7 Replies Latest reply: Sep 22, 2011 4:34 PM by aquestionortwo
aquestionortwo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I work in an office that is about 15'x15' and my Mac Pro kicks off enough heat that it significantly warms the room...

 

I was wondering if there are any ways to reduce the amount of heat it puts off - do lower power drives even make a difference?

 

And yes air conditioning, rooms fans or moving the computer as far as possible from where I sit might assist 

Along with that question (and I don't know if related) - it seems that my drives are virtually always spinning when I am using the machine - even small actions seem to spin all 4 drives up (although 2 are clones, and 1 of the other 2 contains just content that I don't regularly access).

 

The machine details:

10.6.8

Mac Pro Quad-Core Intel Xeon 2 x 2.8GHz

4GB 800 MHz DDR2

4 Hitachi 1TB drives (HDS721010KLA330)

 

Thanks all-


Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8), Time Capsule
  • 1. Re: Can I decrease Mac Pro heat?
    X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)

    I'll "throw out" a few ideas/suggestions but I don't know how much effect it would have on your overall heat output.

     

    1. "Green" Western Digital hard drives (assuming you believe their advertising).

     

    2. Make sure your Energy Saver Preferences have "Put the hard drives to sleep when possible" checked.

     

    3. Disable Spotlight indexing on unnecessary drives via Spotlight preferences' Privacy settings (to avoid unecessary possible access to those drives which would spin them up).

     

    4. Make sure your not causing the components to overheat because of accumulated dust (i.e., regularly blow out the dust in the machine).

     

    5. Make sure the machine's exhaust fans are not blocked (not too close to walls).

  • 2. Re: Can I decrease Mac Pro heat?
    Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (49,285 points)

    Some additional ideas:

     

    You could also consider moving a rarely-used drive to an external enclosure where you can literally turn it off when not needed.

     

    Drives have gotten really cheap. You could combine some functions onto a new larger drive, BUT: for good performance, you should consider creating a Boot Drive with only System, Library, Applications, the Hidden unix files like paging/swap, and the main Admin account used ONLY for administration. Move all User data files off to data drives. If you put the boot drive on a SSD, you save about half the power AND pick up speed.

     

    The dearth of memory you have in the machine now may be contributing to extra Disk use for Paging/Swap.

     

    Update your Mac to a 2009 model or later. They are almost twice as fast at the same GHz speed and number of processors, and the more modern memories throw way less heat.

  • 3. Re: Can I decrease Mac Pro heat?
    aquestionortwo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks - the only item I didn't have checked was to "put the hard drives to sleep...", which I thought if left checked would result in having to wait again and again for the drives to spin up (which is a pain, and can't figure out why they do - I have Spotlight indexing of the other drives off). Curious...

    The machine is somewhat in the middle of the room, nothing around. Will check for dust now. Thanks-

     

    I should have also added that I don't have the $ for a new machine, but new drives are cheap enouhg that I think I can consider those...will check out the WD you mention. If you ever have seen tests on how much heat drives put out, please let me know - I have never seen such things. I hear discussions of power used, but not specific to the heat it drives (maybe bc I'm asking a ridiculous question though!)

  • 4. Re: Can I decrease Mac Pro heat?
    X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
    Thanks - the only item I didn't have checked was to "put the hard drives to sleep...", which I thought if left checked would result in having to wait again and again for the drives to spin up (which is a pain, and can't figure out why they do - I have Spotlight indexing of the other drives off). Curious...

    Yes it is a pain.  But I tossed it in as a possibility.  Pain vs. heat   Spotlight may not be the only thing that's "looking around".  Maybe you have some add ons that have (startup) processes that may be accessing the disks.  But I think that's a topic for another thread.

     

    I should have also added that I don't have the $ for a new machine, but new drives are cheap enouhg that I think I can consider those...will check out the WD you mention. If you ever have seen tests on how much heat drives put out, please let me know - I have never seen such things. I hear discussions of power used, but not specific to the heat it drives (maybe bc I'm asking a ridiculous question though!)

    I guess do some google searching.  And as GBA suggested above SSDs are a good low-power, albeit more expensive per byte, alternative to HDDs.  Fast too!

  • 5. Re: Can I decrease Mac Pro heat?
    aquestionortwo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I should probably add:

     

    when I look at W for read/write and idle, is there a way to express how much cooler the area will be with reduced power amounts? It seems like the power use gets cut in half with the new drives - does that mean there will be half the heat, or is it nonlinear?

     

    For example, the WB Green 2TB is

    Read/Write: 5.3W

    Idle: 3.3W

     

    And my current Hitachi is

    Random Read/Write: 11.5W (silent r/w is 9.2W, I don't know what "silent" means)

    Idle: 7.6W (unload idle 5.5W and low RPM idle is 3.5W)

     

    Thanks again-

  • 6. Re: Can I decrease Mac Pro heat?
    Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (49,285 points)

    The power used by a drive is converted slightly into sound and almost entirely into heat. If it uses 7.5 Watts while operating, that throws off 7.5 Watts of Heat. ( That is about the number thrown off by a WD Black 1TB while reading.)

  • 7. Re: Can I decrease Mac Pro heat?
    aquestionortwo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks - that helps quite a bit in that I can assume the amount of heat (and as a result I am assuming temperature) will be cut in half. Much appreciated -