How much creaking is normal on rMBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by korbearus10, Jul 6, 2012.


Does your rMBP creak?

  1. Yes; It's bad enough that I intend to exchange it

    18 vote(s)
  2. Yes; But it's not too bad. I'll keep it.

    39 vote(s)
  3. No; Can't make it creak even if I tried

    34 vote(s)
  1. korbearus10, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012

    korbearus10 macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2012
    I understand there is another thread about the creaking when typing with the rMBP on your lap, but I wanted to know how prevalent creaking is in general. I've used my brother's late 2011 13" MBP that had absolutely no creaking, whereas this new rMBP creaks in certain places.

    Specifically, if I apply moderate pressure to the right palm rest area next to the touchpad I can always reproduce the creaking sound. Under normal usage, I hardly apply any force on the right palm rest area and there is almost no creaking -- except occasionally. After opening up the bottom plate, I found out that one of the battery assembly underneath the palm rest area creaks when pressed. So the tightness of the bottom plate wasn't the issue, but rather one of those battery "piece." But also, if I press on the bottom case plate near the two palm rest area, I can get it to creak so there is a bit of an issue with the backplate as well.

    So my question is, is this pretty normal and would you consider exchanging your rMBP for just this issue? I still have 4 days until the end of the exchange period and I also have a written note from a genius for an exchange approval should I want one. If most deem this a minor issue, I don't want to risk getting another rMBP that has other issues.
  2. PaulAtkinson macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2012
    San Francisco
    Great question!

    I have described my creaking as a "crackling" noise, but it is in relation to using the computer with pressure on the palm rests. I have considered returning it for this reason (and a few others), but it seems pretty trivial, in the whole scheme of things. I am still not sure!
  3. minnus macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2011
    Seems pretty common. My rMBP also creaks/crackles. My original 2011 MBA creaked as well. I exchanged it, and it went away for good (its been 8 months now).

    I don't think that it's 'normal'.
  4. mattkidd macrumors regular


    Aug 6, 2008
    United Kingdom England Northants
    Currently have two of the machines. My original and my replacement. Original has been replaced by Apple who is collecting it next week.

    Both of these machines have this creaking issue and both are driving me insane. Its either loose screws or something further in the machine such as the speaker assembly. My return for the first machine is down to this creaking sound and a loose sounding screw internally. I will possibly be returning my replacement for another replacement also due this reason and issues such as yellow tinting. Not happy! I will be keeping my original until Apple give me a replacement with identical display quality to my first machine. (Hopefully minus the creaking issue)
  5. Katanae macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2010
    It makes a really scary sound when applying light preassure in the area where it says macbook pro on the bottom i think.
    My backplate is also not perfectly screwed on and it creaks occasionaly
  6. arbitrage macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2009
    I can easily get it on the right palm rest also. When I type I don't put enough pressure on this area to hear the creak but can make it do it with deliberate pressure just to the right of the trackpad. Doesn't bother me, I'm not worried. Also picking the laptop up only holding one edge can make it creak a bit as it flexes from the force of gravity.

    I think it may be the bottom plate, need to get that special screwdriver and maybe tighten up all the screws??
  7. maretus macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    Yea, mine creaks as well. I had one before this that didn't creak, but it had cosmetic damage out of the box. The new unit is flawless cosmetically and creaks only where I described in that other thread.

    With the device upside down, flip it over holding it in the area on both sides by the middle screws. Right where the backplate curves around the new fan grates, the backplate pushes in and slightly impacts the side of the casing and also hits the back. This is what produces the sound. Holding the unit in any other area and flipping it over will not produce any noises.

    At first I also thought I heard a screw or component moving inside of the device but upon further inspection, I'm confident that the noise I was hearing is also the backplate moving. I've got the special screwdriver on the way, so hopefully tightening the backplate will fix the issue. While I've got the backplate off though, I will check for any loose components or screws.

    I find it odd that one of the battery cells was creaking and wonder if there would be anyway to fix it. What about placing a bit of paper, playing card or something between it and the backplate so as to keep the plate and the battery more flush?

    No matter what, I'm much happier with a slightly creaky device than a damaged one.
  8. dailybibliotaph macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2012
    I posted before about my creaking, well mine was more of a popping sound, problem with my rMBP. From what I can tell a lot of the creaking problems people are having is related to one single problem - the bottom case is not properly aligned with the case, thus any bottom pressure - as what happens when you pick up the laptop with lid open - or top pressure, as one puts hands on palm rest when typing, creates flexing on the bottom case.

    Spoke with several Apple people on the phone and at the Genius Bar at my local Upper West Side store and all confirm this is not normal. I was very lucky that the UWS store was able to expedite a new 2.6Ghz model to me in a couple of days, rather than the 3 to 4 week wait noted online.

    My new rMBP is perfectly flush and feels completely solid with no sounds coming when putting reasonable pressure on it. There have also been notes of bottom screw sets not being flush - my 1st rMBP also had this problem. Whatever the case might be, get it returned for a new one.

    I attached a photo of what one can clearly see is a gap on the bottom case - it was worse on the Thunderport side.

    Attached Files:

  9. korbearus10 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2012
    I pushed on the battery cell with the backplate off, so I don't think it's the battery pressing against the backplate. The sound actually comes from pushing the battery cell. All the other pieces/cells don't make the sound except this particular one underneath the right palm rest area.


    I'm beginning to lean towards keeping this rMBP. This is the best MacBook I've ever had. Idle temperatures are all in the mid 30 C and I have yet to hear from fan, even when playing casual games (HoN) or 1080p videos.
  10. unibility macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2012
  11. kpmgey macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2012
    This is a video I made of my first RMBP. I took off the back plate, it seems the sound was coming from the speaker pushing against the back plate causing the really loud sound.

    I'm supposed to get a replacement soon, we'll see how it does...
  12. maretus macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    Wow, mine doesn't do that unless I put a good amount of force and only right on the speaker grate. Down by the palm rest, it doesn't make any sounds like that. My noise comes only when flipping the device over from bottom to top or vica versa, and only from the bottom plate impacting the side of the case and something underneath. It does look like the picture above slightly. The bottom plate is just slightly higher the rest of the machine by that middle screw which makes me think it just needs tightened. At least that's my hope.
  13. dailybibliotaph macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2012
    It might do it. The Genius said all screws need to be loosened and re-torqued sequentially. It seems like some rMBPs have the outer screws too torqued at the factory. If that's all that can your's completely flush that's great but remember that it needs to be perfectly flush. If not then there's a problem with the bottom case not being created to spec.
  14. maretus macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    Well, being that this is my last go at a the MBPr, if tightening the screw doesn't work I'm not sure that I'll keep it or not. Everything else is flawless, but every time I carry the computer it creaks and cracks. Definitely doesn't sound good, and I re-sell all of my Apple stuff to upgrade, so I don't want to even try and explain this down the road.

    I've already exchanged several times and Best Buy has pretty much given me the, "No more exchanges, if you have any issues, we'll have to issue you a refund."

    So, I'm really hoping tightening the screws works, otherwise it may be going back.
  15. CLASSIC MUSCLE macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    LOL, this thread has made me feel better about myself as I'm on rMBP #3 as well and I was beginning to think I'm an OCD weirdo. #1 made a terrible buzzing noise from the keyboard lighting, #2 was better in that area but gets much hotter much faster. Have my fingers crossed for #3 I just picked up tonight.... Hopefully Best Buy doesn't catch onto me but hey I think we all expect a lot from a $2,000+ laptop, right?
  16. maretus macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    This is my third and final one according to Best Buy. Not like they can stop me from getting a refund and buying it at a different Best Buy or elsewhere entirely. Even if they would give me an exchange, the MBPR is backordered in every Best Buy in Florida from what I can see.

    I'm really hoping to keep this unit as so far the only two issues I've noticed are 1.) Bottom panel isn't secured entirely. (hopefully screw issue)
    2.) Minuscule scratch on left palm rest. Only visible at an angle from less than 10 inches away. (Still bugs the PISS out of me because it came this way), but so far all 3 MBPr's I've gotten have had some sort of cosmetic damage.

    1.) Bubbles/chips under-neath display and pinhole dots all over top-case.
    2.) Scratches on palm rest, top case, and the pinhole dots. This unit also had two small dents on the bottom. However, neither of the first two devices made the terrible creaking sounds or if they did I never heard them.
    3.) Uneven bottom plate, and scratch. Saying my prayers, some tightening of screws will fix things. I love the MBPr, but it's gotta last me years, and the way this creaking sounds doesn't give me too much confidence.

    Makes me wonder if I have incredibly terrible luck, Apple's Q/A is declining, or I'm getting more OCD. I'm starting to think its a combination of them. It's like now that I know what to look for, I can spot problems almost immediately. I'm starting to resign to the fact that there aren't any cosmetically perfect MBPr's out there and if there are, I'll never find one.
  17. Ahzari macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2012
    this isn't normal - id return

    I have had 2 units going on a 3rd because of odd noise issues (not creaking though) something I did notice was that my first one was rock solid, the second had the same gaps as in your picture and a really sharp noise coming out of the cpu with light use (not fans) sent a vid clip to apple care and they said that its not normal - getting a 3rd unit hopefully 3rd times a charm but those gaps are unacceptable for such an expensive machine - same with the creaking issue that many have described here for 2500-3k this unit should be flawless.. Also having come from multiple macbook airs and unibody MBPs I've alway been happy with the hardware with them - until this rMBP pretty disappointed.
  18. nib95 macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2013
    The solution is less torque on the screws, not more.

    I've had two MBPr's now that have creaked. Infuriating really, especially when they cost as much as they do. None of my other Macs creak.

    In any case, I took it to the Apple store and they wouldn't replace it, but tightened it up for me and told me to come back after some use, to see if it had improved. hadn't. It lessened slightly, but the issue persisted.

    Rather than go back to argue for a replacement, I decided to get a Retina screwdriver from eBay myself. A nice high quality magnetic, aluminium handled one. Well, I took off the rear plate, and then re-applied each screw.

    But one by one in opposites. I,e, far left followed by far right, top followed by bottom etc. To ensure pressure was applied evenly throughout.

    I only tightened each to when I just started feeling some resistance, instead of going super tight, and low and behold, no more creaking. There's some rubber sealant around the rim below the Mac plate under each screw, so I guess some flex is fine.

    In any case, too much torque and tightness is the problem. Loosen the screws slightly (one's that are too tight) and it will solve the issue. Fingers crossed the creak doesn't come back!

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