How loud (or quiet) are the Intel iMacs?

mrgreen4242

macrumors 601
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Feb 10, 2004
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I had a Rev A iMac G5, which I got rid of in favor of a mini due to the noise. I can't find any complaints on the Intel iMacs regarding noise, but would like to know how loud they are when you are pushing them to the max (200% CPU utilization, 3D game running to work the GPU, reading off a CD, and writing lots of data to the HDD - pretty much making every component go all out and create the most heat possible).

I'm a bit picky about fac noise, which is one of the reasons I love the mini so much (practically silent) and with the all in one enclosure of the iMac it makes the noise even worse (it's right in your face).

But, for the money, the 20" iMac is quite a buy ($1400 refurb) and may work out better for me than a new mini or a MB.

Thanks for your input!
Rob
 

nospleen

macrumors 68020
Dec 8, 2002
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Super quiet, I cannot even hear them unless the room is deadly silent. I too had a loud G5 and hated it. Rest at ease, the intel's are super fast and silent!
 

mrgreen4242

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Feb 10, 2004
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Good to hear... I wonder what my wife will say if I bring one of those home... ;) They look exactly the same, and all she knows is that I bitched about it for a month before I got rid of it. :p

Thanks all!
 

theBB

macrumors 68020
Jan 3, 2006
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A bit noisy only when reading a CD. I've heard the fans for a few seconds when I installed one of those firmware updates some months ago, so iMac apparently does have fans. :) Still, I don't hear them even when iDVD is rendering and my last project was quite demanding. I don't hear harddisk noise, either even when I am writing or reading GBs of data.

I concur "whisper quiet" is a fair assesment.
 

mrgreen4242

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Feb 10, 2004
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theBB said:
A bit noisy only when reading a CD. I've heard the fans for a few seconds when I installed one of those firmware updates some months ago, so iMac apparently does have fans. :) Still, I don't hear them even when iDVD is rendering and my last project was quite demanding. I don't hear harddisk noise, either even when I am writing or reading GBs of data.

I concur "whisper quiet" is a fair assesment.
OK OK you guys are officially tempting me! ;) Only question now is 20" or 17" and a second display (I'm not overly worried about the 170mhz difference in the two). :D
 

slackersonly

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2006
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I got the 20" iMac refurb this may.
The only time i have heard even a peep was during a firmware update and that lasted only 10 seconds. It is whisper quiet.
 

hadleydb

macrumors 6502
Apr 5, 2005
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I've had 3 G5 iMacs previously and my Intel is by far the most silent. My other ones had a little high pitched sound coming from the fans. I love my intel! :D Too bad I'm selling it for a Mac Pro...
 

plinden

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Apr 8, 2004
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Even after pushing the CPU to 200% with 2x "yes > /def/null" commands, I don't hear the fans.
 

Lancetx

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Aug 11, 2003
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theBB said:
A bit noisy only when reading a CD. I've heard the fans for a few seconds when I installed one of those firmware updates some months ago, so iMac apparently does have fans. :) Still, I don't hear them even when iDVD is rendering and my last project was quite demanding. I don't hear harddisk noise, either even when I am writing or reading GBs of data.

I concur "whisper quiet" is a fair assesment.
Ditto here as well. I have rarely ever heard a peep with the exception being that the SuperDrive is a tad noisy when accessing discs, otherwise it's virtually silent.
 

mrgreen4242

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Feb 10, 2004
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Sutekidane said:
Go for the 20". Dual displays are clunky.
I kinda like dual displays, but I am a multitasker like that. I'm especially keen on two smaller displays for gaming... less pixels to push in native resolution makes for a good picture, and I like to have other apps open with full screen games.

Plus, I'm cheap.
 

rwk001

macrumors member
Nov 21, 2004
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Some HD vibration

I have the 17" intel iMac, and it is very quiet in terms of fan noise. However, as some other posts in the past have noted, the HD which is situated in the bottom left corner, can cause a fairly constant vibration. This is a bit irritating for me, but I've heard that this can be dependent on which exact manufacturer made the machine.
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
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Indianapolis
theBB said:
A bit noisy only when reading a CD. I've heard the fans for a few seconds when I installed one of those firmware updates some months ago, so iMac apparently does have fans. :) Still, I don't hear them even when iDVD is rendering and my last project was quite demanding. I don't hear harddisk noise, either even when I am writing or reading GBs of data.

I concur "whisper quiet" is a fair assesment.
I have to agree about the SuperDrive. It's much more noisy then my previous iMac's was.
 

hadleydb

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Apr 5, 2005
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Henderson, NV
Eidorian said:
I have to agree about the SuperDrive. It's much more noisy then my previous iMac's was.
My Mitsumo or mitsumi or whatever came in it originally was really noisy. I had to take mine in because the superdrive broke and they put a Pioneer in my machine. Since then it hasn't been as noisy. I have a 17" iMac. What drive comes in the 20's?
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
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hadleydb said:
My Mitsumo or mitsumi or whatever came in it originally was really noisy. I had to take mine in because the superdrive broke and they put a Pioneer in my machine. Since then it hasn't been as noisy. I have a 17" iMac. What drive comes in the 20's?
I think it's a Pioneer K5? I'm not at my machine right now. My old Rev. B 17" iMac G5 came with a Matsushita drive. My new 20" sounds different. It's a change. :rolleyes:
 

MichelleAK

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Aug 23, 2006
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Anchorage, AK
hadleydb said:
My Mitsumo or mitsumi or whatever came in it originally was really noisy. I had to take mine in because the superdrive broke and they put a Pioneer in my machine. Since then it hasn't been as noisy. I have a 17" iMac. What drive comes in the 20's?
My 20" iMac has a Matsushita UJ-846. I bought mine pretty soon after they came out, in early February.
 

hadleydb

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Apr 5, 2005
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MichelleAK said:
My 20" iMac has a Matsushita UJ-846. I bought mine pretty soon after they came out, in early February.

Mine was the Matsushita. I couldn't remember the name. Now I have the Pioneer something 5 and it is quiet compared to the Matsushita. No matter what the intel iMac is the best version to me.
 

mrgreen4242

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Original poster
Feb 10, 2004
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After sleeping on it, I've decided that if I spend more than ~$750 on a computer I want to be able to completely upgrade it (CPU, GPU, not just RAM and HDD). That's where the iMac failed me before (well, I mean, the noise killed me, but that's why I didn't get another later generation one).

The mini I can understand being limited in upgradability... new the model I have would have been (without the memory upgrade) <$700. Fairly costly for a computer now-a-days, but pretty cheap for a Mac.

If I upgrade to anything but an Intel mini, I'm going to suck it up and spend the bucks on a Mac Pro. Now I just need to convince my wife that it's OK to buy a $2100 computer (well, $1950 if I join up as a student developer and go for the 2ghz machine with a 160gb HDD).

Anyone hear early reports on fan noise for those? :p
 

imacintel

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Mar 12, 2006
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rwk001 said:
I have the 17" intel iMac, and it is very quiet in terms of fan noise. However, as some other posts in the past have noted, the HD which is situated in the bottom left corner, can cause a fairly constant vibration. This is a bit irritating for me, but I've heard that this can be dependent on which exact manufacturer made the machine.
Actually, it is positioned at the top center, right under the " iMac " sign on it.