Late 2013 Maxed Out iMac 27" - How Quiet Is It?

Thunderbird

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 25, 2005
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750
I am considering upgrading to the late 2013 iMac 27" and having it fully maxed out. The i7 3.5GHz and GTX 780M graphics seem as if they would be hot components and in need of aggressive fan cooling.

For anyone out there who has this model configuration, can you tell me from your experience how loud / quiet the fans are? Under heavy load are they obtrusive? What are your impressions of the overall acoustics?

Thanks.
 

dublove

macrumors newbie
Oct 15, 2013
25
0
Hiya dude.

I've a 3.5 i7 with the 780m. iMac is whisper quiet in just about everything.

The fan ramps up when playing games, but not overly so. I played Tombraider 2013 in bootcamp and you can still hardly hear the fan. My Lacie d2 drive is louder and this was with maxed out graphics settings.

One thing that does make it ramp the fan a lot is something like a Cinema4d render. All 8 cores maxed out. Not obtrusive as such, as it might only be like that for 20minutes while rendering.

hope this helps.
 

zeropointzero

macrumors newbie
Sep 5, 2010
17
0
mine is not maxed out but it is a late 2013 27" I5 3.4, GTX775M card, 1 tb hdd and 32 gb ram. it runs whisper quiet. i have to put my head behind the screen to hear the fan.
 

IA64

macrumors 6502
Nov 8, 2013
413
0
Mine is maxed out. The first time I pressed the power button after unpacking, I thought the iMac wasn't turning on and something was wrong with the power cable until I heard the chime . I'm still amazed how quiet it is.
 

phobos

macrumors regular
Feb 25, 2008
201
76
I don't own that model but a colleague of mine has the maxed out 2013 model and I sit next to him so I can share my experience with his machine!
In general use you don't hear it at all but once you start rendering in cinema the fan kicks in and it gets quite annoying.
I'm using the maxed out late 2012 model and the fan never kicks in when rendering so as you can imagine we're both annoyed by his imac's fan!

So if you're rendering a lot and your renders will last for hours or days keep in mind that you will hear the fan all the time.

It seems that i7 processors run quite hot so the fan will kick in quite fast.
 

silvetti

macrumors 6502a
Nov 24, 2011
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Poland
I would agree with someone on top... when playing BF4 is the only time I have heard the fans ramp up and even still it's barely audible and compared to my previous desktop with 560ti it's ridiculous quiet :D

The 560ti was without exaggeration at least 4 times more loud.

Mind you I get better FPS on the 780M ;)
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
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GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
I would agree with someone on top... when playing BF4 is the only time I have heard the fans ramp up and even still it's barely audible and compared to my previous desktop with 560ti it's ridiculous quiet :D

The 560ti was without exaggeration at least 4 times more loud.

Mind you I get better FPS on the 780M ;)
That was me :D

PS I disabled AA
 

mossy

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2013
157
47
Ireland
I'm using the maxed out late 2012 model and the fan never kicks in when rendering
You must be doing the little renders.:p

All computer fans kick in when doing heavy rendering. It doesn't matter what computer you are using. I find it reassuring when the fans kick in actually. That is what they are there for - to keep the machine from breaking and help keep it operating at full capacity.
 

phobos

macrumors regular
Feb 25, 2008
201
76
You must be doing the little renders.:p

All computer fans kick in when doing heavy rendering. It doesn't matter what computer you are using. I find it reassuring when the fans kick in actually. That is what they are there for - to keep the machine from breaking and help keep it operating at full capacity.
Well I work with two of those 2012 models (exact same specs) with the machines rendering for hours a day and at times several days non stop, and I never hear the fans kick in.
Sorry to dissapoint you
 
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mossy

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2013
157
47
Ireland
Well I work with two of those 2012 models (exact same specs) with the machines rendering for hours a day and at times several days non stop, and I never hear the fans kick in.
Sorry to dissapoint you
As I said - you must not be doing any heavy rendering (Your renders are long - but not intensive).
If you were the fans would kick in. Fact!
I bet there is not a glossy material or blurry reflection insight.

F.Y.I - You didn't.
 
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phobos

macrumors regular
Feb 25, 2008
201
76
As I said - you must not be doing any heavy rendering (Your renders are long - but not intensive).
If you were the fans would kick in. Fact!
I bet there is not a glossy material or blurry reflection insight.

F.Y.I - You didn't.
If the CPU is working at 100% it doesn't matter if what is being rendered has blurry reflections or not. The CPU won't start rendering at 110% because of the presence of a physically complex scene. It'll just take longer to render.
By the way a lot of those scenes are using cinema's physical renderer with GI enabled along with some demanding materials/lights. So even if your argument was correct the fans are still not triggered.
And just to correct you on one small thing. Glossy materials in most cases are pretty fast to render and not demanding at all.
Anyway don't want to high jack the thread just wanted to also state some facts.
If you have anything else to add just PM me. It would be easier and fair for the thread.
 
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mossy

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2013
157
47
Ireland
And just to correct you on one small thing. Glossy materials in most cases are pretty fast to render and not demanding at all.
If you keep your AA and other quality settings down then sure.

Your basically trying to convince me that the 2012 iMac is quieter at rendering than a 2013 iMac (the same scene). I simply do not believe that. I use vrayc4d to render high res packaging visualisations and rarely do the fans kick in.

so as you can imagine we're both annoyed by his imac's fan!
This statement gives the wrong impression to a potential buyer (that the iMac 2012 runs cooler than iMac 2013). The fans do not kick-in that easily. It runs silent for 99% of the time (even under heavy load). When they do kick-in it's for a good reason.

The thread is not being high-jacked either. I'm responding to a statement you made earlier.
I challenged what you stated so as to give the O.P another point of view.
 

phobos

macrumors regular
Feb 25, 2008
201
76
Your basically trying to convince me that the 2012 iMac is quieter at rendering than a 2013 iMac (the same scene). I simply do not believe that. I use vrayc4d to render high res packaging visualisations and rarely do the fans kick in
I'm not trying to convince anyone. This is exactly what happens.
Maxed out 2012 imac and maxed out 2013 imac side by side.
The exact same file is being rendered on both machines.
The fans on the 2013 imac kick in, in no time at all while the 2012 imac fans never kick in.
The hasswell i7's just run hotter compared to the 2012 non hasswell model.
Yes the 2013 machine will finish faster but it will also be noisy.

I'm not telling Thunderbird to get the last gen model but to keep in mind that the newer model is noisier. This occurs only in rendering so if you're not doing any 3d rendering you won't hear the fans.
Haven't tested how the 2013 machine behaves in gaming or final cut.
But for photoshop, illustrator, photo editing of big raw files the machine is silent.

The only way I can accept that the 2013 imac is not noisy is if you tell me that the model my colleague has is faulty. Which might be the case. My only experience with the 2013 model is with this one i7 hasswell machine (compared to several of the 2012 one) so if the machine is faulty it might explain the difference in noise you and me are experiencing.
 
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propower

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2010
719
112
I tested the 2013 i7 3.5GHz imac extensively before keeping it. The threshold for 90 degC CPU and fans ramping up was ~70% CPU load in the two I tested. Handbrake uses 100% CPU load and will certainly ramp fans up fairly quickly. In my Audio work I never go above 50%. Under the 70% load point - the 2013 is wonderfully quiet.

That the 2012 ran cooler is certainly plausible.

FWIW - the i5 2013 3.4GHz I tested ran less than 90degC at 100% load - hence no additional fan noise.
 

AndrewMRiv

macrumors regular
Oct 29, 2013
151
0
Mine is not maxed out (i5, 256gb SSD, 8gb of RAM) and it runs whisper quiet like everyone else's. Though i do eventually plan to upgrade to 32gb of RAM.

I have not pushed the CPU much at all, though. I have a separate Gaming PC that I built that I play games on.

The most torture I have done to it is a long handbrake queue while also chatting on iMessage, listening to music on iTunes, sorting out an iPhoto Library, all while browsing the web.

Though the RAM was maxed out, it was still very quiet.
 

mossy

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2013
157
47
Ireland
I'm not telling Thunderbird to get the last gen model but to keep in mind that the newer model is noisier.
It's this kinda statement that annoys me. I run the iMac 2013 machine at some point everyday at max cpu (sustained for an hour or more). The fans do not kick in easily. Vey rarely do they kick in. Actually almost never.

I'm only giving my experience. Maybe your colleagues machine is faulty - I couldn't tell.

I rendered a scene and took some screen shots. It will stay at 70° at 100% CPU and you won't hear the fans. You can see the CPU, tempreture, time and other bits:









 
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Ecoh

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2009
651
23
USA
You must be doing the little renders.:p

All computer fans kick in when doing heavy rendering. It doesn't matter what computer you are using. I find it reassuring when the fans kick in actually. That is what they are there for - to keep the machine from breaking and help keep it operating at full capacity.
My first late 2009 iMac died and early death at 6 months, because the thermostat failed and the fan never kicked on. I used to think it was exceptionally quite ! The second one was a little bit noisier but I found it very comforting to hear the fan running .

My late 2013 is maxed out, no noise at all until I start rendering. Then I hear it, but it's not as annoying as the harsh noise my old HP desktop made.
 

GizmoDVD

macrumors 68000
Oct 11, 2008
1,751
1,303
SoCal
It's this kinda statement that annoys me. I run the iMac 2013 machine at some point everyday at max cpu (sustained for an hour or more). The fans do not kick in easily. Vey rarely do they kick in. Actually almost never.

I'm only giving my experience. Maybe your colleagues machine is faulty - I couldn't tell.

I rendered a scene and took some screen shots. It will stay at 70° at 100% CPU and you won't hear the fans. You can see the CPU, tempreture, time and other bits:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
What app is that?
 

mossy

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2013
157
47
Ireland
My late 2013 is maxed out, no noise at all until I start rendering. Then I hear it, but it's not as annoying as the harsh noise my old HP desktop made.
Thats it like. it's not as if your sitting next to an aeroplane or something. If they do start running, it's not annoying to the point I start focusing on them.
 

phobos

macrumors regular
Feb 25, 2008
201
76
You must be doing the little renders.:p

All computer fans kick in when doing heavy rendering. It doesn't matter what computer you are using.
As I said - you must not be doing any heavy rendering.
If you were the fans would kick in. Fact!
The fans do not kick in easily. Vey rarely do they kick in. Actually almost never.
These are quite conflicting statements.
 
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