iMac SMC Firmware Update 1.1 - Fan Noise - Late 2013 27 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by alksion, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. alksion, Nov 10, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013

    alksion macrumors 68000

    alksion

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
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    #1
    I setup my new iMac today and everything seemed fine. There were multiple software updates, one, which included a firmware (iMac only) update for power nap.

    After the updates installed and the computer went through a few restarts, I logged into my user account. Now, I can slightly (though quite noticeable) hear the fans running. There wasn't any noticeable sounds from the iMac's fans till after this update.

    Does anyone know what it could be or experiencing the same thing?

    Edit: After the updates, when I shut down the computer, it also locks up for a second then shuts off. More specifically, the animations freeze, like the dock dropping off the screen. This isn't a clean install. I migrated from a Time Machine backup and then updated to Mavericks from ML. If a clean install is suggested I may just do that.

    Edit 2: Clean install took care of the freezing on shut down. Unfortunately the SMC update caused my fan to be audible and obviously a clean install didn't do a thing. I also tried resetting the PRAM and SMC to no avail. Here's some information on Apples website: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1699

    Please contact Apple regarding this issue so that it can get taken care of.
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #2
    Using iStat Pro (dashboard widget), what are the fan speeds when the fans are noticeably audible?

    On my 21.5", the idle speed is 1400rpm. I haven't got around to installing the widget on my 27" though.

    An SMC update may have caused that.

    Edit: I applied the firmware update while I was still in 10.8.5. Did you apply the update in Mavericks or when you were still in ML?
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
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    California
    #3
    How long has the machine beed running? After a new setup like that Spotlight needs to reindex the entire drive and it can take up to a few hours. While that is going on the system will be slow and unresponsive like you described.

    Click on the menubar Spotlight icon to see if it shows that it is still indexing.

    It will look like this if still indexing. If it is still indexing, just leave it logged in and let it run until complete.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    #4
    The fan is right around 1200RPM. I am just going to do a clean install. I have been less thrilled with my overall purchase so far.

    Nope, it finished indexing very quickly. I have 512GB SSD.
     
  5. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #5
    iirc, 1200 is the lowest speed of my 21.5, although its 2011 generation.
     
  6. propower macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 23, 2010
    #6
    1200 rpm on the new 27" is very quiet to me. Measures ~1dBA over background room (32dBA room - 33dBA with imac on sitting 2.5feet in front of it. FWIW I can still hear that enough that I put a piece of foam on the table to block reflected fan noise from the grates to the stand/desktop.

    You may have a faulty/especially noisy fan in which case I would either bring it back or if you need a machine to keep going - order a new one - get that one then bring it back.

    OR- there may be nothing wrong and you may be sensitive to the noise these make. I feel for you! A mini at lowest fan put as far away from you as practical will be quieter. If the fan ever ramps up on it though - you will not like it...
     

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  7. richard13, Nov 10, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013

    richard13 macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Hey alksion. Since we ordered at the about the same time for - I think - the same spec I have a good perspective.

    Immediately after setting up my iMac in Mountain Lion. Yes, I got ML… eh. I installed iStat Pro and noted that the fan speed was at 1200RPM. I noticed the fan noise straight away not just after the updates so I don't think the updates have anything to do with it.

    It is disappointing that the fan is louder than the two in my Early 2011 MacBook Pro fans running at 2000RPM, and I do question why it is, but I also think it's not all that bad either. The iMac fan noise is easily drown out by the whole house fan and the forced air heat in my house. I also note that this iMac is still much quieter than my previous iMac.

    I think the reason why the fan noise seems so prominent is the absence of the physical HDD. I'm betting that if we ordered a Fusion Drive instead we wouldn't hear the fan but we *would* be hearing the HDD spinning. So, I think it's a "pick your poison" kind of thing. Either have an HDD with a barely noticeable fan or a barely noticeable fan with no HDD noise.

    I hope this helps.
     
  8. Nismo73 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 4, 2013
    #8
    The hard drive noise would normally be a just audible grumbling noise.
     
  9. propower macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 23, 2010
    #9
    I originally tried a stock $1999 imac with 7200 rpm drive.

    The HD noise to me was more objectionable than the fan - about = in preceived loudness but the HDD was more noticeable to me...
     
  10. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    #10
    I think your assessment is valid. The weird thing is that there was no noticeable fan noise whatsoever for a few hours up until the updates.

    The freezing on shutdown was more annoying than anything. Because of this, my iMac is undergoing a fresh install as we speak. I will report back once it's finished.
    Luckily I have an SSD for this very reason.

    So you can notice the fan noise too? Did you have a clean install or upgrade?
     
  11. propower macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Always... but read my post above about it. Very quiet.

    Mine came with 10.8.4 and that is where I wanted/left it - Software update set to OFF.
     
  12. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    #12
    Unfortunately it's back again. I know I am being picky, but the fan is noisier in this iMac than it is in my late 2009.
     
  13. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #13
    I didn't notice any of this in my 27" mounted on a VESA on the wall in my basement. Besides a soft, almost inaudible whirring.
     
  14. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    #14
    You hit the nail on the head. That's just the noise I am hearing. I guess I just have to accept it as a part of the iMac's build.
     
  15. propower macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 23, 2010
    #15
    If the noise is changing for no reason (like loading) then thats a problem.

    It it is always the same thats a feature

    Regardless - if it bugs you - you have to honor that. Try a different one (holiday returns till Jan 7th!!) or find a better solution (mini in a closet?)...
     
  16. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #16
    Lol... Anything with a fan can't be 100% silent :D

    I usually can only hear it if I put my ears about 4 inches away from it, probably due to background noise.

    As long as the whir doesn't interfere with the Schubert playing in the background, I'm fine with it :)
     
  17. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    #17
    So it seems that everyone so far is noticing a slight noise even if it's very faint?
     
  18. richard13 macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Well, I can't speak for "everyone" but I hear it and it is faint. I'd say it's a mild annoyance and can ignore it mostly. What I don't like is how it sounds. To me it doesn't sound like a whooshing of air it sounds more like a fan moving so slow that it's scraping against plastic. Kind of hard to describe.
     
  19. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #19
    Scraping against plastic? That's funny. Mine's just the soft whir of the fan whipping the air. No scratching sounds.
     
  20. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    #20
    Same here for me. I know it's not really that loud, but it does bother me a bit.
     
  21. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

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    Mar 20, 2009
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    Near London, UK.
    #21
    I just got a new 27 inch with 512gb SSD. Can't hear a thing from it even with my head right up to it.
     
  22. bp1000 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    #22
    I've been a bit unlucky so far with my new imac

    My first unit was perfect but I decided to swap it as 256gb turned out to be too small so got the same BTO but with 512. That had an electrical cracklings and dead pixel.

    I swapped that and the new one is fine apart from when I applied the firmware update. The fans went berserk and since then I noticed a machine gun like thudding/ticking in one of the fans. It's very faint and it must be a noisy bearing I hope!

    You can even hear it slow down after switch off.

    I don't really want to have the hassle and wait to send it back.

    Will an apple store fan swap be ok? Can they put the screen back ok with no gaps?
     
  23. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

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    Mar 20, 2009
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    Near London, UK.
    #23
    No they cannot swap the fan in store. Back it up, you will be getting a new one.
     
  24. Tjosansa macrumors regular

    Tjosansa

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    #24
    Same thing for me..
    No sound at all from my brand new iMac 27". Then after an update i can hear the fan if i put my ear to the bottom of the screen..
    i didn't hear a sound before :(

    If it is so i guess Apple decided its for the best.. and therefor i accept it..
     
  25. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    #25
    I wonder what in the firmware is causing the fans to be audible. Was it not cooling sufficiently before?
     

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