iMac alu 24" noise... rhythmic humming/throbbing

Discussion in 'iMac' started by austincolby, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. austincolby macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2004
    I've got a brand spanking new 24" iMac, and I am experiencing more noise out of this thing than I expected...

    The noise started as a rythmic rattling in the back- I thought there was a lawnmower outside my window moving around, back and forth- it would rattle for a few seconds, then stop for a few seconds, then come back for a few seconds, then stop... etc.

    That has stopped (for the time being) only to be replaced by something quieter, but actually more annoying. Basically, now, it does a very low-pitched moan every few seconds, lasting for maybe 2 or 3 seconds, on and off, on and off... its so low pitched that you almost feel it as much as you hear it.

    Beyond that, however, I have one other concern- this thing is NEVER quiet. At all times, it sounds like the fan is running, constantly, with a low whooshing of air. This concerns me because Ive heard a lot of other people describe their new iMac as dead silent.

    Any ideas for me? Is this something I should be taking my system in for, or is the constant presence of a low whooshing noise just par for the course, with attendant throbbing?
  2. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2007
    Canada EH!!!
    I have 3 new aluminum imac's and they are all VERY quiet. However, when that are working hard I can hear the woosh of the air from the fan. On Friday I set up a UPS in my lab and I noticed that it was humming and I couldn't hear anything from the 2 iMacs in the lab.

    My MacBook also gets pretty loud (wooshing) when it's working hard on something like World of Warcraft or burning a DVD.

    If it's making a bunch of noise ALL the time it sounds like there may be a problem. Call Apple support as soon as you can and they should be able to help you out.
  3. JML42691 macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2007
    All that I can come to out of this is a potential Hard Drive failure/other HD problem, a problem with the fan, or the optical drive, as those are the only moving parts that would be capable of making a noise all that noticeable. The first sound that you heard was probably the optical drive, as that can be very load at times, did you have a disc in it at the time?
  4. austincolby thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2004
    No optical drive... pretty sure it is fan related?

    Thanks for the feedback. No optical drive at play here- pretty sure what I am hearing is the fan... I keep hearing people agreeing with you that these are supposed to be VERY quiet, so I think I need to take it in while I still can... tried calling apple technical support, they had me run some hardware test off the OS DVD that came up negative, then passed me to someone that asked me to try rebooting it, and making sure the 'plug was plugged in firmly in the back...'

    Here I come apple store- I just don't want to go in and whine about something as simple as a very slight constant hum... but if this sounds like its not right, then its not right...
  5. BlakTornado Guest


    Apr 24, 2007
    Washington, OH
    My iMac makes a reasonably loud hush compared to what I've heard people say (That these are literally silent). Sure, it's quieter than EVERY other computer in my house, but it's not silent... but I don't know how literally to take these things. I also hear my hard drive moving around quite a bit at times, but that may be spotlight doing it's indexing thing? I don't really know. But I'm not concerned :) I doubt I'll have any problems within a year of my purchase that means I lose all my data... which is ok because I plan on getting an external hard drive for backing up in the not so distant future.

    Earlier, my iMac was making a sort of "throbbing" noise too - I had dreamweaver and various other apps open, which may have been the cause. I don't know but really...

    One thing some people don't think about is their desks. Some desks amplify vibrations better than others. I certainly know that my old PC makes a lot of racket on a shelf thing on it's computer old desk (which is where I put it in preparation for my Mac switch) compared to being on my bedroom floor - almost a quarter louder, and it was almost deafening on my bedroom floor!

    Personally, I think it may be people's desks that determine the hum of the computer.

    If I put my guitar against the desk where my iMac is, I can use it like an amplifier. It's crazy.

    You should still ask the Apple store just to be safe, though :)

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