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Super Xander

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 6, 2016
310
118
Denmark
I would like to know what experience people have with fan noise in the new 16 inch MacBook Pro.
So far I have the 13 inch MacBook Pro from 2016 which very rarely uses the fans at all using safari, office and low power use in general.
I don’t expect the computer to be silence at all during heavy load, but will casually browsing safari in the night, watching movies or writing documents make the fans start and noisy?
 
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waquzy

macrumors 65816
Sep 9, 2013
1,484
2,165
Leicestershire, UK
I would like to know what experience people have with fan noise in the new 16 inch MacBook Pro.
So far I have the 13 inch MacBook Pro from 2016 which very rarely uses the fans at all using safari, office and low power use in general.
I don’t expect the computer to be silence at all during heavy load, but will casually browsing safari in the night, watching movies or writing documents make the fans start and noisy?

Unlikely. I have the 2017 MBP and the fans never turn on while using Safari. The only time they(or should I say it turns on as there is only one fan in nTB model) is when I use chrome and watch YouTube 4K videos.
 

kmahmood

macrumors member
Nov 16, 2019
39
30
This is my main concern too - currently have a MacBook Pro 2015 model with i7 quad core and 16GB Ram - bought it mainly for running VMs / labs , and performance wise it works and does a great job although can do with more RAM — the problem is the fan noise sounding like a jet taking off as soon as I have any kind of load.

I really want to go for 16” MacBook Pro with i9 and 64GB ram but main concern is fan noise and overheating - one video review mentioned the fan noise being 40% louder compared to a previous gen MacBook Pro. Others reporting here of loud fans when plugging in 16” MacBook Pro to a 4K screen without any other load.
 

Phrasikleia

macrumors 601
Feb 24, 2008
4,082
403
Over there------->
I just came on this forum to ask why the fans in my 16-inch MBP seem to be running more often than not. They are noisy and come on when I'm not even doing much on the computer. Just now they went off, but they were on for a long while as I simply answered emails and browsed in Safari. I'm not used to this noise, having just upgraded from a late 2013 model.
 
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jerryk

macrumors 604
Nov 3, 2011
7,418
4,207
SF Bay Area
Unlike 13" MBPs, the 15" and 16" MBPs always run their fans. At the normal idle speed of 2,000 rpm they are quiet, almost inaudible. But these upper end machine generate a lot of heat so they need to constantly be actively cooled.
 

iemcj

macrumors 6502
Oct 31, 2015
486
173
But these upper end machine generate a lot of heat so they need to constantly be actively cooled.
Really? Just doing simple daily tasks is causing them to get heated? That seems like a terrible design. I have a 13" macbook pro and the only times I ever hear the fans is when it's doing something fairly intensive. For just chilling on reddit or working on spreadsheets or even basic youtube stuff it's whisper quiet.

Are you telling me that these new models are actually audible and making noise during simple tasks like this? That's not good.
 

impulse462

macrumors 68020
Jun 3, 2009
2,090
2,874
Really? Just doing simple daily tasks is causing them to get heated? That seems like a terrible design. I have a 13" macbook pro and the only times I ever hear the fans is when it's doing something fairly intensive. For just chilling on reddit or working on spreadsheets or even basic youtube stuff it's whisper quiet.

Are you telling me that these new models are actually audible and making noise during simple tasks like this? That's not good.
it may also be that, given the thermal issues with the previous 2016-2019 butterfly models, apple has decreased the threshold temperature to trigger increased fan speed. overall, however, i agree they shouldn't be spinning up while doing light office tasks/web browsing
 

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,360
19,432
It gets fairly loud under load, as does any Mac laptop. During "normal" activity I can't hear anything. In fact, the cooling system seems to be able to dissipate 25W without leaving the whisper-quiet operation, so having some bursts of activity is fine as well.
 

ascender

macrumors 603
Dec 8, 2005
5,007
2,892
Really? Just doing simple daily tasks is causing them to get heated? That seems like a terrible design. I have a 13" macbook pro and the only times I ever hear the fans is when it's doing something fairly intensive. For just chilling on reddit or working on spreadsheets or even basic youtube stuff it's whisper quiet.

Are you telling me that these new models are actually audible and making noise during simple tasks like this? That's not good.

The only time I've heard the fans on the 16" kick in was when a Windows VM was installing about a hundred updates and when initially setting up the laptop, they kicked in slightly when Dropbox was doing its initial synch - but nowhere near as much as they did on my previous 13/15. I've only doing light photo work so far, but the cooling system does seem to be an improvement over the previous design.

As for when I'm doing normal stuff - Safari, Mail, Music, Office etc, there's not a peep out of the fans.
 

obargy

macrumors regular
May 6, 2016
205
185
🇨🇦
It’s definitely more noisy than my previous 15-inch 2016 one. But you will also feel that the chassis is always cooler than the previous gens. And I noticed that the fan never run too fast (noisy) when only the integrated GPU is used. When I connect my MBP to an external 4K display, the discrete GPU will be switched on and the fan will kick in if there’re something heavy going on.

So, it really depends on your work load. And I think it won’t bother you too much as it’s only noisy when you’re really doing something energy consuming.
 

pmc2k

macrumors newbie
Aug 22, 2019
4
1
if I play Dota 2 at my new Mac Book Pro 16" the fan noise gets rly loud, around 59 db (measured with Decibel X, Fan RPM at max, 5616 and 5200). Is that normal? Can anyone confirm that?
 
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keithop

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2002
687
910
I've had every MBP iteration there is (and powerbooks before that). The 2016-2019 macbook pros really annoyed me with the keyboard and the fans. I ended up turning off turbo boost to get some sanity whilst just safari/word/outlook.

I'm delighted to say that my base i9 16" mbp is fantastic. During install, the only time I could hear the fans was when photos was doing its initial download at the same time as mail etc. and it didn't last long.

Generally when I just use normal boring desktop apps, I don't hear any fans.

I know it doesn't matter to everyone, but I can't tell you what a relief it is to me. Add that to the keyboard which is 100% better feeling + physical esc key and I'm very happy indeed.

(shame I had to endure 2016-2019 to get back to a truly awesome mbp)
 

bevsb2

Contributor
Nov 23, 2012
4,621
14,097
The only time I heard the fans on mine was when setting it up using migration assistant. The computer always feels cool. I'm not doing anything to stress it however, primarily just surfing, playing music, etc.
 

jerryk

macrumors 604
Nov 3, 2011
7,418
4,207
SF Bay Area
Really? Just doing simple daily tasks is causing them to get heated? That seems like a terrible design. I have a 13" macbook pro and the only times I ever hear the fans is when it's doing something fairly intensive. For just chilling on reddit or working on spreadsheets or even basic youtube stuff it's whisper quiet.

Are you telling me that these new models are actually audible and making noise during simple tasks like this? That's not good.

They run fans all the time. It is by design because they can heat up very fast with their 6 or 8 core CPUs and separate GPUs to keep cool. Better to keep the airflowing.

Also, you might want to run some of the temp monitors and see just how warm things were getting. And ensure you are not doing something to block the air flow like having the machine on a blanket.
 

x3sphere

macrumors member
Apr 17, 2014
68
46
Mine is only loud when I'm doing stuff that really stresses the CPU or GPU, i.e. compiling code or gaming. Fan is almost inaudible during general use unless I put my ear to the machine, doesn't matter whether it's connected to a external display or just using the laptop screen. Usually I have like a dozen or so tabs open in Chrome + a few apps like iTerm, VS Code and Music open in my day to day, and it's still whisper quiet.
 

Pepe4life

Suspended
Nov 15, 2018
396
3,416
Coming from a 2014 MBP 13", the 16" is pretty quiet to me when doing normal tasks (web browsing, YouTube, disney+, light photo editing...etc). I only hear the fans when I'm gaming or rendering videos
 

Backless

macrumors newbie
Nov 29, 2019
4
0
I too came from a 2014 MBP 13" and found the new MBP 16 fan noise to be unacceptable, especially since I use it in the same room for recording acoustic instruments. But the fans went off even when not using LPX. So I returned it, and am now considering an iMac, which I presume will be much quieter.
 

niho

macrumors member
Dec 7, 2019
76
109
I too came from a 2014 MBP 13" and found the new MBP 16 fan noise to be unacceptable, especially since I use it in the same room for recording acoustic instruments. But the fans went off even when not using LPX. So I returned it, and am now considering an iMac, which I presume will be much quieter.
I agree. When I connect external monitor, fans come on even on idle. They stay around 2600rpm.
 

Super Xander

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 6, 2016
310
118
Denmark
I know that active cooling is critical for the MacBook and that you can damage the computer if the processor overheat. But as you can control the fan speed with a third part program, does there exists a program that allows to turn off the fans completely (fans running at 0 RPM)?
I know it’s not recommended, but sometimes it is important for me to have a completely silence machine and I think I’m able enough to watch over the degrees when fans is off.
 

impulse462

macrumors 68020
Jun 3, 2009
2,090
2,874
I know that active cooling is critical for the MacBook and that you can damage the computer if the processor overheat. But as you can control the fan speed with a third part program, does there exists a program that allows to turn off the fans completely (fans running at 0 RPM)?
I know it’s not recommended, but sometimes it is important for me to have a completely silence machine and I think I’m able enough to watch over the degrees when fans is off.
No offense this is the dumbest thing I’ve heard. Without active cooling the components will be destroyed. If you want a computer without fans it doesn’t exist.
 
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niho

macrumors member
Dec 7, 2019
76
109
I know that active cooling is critical for the MacBook and that you can damage the computer if the processor overheat. But as you can control the fan speed with a third part program, does there exists a program that allows to turn off the fans completely (fans running at 0 RPM)?
I know it’s not recommended, but sometimes it is important for me to have a completely silence machine and I think I’m able enough to watch over the degrees when fans is off.
I tried a smilier thing with 'Mac fan control app'. MacBook 16" with i9 2.3 . External monitor connected. I kept fans at minimum around 1800rpm. No apps running , on idle, CPU and GPU steady around 60 C. But other sensors are going up. After a while, CPU speeds going down, up util 0.6 ghz. Then, kernel_task starts to sleep the CPU (by reserving %99 of CPU power, viable in Activity monitor) in order to cool it down more, even if it's just 60 C. It looks liken time, the laptop is limiting it's CPU speed in order to cool surrounding sensors. From what I see, particularly Thunderbolt and Platform controller sensors. Upper threshold seems to be around 60 - 70 C.
So, it's not possible to use this laptop silent on idle, when connected to external monitor. Without the external monitor, it works well, and silent.
Disappointing.
 
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