Loud fan?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by RolandNights, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. RolandNights macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 8, 2011
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    California
    #1
    Lately, my mid-2010 15" Macbook Pro's fan has been a little loud, but I have no reason why. Here's what I've done so far:

    1) I installed smcFanControl. On average, my computer runs at around 50 C. Fan speeds average around 2000 RPM. At this speed, I can still hear the fan pretty well.

    2) I checked my printer queue. Completely empty.

    3) I also checked my Activity Monitor after shutting down all my programs. Nothing over 1% CPU usage ever comes up.

    4) Popped open my MBP to check out the fan. No visible layers or clods of dust on the fans.

    The computer isn't that old. I do spend a lot of time on the computer, so that may be it, but the fans never run that fast unless I'm ripping DVDs or transferring data. What could it be?
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #2
    Just keep in mind that the fan does idle constantly at said 2000 RPM. It does tend to be just barely audible with some minor variations in brand.
     
  3. RolandNights thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Yeah, I figured 2000 rpm was pretty normal. However, I wouldn't call the fan noise 'barely' audible. I wouldn't say it's REALLY loud, but in a silent room you can definitely hear the fan. Not as quiet as I used to remember it being.
     
  4. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #4
    2000 rpm will be somewhat audible, depending on ambient noise.

    In a silent room, you will definitely hear it.
     
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #5
    I had my logic board replaced in my Macbook and that introduced a somewhat quieter fan than what shipped stock in my notebook. I agree though, in a silent room you will hear it humming along.
     
  6. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #6
    Do you have an SSD, because if not I would say my 5400rpm 320GB HDD is a subjektive 4 to 5 time louder than the 2000rpm fans in my 15" 2010 MBP.
    In fact the Fans are so quiet that if I run only the SSD the noise in my external speakers coming from poor SNR or the noise my external screens power adapter makes is enough to drown it out.
    My Fans stay at 2000 rpm till around 65C.

    If you don't have an SSD I think something is wrong with your fans and I would take it in or they fail on you someday. Maybe the fan speed reading is wrong.
    Fans can get louder if the bearing is faulty.
     
  7. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #7
    I have to place my ear on the chassis to hear the hard drive. 2.5" drives in general are disturbingly quiet.
     
  8. RolandNights thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    No SSD. I feel that it's louder than it used to be--but then again, maybe it's because I'm so used to the sound of the computer, that I feel any variation is something bad lol. It's not loud enough that music on my external speakers won't drown it out.
     
  9. Adidas Addict macrumors 65816

    Adidas Addict

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    Location:
    England
    #9
    Could just be the fans getting older. Might be worth using SMC to get them going full speed for an hour and then reboot, they may just need a good workout.
     
  10. vitzr macrumors 68030

    vitzr

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    #10
    I'd much rather hear them doing their job than not.
     
  11. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #11
    Than your environment is not very quite or you should check out your ears. I used to have a 4200rpm drive in my old notebook (a Notebook that shut of fans entirely when idle). Replaced it with a 5400rpm at some point and now I have a 5400rpm drive again in my MBP HD Bay. 5400rpm create no vibrations like some 7200rpm dirves but there is a constant whooosing sound. You can hear them perfectly well. I can hear them spin down from a 4m away in my bedroom without a problem. Even a 4200rpm drive makes noise but the difference in noise between 4200rpm and 5400rpm is bigger than between 5400rpm and 7200rpm. 4200rpm is really very quite but still audible in my book.
    Whatever my two 2000rpm fans are less noisey than a 4200rpm drive, which means if you can hear those (running idle 2000rpm speed) over the HDD something is probably wrong.

    I am not talking about music. I am talking about the receiver noise that leaves the headphone jack. When no music is playing. When it should be dead silent but the cheap crap just isn't. Notebook sound cards suck.
    You know you have cheap speaker and a notebook sound card equals background noise when you hit pause in your music.
    Or forget the music take the power adapter of an external screen. The cheap ones often make a noise a rather high pitched one which old people often cannot hear at all.

    I think too many of you cannot differentiate the HDD from the Fans or you really have terrible hearing or really bad fans compared to mine. Spindown the HDD and you will know how much noise your fans make.
    With Spotlight you can launch SpindownHD it tells you when the hdd sleeps if you cannot keep them apart. Now you cannot unmount your system disc but you can set the send hdd to sleep time to 1 min and you will just have to wait a bit doing nothing.
     
  12. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #12
    My Western Digital 320 GB 5400 RPM is not audible over my system fan at a distance. This is even true in the middle of the night when the only thing making noise my room (besides my respiration) is my notebook. In order to hear the hum of the hard drive you need to place your ear onto the notebook's chassis itself. There is the occasional chug/click but it is a very rare occurrence and you need to recognize it as a noise coming from the hard drive itself.
     
  13. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #13
    Trust me you are wrong. Try spinning down your harddrive and then you will know what the fans noise and what the HDD noise is.
    Yes seek noise is really low on modern day drives but the idle spinning noise is what you think is your fans but really isn't.
    Just try to spin it down.
     
  14. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #14
    I spun down a spare external Hatachi 2.5" (I'm not waiting 10 minutes that that magical moment.) that does not have any enclosure and compared it to the drive I have inside the chassis. It is extremely noticeably silent when parked but still in order to hear the drive that is inside of the chassis I need to place my ear next to it. The chassis provides enough dampening. The noise is also different enough than the idle fan to identify it.
     
  15. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #15
    You have to wait one minute spindownHD lets you even set the time it waits to spindown. Spotlight can find this little tool.
    Chassis only dampens some of the sound but what is left is only very slightly higher pitched than the fans. Just try the simple trick and you will know.

    I think it is important to know and you are not alone among the people who think it is fan noise. Because once you know you know how much one can gain in noise reduction by an SSD. With SSD it is as silent as a book in all but the most quiet environments.
    The primary reason I spin down my HDD is because I like it when it is as quiet as a book.
     

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