Why is my Radeon 5770 so loud?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by PowerMac G4 MDD, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. PowerMac G4 MDD, Aug 19, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015

    PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #1
    Hi everyone,

    So I have a noise complaint about the 5770 I picked up recently; it's not the Mac version--it's just a Mac-flashed PC card. While it does have that rotary-type fan that is, apparently, supposed to be very quiet, the card does NOT sound like it's whispering or making a hushing noise... instead, it sounds faintly like a motor, and adds quite a bit of noise to my 1,1 Mac Pro--a machine that, for some reason, is already noisier than most people's 1,1 Mac Pros, of which they claim are dead silent.

    I read somewhere that removing the cheap, plastic shroud from the GPU can significant reduce the noise and allow for better cooling... is this true? I would think so, considering that the stupid plastic that surrounds this card vibrates from the rotating fan, causing a motor and vibrating sound at the same time.

    I read another forum post on some random site (that dealt with Windows PCs, mind you), which said that the PSU may be giving the card more power than it needs to function properly. I'm guessing that this is an issue you'd run into with a custom build, so I may not want to go there... but it could be a possibility. That person, however, used some controller/application in order to fix that issue, and there probably won't be a conventional tool for Macs.

    So... does anyone have any ideas for me? I may upload a video of the sound outputted by this Mac. The card is loud, and I think some other fans are pretty loud. The frontal (PCI) fans seem okay, but whichever fans come on when the computer is first awoken from sleep are the loudest ones, and then the GPU fan chimes in with its motor-like sound. The card performs SO WELL, giving me over 100FPS in Minecraft (of course, I limit it based on my LCD's refresh rate), and 200FPS in Assault Cube. It handles dual monitors well as well, but the darn thing is just so noisy. (Note that I cleaned it of dust, so dust isn't an issue of mine.)

    Thanks!

    Here is a video of my Mac Pro, in which I show the noise that this GPU makes:
     
  2. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #2
    If you have Windows, may be you can check the card temperature. If the card is cool but very noisy, then something is very wrong. If the card is hot, and the fan run at high speed to make those noise. Re-apply the thermal paste should able to fix it.
     
  3. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #3
    many wanna-be flashers just slap any old rom on cards. Frequently this results in fan issues as rom may have been written for a card with completely different cooling system.

    Can also be that fan is worn out. The actual fan and motor can be found for $15 or so on Ebay when you know the part number. If it is a reference 5770 getting to the fan is a bit of a chore.
     
  4. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #4
    Oh man... I certainly hope that that isn't the case. I'm guessing, though, that the fan may be worn, as the card does seem to rev up when it needs to, rather than blasting at idle. I may just tape it apart and lubricate the fan.

    BTW, what do you mean by "reference 5770"?
     
  5. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #5
    Usually the card looks like this is called the reference card.
    07.jpg
     
  6. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #6
    Yep, that's mine.
     
  7. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #7
    Do you know of any video guides for dismantling a 5770 reference card? Apparently, the plastic cover pops off without screws, but I could be mistaken. Also, how do you feel about the ATI Flashing tool? Is that the best way to flash this card? I saw a video of someone doing it, and they were successful... however, the process he went through was a little confusing. After flashing the card, he got a black screen upon boot-up; next, he VNC'd his Mac with his iPhone and opened the ATI Flashing app again... and then the camera cut and he was booted up with his Mac Pro. I have no idea what he even did to get it working. He then had to re-install OSX through the tool or something because the card was being a bit choppy in displaying things. Everything ended up working just fine in the end, but the process he showed wasn't educational enough, as he didn't fully explain how he got to certain conclusions.

    This is the video, in case you know what he did (and what you're supposed to do) in a situation like that. Then again, I'm not even sure whether or not you condone the use of the ATI Flashing tool:

    (Note that he is using a different ATI card from mine and is using a 2009 Mac Pro, not a 1,1 model.)
     
  8. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #8
    yeah, thread at Netkas for flashing 5770

    A guy named Florian has come up with new roms.

    Previously all flashed 5770s only had boot screen via DVI-VGA

    Now possible to get DVI (and maybe more) boot screens for those who can read and do some hex editing.

    Fan is a bunch of screws. Buried deep inside is a triangular base with brass threads.
     
  9. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Sadly redoing the flash won't help if the flashers actually used a incompatible ROM for flashing the orignal one has already been overwritten...
    Bootscreens on DVI, DP and HDMI can be achieved though, properly moded ROM can be found over at netkas.
     
  10. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #10
    So it's not possible AT ALL to re-flash this thing? You know, I found a flashed 5770 on eBay--its fan was replaced with a giant heat-sink. Someone bought it today... but I think that would have been the answer xD.

    I think I'm just going to see if I can oil the fan. I gotta look around for instructions on how to properly dismantle this card.
     
  11. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    It is possible to re-flash the card, but as MVC pointed out, your problem might be caused by a non-matching ROM on the card. In this case the original ROM is lost because it has eben overwritten.
     
  12. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #12
    So if I do go about flashing the card, what is the best tool to use for a n00b who has never flashed a video card before? I already mentioned the ATI Flashing tool--assuming that that is a credible application.

    I look at the guide on Netkas, but I was a little bit intimidated by the fact that several people experienced kernel panics after using the method to flash their cards.
     
  13. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #13
    UPDATE: I currently have the card taken apart so that I can oil it and apply new thermal paste.
    Question, though: Is this the type of fan where you peel back the sticker on the underside and apply the oil from there, or is this the kind where you pop out the fan assembly and put oil in the hole in which the metal rod is inserted...? Or is it possible to do both? Mine has a sticker on the underside of the fan assembly, but I'm wondering if I could also somehow take the fan blower off and clean it up further.

    Lastly, how much thermal paste is needed? The chip's platform is a very small rectangle; I saw a video where the person spread thermal paste over that rectangle, but I'm unsure as to which procedure would be correct...

    Do I apply a rice-sized blob on it or do I spread it evenly onto the plate?
     

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  14. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #14
    If the fan feels loose in it's bearings it may have lived it's whole life already.

    These fans do eventually wear out.
     
  15. h9826790, Aug 21, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015

    h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #15
    The reference cooler is usually quite noisy under load, much worse than the aftermarket cooler.

    I have a reference 7950, roughly the same cooler as your 5770. It is very noisy when the fan spin up. To overcome this, I open the card, replace the thermal paste by AS5, and downvolt the card to the minimum stable voltage (without change the clock speed), and manually create a fan profile that won't spin up too early.

    However, all these are base on the firmware is correct, and the noise is come from the poor design / thermal paste application of the reference cooler.

    If the root cause in your case is because the ROM is not matching your card. There is not much you can do apart from try to download different 5770 ROM from the net (the reference one should not be too hard to find), test them one by one, and hopefully one of them will work for your card (and won't kill it).

    Assuming your cooler and the fans are still able to work properly. You only need to apply a small pea size in the middle of the GPU. You can indeed apply the thermal paste, put the heatsink back in, apply a little bit pressure, try to rotate the cooler a bit (you can only rotate it by no more than 1-2 degree even though the screw is not there), and then open it up again to check if the paste is fully cover the GPU. If not, then apply a bit more on the place that you can still see the metal. This method can make sure the paste is not too thick, and the GPU is fully covered by the paste (or the gap is fully filled). It may sounds strange because by open up the card again, you will create some air bubble between the GPU and the heatsink. However, it won't cause any temperature difference practically. That's why some people prefer to apply the paste on both side of the GPU and the heatsink, spread them evenly and then close the card. And they claim that it's works well (because it is). You can apply the thermal paste in that way, it may not be optimum, but nothing wrong either (for me, it's too much work to spread the paste by myself. I am lazy). Since we don't know how much exactly we need to apply on your card (the heatsink may not be 100% parallel with your GPU, and we don't know how large the gap between the heatsink and the GPU), so I prefer to apply the paste, close the card, let the cooler to spread the paste, open it up again, check the paste distribution, and fix the paste quantity (if too much, just suck it away by the syringe) before I tighten the screw again. According to most of the review, the method of applying thermal paste only cause very minor temperature difference (usually about 1-2C, which is well within the measurement error range). However, the among of paste (too much or too less) has significantly impact on the result (e.g. 15C difference). So, it's much more important to make sure the among is right, rather than thinking about if the air bubble at there will affect the result.

    For lubricating, I never do it, by have seen quite a few videos on youtube. You may go there to have a look.
     
  16. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #16
    I just finished cleaning it out, lubricating the fan (from the under-sticker reservoir), and re-applying thermal paste by spreading evenly over GPU... it seemed to make a slight difference, but it's still pretty loud.
     
  17. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #17
    Well, perhaps a $16 replacement couldn't hurt. I just hope that these fans (which are obviously used) are in stable condition, and that they regard fan noise when selling them.
     
  18. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #18
    There are few videos on the youtube about how noisy of the 5770 is.

    Anyway, the reference cooler should be quiet at idle, or under normal desktop environment, only become noisy when stressed. If your fan keep making noise at anytime, it may be worn to limit already as MVC said.
     

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