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Old February 14th, 2003, 06:43 PM   #1
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G4 & 747

At long last I have finally secured a dual processor 1Ghz G4. Very nice: things do fly & FCP is a more pleasurable experience. The only problem is that the thing sounds like a 747 taking off! I had heard that the higher clock speeds on the G4s resulted in a lot of heat and the need to move some serious air, but this is a little annoying to listen to all day, and it makes sound recording in the same room rather challenging. Anybody out there figured out a solution to this problem? And why couldn't Apple locate some quieter fans? (when is advanced engineering not advanced engineering)?

I guess this is one reason to be happy it's not an even faster processor, at least.

thanks in advance for any suggestions

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Old February 14th, 2003, 06:52 PM   #2
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This has been addressed with a Firmware upgrade. This document in the Apple Knowledge Base should help. If your firmware is already upgraded post back, there are some other suggestions.
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Old February 14th, 2003, 08:27 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply, Jeff. i did as you suggested, but so far it has not made a difference (the installation was a little ambiguous as to whether that firmware was already installed). If there are any other things worth trying, I'd appreciate knowing about them.

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Old February 14th, 2003, 09:06 PM   #4
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Was your firmware up to date (Apple system Profiler) or did you have to download the firmware upgrade and install it?
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Old February 15th, 2003, 07:53 PM   #5
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I don't see how a firmware upgrade would fix it, as the noise is coming from the fans. You could get better fans or even a heatsink to reduce the noise.
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Old February 15th, 2003, 10:49 PM   #6
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Linc,
This noise issue surrounding the more recent desktop Macs has been rolling around. It's apparently a combination of the power supply fans used in the Macs as well as the cabinet air flow. I suppose that I've been accustomed to Harley-level fan noise in the PC world for so many years that my 1GHz DP doesn't really distract me.

Still, it would be nice to have a nearly silent Mac, eh?

If you go to www.MacFixIt.com and search on "fan" you'll find several articles on the topic, including one in which someone documented how they muzzled their Mac. Beware: many of these measures will void your Mac's warranty if one applies.

Bottom line: no easy fix seems available. Bose noise-cancelling headphones might be your best choice.
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Old February 16th, 2003, 02:50 PM   #7
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From what I've heard from my friends who work Apple tech support, the only really 'supported' location for a windtunnel G4 is in the middle of the room, far away from any walls or obstructions. Supposedly if there isn't at least a few feet behind the machine open for it to vent in, it'll overheat.
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Old February 16th, 2003, 04:14 PM   #8
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Several feet of clearance for ventilation seems a bit extreme. Do you know if Apple has a Knowledge Base article on that? I couldn't find one. My understanding is there are two different problems with the fan noise. One is fixed by the firmware upgrade. The problem was that the fans were stuck on high speed. They are supposed to be regulated like in your car. Under peak demand (gaming) they kick into high speed, thus becoming loud. However, most of the time they are set to a lower speed. The firmware upgrade fixes this problem.

The second problem has to be handled by an Apple Service provider. I am under the impression that boards have to be swapped.
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Old February 17th, 2003, 04:27 PM   #9
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Apple probably has an internal knowledge base article on it. My understanding is that if they don't have back ventilation, they'll cook themselves. My friends could be exaggerating, but they deal with this type of thing on a daily basis. In any case, I'd leave about a foot or two free space behind it, where it can push and pull air freely.
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Old February 21st, 2003, 01:19 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the suggestions. From what everyone is saying, it sounds like I am high and dry on this one. Voice-overs are a real issue for me, and many things happen in my office daily for which Bose headphones would be inconvenient. My only real regret here is that in spite of what I thought was fairly extensive research, I did not find out about this problem until after I had the machine: if I'd known, I would have coughed up the extra bucks for the new 1.25, and Apple could have avoided some ill will. The new 1.25 I saw yesterday was relatively quiet, so it would seem that they have recognized the issue to that extent. I have to say I'm disappointed that it seems no real mode of addressing this situation for existing machines seems to have been forthcoming from Apple (the firmware did not address it in my case). I'm used to that kind of response from a certain large software vendor in the PC world, but have had excellent responses in addressing hardware problems from Dell, Micron, and others. The thought that they leave me with the choice of voiding my warranty and investing my time, or living with this problem after an expensive purchase is quite aggrevating.

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Old February 21st, 2003, 01:38 PM   #11
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Linc,
I don't think your model qualifies for this program, but I just posted a notice on Apple's power supply exchange program which addresses this issue for the latest models. If you find the problem very severe you might persuade Apple to offer you a solution, albeit not for free.
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Old February 21st, 2003, 04:11 PM   #12
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Linc,

Which 1 gig dual do you have, Mirrored Doors or Quicksilver? The MD units qualify for the power supply swap. If you have a Quicksilver, contact an Apple Authorized Service Center for other options on your unit. Your unit can be made quitter I'm told.
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Old February 21st, 2003, 04:21 PM   #13
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I also record next to my loud G4, the way I got rid of the problem was to add sound insulation around it for when I record. My desk is in a closet without the doors and I put theatre draping over the hangar rack which makes the noise next to nonexistant. This is just an example, there are a million ways to solve the problem. Be creative and you should get by pretty cheap.
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Old February 28th, 2003, 07:39 PM   #14
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Thanks again for all the suggestions in this thread. As it turns out, my G4 does qualify for the power supply replacement program. It is truly good to see Apple step up to the plate on this one, and makes me feel much better about my earlier decision.

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