Chirping (Squeak) on PowerMac G5 2Ghz Dual processor


After upgrading to Mac OS? X Tiger (OS 10.4.Innocent I"m hearing a repeating chirp , beep, or squeaking sound from my PowerMac G5. How do I get rid of it? While we can only confirm this on the 2Ghz dual processors, it's reasonable that the condition may exist on other PowerMac G5 machines.


PowerMac G5 2Ghz dual processor, Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.0.


The repeated chirping, beep or squeak was a recurring issue in 2004 and appears to have reappeared in Mac OS X Tiger. In some cases the sound may seem to be intermittent, only appearing under heavy processor loads. However, since many of Tiger's new features such as Dashboard Widgets and Spotlight appear to be causing fairly heavy system loads, it's not unlikely the sound may appear all the time.

While the sound isn't particularly loud, it can be annoying and although it's not particularly clear what exactly is causing the sound there are two methods to get rid of it. Any additional news regarding the cause of the sound or alternative methods on how to correct it will be posted here.

What to do

There are two methods to shut off that annoying chip-beep-squeak which are simple to do. If Option A doesn't work for you, try Option B.

Option A: Use the System Preferences... → Energy Saver

  1. Choose Apple menu → System Preferences...
  2. Choose Energy Saver
  3. Press the Options button
  4. Choose Automatic from the Processor Performance pop up menu
  5. the sound should stop immediately

While we haven't been able to perform any sort of conclusive speed and performance tests, this method can potentially reduce overall performance, if only slightly. However, it does successfully shut off the annoying sound which may be worth the potential trade-off. Option B described here uses a different method which allows the Energy Saver System Panel to be set to high and still shuts off the beep-chirp-squeak sound.

Option B: Install Apple CHUD Tools
CHUD (Computer Hardware Understanding Developer Tools) are intended to help developers tweak performance of their applications running in Mac OS X. While there are many aspects to what CHUD Tools can be used for, in the context of this problem were interested in only one - the Processor System Preference Panel it installs. The primary benefit to this method is the Energy Saver Processor settings can be set to HIGHEST without hearing the beep-chirp-squeak.

CHUD Tools are included on your Mac OS X Tiger master install DVD or you can also download Apple's CHUD tools from version Simply visit the Version Tracker website XTNL URL and search for CHUD.

Stage one: install CHUD Tools

  1. insert the mac OS X Tiger Install DVD
  2. double click the Xcode Tools folder icon
  3. review the About Xcode Tools.pdf file
  4. double click the XcodeTools.mpkg icon
  5. follow the screen prompts until you see the Select Destination Screen
  6. click on your hard drive with Tiger installed
  7. press the Continue Button
  8. Press the Customize button
  9. Check CHUD Tools and press Upgrade/Continue

Or screen shot here shows the upgrade button since we already have the XCode tools installed.

Stage two: set the Processor System Preference Panel

  1. After stage one is complete - restart your computer
  2. choose Apple menu → System Preferences
  3. click on the Process system panel (bottom of the dialog box)
  4. Uncheck the Allow Nap check box
  5. the sound should stop immediately
  6. This setting doesn't stick: it must be reset each time the computer is restarted

Here's what the Processor settings should look like

Update: May 31, 2005:
We've noticed that after restarting it's usually necessary to go back to the Processor System Panel and Uncheck Allow Nap again. So - if you've turned off Allow Nap and restarted your computer, you may not be hearing things - the chirp could have returned.

We've used both methods and the sound has disappeared - in our case we prefer Option B which allows us to disable allow nap to remove the sound using CHUD tools and still level the Energy Saver Processor setting set to Highest.

We hope that helps

If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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does the machine run hotter?

There is the possibility the CPU might run hotter. How much hotter? It's difficult to tell since it will depend on the type of CPU and ambient temperature in the room, and other environmental factors.

It should be noted that the computers all have internal temperature monitors that control the speed of the various fans installed based on internal temperature. For example a Power Mac G5 2 GHz dual processor has 5 separate fans, all automatically controlled. In the event of a major system freeze or other problem the system is designed to automatically fire up all 5 fans on high speed. Trust me -- from personal experience -- all those fans really make a lot of noise and move a lot of air!!! My first Power Mac G5 had a bad processor and fans regularly kicked in on high as the system would freeze on a regular basis while I was out of the office -- this was WITHOUT having the software solution noted in this article enabled.

So if you're worried about excessive heat hurting the computer or the like, I suggest visiting Version Tracker XTNL URL and download one of the many free utilities there are to monitor the internal temperature of your CPU. In looking at my own configuration I've seen an increase in temperature of less than 10 degrees which I'm not concerned about. Why? Because on a hot summer day in my home office the ambient air temperature is so high that any heat buildup due to the NAP function being off is insignificant in the overall scheme of things. Without air conditioning my office has hit over 90ºF on a given day and that's not fun for man nor machine.

Generally I don't turn the NAP feature off unless I'm in the office for prolonged sessions and the chirp is driving me nuts. On a noisy day of production I might not even remember to toggle the setting.

Overall, in the +14 months I've had the setup in place I've not seen any significant heat buildups that are worse than the impact of an increase in ambient air temperature. The machine has preformed great and I'm confident it'll be running for many more years.

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