Fan noise question regarding 15" Retina with Discrete GPU

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nilnova, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. nilnova macrumors member


    Oct 30, 2013

    How loud is the 15" MacBook Pro with discrete 750M GPU when in clamshell mode driving an external monitor and running light/moderate tasks (web browsing, iTunes, YouTube, text editing, terminal, etc).

    Long version:
    I've got a base 15" Retina which is probably going back due to the yellow tint problem. I waffled back and forth on whether to get the base or the upgraded version. What I really want is 512GB SSD and I don't want to wait for a BTO, especially as I may have to take it back anyway due to apparent panel issues.

    So I'm tempted to get the upgraded version after all, that way I can always replace it quickly if need be. But my main concern is fan noise when doing moderate computing tasks like browsing, watching an occasional YouTube, listening to music, etc. For those tasks I want the machine to be pretty much silent. Thing is, I intend to use the unit often in clamshell mode driving an external monitor. From what I've read on these forums, when driving an external monitor the discrete GPU is always forced on. (I did read about that app gfxCardStatus that can force it to integrated, but I seem to recall reading that it won't work when driving an external monitor, that in such cases it will use discrete regardless).

    Can someone who has the discrete GPU version test it in clamshell mode driving an external monitor? In a silent room is fan noise noticeable (again with light/moderate tasks)?

    Thanks for any input.
  2. nilnova thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 30, 2013
  3. geefourfivesix macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2008
    I'm running the maxed out 15" Haswell retina.

    I use it in clamshell mode powering 30" and 23" Cinema Displays. Most of the time, even when working with a few Creative Suite applications it is pretty quiet. This is despite running front he dGPU when set up in this mode.

    Only when working with FCP and video files does the fan really make a noise. Pretty impressed with how well it manages the heat.
  4. nilnova thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 30, 2013
    Thank you! A couple questions for you if you may: How about when just surfing the web and watching some video clips and things, does it become noticeably audible then or is it silent? How about when the dGPU kicks in initially coming from iGPU mode, is there a noticeable increase in sound?

    I know I should just check this out myself in the store but the problem is that is a noisy environment and I'm curious how it sounds in a silent room. I am pretty sensitive to ambient sound. I never used to mind it so much but ever since getting a taste of silent computing I am addicted to it. :D
  5. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    I have the maxed out one with 750m.

    It's quiet, really really quiet. I hooked mine up to my 30" monitor (2560x1600) which makes the 750m activate and stay activated and the notebook stays relatively cool, 54c in iStat Menus. The fans were not audible to me at any time.

    Before that I was transferring about 150GB of data to it over 802.11ac and the CPU at one point reached 100c the fans revved up to 4,500 RPM but I could barely hear them, it sounded more like a gentle air whooshing noise.

    To put it in perspective, this notebook at 4,500 RPM sounds even quieter than my 2009 MBP did at 2,500 RPM. I'm not exaggerating when I say I can barely hear this thing it's that silent.
  6. nilnova thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 30, 2013
    Wow, thanks for the info Quu! In that case I think I will upgrade to the 2.3/16GB/512GB SKU when I take back my base.
  7. ITCentralPoint macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2012
    New MacUser really not happy

    Hi there everybody, I am also a new Mac user and spent USD 3500 on almost the best model available and released in October 22nd 2013. MacBook Pro Retina, i7 (the best one), 16 GB of RAM and 512 SSD.

    After 17 years of Windows and PCs I decided to take the big step, and gush that I am not very happy with it. Although I am overcoming the learning curve, this high fan noise is driving me crazy and I am really thinking on selling it. This is one of the most expensive Laptops in the world, and I wouldn't have expected to have a prone like this. The fan is extremely loud !!!

    I am also noting a very low battery performance, although I don't know if the promoted 8 hours of battery should be achieved with low brightness, no USB accessories and wifi and Bluetooth off.

    Does anybody knows if this will be addressed by a software update? Is there something wrong with the hardware?

    Thanks for your comments!

    I already posted this msg in Apple forums:
  8. mrsavage1 macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2010
    Mine is hooked up to 2 x 2560 x 1440p monitors
    Super quiet

    I was shocked at the silence after using the 2013 early rmbp. Fans are around 2000rpms.

    This is one of the reasons why i recommend the 2013 late from refurbs. the refurbs were around 3000+ rpms in the same setup and were very audiable
  9. ITCentralPoint macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2012
    rMBP late 2013

    Hi there,

    Thanks for your feedback, which screens are you using and how are they both connected? I am searching for a replacement of my two old 19"screens once I decide I will actually keep my MacBook Pro as a desktop replacement.

    In regards of the battery with Wifi and BlueTooth on and using the laptops screen (nothing else connected to it) how much time does Mavericks tells you have left? mine says: 4:32.

    When I lower the brightness to the minimum, turned off wifi and blue tooth and closed the energy hungry apps, it got 4:52.

    Isnt this machine supossed to provide me with 8 hours of battery life?

    In regards of the fans high volume, if you play a game with you MacBook Pro what happens? will the fans trigger again?

    Thanks for your comments!

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