iMac Noise Level 2.4Ghz vs 2.8Ghz

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gormond, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. gormond macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007

    I would like to know how much extra noise the iMac makes if you go for a 2.8Ghz chip, the thing that puts me off it is I hate noisy computers.

    Many people are saying the 2.4Ghz iMac is virtually silent, is that the same for the 2.8Ghz (I assume not but worth asking) ?


  2. AlexisV macrumors 68000


    Mar 12, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    They'll be as quiet as each other.

    The 2.8 might require a bit of extra cooling, but the fan's virtually silent and I should think both chips will have the same heatsink/fan.
  3. r-sparks macrumors 6502


    Dec 1, 2006
    If you're sensitive to the noise computers make, you'll be sensitive to the noise an iMac makes. I wouldn't describe them as virtually silent.

    My 20in White iMac that's just under a year old is quieter than a standard PC, but it's not silent. Right now I can clearly hear the fans (including the CPU fan, which makes a quiet ticking noise).

    Additionally, before I swapped the hard disk, I could also hear a quiet tinnitus-like whistle. I believe a lot of Seagate models suffer from this problem. My MacBook HD had the same problem (also Seagate).

    Remember that modern Macs are multimedia machines, and most people use them to watch videos and play music nearly all the time. There's no requirement for them to be silent because the sound of the fans/HD will be drowned out most of the time.

    My advice is that you buy an iMac and try it out. You should be able to return it within a set period if you don't like it. Put it in a quiet room and see if you can put up with the noise it makes. Remember that iMacs aren't user-serviceable and rely on many proprietary components, so you can't just swap-out the fans for quieter models.
  4. gormond thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007

    I would assume the fan will be required to spin faster and therfor make more noise on the 2.8Ghz chip?
  5. marcg007 macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Boston area
    the only time I hear the fan is...

    when I wake the iMac up from sleep or power on if it has been off. aside from that, I would say at least for me "virtually silent" is fairly accurate. I have extremely sensitive hearing. I can hear my wife whisper from one end of our home to the other. Of course there is also the fact that my previous desktop was a quicksilver G4 which preceeded the Mirror Door (Wind Tunnel) G4 so I know a little something about noisy computers.
  6. bmcgrath macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2006
    London, United Kingdom
    iMacs just make a slight whirring noise from the hard disk spinning? Well that's all I hear from mine anyway. So I would say it's silent ;)
  7. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    I have a 2.8, it's nearly silent. You can hear the fans and hard disk, but they're extremely quiet (nothing like the average PC). I doubt the 2.4 is any quieter.

    The only time you hear it is when you turn it on (I think the fans spin up to maximum to churn the air) or when you put a cd in (the cd drive is moderately noisy).
  8. AlexisV macrumors 68000


    Mar 12, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    No, because a 2.4Ghz under load would be hotter than a 2.8Ghz at idle. It depends on circumstances.

    The heat difference between the two isn't very much anyway.
  9. redraidermacman macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2007
    i was a long time pc user that swore i would never use a mac, i always thought they were neat artsy toys, but not for me. Well, my wife went through windows laptops like they were going out of style, just had terrible luck, so i decided, we would get her a macbook, easier for her to use and more stable than a windows laptop. Well, after we got her that i ended up using it as much as she did, i love it, everything about it, so i broke down about a month ago and got an imac. i had a 2 year old gaming pc before and it was about what i would call acceptable from a pc, as far as noise go, i mean, in retrospect it was quite noisy, but i was ignorantly blissful as to not knowing how loud it really was, well with my new imac, all i can hear when using it, even playing c&c 3 all i can hear is the scratch of my mouse on the mousepad, a sound i dont remember ever hearing before.....anyway, sorry to ramble, just thought that would put things in perspective....
  10. likwidplastik macrumors member


    Nov 1, 2006
    I had the 2.4GHz but I ended up returning it and getting the 2.8GHz. I can honestly say there isn't any difference between the two. The're both virtually silent.
  11. Vanilla macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    Mine is silent. Truly.
    Having minor issues with the firewire ports but speed, screen quality, stability, silence are all brilliant.
  12. JBat macrumors regular


    Apr 6, 2007
    I agree. I've only had my iMac for about a week, but it's unbelievable how much quieter it is than my old PC, which was placed further away, under the desk.

    I think virtually silent is a fair description. It's a very nice change. :apple:
  13. CIrawI3riCIge macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2007
    Was in the similar position as you, as I needed a silent computer for audio. I now have the 2.8 and it's so dead quiet it's irrelevant. You'll definitely be pleased, if not 'wowed'.
  14. Kinkade macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2007
    I have a 2.8 and when I first turned it on and set things up I still had my Windows machine on because I was transferring files and stuff over.

    When I turned my windows machine off I was amazed at how quiet the iMac was. For a moment I actually thought something was wrong with the iMac. I knew it would be quiet but I was still surprised. It is virtually silent. Most of the time I never hear it at all over the normal background noise of my house.
  15. jch macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2007
    It depends...

    My 24" 2.8 GHz iMac was virtually silent when I bought it, but it got very hot to the touch along the top edge.

    Running Temperature Monitor confirmed that it was getting beyond my comfortable heat range: >70C for the power supply for instance. HDD was typically 65+C.

    In electronic design we have a rule that the lifetime of a component drops in half for every 10C rise in operating temperature.

    So I installed smcFanControl and the temperatures dropped by 20-30C (!).

    My machine now runs at 41C (at 50% CPU load). I can now hear the fans but they're still pleasantly quiet.

    Not at all like the wind-tunnel Dell I replaced with this iMac. It was like being in the engine room!

    The upshot is that it'll be as quiet as you want. Just it'll run a *lot* hotter and, perhaps, suffer shutdowns or reduced lifetime as a result.

    Hope this helps.

  16. ViperDesign macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2007
    Maybe the years of having a PC with 8 fans going all day made me deaf, but I have NEVER heard anything going in my iMac at all lol Only thing I hear is when the dvd player spins when I put a disk in there
  17. gormond thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007
    From the feedback so far I think I have made my mind up on the 2.8Ghz, it's worth the cash for a 10%-20% speed increase imo if it doesn't cause any extra noise like I was worried about.
  18. Bolteh macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2007
    Keep in mind that you'll have to wait a few months to get it if you order now. *sigh*

    Yes, sorry, I am annoyed because my 2.8GHz I ordered 4 weeks ago hasn't shipped yet.
  19. gormond thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007
    Ugh really?... how long would I be expected to wait for a 2.8Ghz mac ?
  20. Bolteh macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2007
    No idea, depends I guess.. I've heard of people getting it after a feek or even a few days.. Guess I'm the unlucky one to be waiting for about 4 weeks now.. I've ordered via a reseller though, maybe that's why..
  21. rallycars macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2007
    That is definitely why. I ordered from a reseller more than 6 weeks ago and mine hasn't shipped either.

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