The quest for a silent Mac

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by tiselday, May 25, 2003.

  1. tiselday macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Location:
    Norway
    #1
    Hi

    Maybe i am too picky, i do not know, but one the things I value the most while buying a new computer is noise. I do have a very low tolerance for noise... my house is so quiet and calm :)

    So, to the point, i recently got myself a 17" 1GHz iMac. The machine itself is great, and i love the screen... almost perfect for all my needs... except that it is NOT silent. Although its noise levels are nothing compared to PCs (i have one PC at work that drives me MAD!) I can still hear the low humming of the fan.

    I have been told that the iBooks are completely silent. Is this true? What about the 12" adn 17" powerbooks?

    All I want is a home machine that is SILENT, is that asking too much? :)
     
  2. maraczc macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #2
    The actual iBook is near silent. But you can still hear a little noise if you put your head next right right on it and listen (if you're crazzy enough to do this). There will also be some noise when the optical drive is working like all machines and a bit of noise when you're using it for an intensive task.

    The main problem however is the noise the keyboard makes when you are typing. Even though I personally like this sound, sort of like a typewriter.
     
  3. kettle macrumors 65816

    kettle

    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    England, Great Britain (Airstrip One)
    #3
    WAIT!... ...did you here something?

    He He
    That's the badger!:p
     
  4. beez7777 macrumors 6502a

    beez7777

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2002
    Location:
    Notre Dame
    #4
    my 17" 800 mhz iMac is almost completely silent. i can only hear the fan when i put my ear next to the it. With some of my friends' PC's, you can hear the thing from another room.
     
  5. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #5
    He He
    That's the badger!


    Badgers Badgers Badgers

    We don't need no stinking badgers!!!

    :D

    My keyboard is noisy, my mac sounds like the distant sound of hoovering the whole time it's on. Why apple's priority isn't to create silent macs but to remove basic things that would confuse anyone (eject buttons?) is beyond me.
     
  6. Sol macrumors 68000

    Sol

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    We should be so lucky to have no fans

    Well Apple did make silence a priority and their greatest achievement was The Cube which had no fan at all (the last CRT iMacs had no fans either). Since The Cube bombed Apple has re-introduced fans in its desktop lines and in the PowerMac's case, made them even louder. It is as if Apple is taking backward steps. I hope we do see the re-introduction of fan-less desktop computers very soon. After all, listening to MP3s and AACs would sound so much better without the computer humming along to the music.
     
  7. tiselday thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Location:
    Norway
    #7
    Yep, several owners of 800 Mhz iMacs told me that their machines are very quiet. But then, I don´t know if Apple had to increase the fan speed or something while moving to 1Ghz G4 w/ DDR RAM (266 Mhz) , which obviously dissipates more heat.

    Dunno, i am a bit dissapointed.. :( I once read about a writer who was keeping an old Apple laptop because she said she could not be bothered with all the fan noise coming from the new computers. Same here, then.

    Well, i know, i want all: a 970 fanless powerbook would be great :)
     
  8. maradong macrumors 65816

    maradong

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    Luxembourg
    #8
    optimist, but well,. would be cool thought :D
     
  9. trebblekicked macrumors 6502a

    trebblekicked

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #9
    you could pick up a refirb cube...like has been said, they are pretty much silent, and they have ugrade packages up to 1ghz now,i believe. if you like macs and love silence, i say go for it. if you don't want to be that involved, go for the ibook. it's pretty quiet. if someone tries to sell you a powerbook or powermac, run.
     
  10. tiselday thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Location:
    Norway
    #10
    :) does this apply to the newest 12" and 17" powerbooks as well?

    I wonder what would be the power consumption of the new "Gobi" PPC750, whenever they come ;) , and if Apple would manage to have fanless designs for them as well.

    A Gobi based iBook with enhanced memory bus, fanless, bluetooth, and DVI output would be sweeeeet :D
     
  11. TMA macrumors 6502a

    TMA

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Location:
    England
    #11
    I don't think its possible to make the Flat Panel iMacs totaly quiet due to the fan
    (Though you could perhaps look at getting it changed to a quieter one) You could try swapping out the Hard Disk for a Seagate Barracuda IV. According to reviews and the Tech. Specs. they are the quietest. I put one in my already fanless iMac 500Mhz and it's the quietest computer i've ever used - yeah you can just still hear the HD but its a very gentle whoosing sound rather than the whine and groans alot produce. I can really recommend it.
     
  12. NavyIntel007 macrumors 65816

    NavyIntel007

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #12
    Best thing you could do is find out the fan size. It should be a regular sized fan like the 40-80 mm type. If you can find some of the quieter (and more expensive) fans that would help some. A fluid bearing hard drive couldn't hurt either.

    And for the mucho brave... you could buy some of that fluid cooling stuff people are using on PC's and mod it into your imac.

    the choice is yours.
     
  13. smada macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    #13
    like somebody said earlier, some of the crt iMac's are fanless. My DV SE is so quiet that when it's asleep I used to forget it was on. Unfortunately the firewire enclosure for my external hd has a really noisy fan!

    Do you think my HD would suffer if i took out the fan? or should i just try and find a quieter one?
     
  14. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Location:
    west of Philly
    #14
    Computer noise has started to annoy me more and more of the last couple of years. There was a time when a bunch of fans and the whine of stack of 10k scsi drives didn't bother me, but now I have no tolerance for it. My quicksilver drives me nuts, though I just finished replacing all the fans and it's much better than before. I use to be able to hear it on out of the office, through the living room and up the stairs. Now I have to be in the doorway of the office to hear it. My dell dimension 8200 is much quieter and my brother-in-law's 8250 is practically noiseless. I had to get down on the floor next to the case to hear the fan.
     
  15. bidge macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #15
    right, the 12" Powerbook makes next to no noise at all except for when the fan comes on, and that's not too loud, it goes off quite quickly though. The fan takes a bit of effort to get to come one though...

    I can't remeber about the 17" Powerbook, Im sure its exactly the same.
     
  16. the future macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #16
    I for one totally support the quest for a quiet, fan-less Mac. I once had one of the later CRT iMacs that came without a fan and the silence was heavenly. I should have gotten a Cube when they came down in price... to get one today I couldn't really justify as they are still pretty expensive and a little bit to slow.

    Apple should just make a new UltraCube with a PPC 970, dammit! And if the 970 gets too hot, UNDERCLOCK the sucker!

    Must calm down now. Must stop dreaming of the UltraCube. Everything will be all right.
     
  17. tiselday thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Location:
    Norway
    #17
    yes, i will check that. Btw, does anyone know of any means of measuring the CPUs and motherboard temperatures? Are there any programs out there to do it?
     
  18. tiselday thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Location:
    Norway
    #18
    Yes, I could not agree more with you. I guess that the main difference over the years is that now we are using computers to more and more things, including playing music and watching TV/DVDs. And it gets extremely annoying to hear the "hummm" in the background all the time. Talk about 16-bits, 44 Khz, 96 dB signal-to-noise ratios, when the background noise is driving you nuts and reducing that to 30 dBs...

    Is the G4 in the powerbooks different from the G4 in the iMacs/PowerMacs?? if not so, how come the 17" powerbook gets by without a fan?? Is the nVIDIA Gerforce4 MX to blame here??
     
  19. the future macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #19
    I do not own a 17'' Powerbook, but I'm sure they have a fan. My 15'' Powerbook DEFINITELY has a fan... I guess the main difference between Power Macs / iMacs and Powerbooks are the power saving and thus heat reducing features that are by default enabled in the Powerbooks. The fans in the Powerbooks are not permanently running, only when needed to cool down the machine - as opposed to the constantly running (and annoying) fans in the desktop machines. How often/long the Powerbook fans will run depends on the power saving features and on how much workload the processor has to handle.

    DID I MENTION THAT I WOULD QUITE LIKE THE INTRODUCTION OF A PPC 970 ULTRACUBE? Okay then, just wanted to make sure in case some Apple product development spy is among us. As if...
     
  20. Snowy_River macrumors 68030

    Snowy_River

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Corvallis, OR
    #20
    All Apple laptops have fans. They just don't turn on very often.

    That said, I have to agree with the desire for a silent computer. I can't stand the noise that comes out of most machines today. And it amazes me how completely oblivious some people are.

    For example, one of my coworkers in my lab has a PC that has a fan in it that wines all the time. It is such that I can't stand it, and it can even give me headaches. But, my coworker doesn't seem to mind it at all. There was one day that I was listening to some music from iTunes, with the volume turned down so that I could just hear it over the fan in his computer, and he walked over to me and asked that I either put on earphones or turn off the music. Apparently music is more annoying to him than the whine of his computer's fan. Go figure...


    55...
     
  21. the future macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #21
    I figure that's because he views the fan noise as god-given (as he probably never had a fanless computer) whereas your music seams to be a 'noise' he can do something about... hilarious observation, though!

    I also know some PC users that are so speed obsessed they have to use fans that are EASILY louder than a vacuum cleaner - and don't seam to care in the slightest! Of course they are mostly gamers and the shooting noises turned up to the max are even louder than the fans... I personally can't stand to be in the same room for more than a few minutes. It's just insane.

    If only Macwhispers was right... (http://www.envestco2.com/macwhispers/archives/000067.php)
     
  22. hesdeadjim macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #22
    While my Ti Powerbook isn't silent, I still find it to be fairly quiet most of the time. I have a 800 MHz variety and the fan only comes up when either I'm doing something processor intensive, have had the computer on for long, or using the optical drive.

    That being said, I do miss the fanless days of my Graphite iMac. It is really nice to hear it run, because all you can hear is the HD which facilitates thinking.

    On a final note, my Powerbook is definitely quiter than most PC's I've seen. My brother had a computer with 3 very large fans, always running. The worst part is that the fans ran at different frequencies, and they were off just enough where it was really three distinct sounds coming from the machine. I couldn't even use the maching for too long.
     
  23. Snowy_River macrumors 68030

    Snowy_River

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Corvallis, OR
    #23
    Oh, I also wanted to comment about my current PB3400. I recently upgraded the HD in this thing, and I've been stunned. I never knew that a HD could be so quiet. This is now, by far, the quietest computer that I've ever used (except on the rare occasion when I've been doing something really intensive and its fan turns on for a few minutes, but that never lasts...).


    45...
     
  24. donigian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC, USA
    #24
    Completely Silent

    To have a completely silent Mac you should get a Mac Plus. It doesn't have a hard drive, so no noise from that. It also doesn't have a fan, so it's completely silent.

    Upgrade to a full 4 MB of RAM. Buy an external 800K floppy drive to supplement the internal 800K floppy. You can run System 6 off of the floppys. And you'll have a completely silent Macintosh.
     

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