Disappointed in a Macbook Pro fan noise. Back to iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jeffkempster, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. jeffkempster macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2008
    Well, After weeks and weeks I decided to replace my aging 2008 iMac core 2 duo 3.06 with a new thunderbolt display and a macbook pro. After using it today I am less than satisfied.

    Not so much with the speed, but the fan noise. I know fan noise if very subjective, but its just too loud. I can understand if I started a handbrake session, but all I am doing it browsing, some youtube and I watch tv from and eyetv box.

    This is all stuff I do with my current iMac and I don't hear any noise at all.

    So, is the iMac much better at suppressing all the noise or if I trade out this setup for a new iMac, will it be just as noisy doing these kind of things.

    Thanks for the input.
  2. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    Compare the size of your iMac with that of the MBP. Both will generate similar amounts of heat from the cpu and gpu and that has to escape somewhere. Stands to reason that the fans in the MBP will be smaller and thus noisier.

    I have an iMac i5 3.1Ghz quad core. Apart from a rumbling hard drive I don't hear anything.
  3. starvingartist8 macrumors regular

    Sep 5, 2011
    yah I could never understand using a MBP for Pro stuff because of the heat / fan issues. my 2007 MBP effed up on me while playing a game just outside of warranty.

    <Very pissed. lol

    Since then I have a MacPro2008 no problems ever runs so cool in that aluminium case barely hear it. Same with my mom's iMac. Don't hear a thing and that thing is 6 or so years old now
  4. qap macrumors 6502


    Mar 29, 2011
    This is the difference, I also thought about the Mac mini plus ATD.

    The problem with MBP o Mini is the fan /or fans in mbp/, at idle both are less noisy than the 2011 iMac due to one or two fans also smaller than the iMac fans, but when the fans increase in speed both are very noisy compared to the iMac and the iMac will stay at idle speed for most the time (I've never heard the fans above idle also during 2 hours of film in flash ;) ), on the mbp/mini due to their design (very small area to dissipate the heat and smaller fan/s ) makes a lot of fan(s) usage and when the fans rpm increase are noisy than idle fans rpm imac!
  5. evilblob macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2011
    My 13" 2011 MacBook Pro only turns the fans above idle if I play a 3D game for more than half an hour, and even then they're on and off.

    Like the OP said though, fan noise is very subjective.
  6. alienatf macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2010
    Russia, Moscow
  7. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    +1, or install ClicktoFlash Safari plugin. This will play all content in HTML5 when possible keeping your system cooler
  8. Logos327 macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2008
    Also, if you are using a TB display, I am assuming you have your MBP closed.

    Apple has been notoriously bad about multiple monitor setup with their portables. I have no idea why they can't just add one more option in the display preferences to have only the external monitor running when the laptop is open.

    In Snow Leopard, you had to connect the monitor, close the lid, let the MBP sleep, wake it with a mouse or external keyboard, wait for the external monitor to adjust itself, and then open the lid.

    Apple has taken a step backward in Lion (for some reason that completely escapes me), and will not allow you to run the external monitor only when the laptop is open. Myself and and a number of other users are now relying on small refrigerator magnets on our MBPs to trick the computer into thinking the lid is closed. That way, you don't sacrifice WiFi performance, but much more importantly, your computer will run a hell of a lot cooler! I believe for the most recent MBPs, the place to put it is just under the left speaker. With your lid open, you should see a vast improvement in temps meaning your fans should run a lot less loudly.

    Hopefully soon Apple will realize this is incredibly stupid and just add a system preference like Windows has had for over a decade.
  9. jeffkempster thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2008
    Yea, I tried with the lid open and closed. I even elevated the macbook pro, which actually did lower the fans speeds a little. By a little i mean 4200 to 3900.
  10. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Its called a compact laptop. Get a new iMac if your that concerned about the fan noise.
  11. djrod macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2008
    Madrid - Spain
    I had a 13" MBP + ACD and went from that to an iMac because of the fan noise too, I can't really stand the noise of the fan when I'm working, even if is low
  12. jeffkempster thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2008
  13. qap macrumors 6502


    Mar 29, 2011
    Anyway the iMac at idle makes more "sound" than the small MacBook. I have SSD only iMac and during the night in a totally silent room I can hear the BIG (very BIG) Power Supply that makes a soft "mmmmhhh" and a little "ffrrrr" from the fans if I stay silent without breathe and I am concentrated to hear it. These sound are not disturbing like the macbook fans at 4000rpm but is a bit more noisy than a macbook fan at idle, the PSU in a macbook is very small so makes almost no noisy, like the fan/s.

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