iMac high pitch sound (4 replacements so far)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Exino, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Exino macrumors member

    Feb 7, 2011

    I know this is talked about at various locations on this forum (as I've spent a few days reading them all), however I was wondering if there has been any improvement on the situation? (I registered just to post this):

    As some people have experienced this high pitched sound, as a result of changing the brightness (0% and 100% are fine, anything in between emits a high pitched whine...some people believe this is a result of the capacitors vibrating it would appear).

    I have actually gone through four separate iMacs in a week to try to fix this problem (and two being upgrades over the model I had in hopes of a different production run). I have checked the serial number on all of them and they were all build between September and October, at various weeks between, mostly within a 4 week window.

    I am beyond my wits with this issue and not sure what to do now. I have spent nearly 20 hours setting up four separate computers only to format them to take back in a chance I am lucky enough to get one that I can dim at night time without getting a ringing sound in my ear.

    I was wondering if anyone else who has experienced this issue has come across a solution, or at least a replacement that has worked? I am debating to go for number five, but honestly, I am almost too tired of boxing and driving, boxing and drive (rinse and repeat). (I even tried three separate stores in hopes to get a different production week that didn't have this issue).

    Looking forward to your responses, and any guidance. I love this machine and I wish it just stopped having these issues so I could do some work...


    First two:

    21.5" iMac 3.06GHz Intel Core i3
    4GB RAM
    500GB HDD
    ATI Radeon 4670

    Next two:

    21.5" iMac 3.2GHz Intel Core i3
    4GB RAM
    1TB HDD
    ATI Radeon 5670

    Thank you,
  2. MR.Raul macrumors regular


    Jul 28, 2010
    Got 4 replacements of the 27" high end iMac, then they said I had to place a new order.
    The 3 first ones were bad, the forth one was better, but had that crappy HDD, and back light bleeding.
    And the 3 first had some other problem as well, like dead pixels and so.
    Don't know if I got any yellow screens, since I have a hard time spotting it if it has it.
    Have seen screens posted on here that was bad, but couldn't see they were bad myself.
    Can't be bothered anymore, why be satisfied with a defect product that's new and at full price, it's like buying a new car that got scratches on the paint.
    Will see if the next iMac is improved quality vise.
  3. Btom macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2009
    It is not clear how you are getting your replacements, but there is a chance you got yours replacements from a "recycled" bin. For sure not all iMacs have faulty power converter, but a substantial number does. Return your computer for CASH and buy yourself a new one a few days/ weeks later. And check return policy of your vendor not to have a restocking fee. And good luck.

    Tom B.
  4. Exino thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 7, 2011
    I was getting replacements (unopened, new) from Best Buy, as I was within my return period of 14 days. I kept getting brand new machines. I went to three different Best Buy stores all over my city to get them.

    I am also here to report, I just bought my 5th iMac, from a forth store...and it's fine. It's a week 50 build. All my week ~40 builds had the issue, this one is fine...Finally...

    200km of driving later.
  5. 300D macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2009
    Sounds like YOU are the problem, not the computer.
  6. Traice macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2010
    I totally understand you. It's a shame on Apple.

    I had 7 iMac's and this last one still isn't good because of my screen and I went back again. I got a lot of paperwork from all my returnings and repairs.

    I feel your frustration. One day Apple is gonna loose it because of this sort of problems.
  7. MacAndMic macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2009
    I have to agree with this. Everyone has different hearing, yours just may be sensitive at the Hz range.

    I remember once when I use to work at a custom electronics company, we made computer systems specific to our industry. One day we had to bring a system in to be fixed so the tech working on it laid it on the bench and let it stay powered up for several days for testing. The one day he hooked it up to a scope and made some adjustments to the monitor and just then I said "thank god". He looked at me and said "you could hear that"? I of course said yes and to be honest it was quite a stress relief at the time.

    Monitors are no where near as noisy as they use to be but you could just be one of the few that do not mesh well with this monitor/system. Makes me wonder if another model may be better suited for you with a monitor of your choice.
  8. Exino thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 7, 2011
    So, if that's the case, what about the other countless people complaining about this issue? What about the fact the newest one has no perceivable issue?

    I work on and build servers for a living, and primarily focus on network engineering (cisco hardware) work, and have had 5 PCs, and currently two MacBooks, none of which I experience this with. I have heard this 'issue' before at work, typically on failing LCD panels from around the office, which sooner than later just stop turning on.

    Sorry, I refuse to think "i'm the problem".
  9. MacAndMic macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2009
    Those failing LCD's that you are referring to, were they iMacs? If not, I would say that you definitely have a sensitivity to be able to hear these things.

    Maybe the iMac's are timed at a sync that your hearing is sensitive to?

    I'm reaching here but I have heard of stranger things. Have you tried a 27" model, does that do it? What about just the ACD, other resolutions? Just trying to help with the thought and frustration process. I know I would have given up at 3 max.
  10. Exino thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 7, 2011
    Yeah, I was going to give up, but saw the Week 50 build and had to try it - and it was perfect. I'm on it right now loving it.

    They were all iMacs, yes. I was going to try the 27" but it's too large for my desk and viewing distance unfortunately, the 21.5" fits well on my IKEA MICKE desk.

    My MacBook once made the same sound I was having trouble with all of these iMacs with, and I had it repaired, the Apple service technician who worked on it said the inverter/panel was damaged (it was like this when I bought it), he replaced the part and the problem disappeared.

    I also tried some other resolutions, didn't change anything. I did a bunch of research on here first to make sure it wasn't just me, but there is quite a few people who are complaining about this very issue on this forum and Apple's own discussion forum.

    Thankfully it's resolved now, and I just finished finally setting this iMac up to do work on, which is a blessing, since I have been trying for over a week now as of tomorrow.

    I appreciate everyones feedback on this, and you yourself troutspinner have been very helpful and neutral throughout this process - I appreciate that :)

    Thanks again everyone.
  11. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008

    Do you really believe that Apple is selling recycled Macs and IOS devises? I do, but it would be hard to prove.
  12. easepease macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2010
    One option for people caught in a return cycle, is just let the genius bar repair it. I went through 7 returns on my imac 27 for various issues, screen, buzz you name it. I then said finally opted to have my imac repaired rather than keep taking new ones and its been perfect now for 5 months or so. Just a though
  13. b-rain macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2011

    How are you able to tell the date when the computer was produced? I am having problems with my screen now. However, I have had it for a few months and did not initially have a problem. However, we just moved and I am curious if it has something to do with the power supply at our new place.

    I really do not want to have the imac replaced as I have already had to replace and repair it 3x for other issues.

    Thanks a lot for your help!
  14. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    Unplug everything in your home kill all power and all devices. Turn the imac on with nothing plugged into it. Listen for the new "sound" Let us know if you hear it. The above test is free and it is testing for electrical interferences in your home. If the sound is missing plugin one device then listen for at least an hour. Do this until some piece of gear causes the sound.

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