Mac mini - Silent alternative

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by 24Frames, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

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    Mar 23, 2012
    #1
  2. macrumors 6502

    iMarvin

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    Sep 29, 2011
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    On the internet!
    #2
    Looks nice, spec wise. But not as good looking as a mini. Nor does it run OS X.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

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    May 3, 2011
    #3
  4. macrumors member

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    Oct 12, 2011
    #4
    who cares if it's ugly. it's a pc...that's what sucks about it.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 23, 2012
    #5
    It's better than the Mac mini if you are living in a small space and noise is an issue.

    You can hide it away, you don't need to see it.

    Apple need to work harder at bringing down the noise levels, it is good to see others doing so.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

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    May 3, 2011
    #6
    better for what exactly?:D
     
  7. macrumors regular

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    Nov 28, 2008
    #7
    I built my own from a minibox enclosure (i7 2600, 16GB, external esata SSD drive 128G) for far less.

    but yeah mac mini is one sexy device.

    now some company needs to come up with a watercooled case design this small.
    watercooling allows for more efficient heat transfer plus keeps the noise down, i'd call that a win/win.
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #8
    I've put my mini and external drives on a sheet of neoprene rubber. (Actually, a Draper Vibration mat, used for washing machines!)
    It pretty much removes most of the noise, which would otherwise resound across my wooden desk.
     
  9. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #9
    Somebody should try to install OS X on it, and it's not that Ugly, could be worse.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    #10
    Thanks, I I'll try that.
    Don't get me wrong, I purchased a Mac mini 2.6GHz to use as a render node with 3D applications, such as Vue 11 Infinite and CINEMA 4D and I'm very pleased with it. It's a great little computer and does the job it was intended for perfectly. But it is noisy, and if I'd purchased it for music production say I'd be very disappointed.
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #11
    I do lots of heavy duty audio processing on my 2012 2.3 quad, and other than the hard drive, it doesn't make any noticeable sound.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    #12
    You must have the volume level on your audio interface set at 11!

    Seriously though you may not be pushing it hard enough for the fans to go up to full speed.

    When rendering activity monitor shows 796% or so CPU usage continuously, and after a few minutes the fans go to full speed and it sounds like it is raining.
     
  13. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #13
    Do you know how many times a day I think about how noisy my Mac Minis are?


    Zero.

    Both are installed behind large flat screen TVs and I genuinely can't hear anything that I would consider to be disruptive fan noise.
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    xlii

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #14
    From the ars article you pointed to

    "One of the drawbacks of completely passively cooled systems is that the CPUs reach their maximum temperature much faster than actively cooled systems. The CPU throttles down its performance as soon as the limits are reached. We proceeded to test out the thermal performance by loading up both the CPU and GPU with Prime 95 and Furmark. After hitting the thermal limits, the CPU speeds were throttled to 900 MHz."

    The price you pay for passive cooling will have a cpu which should run at 3000 MHz being throttled down to 900 MHz.

    You could achieve the same quiet results by disconnecting the mac mini's fan... but at a cost of cpu clock speed.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

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    Jun 7, 2011
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    Virginia
    #15
    Does anyone remember if Apple put the asymmetrical fans in the 2012 minis?

    If not, how hard would this be to "DIY"?

    ----------

    I think it's a nearly silent machine. I can't even hear it over the voices in my head.
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #16
    I don't know what you hear about your Mini. My G4 mini can be heard. The others..... A fluorescent tube light makes more noise. You can also glue it under the table.
     
  17. macrumors member

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    May 20, 2008
    #17
    Yup. My external hard drive 5ft away from my Mini is louder.
     
  18. macrumors member

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    Mar 17, 2012
    #18
    My mini is about 3 feet away from me and I can't hear it even when the fan is ramped up while encoding a video. I don't get where the noise complaints come from. My ceiling fan makes more noise.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    iMarvin

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    #19
    Quick tip, remove the bottom panel and put the mini on it's side. It will lower the heat of the CPU and lower the fan speeds, but other components don't get the same cooling effect as with the cover on! Beware. :)
     
  20. thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 23, 2012
    #20
    Some people are much more sensitive to noise than others.
    I find the transformer hum from my audio interface and speakers slightly annoying.

    There is also the matter of the room acoustics, some rooms are much more absorbent than others.
     
  21. macrumors 601

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #21
    Anyone who thinks their Mini is silent hasn't tried transcoding videos in Handbrake. That app is fully threaded and will peg all cores at max for as long as it takes to do the job.
     
  22. macrumors 65816

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    Jul 7, 2008
    #22
    I have no need for handbrake, so my Mini will remain silent.
     
  23. macrumors regular

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    Oct 27, 2007
    #23
    I have three children. The hum of my Mac Mini fan is like music to my ears. :D
     
  24. macrumors 601

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #24
    You have my congratulations! Or my condolences!

    Whichever seems more appropriate... :rolleyes:

    All jet engines are silent! Until you turn them on.

    Clearly OP's fanless computer is meant for people whose Minis are loud.
     
  25. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #25
    I did Cinema4D, also max threaded, and no problems with the sound. Virtually silent.
     

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