Have not bought iMac because I 'still' don't know what to get? (Fear of Fan noise)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by meagain, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. meagain macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    Thought today would be a good day to buy with the $100 gift card. I keep reading bad things about fans blazing and I fear this having experienced it with an iMac in the past.

    Currently have mid-2011, 3.4 ghz i7, graphics AMD Radeon HD 6970

    Wondering how much better the current i7 is over this, and I'm at an absolute loss over which graphics card to get. Want to process movies. Other than that, I run a ridiculous amt of Safari windows.

    I want to be able to have youtube going and not hear the fan like currently. Or should I just wait till the next iteration and hopefully there will be an iMac everyone is happy with. I see a lot of complaints currently. IDK what to do?
  2. Vapor matt macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2010
    I have no noise on my rimac at all, can't even hear the fan when on utube.
  3. meagain thread starter macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    Then I'm confused :) I think the graphics card is what my big puzzle is.
  4. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    Don't be confused. Just try to avoid being paranoid after reading all the nonsense that appears on this forum...
  5. meagain thread starter macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    Well - fan noise does bother me. I forgot which iMac I had that had that issue and used a fan controller app to try to fix it. It was a horrible experience.

    I'm locked in on the i7 I think but the Graphics card throws me and I "think" that is the culprit for what happens with the fan? I think?
  6. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2006
    If you by "process movies" mean encoding them in Handbrake for example, then be prepared for fan noise with the i7. For regular non-demanding tasks it should not be an issue.

    I'm wondering if these guys with maxed out machines who claim that they "can't hear anything" actually do something with their computers. Perhaps they are deaf, or they are living in an igloo somewhere.

    However if you are looking for a performance boost CPU wise, the i5 will not be much faster than the machine you have. It will give a 20% boost for single threaded tasks and barely any for multithreaded. But it will at least be on par.
  7. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012

    What temps do you see on an i7 while encoding?

    I don't think the i5 is capable of reaching temps that increase the fan anymore. Days of encoding with handbrake with a max temp of 82c.

    Edit : ambient 63-65f
  8. boast macrumors 65816


    Nov 12, 2007
    Since low noise is the most important, I would get an i5
  9. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2006
    In my testing it was hovering 100C with fans on full speed. The CPU would start to throttle after a while. I think some have worse thermal paste application than others, but it will still be load none the less.

    I decided that the i7 wasn't for me as I can't stand fan noise. The fans of the i5 are really hard to get going above base speed. But there is a substantial performance difference between them for sure.
  10. Chuck Rodent macrumors regular

    Chuck Rodent

    Jan 9, 2014
    I have the base model iMac Retina and did a stress test on the fan using Handbrake. Full bore CPU load for 4 minutes, maxed out at 73 deg. C and the fan was barely audible.
  11. redheeler macrumors 603


    Oct 17, 2014
    On mine it's the GPU that kicks the fans on most reliably. The M295X GPU is known to get hot.
  12. azure247 macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2008
    The fan only turns on max speed when you play games. Even when gaming, I wouldnt say its noisy compared to my desktop computer, which deafened my ears I think.

    imac is a godsend for me because its very quiet for the most part.
  13. meagain thread starter macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    I never hear the fan in mine. It's looking like I'll lose the $100 gift card because - yep - I'm scared and not sure what to do still.
    I appreciate the responses.

    Yep - I suck.
  14. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Mar 29, 2008
    Buy it. The fan noise in 2012+ iMacs is quieter than than 2011 and older systems. There's only one fan now. It's larger and quieter.
  15. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    I have a late 2012 iMac i7 and the only time I hear the fan is when I am encoding movies. I had a 2011 iMac i7 that was a bit louder with fan noise when I was encoding movies, but never let it bother me. If the noise of the fan is going to bother you, then you are never going to buy an iMac if you are encoding movies. If you encode movies, the fan will run.

    Under most other uses my iMac fan never runs. I can be running several apps without it ever getting close. Besides the fan is not like you have a turbo jet sitting beside you. Most cases I do not even notice it, and no I am not deaf even though my darling wife believes so.
  16. redheeler macrumors 603


    Oct 17, 2014
    I forgot to mention the fan only spins up during heavy CPU/GPU usage. Normally it is barley audible (you have to really listen to hear it) and the machine is much quieter then an older thick iMac (my mid 2010 27'' gets HOT) or even a 15'' rMBP (when running for a while it tends to heat up causing the fans to spin up quite loudly, the iMac for me is much quieter). The i7 and M295X tend to heat up more then the i5 and M290X but in exchange they bring a lot more power.
  17. meagain thread starter macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
  18. iczster macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2014
    Only time mine trips in is when gaming and its hardly noticeable. If youve ever had a windows gaming rig you'll know what I mean (thats noisy)
  19. MowingDevil macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2008
    Vancouver, BC & Sydney, NSW
    Best of luck with that.
  20. seroposi macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2013
    Herts, UK
    I have only the base model and it's barely audible even when using Photoshop.

    May I suggest you just buy it and decide for yourself. If you don't like it you have 14 days within which to return it ! Decision made, easy !
  21. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Don't buy it.

    The riMac is for people who need/want the great screen. You didn't list that as a priority.

    If your needs are web browsing and processing movies, and quiet, then use most anything for the browsing, and just run a machine somewhere in another room or headless or whatever to do the movie work, since stuff like transcoding doesn't require a lot of user interaction once you get it started. Maybe a tablet and your current computer; they play YouTube just fine and I never hear the fan in mine :rolleyes:

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