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LiE_

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 23, 2013
1,691
5,325
UK
Just taken delivery of my BTO 2019 5K iMac with i9 etc. It's been a while since I've had an iMac, but the last one I had back in 2013 was silent when idle. This new iMac is audible but not due to the noise of air, but the fan sounds like it's making a rattling noise. I wanted to check if this is normal? Anyone else able to record/observe their 2019 iMac to compare?

Here is a video, ignore the noise of the air moving which is normal, you can hear the fan making an audible noise as it spins.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZaNgF5QZYBGnBGidA
 

LiE_

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 23, 2013
1,691
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UK
The rattling noise it not normal. You should return and reorder.

I thought so. What a pain!

What's the process to return ? I don't want to be waiting another week :(
 

LiE_

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 23, 2013
1,691
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Just to make sure that I understand well, is this the fan noise under heavy CPU load?

No this is just sat on the desktop doing nothing. Fan controller shows it sitting at 1200rpm which is the lowest.
 

PBMB

macrumors 6502
Mar 19, 2015
324
126
No this is just sat on the desktop doing nothing. Fan controller shows it sitting at 1200rpm which is the lowest.
Hm, I have to check mine (an i5 of this year) when I get back at home. Due to hot weather the windows are open (meaning much noise from the outside) and I could not notice if this kind of sound is present in mine also.

But how can you see the fan's rpms?
 

LiE_

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 23, 2013
1,691
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UK
Hm, I have to check mine (an i5 of this year) when I get back at home. Due to hot weather the windows are open and I could not notice if this kind of sound is present to mine also.

But how can you see the fan's rpms?

There are quite a few apps that allow you to do it. Having built many PCs in the past I can be pretty sure this is not a normal sound for a fan.
 

PBMB

macrumors 6502
Mar 19, 2015
324
126
There are quite a few apps that allow you to do it. Having built many PCs in the past I can be pretty sure this is not a normal sound for a fan.
From which distance and position can you hear this sound?
 

LiE_

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 23, 2013
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Advanced replacement has been arranged. So I can send this defective iMac back when the new one arrives. Good services as usual from Apple.
 

PBMB

macrumors 6502
Mar 19, 2015
324
126
Advanced replacement has been arranged. So I can send this defective iMac back when the new one arrives. Good services as usual from Apple.
OK, perhaps it is not relevant any more but I tried to listen to my iMac. When idle, it is dead silent, like a corpse :D, even from near. Good to hear that you arranged a replacement so quickly.
 

LiE_

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 23, 2013
1,691
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UK
OK, perhaps it is not relevant any more but I tried to listen to my iMac. When idle, it is dead silent, like a corpse :D, even from near. Good to hear that you arranged a replacement so quickly.

That's what I expected, having had an iMac in the past. Also having built many custom PCs with various fans I know what a knackered fan sounds like.
 

MrTk

macrumors newbie
Dec 10, 2013
24
1
So interestingly enough. I bought a 2019 1.5 months ago. It was dead silent; however, about 2 weeks ago it started to have the very same sound. It's almost like the old sound of a movie projector at a theater back in the day before they went digital. A rhythmic, soft knocking sound at idle. I recorded it and am chatting with support right now. While it isn't "keeping me up at night", I am very concerned that what went from 0 sound to this rattle is only a sign that louder sounds await and since these are built to not easily be user-repairable, I want this addressed or at least some level of guarantee I won't have an issue in 2 or 3 years.
 

CE3

macrumors 68000
Nov 26, 2014
1,808
3,146
Advanced replacement has been arranged. So I can send this defective iMac back when the new one arrives. Good services as usual from Apple.
That’s is what i was going to suggest. Before packing up I would make another video recording of the fan noise, first zoomed out and showing the iMac, maybe even include a shot of the serial number on the display. I doubt a technician will determine there’s nothing wrong with the unit, but just to be safe it’s good to have evidence that clearly shows the noise was coming from your model.

It’s definitely not normal. Glad you’re getting it sorted.
 

JacobHarvey

macrumors regular
Apr 2, 2019
114
106
Somewhere
I've also noticed a similar noise after my 5K iMac runs for a while. It is always dead silent for the first 15 mins of use before the slight clicking noise starts and does not go away (exactly like the noise in that video but not as loud). I can easily live with it but it is definitely a slight annoyance.

I do not know if is worth all the hassle for me to contact apple, document everything, and potentially end up with a refurb replacement that might still have this slight clicking issue. Another solution that people have posted is to reduce the fan speed manually to 1000rpm whenever the iMac is idling to remove this noise.

I have an HP AIO that cost 2/3 of the price of the iMac and that thing sounds like a whining turbine at times compared to the iMac so maybe I can accept the slight clicking (it is pretty quiet otherwise)
 
Last edited:

andsplat

macrumors newbie
Nov 19, 2019
1
0
Advanced replacement has been arranged. So I can send this defective iMac back when the new one arrives. Good services as usual from Apple.

Did the replacement iMac have similar fan issues or did this fix it? I just purchased the 2019 5k iMac i9 and have similar fan noise and figuring out what to do to get it fixed.
 

LiE_

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 23, 2013
1,691
5,325
UK
Did the replacement iMac have similar fan issues or did this fix it? I just purchased the 2019 5k iMac i9 and have similar fan noise and figuring out what to do to get it fixed.

In the end I refused delivery of the replacement and went with a Mac mini so I don't know. The fact that an AIO can develop this type of small issue did concern me and play a part in my Mac mini decision.
 
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