Under a Desk Heat and Cooling on Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by packsherpah, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. packsherpah macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2010
    So I am about to order a 2010 Mac Pro. I am looking for opinions from users who own or have owned any recent model (last 2 years) Mac Pro in terms of how much heat they throw off and how much open air space they need.

    The reason I ask is my custom desk at home has one of those wooden "compartments" that a tower or workstation computer can slide into. If I put the Mac Pro in there, it will be exposed on the front, but the top and all sides will be surrounded.

    I am sure you have all seen the type of desk slot I am talking about. Its a bit like putting your mac pro in a coffin. with only one side open.

    Do you think this will be a major problem and cause overheating? Or result in the Mac Pro shutting down?

    If so do you have any suggestions because my desk area does not have any open room for the computer stand with all open air around it.

    All opinions and experience are appreciated.
  2. sochet macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2006
    I keep my mac pro under a desk, next to pre-amps, interfaces and external HD's, all of which get hot but didn't affect the MP's cooling.

    The only thing I'd add is that it did get dusty, so make sure you open it every couple of months and give it a clean.

    I did notice it got hotter this summer when playing games (normally the fans would never spin up, even with hardcore audio recording) but then again it did need repairing twice too (getting a new one now!) so that might be why.

    If you look loads of studios keep theirs in a similar shelf, or locked box with no problems.

    Hope this helped.
  3. TheShinyMac macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2009
    Apple designed the Mac Pro wi situations like this in mind so your fine but it is good to dust every once in awhile
  4. Desmo1098 macrumors regular


    Aug 28, 2009
    I use this: http://www.sonnettech.com/product/maccuffpro.html

    I have it mounted under a desk I purchased from IKEA. I also live in Arizona and the temperature in my house during the day hovers around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I run some intensive stuff. I would only be concerned that the front and back are open and there is no obstruction. You would want to ensure there is proper airflow through the machine. I would not be to worried about the sides of the machine.
  5. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2010
    observe the cheese grater front, it will vent fine with only the front (presumably as long as you don't keep at maximum load for many days)
  6. packsherpah thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2010
  7. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    It has an open back, right? If it does, you'll be fine. Just make sure the it isn't recessed into the compartment at all, so it can suck in air from outside the compartment.
  8. packsherpah thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2010

    Thats part of the problem. To be clear it does not have an open back. Its a rectangular compartment on the right side of my desk that a workstation or tower computer can slide right into, but the desk is up against a wall, so the back is enclosed. Only the front is open.
  9. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    Ok, yeah, that's gonna be a problem. The heat has to get out SOMEHOW, and a machine like this generates quite a bit. How much room is there just on the floor underneath the desk?
  10. packsherpah thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2010
    I have limited room underneath the desk, but it is a more open space than the close "computer slot" my desk came with. I think I will look into that sonnentech rack someone mentioned above and hang the MacPro under the desk. Even though the desk is pushed up against a wall there will still be more open air space than in the enclosed computer slot - I am thinking.
  11. mism macrumors member

    May 25, 2010
    I had my 8 core '09 under a small desk in the corner of a room, not in a specific PC cubby-hole though. I likened it to having a small fan heater going, my flat gets very warm (for the UK) and during recent hot days I'd have to have a fan going, for me rather than the Mac. It would be rendering flat out for hours though, iStat reported it at 65 degrees C.

    To cut a long post short I definitely wouldn't put it in a 'cubby-hole' but would maybe look at using a hole cutter to make some large exit holes in the back of the desk, line them up properly and it could be quite effective.
  12. philipma1957, Aug 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2010

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
  13. mac666er macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2008
    San Francisco, CA
    I have exactly an L-shaped desk that has a space for a tower-PC with NO ventilation in the back. Precisely because of this I NEVER put my Mac Pro there.

    However, I moved and for other reasons, the back part of the PC compartment of the desk broke and came off (it was thin cardboard-like material). So I put my Mac Pro there now. No complaints. My Mac Pro has never had issues. Just two observations:

    1. I use my Mac Pro for rendering 3D graphics and when I am NOT using it for that, I sometimes have to walk behind the desk and do feel the heat coming from the Mac Pro, and iStat would say it is 60 C or so inside the CPUs. So even though it says it is cool, I can definitely feel the heat coming out of the machine, which is good! when it is rendering, the fans work harder, it is louder, and the heat you feel from the machine is much greater.

    2. Second, every 6 month or so, I always open my mac pro and since there is air coming in and out of it, it does get very dusty inside. So I clean it out with compressed air. When you do this, you have to be careful to NOT blow on any fan you see just like that, you have to hold it so it doesn't spin. If you don't this, blowing into a fan causes it to spin and causes electricity to be generated through the mechanical motor and may fry your components, which is very bad if you are blowing into a video card.

    Hope this is helpful!


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