Is the 2017 13" MacBook Pro's fan noise "annoying"?!

Saturn007

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 18, 2010
425
149
Looking at the non-Touch Bar, 2017 13" MacBook Pro...

1. Is the fan always running on the new NTB 13" MacBook Pros?

2. I've seen detailed tech reviews raising concerns about its fan noise; one even described it as "annoying"?! Is that true? (To be fair, others have called it quiet! What gives with that?! Different units; different loads; different tests or attention to the issue, I presume...)

3. Is the fan noise under regular operation -- say, some web browsing, Microsoft Excel, Word, Preview PDF viewing -- noticeable in a quiet environment?

4. Is the noise a softer whoosh or a higher-pitched whine?!

5. Would getting 16GB change the equation, making it less likely for the fan to run or run high?

As you can guess by the questions, I'm someone with excellent hearing, who is sensitive to noise, and who works in a quiet study.

I've also been looking at the 12" MacBook -- light, appealing, and without a fan -- but the palm rest seems too shallow and small for my hands and, apparently, even under regular load, it can get too warm or hot to be used comfortably in one's lap. Of course, maybe that's an issue with the 13" non-TB model, too!

Any and all experiences, thoughts, and ideas appreciated!
 

psymps

macrumors member
Aug 12, 2017
46
16
England
Looking at the non-Touch Bar, 2017 13" MacBook Pro...

1. Is the fan always running on the new NTB 13" MacBook Pros?

2. I've seen detailed tech reviews raising concerns about its fan noise; one even described it as "annoying"?! Is that true? (To be fair, others have called it quiet! What gives with that?! Different units; different loads; different tests or attention to the issue, I presume...)

3. Is the fan noise under regular operation -- say, some web browsing, Microsoft Excel, Word, Preview PDF viewing -- noticeable in a quiet environment?

4. Is the noise a softer whoosh or a higher-pitched whine?!

5. Would getting 16GB change the equation, making it less likely for the fan to run or run high?

As you can guess by the questions, I'm someone with excellent hearing, who is sensitive to noise, and who works in a quiet study.

I've also been looking at the 12" MacBook -- light, appealing, and without a fan -- but the palm rest seems too shallow and small for my hands and, apparently, even under regular load, it can get too warm or hot to be used comfortably in one's lap. Of course, maybe that's an issue with the 13" non-TB model, too!

Any and all experiences, thoughts, and ideas appreciated!
Hi!

To answer your questions briefly:

1. No, the fan doesn't run continuously

2. The fan noise at lower rpms isn't disruptive, it's only when it reaches higher speed does it start to become more noticeable, at full speed it sound similar to a mini jet-engine :). However, in my opinion, I rarely get annoyed by it because it's not on most of the time and when it does come on it doesn't go to full speed, unless I'm doing intensive work in Parallels VM.

3. No, I can barely hear the fan under such conditions, infact it doesn't turn on under minimal loads

4. Like I mentioned earlier, at full speed there is a slightly noticeable whine

5. I don't think the difference in RAM would equate to a more silent/efficient machine. I have 8GB personally.

P.S. I got the MacBook Pro 13 inch nTB over the 12 inch MacBook due to size reasons mainly.
 

Saturn007

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 18, 2010
425
149
That's really helpful to "hear"!

How's the heat on it? Can you use it on your legs comfortably?! I had a 2015 MBP that ran so hot, it was uncomfortable!

Also, how is the sound of the keyboard? I was at a store the other day and actually liked the feel of the keyboard (surprised me as I'm a long-time touch typist who likes ample key travel!). I forgot, though, to check the sound of it! Of course, it's tough in a store, with all the ambient noise to hear things!
 

psymps

macrumors member
Aug 12, 2017
46
16
England
That's really helpful to "hear"!

How's the heat on it? Can you use it on your legs comfortably?! I had a 2015 MBP that ran so hot, it was uncomfortable!

Also, how is the sound of the keyboard? I was at a store the other day and actually liked the feel of the keyboard (surprised me as I'm a long-time touch typist who likes ample key travel!). I forgot, though, to check the sound of it! Of course, it's tough in a store, with all the ambient noise to hear things!
Yes, for light - medium workloads I have found it doesn't get particularly warm. it feels quite comfortable on my legs.

I agree with you that the feel of the keyboard is actually pretty good, even though it has less travel than the majority. The sound is moderately loud but I don't think it's a major issue in my opinion and even in a quiet room I don't think it'll annoy you that much. I guess it depends how hard you press the keys.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Saturn007

mactr0n

macrumors newbie
Jun 13, 2017
5
4
That's really helpful to "hear"!

How's the heat on it? Can you use it on your legs comfortably?! I had a 2015 MBP that ran so hot, it was uncomfortable!
I just got the NTB MBP 13" and it runs really cool (see attached screenshot from iStats). Was browsing the web for about 1 h and the fan wasn't running not even once. Previous to this one I had a 15" MBP (2015) and a 13" MBP (2015) and both felt warmer and louder.

It's true that there is a little bit of an annoying noise coming from the fan at high rpm rates (5000-6000). But you really have to stress the CPU to get the fan spinning this high and it's really fast back to completely silent. So if you don't stress the CPU with very high loads all the time, you will get the most quiet and cool MacBook you ever had. I have to say it again: with alle the review in mind I really was surprised how quiet this machine is.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Saturn007

peraspera

macrumors member
Dec 17, 2016
67
38
Also, how is the sound of the keyboard? I was at a store the other day and actually liked the feel of the keyboard (surprised me as I'm a long-time touch typist who likes ample key travel!). I forgot, though, to check the sound of it! Of course, it's tough in a store, with all the ambient noise to hear things!
I know one professor and one trainer who returned their 2016s because of audience complaints about keyboard noise during their presentations. Neither have found the 2017s to be quieter so have passed on those as well.

A friend who owns a PR agency returned all the 2016s he ordered because he felt they were too noisy to use around clients. He ordered a smaller number of 2017s but they don't use them in the presence of clients.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Saturn007

Saturn007

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 18, 2010
425
149
Continue to appreciate the replies-- helpful!

By the way, is there a way to hide users' avatars?! I almost didn't read the post by the person with the skull-- creepy-looking and I had to keep hiding it with my hand!

(Your comment was informative, so I almost missed reading it!)
 

psymps

macrumors member
Aug 12, 2017
46
16
England
Continue to appreciate the replies-- helpful!

By the way, is there a way to hide users' avatars?! I almost didn't read the post by the person with the skull-- creepy-looking and I had to keep hiding it with my hand!

(Your comment was informative, so I almost missed reading it!)
Not sure about the hiding of the avatars but I do have a link to a video I made which demonstrates the noise at full speed:

 
  • Like
Reactions: Sodaken

Saturn007

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 18, 2010
425
149
Thank you! That's really not too bad at all--and, as you noted, that's for when it is going full throttle!
 

Similar threads

  • Ait Lhadj Achraf
1
Replies
1
Views
170
  • yohanes.ai
2
Replies
2
Views
198
  • Arthur Sergeevich
0
Replies
0
Views
147
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.