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ATI 2600 XT fan speed in Mac Pro

Posted on 2009-04-09
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Why is the fan speed of my ATI 2600 xt video card in my Mac Pro so loud?
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Question by:-Jason-
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5 Comments
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:MrMintanet
ID: 24111514
Because it has dust in it.
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Author Comment

by:-Jason-
ID: 24111550
That's impossible, it's brand new.
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Expert Comment

by:MrMintanet
ID: 24111647
It has new dust in it?
Mac Pro Noise Levels:

http://www.barefeats.com/harper4.html

Since their equipment does not measure anything below 40 decibels, "less than 40 decibels" appears to be the best approximation pertaining to the average sound level of an idle Harpertown 8-core Mac Pro.

I needed something to put this data into context so I looked up some common sounds and the Decibel rating they roughly equate to:

10 dBA - Normal Breathing
20 dBA - Mosquito or Rustling Leaves
30 dBA - A Whisper
40 dBA - A Babbling Brook or a Refrigerator
50 dBA - Normal Conversation
60 dBA - Laughter
70 dBA - A Vacuum Cleaner or a Hairdryer
80 dBA - City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90 dBA - A Motorcycle or a Lawnmower
110 dBA - A Car Horn
120 dBA - A Rock Concert or a Jet Engine
140 dBA - A Gunshot or a Firecracker

To this list I might add (were I similarly situated):

150 dBA - ME YELLING LOUDLY AT THE GUY FROM APPLE SUPPORT IN AN EFFORT TO ILLUSTRATIVELY DEMONSTRATE HOW bleep ANNOYING LOUD NOISES CAN BE!

:-)

I have no idea as to the accuracy of such information pertaining to sound levels but I do find it interesting that "Refrigerator" is listed at "40 dBA" and a Mac Pro is not supposed to be that loud (based on barefeat's testing results).

As a student of Audio Engineering myself (a Sound-Forge-enthusiast PC-user hoping to buy my first Mac Pro sometime this summer), I am curious whether or not you have tried to digitally sample this noise with a microphone and capture it as a wave file. Not only could you then share it with others online after uploading an mp3 version (if possible) in an effort to find someone here who perhaps says "I recognize that sound...I know what it is...Here is how I got rid of it..." but you would also have something of a definitive nature to provide Apple with as tangible evidence that you are neither exaggerating or hallucinating.

Many recording studios store their Mac Pro's in specially-designed boxes that absorb unwanted noise levels. Although I am not suggesting you buy one of these (they are outrageously expensive, in my opinion), I AM suggesting (assuming you have not already cancelled your order and returned your Mac Pro by now) that you look at this problem from an engineering perspective. If you cannot creatively come up with any practical solution that either diminishes the problem to an acceptable-to-you level or preferably eliminates it entirely (including implementing any home-made sound-proofing ideas), then maybe pursuing a cancellation and a refund is your best option for now. But if it was I who has having this same kind of problem, I would not let this noise, as annoying as it is, win the battle without a fight.
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Author Comment

by:-Jason-
ID: 24111734
Great post..

I actually have a couple of Mac Pros and all have the same specs. Only one has the noisy video card fan but they are all the same. Is there a way to adjust the fan speed via a .plist file or bit of command line?

Thanks for the help!!
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MrMintanet earned 2000 total points
ID: 24111843
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