New Mac Pro fan noise

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by JJAM, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. JJAM macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2015
    Hi, I bought a 3.7 GHz Quad-Core Mac Pro direct from Apple at the beginning of April this year - I'm a musician and have been away on tour for the last few months and, quite unbelievably and somewhat ashamedly, have only just properly set it up for recording in my home studio (I'm also getting back into producing with some work having just come in). It's replacing an iMac I bought 5 years ago, which quite simply was having a problem with large projects.

    What I've noticed is constant fan noise, basically a whirring sound - I wouldn't say it's that bad or extreme, but I understood that these models were whisper quiet, and it's noticeable when you're standing a few feet away. By comparison, my iMac was quieter. Bearing in mind how much I paid for it, it's not good enough, and not exactly suitable for the purposes I require it for (it's imperative that I have a quiet computer so that operational noise won't be picked up by mics). I'm also concerned that if I have projects that are CPU-intensive, the fan noise will only get worse.

    I ran the Diagnostics test and no issues were found - what was weird was near the end of the test, what I presume was fan noise increased to the extent where it sounded like a kettle having just boiled! Is that something that would happen as part of the test?

    I'd appreciate any ideas or feedback.
  2. MMcCraryNJ, Oct 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
  3. JJAM thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2015
    Will do. The computer's managed to crash twice whilst I've been on Firefox in the last half hour, which is great too - but what I have now noticed is that the fan noise carries on for 15/20 minutes after I boot the Mac, then dies down to pretty much no noise at all. This can't be right, surely?

    I've not been lucky with Macs and noise (you know those noisy G4 mirror drive door computers? Yep, I had one of them and the replacement wasn't much better), so this isn't exactly making me want to get an Apple tattoo any time soon...
  4. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    Doesn't sound right. I've got a 12-core at work that gets used for 3D rendering, even with 24 threads cranked up I can't hear the thing at all unless I put my ear within a few inches of it.
  5. orph macrumors 68000


    Dec 12, 2005
    when you say your mac crashed do you mean the mac crashed or firefox crashed? there's a big difference.

    firefox since 39+ has been crashing a lot it's a bug, if it's just firefox crashing then thats normal.

    the surface your mac is on and placement will make a big difference to the nose you hear & you can always just move it further away and use longer cables (iv heard of people drilling thro walls to place a computer in the next room with keyboard and monitor in your room with cables thro the holes) or try some sound damping material near it, dont block ventilation.

    my mac pro is next to a hard wall on 2 sides which bonces/projects nose at me, always meant to stick some foam there to reduce the sound, a sheet of something hard between your mac and your mikes like a sheet of acrylic can bounce the sound away from you and back at your mac.

    the sound proofing you might want to use depends on the frequency of the nose and the shape of your room, if you do sound im shore you know about it?

    foam for high pitch sounds
    solids for basse sounds
    solids can be used to reflect sounds away from where you want them

    and so on

    ps make shore the mac is evenly standing on the surface it's on.

    if you do think it's a problem you can contact apple for help/adive/replacement under warranty
  6. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    I have the same model - the nMP is "whisper" quiet. I have to put my ear up to mine when it's at idle (a friend of mine also has one, just as quiet). There's no way that your iMac would be quieter than the nMP unless there's something wrong with it.

    In a super quiet recording studio-type room, the acoustics of the room are probably different from a regular room.

    When the MP is going full-throttle, the fans will ramp up just like any other computer - still relatively quiet, but yes, you'll easily hear them from a few feet away. I wouldn't think that would be a problem when "recording" since that generally doesn't take much processing power.

    Are you sure there isn't some other device, such as an external HDD that is causing the sound? If not, I think you might want to take your nMP to an Apple service center.

    (FTR, I'm super sensitive to noise and have spent small fortunes in the past to reduce noise of typical computers prior to MP).

    Good luck!
  7. filmak macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2012
    between earth and heaven
    I fully agree and confirm your findings.

    OP have you checked activity monitor for any unseen cpu loads?

    If there is a possibility of a software problem try to boot from a clean new OS X installation from an external drive to check...
  8. JJAM thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2015
    Thanks guys for the advice.

    This is happening without any external drives being factored in. After the debacle I went through with the G4, I think this will have to be replaced. Have spoken to a producer friend who also has the same Mac Pro - his one is whisper quiet.
  9. JJAM thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2015
    I should clarify that I get the spinning wheel icon which freezes my Mac.
  10. greenmeanie macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2005
    In a recording room wouldn't you be in a noiseless room away from computers and the mixing boards?
  11. JJAM thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2015
    Not when recording at home - I don't have that luxury, so it's a necessity to have a computer that's quiet.
  12. JJAM thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2015
    Well, the computer is now quiet when booted up and continues to remain so. Still makes me slightly nervous that this issue occurs with a brand new and hardly cheap computer out of the box...
  13. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    Perhaps you should make a complaint to AppleCare - so that you have a record of an issue. An intermittent problem is still a problem that Apple should cover.
  14. MMcCraryNJ, Oct 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
  15. h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    Oh~ The PS4 is definitely a very noisy machine, especially compared to the dead silent XB1.
  16. TableSyrup macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2012
    I'd do the whole SMC and PRAM reset thing just in case... after that, if it's not resolved, follow through on your Apple Care. I had nothing but a great experience the one time I had to deal with a hardware issue with Apple. In fact, they handed me a brand new machine.

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15 October 7, 2015