5K iMac noise levels

Discussion in 'iMac' started by AppleInLVX, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. AppleInLVX macrumors 6502a

    AppleInLVX

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    #1
    Curiosity question: When under normal use (i.e. just turned on, not doing any heavy processing) is the retina iMac with SSD supposed to be *dead* quiet?

    See, I was thinking that once I went all solid state, the only fan necessary in the thing is to cool the processor when it's under load, and yet, I hear a fan whirring away in there the minute I turn it on, and I'm not sure if I need to adjust my expectations, or there's an issue.

    To be sure, it's a lot quieter than any other computer I've ever used, but in my quiet office, I can definitely hear a fan on all the time, even when it's just sitting there with the screen blanked, doing nothing.

    Someone tell me I'm being silly so I stop contemplating I need to return it. :confused:
     
  2. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    #2
    It is not completely silent. In a quiet environment you will hear the fan spinning.

    That said, it should be very quiet. It's difficult to say if it is at a normal level or not since such observations are very subjective.
    But it could be a faulty fan. It could also be a software issue that makes it spin faster than it normally should.

    Did you check your CPU usage so that there is no unusual activity? Could you perhaps download smcFanControl to see which speed your fan is running at?
     
  3. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #3
    OK, you are being silly. :D
    The fan is always running, but is normally low flow/speed/noise - but will still be there.

    Get used to it.

    You may find that you no longer notice even that mild whir after a few days.
    Just about any other background noise will likely mask that completely, so turn up the music a notch or two in your office, eh?
     
  4. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Northeast
    #4
    Quietness was one of the top things on my list of must have. I have not had the fan go above the default 1200 RPM in the 3 weeks I have had it. Except by my own doing for testing purposes. I do not do anything that would strain the computer in any way 99% of the time.

    This is one seriously quiet computer and I am about as fussy about that as a person can be. Friends have all stopped talking to me as they think I am crazy. And I am. Crazy for a darn near silent computer!

    My dad has a nMPro. Lord that is a well designed and quiet computer. I hear a pleasant soft noise, but only when I actually stick my ear into the computer. I may get one of those eventually, but not becasue my iMac is too loud. Just because I like that computer :)

    BTW I use iStat to track fan RPM and temps. All is good.

    I bet you will come to enjoy your computer completely. It truly is way way ahead of anything else out there. Kudos, Apple.
     
  5. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    #5
    How do you know that? The fan might be noisier than normal on that unit. It's well worth investigating if that's the case.

    You know for hyper sensitive people it's not just a matter of "turning up the music". In fact, that would probably only make things worse.
     
  6. AppleInLVX thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AppleInLVX

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    #6
    Thank you to all of you for your feedback. It looks like I'm *probably* being silly. That said, I have not checked for unusual activity. I can do that this evening when I get home from work. I've only just unboxed it, so it's running pretty clean. I'd be surprized if there's anything on there that'd create unusual activity, but I guess I could check.

    I certainly hear something sitting well away from the screen (like, 2-2.5 feet).
     
  7. steve23094 macrumors 68000

    steve23094

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    Apr 23, 2013
    #7
    Spotlight might be indexing your drive if you have just unboxed it.
     
  8. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    Northeast
    #8
    It could easily be some sort of software snafu. Check the RPM's. They should be at 1200. If so, and there is still loud noise, could still be a bad fan.

    Mine is so quiet that if you kept me 2 feet away and told me it had NO fan, I would believe you :)
     
  9. Vapor matt macrumors regular

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    Aug 8, 2010
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    UK
  10. apfelmann macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #10
    I have the same issue at 1200 fan level. It's unusually loud, I had a retina MacBook Pro for some time and it was totally quiet ...

    I think we both need to get our retina iMacs exchanged

    Edit:
    To be precise: the fan of my retina iMac sounds like it is rattling at 1200
     
  11. Seramir macrumors member

    Seramir

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    #11
    If you want a dead silent iMac, the 2013 ones are the ones to buy. You cannot hear the fan at all, period. I put my ear against the case and I can't hear anything. :eek:
     
  12. Nismo73 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 4, 2013
    #12
    Yes, you're going to hear something if your hearing is normal and there are no other ambient noises. Once there's a TV on, the furnace is running, music is on in the background, you don't hear it, but unless you hear some weird bearing issue with the fan, hearing a touch of fan noise in a completely quiet room is normal.
     
  13. sven gali macrumors newbie

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    Nov 28, 2014
    #13
    Can you share which iMac spec this is (i5 or i7, upgraded video card?). I'm also curious about this stuff...
     
  14. meagain macrumors 68030

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    Nov 18, 2006
    #14
    No one has mentioned a word about what system specs they have. That's important!
     
  15. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    Northeast
    #15
    True dat! I have the i5 with the 295x with 512SSD. I specifically chose that setup for noise, temp, and speed! I am very happy with it. And I would have sent it back immediately if there was even a hint of noise.
     
  16. AppleInLVX thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AppleInLVX

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    Jan 12, 2010
    #16
    You and I have exactly the same machine. i5, upgraded video card, 512G SSD.

    I installed smcFanControl and it says the main fan is running between 1195 and 1205rpm.

    I can hear a fan, that's certain. It doesn't sound like a *bad* fan (i.e. no rattling or anything odd... just sounds like fan noise) but it's there. I think I am probably being picky. It's true--the minute theres any other noise, I can no longer hear it. But in my quiet office, it's there.

    Ah well. Someday Apple will make a dead silent device that runs OS X. :)
     
  17. redheeler, Nov 28, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014

    redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #17
    Fanless Retina MBA. And I know I'll want one so bad. :D

    BTW, put an SSD in an iBook Clamshell and it's dead silent on OS X Tiger ;) Or a G4 Cube, can't believe I forgot to mention the Cube.
     
  18. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    Northeast
    #18
    Mac Pro is very quiet. That is what I was going to get if the imac was too loud. The cooling fan on that bad boy is seriously engineered for quality.
     
  19. CasablancaDR, Nov 29, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014

    CasablancaDR macrumors member

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    Nov 27, 2014
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    Paris, France
    #19
    I used to have a 2013 Mac Pro and I should say that I've read everywhere about how silent it is. Well, to me, it was not that silent. In a quiet room, my office for example, I could hear it at normal use. It was very soft but it was there. And If I played a game in Bootcamp like XCOM which is not a demanding game, you could hear a strong swoosh coming out from the "tube". It did not bother me at all. But clearly, the Mac Pro was not dead silent in my case.

    A friend already own a RiMac maxed out (mine is under way) and it's as silent as a Mac Pro in normal use. It is only louder when pushing hard.
     
  20. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    Nov 16, 2012
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    Northeast
    #20
    Notice I did not say it was silent. I said it was very quiet. And at least for me, the little noise it does make is almost calming compared to the usual anxiety producing fan noise of most computers.
     
  21. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    #21
    See your GP.

    [​IMG]

    Or maybe the fan is broken I guess.
     
  22. AppleInLVX thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AppleInLVX

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    Jan 12, 2010
    #22
    Yeah, I kinda wondered if that was an exaggeration too... ;)
     
  23. sven gali macrumors newbie

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    Nov 28, 2014
    #23
    My 13" MBA with SSD is dead silent, but it doesn't have all the treats rImac has :)
     
  24. AppleInLVX thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AppleInLVX

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    #24
    I found a solution to my problem... I'll just use the old iMac as a second display--the drive on it will always spin and the fan always work, and it'll drown out any sound from the RiMac. And hey, more screen real estate!

    Win! :D
     
  25. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #25
    If you can hear your iMac in your office, then all I can say is, you need to be more busy :D
     

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