20" iMac - Noise

Discussion in 'iMac' started by casjohnr, Sep 1, 2007.

  1. casjohnr macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2007
    When I first powered up my new 20" Alu iMac it was dead silent.

    Suddenly the fans came on and now it remains at a continual 'hum' sound - 998RPM optical drive and 1199RPM CPU Fan / Hard Drive. 40oC.

    Is the hum normal or do I need to get it checked out?
  2. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2006
    The fans won't go slower than the values you posted so that's normal. It could possibly be the HDD you are hearing, or perhaps the screen (there was a humming issue with the previous 24" model iirc), it could also be that one of the fans are unbalanced.
  3. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040


    May 16, 2006
    Central Florida!
    Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmm. That would drive me nuts..!
  4. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    It wasn't dead silent when you first powered up, you were either just soo excited or had significant background noise you didnt notice the hum until when things were quieter.

    The fans stay around 1200rpm so fan speeds are normal and the hum isn't all that bad is it. It seems to be barely more audible than a laptop....maybe thats just me
  5. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2006
    Except that it doesn't get louder when you do CPU intensive tasks. Which is one of the reasons I got the iMac to complement my MacBook.
  6. tom5304 macrumors regular

    May 7, 2005
    I switched to my 20" iMac from a five-year-old Compaq PC, and compared to the Compaq, my iMac just seems absolutely silent. Yes, when there's zero background noise, I can hear a faint hum from the iMac, but for my purposes, the 20" iMac is as quiet as I could ever hope for.

    What I don't get is how Apple can create a 20" all-in-one computer with such low noise, yet Microsoft's Xbox 360 sounds louder than the oldest, loudest PC I've ever had. Is Apple doing something right, or is the Xbox doing something so incredibly wrong? Hmmm.
  7. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2006
    The key is that the iMac uses laptop parts which are much cooler but a bit more expensive than desktop parts.
  8. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    No, it doesn't incorporate ALL laptop parts. The noisiest part of any computer tends to be either the fans or the hard drive and the iMac uses desktop class hard disks. When's the last time you've seen a 1TB 7200 rpm hard disc in a laptop.
  9. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2006
    I know that it doesn't use all laptop parts, and I didn't say that either. I said that it uses laptop parts. Right?
  10. scott.hall macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2007
    I had the same issue with my 24"

    My new 24" did the same thing...then the hum was constant.

    I called apple and they replaced my machine. My new one is on the way. I am anxious to see if it is as quiet as everyone else has described their new machines.

    I checked all of my fan and drive speeds, as you mentioned, with apple tech guys and they said they were all normal, but the hum still was present.

    For what it is worth...
  11. casjohnr thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2007
    Yep I'm gonna go try getting it replaced, especially since I need to also get them to look at why their official cleaning cloth has streaked the glass display to hell!

    But hopefully they will pick it up from my house and ship a replacement out as if I took it into Apple Store they would not be able to hear the noise! I heard they stopped offering the whole mail in service for the UK but since it is a replacement I am after it should be OK (I hope?!)
  12. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    Not to be a downer but there's a high chance you'd both be wasting your time, the new machines will still have the same hum.....just part of the cooling process. Hopefully am wrong though
  13. Miharu macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2007
    How can I see my fan speeds? And no "use google" please :)
  14. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    Go here
  15. mayqlaf macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2007
    My new 20" Imac is noisy too!

    Hi friends,

    This is my first post and my first mac. I love the computer, but the constant humming noise is really driving me crazy.

    I notice if I tilt the screen forward it's not as bad, but I shouldn't have to do that. It's even louder than the music I'm playing. It's sounds like a small refrigerator.

    It's almost constant, the first minute or two are quiet though, but once it warms up, the humming begins.

    I called support and they suggested I take it to the Apple Store. I did, but it was so noisy and crowded they couldn't hear anything. Also, the guy helping me had never worked on the new Imac 20" so he didn't know much about how it should sound. He said after time, maybe the humming sound would go away, or just the drive in the car with a couple little "bounces" would settle it down. Basically, he just wanted to move on to the next customer.

    Anyway, what do you guys think I should do? Should I push for an exchange?

    Here are the details of my machine.
    Processor 065-6838 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    Memory 065-6828 2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
    Hard Drive 065-6842 750GB Serial ATA Drive

    I do like my Imac, but I don't want to live with this noise for the next several years.

    Thanks for your help!
  16. bsavitz macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2007
    Did you set up an appointment at the Genius Bar? You should get much better service there. I had a fan which made a slight ticking sound. They took it into the back where it was quiet and I was out of the store with a new machine in under 15 minutes.
  17. mayqlaf macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2007
    Yes, I did take it to the genius bar and I had an appointment. I guess I'll try again, maybe at another apple store.

    I'm glad your problem was quickly resolved though. Hopefully, I'll get better service next time.

    Thanks for the reply.
  18. vicki2314 macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2006
    i've had my imac for a few weeks now and i can tell you that it is completely silent... i hope you get things worked out!!
  19. mayqlaf macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2007
    still noisy, but possible diagnosis

    I made my second trip back the genius bar. They kept it for a couple days. They said it checked out fine, although I compared to the other Imacs on display, mine was much noisier and hotter. Again, they said it checked out fine and to run the update.

    The tech said a new update was available from mac. They didn't have time to download it but said I could download it using the update feature.

    I wasn't able to find the update so I called tech support. They could find no evidence of an update for fan noise.

    The tech on the phone had me do some diagnostic tests and actually reinstall Os x. He thought that might resolve some of the fan noise, because we concluded all the fans are on all the time, and that's a big part of the problem.

    After reinstalling OS x, there was still noise. The tech said to take it in for repairs. This time I took it to an authorized service facility. The tech said that I have a problem with the logic board. It's a huge job to fix it and they'll have it for at least a week.

    I'm glad the problem may possibly be resolved, but I'm very disappointed with the Apple Store for the poor service they've provided. They didn't even call me when my computer was ready to pick up.

    I'll keep you all "posted" as to how this works out, just in case you're having the same problem.

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