ATEOTD: Is the 13" noisy compared to the 11"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Scott6666, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. Scott6666 macrumors 65816


    Feb 2, 2008
    At the end of the day, does the 13" have considerably more fan noise than the 11"?

    I guess measured in (i) how often the fan becomes audible and (ii) how annoying / audible the fan is when it does get going.

    I seem to see throughout that while the 13" is not very noisy like it used to be the 11" is more silent more of the time. Is that an accurate impression.
  2. Cerulean Scar macrumors newbie

    Cerulean Scar

    Dec 15, 2010
    Folsom, CA
    The only time it got noisy for me was when I set it on a pillow during photo editing and I almost gave it a thermal meltdown.

    During normal use you have to hold your ear to the back of it to hear anything.
  3. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    The 13" MBA is dramatically noisier than the 11" when the CPU is taxed and the fan spins up.

    The 11" is essentially silent. You can barely hear the fan when its spun up.
    A 13" MBP sounds pretty noisy. I call it a hair drier.
    But the 13" MBA is even noisier. Sounds more like an jet engine.

    The theory is that its noisier because the airways are thinner, therefore the air is flowing faster creating more opportunity for noise and turbulence.

    Depends on what you're doing with it as to whether the fan will spin up at all. In my case, it seemed to happen pretty frequently. Certainly watching flash movies will do it.
  4. Derek87 macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2009

    been thinking seriously about the 13" air, but for pretty light duty stuff: web browsing and email by my wife...the most taxing thing it will encounter is playback of mp2 files recorded on my macpro as our "poor man's DVR."

    such playback makes our 5 year old macbook (c2d 2ghz, integrated graphics) spin up its fans...

    will the MBA do this without breaking a sweat and be silent?

    one hope for the MBA would be to get a quieter machine for this purpose...

  5. fswmacguy macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2009
    I switch back and forth between Photoshop and Espresso on mine; email and web browsing is a breeze to say the least.

    I cannot hear the fan unless I shove it up to my ear. The only time it got a little noisy was when I was playing Minecraft- but even then didn't get noisy enough for someone across the table from me to hear.
  6. T4R06 macrumors 65816

    Oct 8, 2007
    playing COD - modern warfare 2 (full resolution). the fan is really silent. mine is 11" basic 128ssd
  7. iTiki macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2007
    Maui, Hawaii
    I have only heard the fan on my maxed out 13 Air once and I can't even remember what I was doing at the time. I was surprised to hear it because I have never heard it before even when doing photo editing in Aperture3 and running plug-ins. It was only on briefly and it was noticeable, but not really loud.
  8. almostjay macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2010
    I use my 13" essentially exactly like you plan to and to be honest I've not once heard the fan spin up. I've even gone so far as to render a trailer in iMovie (heavy duty stuff, I know) and still no fan.
  9. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    I have an original Core Duo Macbook 1.83ghz. Doing what you've described doesn't make it spin up at all. That sounds very light duty. There must be something else going on using up CPU. If so, it will likely do it on the MBA as well.
    Could be some flash websites, or whatever you're using to play the mp2s or maybe something else unrelated. Bring up Activity Monitor and sort by CPU and see whats using it up. The MBA is very sensitive to video encoding. If its something supported by the very powerful GPU, then it plays it without breaking a sweat. But if its high def and needs the CPU to decode, thats the prime candidate for spinning up the fan.
  10. Derek87 macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2009
    thanks for everyones thoughts.

    yes, what i am running to decode HD video (mp2 format) is Eyetv which is fairly processor intensive for the old macbook with integrated graphics...eats up about 75-80% of the CPU capacity and hence it warms up...

    i don't think it has anything to do with flash.

    i realized yesterday one thing that i wasn't expecting: the new macbook airs don't have the IR port for the remote...

    that's a bummer for my application since i have my universal remote now that can control both my 2 channel stereo and home theater and my macbook so i can do whatever i want from the couch using one remote. since the macbook air doesn't haven't the IR port, i'm having to reconsider my options. :\

    the macbook still works for this "DVR playback" capability but who knows for how long.


    i don't think the latest macbook has an IR port either so i'm now sort of stuck...

    may still buy a MBA, but this definitely is a new wrinkle i wasn't expecting...

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