MBP humming fans - any solution?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by luc007, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. luc007 macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2011
    I recently got the MBP 13 i5 and the humming of the fans is much more noticeable than in my previous 2010 model. I took it to my local reseller but they said that there's nothing wrong with it. But it's driving me crazy. It's not really noticeable during the day with the city noise but during the night, when everything is quiet, I hear it humming like an old dog. My 2010 is still quiet as a fish. I got a screwdriver and I'm gonna open it up. The speed is fine, they run at under 2000 rpm. Should I do something, lick the fans or something? Should I stick with the 2010 and give this one away? Am I too perfectionist? I feel like I paid enough money for it not to hum at me at night. I'd really appreciate any advice.
  2. Cyong macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2011
    Orlando, FL
    TDP - Refers to the maximum amount of power the cooling system in a computer is required to dissipate.

    MacBook Pro 13'inch 2010 Core2 P8800 - TDP 25 watts
    MacBook Pro 13'inch 2011 i5 2415M - TDP 35 watts

    More watts, more heat, more fan action needed to cool.
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Yeah, but the 35 includes the GPU as well, the 25 did not, so it was actually more like 37. For the same usage, it should not be any louder.

    OP, what are the fan speed differences, and also the actual CPU and heatsink temperatures? If there is a big gap between the CPU and heatsink temps, then the thermal paste probably is to blame.
  4. Cyong macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2011
    Orlando, FL
    True, course apple underclocked the nvidia gpu to keep to power utilization down. Thus reducing the TDP of the gpu, but you are correct that I forgot to take that into account.
  5. luc007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2011
    Here are the stats, with basically nothing on except safari and preview. The first one is the 2010 and the second one, the 2011. If anything, the 2010 runs a little hotter. Thanks guys.

    Attached Files:

  6. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    The Intel i5 run fairly close to the TDP rating. C2D never really did as the silicon got better it needed less and less power.

    If the fans stay at 2000rpm the heat of the CPU isn't the problem.
    Can it be that you have a different HDD now. Maybe a 5400rpm before and now a 7200rpm now because in that case it is probably not the fans just you who cannot distinguish between the two.
    Or the fans in the new ones are louder or yours are bad. You could switch the fans with the ones from the old. They are still as big and should fit. The chassis is the same it should be as silent as before.
    Bad fan bearing may create some noise. Both the HDD or the fans can be the problem.

    I got a 15" 2010 and my fans are practically inaudible at 2000rpm. 2300 I can hear them much better. I have an SSD the the 5400rpm drive is a lot louder than the fans and you cannot hear the fans until they reach something around 3000 rpm.
  7. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2011
    why do u evne have 2 macbook pro 13inchs hahah
  8. luc007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2011
    Great I didn't think that I could just swap the fans from the other one but I'll try that. Thanks.
    I know I shouldn't have 2 MBPs there's a stupid story about how I forgot the old one in an international train, got the new one and then the train company returned the lost one to me. So now I'm being punished for getting a new one so quickly.
  9. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    It could very well be your hard drive you are hearing. Some make a distinct whooshing or humming noise while others are quiet. You may not have the same model hard drive in both MBPs.

    My WD Scorpio Black is quite noisy, in fact it is louder than both fans on my 15", I hear it more than I do the fans in a quiet room.
  10. luc007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2011
    How can I figure out if it's the hard drive? I'll experiment, take it out and replace it, but those screws are a drag to take out.
  11. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Put your ear against the machine where the hard drive is(I don't remember off the top of my head for the 13", but I believe it's the bottom right corner when facing the laptop and using it.)

    You'll most likely hear your HD quite well that way, and you'll be able to tell if that is what you're hearing.
  12. TheJing macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2011
    Somewhere in Europe
    Nah, it takes 2 minutes to take the hard drive out.

    And the hard drive is right next to your trackpad on the right side if you want to try to hear it.
  13. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    launch spindownHD from spotlight.
    Set the spindown if idle to 1 minute close all apps and wait.
    Once the app says that the HDD is sleeping all the noise left is the fans.

    You can also use just your ears. With normal hearing a human (at least I am) should be able to have enough directional hearing at those frequencies to know the difference. The HDD humming is also slightly higher pitched than the Fans. What the fan noise is like you can here when they are spinning faster.

    The first solution with spindown HD is fool proof and should really remove all doubt.
  14. TheRdungeon macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2011
  15. Samimac macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2011
  16. luc007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2011
    It's the hard drive. The ****er. They say Toshiba HDs are like this as opposed to the Hitachi in the old one and that I should live with it. So I'm looking for a replacement. Thanks all.
  17. Mind18 macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2009
    Recently returned my Macbook Pro 15" i7 2.3 ghz w/ 250gb ssd, so I could get the latest spec bump. I was coming from a powerbook G4, so absolutely loved how quiet it was. However for some reason, the new one I received, doesn't seem as quiet. The only difference of course is the 2.5 ghz chip, and new video card. Everything else is the same, with the difference of having updated the EFI to the latest.

    I'm sure there is nothing much I can do, but strange that even with the fan rpm at 2000, it is still slightly louder than the previously purchased macbook. And could be that i just never paid attention, but does seem like the computer is louder more often now.
  18. Kafka macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2011
    Yeah probably the hard drive.
    I own 3 (yes, 3) MBP 13" (one is going back to the store soon).
    The first one was bought in march 2011, has a 320 GB Hitachi drive which is loud enough to be annoying.
    The second one was bought in august, has a 320 GB Toshiba drive which is dead silent. I can barely hear the thing.
    Next is the latest i5 2.4, 500 GB Toshiba drive, which is by far the loudest of the 3. I swear it's horrible.

    So basically, you never know...

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