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Thread: Questions? Keeping My G4 Cool?

  1. #1
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    Default Questions? Keeping My G4 Cool?

    Hello everyone. This is my first post so forgive me
    if I am posting in the wrong place or if i am redundant in my descriptions
    or conversely leave something of importance out.

    I Just upgraded my Quicksilver with Two SATA Drives and a Controller Card
    and am concerned about heat issues.

    My first question - What is too hot on a G4?
    What should I be looking out for?
    the bottom of the case definitely feels HOT!
    If i leave my hand there on the metal it doesn't burn per say but it is
    certainly very very warm. Also when I open it up to look inside
    it feels a bit like a sauna.

    My next question is what advise anyone might have for keeping things
    cool or cooler. I am not looking for radical Modifications, Just practical
    and necessary ones, whatever they may be.

    I have read on these boards about people installing water cooling units for
    processors and modifying the case with all kinds of extra fans - but Im not
    sure I need to do any of that nor do I really know how to go about it.
    I think I could figure out how to install an extra fan internally
    if need be - but would love some advise on the procedure.

    My computer is a G4 Quicksilver Dual 1ghz with 1 gig of ram.

    In the PCI SLOT-5 I have a SeriTek/1V2E2 connected to two internal drives
    The PCI SLOT-4 has an unused SCSI Bus Controller card
    One PCI Slot is empty
    The AGP Bus has the ATY,RV250 Graphics card (ATI 7500?)

    There is a PIONEER DVD-RW in the top drive slot
    of the upper case and nothing in the drive space below it.

    I have one SATA WD 74gig Raptor in the front drive sled

    I Removed the middle unused drive sled from the bottom of the case
    as I read that this apparently frees up air vents on the bottom of the case).

    I have the original Seagate ATA 80gig 7200rpm in the bottom of the back
    drive sled and a new SATA Segate 320gig 7200rpm on top of it.

    The ATA drive is running off of one power source plug (p3)
    and the Raptor and the 320gig Seagate are on a splitter sharing
    another power source plug (p2)

    I installed Temp Monitor and could only get a reading for the ATA Drive
    which is the current boot drive. 56.0 C

    Im not really sure how to use Temp Monitor but it seemed it could only
    use the SMART sensor to read this drive?

    The Two SATA drives are currently installed (no problems there) but before
    I loaded them up and got them doing things i was curious to see how just
    being in the computer would change things. It certainly does seem much
    hotter when i touch the metal on the bottom of the case.

    One thought was to take off the metal on the two unused PCI slots in the
    back to allow for air flow - but that would increase dust and crap getting in.

    I suppose I could get adventurous and do more with fans / remove the
    speaker/ custom fit fans, etc but again I am new to this. Don't know what
    fans to buy, what their power needs or connections are, etc.
    Also the cheaper the better

    i am also thinking about adding a Radon 9800 pro but i want to get this cooled down first.

    Well I guess thats it. Any thoughts or advise would be most appreciated!
    Thanks!



  2. #2
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    Smile Something will work

    Welcome to the Guru's evam it's the best Mac forum on the internet.

    I have both a QS and DA there care tons of cooling threads on the Guru's forums. Search around. I'll look better myself and post back. Download and use Hardware Monitor it should read your hard drive temps that is a free start. Cut or remove the inner case exhaust fan grills/covers.. there are a lot of little things. A 20 dollar slot fan - noisy but works. Search the FAQ's for cooling and fans etc. Info right here this is a DA but gives ideas. xlr8yourmac has some QS fan modifications.

    What is to hot? - depends on what part. Cooler is better The drives would run and be OK at 50 to 55 C but soon die. You should get the drives under 40C. All the components are different and in a computer before the MDD there is no S.M.A.R.T technology or sensors to read.

    A indoor/outdoor thermometer you can use it to check various spots in the case. I like the plastic tipped ones for this Taylor makes several.

    Keep your computer free in the back - not near or in a corner. Under a desk is bad.

    I'll be back in the morning.
    Randy

  3. #3
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    Default

    I just finished reading your thread. 56C is way to hot um... (I think max operating is 55-60C Check WD's site or look on the drive) I never had things that hot. I had a lot of problems with my QS and an older Giga processor. I finely tossed a PCI slot fan - I turned it so it drew the air from the bottom or just off the drives. It was loud but it worked. My computer is far away now. You need 2 feet of open vent space .. under a closed desk. no go.

    Right now this DA/533 has a 120 GB ATA, 74 GB Raptor, 120 GB Seagate SATA on Seritek. and........

    Rear bottom - New New ATA Maxtor 120 GB - I don't get a reading.
    Middle bottom - New 74 gig Raptor 42C now - 77 in the room.
    Middle top - Older 120 GB Seagate SATA 44C now

    They usually stay 34 - 42C and this is hotter than many others here.

    There is very little air flow in front bays of the QS.

    Look at these ideas.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I agree with Randy. Running too hot inside. The SeriTek is 55C when machine is powered up. Many hard drives are max 55C. Some SCSI PCI cards are max 50C. Everything is cooking inside and will shorten long term life, mobo, RAM, cards, drives, PS, CPUs, you name it.

    As Randy sez, if the QS is under a desk, that is a problem not only because of hot air being trapped but also an inherent cooling design flaw of the QS, hot air exhausted out the back is sucked right back in the intake.

    And the QS feet should be on a hard surface, no rug underneath or something else that allows the QS to sink down. Underneath should be completely free and clear. As you know there is air being exhausted underneath but also, as I recall there is a slot underneath next to the door hinge that sucks air in to cool under the mobo, between the door and the mobo.

    BTW Randy, your "these ideas" link doesn't work for me. Maybe it's me and Firefox. k

  5. #5
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    Default Test it again

    Look at these ideas. This was or is search on the Guru's forums for "cooling quicksilver" if my link won't work.

    We have a nice QS airflow photo around here too...

  6. #6
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    Default Thanks everyone for your input

    So I unpluged the Sata Drives just for now and then ran
    Temp Monitor again and it reads 51.C on the stock Seagate ATA
    (Again - I know thats the only one with some kind of sensor)
    Hardware Monitor says it cant read anything on my computer and to use
    Temp Monitor. In the Drive overview Temp Monitor knows I have all the
    drives i have but can only read the Seagate ATA. So I'll have to get some
    thermometers like you said to read the rest.

    51.c is Still hot though? Got to get air out of the tower!

    So Kaye - you say the SeriTek is 55C when machine is powered up?
    So putting a Pci slot fan next to it would help?

    Also my Tower is not under a desk - its up high with lots of room around it
    - below it - but i think Ill move it for even more.

    thanks for the links randy - I will studdy up.

    I found some interesting examples here at macmod.com

    http://www.macmod.com/content/view/464/2/

    http://www.macmod.com/content/view/188/2/

    I am also thinking of just taking out the built in speaker as i dont
    use it and placing a fan there. Any suggestions on what kind?
    Also do you need to splice these little fans onto the power supplies?
    It seems thats what one guy did. Sorry to be needy - but all these
    Mod Sites show or talk about people adding this fan or that and
    sometimes where they placed them - I get that stuff i think -
    maximizing air flow, into and out of the case, etc.

    But what im not sure about and havent seen to many instructions on,
    is how to do the wireing to actually connect the fans. Do they just plug
    into a spare power source? Lots of people mentioning 7.volt fan and 12.volt power supplies, and having to slow them down or speed them up?
    I suppose I need to do some reaserch into the electrical behavoirs and
    such.


    Any thoughts on weather these help out much for the hard drives?
    http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/vaichdcobl1.html

    and one last question? Looking around at pictures of all these different
    model G4s many of them seem to have these massive heatsinks over
    the processors where as mine seems small and just has this one little
    fan on top and the one behind it drawing air in. Is this something i
    would want to modify or change out?

    Thanks again for your suggestions and time!
    This board ROCKS!

  7. #7
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    Lightbulb

    Every 5?C adds a year (or shortens). Most of the time I see 32?C for drives and cpu is in the 30's for single cpu 1.25GHz but will get up to 42?C under a heavy load.

    If you are running at 50?C your drives and cpu etc don't have a lot of 'headroom' for those times when it gets warm; when the system is crunching video or outputting DVDs.

    Pulling air out the back, the top, pushing air in the front... dust, a fan to push/pull more air. Most people worry about noise but quiet fans usually push less air, too.

    I think those photos with two fans on the top look like an excellent idea. In the summer I have my MDD sitting in front of an air conditioner

  8. #8
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    Default

    So Kaye - you say the SeriTek is 55C when machine is powered up?
    He means that the manufacture's highest recommended use is 55C but it will cook everything as Kaye said... every, PCI Card, memory chips, mobo circuits, etc. Put a small fan near it blowing air away from the computer.

    evam, Thanks to eric....

    The 4 pin HD Molex plugs are wired:

    yellow - 12+V
    black - ground
    black - ground
    red - 5+ V

    So usually to power 12V you use the yellow and the adjacent black.

    That combination of wires give you two other options.

    1. 5V, red and adjacent black.

    2. 7V, yellow (to pos. lead of fan), red (to neg lead of fan).

    (2) is the standard trick to lowering voltage to a fan (rather than using an resistor) and also quieting it. Another moderator did this both on the QS fan in his DA, and the fan in his Cube.

  9. #9
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    Rolleyes 4 pin HD Molex

    Oh - I see - Get it!
    Thanx

    What about running the two SATA drives off one molex with the splitter for
    the SATA drive pins? Is this ok or should they each get their own molex?

    Thanks Again!!!

  10. #10
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    What about running the two SATA drives off one molex with the splitter for the SATA drive pins?
    If I understand what your saying... that should be fine. Get a quality splitter. - Randy

  11. #11
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    Default splitter

    yes - I already have one from Gurus
    Thanks!

  12. #12
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    Default

    Glad to see a good start here.

    Another thing to consider is trying to split out the stacked drives if possible. Does not cool the computer, but lets more air get to each drive, which is a good thing.

    FWIW, the drives in my DA run between 38 and 43 degrees.

    Cutting out the plasitic grills helps a bit with sound and airflow, so go for it. Some of us even cut out the metal grills too, but obviously someone couldl get a finger in a fan or a shock if they were to reach in a running computer, so not a good idea with kids or pets around.

    As for dust, just plan to clean it out a couple times a year. Dust doesn't hurt a computer (cept probably inside optical drives), but it is an insolator, so too much of it impeeds cooling.

    I have not done it yet, but as heat rises, I think it would be worthwhile to cut out/cut bigger holes to let more heat out at the the grill where the CPU exhaust fan is too.

    I am no expert, but my theory is that exhaust fans are ultimately more beneifical than intake fans, so I concentrate on getting the heat out. Kinda long, but here is a thread about heat and noise in my DA. Some good stuff in there.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  13. #13
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    Default

    This thread has blossomed quite nicely.

    To add a few thoughts.........

    After adding the Giga dual 1.6 to my Gigabit I noticed a definate increase in the exhaust temp.

    The single 80mm exhaust fan in the PSU seems quite anemic to me with the amount of heat being generated inside the case. The big divider between it, and the bottom section can't be helping airflow any either.

    The biggest problem I see though is the intake fan. It recirculates a lot of preheated internal air. I see the reasoning behind that design ( it moves air around the drives) but don't agree with it. I'd rather have a little less fresh air at the expense of recirculation.

    As an experiment I removed the main case fan bracket, drilled some mounting holes in the side around the intake holes, and mounted the fan directly to the side of the case. I then blocked the rear intake holes with duct tape. The PSU exhaust air is much cooler now, but the noise level went up. Need to isolate the fan from the side of the case, and apply some damping to keep it from resonating.

    I also bought an Antec 2-slot PCI cooler that has a neat little blower attached to it. It's pretty quiet, and moves a good amount of air. I'm going to attach that to the back just below the PSU (formerly part of the intake). That should help to get more hot air out, and in a spot where hot air/fan noise is not as much of an issue.

    What about the intake you say? Here's the plan:

    Add another low RPM 120mm fan directly above the front drive, and build a duct from the side directly to the processor. Still not sure if I'll just duct fresh air to the Giga fans or remove them, and use a larger fan to push air to it. I think the latter may be better for noise reduction.

    Shaving a bit of plastic from the bottom edge of the side cover should allow enough air past to prevent a restriction there, and the intake location pretty much eliminates the possibility of exhaust air being recirculated (like the stock QS). The outside of the case will appear stock to all but the closest inspection.

    I'm also considering using another small PSU to power all the fans leaving the main PSU to power the main components. That big blank spot above the optical drive looks like a good place for it, and with a bit of trickery I can have individually adjustable voltages for the fans to keep the noise down.

    If this doesn't work it's radiator time. The radiator, and water pump will be mounted externally though. Don't trust components like that inside a computer case. Too many opportunities for catastophic failure, and radiators need lots of fresh air to function properly without noisey fans which defeats the whole purpose IMHO.

  14. #14
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    Angry Psu Fan!!!

    Hey - thanks everyone for all the great suggestions!

    unclemac - I like the idea of a speed adjustable fan like you mentioned in your thread - and possibly putting the control knob in the empty zip drive window of the QS or in the speaker hole. How did that work for you?


    M.Brane - your modifications sound great! Any pictures to share?

    So the first thing I did was move the tower up high on a shelf (it wasn't under a desk but still) and now there is lots of air flow and I put a small house fan on the shelf in front of it to push away any hot air coming out the back so it would not re enter by the intake fan. This seemed to dissipate the heat dramatically and when I started up i was down to 36.C but after a while of it being on it quickly started to rise (15 -20 Min) back up to 50.C

    So I took her apart and cut out the redundant grills - I also removed the speaker on the front and the zip drive lid , then removed one of the empty PCI slot lids - so I could get air moving through as much as possible with no extra fans yet. I spread the three hard drives out over all the bottom bays - no stacking - basically took the whole thing apart and cleaned it out good. Then I put it back together and turned it on (including the two new SATA drives On) and it started at 30.C - but slowly began to climb (30 min) back up to 48.C

    At this point im running Temp Monitor, Itunes, Safari - so I started Photoshop and ran some filters etc. and it rose to 52.C

    And I'm thinking somethings not right. I ran it open so I could watch the fans moving and feel where and how they draw and push air - and I notice a red light flashing on the motherboard - and then I notice the Fan on the PSU is not spinning! AHHHH!

    I think I've found the problem! DuH!
    I should mention I Bought this computer a week ago used and the way I had it set up I couldn't see the back while it was running so I never noticed the fan not spinning. I was also not experiencing excessive loud running noise which so many people complain about with the Quicksilver's and just thought I was lucky! Ha! Not!

    So now It looks like I need to replace the fan in the PSU or Buy a new one $$$$!!! Reading posts on line about replacing the fan seems complicated as they had to cycle the new fan to match the old one on a PC or solder connections on the new fan to the PSU or run external power to it - non of which I can do as i dont know much about the electrics. So probably a new PSU. Crap!

    Well non the less i learned a bit about how to plan for the future with cooling and airflow strategies

    The Saga of it All!

  15. #15
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    Thumbs up

    Good eye!

    I was wondering what the issue was, as your temps seem too high in general.

    I opened the PS and swapped out the fan installing the adjustable speed one, which has been working great. It was plug and play. A little tedious to take out several components that need to come out to get at the PS, but not hard. The actual swap was pretty easy.....plug and play, no soldiering or anything.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  16. #16
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    Default PSU Fan Swap

    Yeah - Ok I'll order a replacement fan and give it a shot!
    Best to try befor I spent $200 on a new PSU!

    Thanks!

  17. #17
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    Default Finding the fan?

    This is a link to the PSU model #: 661-2513
    http://www.welovemacs.com/posu344wapog.html

    Any ideas where i can find Just the fan replacement?

    Ive googled so far to no avail

    I think its an 80mm fan - does it have to be exactly the same fan?

    maybe some of you know a supplier or have gotten this fan somewhere?

    thanks

  18. #18
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    Default Um OK?

    So the strangest thing!
    Now the Fan on the PSU is spinning and the temp is stabilized at 47.C???

    Huh?

  19. #19
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by evam

    M.Brane - your modifications sound great! Any pictures to share?
    No, still collecting pieces. Haven't started the reconstruction yet. I finally broke down, and bought some NiMh batteries for my camera so I'll take plenty of pics of the hacking to post when it's done.

    Is the QS PSU fan thermally controlled? If so the sensor may be whacked. Replacing a PSU fan is not really a job for the electronically challenged. There are caps in there that store quite a bit of current. Touch the wrong part, and you'll get quite a zap. Probably not lethal like a CRT, but enough to hurt. Some PSUs are also very hard to disassemble without soldering skills.

  20. #20
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    Thumbs up Almost.... progress at least.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brane
    Is the QS PSU fan thermally controlled? If so the sensor may be whacked.
    Not that I never heard of .. not mine anyways. a 2001. So it must be a sensor or fan going bad, loose wiring?

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