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Old Mar 14, 2013, 09:34 AM   #1
PeteJames
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Fan Noise - Current IMac vs Retina Macbook Pro

I get a lot of fan noise from my late 2008 macbook pro when producing music or even doing simple things like streaming online video even if the quality isn't particularly high.

I am thinking about whether to get a new imac as I would much prefer to work on a larger screen and the extra power wouldn't hurt at all since I produce cpu sapping electronic music.

One thing I was wondering is how much noise to expect. With the new macs geekbenching at over twice the cpu power of my currently laptop does this mean the fan is likely to no longer turn on during video streaming on the internet? Also is the imac much less noisy than the macbook pro since it has a much bigger case and more room to 'breathe' (I know the case is always getting smaller though). I really can't stand fan noise and would like to avoid it as far as possible but wouldn't go as far as buying a mac pro and encasing it or moving it into another room.

Thanks
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 03:10 PM   #2
Steve1234
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I have owned the 2012 21.5 iMac since Dec. You can barely hear the fan run even during some intensive cpu usage.
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 03:51 PM   #3
Brian Y
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When it's on, the fan will be slightly louder - they're bigger fans. But it will be minimal, and under normal usage, you won't hear it on either machine.
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 04:03 PM   #4
Kutuzov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Y View Post
When it's on, the fan will be slightly louder - they're bigger fans. But it will be minimal, and under normal usage, you won't hear it on either machine.
I have the 2012 iMac, and in a silent room the fan is clearly noticeable. The iMac has at least 1200 RPM at all times. My Macbook Pro from 2009 on the other hand is barely audible under "normal usage" if by that you mean surfing the web, editing text and so on.

I don't know how the fan noise would be different under heavier load. In my experience, the MBP can get quite noisy. I have not reached that level of noise with the iMac but I haven't done heavy stuff for a prolonged period of time so far.
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 04:11 PM   #5
Brian Y
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Originally Posted by Kutuzov View Post
I have the 2012 iMac, and in a silent room the fan is clearly noticeable. The iMac has at least 1200 RPM at all times. My Macbook Pro from 2009 on the other hand is barely audible under "normal usage" if by that you mean surfing the web, editing text and so on.

I don't know how the fan noise would be different under heavier load. In my experience, the MBP can get quite noisy. I have not reached that level of noise with the iMac but I haven't done heavy stuff for a prolonged period of time so far.
I have a 2011. At the right angle, I can hear the HDD spinning/clicking, but I cannot hear the fan at all.
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 04:18 PM   #6
Kutuzov
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Originally Posted by Brian Y View Post
I have a 2011. At the right angle, I can hear the HDD spinning/clicking, but I cannot hear the fan at all.
It has been mentioned in several threads that the 2012 iMac is noisier, because it only has one fan. But that doesn't mean it's noisy. It's still a quiet computer and a lot of people on here say they can't hear the fan. It's just my personal opinion, but I suspect they have at least some background noise.
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Old Mar 14, 2013, 08:29 PM   #7
PeteJames
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Thanks for the replies so far guys. Is streaming of HD or SD video included in a normal load? Do any of you do CPU intensive stuff like music production with demanding vsts and au or video encoding / editing? My fans currently are 2000 rpm until I need to do some music producing and then they shoot up to 4000+ and it is very noisy indeed. When i'm watching something online I sometimes think i'd rather turn it off or download it than have to put up with this heavy fan noise. How noisy is an imac with the fan at full pelt? Barely noticeable?
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