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BobH
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That's the big one with the Xeons in it! Serious question people - how much noise do they make? Realistically, could one be sited inside a listening room? I've absolutley no experience of these things at all but the possibility has cropped up, for a friend of mine, so any input will be gratefully received. Thanks.

 

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The listening room in queston would have the Mac Pro about 15' from the listening chair so it sounds as though that should be fine. It all seems rather overkill to me, but Mac OS/iTunes is a non-negotiable requirement for this chap and the facility for a later upgrade to a quality soundcard would, I think, be a good thing.

 

Righto, thanks very much.

 

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Hi Bob,

 

I also have a Mac Pro and agree with Chris that they are fairly quite and better than the old G5’s but you can hear it if you listen out for it when no music is playing.

 

The NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT graphics card makes the most noise on my Mac but I'm sure there are quieter cards out there.

 

 

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Noise and the large space it occupies are the 2 reasons I would not allow my Mac Pro into the prime listening room.

 

Consider this scenario: you're listening to an intimate vocal recording or an adagio movement in a symphonic work and suddenly the cooling fan starts on the Mac Pro, totally spoiling the listening experience.

 

If your friend must have a computer in the listening room persuade him to get the basic Mac Mini with a firewire DAC as consistently recommended in this forum. The cost of this, including wireless networking if necessary, would not be high.

 

David

 

ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer with Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP for control >

Hi-Fi 1: Airport Extreme bridge > Netgear switch > TP-Link optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge AND PS Audio PerfectWave Transport > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge Mk.II > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus Anniversary Edition .

Hi-Fi 2: Sonore Rendu > Chord Hugo DAC/preamp > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and > Sennheiser HD800

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it's all helpful! The quandary is that getting a Mac Pro will open all avenues for getting the music out of the computer, at the expense of 'possible' noise, whilst the quiet options don't provide, what my friend considers to be, good outputs. (His system is fully balanced and he would like to keep it that way).

 

As ever it's a trade-off. But it's a big room and there's plenty of opportunity to place a Mac Pro somewhere unobtrusive.

 

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Assuming the reasoning for a Mac Pro is the possibility of a Lynx AES16e card - have you considered the alternative of a MacMini or MacBookPro with a Weiss firewire interface or even using the Lynx Aurora 8 via firewire.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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and on a purely personal level, I think the new Weiss INT202 looks very interesting and well worth waiting around for.

 

However, he is at that stage, I think, where the desire to 'give it a go' is causing an incurable itch but the willingness to look at 'non-audio' solutions for getting the data off the computer is pretty much not there. So, it's really got to be Toslink, Spdif or AES/EBU from the outset - no 'unnecessary' conversions. (Don't crucify me - his words, not mine! :) )

 

He's about to play with a Macbook Pro/Toslink setup to see if he thinks it is worth pursuing but, knowing him as I do, I am pretty certain it is not really going to do it for him. Hence the enquiry about the Mac Pro as it opens the door to pro level soundcards and native AES/EBU support.

 

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Bob, I guess we all seem to have differing opinions on this but I have an 8 Core Mac Pro from the Fall of 2008 that literally sits at my feet on my studio desk about 1 feet away. I have a well treated room, 10 Bass traps and 6 large Auralex foam panels which I beefed up with berber padding on the side of their mount to keep them from vibrating whatsoever against the wall. Needless to say it's a very quiet room. I NEVER hear the Mac Pro interrupt the music and I listen to a good bit of dynamic jazz and intimate acoustic recordings. I think surely at 15 feet away from you there would be absolutely no problem. Just my thoughts, though they aren't always good. ;)

 

david is hear[br]http://www.tuniverse.tv

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"the willingness to look at 'non-audio' solutions for getting the data off the computer is pretty much not there."

 

Bob,

you can point him towards any of my 'legacy' DAC comments. You can even substitute 'dinosaur' for 'legacy'. I use legacy because it's more polite. ;)

 

clay

 

 

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Pick up an SSD I just got one in my new macbook pro and it's dead quiet! : )

 

Mojo Audio Mac Mini- 2.6GHz i7 quad-core Mac Mini, 500GB SSD, 16GB RAM, Internal Filter Module, Joule 3 power supply. Rogue Audio M180s. Revel F 52s. REFLink Asynchronous USB Converter. Bel Canto Dac 3.5 with VBS power supply. Rel Gibraltar G1. All Sain Line Systems cabling. Etc.... Etc... Etc.... Lol

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  • 2 weeks later...

The main noise issue you're likely to have with a Mac Pro is from Hard drives or (more likely) fans; primarily your video card fan. It all depends on your exact model and date of manufacture of course, but the video card fan in my Mac Pro was horrible in terms of noise. Replacing it cut down unwanted noise by more than half in my case. Again, depending on your exact model, you'll likely find it difficult to find an 'off the shelf' cooling solution to replace the stock cooler, but a little trial/error/patience will leave you a happy geek :) Most video cards in Mac Pros are slightly adulterated versions of their PC counterparts so you will find something similar that just needs a little tweak. The main thing to look out for in my experience is clearance between the bottom of your video card and the case (often only a few mm) in relation to the way the cooler is affixed to the card (ie: large screws or lugs on the underside of the card are best avoided).

 

Aside from that, an informed selection of hard drives and keeping your machine clean of dust (thereby keeping fan rpm low and quiet) you should be pretty happy with the noise pumped out of a Mac Pro.

 

Pick up an SSD I just got one in my new macbook pro and it's dead quiet!

 

Yes... well it would be wouldn't it...

 

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His computer output decisions are somewhat irrelevant to his system staying fully balanced. Get a DAC that has fully balanced topology (with XLR analog outputs of course) and send it firewire. My system, probably north of $100k, is fully balanced and I run firewire from a Macbook with SSD (not to say I'm not open to a better music server choice in the future, say a G5 or Mac Pro...but not sure why yet) to a Weiss DAC2, and then ASI Liveline XLR's out to my pre (and then to monoblock amps).

 

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It’s rumored that Apple may release a new Mac Pro soon. For those of you interested in going this route, and your purchase date is somewhat flexible, you may wish to consider waiting a month or so. I’m not an insider and don’t work for Apple (source: http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/).

 

I use an iMac in my listening room (USB to Benchmark DAC) and it’s very quiet. My external storage device for music is the only audible component that’s guilty of some fan noise. If you go NAS or an alternative silent solution for storage, and a USB or firewire interface is acceptable, iMac may be an attractive option to consider.

 

Cheers,

Chris

 

 

Amarra 3.0.3/iTunes-->AQVOX USB PS-->Acromag USB Isolator-->Ayre QB-9-->Ayre K-5xeMP-->W4S SX-500-->Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Super Towers-->SVS SB12-Plus (L&R). Cables: Nordost, Transparent, LessLoss, Analysis Plus & Pangea. Dedicated line with isolated power conditioning per component: PS Audio & Furman. Late 2012 Mac Mini 2.6GHz Quad-Core i7 (16 GB, 1TB Fusion, 6TB ext via Tbolt). External drives enclosure http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f7-disk-storage-music-library-storage/silent-enclosure-external-hard-drives-7178/

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There has been a pretty clear statement from Apple that there will be no changes to their lineup until after the new year. There are pretty much ALWAYS rumors of a new Mac of some description coming from Apple.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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The current MAC Pro - I measured at < 25db. - not silent barely audible - certainly not audible with music playing at a reasonable level. My TV set top box is much noiser.

 

The older G5 Mac Pro was much noiser.

 

/Paul

 

Serious Listening:[br]Intel Mac Pro 6G (SSD) -> Amarra ->Alpha USB ->Alpha I Dac -> Ayre KX-R -> Tom Evans Linear Class A -> Avantgarde Mezzo Horns (107db) + Basshorns-> Engineered Room (Power, Traps, Helmholtz Resonators, Ceiling Diffusers)[br]Computer Listening:Intel Mac Pro 6G -> Lavry DA10 -> Adams S3A Active Monitors

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Been a while since I've been around and hadn't seen your question.

 

I am using a ATY,RadeonX1900 (which I think was either standard or at least one of the options at the time). As I mentioned in my earlier post, most video cards in Mac Pros are slightly adulterated versions of their PC counterparts so you will find something similar that just needs a little tweak. In my case it was well worth the small effort to get it working. I have no way of measuring the result in db, but can assure you the difference is huge. When I was investigating at the time, I found a number of possibilities for replacing most (if not all) stock fans in the Mac Pro with quieter aftermarket solutions. I also found a couple of (rather large) fanless heatsinks manufactured for the (very similar) PC version of the X1900 which I'm sure I could have adapted to fit the tight clearance of my MP. My machine isn't solely used for music and in my case I made the decision to go for heatsink/fan so I am confident it can handle anything heat wise when I'm really pushing it (gets hot where I live too).

 

Plenty of solutions out there... just takes a bit of tweaking and you're set - in fact I even stumbled upon a rather frankenstein looking liquid cooled Mac.

 

I should also mention that the cleaner your Mac is, especially in terms of dust, the cooler and quieter it will run. I run a number of MP's at work and one in particular gets damn noisy every 6 months or so because it seems to suck in more dust than the others. A careful clean and vacuum makes a big difference...

 

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