1200 rpm is too loud.

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

  1. akMusic macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2019
    I received an i9 1TB SSD iMac yesterday and I too am a little disappointed to be able to hear the fans even when idling at 1196rpm 45 degrees C.

    I work in music with the computer directly in front of me between my speakers in a relatively quiet almost silent room, so the fans are noticeable. Having bought the iMac to replace my 2013 MacBook Pro (which I'd had down under my desk to hide the fan noise) it worries me that they'll only get louder when the iMac gets put to work more let alone in a few years time.

    I've tested it running a few Pro Tools sessions that the MacBook Pro was being pushed to its limits with and while the fans only slightly ramped up and the processor finding it easy..again it was disappointingly noticeable.

    Does anyone know how much quieter the iMac Pro is? Idling or otherwise. I know it has 2 fans rather than 1 and different cooling architecture etc.

    Am I dreaming to think that in this day and age there is such a thing as a silent Mac?
  2. Bohemien macrumors regular


    Mar 28, 2019
    In the 2017 line, the idea was to go with the mid-tier i5-7500 or i5-7600 models if you wanted a quiet machine, as the top-spec i7-7700K model was/is said to be very loud. In the 2019 line, the i9-9900K and i5-9600K processors have a TDP rating of 95W, so they will probably become hotter under load than e.g. the 3.0 GHz i5-8500 used in the lowest spec 27" iMac (TDP of 65W).
  3. spiderpumpkin macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2014
    The 1200rpm idle fan noise on my new i9 iMac is noticeable but I think I can live with it. If I sit there and focus on the noise it bothers me but I'd rather have that slight annoyance keeping my powerful computer machine cooled. Usually when I'm working on my computer I play music or tv going on another monitor.
  4. _Skyfire_ macrumors newbie


    Aug 16, 2017
    Am I wrong in assuming music production doesn't require high utilization of CPU/GPU?
    If so you can easily "silence" your iMac, methods of how were discussed on the previous page..
  5. Benz63amg macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2010
    Apps such as logic utilize the CPU quite heavily depending on what type of work you do, samples loaded, Plugins used etc. RAM is very important when music production is concerned as well. (The more the better for smooth workflow)
  6. peterlthomas macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2011
    To add to this, I have an 8 core iMac Pro and can also hear the fan at idle. It’s quiet but definitely there. I haven’t heard a 2019 iMac in a quiet environment, but sounds like they’re similar at idle.

    In contrast my 2012 iMac was completely silent once I swapped the fusion drive for an SSD.
  7. akMusic macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2019
    I’m running Pro Tools and mostly for mixing so I think it’s mostly CPU processing. I’m not loading big sample library/instruments into RAM so the 40gb I’ve got is probably overkill most of the time.
    Thank you, I’ll investigate those methods to reduce minimum fan speed to 1000/1100 rpm. So far running sessions the cpu doesn’t seem to have got too hot at 1200 so perhaps a lower speed I’d be fine...

    Might save me spending another £2k to get quieter fans...
  8. akMusic macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2019
    Forgive me but this was how you've managed to reduce your fans to 1000?

    I had SMCFanControl installed and entered:
    /Applications/smcFanControl.app/Contents/Resources/smc -k F0Mn -w 0fa0
    into terminal...but it doesn't seem to make a difference? 1200 is still the lowest option in smcFanControl. Am I missing something?

    I'm on the same 2019 i9 iMac I believe you are.

    Many thanks.
  9. WillemSleegers thread starter macrumors member

    May 2, 2016
    /Applications/smcFanControl.app/Contents/Resources/smc -k F0Mn -w 0fa0

    /Applications/smcFanControl.app/Contents/Resources/smc -k "FS! " -w 0001

    /Applications/smcFanControl.app/Contents/Resources/smc -k F0Tg -w 0fa0

    This should lower the RPM to 1000, but then it will stay there and not automatically ramp up when needed so I absolutely do not recommend doing this.

    Someone else in this topic apparently found a way to also have it increase as the temperature increases.
  10. Plx32 macrumors member

    Nov 21, 2009
    Paris, France
    I even successfully lowered fan speed to 850 with this command line :

    /Applications/smcFanControl.app/Contents/Resources/smc -k F0Mn -w 0d48

    The iMac is now dead silent and temperatures stay very cool. When I put back the fan to 1200, I notice almost no difference in CPU temperatures, maybe 3-4 degrees less but nothing significant.

    Of course I put a setting that triggers the fan as soon as the temperature raises above a certain temperature (I chose CPU Proximity of 57C), which only happens when I do something intensive on the Mac.

    In Macs Fan Control, you just have to make sure you choose a setting where the fan chooses speed based on temperature sensors and not a constant value. You can choose whichever sensor seems adequate for you (I chose CPU Proximity for the moment maybe there's a better choice).

    Here's a screenshot (sorry it's in French)

    Capture d’écran 2019-05-18 à 14.27.52.png
  11. henry72 macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2009
    New Zealand
    I hate fan noises myself too but wouldn't it better to leave it to automatic rather than manual? Otherwise, the iMac might get too hot?

    I am happy with my 2019 iMac, very quiet so far... Although it is Autumn in NZ (typically between 6 - 17 degrees) :)
  12. upthetoffees macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2012
    Mine is also making some noise, it sounds like a rotisserie in the oven, something turning around or a heater, whirr/mashing noise, not very loud but now that I have noticed, it's bugging me.

    I'm not sure I am prepared to put up with it at this price, sold my pc to buy this and that made much less noise idling. I've had it for a month but have applecare. Have spent days installing sample libraries, really dont want to send it in.
  13. WillemSleegers thread starter macrumors member

    May 2, 2016
    I am getting more used to it now. It's only at night (when everything is quiet) that I get annoyed by it.

    I am staying with Mac, which means I wouldn't even know what to get as an alternative. The iMac Pro is a bit quieter, based on the fan speed, but not worth the extra money just for a reduction in noise. Maybe the upcoming Mac Pro will be interesting!
  14. Bohemien macrumors regular


    Mar 28, 2019
    Same here-during the daytime, I rarely hear the fan at all because other environmental noises will be much louder than the fan. E.g. yesterday, I connected a spinning hard drive to backup some stuff, and it was MUCH louder than the fan. Or right now, my window is open, and birds and planes outside completely drown out the fan.

    Sometimes when I'm working late at night, I notice the fan and wish it was quieter, but it's really not much of a bother.

    One thing that is important though: during anything I threw at the iMac so far, including photo exporting sessions of several minutes, the iMac stays at the base fan speed 99% of the time. I've heard the fans ramp up slightly during one longer rendering session and go to their max once while updating the OS to 10.14.5, but that's it.

    And besides that, during things like typing this post, or office work, CPU power draw is around 1W-3W, clock speeds between 1.4GHz and 2GHz, CPU temp around 40°C, so the machine is using all that processing power pretty efficiently. :cool:
  15. goldbuffalo, May 26, 2019
    Last edited: May 27, 2019

    goldbuffalo macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2017
    I9 580x 1tb ssd 40gb ram

    My Imac is very quiet.

    If the refrigerator isn’t running and I shutdown my work laptop, and I don’t move, and listen a couple inches away, then yes I can hear a fan, or air moving, that’s about it.

    it looks like maybe I got lucky....so far.

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