New iMac noisy!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by thekb, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. thekb macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2010
    I recently bought a new current 27" base model iMac and still have my Early 2009 24" iMac that it replaced. The new one took the place of the old one in my very quiet office and I moved the old one to the family room.

    With my 24" model, I literally could NOT hear it when it was running. It was dead silent and I was always amazed at this. However, since I got the new 27" model, I can definitely hear hard drive and fan noises even when it is not really doing anything -- just idling in the background. It's not LOUD exactly, but definitely louder then the old one. Has anyone else noticed this about the newer iMacs? What is different about this one? Is it indicative of a problem?
  2. Markc1024 macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2011
    Hard to say as noise level is a very subjective thing. I recently moved from a PC (tower) and the 2011 iMac is so much quieter. It's not silent, but definitely not something I notice.
  3. Spike88, Nov 11, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011

    Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    Suggest downloading istats nano (which is a free widget) and advise what speeds its fans and temps is. Perhaps 1 fan is stuck? If wondering, at idel, 27" fan are approx 1,000 RPMs (+/'- 10%). iMac fans are fast when spinning above 3,000 RPMs. What is fan speeds right now?

  4. RRNYC macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2011
    My iMac fan would go ape **** from time to time. I reset SMC and it was back to normal
  5. thekb thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2010
    Thanks for the comments, guys.

    I agree noise is subjective, but the iMacs are in the exact same environment and I am the one noticing the difference. Honestly, I used to read other people saying that iMacs are not silent and couldn't understand ... my old iMac was (and still is). The new one is not exactly *loud*, but it is audible in a quiet room like my office.

    The fans are running between 900 and 1200 according to istat nano.

    I can live with the little bit of noise, especially in comparison to my old PC's, but since it is different I thought I would ask if it was abnormal.

    Also, on a different subject ... my iMac has been acting weird tonight. A couple of times I have looked at a folder's contents that I know has files in it and and it shows up empty. The only way I've been able to see the contents is to reboot. That is very odd and I've never seen it happen before. What do you think that could be?
  6. 1goodidea macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2011

    I bought a new 21.5 inch last weekend and it was very noisy. I rang apple and did the pull the plug reset thing but it was still loud. I took it back to my local apple store (Sydney) and they replaced it without even plugging it in. They said it is uncommon but does happen.

    The replacement is very quiet (practically silent) and definitely quieter than the 2007 20 inch that it replaced.

    I say, if in doubt, take it back it should be quiet (ring first).
  7. jaglad macrumors member

    Apr 18, 2007
    Royston, UK
    What make of hard drive is in your iMac? If it a Western Digital expect it to make a certain amount of noise when accessing. The WD Caviar Black drives are noisy when accessing, I have both the 1Tb and 2Tb versions of the drive and both make the same noise.

    My current core i5 3.1Ghz 27" iMac disappointingly has a Seagate drive which is actually very quiet, just not a fan of seagate drives, but the whole iMac does make a tiny bit more noise than the 24" one it replaced, it makes more of a whooshing noise in general although all the fans are spinning nice and slow.

    I should think yours is fine, but my findings seem to be the same as yours.
  8. thekb thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2010
    According to Disk Utility:

    New iMac = 1TB WDC WD1001FALS 403AA0 Media
    Old iMac = 1TB WDC WD1001FALS 40K1B0 Media

    So they both appear to be Western Digital, right? I don't know what the other numbers mean.

    I was reading a thread the other day where people were debating the noise level of their iMacs and I couldn't understand why people were arguing strenuously on one side or the other ... now I know it's not just a matter of perception, there really are differences in the noise levels of different iMacs.

    Like I said, my old iMac, I could absolutely not tell it was running, unless I was really stressing the hard drive or optical drive. This one makes some level of noise always, though still low. It's not really too bad.

    Thanks again.
  9. krzykat macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2011
    Only time my iMac seemed noisy is when I am trying to burn something in the dic drive, other than that it's so quiet.
  10. NMF macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
    I recently switched from a custom-built PC and the iMac 27" is indeed louder. Of course, that's because my PC tower was about 20 feet away from me in giant armoire (you should see the size of these extension cables) so it's not exactly a fair comparison.

    But yeah, the 2011's definitely aren't silent. It doesn't help that all the fans are right in front of your face. :p
  11. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Bleh Seagate :mad:. You should note it already has the word gate attached before buying one :rolleyes:. I don't know what the norm is for this model, but Apple is packing a lot of power into a small space with these. I actually wish they had picked something more like the mini but big enough to accommodate imac parts. The imac was never really designed to pack that much heat behind an lcd panel.

    I have seen macs with noisy western digital drives. The ones I've purchased as additional drives have always been silent.
  12. jaglad macrumors member

    Apr 18, 2007
    Royston, UK
    To be fair you have no choice which drive comes in any Apple product, if I had the choice I certainly wouldnt have chosen Seagate.

    Both drives are WD Caviar Black which is a good thing, you must have got lucky in the older iMac and got a quiet one!
  13. celticmyst macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2013
    Imac Apple 21,5 inch makes too much noise

    Three days ago I got my 21,5 inch Imac Apple (with built in fusion drive, which was 250 euros extra).
    I have to say it functions far below my expectations, because of the loud fans/hard drive noise! It is like a cassette tape. It is not EXTREMELY LOUD but I can very well hear it while working in my (quiet) room and it is really, really annoying. I am going to call the Apple Store tomorrow and ask them if they can take it back. I have done research, e.g. on this forum and now I know that the newer Imac Apple models are noisier than the older ones, probably because of the much flatter screen. I think Apple will get more complaints about this, because it was such an advantage that the older models were so quiet.

    My friend has got an Apple 21,5 inch dating from, I think 2009, and it is dead silent. I cannot hear it while working on it.

    I already went back to the shop to ask if it could be the fusion drive but they said that's not the problem. You will always hear something, they guy said. But to me, this is too much noise for this horrible amount of money (1637 euros, Office for Apple package included).

    So my advice is, if you want to have a quiet desktop PC: don't buy the new Imac Apple models unless you only work behind your desktop with ear plugs or music on.
    I really had not expected this from such an expensive computer.
  14. autopoiesis, Apr 1, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013

    autopoiesis macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2013
    I switched from 21,5'' (2009, 500GB) to 27'' (2012, 3TB-FD) and there is definitely a difference between them. 21,5 was dead silent. I always work in a very silent environment and I noticed absolutely nothing, not a single whatever noise from 21,5. The new 27'' iMac is not noisy, but it's definitely louder. I can always hear the fan spinning at 1200pm according to iStat. I mean it's not very loud and it's not distracting but it's like permanent smooth air blowing (which in fact is what the fan does :) I suppose I noticed it only because my old iMac was so damn silent. Now I got used to it and I don't pay any attention to it anymore. I don't really believe there are absolutely dead silent iMacs out there, because noise is a very subjective issue though.

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