iMac i7 / 2TB Harddrive fan noise

Discussion in 'iMac' started by genu1ne, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. genu1ne macrumors newbie

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    Feb 10, 2007
    #1
    Hi, does anyone else with one of the 2TB Harddrives hear a constant fan noise at the back of the iMac ? Its quiet and nothing compared to an active fan while playing a game... but if you sit in front of the mac you can hear it clearly all the time. My 24" is totally quiet without any operating noise compared to it.

    If i put my hand down on the top of the iMac i feel a constant slight vibration.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    Download iStat Pro so you can see the speed of the fans as well as the temperatures
     
  3. genu1ne thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Thanks, I think temps/fan speeds are normal:
     

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  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    Yea they are normal. Hard to say where the noise is coming then, is is easily hearable or only when you actually try to hear it?
     
  5. genu1ne thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 10, 2007
    #5
    Well, I can still hear it while listening to music. It originates just top of the apple logo on the backside where the ventilation is located. When I put my ear next to it sounds like a fan spinning at a normal frequency. Still as I said my 24" iMac doesnt have any noticable fan sound when it is idle.

    Just want to make sure it is normal and other users of the new generation iMacs notice it too.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #6
    There is a huge thread about it. Your best bet is to call Apple and get a replacement
     
  7. mdewberry macrumors regular

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    Aug 20, 2003
    #7
    I entered a lengthy post another area of the forum on this.. I had two 2tb iMacs (both returned for terrible yellow tint) and I noticed this on both of them... The hum started when I woke the iMac up (I could hear it slowly come on) to the point when it went to sleep.. I checked the iStat numbers and all were correct..
    I pinpointed the hum to the hard drive area.. It was a bit annoying as I could not launch any apps until the fan was fully running (so when I woke my machine up, it may take 10-15 seconds for the fan to fully run and at that point any apps I selected would launch)...
    I just assumed that the 2tb drive has a separate fan than the 1tb that is a bit louder.. If you can find my post it is lengthy and I get into a lot more detail..
    The hum is not loud but is noticeable (especially in a quiet room)...
    EDIT: I also had two 1tb iMacs returned as well, neither of them made this hum... (they had their own unique noise of the Seagate drive grumbling)...
     
  8. mdewberry macrumors regular

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    Aug 20, 2003
    #8
    Here is my original post mentioned above on this topic:

    I received my second i5 iMac on Monday, and it is going back due to a lot of yellow on the screen.. a large yellow band going down the middle, and am starting to notice yellow creeping up from the bottom. But.. I am also having the same problem you mention..

    This is actually my fourth i5; my first two had the 1tb Seagate drive and I had terrible rumbling from the Seagate drives, but it was not the steady constant noise that you mention.. So I replaced the second 1tb iMac with a 2tb iMac, and my first replacement (sent back for yellow) and now my second have had the issue you describe. Here is how it goes:

    I walk up to my quiet sleeping iMac and wake it up

    It is quiet, the screen lights up, and then I hear something start in the machine.. I know it sounds funny, but sounds like an airplane engine warming up

    Then I hear the constant noise.. Kind of a hum, but not so much a hum when putting it on a mouse pad (as mentioned in this thread) but a steady noise..

    When I feel the chin of the machine it has a steady minor vibration the whole time, and it almost sounds like a quiet version of the superdrive spinning.. It definitely sounds like something is spinning up and spinning the entire time I am using the computer...

    It is kind of like white noise, and I do get used to it as it is not that loud, but it is noticeable..

    Here is the worst part.. when I wake up my machine, nothing I select (Safari, Itunes, etc.) responds until the noise warms up and runs constantly.. Usually takes 20-25 seconds for Safari to respond (and the noise to be running) from the point of the screen appearing from sleep and I select Safari at that point.. I literally need to wait for the noise to start before anything I have selected launches..

    I downloaded iStat Pro and the fans seem to be running at normal speed.. Honestly can't tell if it is a fan or something else spinning...

    I have a note into the Senior Apple Advisor I was working with on my last iMac to report the yellow screen, he seemed genuinely surprised that I received a yellow tinge iMac (-:, however I have not heard back from him since Tuesday and I am going to contact him tomorrow for a full refund. This is it. Can't keep getting these things and running into more problems and getting disappointed..

    In the meantime will continue to use my properly working 6 year old G4 Powerbook, wait for the next revision of the iMac and see how it operates..

    One thing also to mention, I did not notice this noise at all with my 2 1tb Seagate drive iMacs, only on my 2 2tb Hitatchi drive macs..

    Some additional feedback regarding this noise (as it got really loud last night)...

    The noise goes away completely when putting the computer to sleep.

    If I don't put the computer to sleep but the screen goes to sleep, the noise turns on and off on a regular basis (maybe 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off).

    I have determined the area where the noise is coming from - dead center of the back of the machine is where the vibration/noise is emanating from, which is the location of the 2tb drive.

    I feel air blowing (lightly) from the vent at the top of the machine.

    Therefore it must be the fan of the 2tb Hard Drive. Either that or the hard drive itself is spinning constantly the entire time the machine is awake, which is unlikely, right?

    As mentioned earlier, I did not notice this noise at all with the first 2 iMacs which had 1tb drives, but have noticed it immediately with my last 2 2tb drive iMacs.. Does the 2tb drive have a different fan? OR... due to the size of the drive does it automatically require the fan to run all the time?

    When using iStat Pro is shows my Hard Drive fan speed at 1099, which is normal I believe.. So, I wonder if the iMac uses a stronger fan for the 2tb drive which runs louder? hmmm....

    Also, for those folks with the 2tb drive, I mentioned earlier in the thread not being able to launch any applications/web sessions when waking the iMac until this fan is on and running (takes about 15-20 seconds). Anyone else having that issue, or is that normal functionality for the iMac?
     
  9. genu1ne thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 10, 2007
    #9
    Yeah exactly the same with my computer!
    Well I am going to keep the iMac, since its perfect besides this minor issue.
     
  10. jphealy macrumors member

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    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #10
    I also have this constant fan noise while my iMac (27" i7, 2tb) is awake. I'm pretty sure it's a fan noise anyway. It sounds like a normal operating sound to me. It's not loud or anything, but it is there. Should the machine be completely silent?
     
  11. mdewberry macrumors regular

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    Aug 20, 2003
    #11
    Y'know, I think it depends on your tolerance for noise.. I was using (both) of my 2tb iMacs in a very quiet room in my house, so for me it was a little annoying.. Especially after having gone through 2 1tb iMacs that did not have the fan noise (but had their own issues with noisy grumbling Seagate drives)..

    I think the bigger annoyance for me was not being able to do anything after waking the machine up until the fan was fully running.. Only talking 10-20 seconds but was annoying at times..

    When I spoke with Apple Care about the issue they stated that you should not hear ANY fan noise, so I (and they) thought there was a problem with the machine (I did the resets, etc., that they recommended but it did not help).. After getting my second 2tb iMac that made the same noise I determined that it is "normal", although I did not like it.. (I ended up returning my 2nd 2tb iMac for terrible yellow tinge..)
     
  12. mollgasse macrumors newbie

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    May 10, 2011
    #12
    I have the exact same 'problem' with my 2011 imac 27 i7 2TB ... it's a constant fan noise though the fans seem to run at normal speed.. kinda annoying.
    not that loud, but it's there.
    My father's 24 inch is completely silent. :confused:
     
  13. mollgasse macrumors newbie

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    May 10, 2011
    #13
    or could it be the power supply? is there a fan in it for the power unit?
     
  14. richard-uk macrumors newbie

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    Dec 13, 2010
    #14
    Hi guys. I'm having the same problem with my i7 2TB with the constant hard drive fan noise audible over music etc. I sent my first imac back and apple replaced it straight away agreeing you shouldn't be able to hear the fan noise. Unfortunately the same problem occurs with this new machine.

    I would expect to hear fans when doing heavy duty tasks such as video encoding etc, but to have such an audible fan noise running constantly from startup i think is unacceptable for a machine of this quality and price. It's such a shame because apart from this issue I absolutely love this computer! Would it be worth trying to exchange it for a 1tb machine to see if it is a problem with the 2tb drives? I currently have the Hitachi drive installed. Thanks for any help/opinions
     
  15. yustas macrumors regular

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    Dec 11, 2009
    #15
    I have exactly the same issue. iMac 27" i7, 3.4GHz, and a Hitachi 2TB drive. The noise is clearly there. I have noticed it as soon as I turned the computer on for the first time.

    I know for a fact that exactly the same iMac with 1TB Western Digital drive is virtually silent and does not have this kind of noise. Do all 2TB drives have this?
     
  16. yustas macrumors regular

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    Dec 11, 2009
    #16
    So how was it resolved, guys? Did you get a replacement? Is it quiet now?
     
  17. AbeFroman77 macrumors 6502

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    May 29, 2010
    #17
    Maybe I should go with the 1TB drive? I don't need that much internal space since I have a NAS.
     
  18. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    Sacramento
    #18
    I doubt if the 2TB drive is the issue.

    But if you already have a big NAS why would you even spend the extra on the 2TB drive anyway?
     
  19. AbeFroman77 macrumors 6502

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    May 29, 2010
    #19
    It fits within my budget. Even so, should I stick with 1TB?
     
  20. yustas macrumors regular

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    Dec 11, 2009
    #20
    Maybe it is the brand issue. I just returned mine with 2TB Hitachi drive. My wife's iMac with 1TB Western Digital drive is clearly a lot quieter. I do not trust Hitachi drives regardless. I think Western Digital makes the best drives. But the question is: Does Apple even use 2TB Western Digital drives?
     
  21. Norne macrumors member

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    Jul 29, 2010
    Location:
    Norway
    #21
    A satisfied iMac buyer here

    I very much doubt it's a brand issue. At least my Hitachi 2TB drive is nice and quiet, I'm backing up (finally!) the family DVD collection all day long :), and haven't noticed anything special (*knock on wood*).

    If it IS an issue, I believe it's the other way 'round: From the reading I did up until the refresh, most signs pointed towards the Hitachi drives being the most reliable in terms of noise (my impression from these very forums anyway) - and a big reason why I bothered upgrading to 2TB.
     
  22. Eduardo1971, Jun 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011

    Eduardo1971 macrumors 65816

    Eduardo1971

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    Jun 16, 2006
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    Lost Angeles, Ca. usa
    #22
    I've always had WDC HDD's. I ended up with a 2TB Hitachi drive. I too wonder if 2TB Hitachi drives are installed more often than the WDC ones in the mid-2011 iMac's?
     
  23. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #23
    $150 for a $75 drive seems pretty silly to me.
     
  24. Noisy macrumors newbie

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    Dec 27, 2011
    #24
    Hitachi 2TB in iMac 2011 is noisy!

    For sure the reason of the noise is Hitachi 2 Tb HDD in iMacs 2011. I so regret I paid for this option and I'm unhappy with it. I have a second SSD drive and when I unmount the 2TB HDD, my iMac becomes perfectly silent, even in games. I clearly hear how that 2 Tb HDD is starting to rotate and then the noise is getting persistent and reminds fan noise, not like in my previous iMac. I regret I did not return this iMac in time. Now Apple services seems to claim it's a normal noise (for $3000!) and they cannot help me for free. That's a real shame for Apple to select so poor HDDs for so expensive models, and it's really impossible to replace the HDD in iMac 2011 without Apple service. BEWARE TO BUY 2011 IMAC WITH 2 TB HDD, ESPECIALLY HITACHI! IT'S JUST DOES NOT WORTH MONEY PAID! APPLE - SUCH A SHAME!
     
  25. Larry2012 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    #25
    Humming i7 iMac

    I have a 3.4GHz i7 with 1TB HD. At first the humming was quite loud and when I brought it in for repairs, it was determined the HD was defective. After the HD was replaced the noise persisted. Round 2, they determined the HD fan was defective. The new fan reduced the noise but there is still a persistent, deep resonant hum which is very irritating. I am going to bring my iMac in after the holidays (when the Apple store is less crazy) to determine if the hum is louder than normal. The technician said the fan itself and it's positioning in the new iMacs causes a louder hum than in the old models. I plan on purchasing an Audio Additives 3M Damping Sheet from MusicDirect. The Apple technician said he would apply it to the inside of the chassis for me to reduce resonance. I'm frustrated that this is an issue on a top of the line iMac. This is the first iMac I've owned that had this problem and Apple shouldn't be manufacturing iMacs that give people a headache. It appears that Apple cut corners in the area of sound isolation. I suspect the hum is due to a combination of the HD fan and chassis resonance. I'll update this post in the next week or two after bringing my iMac in again for the third time :p
     

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