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osplo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 1, 2008
338
179
Hi, I just installed Fan Control, a nice app to set the speed of my Mac fans since the noise coming from my MAX Studio (even when idle) was unbearable.

Setting the fans to the minimum (1100 RPM) does wonders. Noise is hugely reduced. Not to zero, but much, much better.

My question is, is it safe to set it to a fixed speed? I have no doubts that 90% of the time web browsing or doing office work) the Mac will be operating at low temperatures, but what when I start heavily using FinalCut or any other heavy app?

I can monitor the CPU/GPU temperature (the app does that) but I don't want to do it manually. But I read somewhere that 1100 RPM could be more than enough to keep the chips happy.
 

sam_dean

Suspended
Sep 9, 2022
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If operational noise is your paramount concern then why even ask if "is it safe to set it to a fixed speed?".

It is akin to asking if you take oxy to what quantity is it safe?
 

osplo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 1, 2008
338
179
Operational noise is not more important than frying the chips, dean Sam.

Any proper answers? 🙂
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,307
43,126
My question is, is it safe to set it to a fixed speed?
If the noise is unbearable and you want a quiet mac, you already have your answer.

The fans are spinning up for a reason - if you want to over rule it, then proceed at your own risk.

What are your temps before and after manually setting the fan speeds.
 
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Toutou

macrumors 65816
Jan 6, 2015
1,075
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Prague, Czech Republic
I don't own a Studio, but on other Apple machines the fan curve is always set up so the fans only spin up as the last resort, i.e. the CPU is allowed to run pretty hot most of the time and only if radiating the heat away + idling fan don't cut it, then the fan starts ramping up.

So unless the curve is set differently in the Studio, the fan is only audible when the machine absolutely needs to dump the heat away, and limiting its speed manually would only result in thermal throttling -- the machine slowing itself down in order to create less heat.

Since you're saying that the noise coming from your Studio was significant even when web browisng or doing office work, I'd maybe look at Activity Monitor and make sure that anything else isn't sitting on the CPU, making it run hot.
 

bobcomer

macrumors 601
May 18, 2015
4,949
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So unless the curve is set differently in the Studio, the fan is only audible when the machine absolutely needs to dump the heat away, and limiting its speed manually would only result in thermal throttling -- the machine slowing itself down in order to create less heat.
The studio is quite different. The fan always runs and the default low end speed is 1330 rpm. I don't know if 1100 is enough given how the Studio is built but I personally would never set it to 1100 rpm without it being able to ramp up if needed. But keeping the machine running is much more important to me than noise.
 

mi7chy

macrumors G4
Oct 24, 2014
10,495
11,155
Might want to find out from Apple if lowering the fan curve will invalidate the warranty if something were to happen. Better to pursue sound dampening measures over lowering fan curve. For example, if fan noise is directed out the back through vent holes and bouncing off the wall then perhaps try sound dampening wall panel.
 

osplo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 1, 2008
338
179
Is it possible it's faulty if the noise is "unbearable" when the machine is at idle?

Good question, maybe I used a much too strong adjective. In fact, I am used to ZERO sound from my old iMac which my Studio replaces. Same for my MBA. It is not really "unbearable", but noisy indeed. Too distracting. It shouldn't be necessary to even spin the fan (when the CPU is doing light stuff), considering the great thermal design and the efficiency of the Apple Silicon.

1100 RPM as pointed out above is the minimum. Strange, but it is so. At that speed it is not completely muted but the sound is almost inaudible.

I read somewhere that test were made and no matter how heavy the tasks that were thrown to this beast the machine was never spinning higher than 1300 RPM. So, it could well be that 1100 RPM is all what is needed for the Studio MAX.

But if anyone has made tests or seen the mentioned ones, it would be great to have a confirmation. Thanks.
 

Jonnoy

macrumors newbie
Sep 18, 2012
18
6
UK
Good question, maybe I used a much too strong adjective. In fact, I am used to ZERO sound from my old iMac which my Studio replaces. Same for my MBA. It is not really "unbearable", but noisy indeed. Too distracting. It shouldn't be necessary to even spin the fan (when the CPU is doing light stuff), considering the great thermal design and the efficiency of the Apple Silicon.

1100 RPM as pointed out above is the minimum. Strange, but it is so. At that speed it is not completely muted but the sound is almost inaudible.

I read somewhere that test were made and no matter how heavy the tasks that were thrown to this beast the machine was never spinning higher than 1300 RPM. So, it could well be that 1100 RPM is all what is needed for the Studio MAX.

But if anyone has made tests or seen the mentioned ones, it would be great to have a confirmation. Thanks.
With the same thought process that you mention I decided to use the same utility for the past few months on my Mac Studio without any issues. I've set it so the fan will start to increase above 40 degrees. It keeps the idle at 1100, rather than 1300 which is the default and much less pleasant to my ears.

I've had two different Mac Studio units and both were audible at idle, prompting this 'workaround'.
 
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osplo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 1, 2008
338
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With the same thought process that you mention I decided to use the same utility for the past few months on my Mac Studio without any issues. I've set it so the fan will start to increase above 40 degrees. It keeps the idle at 1100, rather than 1300 which is the default and much less pleasant to my ears.

I've had two different Mac Studio units and both were audible at idle, prompting this 'workaround'.

Great, are you using the same app (Fan Control)?

I haven't seen a way to set a rule to start increasing the fan speed considering the global temperature of the CPUs and the GPUs, but only one of them. Could you please tell me your setup? Thanks!
 

ChedNasad

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2020
101
255
With the same thought process that you mention I decided to use the same utility for the past few months on my Mac Studio without any issues. I've set it so the fan will start to increase above 40 degrees. It keeps the idle at 1100, rather than 1300 which is the default and much less pleasant to my ears.

I've had two different Mac Studio units and both were audible at idle, prompting this 'workaround'.
That's so weird considering the M1 Pro/Max laptops don't even have fans on when idle. (Or even under most loads) Considering the heat sink size on the studio I am surprised it doesnt do the same.
 
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Jonnoy

macrumors newbie
Sep 18, 2012
18
6
UK
Great, are you using the same app (Fan Control)?

I haven't seen a way to set a rule to start increasing the fan speed considering the global temperature of the CPUs and the GPUs, but only one of them. Could you please tell me your setup? Thanks!
Screenshot 2022-10-25 at 21.52.50.png


Hope this screenshot helps!

Edit: The app seems to have reverted to this for some reason; I actually had it set as the 'CPU Average' starting at 45 to make the fan kick in
 
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theorist9

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2015
3,546
2,656
This is probably the article to which you were referring, from the makers of Macs Fan Control. They say you can set it to 1100 RPM w/o issue, but it seems the safest approach would be for you to have it run your own heaviest and most extended workloads (particularly ones that stress both CPU + GPU) with the fan at 1100 and see what happens to the temps.


Does Macs Fan Control allow one to reset the idle speed to 1100 RPM, but still allow the fan to ramp up as needed? If the thing is at idle most of the time anyways, it seems that would be the ideal solution.

The other solution, if you don't need to plug headphones and cards in and out, would be to get some long cables and move it away from your desk (and ideally put it on the other side of something so as to help to block direct sounds, like a sofa). Though quality 3 m TB cables do get pricey.
 
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osplo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 1, 2008
338
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This is probably the article to which you were referring, from the makers of Macs Fan Control. They say you can set it to 1100 RPM w/o issue, but it seems the safest approach would be for you to have it run your own heaviest and most extended workloads (particularly ones that stress both CPU + GPU) with the fan at 1100 and see what happens to the temps.


It could be. Thanks for sharing it.

But in the video they mention that the fans are not more audible during the torture-tests, which probably means that they keep spinning at 1300 RPM. However, I doubt that continuous, long sessions of CPU/GPU stressing are not going to get the chips hotter.
Does Macs Fan Control allow one to reset the idle speed to 1100 RPM, but still allow the fan to ramp up as needed? If the thing is at idle most of the time anyways, it seems that would be the ideal solution.

I fully agree, that's why I asked for the setup to Jonnoy above. I suppose that measuring the air flow temperature (instead of individual cores), as he shows, is the way to go, not fully sure though.

It can always be done manually - if i am going to stress the chips, return fan control to the system - but it would be lovely to have Fan Control (or any other tool) to manage that in a smart way. Or at least to send a warning message when T > 60ºC or something.

Even more, if they find a way to set the fans to 0 RPM (completely stopping them) and make them spin when things get hotter, that would be ideal.

The other solution, if you don't need to plug headphones and cards in and out, would be to get some long cables and move it away from your desk (and ideally put it on the other side of something so as to help to block direct sounds, like a sofa). Though quality 3 m TB cables do get pricey.

It is actually a good idea and it was my last resort. Pricey, as you mention, and with other disadvantages but kind of doable. Also I thought of some kind of noise insulator boxes but the airflow cannot be prevented to go in and out of the machine, I guess.

Thanks for your comments.
 

theorist9

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2015
3,546
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Also I thought of some kind of noise insulator boxes but the airflow cannot be prevented to go in and out of the machine, I guess.
What about putting it in something like this (say, on the floor next to your desk) and pointing the open end away from you? This one's a bit ugly, but it communicates the concept; and the price is right.

With an open end it won't cut the sound by much, but it might be just enough to make the difference for you.

 
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osplo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 1, 2008
338
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What about putting it in something like this (say, on the floor next to your desk) and pointing the open end away from you? This one's a bit ugly, but it communicates the concept; and the price is right.


Yeah, I was looking into boxes like these but it would be as I said a very last resort (plugging stuff in and out would be inconvenient). With the fans running at 1100 RPM I'm happy, I just don't want to fry the chips by accident in summer or inadvertently during heavy usage.

I see that there is another app called TG Pro which seems to send a notification message when any of the cores surpasses certain temperature threshold besides setting the fan speed, seems worth looking.

But my intuition is that 1100 RPM is more than enough. The thermal protection of the Studio box (even for the Max, which is made of aluminum, not copper as in the Ultra) plus the fan should be more than enough for getting the chips comfy. Have in mind that the MacBook Pro with this very Max chip spends a long time with ZERO fan movement.

My guess is that Apple over-engineered the Studio cooling system for future chips. Or maybe, at the last minute, they underclocked the M1 as a way to create some upgrade gap for the M2 (which seems a M1 overclocked) and ended up with too much cooling for this chip.

In any case, I want to be sure - this machine is a dream but is not cheap.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,307
43,126
With the fans running at 1100 RPM I'm happy, I just don't want to fry the chips
What are your temps?

All of this talk about safely running the fans at X speed is moot if you're seeing high temps at idle and load. I go back to my post and say that Apple tends to keep the fan curve set in a way to maximize silence and if they're noisy it may be because the temps are high.

The Studio is a different beast and its conceivable that its a hot running computer
 

osplo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 1, 2008
338
179
What are your temps?

All of this talk about safely running the fans at X speed is moot if you're seeing high temps at idle and load. I go back to my post and say that Apple tends to keep the fan curve set in a way to maximize silence and if they're noisy it may be because the temps are high.

The Studio is a different beast and its conceivable that its a hot running computer

Average CPU 37ºC, rarely I see a core in the forties. That's why I say that maybe 1100 RPM is more than enough (for light usage, I can assure it is), but I'll keep watching until someone provides something more scientific. I haven´t done anything really heavy for a long time yet, though.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,307
43,126
Average CPU 37ºC, rarely I see a core in the forties.
I would say then at that point, its perfectly safe to decrease the fan speed.

I think other members mentioned if the studio is particularly loud, you may want apple to check it out to ensure its not defective, i.e., defective fans, but overall your temps are really low
 
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osplo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 1, 2008
338
179
I would say then at that point, its perfectly safe to decrease the fan speed.

I think other members mentioned if the studio is particularly loud, you may want apple to check it out to ensure its not defective, i.e., defective fans, but overall your temps are really low

I don't think it is defective at all. The fan makes a suave sound, it is normal. It is just that my place is really quiet (at night and when the NAS is off, that is) and I (still) have good hearing. And I am really picky about it.

I guess that people who claim that the Studio is completely silent either has bad hearing or normal ambient noise (in a regular office, or at the Apple Store, any Studio is "silent"...). It could also be physically far from their ears as well, mine is right in front of me at a few inches, even closer than my screens.

Yeah, it looks that 1100 RPM is the way to go, at least until someone can figure out how to switch the fans completely off and provides for temperature-based fan awakening, as the MacBook Pro does.

Thanks!
 
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CoMoMacUser

macrumors 65816
Jun 28, 2012
1,015
317
I've had a M1 Max Studio for five months. It's about 3 feet away from my ears, and I have to stop and listen to hear the fan. It's barely perceptible. The case also is ice cold. I'm typically running Edge or Safari with several tabs, Word and Outlook, so I guess it's not a heavy workload compared to editing video.
 
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