MacBook Electric Noise/Interference Sound

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nsf557, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. nsf557 macrumors newbie

    nsf557

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Far far away
    #1
    This problem can literally drive some people insane! So my MB (2.0Ghz CD, 1GB ram) has this electric noise around 'S' and 'W' buttons; this is not from the fan; the noise is like when you put electric motor next to the radio antenna and the interference that you hear from the radio is what it sounds like. It is not very loud but it will drive you insane over time. Therefore, for the last seven months I've been using a small app called "Quiet MBP" to increase the CPU cycles which basically changes the frequency so that it gets more tolerable. This is the same noise people attempt to kill by launching PhotoBooth. Sound wasn't present out of the box, it appeared after a couple of weeks of usage. It also doesn't exist if you boot using the setup CD to use the utilities. And the laptop is dead quiet under Windows XP or Ubuntu. This is a software problem (something within OS X). However, does every MB has it? Is there a way to eliminate it? Please share your experience/solutions to this problem!
     
  2. mrweirdo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #2
    this is a definate issue with the macbooks as most of them have to do it. You see discussion of this issue pop up repeatedly.

    I've noticed on my macbook that just recently went through some logic board replacements for a different issue all three of the boards do it to some extent. I think its just going to have to be something your going to have to live with unless apple decides to offer a fix later down the road. I myself don't even notice the sound anymore after much use of my macbook.
     
  3. nsf557 thread starter macrumors newbie

    nsf557

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
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    Far far away
    #3
    Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I was trying to get used to it (several times:), but simply unable. For time being I am using XP and I would be more than happy to go back to OSX if they fix whatever the cause is. The fact of the matter is that there is no noise under other operating systems...I am hoping Leopard will fix this.

    Since you say that even your replaced logicboards did not necessarily fix the problem, I am even more convinced this is a software issue.
     
  4. leonk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #4
    Any resolution to this? I just noticed this as well on my C2D MB! When I launch photo booth, it goes away!

    The only thing I can think of that's under there is the wireless NIC. Is there something there that hooks up to the mic or camera? (Some kinda capacitor?)
     
  5. Zegna macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Location:
    North America
    #5
    Some say its actually the idling sound of the second core in the processor.

    But I'm no expert. Probably you can guess better with these pictures of a disassembled MacBook. :)

    http://www.kodawarisan.com/macbook/macbook001.html
     
  6. leonk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #6
    bump..

    I'm surprised more people aren't noticing this! Any solution yet?
     
  7. clicq macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    #7
    Actually a lot of people have noticed this noise, though it's generally referred to as "cpu whine", even though it sounds more like a buzzing/interference sound. For example, some threads for reference:

    Thread 1 and Threat 2

    My guess is that it's related to power management of the processor somehow, and it seems to be a common problem even in PC laptops (a friend's HP laptop exhibits it, and it's much much worse than my Macbook). Apple fixed it in the MBP (kbase article), and I don't really know what's stopping them from applying the same fix to the Macbook (probably cost, or maybe it's related to the chipset, or something...)
     
  8. The Tuck macrumors 6502

    The Tuck

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    #8
    Yeah, I just got my new 2.16 GHZ black MacBook two days ago and I just noticed this problem yesterday and it's REALLY starting to bug me. I did a lot of research and reading of other threads of people suffering from the same thing and the consensus seems to be that it's an issue with the Core 2 Duo Intel processors. That's why PC computers that use Core 2 Duo processors have the "whine" problem too. It makes a high pitched buzzing noise when the processors are idling, IE. it doesn't happen when there is high demand on the processors.

    The problem originated on the MacBook Pros, but lots of people are now experiencing it on MacBooks (myself included). There is a temporary fix that seems to make the sound go away until you restart your computer (I think).

    1. Open Photo Booth
    2. Force Quit Photo Booth
    3. Put your computer to sleep for about 5 seconds
    4. Open it back up, and the noise should be gone.

    I'm probably going to call Apple Support in a few days and see what they have to say about it. I'd really like to get a permanent fix for the problem. One would go crazy sitting in a silent room with the buzzing noise constantly there.

    Further reading:
    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=4160414&#4160414
    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=1909374&#1909374
    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=3593061&#3593061
    http://www.neowin.net/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t541152.html
     
  9. DaLurker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    #9

    Actually the fix for the early rev MBP was for something else, not this particular problem.

    As for the whine, I've heard it on all of the Black macbooks I've dealt with (4) and my current MBP C2D. One of the Blackbooks was a CD and 3 were C2D.

    Anyways, it will go away if you turn one of the cores off (you can install the Development applications off of the OS X CD to do this). Similarly the sound goes away on load.
     
  10. The Tuck macrumors 6502

    The Tuck

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    #10
    That may be true, but it doesn't excuse the fact that the noise is there in the first place.
     
  11. iToaster macrumors 68000

    iToaster

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    May 3, 2007
    Location:
    In front of my MacBook Pro
    #11
    Yep, my BlackBook does this too. Is this coverable by the waranty? Also, why does photobooth stop this, that's sorta weird.:confused:
     
  12. mrweirdo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #12
    I've heard the same sound from many different manufactures c2duo pc laptops including my dads brand new IBM Thinkpad with windows vista.

    It's definitely an issue but I think its an issue of Intel's which will continue until they decided to look into what is causing it and fixes it in future processor designs. This seems even more true by the fact that all the known software fixes on either platform involve in breaking something(ex usb mod in xp) or placing a small constant load on the cpu. So for those(myself included) who bought current gen laptops they will have to get used to the sound. I know its not what people who spent large amounts on laptops wanted to hear but its the truth.

    In fact Intel has a history of whining processors if memory serves me right one of the desktop Pentium 4s revisions had a similar problem that they eventually resolved.
     
  13. The Tuck macrumors 6502

    The Tuck

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    #13
    Well, there was the same problem on the MacBook Pros and Apple acknowledged the problem and offers to fix any MBP that suffers from it. Here's the direct link to the Apple service page: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=303365

    Here's to hoping that they will acknowledge the problem for MacBooks as well and offer to fix them. I'm planning on calling Apple support tomorrow. :apple:
     
  14. mrweirdo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #14
    I believe that was different issue caused by an inverter chip or batch of faulty fans earlier on.

    Side note even if apple offers to replace your logic board you have a high likely hood of having the same problem or worse with the new one. I've already been through 3 logic boards on my macbook for other issues and all three have done them with the latest two put in just about a month ago using the latest rev boards apple had. Its more of the CPU itself. Will you be lucky enough to get a rare Intel processor that doesn't make the noise soldered to your logic board is the question. Beter pray to the Intel gods ;)
     
  15. The Tuck macrumors 6502

    The Tuck

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    #15
    Yeah, you're probably right. I went to the Apple Store and the genius I talked to said that it's perfectly normal and equated it to a car engine making noise when you run your car.

    I'll live with it, I guess :apple:

    Other than that, the machine is awesome!

    -tuck
     
  16. riotshield macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    #16
    The problem is caused by the power fluctuations in the C2D chip when switching to sleep states (in particular, "Enhanced Deep C4 Sleep State"), which affects the capacitors on the logic board and causes them to whine. Unfortunately, when the Macbook is idling it goes into C4 state. I had this same problem with a Thinkpad T60 and apparently it is common with many C2D laptops.

    You can download this workaround: ShhMBP, which disables the C4 sleep state at startup. It says it's for MB Pros, but works on my Macbook and it no longer has the annoying whine. It will shorten the battery life by maybe 20 minutes and your Macbook may run slightly hotter, but I personally feel the tradeoff is worth it.
     
  17. Young Ted macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    #17
    I assure you all that this problem is in no way exclusive to the new Intel machines. This happens on my PowerBook G4 as well.

    I suspect it sounds a bit different on mine than the newer machines, and idling isn't high-pitched, but it's still odd. I really want to know what causes it! It does get high-pitched at times when under weird loads, and sometimes goes away under full load. It's not the hard drive, and not the fans. It completely goes away if reduced CPU performance is chosen under Energy Saver in system preferences.

    Perhaps it's the sound of mathematics occuring. Perhaps we're all going crazy.
     
  18. persep macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Location:
    Spain
    #18
    It happens to my Powerbook G4 15inch too. But in this case is the cpu under heavey load. You can use the program http://www.bresink.com/osx/SystemLoad.html to increase the load and hear the high pitched noise. There is even an option that plays an musical tune with it.
     
  19. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040

    Cybergypsy

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    Central Florida!
    #19
    One of my macbooks did the same thing and it drove me nuts......But that was just one problems, have a Sony and could not be happier.......
     

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