How loud is your 15" 2016 tbMBP?

wiffle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 5, 2017
156
72
Purchased a refurb unit, 2.6, 512, 460 - pretty sweet deal and am quite happy with the unit. I do have one concern though.. Even at completely idle (startup, a few web pages and a few word documents open), I can hear a resting fan sound that is audible at arms length in a quiet room. It's not the sound of the fan at high CPU/GPU usage; rather, it's more like an ambient low-volume fan noise but definitely still noticeable.

Do you hear anything from your Mac sitting about arms length away? Speaking with a colleague who owns a 13" TB, he can only hear something if he directly puts his ear about an inch away from the machine. It's definitely a lot more noticeable compared to my previous mid-2015 rMBP that I upgraded from...

Bring it in and have Genius take a look?
 

jerryk

macrumors 601
Nov 3, 2011
4,847
2,397
SF Bay Area
Purchased a refurb unit, 2.6, 512, 460 - pretty sweet deal and am quite happy with the unit. I do have one concern though.. Even at completely idle (startup, a few web pages and a few word documents open), I can hear a resting fan sound that is audible at arms length in a quiet room. It's not the sound of the fan at high CPU/GPU usage; rather, it's more like an ambient low-volume fan noise but definitely still noticeable.

Do you hear anything from your Mac sitting about arms length away? Speaking with a colleague who owns a 13" TB, he can only hear something if he directly puts his ear about an inch away from the machine. It's definitely a lot more noticeable compared to my previous mid-2015 rMBP that I upgraded from...

Bring it in and have Genius take a look?
Close the web pages. They may have ads. And by close I mean Quit the browser by right clicking it in the bar.
 

wiffle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 5, 2017
156
72
Close the web pages. They may have ads. And by close I mean Quit the browser by right clicking it in the bar.
This happens on restart with no apps running as well. I just put that in there to emphasize idle, non-demand use.

Pretty much as soon as I turn it on/wake it from sleep it happens. It also takes a good minute or two post closing the lid before the sound disappears.
 

tryrtryrtryrt

Suspended
Sep 10, 2016
288
107
Purchased a refurb unit, 2.6, 512, 460 - pretty sweet deal and am quite happy with the unit. I do have one concern though.. Even at completely idle (startup, a few web pages and a few word documents open), I can hear a resting fan sound that is audible at arms length in a quiet room. It's not the sound of the fan at high CPU/GPU usage; rather, it's more like an ambient low-volume fan noise but definitely still noticeable.

Do you hear anything from your Mac sitting about arms length away? Speaking with a colleague who owns a 13" TB, he can only hear something if he directly puts his ear about an inch away from the machine. It's definitely a lot more noticeable compared to my previous mid-2015 rMBP that I upgraded from...

Bring it in and have Genius take a look?
If you've just unboxed it, this might be ok - let it work 2-3 hours. (Or better see System Monitor for CPU/RAM/energy intensive applications.)
If it's still bad after this, bring it back.
 
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wiffle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 5, 2017
156
72
If you've just unboxed it, this might be ok - let it work 2-3 hours. (Or better see System Monitor for CPU/RAM/energy intensive applications.)
If it's still bad after this, bring it back.
It's been in use for about a week and a bit now. Still within the return period and would have preferred to exchange the unit for a different one... but it's crappy because I need it and am leaving the country for a month which I planned on bringing it with me.

Nevertheless I have a Genius appointment for Sunday and we'll see what happens...
 

Sanpete

macrumors 68020
Nov 17, 2016
2,123
839
Utah
I would compare to another in the same room. Those with good hearing can hear the fans, which are always running, in a sufficiently quiet room. This is mentioned in the Notebook Check review, for example, as as I mentioned to you before, I can hear them in a very quiet room as well. But I'm seldom in a place that quiet!
 

wiffle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 5, 2017
156
72
I would compare to another in the same room. Those with good hearing can hear the fans, which are always running, in a sufficiently quiet room. This is mentioned in the Notebook Check review, for example, as as I mentioned to you before, I can hear them in a very quiet room as well. But I'm seldom in a place that quiet!
I would defs prefer to do that.. the reality is I don't know anyone else with a 2016 machine. I tried to listen to it in the apple store but it's too loud in there to notice a difference....

Hmm! I'll take it in and see what they say. I study in silence all the time and while I couldn't hear the 2015s I can with this machine.. though I do note your point about the new ones being a few decibels louder anyways.
 

Sanpete

macrumors 68020
Nov 17, 2016
2,123
839
Utah
Yeah, 1.7 dB louder at idle as measured by Notebook Check, which is just over the smallest difference that normal hearing can distinguish. The Notebook Check reviewer also found the earlier model silent, so this is probably near the level of background noise in a very quiet room. (In a soundproofed room, you can hear things a lot more quiet than that.)
 
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Boneheadxan

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2009
128
26
I'm in a sound-proofed room and you can hear the fan slightly at idle. But in your case, have you checked with a fan monitoring app, what speed your fans are running at? At idle both should be around 2000rpm. I use iStat menus.
 

wiffle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 5, 2017
156
72
I'm in a sound-proofed room and you can hear the fan slightly at idle. But in your case, have you checked with a fan monitoring app, what speed your fans are running at? At idle both should be around 2000rpm. I use iStat menus.
Just took a look with iStat menus and my left is running at ~2150 idle while the right is hovering around 2000.
Hmm. Yeah. I guess I can't really gauge how sound-proof my room really is right now... Best way would definitely be to get another unit and see if I can replicate the issue.
 

Boneheadxan

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2009
128
26
Just took a look with iStat menus and my left is running at ~2150 idle while the right is hovering around 2000.
Hmm. Yeah. I guess I can't really gauge how sound-proof my room really is right now... Best way would definitely be to get another unit and see if I can replicate the issue.
2150/2000 is normal. You are probably just in a very silent room :) I've never noticed the fans anywhere else other than my studio room.
 
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csurfr

macrumors 68020
Dec 7, 2016
2,273
1,664
Seattle, WA
I've never heard my 15" fans running.. surprisingly it has been as quiet as a MacBook.

Of course I say that now, and tomorrow it will be a freight train just to spite me.
 
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dof250

macrumors regular
Jun 3, 2014
209
122
I've noticed this too. When i'm in a very quiet room i can hear the humming of the fans. It doesn't bother me and normally at work te sound level is way to loud to hear the fans.
 

wiffle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 5, 2017
156
72
I can hear my 15" fans at arm's length in a very quiet room. It's normal.

I've tried letting friends hear it as well - they can't. So I guess it depends on your hearing.
I've noticed this too. When i'm in a very quiet room i can hear the humming of the fans. It doesn't bother me and normally at work te sound level is way to loud to hear the fans.
Comforting. Thanks all. I still have a genius appointment... might just forego it given your insights.

Cheers!
 
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Eason85

macrumors regular
Jan 29, 2017
230
282
Hong Kong
I would expect the 15-inches fans to be off or near silent at idle. Are they really running at 2000 rpm? That's like 2016 razer blade annoying.
 

wiffle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 5, 2017
156
72
I would expect the 15-inches fans to be off or near silent at idle. Are they really running at 2000 rpm? That's like 2016 razer blade annoying.
Yeah the fan speeds are spinning at their target rates. Verified by two different software packages so I'm confident that they're accurate...

Granted I can only hear this in otherwise complete silence but yeah, I do work often in silence so... heh.
 

xWhiplash

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2009
1,793
703
I can hear mine, but I need to be a little bit closer than arms length. It is BARELY noticeable. But I can hear mine. Under general workflows, it does not change. Compare that to my 2013 rMBP where just hooking up an external display causes it to be VERY LOUD. Yet my 2013 rMBP idle makes no noise. I will take a barely noticeable noise at idle for lower noise while in use. Exporting from FCPX makes it loud, but still not as loud as my 2013 rMBP.