Noise from processor when scrolling

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by HylianKnight, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. HylianKnight, Jan 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018

    HylianKnight macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2017
    2013 mbpr

    So I was scrolling through iCloud photos today on safari using my rMBP when I noticed a relatively quiet, albeit noticeable clicking like sound coming from what I believe is the area where the processor is located (near the esc key). I searched online but found no real answer.

    I did some testing using gfxxardstatus to switch between the integrated and discrete graphics. The noise only occurs when utilizing the intel integrated graphics. When using the discrete gfx card there is no noise. So, my question is, is this normal or not? If no, what steps would you recommend? Does your mbpr make this noise when scrolling a page with heavy media content?
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    The CPU is not located near the escape key. Look up a diagram.
  3. HylianKnight, Jan 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018

    HylianKnight thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2017
    Rear center, I know where the heat pipes go over so I’m not sure why I said esc key. The noise is most definitely coming from either the processor or potentially a fan.

    My thinking is that when running the intel integrated graphics, the processor is stressed more. This leads to either the processor or a fan as the source of the noise. Since it occurs when scrolling or “processor intensive” tasks, my money is on the processor. I will manually put my fans at high rpm and slowly lower the rpm tomorrow to see if it could be a bearing, but I have my doubts about that.

    Also, amazingly fast reply, much appreciated (;
  4. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    If it hums it most definetly is not the CPU... humming usually come from inductor coils.
  5. Niklas_nick macrumors regular


    Dec 12, 2016
    I have the same issue on my 2014 rMBP sometimes when the computer has been running for some time and not been restarted for some time. It only happens while scrolling. A shutdown and restart usually solves it for me, but I'm still wondering what makes the sound. Maybe from the fan?
    I would describe the sound like a HDD working fast or scrolling really fast on an old iPods click wheel.
  6. duffyanneal macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2008
    Sounds like coil whine. It varies depending on the load on the CPU/system. Not sure if this was common in your vintage machine. I know that it is fairly common on non-Mac systems, and I had a Macbook Pro a few generations back that had horrible coil whine. The fix at the time was to open Photo Booth. Not exactly an elegant solution.
  7. HylianKnight thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2017
    Definitely sounds like HDD activity, which is interesting considering their is no HDD.
    Very likely. I have a similar sound that comes from my desktop when it’s at full tilt. It goes away when using discrete gfx, likely because it alleviates the load on the cpu.
  8. Modernape macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    My guess is the AC power transformer. See if the sound goes away when unplugged.
  9. naho macrumors newbie


    Oct 11, 2018
    I had same issue and in my case it is as you suggested AC power transformer.
    Noise disappears when unplugged.

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8 January 15, 2018