BUT is it quiet?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Scott6666, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. macrumors 65816


    Feb 2, 2008
    I hate laptop fans (actually all fans). I've digested all the other pros and cons. All I care about now is "is it quiet or not????"

    I have seen some comments that it is silent; others that the fan seems to spin up a lot.

    Assume that I'm working at night with no TV, no family noise. Is the fan going to more than a very quiet murmur?

    Looking for responses from those who actually own, not those who listened in the stores since there is a lot of ambient noise in those stores.

    PS also has does the MBP and regular MB stack up on this dimension?
  2. macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    Very Quiet. No lie. My fans are spinning 80-90% of the time at 2500rpm and I literally can't hear them unless I put my ear to the rear. Much better than either the MB or MBP and I also own some of them so I know what I'm writing. The HD is very quiet also. I could hear my MB & MBP accessing but not a bit in the Air.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2006
    My runs dead silent..
    I cannot hear the fans AT ALL...I don't know if they are ever running because I can never hear them!
  4. Jsn
    macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2008
    I'm extremely sensitive to fan sounds--they can break my concentration. I was leaning toward shelling out for an SSD for precisely that reason: it should have less reason to employ the fan. But when I lucked across an HDD for sale on Friday, I jumped at it, hoping the fan wouldn't be an issue.

    You know what? It isn't. Quite literally, the only way I can tell it's on is if I pick up the MBA and place the ventilation slots directly against my ear. Which I don't plan to do very often. In normal use, the fan has no effect on normal room tone. Quietest fan I've experienced on a laptop.

    Like you, I saw a few comments about noisy fans. Don't know what that was about, but it doesn't seem inherent to the design. As someone who was willing to pay $1K premium for a few extra decibels of quiet, I'm happy with the HDD MBA.
  5. macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2006
  6. thread starter macrumors 65816


    Feb 2, 2008

    You all are great. Makes me feel much better.

    I have been camping out Friday and Saturday at the Apple stores hoping to get one. Was getting worried that this was futile in that I would not be able to stand the fan. Last night I saw a few posts in the first impressions forums that the machines make a lot of fan noise.

    I had been hoping that the low power draw of the chip (20 W TDP vs ~35 W TDP for the standard core 2 duos) would make it really quiet. I figured that the drive was quiet in that my iPod's fan doesn't drive me crazy at all (kidding, I know it does not have a fan!)

    Guess I know where I will be 10am Monday!
  7. macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

    Sep 7, 2006
    Go figure ;)
  8. macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    All Mac Laptops are quiet (compared to wintels) for most daily operations, even the most powerful 17" MBP.

    MBA is extremely quiet.
  9. macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2007
    I hope that doesn't mean it stinks. :) Always wary of "silent but deadly".
  10. macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    In theory a ssd should be a little cooler but the fan seems more to cool the CPU which will get hot when running cpu intensive tasks regardless. It would be interesting to see real world comparisons of SSD v. HDD fan speeds. A good side by side w. handbrake anybody?
  11. macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2004
    apparently some users (see the first impressions thread) ARE having issues with significant fan noise. QC issue?
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2008
    Las Vegas
    I already clarified that statement by desenso, the poster, who admitted that it was an HDD version. I know that based on my Sony TZ experience, the SSD-only models run virtually silent while those with SSD/HDD, like the TZ198 I'm using now, run hotter with the fans occassionally coming on while charging or copying a lot of files.

    That means an MBA should run extremely quiet. In the case of NC MacGuy who says his fan runs at 2500rpm most of the time, that's already 700RPMs more than my MacBook at idle, so I'm assuming that he also has an HDD model.

    Posting what model you have when supplying fan RPMs or noise data helps. :cool:
  13. macrumors 65816

    Jan 13, 2008
    If you noticed, a few of the people who posted issues with fan noise also said "but that could be because I'm ripping DVDs right now..." which is a no-brainer. My fan goes crazy with I rip or burn DVDs.

    It sounds to me like the MacBook Air's are pretty quiet, but as mentioned above, it sounds like the idle fan speed is a little faster (2500rpm) than my MacBook idling (1800rpm) but this may be good, as if you still can't hear it much at 2500rpm, it could be a preventive measure to cool the CPU before getting hot enough to need to be upped any higher?
  14. macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2008
    I've got a test that someone might be able to run for a comparision.

    My first rev MacBook gets loud when i watch youtube videos. Within 2:45 seconds the fan is very audible.

    Here's a 6 minute video, quite funny too, can someone with a MacBook air put this on and see if the fan becomes loud at some point during the video?


  15. macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2005
    I run lighting and video projection for a band. The previous MBP 17 and current MBP 15 that I run will ONLY start fans when crunching video. It is loud, but in a live music environment it's not a big deal.
  16. macrumors 68040


    May 16, 2006
    Central Florida!
    Mine has been quiet but if i browse a bit of a hour or so... it will go up to 5-6K
  17. macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2008
    Its fairly quiet under normal operation but if youre doing something cpu intensive you will def. hear it spin up.
  18. macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2008
    My fan ran continuously during the initial charge-up, while I was using it, and it got quite warm. After I took it off the charger it has been quiet as a mouse and no heat to speak of.
  19. macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2007
    I've had my MacBook Air since Friday and it's very quiet. As I'm typing this I'm listening to music from my iTunes library on my iMac (shared my library), editing an Office 2008 Word Document (I don't hear the fan at all). The only time I've noticed the fan is if I do a Disk Repair. As others have stated it's pretty quiet.
  20. macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2003
    Is it normal to hear the hard-drive clicking every few seconds??
    There is no activity, just sitting here...

  21. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2007
    1.8 SSD is the quietest and coolest laptop I have ever owned. This is my 12th laptop, including MB Pro, Vaio's,, etc.
  22. macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2006
    Most likely note. My MacBook operated without any fan for the first 1.5 years when I finally got it into repair because it would crash after >1 hour DVD watching. The opened it and found out, that the fan is totally dead. The installed me a new one, now my MB makes noise from time to time and a little breath of warm air is always noticable but it's far from any other Notebook I ever had. I've been told that the intel chips have a protection mechanism that will throttle them down when they turn to hot.
  23. macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    Same here. My fan stays at 2500 RPM, and it's inaudible in a quiet room. Using it several hours doesn't get it more than warm on the bottom. My other laptops get pretty hot.
  24. macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2008
    Just browsing using Safari, with Mail in the background, mine is nearly silent. I think the min speed of the fan is 2,500 rpm.

    When I actually do work using VMWare, Adobe Fireworks CS3, and Lotus Notes, the fan cranks up to 6,200 RPM and stays on all day.
  25. macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2008
    1st of all my MBA is much quieter than my old 1st gen (early 2006) MBP.

    In a very quiet environment I do hear a high-pitched (frequency) whine. Is this the fan or the spinning of the hard drive?

    Anyone else notice this?

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