iMac Rev. B - Fan Noise

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by GladRags, May 25, 2005.

  1. GladRags macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2005
    I just received my new iMac (17" 2Ghz) and I love it...but I have a question about the fans.

    The fans make a low-level grinding noise (best way I can describe it). It isn't irritating, but it IS audible even at its lowest level without putting my ear right to it.

    What concerns me more though is that the fans ramp up when almost any application other than Mail or Safari is loaded. For example, when I load up iTunes, the fans almost immediately ramp up - at which point they are VERY audible. After about a minute they quieten down again.

    The room the iMac is in is very cool - a basement - and near an A/C vent, so ambient temperature is not an issue.
  2. killuminati macrumors 68020


    Dec 6, 2004
    oh crap, my 17" iMac should arrive within a few days. No offense but hopefully yours is just a defect. :)
  3. GladRags thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2005
    I am wondering if it is a defect. I have searched and nobody has reported an issue like this.

    I literally got the iMac this the kind of thing that Apple would exchange right away, or am I going to have to have it repaired?
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    I'm getting the same noise on my two-hour old iMac but I've had the performance level set to highest and I wonder if this makes the difference. Of course, compared to my iBook, it's thunderous, but compared to my HP, it's pretty silent. :)
  5. Platform macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2004
    Wired....I have heard that the Rev B's are the "quiet" once :eek:
  6. Etrain macrumors 6502


    Feb 26, 2005
    Land of Cleve
    I have the new 20" and mine is very quiet. It seems to runs cooler compared to the older models (mine is normally around 120). It might be because I have the 20", I'm not sure. Mine is set to auto. When I set it to highest the fans are slightly louder but still very quiet. The noise mine makes is so low that I didn't even notice it until I read this post and listened for it.

    Good luck, I hope you get it fixed.

    BTW, could you post how hot yours is running? Download Temp Monitor and let us know.
  7. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000


    Jul 4, 2004
    It says my CPU Temp is 155.4 degrees F??? Could that be accurate? The fans are in whisper mode as well. I always keep the setting on highest. Rev A, 20" iMac.
  8. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    Well, if it's only "audible", that doesn't sound like a defect.....the orignial G5 imacs that had noise problems were usually described as a lot louder than that....I remember one poster saying his sounded like a gas powered model airplane!!!!

    I suspect that a lot on new imac purchasers are nervous and worried about the fan sound issue.....I know I was. If I listen for it, I can hear a like noise from the fans on mine.....but I ratrely notice it if I'm not thinking about it.....and if there's any other noise in the room then I cant hear it (the noise from the refrigerator in the kitchen covers it up for example)

    The thing you need to do is compare it to other computers.....most of the computers I've worked on over the last 20 years have made some, hard drives, CD burners, check it out compared to other computers to see if it's actually louder than "normal" computers before you convince yourself that it's a defect
  9. GladRags thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2005
    The noise itself doesn't bother me - I recognize any computer will make some noise. Though I feel the nature of the sound isn't right - its a mechanical sound, rather than a whoosh of air.

    But what worries me more is that the fans always ramp up whenever I load an application. Is that normal? As I said originally, even loading up iTunes gets the fans in an uproar for about a minute, and then they quieten down. And this is with no other programs running.

    It is a bit nitpicky, I realize...just making sure its normal. The noises themselves don't bother me - I just find it unusual. :)
  10. Etrain macrumors 6502


    Feb 26, 2005
    Land of Cleve
    I don't get any type of a roar. Mine just loads the app and stays at the same volume. The only time I heard an increase was in Garage Band.
  11. Etrain macrumors 6502


    Feb 26, 2005
    Land of Cleve
    That sounds right. If I set mine to highest it peaks around 150.
  12. admanimal macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2005
    My Rev B is nearly silent for the first few moments after it starts (or wakes up after being asleep overnight), but in general it maintains a constant audible whir, which can sound a little higher or lower in frequency depending on where I'm sitting and what other noise is around. It is definitely way quieter than my old PC, especially considering that this is sitting right in front of me, and my PC was kept on the floor to the side of my desk. I guess it cound start to get annoying if it got somewhat louder and stayed that way all the time.

    A related question: is there a program that will display the fan RPMs for the iMac's various fans? I thought Temperature Monitor was supposed to do this, but when I tried it, it didn't.
  13. BenAKL macrumors member


    Mar 27, 2005
    Just got my Rev B

    Just got my Rev B. Had Rev A (17") for about 3 weeks.

    Both Rev A and B didn't show any signs of fan noise.

    Very very happy with Rev B. Much brighter! Moved from 17" to 20"

    It Rocks! :D
  14. el_avocado macrumors newbie


    Jan 10, 2005
    My Rev. B iMac G5 does the same when I put in a CD and iTunes starts. Weird, now that I've decided to check how loud the fans are when I run other apps, they seem to have quieted down a bit. But, yeah, so far, the computer seems loudest when I wanna play a CD (or when I first open iTunes -- if I keep iTunes open after I've stopped playing music, the comp will quiet down again a minute later). (And actually, now that I think of it, it's even louder when I'm importing songs from a CD to my harddrive, but I reckon that's just mechanical.)

    And as with admanimal, my iMac G5 Rev. B, tho sometimes silent as a sleeping baby, and other times louder than anticipated, it does tend to "maintain a constant audible whir", which is still significantly quieter than the Dell I was using before this. (And the Dell tower was kept near the floor and inside the closed tower cabinet of my desk).

    Anyway, point being, I've been a lil paranoid, too -- concerned that maybe I got "a sucky one." But... I'm pretty sure this is normal, and if people have iMacs that are completely quiet all the time, then they're probably just lucky. (Tho, it is a nice treat when the computer goes from being somewhat loud or audible to being close to completely silent.) And actually, right now, my computer is being very quiet, and with no other noises in the room right now, if I wasn't paying attention, I wouldn't be able to hear anything from the iMac at all.

    I guess it was all that hype from everyone saying how quiet these computers were that got us thinking maybe our iMacs should be quieter than they actually are.

    Glad I'm not the only one.
  15. carho219 macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2005
    My new iMac (3 days old) is also very loud. Actually louder than my refridgerator even if I'm in the kitchen and the computer is in another room...

    I'll be taking it to a AASP next week (have several large exams this week) to see what can be done. If nothing can be done I'll have to send it back because I'ts tireing to sit infront of a computer that keeps sounding like a hair-dryer.

    /Carl Holmberg
  16. swy32x macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2005
    My CPU of my Rev B sits at around 68 degrees celcius (154 fahrenheit, thanks dashboard!) and I have peaked it at around 80 degrees (176 fahrenheit).

    Seems normal. 512 RAM only though, I'm sure more RAM will delay fan noise.
  17. littlejerry macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2005
    I have had my Rev. B 17 inch iMac (1.5 gigs ram) for a week now and it is loud. Sounds like a hair dryer or a vacuum cleaner. I can not take the noise and will be exchanging it for a 20 inch in hopes that the size difference will quite it or just flat our returning it and paying the 160 return fee (yes it is that loud). The techs at the “Genius bar” said it was normal but how they can tell in a loud apple store. It upsets me because I love the machine but it is just too annoying to work at. I go to bed with the whining noise in my head.

    X resource graph will show fan speeds of all three fans. Resource Graph/Download/
  18. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc

    my iMac revB 2.0 20inch sits and folds all day long as is pretty quiet...
  19. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    My iMac (rev a) is so quiet that i have to really focus to hear it.. Only the HD makes some low noise.. (i'm not hearing impaired :p)

    It's acually quiter than my powerbook, 'cause the book fan is noisy when i do intensive tasks.. I think i've heard the iMac fan maybe a few times since i got it (now 04, i think)
  20. MacBarry macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2005
    Does Memory Make the Differrence?

    I ordered the Rev B. Imac the day they werea announced. 1 Gig ram, (2 x 512's). Perhpas if we post our specs we can narrow the issues. Mine is generally quiet, (ie low fan whisper) It does however ramp up when running graphic intensive X-Plane (awesome simulator). I have installed Menu-Meters and Temp Monitor. Fan speed noise clearly increases with temperature and processor load. If the fan were blasting with a low temp or a low processor Load, I would be concerned, but the speed (noise) is clearly proportional to the processor load and temperature. I am going to download the fan-speed applet now for the trifecta of system monitoring. :)

    EDIT: PS it runs in the menu bar for real-time information
  21. katscan macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2005
    Fan Noise

    This may not be the least relevant but here goes.
    I have an older Computer PowerPC 6500.
    When I first bought it in 1997 it seemed noisy.
    There are two fans I believe, processor, and Power Supply.
    It really worried me because sometimes it screeched.
    When it was quiet I worried that it had frozen and my computer would fry.
    The Processor Cooler was an Elina fan.
    When I had to replace the Pram Battery, I decided to replace the Elina (Noisy one) with a RadioShack Fan I bought at the same time as the Battery.
    That was about 3 or 4 years ago and since that time no noise comes out of the computer. It's so quiet that I still worry that it may be stuck.
    The other Fan (Power Supply) is still going strong and has never made a sound.
    I think fans from different Mfrs may vary considerably in the level of noise they emit depending on where they are used. They may be silent in one application and loud in another. I know the RadioShack Fan is considerably quieter than the original (Elina) fan.
    I suppose the newer Computers run a lot hotter and I would welcome the Fan noise because I would know it was cooling something.
    But SCREECHING, get worried, screeching usually means something has run out of lubrication.
  22. Etrain macrumors 6502


    Feb 26, 2005
    Land of Cleve
    Mine is a stock 20" Rev. B. Like I said before, the noise is minimal.

    I'm not sure if this matters but I remember many of the Rev. B iMacs were being shipped from China, mine shipped from Cali. Any difference?
  23. topgunn macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2004
    Which would be quieter to someone sitting at a desk; a Rev B iMac G5 on the desk or a Power Mac G5 Dual under the desk? Assume both are working properly and are not one of the problem Macs that screech or have grinding fans. Also assume that both are operating at full load with the highest energy usage.
  24. pusman83 macrumors regular

    May 9, 2005
  25. jcrowe macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2005
    East Jesus, Italy
    It's all relative

    I bought a 20" 2Ghz iMac to replace my 800Mhz G4 iMac with a 15" screen. Comparatively, the new one is actually quieter. I have both systems running Tiger 10.4.1 and they both have 512Mbytes of memory. I noticed the differential when I was doing the firewire xfer from the old to the new. That said, they are both much quieter than my homebrew PC which is not overclocked with an AMD XP 2500+ (Barton) processor. In the long run, they are disturbing when I try to sleep but otherwise innocuous. It might help to actually have people measure the ambient noise level and then the noise level with the systems on. Compared to the functionality, this just is not an issue for me. :cool:

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