Fan noise difference between iMac late 2015 variants

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Believer83, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. Believer83 macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2015
    Hi all,

    I think we got a pretty good overview of the performance of the different variants of the new iMac in terms of CPU and GPU in the latest threads here. The good news is, all iMac 2015 variants seem to be much more silent than the 2014 model.

    I have a tinnitus and I am dependent on a very silent environment including my computer. So choosing the right variant is more me first of all a question of noise level. My plan is to go for the i5 model with the m395 and SSD drive. That seems to offer best value for the money in terms of buying a long-term desktop for home office usage with little photo and video editing.

    The question is, if this is also the most silent option.
    Reading through the different threads here, I came to the conclusion that all macs seem to seem to spin around 1200 rpm until the temperatures rise to a pretty high level. So it seems that the GPU choice does not impact the fan speed very much..

    Did anyone of you notice a different in the fan speed (noise level) depending on the GPU choice?
  2. antipodean macrumors member

    May 2, 2014
    Just to give you a point of reference, I have the exact combination you describe: i5 3.3, 395, 1TB SSD. It is silent. It makes no more noise than my 2013 with i7, 780M and 1TB SSD. Subjectively, I wouldn't say it was any quicker (maybe not surprising since the 2013 was maxed out), but the retina 5K screen is noticeably sharper.
  3. blueeggs, Oct 31, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015

    blueeggs macrumors member


    Apr 15, 2010
    I have the new standard top end 2299 iMac and I can't hear the fan or hdd at all. Love this iMac. I think this model offers the best combo for the price. My old iMac is a mid 2011 maxed out i7 with 6970 2gb gpu and this new one with the 3.3 I5 geek benches higher than my i7 does. Very happy with my purchase.
  4. Torrin macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2015
    I am quite content with my Imac and its performance (same machine that you are going for: i5/395/SSD), and I would not mind the fan noise if it was just the constant airstream. But there seems to be some(?) machines where the fan also generate a faint ticking noise (see also this thread:

    If you have a tinnitus I would take this into consideration. I can live with pure fan noise but I am going to get a replacement because of the ticking. As different people have different noise tolerances I just hope it is not common for all new Imacs...
  5. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    Only hear the fan while encoding video (i7, 395x) then it goes down. Silent, silent machine. (Except I usually have music on)
  6. Believer83 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2015
    Many thanks for all the replies.
    I would downgrade to a m390 or even m380 if the iMac would be more silent with that option, but that does not seem to be necessary at all.
  7. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    No. The fan will only ramp up with processor intensive tasks like encoding video. And you can simply leave the room if it is going to aggravate your condition. However, if video editing tasks need to be offloaded to the CPU because the GPU isn't powerful enough (or if you have to render for playback) you will stress your computer more and risk running up the fans. Get the i7 and 395 (x) if you can and enjoy. You also have a 14 day return period. Make sure you run the computer through it's paces.
  8. Believer83, Nov 2, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015

    Believer83 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2015
    Thanks for your feedback.
    Don`t think I would need the i7 and 395x, as it will be most of the time an typical office tasks computer for me with some photo editing and little video maybe once a month. As the i7 and 395x upgrade takes a larger step money-wise, I think the i5 and 395 is best value for money with my usage profile.
  9. Zarniwoop macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    West coast, Finland
    Especially if you take it with a SSD drive. Compare all models with SSD 256GB, you'll notice that the price difference between cheapest and middle model is almost nothing and from middle model to best you get better cpu and gpu for little extra.
  10. Believer83 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2015
    Yep. I am going for 512 SSD in my case. i5 & 395 is the best config, before Apple asks for that major premium to get the best specs..
  11. iBatmac macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2013
    In a normal use, can you hear the airflow, even when the fan runs at 1200 rpm (minimal speed)?
  12. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    seems that many people already say that the 2015 model is louder than 2012-2014 models in idle at 1200 rpm, but i dont think is a big difference

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