1200 rpm is too loud.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by WillemSleegers, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. WillemSleegers macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2016
    #1
    I purchased a 2019 iMac (27", i5, Vega) and I'm not sure why, but I expected the iMac to be quiet. However, I can clearly hear the flow of air when the computer is idling.

    While it is a slight improvement over my previous iMac (2011), I find it quite annoying that the iMacs are not 100% silent when idling, like the MacBooks.

    What do you all think of this?
     
  2. Jimmdean macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    #2
    By my ears the 2019 model is just a tad louder at idle than the previous model, but has much less of a ramp-up and has a much, much quieter ceiling. Overall much better for me. Even at idle I have to go super-silent and really put my ear up to the front (or over the top) to hear it.

    We haven't seen a teardown yet but I do hear a difference - if it's not a complete redesign of the shroud then it is a slightly bigger fan or at the very least a different supplier.
     
  3. WillemSleegers thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2016
    #3
    Hm.. I can just sit in front of it normally and hear the fan spin.

    I'd prefer quieter idling speed compared to a different ramp-up because once it's going I can hear it no matter what. No need for that to be slightly reduced.
     
  4. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #4
    If your iMac is positioned backed-up against a smooth wall, you might try finding a sound absorbing non-reflective decorative "wall hanging" to put immediately behind the iMac.
     
  5. decta macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #5
    Same here. i am a little disappointed… my 2012 iMac had the fusion drive as only noise element when it was idle/under low pressure. but i guess its a general thing and not just my purchase…
     
  6. WillemSleegers thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2016
    #6
    Yup, I believe so too. The only alternative is the iMac Pro, but I don't think it is worth the extra money.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 3, 2019 ---
    Not sure if that is going to help much. It is, however, possible to reduce the fan speed...
     
  7. mikeboss macrumors 65816

    mikeboss

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    switzerland
    #7
    "previous model" being an iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017)? and the new one's equipped with which CPU model?
     
  8. antonypg macrumors member

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    May 8, 2008
    #8
    I have a 2017 iMac i5 3.8GHz with a 3TB Fusion drive, which I love as it is virtually silent at all times. When running Handbrake or a game such as Call of Duty the fans do spin up, but they are still what I would call quiet, no where near annoying. I decided not to get the i7 as I heard this got a lot louder when loaded.
     
  9. WillemSleegers thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2016
    #9
    I am not sure what you mean by virtually quiet. Is it as silent as a MacBook Pro when idling, or is the fan just 'quietly' humming?
     
  10. antonypg macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #10
    I believe I have good hearing and when sat at the machine I can't hear the fans at all. I checked and my fans are running at 1200 RPM. I put the machine to sleep then woke it back up and I couldn't hear any difference.
     
  11. WillemSleegers thread starter macrumors member

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    May 2, 2016
    #11
    Interesting. I can clearly hear a difference with mine.
     
  12. antonypg macrumors member

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    May 8, 2008
    #12
    I have a noise meter on my iPhone, Decibel X. It reads about 36 to 40 with the iMac running, and around the same with the iMac asleep. I took my wall clock out of the room as it was causing the readings to go up!

    My iMac is in my upstairs office next to a window, with a little bit of road noise in the distance. In some parts of my house I get a reading of around 34.
     
  13. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #13
    Well, you could always modify the case to use an aftermarket desktop heatsink. It's hardly noticeable.

    Untitled-1.jpg

    Kidding aside. Even at idle the desktop CPU plus GPU are probably drawing 25W to 30W. That's a fair amount of heat to dissipate. Add to it that Apple uses a blower. It's going to make some noise.
     
  14. WillemSleegers thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2016
    #14
    I just did the same thing and I get a reading of 35.9 when the iMac is asleep and 37.8 when it is on. I suppose I can hear that difference. I put the phone on the foot stand of the iMac.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 3, 2019 ---
    Yup, I understand. I find it a bit of a bummer, though. This computer really would be perfect if it was totally quiet!
     
  15. TheSufle macrumors newbie

    TheSufle

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2019
    #15
    I’m sure, and this has already confirmed that inside it has not changed, it also uses one fan, perhaps the radiator with a copper tube has a different design, we are waiting for an autopsy!
     
  16. antonypg macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #16
    I just did another quick test out of interest. I ran Handbrake, converting a DVD, and the fans sped up to 2700, with a noise reading of around 50.

    I believe the background reading of 36 to 40 is because the iMac is next to a window and my house is less than one mile away from the M25 motorway, even indoors you can just about hear it. I guess the motorway noise is louder than my idle fan noise!
     
  17. WillemSleegers thread starter macrumors member

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    May 2, 2016
    #17
    Maybe I should move closer to a motorway. ;)
     
  18. ferencav macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2019
    #18
    I had the same discovery when I booted my new iMac i9 for the first time. It is a bit of a disappointment because I come from a iMac (late 2012) which is (almost) completely silent. The new iMac 2019 has a bit more fan noise when idling.

    If you put your ear close to the machine it sounds like a normal fan with a HDD spinning very silently in the background. That's not a comforting sound because you get the idea that the computer is busy. I'm curious if other people recognise this sound in the same way.

    When I listen to the 2012 iMac it's a more monotonous lower pitched sound. Sounds more like a well oiled machine. I hadn't thought such a small difference would matter to me. In the past I have worked with Windows machines which were ten times louder.

    I guess I will get used to it very quickly. It's a small downside for a computer which houses so much more power than the 2012. And in a week or so I will read this post and call myself a complete nitpicker.
     
  19. Rockadile macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    #19
    If it's the same idle RPM speed as the 2017 but still louder than I can only think it's because of a fan model change. Perhaps a fan with higher airflow rating.
     
  20. chabig macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #20
    Or just put on some music, get one of those water fountain devices, run the air conditioner or furnace fan, flush a toilet, run the water, etc.
     
  21. Bohemien macrumors regular

    Bohemien

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2019
    Location:
    Germany
    #21
    That would also explain why the fan doesn't have to ramp up quite as high as in the 2017 models under load. I hope that's the case! Maybe an iFixit teardown will shed some light on this, hopefully soon. :)
     
  22. jeyf macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    #22
    if your purchase is still dated I would definitely return your unit
    consider the store model and see if its fan compares to the purchased unit
     
  23. macduke macrumors G4

    macduke

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Central U.S.
    #23
    It’s interesting you can hear your i5 idling. I haven’t noticed anything idling with my i9 and I built my studio to be very quiet with insulation even in interior walls and the best acoustic rating I could get on ceiling tiles from my local dealer and it’s underground. I even did sound dampening on the ductwork I put in. I don’t even work with audio much I just wanted it to be quiet, lol. Even when I get it to ramp up I don’t notice it much. Now the 2017 iMac i7-7700K—I had one of those at my last job and if you want to complain I invite you to try out that model, lol.
     
  24. ferencav macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2019
    #24
    To illustrate the difference in fan noise between the iMac late 2012 and the new iMac early 2019 I recorded both machines with a ZOOM in the same room while idling and having the mic at approximately the same distance. I then amplified both sounds with 30dB in Audacity, so the audio is much louder than the real noise.

    iMac 2012:
    https://instaud.io/3wpn

    iMac 2019:
    https://instaud.io/3wpo

    I am very curious if other people's iMac 2019 sound the same.
     
  25. ferencav macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2019
    #25
    Hmm.. listening back to these audio samples I can imagine the difference is not very clear if you haven't heard it for real. In real life the 2019 is audible if you work in a quiet room whereas the 2012 is completely silent.
     

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64 April 3, 2019