

Will the PCI bracket & bar hold the graphics card stable enough in slot 2?

Thanks for any help. I haven't owned a a truly modular desktop in a long, long time.

Sean
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,450
6,380
Is there a risk of shorting something out?

Will the PCI bracket & bar hold the graphics card stable enough in slot 2?
I've never heard of a graphics card shorting out there, but I suppose nothing is impossible. Just unplug the MP and stick the card in to see if there is clearance. As long as it's not hitting the pad and it's installed properly, it's fine.

Note that the PCIe fan is adjustable for card length. Push the button on it and move it forward or back until it supports the end of the gfx card.

The card should be held by the slot, the bar at the end of the slots, the bracket with the outputs, and, if the card is long enough, the PCIe fan.

Slot 2 is totally fine if you are really worried and you have the slots to spare.
 

TruckdriverSean

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 28, 2009
662
4
Texas, US
Thanks for the help!

I moved it to slot 2 to be sure.

Now dealing with other weirdness...

I can't seem to get the retaining bar locked into the card's slot. Fan assembly is all the way locked, but retaining bar seems to move only 1/4"
 

Attachments

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,450
6,380
IIRC, the retaining bar is moved automatically with the case latch on the back. Is this how you are closing the bar?
 

Anim

macrumors 6502a
Dec 16, 2011
616
22
Macclesfield, UK
As long as your not wearing slippers, walking on a carpet and wearing a wooly dressing gown (notorious combo for building static charge) and you always touch a radiator before handling any circuit board you should be ok. The bands are only a couple of quid on Amazon too.
 

TruckdriverSean

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 28, 2009
662
4
Texas, US
IIRC, the retaining bar is moved automatically with the case latch on the back. Is this how you are closing the bar?
I thought the retaining bar moves with the PCI fan assembly. Mine does, but only about 1/3rd the travel needed to latch. (it moves 1/3rd of the slot in the back board)

Closing the latch at the back doesn't move the bar at all on my machine.




As long as your not wearing slippers, walking on a carpet and wearing a wooly dressing gown (notorious combo for building static charge) and you always touch a radiator before handling any circuit board you should be ok. The bands are only a couple of quid on Amazon too.
I may have said it wrong. I'm not referring to static discharge, but the backside of the graphics card (and solder points) shorting against the aluminum chassis "shelf" where the graphics card would sit in PCI slot-1.

With the GTX460-SE in slot-1, these little points are resting against the thin rubber pad on top of that shelf.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,450
6,380
I thought the retaining bar moves with the PCI fan assembly. Mine does, but only about 1/3rd the travel needed to latch. (it moves 1/3rd of the slot in the back board)

Closing the latch at the back doesn't move the bar at all on my machine.
I honestly can't remember, that's why I prefaced it with "IIRC". Perhaps someone else will chime in or I can check later tomorrow.
 

TruckdriverSean

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 28, 2009
662
4
Texas, US
After looking at pictures of people's rigs online, I realized that the rubberized pad is likely enough protection.

Looks like most graphics cards in PCI slot-1 are resting against the pad.
So I'll just move it back down to slot 1
 

TruckdriverSean

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 28, 2009
662
4
Texas, US
I honestly can't remember, that's why I prefaced it with "IIRC". Perhaps someone else will chime in or I can check later tomorrow.
I figured it out.

Someone had pulled the PCIe fan assembly out, and didn't properly reassemble with the retainer bar stubs in place.

Pulled, replaced (with help from my brother in law) now retains as designed #