Imac's 'fan noise'

Discussion in 'iMac' started by clipper100, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. clipper100 macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2011
    Brooksville, FL
    Reading various forums ... I am having doubts about ordering an IMac 27 (Lion) next month... because of reading the 'fan noise' problems these posters present.

    Do all IMacs have this problem?

    Has Apple solved the noise with mid-2011 hardware?

  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I'm not entirely sure what this fan noise problem is, unless you are referring to the fans running at full speed after replacing a hard drive. There is nothing to worry about.
  3. Michael D. macrumors member

    May 6, 2011
    Helsinki, Finland
    I've just gotten my first iMac. I must say it's very, very quiet. I'd not worry too much about noise. An iMac is probably one of the quiter computers you're going to find.

    Not anything like my former PC that was a genuine leafblower. :eek:
  4. HilbertSpace macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2011
    No issues here

    My 2011 27" SSD iMac doesn't show any fan issues. I had them kick on audibly at one point during a Handbrake rip (out of a half dozen I've done since unboxing), but other than that, they've been completely silent. Also, no noticeable hard drive noise, no yellowing, and no dead pixels.

    Some of the reports on MacRumors made me a little concerned about those things, and I was sure to check everything out in the first twenty-four hours, but honestly, this is a solid, well built machine. I am glad I boosted the RAM (I installed an additional 8 gigs, for a total of 12), but other than that, I wouldn't change a thing.
  5. Texran macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2011
    Quiet as a Mouse

    Other than the big beautiful screen, I can't even tell mine is on.
  6. Icaras, Jun 18, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011

    Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    About half of the posters in this thread don't even explain their everyday processes to give the OP a fair assessment of what types of fan noise can be expected of an iMac.

    It really depends on what exactly you're doing at any particular moment. Going to run multiple high def video sources? Probably going to get fan noise. Going to game extensively with modern games? Yea, you'll get some serious fan noise. Fans kick in for a reason: to cool down your Mac when it starts working a load. Do the fans work needlessly? Occasionally, the fans do sometimes kick in at funny odd times, but in general, they work as expected, and yes they can get somewhat noisy at times but it mostly happens when there is simply just strain to the system. If all you're doing is browsing Safari and writing an email, then no the fans aren't going to kick in at all.

    I don't own a 2011 iMac YET, but I have used various Macs from a G5 PowerMac to a Mac Pro, to various Macbook pros, to the new Macbook Air and ALL Macs will start to kick in serious fan noise when you start to push the system. My 2010 iMac is no exception. It's a totally normal operation, and even if you're planning to do some serious audio work (where I think fan noise really seriously matters), I really wouldn't worry about. I use Logic 9 and never have the fans kicked in while working.
  7. bakura macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2011
    Once again, it just depends on how people perceive "noise". Honestly, the iMac 2011 is not what I call a noisy computer. It's silent. Really. But you still have 3 fans, so you will always hear a small sound (btw guys, does an SSD heat as much as a HDD or is it totally cool ? if it is that's quite exciting, that means that in the future Apple could drop one fan ?). Even after playing 1h the fan are not so noisy (and with the music coming from the game, you cannot hear the fans).

    I just made a test in my quiet room for you to make an idea : I can hardly hear the fans when the music on iTunes is "two bars", and cannot hear them at all when the music is "three bars".
  8. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    I believe Apple says the fans run very quietly at 18dBA (varies from machine to machine) when idle, and from what I know the fans don't speed up by much, if at all, when under load -- with the 27" models at least, I assume the same is for the 21.5" models.
  9. RoyalFlushAK(s) macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2011
    There's no noise whatsoever in any iMac

    What are you talking about? Are you sure you know what's going on here?

  10. MAGNUStm macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2011
    I had this issue when I bought a mid-2010 27" iMac.

    Basically the fan would randomly turn up and stay on at full speed as if it was overheating. This would happen even during casual web browsing or listening to music. The fan would run so hard that eventually it would trigger my computer to shut down. I tried several suggestions I found both on forums and the apple site.

    I eventually took the machine to my local apple store. They kept it for three days and said they couldnt find anything wrong with my machine... I honestly dont think they even tested it as they said it operated normally while in their possession. When I picked it up the manager told me if the problem continued to bring it back in for a full trade. As soon as I set the machine back up the fan came right back on. I went back the next day and got a brand new machine. I've had no problems since.
  11. 50548 Guest

    Apr 17, 2005
    Currently in Switzerland
    Well, considering that even a SILENT room emits some 30/35dB without any other disturbance, I find it hard to gauge fans at 18dB...I've just bought a good iPad SPL meter and got something around 38dB in my room with the Mac on.
  12. Unkei macrumors member


    Apr 11, 2012
    Columbus, Ohio
    Fan noise

    I have a 1 month old iMac 21.5 in. I play no high demand games so can't address that issue. I do PS editing and web browsing, email and such. My iMac sits on a roll up wooden table (think fancy hospital tray), and I cannot hear iMac at 18 in distance!
  13. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008

    Does the 27" iMac really have a fan?

    I've never heard mine come on at all.

    Of course I am not sitting inside a soundproof anechoic chamber either.

  14. DeF46 macrumors regular

    May 9, 2012
    My late 2009 iMac's fans sometimes rev up and make a hell of a lot of noise. I noticed if I click very fast or press the escape key it revs down. If I let it on, it will do this for 5 seconds, sometimes 1 minute. It happens very infrequently. Very odd and I never found some definitive info on it.

    Could be a hardware problem but I find it strange that hitting the keyboard or mouse seems to interrupt it, if I do it early enough. If I let it rev up after a few seconds keyboard/mouse has no effect. Is it my imagination?

    My guess is perhaps the firmware testing the health of the fans?
  15. aPple nErd macrumors 68030

    aPple nErd

    Feb 12, 2012
    Jailbreaks/IOS Hacks
    mine sounds like little parts off glass dinging together or it sounds like a compact car from japan...

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