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powpow
Nov 30, 2008, 04:01 PM
New 2.4ghz MacBook aluminum owner here. There a very low hum coming from my new MacBook, and it is always there. I don't know if it is the hard drive or the fan, but is is quite obvious in a quiet room.

I compared it to my 2003 plastic iBook, and the iBook is SILENT compared to the new MacBook.

I checked the iStat Pro stats, and the fan is around 2000rpm and the temps are normal.

Anyone else notice this? I love the new machine, but this noise is slightly disappointing, especially compared to a 5-year-old iBook.

Thanks!



zap2
Nov 30, 2008, 04:06 PM
I'm not sure of the reason, but if it hard drive, you can look into an SSD to replace it. Costs a decent sum, but if you looking for quite, SSD is the way to go(vs HDD)

Or you could go play with the Apple Store's model on a day with not much noisy or a friends model to see if this is common or your MB has an issue

mkrishnan
Nov 30, 2008, 04:13 PM
I checked the iStat Pro stats, and the fan is around 2000rpm and the temps are normal.

Hard drive noise does vary from unit to unit (and hasn't really particualrly gotten better over the years), but the fan also operated differently on the iBook. AFAIK, the normal operating setting of the fan was OFF, and it only turned on periodically (and you knew it when it did) to cool the thing down, usually only if you were using it on a soft surface like a couch or bed and really running it hard. So the fan was hardly ever on on the iBook.

robanga
Nov 30, 2008, 04:17 PM
I have no experience with the iBook but can tell you the new MB is very quiet, quieter than the MBP from late last year. Definitely look at a demo model to see if there may not be an issue with yours.

To me this thing is silent as the grave.

MacJenn
Nov 30, 2008, 04:25 PM
The new ones are not silent at all. The one I took back and my friends one has the annoying hum also. Not too bad, but very noticable especially in a quiet classroom. You come to live with it I guess, but to say it is silent as a grave is BS.

cycler15
Nov 30, 2008, 04:29 PM
The new MBs are VERY QUIET. I'm on it right now and there is absolutely no noise coming from it. The only time I hear anything is when the fan kicks in because I'm playing games.

robanga
Nov 30, 2008, 04:31 PM
The new ones are not silent at all. The one I took back and my friends one has the annoying hum also. Not too bad, but very noticable especially in a quiet classroom. You come to live with it I guess, but to say it is silent as a grave is BS.

Thank you for your thoughtful and kind response to my opinion. :rolleyes:

mkrishnan
Nov 30, 2008, 04:38 PM
Thank you for your thoughtful and kind response to my opinion. :rolleyes:

It would help if, in addition to rendering an opinion, you could also provide some data -- such as the fan RPM reported by iStat at a time when you were listening to it and it was "grave silent."

One of the big problems with noise is that it depends on the hearer's ears as well as masking from the ambient environment.

My next notebook after my iBook is an EeePC, which has a fan that has a 100% duty cycle, albeit at low RPMs. Lots of people kept saying it was silent, but in many of the environments I use, I could hear it very clearly. So it doesn't necessarily help me unless I either (a) know something about their audiological functioning and their environment or (b) have a baseline of knowing whether there was a fan running that they were not hearing or whether no fan was running at all.

yoavcs
Nov 30, 2008, 04:47 PM
New MacBook 2.4 here.

Can definitely hear the fan hum noise. Especially if the room is completely quiet.

First Mac I've had that does this: been through a PowerBook G4, iMac 17", and MacBook Air.

Noise isn't loud enough to be bothersome, but just loud enough to notice and think "this isn't very Apple-y, now is it?"

robanga
Nov 30, 2008, 04:53 PM
It would help if, in addition to rendering an opinion, you could also provide some data -- such as the fan RPM reported by iStat at a time when you were listening to it and it was "grave silent."


Without a doubt, because anyone that does not supply data with an opinion surely deserves a BS call. :) It is the mean old "wild west" of the internet when the person can be anonymous isn't it?

Yeah I will install iStat on this MB as it is installed on the MBP and compare. Truly I can barely even make the fans come on with my normal use mode except a few times where i have been watching video on Hulu or streaming video over the network. All in all very quiet.

Consultant
Nov 30, 2008, 04:56 PM
More power = Higher processor speed
Higher processor speed = More heat
More heat = More cooling
More cooling = More fans = More noise

brop52
Nov 30, 2008, 05:25 PM
You can hear it more as the fans/HDD can create echoing in the machine due to the thin aluminum. With the thick iBook plastic it was insulated from sound getting out. The new MBs are still very quiet and you can't hear anything unless you are doing something to ramp up the CPU/Fans or are in a completely silent room. If you think these machines are loud get a hold of an HP or any other brand of PCs.

rosalindavenue
Nov 30, 2008, 05:36 PM
I bought a macbook 2.0 on Black Friday. To my ears the thing is dead silent; quieter than my 2005 G4 ibook, and considerably cooler. Oddly, it even has better wi-fi reception. The only thing I ever hear is the little zip-zip of the hard drive when it wakes from sleep.

tubbymac
Nov 30, 2008, 05:46 PM
New 2.4ghz MacBook aluminum owner here. There a very low hum coming from my new MacBook, and it is always there. I don't know if it is the hard drive or the fan, but is is quite obvious in a quiet room.

I have one of the early 2.0 Aluminum Macbooks and this thing is virtually dead silent when it's on and idle. If you put your ear close to the back and listen real closely you can make out the whisper of the fan, but back up 1 foot away and the whisper is too low to be heard. The only noise this thing makes is a low frequency click on hard drive seeks. There is absolutely no hum at all on my machine.

I've been building custom quiet machines myself for a while now so quiet machines are important to me. I follow silentpcreview religiously and picked this model because of the replaceable hard drive. I was worried I'd get an annoying hard drive and would have replaced it with an SSD if that were the case to eliminate the noise, but this 160 gig toshiba is impressively quiet.

For reference the About screen shows my HD model as:

TOSHIBA MK1653GSX

VSMacOne
Nov 30, 2008, 05:48 PM
In most cases the constant hum will come from the HDD because the fans running at 2000RPMS should not be that loud... Mine does the same thing.
I think it's because the HDD on the new macbooks it very exposed, with not much to cover up the noise, on the contrary the aluminum casing serves as an amplyfier to sound.
If i'm correct (although this is my first mac) the older macbooks had the HDD not so accessible it was more covered up, hence the lack of the loud hum.

tubbymac
Nov 30, 2008, 05:52 PM
Most likely the hum is coming from your hard drive though. A fairly simple test you can do is to pop the latch and temporarily disconnect and remove your hard drive from the Macbook. Put the latch back on, turn on the machine, and if there is no hum (doesn't matter that your machine won't boot, as long as it's on) you will know it's your hard drive and not the fans making the noise.

Akitakoi
Nov 30, 2008, 06:33 PM
Not a sound from mine, nothing, nadda,,,

silverblack
Nov 30, 2008, 06:48 PM
I have an Al-MB with SSD installed, so the fan is the only move part now. I ONLY hear that in my house in the middle of the night when there's absolutely zero noise around.

tubbymac
Nov 30, 2008, 06:49 PM
I have an Al-MB with SSD installed, so the fan is the only move part now. I ONLY hear that in my house in the middle of the night when there's absolutely zero noise around.

Would you mind posting the brand and model of the SSD? I'd like to know if the stock Apple SSD drives use the JMicron controller or not.

silverblack
Nov 30, 2008, 06:53 PM
Would you mind posting the brand and model of the SSD? I'd like to know if the stock Apple SSD drives use the JMicron controller or not.

Here (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=595487), but it won't answer your question.

powpow
Nov 30, 2008, 07:29 PM
More power = Higher processor speed
Higher processor speed = More heat
More heat = More cooling
More cooling = More fans = More noise

Is this actual fact or your opinion? This is actually what I suspect to be the case as well.

This issue doesn't really bother me much, and I won't return my new MacBook because of it. BUT, like I said before, it is noticeably louder than my silent old iBook (in a low purring type of way).

I guess the flip side is that when my old iBook's fan did come on, it sounded like a frickin' jet engine warming up, and I've yet to hear that from the new machine.

Maybe I'm just picky:D.

mkrishnan
Nov 30, 2008, 07:43 PM
Is this actual fact or your opinion? This is actually what I suspect to be the case as well.

I'm loath to look up the numbers on Sunday night, but I'm fairly certain the iBook's G4 consumes less power than the C2D in the current portables does. I mean, as a reference point, the iBook G4 12" only had a 45W power supply.

Well, actually, why be lazy...

http://support.apple.com/kb/TA24638?viewlocale=en_US

This pegs the idle power consumption of the iBook G4 at approximately 13W

They don't have a page like this for the Macbook, naturally. But this one puts the original Core Duo Macbook at about 17W.

http://kom.com/reviews/apple_power_consumption/

It seems like the new unibody ones do generate less heat and consume less power, though

tubbymac
Nov 30, 2008, 08:22 PM
Maybe I'm just picky:D.

You have every right to be picky about it. If you can still exchange the machine and are willing to go through the hassle, I'd exchange it. The hum isn't normal, so why live with it when you don't have to.

silverblack
Nov 30, 2008, 09:05 PM
I think your iBook has a 4200 rpm HDD. Could this be quieter than the 5400 rpm HDD in the Al-MB?

powpow
Dec 1, 2008, 12:11 PM
UPDATE: I think it's the hard drive. It seems that many (if not all) 2.4ghz unibody MacBooks are experiencing this issue. It makes sense since the fan and temperature stats are normal.

This thread is quite informative:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1761991

mkrishnan
Dec 1, 2008, 12:20 PM
UPDATE: I think it's the hard drive. It seems that many (if not all) 2.4ghz unibody MacBooks are experiencing this issue. It makes sense since the fan and temperature stats are normal.

Hard drive noise is such a nuisance. There are really good (in other dimensions) new hard drives that are annoyingly loud. The 500GB Seagate (3.5") I bought to back up my iMac is obnoxious.

VSMacOne
Dec 1, 2008, 01:38 PM
UPDATE: I think it's the hard drive. It seems that many (if not all) 2.4ghz unibody MacBooks are experiencing this issue. It makes sense since the fan and temperature stats are normal.

This thread is quite informative:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1761991

Good post. That's what i thought. Has anyone tried to put in some paper or rubber to put some pressure between the HDD and the casing? That might help keep it more steady...