15" retina: noisy right fan!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by will0407, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. will0407, Jul 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014

    will0407 macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2006
    The rght side fan on my 15" is really noisy. Having removed the base, and turned it on, I can see they both spin instantly, but one is silent, while the other makes a fairly loud whirring noise. I've restored the OS, tried a PRAM and SMC reset, and neither have worked. I've installed istat and the left fan is actualy reading about 150rpm more than the right (left 2160, right 2010) but the right is noisy!

    Anyone know why this could be? I'd expect if they're both spinning at essentially the same rpm that the noise should be similar?
  2. Nr123*123 macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2014
    Not sure why the right side is noisy. But on my 15 Retina the left also spins at around 2160, whilst the right is around 2000.
  3. x3n0n1c macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2014
    The bearing is clearly shot on the noisy fan. Take it to apple and get the fan replaced. The fans apple use are almost inaudible at ~2000rpm. If you can hear it from anything further than an inch or two from the fan, it's bad.
  4. will0407 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2006
    out of warranty. is it a fairly straight forward fix if i were to do it myself?
  5. 827538 macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
  6. sdimas macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2014
    I've read that the fans are supppsed to be at different frequencies to cancel out each others noise, so I guess that is why one is shown spinning faster than the other
  7. TheIguana macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2004
    Decently straight forward. It is on the order of $50-70 for an out of warranty repair, I would honestly just take it in and have them do it.
  8. x3n0n1c macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2014
    The only time I have heard of this is for the newer retina macbooks (and possibly the new airs) where the spacing of the fan blades are inconsistent in an attempt to spread out of noise generated over more frequencies, lowering the apparent noise of the fan (the actual db of the fan will be unaffected).

    Running fans at only a hundred or so rpm from each other wouldn't have much effect, if any.


    The fix is grade 1 easy, the only real complication is the cable connecting the fan to the motherboard has a very small, fragile connector that is really easy to break. If you tug it in the wrong way, and damage the socket on the motherboard, good luck getting it working again.
  9. pragmatous macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2012
    1) buy can air
    2) spray lightly towards the fan
    3) hold your breath
    4) don't breath in the dust particles
    5) your fan is not broken just full of dust
    6) it's really easy to fix your fan
    7) just buy canned air
    8) this is #8
    9) You should probably just go buy some canned air at this point
    10) why are you still reading this?
    11) Ok so dust eventually builds up on the fan and eventually into the bearings. the loud noise and the high rpm spin is due to the extra heat the dust is producing as well as dust inside the bearings causing the noise. BLowing it out with air will reduce that if not get rid of it depending on how bad it is
    12) it could be a bad fan however it's probably just dust
    13) if you haven't bought that canned air yet then I'm confused why you're still reading this
    14) this is me just wasting time I guess
    15) ----
    16) lastly you may need the ifixit kit to unscrew the screws on the back of your mac. :p :apple:

  10. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    Canned air will not help removing the dust that sticks to the fans. I have recently cleaned a Macbook Pro (classic) and the only way to get the fans properly clean is to take them out and clean them with a brush, no chance of just blowing that dust away.
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    You need to be careful when using compressed air, not to send the dust deeper into the computer and or damaging the delicate parts.

    I'd say the safest thing is to disassemble the laptop and clean it that way.
  12. x3n0n1c macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2014
    I have never seen dust make a fan create more noise, unless it gets into the bearing itself. Dust will usually just slow the fan itself down as it has more mass and friction to deal with.

    If you are going to clean the fan, use compressed air to remove the loose dust, but make sure to hold the fan in place, do not let the air spin the fan. When this happens the fan will act as a generator and could damage the fan or the mainboard it is attached to.

    Once you have the loose dust off, use a soft paintbrush or equivalent to remove the caked on stuff, then use the compressed air once more to finish it off.
  13. will0407 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2006
    Just turned it on for the day and touchwood, it seems ok!
  14. Yoshi Yogurt macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2010
    Well I'd take it in if it continues. Had mine for 3 weeks and I can only hear the fans in complete silence, although I haven't had a chance to do anything intensive at all.
  15. pragmatous macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2012
    Meh I'm an expert and I never had a problem. I've been doing IT for 20 years and I'm a systems engineer.

    FYI the only way to get at the fan is to disassemble it.

  16. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    Compressed air does not remove thick layers of sticky dust (see example). I tested this. Only a soft toothbrush helps.

    Attached Files:

  17. klover macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2009
    I believe the newer Retina/cMBPs use Sunon MagLev fans which do not have bearings.

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