13" Macbook Pro 2017 nTB Fan Noise

nalcokes

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 23, 2017
2
1
Hi gang

I recently brought home a new Macbook Pro and I am wondering about the fan noise that I'm hearing.

When it comes to most fans, there are two distinct sounds that can be heard. The first is the noise that air makes when it moves, and the other is the fan itself(my concern here). I hear a bit of a high pitch squeal. It is very subtle, but it's enough to make me wonder if my laptop is defective.

This noise is most obvious when the fan begins to pick up speed after being silent... once the fan gets anywhere near max speed, the sound of moving air muffles out a lot of the squeal... So it's the worst when the fan is running on low, or just ramping up a little.

Does anyone else experience this? Thanks for your help.
 
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HiRez

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
5,805
1,697
Western US
That's strange, I had the opposite impression. To me it's more air moving (whooshing), I hear no sort of high pitched whine, even at high CPU loads, which I do have on my old MacBook Air. To me it's a much less objectionable sound. Maybe I haven't used it enough in a quiet environment to hear it yet though.
 
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Sodaken

macrumors newbie
Jul 16, 2017
11
5
Munich/BKK
The high pitch sound of the single fan in the 2017 nTB has been mentioned in the review on notebookcheck.com.
Hence, it seems to be a general issue which affects all devices.
Actuelly, I would really like to know if this sound is annoying in daily use as it might shift my current decision for a nTB over to the TB version which seems to have a "better"(?) cooling architecture with its 2 fans...
 

meboy

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2012
260
221
Yeah.. this is getting mentioned too much on the 2016-2017 models.
Didn't see any posts for the 2015 and back.
 

joefoong79

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2017
168
31
I assume you have a nTB model. Thanks for the info. That is great to hear. Maybe the reports about the inferior cooling mechanism compared to the TB model are a bit exaggerated.
Actually I had the mbp touch bar 2016.
 

Saturn007

macrumors 6502
Jul 18, 2010
348
116
Besides the computer's actual (rarely measured) noise levels -- there are three HUGE issues in judging how bothersome noises are:

1. A person's hearing. Many people have hearing loss (due to age, rock concerts, wearing headphones, ent issues, etc.). As a result, they will NOT be able to hear what many others can.

2. A person's sensitivity to noise, especially high-pitched ones. Many people are used to being around noise (kids, music, tv, office sounds) and have no problem with a computer making noise. (Likely the same ones who enjoy podcasts and news reports having New Age music soundtracks!). Others of us have greater sensitivity and are troubled by whines, hums, and other distracting noises.

3. A person's work environment. Many, as noted, work in noisy environs that will drown out a computer's fan and HD noise. Many others, though, work in quiet places -- libraries, studies, dens, etc. -- and computer noises are readily apparent and can be irritating.

Without knowing those things, when people report "no issue" with noise, others may rightfully be skeptical. If one is sensitive to noises, seeking out reports by those with good hearing, sensitivity, and who work in quiet places is important!

We're deciding whether to go with a 2017 MacBook Pro or a MacBook and this MBP fan, hum, noise biz -- along with its blunt, palm-gouging, front rectangular edge -- are now holding us back!
 

Saturn007

macrumors 6502
Jul 18, 2010
348
116
Didn't mean to put the kibosh on this thread by detailing the 3 key variables involved in judging noise!

Would love to hear from other non-TB MBP owners about their experiences with the noise!

Just note whether or not you have good hearing, are sensitive to noises, and work in quiet environment--or, and this I didn't mention, whether it might have bothered you initially, but you've gotten to used to it!

I note that some people really like hearing a clickety-clack sound from their keyboards, while others detest it! Still others only hear it if they focus on it or think about it! While even others have gotten used to whatever was irritating them!
 

Rocko99991

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2017
776
731
I converted 19 .flac files to mp3. It did 2-4 tracks at a time. this got the fan spinning at full speed after about a minute. It was loud, no high pitch noise though, just a fast fan and air being pushed. If this were to be on all the time I would be very annoyed. But I don't convert files or tax my system much. If you will be converting files often, it may be worth seeing how loud the Touch Bar version-2 fans-will be.
 
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Jamalogo10

macrumors member
Jun 13, 2017
89
32
So I've got a 2017 i7 16gb 512ssd nTB. I've never heard the fan unless I was running benchmarks. I torrent movies occasionally but I have yet to test it with FC. In day to day use I haven't heard anything other than the ridiculously loud keyboard. (I sorta like it) It lets me know I've come in contact with the keys and I find it oddly satisfying.

Can anyone help me with this logic: maybe the i7 is quieter because of the virtual threads? Less strain on the cpu?
 
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Pangalactic

macrumors 6502
Nov 28, 2016
368
605
Unless I do some video rendering or play games or something REALLY intensive, I have absolutely so sounds at all. Even Photoshop on my lowest spec config gives absolutely zero fan noise.
 

NathanD

macrumors member
May 15, 2017
39
28
Italy
I just got my new nTB 2017 MBP. I noticed that at high frequencies (specially around 5000-7200 RPM) there's a high pitch sound, like a vacuum cleaner. Is it normal?
 

Jodiuh

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2009
291
103
The first 13" base model 2017 NonTouchbar sound like an electric shaver, like a full on $150 Panasonic 13K RPM beast...when downloading a large file, lol!

I returned it because it wobbled and the new one ONLY seems to get nasty when I'm running a benchmark. Daily email, browsing, etc, I never hear it.

Also, after about 5 days with it, I've noticed it seems to get less hot in the middle of the keyboard and generally seems snappier. Probably just settling in with software, hardware, etc.

About me:
Highly sensitive to noise, lights, PWM, fluorescent lighting, etc. The clicking clack doesn't actually bother me, it's noisy, but it's interesting because when I get into a good rhythm of typing, the noise seems more like a beat, lol! So I can tell whether or not I'm typing well because of the music I make! I'm 38, but have pretty good hearing.
 
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gronnn

macrumors newbie
Oct 16, 2017
4
1
Maybe it's because of a lot smaller vents on non Touch Bar model? So, an air starts whistling trough this tiny vents.
Can any owner of non Touch Bar model confirm that you don't have this high pitched noise under heavy load? I'm not sure whether I should spend a lot of time on MacBook diagnostic in service center or not.
Everything is super awesome in this laptop except this thing. How the hell are they testing it in Apple before selling? It's really crazy.
 
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project_2501

macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2017
413
375
Maybe it's because of a lot smaller vents on non Touch Bar model? So, an air starts whistling trough this tiny vents.
Can any owner of non Touch Bar model confirm that you don't have this high pitched noise under heavy load? I'm not sure whether I should spend a lot of time on MacBook diagnostic in service center or not.
Everything is super awesome in this laptop except this thing. How the hell are they testing it in Apple before selling? It's really crazy.

I am really unhappy with Apple about this.

See this review and log of dealings with Apple about this issue. Photos videos, fan meter screenshots. .. basically hard evidence: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2017-macbook-pro-13-non-tb-review.2056971/
 

Jodiuh

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2009
291
103
Maybe it's because of a lot smaller vents on non Touch Bar model? So, an air starts whistling trough this tiny vents.
Can any owner of non Touch Bar model confirm that you don't have this high pitched noise under heavy load? I'm not sure whether I should spend a lot of time on MacBook diagnostic in service center or not.
Everything is super awesome in this laptop except this thing. How the hell are they testing it in Apple before selling? It's really crazy.
It's not the size of the vents, its a fan spinning @ >5000RPM. That will NEVER be quiet. The non touchbar uses a bigger battery than the tb, but personally, I'd rather have the second fan.

Just one question tho, what exactly are you doing with this notebook that will put the fan under heavy load for significant periods of time? It's a 13" notebook with a 2 physical CPU...IMO, it's not for doing anything intensive. I don't think I've heard the fan in a week.

I am really unhappy with Apple about this.

See this review and log of dealings with Apple about this issue. Photos videos, fan meter screenshots. .. basically hard evidence: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2017-macbook-pro-13-non-tb-review.2056971/
I gave up after "the keyboard will wake up anyone in the house...grrr."

I can't take anything else seriously after that.
 

Jamalogo10

macrumors member
Jun 13, 2017
89
32
I'm just simply not hearing the fan spark up like so many of you. Could it be because I'd opted for the i7 instead of i5 cpu?
Less strain on the 2 cores due to the hyperthreading/virtual cores? aka off loading and allowing the computer to multi task much easier.

I've asked this question a couple times with no definitive answer. I'd like to run back to back comparisons with a similarly equipped i5.
 
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gronnn

macrumors newbie
Oct 16, 2017
4
1
Just one question tho, what exactly are you doing with this notebook that will put the fan under heavy load for significant periods of time? It's a 13" notebook with a 2 physical CPU...IMO, it's not for doing anything intensive. I don't think I've heard the fan in a week.
Installing software, loadin VM, etc.
I agree that this MacBook is very quiet when not under heavy load. Fan in mine is often at 0 RPM.
Btw, I'm not concerned about loudness of it, I just find high pitch part of the fan sound unpleasant.

I'm just simply not hearing the fan spark up like so many of you. Could it be because I'd opted for the i7 instead of i5 cpu?
Less strain on the 2 cores due to the hyperthreading/virtual cores? aka off loading and allowing the computer to multi task much easier.

I've asked this question a couple times with no definitive answer. I'd like to run back to back comparisons with a similarly equipped i5.
I have an i7 model.
 

gronnn

macrumors newbie
Oct 16, 2017
4
1
The first 13" base model 2017 NonTouchbar sound like an electric shaver, like a full on $150 Panasonic 13K RPM beast...when downloading a large file, lol!

I returned it because it wobbled and the new one ONLY seems to get nasty when I'm running a benchmark. Daily email, browsing, etc, I never hear it.

Also, after about 5 days with it, I've noticed it seems to get less hot in the middle of the keyboard and generally seems snappier. Probably just settling in with software, hardware, etc.

About me:
Highly sensitive to noise, lights, PWM, fluorescent lighting, etc. The clicking clack doesn't actually bother me, it's noisy, but it's interesting because when I get into a good rhythm of typing, the noise seems more like a beat, lol! So I can tell whether or not I'm typing well because of the music I make! I'm 38, but have pretty good hearing.
Are you saying that replaced Macbook doesn't have this high pitched razor sound?