Fan noise survey

Discussion in 'iMac' started by eatfishhead, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. eatfishhead macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    #1
    Hi all. I just bought a maxed out iMac retina, and it just shipped. While I'd love to have the screen, fan noises really bother me. If it's occasional it's ok, but not if it will be on max most of the time. There are people who responded the fan comes on 10x more than previous and some that say they never hear it, but they don't always mention the configuration. I realize x295 and i7 both produce more heat, but how much does it affect the fan is the question.

    My question is, how often do you hear the fan noise? And what are you typically doing when the fan comes on? And what's your configuration (Cpu, Gpu, Hd)? And any comparisons with other machines would be great.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Northeast
    #2
    I have exactly the same concerns. If it is loud, it is going back.
     
  3. DerekS macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    #3
    Mine is maxed out.

    The fan doesn't come in during normal use at all. Normal use defined for me as:

    - Email
    - Web browsing
    - Xcode
    - 4k YouTube videos

    The only times I've heard the fan so far are:

    - When Xcode is indexing a new project (old 2012 flat iMac did this also)
    - Playing WoW or Diablo at full 5k resolution.
     
  4. touchUpInside macrumors member

    touchUpInside

    Joined:
    May 4, 2014
    Location:
    UTC -07:00
    #4
    being that you say the fan comes on for both (2012, 2014 iMac), is the loudness about the same, or is one noticeably louder ?

    thx
     
  5. DerekS macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
  6. macmee Suspended

    macmee

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    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    Same here minus the games.
     
  7. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #7
    Yes, the fans come on only when I'm really hammering it, FCPX long renders, video transcoding, or heavy gaming at 5k.
     
  8. leenak macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #8
    I haven't heard my fans yet, I've played games but not anything that must be graphically intensive (guild wars 2 was most graphic intensive)
     
  9. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    Nov 16, 2012
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    Northeast
    #9
    I do nothing heavy, so this is encouraging. 16 open tabs, Outlook, FireFox, some WordPress stuff, maybe FTP.
     
  10. pasadena macrumors 6502a

    pasadena

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    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    Socal
    #10
    I mostly do non-graphic-intensive stuff (web development, normal browsing (FF with lots of tabs open) and stuff, and the occasional light photoshop session for web design - no photography)

    I also played Divinity - Original Sin for a couple hours (not in max res though).

    Haven't heard a peep from the riMac yet. (upgraded cpu, gpu and ram)
     
  11. vir3l macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    #11
    My new iMac 5k, i7, m295x, (ssd) arrived Tuesday

    I'm kinda worried about the fan, since gaming is between 35-38 db which is slightly below the threshold where it's affecting your concentration. the fan IS loud with every game I tried and every cpu-intensive task like handbreak and always runs at max speed which i guess is around 2700 rpm.

    I've played WoW or tried to because noise is disturbing at 5k and any other resolution and the fan immediately gets to between 2200 and 2700 rpm because of the GPU.

    However, i get very decent frame rates. in 5k with fair-settings i get >60 fps. also not that resolutions between 1440p and 5k are almost as clear as the 5k but help with frame rates 10-30% so I found my optimal resolution at 4022xsomething with low/fair settings and high textures at around 60 fps.

    Note the attached image where the cpu runs kinda warm at 69 celsius but the gpu is always between 100 and 107 celsius no matter if you play or just let wow run in window mode without any interaction.

    i've also downloaded tomb raider from apple store. it looks nice but is unplayable since it crashes all 3 minutes (I guess because of the gnu). trying to get in contact with apple to have at least tomb raider refunded.

    I've asked in apple store but the employees were completely incompetent and had no idea what gpu, rpm, fan noise and decibel meant. lol

    note: in normal mode like browsing, watching netflix, scrolling through iphoto, it is virtually silent.

    summary:
    - for normal taks incl. photoshop there is no fan or heat issue.
    - for cpu-intensive tasks, fan IS ALWAYS loud and at max rpm (so if you handbrake a movie in 20 minutes the fan will always stay at max speed).
    - for gpu-intensive tasks even with mediocre resolutions and mediocre gpu demand the GPU is very hot (105 celsius) and fan always at max speed which is annoying since its slightly below 40 decibel where concentration is affected.
    - my room gets hot within 30 minutes.

    disclaimer: I'm an apple shareholder and user since 1990 and owned every apple product since then.

    outlook: i'm hope apple will try to come up with a firmware patch to at least have the fan adjusted so it doesn't always kick in that fast and that high.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. macmee Suspended

    macmee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    A few things (thanks btw for the nice post)

    1. Which temperature monitor app are you using? All the ones I've tried tell me my version of OS X are too new!

    2. If the GPU is getting up to 105C why do you want a firmware update to limit the fan speed?

    3. my experience with the riMac fan: only heard it once ever, in 2 quick bursts when I was compiling a project in xcode.
     
  13. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Northeast
    #13
    Excellent! This makes me happy.
     
  14. yugiyogi macrumors newbie

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    Oct 30, 2014
    Location:
    Maaseik, Belgium
    #14
    On my experience, the fan kicks in pretty soon as you start gaming. But i am unable to hear this over the game's sound. After returning to OSX, it takes a few seconds to drop from 105 degrees to 50-60 degrees idle again, at which point the fan does return to silent mode..

    It does not bother me at all. pretty happy with the retina iMac
     
  15. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    #15
    I'd really like to see a thread like this related to the new Mac Mini. I've got the 2012 one with a quad-core i7 2.3 and like the idea that I've got a powerful machine, but the fact is, I rarely give it much of a workout and definitely don't want to hear a fan running for more than a minute. Choosing between the Mini, Pro and iMac, it would appear you get to pick two out of the following:

    expensive
    noisy
    fast
     
  16. macmee Suspended

    macmee

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    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #16
    And by default expensive is more than often automatically chosen for you :p
     
  17. FredT2 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    #17
    1. iStat Menus. You can try it without buying for 14 days.

    2. Exactly. The fans are coming on because temperatures ramp up. iStat Menus
    let you see this clearly. There will be no "fix" for fan noise because it's working the way it's supposed to.

    Just some general comments for anyone else who's interested. Both the CPU and GPU can get up to 100 C. Either one will cause the fans to run high, though CPU causes it to run faster, 2700 vs 2300 RPM. If both CPU and GPU are hot, the fan doesn't run any faster, but the CPU will throttle down. It slowed to about 3.3 GHz in a test I did.

    For anyone familiar with the fan noise from the 2012 2.6 i7 Mac Mini, the iMac fan noise is just about as loud as that machine, though the iMac fan only goes to 2700 RPM while the Mini spins up to 5500.
     
  18. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    #18
    The new Mini is even more quiet than the previous 2012 2.5GHz model, which was whisper quiet even at heavy load.
     
  19. Scott6666 macrumors 65816

    Scott6666

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    #19
    I wonder if the 290 is quieter than the 295. Less graphics power but less heat as well. Same with the i5. Going max may not be the best idea if you like quiet.
     
  20. forg0t macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    #20
    For me the fan noise is pretty quiet. Only comes on under heavy load, like gaming. And when it does come on I have a hard time telling it its from my Mac or my girlfriends MBP.
     
  21. vir3l macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    #21
    main problem is that for medium performance demands fan immediately acts as if ultra high performance is demanded.

    adequate scaling of gpu is demanded (fan is only the result of temp and temp the result of scaling). this can be fixed on os, firmware or software (game) side.

    will install win and try wow there.
     
  22. yugiyogi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Location:
    Maaseik, Belgium
    #22
    to be honest, i'd rather have the fans spin as fast and loud as they should, and have a 'safe' gpu / cpu temp, than a quiet fan, where there could be a problem with heat.

    I do not get some people. I cannot hear the fan noise over other sounds like game sound or music.

    Then again, i come from a '09 macbook pro (home) and another '11 MacBook Pro (work) which makes a lot of noise when doing heavy work.
    Before that is like 10 years ago, and the fans were pretty load back then :D
     
  23. jbuk1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    #23
    I've only had my iMac with the i7 and the 290 a few days so I can't be comprehensive but I've played an hour or so of Rome total war 2 the last two nights.

    Night one the fan got quite loud at 40-45db but last night it hardly span up much more that barley noticeable. My verdict is still out but I'd expect any AIO to be loud during gaming.
     
  24. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    #24
    Of course you'd want the components to stay cool, but obviously the riMac seems to be a little more than what the cooling system was designed for. The iMac was designed to be near silent and only ramp up the fan in extreme situations.

    Many people don't have "other sounds" going all the time, and fan noise can be very disturbing if you are sensitive to it, trust me. Also, for music production having a fan running at high speed can be a deal breaker. Especially if you are tracking in the same room like many do these days.
     
  25. 5iMacs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    #25
    As I mentioned on Monday (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1810255), the i5 runs so cool at 100% load during a long handbrake encode (86 degrees at 59W, measured by Intel Power Gadget) that the fan stays inaudible. Only the M290X in my setup causes the fan to kick in, which for me is only while playing a 3D game.

    I agree about the impact of the sound. It's a white noise sound very similar to the Retina MacBook Pro and it does not detract from the game experience.
     

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