Don't Worry, Your G4 Is Supposed To Be That Loud. Well, Usually. Firmware Upgrade Advised

Apple has added a new article to the Knowledge Base regarding the noise levels of the Power Mac G4. Appleis Knowledge Base (sometimes referred to as the KBase) is a central location for all of Appleis support documents and other important information.

Users have been complaining about the noise levels of the PowerMac line for some time, especially the dual processor models. Petitions have circulated asking Apple to "fix" the noise problem, and the current line of PowerMacs has been dubbed the "Windtunnel." The perception has been bad enough to prompt CryWolf Computers into releasing a line of silencing cooling boxes called the CoolMac Silencer designed to shut the PowerMacis noise levels in, making them much quieter to the outside world. Introduced at MWSF 2003 (see TMOis coverage for more information on the CoolMac Silencer), the company told TMO that the first monthis production run had been presold in the first two days of the show.

According to this KBase article from Apple, the noise coming from the current iteration of the Power Mac G4 is no higher than that of previous dual processor G4 models. The company does say that if you are upgrading from a single processor model, you will notice an increase in noise, since there are "more parts to cool."

Apple has, however, found some instances where the fans make more noise than they should. Users are asked to upgrade their firmware to version 4.4.8. If that does not help, users are advised to contact their local Apple Authorized Service Provider. From Apple:

The sound generated by Power Mac G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors) computers is approximately equivalent to previous dual processor computers. Users who upgrade from earlier, single processor computers might notice that the computer is louder. This is because there are more parts to cool--multiple processors and additional expansion capabilities--within the same form factor.

However, Apple has found that there are some situations that may lead to increased sound levels beyond what is expected.

One is addressed with the 4.4.8 version of the firmware (BootROM) for your computer. See software download document 120171 "Power Mac G4 Firmware Update: Information and Download" if you have an earlier version. You can tell which version of firmware your computer has by using Apple System Profiler.

Other situations include the processor fan constantly spinning at high speed, and a clicking sound that comes from the computeris power supply. In both of these cases, contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) to determine if your computer is affected by either of these symptoms. Apple has directed AASPs on how to address affected computers.

You can find the new Knowledge Base article at Appleis Web site.