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ambientdaw

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 14, 2016
181
89
Sonoma County CA
I would LOVE some advice on keeping my soon-to-be-purchased and very first! iMac :) as quiet as possible; My late-2011 17" MBP has a fan that is more of a whine than a whir and I cannot work with it. I became hyper-sensitive to hi frequency sounds 2 years ago and I am working on some very quiet music mixes, so the fan noise is as loud or louder than the music!

I understand the smaller fan of the MBP would be higher pitched than a larger iMac fan so perhaps it does need to be 100% silent, we will see. I want to get the 4GHz / 1TB SSD / M395 2GB / and update to 24GB RAM. I will not be running games or editing much video or photoshop work, very minimally. I will just be running a few CPU intensive VST's with Ableton Live (specifically Omnisphere, Kontakt, and Ozone) at low latency while recording 2-4 audio tracks inputs. For rendering I don't care if it is noisy.

So, do I need to rethink this?
 

Malus120

macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2002
356
571
Would the i7 run hotter and noisier than the i5?

Would a <4GHz chip run quieter/cooler than the 4GHz?
While I've heard the 2015 models are a tad quieter (Skylake cooler than Haswel/slightly cooler AMD parts), I can tell you that my maxed out 2014 model's fan can get noticeable... when installing a new version of office... :/
Photo editing, gaming, video editing or do anything truly intensive makes the fans even more noticeable.
 
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Barnclos

macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2015
14
4
I have similar machine - 4GHz / 512 GB SSD / M395 2GB / 24GB RAM - and the machine is effectively silent for anything where the CPU is less than 200-300%.
When the fan does speed up, I don't so much hear the fan motor (whirring, whining type noise), rather it's the airflow (blowing noise) that is most noticeable.
 
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1 iron

macrumors newbie
Oct 25, 2010
29
19
Infinite Loop
I can barely hear my fan when doing lite work (1200 rpm) but watching videos in flash or ripping/converting movies gets the fan going. It bugs me so much, I start wishing steve jobs was still around to yell at engineers to fix this prior to going on sale. This wasn't an issue on my 2011 iMac.
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
4 GHz Intel Core i7
32 GB 1867 MHz DDR3
 
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TheBro72

macrumors member
Apr 21, 2016
41
2
Manchester, UK
I can barely hear my fan when doing lite work (1200 rpm) but watching videos in flash or ripping/converting movies gets the fan going. It bugs me so much, I start wishing steve jobs was still around to yell at engineers to fix this prior to going on sale. This wasn't an issue on my 2011 iMac.
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
4 GHz Intel Core i7
32 GB 1867 MHz DDR3

Yeah, when watching 4/5K content or ripping films etc the fans kicks in and is quite noisy. The upside is the mac will convert a full film in about 15 mins!! Apart from the two examples given, in almost any other scenario the machine is really quiet.
 
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cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,630
1,910
With your sensitivity and specific work flow this is going to be too subjective for us to give you a 100% answer.

I think if it were me, I would line up some real work, buy the iMac and immediately throw your real world situations at it. From there you can utilize Apples return policy if necessary.

Its unfortunate your workload seems rather intensive because a Mac Mini placed far away or a new fanless MacBook would be silent however I doubt they will have the oomph you need.

Out of curiosity how input latency sensitive is your work? People will drop jaw but an AppleTV has a relatively low latency across a fast network, I can even play city building type games with no problem but also with no fan noise...I know that maybe ridiculous but in the event you happen to have an ATV you could try it for free really quick.

EDIT: Hmm I just tried editing a video really quick via AppleTV, its an exercise of patience for sure lol....
 
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bmcgrath

macrumors 65816
Oct 5, 2006
1,039
9
London, United Kingdom
I don't find my loud at all (mid spec). When it's being pushed you get a faint air blowing sound but nothing like a whirring noise of a fan going full blast. Overall - very quiet machine especially compared to the mid 2011 that this retina machine replaced!
 
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CWallace

macrumors G3
Aug 17, 2007
8,485
5,043
Seattle, WA
I have the late 2015 with the i7 and R395X and I would say my machine is very quiet, even when doing CPU/GPU intensive tasks whereas my 2014 model with the i7 and R295X would have noticeable fan noise in such situations.
 
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Appleaker

macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2016
2,197
4,191
The 2016 iMac would likely run even more silent due to the massive change in GPU architecture meaning it produces less heat when used.
 
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ambientdaw

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 14, 2016
181
89
Sonoma County CA
Wish I could have waited until Sep-Oct. My 2011 MBP just started getting tired in the last month or so. Put in an SSD 6 months ago and it breathed new life into it. But I am starting to throw some new VST's at it and it is showing resistance.
 
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