iMac Noise, is this an acceptable level? Buzzing/humming type noise

Discussion in 'iMac' started by KurtangleTN, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. KurtangleTN macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    #1
    Now, I've made threads here earlier with a recording but got no response, it was also from my crappy Pocket PC's mic, this one is from the iMac, recorded in garageband.

    This sound is constant, and goes away when I sleep and shut down, but when I wake it starts again.

    I've had this iMac for 3 months now and have lived with it, but it just seems lately it has gotten worse, or I have realized it a lot more.

    My iMac G3 I bought a couple of weeks ago is quieter, and using the iMac is starting to become less of a joy, does this warrant a part replacement or total system replacement?

    I live about 2 hours from the closest Apple store, so I don't really want to waste my time bringing it there, them testing it in a large and loud room and them saying "It's not that bad, sorry, live with it.".

    Here's the recording, and thanks in advance if anyone helps!

    http://boomp3.com/m/c4bbd136532d/my-song-2
     
  2. overanalyzer macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    It's hard to tell but it sounds like it might be a bad fan or something. It's definitely not normal...my iMac isn't audible from a foot away (though I mostly hear my refrigerator's humming anyway, but that's a different story). I would have brought it back faster than 3 months personally to exchange it for a new machine, but at this point you can use your Apple Care coverage.
     
  3. blumoon macrumors member

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #3
    My iMac is silent. Maybe call Apple and see what they can do for you.
     
  4. elmo151 Guest

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    NYC
    #4
    agreed. something is wrong. talk to apple :apple:
     
  5. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

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    #5
    I think its acceptable, i mean, no computer is silent, though the imac is quiet, but that sounds normal. For Pete's sake people have PC's that are 10x louder than that and dont care at all!!!
     
  6. 156457 macrumors 6502

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    Jan 28, 2008
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    UK
    #6
    Bluedoggiant that it true, but alot of people love Apple products because they are so quiet.

    I can't actually hear anything because my iMac makes the same noise. As I'm only fourteen it's a bit of a nuisance sending it back, and I was wondering if I did would I get a refurb replacement or a brand new replacement?
     
  7. KurtangleTN thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 2, 2007
    #7
    Maybe with fan noise, but that's acceptable and background noise, this is a high pitched noise.

    I've only heard my fans once on this iMac, and man would I rather hear a wind tunnel then this. Not to mention because it's an all in one, the noise is right at my ear level, unlike my PC towers I just stick under the desk and hardly hear at all.

    Thanks for all the responses, and I'm bringing it to Orlando next weekend, I really hope I don't get any crap from the Genius Bar about it. I was extremely excited when I got this iMac, and for the most part it's meet and exceeded my expectations.

    Nick, is yours an aluminum or a white? This one is a refurbished white iMac, so I'm unsure, but I'd expect them to have to repair mine there, since I don't think they have refurbished on stock.
     
  8. 156457 macrumors 6502

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    Jan 28, 2008
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    UK
    #8
    Mines a 24" aluminium and it's noisy as hell, but my nearest store is bout 1 hour away, and being 14 I cba with the hassle, my parents would be like "why've i spent blah blah on a machine that needs to go back".

    I can't wait until I'm older, haha :p
     
  9. overanalyzer macrumors 6502a

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    Boston, MA USA
    #9
    FYI, my 24" aluminum is literally silent. So if you ever get the nerve to deal with it, you don't have to be stuck with a noisy computer....
     
  10. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

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    #10
    What are your specs, (I'm 14 btw), I think the 2.8ghz will has a hum because of the cooling, the sound of the hum should be coming from the lower right corner. That's how it is on mine. i hear the fans out of my right speaker more than the left, i use external speakers, so i know im getting the real fan sound and no interfering.
     
  11. KurtangleTN thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 2, 2007
    #11
    After listening to it on another computer, that recording defiantly doesn't give it justice. It's far more annoying.

    A strange thing I noticed is as the computer stays on it seems to get less and less audible, although this could very well could just be me getting used to it. I often frigging hear the noise when I'm trying to go to bed.
     
  12. Mark Morb macrumors regular

    Mark Morb

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    Dec 19, 2007
    Location:
    Norfolk
    #12
    My 24" iMac is currently in the repair shop after I sent it back due to an extrememly irritating and constant Humming sound....they have told me they cannot hear anything so are sending it back with no fault...I knew that would happen.
    When I get it back I'll see if it's still making the noise and decide what to do...it's so annoying.
    There are a few threads around concerning the buzzing/humming. I have friends who have the same model iMacs and other than the fans and HDD access they make no other noise...mine is constant until you turn it off and extremely irritating (you can even feel the desk vibrating along with the humming, it tends to phase in and out in a 3-5 second cycle).

    You can follow my exploits here if you are inclined:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=4938886
     
  13. KurtangleTN thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 2, 2007
    #13
    That sucks, have you considered just returning it, if it's in the 30 day period, or try a more personal Apple care?

    You know if these things weren't so damn hard to open and troubleshoot yourself, I'd be inclined to try to see if there is anything loose or something inside, of if it's the hard drive, replace it with a bigger one anyway.

    Weren't the G5s fairly open? Why did Apple chose to close it so much when they switched to Intel? Anyway that's for another post I guess.

    I'm reading up on your thread now, man now I'm really worried about Saturday.
     
  14. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

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    #14
    What's happening on saturday?
     
  15. kckiwi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #15
    issue is resonance and harmonics

    First let me say I am not a technical expert on noise and the reasons that cause it. I do, however, read articles on this website and have found it very useful in understanding the factors that contribute to noise with a computer. BTW, they reviewed a 20" and 24" iMac and concluded that they are very energy efficient and quiet systems.

    Second, I had the same experience as the original poster with a 20" aluminum iMac. It produced a humming, high frequency buzzing noise while it was on. I quickly determined it was the frequency/vibration of the hard drive interacting with the desk the iMac was on. I also have a 24" iMac and the desk it is on is fine. I eliminated the problem by putting a thin rubber mouse pad under the foot of the 20" iMac and the noise disappeared. You could use any material that decouples the iMac from the structure it is on. A thin silicon rubber cooking sheet would work well and only cost $5-10.
     
  16. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

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    #16
    The iMac already has a rubber foot...
     
  17. TTTimo macrumors newbie

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    Jan 24, 2008
    #17
    Hey Kurtangle TN,

    From the audio recording, it sounds more like the rattling sound caused by the hard drive. I think there will not be any major problems if the volume or the type of sound is always constant. If there is any sudden waves of volume however, like it gets louder during certain intervals or sounds like it is spinning fast, then the hard drive might need to be checked.

    Do you download a lot of torrents? My old Powerbook used to work quite silently, until I started downloading a lot. Then it started making a humming noise, which became a buzzing noise, which then became sudden spasms of whirring and loud rattling once in a while. Finally, it almost sounded like a Formula 1 racing car... a few weeks before the HDD died.

    Moral of the story? Do not leave your computer on to download stuff for days on end, especially P2P stuff. And, always backup, as I learned the hard way :(
     
  18. kckiwi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #18
    no rubber feet on my iMacs, do you have an iMac?

    My 20" & 24" iMacs do not have a "rubber" feet, they have aluminum feet. Those feet directly transfer vibration to the surface they are on. Depending on the harmonic characteristics of that surface you may experience an annoying buzzing/vibration noise while the hard drive, or DVD drive, is spinning. It is easy to put some decoupling material under the foot to see if the noise is substantially reduced or close to eliminated. The decoupling material could be as simple as a hand towel that is folded once or twice. If that solves the vibration/buzzing then get a more asthetic and effective decoupling material as I suggested in my initial post.
     
  19. iJesus macrumors 6502a

    iJesus

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Reno, Nevada
    #19
    My iMac had the same problem.
    I have a 24" Alu iMac and I had the same noise problem.
    I took it to the Apple Store and they fixed it.

    I think they replaced the hard drive fan.
     
  20. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

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    #20
    Well if you know so much, the iMac manual says it, and I saw it with my own eyes when i put my imac on my bed to take the glass off the imac to do various work. Doing it again tomorrow, this time for a different reason, Ill be happy to snap a picture for you.
     
  21. Mac. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    I've had mine for 2 months, I was silent until a week or 2 ago.

    Every now and then then i can hear a buzzing sound coming from the hardrive, when i adjust the screen angle is stops. Then the sound might start again 10 minutes later, so i have to adjust the angle of the screen again to stop it.

    Not sure if i should bring it to the Apple store or just leave it.

     
  22. AustinD macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #22
    I have the EXACT same noise. I called apple monday and theyre sending a guy out here on friday(tomorrow) to check it out. Hopefully it will be fixed, i cannot concentrate whilst doing homework :mad:.
     
  23. KurtangleTN thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    #23
    Thanks for all the posts, glad to see others have had this problem fixed. I backed up most of what I had (that was not replaceable at least)

    Hopefully they take it and fix it without too much wait or issues about it. I'm hoping it's a fan, but guessing it's a hard drive.

    TTTimo, I'd say it's much louder then what the recording gave it, but it's a new system and I can't even sleep with it on, so when I do P2P it's on my PC laptop.

    Yeah I agree it's very hard to concentrate or enjoy anything your doing with it when it makes such an annoying constant noise.
     
  24. Stay Dry macrumors newbie

    Stay Dry

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #24
    iMac Humming Noise, Buzzing Sound

    :( I have a 24" imac that is about 2 years old and I also have this buzzing/humming sound. It just started happening within the last few months. It's not all the time, but just about.

    I thought at first it was my hard drive, but it temporarily gets better if I angle the monitor to different positions or if I squeeze slightly on the case of the computer itself. It never stays quiet for long.

    I do have the 3 yr apple care but...I don't want to be computerless and besides, what could they do for the problem? I have tried to stick a scrap of paper in the gap on the back where the stand meets the monitor/computer all in one unit but anything thin enough to fit in there is not thick enough to stop the noise.

    It may sound like we are being picky-for those of you who have commented along those lines, but it is VERY annoying! :( Especially since I kind of went all out to buy this computer and didn't settle for a cheaper PC "equivalent".

    I'm open if anyone has any ideas of how to fix this...yes, even it means sending it away for repairs.

    -Thanks.
     
  25. jaredisme macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #25
    This is exactly my problem (not the noisy imac but everything else). I am also 14 (only a few days left!!!!) and my apple store is 30 minutes away. And its not only the apple store, its every store. My parents refuse to take me to any store even if I'm buying something with my own money.
     

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