New iMac making boiling sounds, normal?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kkamin, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. kkamin macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2009
    Just got a new quad core i7. When the computer is working sometimes, it sounds like water faintly boiling/rumbling in a kettle. I'm guessing this is normal, but if someone writes back and says their iMac is silent, I'll have something to worry about.

  2. lee14160 macrumors regular


    Nov 28, 2009
    Fruitland, Idaho
    That is not normal. My March 2009 iMac 24" is very quiet. You need to check with the store you bought it from to see if they can take a look.
  3. Detosx, Feb 24, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011

    Detosx macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2010
    Interesting description but sounds familiar to me. It might or might not be the imfamous hard drive rumble-trump sound that some of the 2010 iMacs with Seagate drives, or sometimes HDs from other manufacturers, have.

    If you go to the Apple and click on it / Click on About This Mac / Click on More Info / Click on Serial ATA / see if you have a ST31000528AS. Is the revision AP25 (I think that's still current)? And what is the serial number? You might not want to print that here but if you phone you apprently might be asked to quote it.

    I read somewhere, and this may be inacurate, that iMacs made post Augst 27 2010 don't have the problem. Still in the more info panel click on 'hardware'. Your iMac's serial number lists when your model was made. Don't list your iMac's serial numer in full, here, you just want to take note of the first half. For instance, W8028 - zero is the year 2010 and 28 is the 28th week. It would be interesting to hear when yours was made. Let us know how you go.

    From what I have been reading your mileage may vary taking it back but do try. I have yet to have a bad experience with Apple's staff but if need be point out that there are many threads on the subject including Apple's own boards, that you have heard other identical spec iMacs that are almost completely silent even with your ear close to the case (try in the store putting your ear against the side while opening up a few applications; the one I tried made only very quiet sounds) that you find the sound you describe un-liveable with. You hopefully won't get one that is just the same from a bad batch. I don't know how practical it would be but I would be tempted to try it in-store before you leave.
  4. robecq macrumors regular


    Jun 21, 2006
  5. Detosx macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2010
    Hahaha! In my case, perhaps minus boiling water sounds, it sounds like baby potatos gently-but-audibly bumping around in a saucepan!
  6. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Mar 18, 2006
    No hard drive is ever going to be completely silent. Don't forget that it is a mechanical item, complete with electric motor that drives the discs etc. All this is amplified by the metal casework of the iMac which can act as a sounding board. Also, remember that in with an iMac, your ear is relatively close to the drive.

    The "rumbling" sound, heard occasionally during use is when the drive is reading/writing to the disc.
  7. ExnomenDei macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2010
    Try copying something from one part of the disk to another and not do ANYTHING else in the mean time. Sound is very noticeable? -> Hard drive. No sound? -> Something really wrong, imo...
  8. Detosx macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2010
    Assuming what he is describing is like what I am experiencing you can hear it with earplugs and closed back headphones if the music is quiet, even when surfing. I have since tried two store iMacs in John Lewis and Currys at a quiet time and both made next to no noise even when starting up multiple applications, and even with my head up close to the case. With my ear touching I could hear the quiet chitter of the hard drive which the case otherwise seems to dampen out well compared to the cheap pressed metal of PC case. I checked in both instances to see if either machine was using an SSD drive.
  9. scottdot macrumors member


    Dec 29, 2008
    New Mexico
    It's only normal if it produces delicious tea.

Share This Page