Mini quietness

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by potatis, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. potatis macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2006
    How quiet is the 2010/11 minis? I had the 2009 version and it was definitely noticeable in a room, I would like an absolutely quiet computer for running downloads in the background, might consider a fanless old cube for this. But I also thought the new minis are all aluminium, so maybe they use heat dissipation instead of relying on the fan, also the fan vents seem much smaller than on the old design.
  2. MJL, Oct 22, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011

    MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    I've got both the 2.4 2010 and the 2.5 2011 (needed the Sandy Bridge for the higher data throughput).

    Both default to 1800 rpm and you cannot hear that speed.

    Unfortunately.... the 2010 model stays just below 50C with 18-20% load continously but the 2011 is about 20C hotter (same application, about 8% load) which imho is too hot: many manufacturers specify 65C environment temperature as a max. (eg memory) Even Intel specifies (cannot find the link now) to run their CPU's not continously at a temperature above 80C. To get the 2.5 2011 to a similar temperature as the 2010 you'll have to increase the minimum speed to approx 2200 rpm. (I use only windows and MacFan0_65 can be used for that).

    edit: links:
    in other words: those who say that temperatures above 80C are totally acceptable ignore the Intel specifications and recommendations. Similar stuff can be found for the RAM and other parts like the capacitors and resistors. It does not help that the logic board is mounted "upside down" which makes for even more heating up of the parts on the board (and is recommended against on overclocker's websites).

    The 2011 server defaults to 2300 and that's audible - about the same level as the rattle / noise of the hdd.

    I would suggest to get the 2010 and put a SSD in there - you have to be within 6 inches to hear the fan.
  3. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    I believe the aluminum minis use the same exact fan as the old ones, so it's still there and will likely sound the same. When my 2010 mini is idle, though, I hear the hard drive more than the fan usually (and my external 3.5" drive masks both).
  4. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2011
    I use SSDs in my 2011 base Mac Mini. I can't here any noise coming from the Mac Mini for ordinary use.
  5. Skoopman macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2011
    I have to disagree with MJL. The temperature of my MM for normal use (5+) programs like Adium, Skype, Chrome, Sparrow, iA Writer, calculator, TextEdit and iTunes does not increase beyond 55°C. The fan also stays at 1800-2200 so you can't really hear it. If you open flash websites the temperature increases of course and so does the fan speed.

    In the end it really comes down to what programs you will use.
  6. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    This doesn't answer your question, but I have two 2009 Minis. One is totally silent even 2 feet from it. The other has a hard drive that can be heard, but I've never heard its fans even when 2 feet from it.
  7. westcoastin macrumors member

    May 3, 2011
    I recently bought a 2011 Mac Mini base and the unit is virtually silent. Incredibly, the faint buzz from my monitor is louder than the Mini. I couldn't believe it after having used a custom-built PC for so long that a computer could be this quiet.
  8. Darby67 macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    the corner of Fire and Brimstone
    The 2011 minis with a discrete GPU would probably create the most potential for noise as they tend to run a bit warmer than their integrated GPU brethren when activated. There are programs to keep the GPU fixed on a particular setting, so don't let that dissuade necessarily. Also, the fan noise will be directly related to the load put on the CPUs, intensive programs will heat up the i5's and i7's pretty well, and the side effect will be the fans ramping up.
  9. SR45 macrumors 65832


    Aug 17, 2011
    Listed below in my Sig, I cannot hear my Mini from 2 1/2 feet away and that is night and day over my old home built PC. ;)
  10. potatis thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2006
    What's the fan like compared to the earlier 2009-pre design? Will there be a difference with the 2011 model if you have a SSD or not? Will probably not consider the 2010 model.
  11. McRCN macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2010
    I have a 2011 mini with a 500G HD. I sit about 7' away from it and I never hear it.
  12. Macsparky macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2010
    North Alabama
    I just traded my 2010 to my Brother. The 5 months that I used it on the desk and later hooked up to the TV never heard it at. Only the start up chime... Great little Mac my Brother loves it, 27" ACD 2010 model wireless keyboard, track pad and the Mac Mini with 8gs of OWC ram for a cool 1992 Jeep Cherokee, He now has a great Mini and I have a cool 4X4......:apple:
  13. redscull macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2010
    I have a 2011 2.7 mini with 7200 disk. Sits on top of an HD TiVo (not the new Premier). The mini is definitely quiter than the TiVo so I can't say if it really makes any noise. But granted, unless I'm walking by or fiddling with something else on that shelf, I'm usually 6+ feet away from it.
  14. 4PPl3 macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2011
    I have the 2011 Mac Mini and the only time I can hear it is when I'm about 3 feet away and exporting a video from iMovie, and even then it's not that noticeable.
  15. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    I used SMCfancontrol last night... I was getting varying temperatures of about 39 - 45 degrees Celsius at the default of 1,800 rpms or less.
  16. potatis thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2006
    How audible is the 2011 Mini compared to the gen. 1 AppleTV ?
  17. Darby67 macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    the corner of Fire and Brimstone
    My Gen 1 ATV didn't make much noise as I remember correctly so the potential for the mini to be louder is higher. That said, it depends which model Mini and what you plan to do with it. My 2.0 QC Server is silent most of the time except under heavy stress where the CPU is chugging along.
  18. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    My 2011 2.5 i5 is silent unless I'm using hand break. For everything else it's silent!
  19. frank4 macrumors regular


    Oct 17, 2011
    My base 2011 Mini is usually almost silent sitting next to monitor. Hard drive very quiet. In total normally not heard at all especially with any other room sounds.

    I found the fan speed does not increase above 1800 rpm even with a significant CPU load and temperature 75F (wi-fi streaming a HD sports event for 2 hours fullscreen).

    I thought this might be too hot so I got the "Fan Control" app by Lobotomo to automatically raise the fan speed more aggressively when hot. This definitely helps lower the CPU temperature. The fan is only slightly noisy at higher speeds like 4000 because it is a larger diameter than in my old notebook computer which has 2 small diameter fans that must turn at higher speeds like maybe 9000. So the Mini fan just makes a low "whoosh" noise at high speed, compared to the annoying louder noise from my old notebook.

    Although "Fan Control" is supposed to leave the minimum speed at 1800 rpm the speed now never seems to go below 1900, which is a bit of a mystery and hopefully not a problem.
  20. manicwinter macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2011
    The 2.7 mini I have is completely silent when idle. My 2.0 quad mini I have I can hear the fan when idle but it's not loud. I'm guessing the quad runs the fan higher to keep the second drive cool.

    The 2.7 seemed louder at full load than the mini does though. Both are very noticeable when running at full load.
  21. David085 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 9, 2009
    I have a 2.3 Ghz, 500GB 5400 RPM HD, and 2 GB Ram, Mine seems quiet

Share This Page