Conversions to allow old PowerMac G4 to run fanless?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I have old PowerMac G4 (466MHz) which I use as a home server, but because of the loudness of the fan have been tempted to upgrade to a Mac mini, but for one reason or another I don't currently have the budget. For this reason I would like to see if there is any way to make this computer run without the fan, yet not kill it either.



Does any know whether this is possible and if so what's the best way to go about it? Is leave the door open enough cooling?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    royboyroyboy Posts: 449member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ajmas View Post


    I have old PowerMac G4 (466MHz) which I use as a home server, but because of the loudness of the fan have been tempted to upgrade to a Mac mini, but for one reason or another I don't currently have the budget. For this reason I would like to see if there is any way to make this computer run without the fan, yet not kill it either.



    Does any know whether this is possible and if so what's the best way to go about it? Is leave the door open enough cooling?



    Has it always been loud? I have a G4 466 DA and I would classify it as quiet.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    ajmasajmas Posts: 572member
    I consider it loud, especially when I compare it to my MacBook. The fan is a constant background drone, and yes it has been like that since always (I bought it new at that time).
  • Reply 3 of 7
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    If you happen to have aluminum welding skill, you could nab a heat sink from eBay and weld it on.



    But you're probably better off by selling the PowerMac and buying a fanless computer. If it's just a server, there are tons of options which with you can build a fanless Linux PC for very, very low cost.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    And just to answer a question, no, leaving the case door open won't do it.



    Heat sinks (on that computer) get hot, hotter than what can be radiated off into gently wafting breezes by simple convection, since they'll just end up heating the air in their immediate vicinity until there isn't enough differential to work.



    They need a steady supply of new, cooler air, hence: fans.



    You could try downloading one of the fan control programs that run on OS X and experiment with how much you can reduce the fan RPM before the machine locks up or panics, or maybe try using that in conduction with leaving the door open, or just taking it off.



    OTOH, Apple puts a lot of engineering into how air moves around in their Power machines, so that actually might make things worse.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    If the machine used to be quiet and now isn't, it's possible the fan is going bad. They do fail sometimes, and are easy to replace.



    Fanless is not recommended, though. Heatsinks need some air flow to function. The #1 quiet computing technique is to slow fans down by undervolting them; if a fan normally runs at 12V, for example, running it at 5V or 7V may silence it while preserving some air flow.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    ajmasajmas Posts: 572member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    If you happen to have aluminum welding skill, you could nab a heat sink from eBay and weld it on.



    But you're probably better off by selling the PowerMac and buying a fanless computer. If it's just a server, there are tons of options which with you can build a fanless Linux PC for very, very low cost.



    Its certainly a possibility. Another possibility is to find myself a second hand Mac mini and also make it a video player while I'm at it.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    It's also possible that your fan bearing is shot, and that doing something as simple as swapping out the fan for a newer one will do the trick.



    Some newer fans are designed to be quiet, too.
Sign In or Register to comment.