Delphi behind Apple's Power Mac G5 liquid cooling system

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
With IBM's PowerPC 970fx G5 processors still producing too much heat, Apple turned to a Michigan-based automotive company to help cool its high-end Power Mac G5s.



An AppleInsider report from last month took a stab at nailing down the developers of the liquid cooling system used in Apple Computer's new dual 2.5GHz Power Mac G5. According to tipsters, the report hit the nail on the head.



The cooling system was indeed developed by Troy, Mich-based Delphi, sources from within the company confirmed last week. Delphi, also known as Delphi-Harrison, is a former division of General Motors, which specializes in automotive work. So it's no wonder that the cooling system looks like a miniature automobile radiator.



According to sources, Delphi manufacturers the liquid-cooling system in Juarez, Mexico and then ships the units to Apple's assembly plants in Shenzhen, China. The Power Macs are then assembled with the cooling system and shipped back overseas to reach customers in US.



The cooling system, which was originally developed at Delphi's Lockport, New York location, faced serious issues with water leakage late in its development cycle. Tipsters claim that this was one of the critical factors that delayed the release of Apple's high-end Power Mac into June.



It's unclear if Delphi has landed additional contracts to produce cooling systems for forthcoming Apple products. However, we are all ears.



Fred Williams of the Buffalo News helped contribute to this report.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    I'm getting ready to order a 2.5 Powermac, but frankly I'm a little nervous about it springing a leak.
  • Reply 2 of 21
    Radiospace



    Be SURE to get AppleCare - that should take care of any concerns.



    Enjoy!
  • Reply 3 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally posted by radiospace

    I'm getting ready to order a 2.5 Powermac, but frankly I'm a little nervous about it springing a leak.



    That (couple with the incredible delays) is why I didn't spring for the 2.5. It's more expensive, and I'd have to get AppleCare. Plus, I bet the majority of problems will happen after AppleCare expires, and the machine I bought will need to last me around 6 years.
  • Reply 4 of 21
    Apple should have known better. Quality, design freeze, and deadline are foreign concepts in the US automotive industry. Design changes are happening up until (and well after) the day a car is launched and consumers are left to do reliability testing. It seems a bit unsettling to me that this same mentality has worked its way into the highest end PowerMac. If you're buying one of these I would keep your fingers crossed...
  • Reply 5 of 21
    louzerlouzer Posts: 1,054member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by radiospace

    I'm getting ready to order a 2.5 Powermac, but frankly I'm a little nervous about it springing a leak.



    Wait, I seem to recall when they announced it that people were saying it wasn't technically a liquid cooling technology, but something else. So you should have no concerns!



    (sure, it uses liquid, but apparently the PC geek crowd says liquid cooling has to do x and y, while Apples does q and z, or some such nonsense).
  • Reply 6 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kenaustus

    Be SURE to get AppleCare - that should take care of any concerns.





    You better believe it!
  • Reply 7 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Lunchbox

    Apple should have known better. Quality, design freeze, and deadline are foreign concepts in the US automotive industry.



    I would feel a little better about it if they'd gotten Honda, Toyota or even Chrysler (Mercedes) to build the radiator. Maybe they should have cut a deal with BMW and swapped some of those iPods for cooling systems. I bet the Mini Cooper radiator would drop right into a G5.
  • Reply 8 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally posted by radiospace

    I bet the Mini Cooper radiator would drop right into a G5.



    HAHAHA! thats great



    i agree. bmw or some other european company should of been involved. besides they already have a relationship with bmw! Get a mac ipod in your bmw and get a bmw radiator inside your mac!
  • Reply 9 of 21
    I did like the Mini Cooper suggestion! That was humor!



    Here's an opinion from someone who got to play with one:



    http://www.theadvertiser.news.com.au...E21669,00.html



    If you can't afford Apple Care don't but one. If those of you with 20/20 hindsight and have so much brilliance, time and energy to tell everyone how Apple SHOULD have done it see if you can bottle and market whine. There is a never ending supply here and you'll be wealthy.



    I just love people who do not have the courage themselves to try something new but have the time to whine about those that do. No one succeeds without failure. That is life. The only people who don't fail are the people who never try anything.



    Did Apple "fail"? I will be getting my new G5 2.5 with the 6800 video card of much discussion and the new 30" display, also of much discussion, 10 days, 10 days after the date originally estimated when I placed the order. The fastest computer, the biggest display ever with a great deal of technology never before used within 10 days of the original estimate.



    I'll take "failures" like that any time.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally posted by 1douglask

    Did Apple "fail"? I will be getting my new G5 2.5 with the 6800 video card of much discussion and the new 30" display, also of much discussion, 10 days, 10 days after the date originally estimated when I placed the order. The fastest computer, the biggest display ever with a great deal of technology never before used within 10 days of the original estimate.



    I'll take "failures" like that any time.




    Sorry to say it, but you're dreaming if you think you're getting a 6800 any time soon.
  • Reply 11 of 21
    I downgraded to a 2.0 w/o the 6800, I should have it next week (hopefully ;/)
  • Reply 12 of 21
    resres Posts: 711member
    I just want to know how much cooling is really needed for the 2.5GHz G5. Was it producing so much heat that they could not take care of it with a massive heat sink and fan? I doubt it -- I think that they went with water cooling just to keep the noise level down.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally posted by radiospace

    I would feel a little better about it if they'd gotten Honda, Toyota or even Chrysler (Mercedes) to build the radiator. Maybe they should have cut a deal with BMW and swapped some of those iPods for cooling systems. I bet the Mini Cooper radiator would drop right into a G5.



    Please note Mercedes is the brain trust that came up with the plastic tanks on radiators that causes radiators to fail so often and not be repairable.



    Becareful what you wish for.... you may get it!!



    Jim
  • Reply 14 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Res

    I just want to know how much cooling is really needed for the 2.5GHz G5. Was it producing so much heat that they could not take care of it with a massive heat sink and fan? I doubt it -- I think that they went with water cooling just to keep the noise level down.



    Yes, and so they can use the same design with the 3GHz parts in January. No sense in having to redesign the watercooler every few months.
  • Reply 15 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jimoase

    Please note Mercedes is the brain trust that came up with the plastic tanks on radiators that causes radiators to fail so often and not be repairable.



    Becareful what you wish for.... you may get it!!



    Jim




    Hehe good point. Mercedes is badly overrated now anyway (worse than even Honda). Chevy quality at double the price?!? There are still plenty of merger kinks for Daimler-Chrysler to get worked out.



    Anyway as far as the G5 radiator goes, has any PC maker tried to mass-market anything like it before? If not this truly is cutting-edge, with reliability lessons waiting to be learned. It'll be interesting to see how fault-tolerant the new cooling proves itself to be.



    -sip
  • Reply 16 of 21
    Remember three things:



    1. Honda, Toyota, Mercedes and all of the other high quality car makers that were mentioned use suppliers to design their radiators and other components. There is not an established high volume car company out there that does not use suppliers for these designs. Therefore, "Toyota" would never be an option for the design of this cooling system. The supplier who designs these cooling systems for a Toyota would be the group that would design the system (Delphi happens to supply Toyota, as well as every other car maker in the world).



    2. Quality tends to vary based upon the customer. Parts made by a supplier for one car maker may be better than similar parts made for another car maker due to differences in requirements and quality systems in place at the car maker. You can't judge the quality of a part based soley on the supplier. The customer also plays a large role in the quality.



    3. Consumer electronics parts makers are as natorious for post start of production changes as car makers. When was the last time you updated your iPod's firmware? When was the last time you updated a driver for your PC? When was the last time you noted a revision level on a computer subcomponent (or even an electronic device)?
  • Reply 17 of 21
    The San Francisco Chronical did a great story on heat. Apple wasn?t the only company looking at liquid cooling.



    ?Brian Zucker, Dell's technology strategist, said the company hasn't moved to liquid cooling because of higher cost and questions about its reliability.?



    Apple once again desgined for quality and performance and not cost. Apple designed and is using the system the others only thought about. Below you will see Dell is using tubes filled with water. Apple designed and built the system. Only time will tell about the reliability. Applecare answers that insecurity.



    ?Currently, the fastest PC microprocessors, such as Intel's 3.4 GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, contain as many as 178 million transistors and require up to about 100 watts of electricity. That means they produce as much heat as a 100-watt lightbulb, but from a much smaller surface. A chip is about the size of a fingernail.



    In fact, computer-makers say the surface temperature of the casing around the microprocessor gets as hot as about 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and the ambient temperature inside the PC is around 95 to 105 degrees F.?







    ?But for now, computer-makers are scrambling to come up with better ways of cooling the PC. Simply adding more fans is sometimes not enough.



    Both Hewlett-Packard and Dell use copper heat sinks. They are often simple flat copper plates with fins on one side. The flat side sits on the microprocessor to absorb the heat, which is then dissipated through the fins.



    "One of the biggest problems with the heat sinks is that the chips are getting smaller and heat is concentrated on a smaller area," said David Galvin, director of product marketing in HP's consumer PC business unit.



    Dell also uses heat pipes, which are small copper tubes filled with water.



    Apple's top-end Power Mac G5, which contains a pair of 2.5 GHz IBM PowerPC G5 microprocessors, uses a liquid cooling system in which fluid passes near the chips to cool them. Like coolant in a car, the heated liquid flows into a small box with a fan.?



    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl....DTL&type=tech
  • Reply 18 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally posted by radiospace

    I would feel a little better about it if they'd gotten Honda, Toyota or even Chrysler (Mercedes) to build the radiator. Maybe they should have cut a deal with BMW and swapped some of those iPods for cooling systems. I bet the Mini Cooper radiator would drop right into a G5.



    hmmm ... sounds like elitism to me ... those companies are no better and have no better quality than US manufacturers, rather people who buy those brands under report quality and warranty problems as they don't want to admidt how much money they spent for the sake of brand recognition and received nothing in return for the extra cash.
  • Reply 19 of 21
    kmok1kmok1 Posts: 63member
    Hum, Delphi is in chapter 11. Ya think Apple will have enough "radiators" for the G5s?
  • Reply 20 of 21
    londorlondor Posts: 257member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kmok1

    Hum, Delphi is in chapter 11. Ya think Apple will have enough "radiators" for the G5s?



    Only the first 2.5 duals have a cooling system made by Delphi. On later 2.5 duals and 2.7 duals it was made by Panasonic.
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