Noisy SSD inside 2016 Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Xombie11, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. Xombie11 macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2009
    I ordered two BTO '16 MBPs for work - Both with 2.7, 460, and 1TB SSDs. They arrived last week.

    Immediately upon setting up FileVault on one of them, I noticed some weird noises coming from behind the Enter key. A sort of buzzing, electrical sound only noticeable in a quiet room -- but once you hear it you can't stop hearing it. It sounds like a traditional spinning hard drive writing to disk.

    Doing some research, this seems like a relatively common issue with Apple's solid state drives: (even though I've never noticed it personally it on any of my previous Apple laptops).

    In fact if you follow the instructions on that page and install BlackMagic Disk Speed Test, you will likely hear this noise coming from your SSD in any recent generation Macbook*. It seems to get louder during reads than writes. According to the internet, it is electrical noise that results from such tightly packed electronics ("a coil (whine) noise coming from inductors inside of it trying to regulate high voltages").

    Anyway this noise is noticeably louder on one of the two macbook pros I ordered (with identical specs). Loud enough that it's driving me crazy. So I have two questions for the Macrumors community --

    (1) Does your 2016 Macbook Pro also make this noise? And is noticeable for you?

    (2) What are my options regarding replacement? I know I have 14 days to request a refund, but can I request a replacement instead? Presumably I would do this at the Genius bar. But it might be difficult to recreate the noise in a loud Apple store. Also, I doubt they would have a replacement with these specs available in store and in stock. Would I have to wait another 3 weeks to get this replacement?


    tl;dr: the 1TB SSD in my 2016 Macbook Pro is making an electrical noise during reads and writes that is driving me crazy! does yours do this too? what are my options?
  2. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    The short , you have till the 8th of Jan to return it during the festive season , I'll try it on mine today and confirm if I have the same noise
  3. idark77 macrumors 6502


    Dec 2, 2014
    Hissing noise, Coil Whine, Capacitors Click and Whine are normal in the modern electronics. But if you think that this noise is very loud I suggest to exchange/return it.
  4. Chocomonsters macrumors regular

    May 22, 2007
    2016 15in. 2.9, 460, 1 TB. Yup. Mine has faint hissing sound during BlackMagic write also. I can only hear it with my ear next to keyboard in quite room. Not too bother by it.
  5. Xombie11 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2009
    I'll bring it to the Genius bar this week and see if they have a replacement in stock or order one in. Thanks for the input guys!
  6. AppleSmack macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2010
    My Lenovo does this too. I can live with it for the benefits of SSD speeds.
  7. shadow82x macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2012
    New Jersey
  8. ice29 macrumors member


    Dec 9, 2016
    Got the 2015 13" version and the SSD is so noisy as well, so you just have to live with that.
  9. theberto macrumors member


    Nov 22, 2015
    maybe is a bit off topic, but I would linke to ask you if the new ssd on mbpro 2016 are actually faster than the ones in mbpro 2015 models
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Wow, that's disconcerting, I had an old powerbook that had feedback static coming from the speakers and I hated that. I'd definitely not like that sound either :(
  11. shadow82x macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2012
    New Jersey
    That said, I haven't really noticed it much. Compared to my Razor Blade, I had a constant static/coil whine anytime it was on. That was super annoying. I didn't notice this until this discussion.
  12. cerberusss macrumors 6502a


    Aug 25, 2013
    The Netherlands
    Yes, see this test:

    Large reads:
    2015 MBP scores 2016 MB/s
    2016 MBP scores 2929 MB/s

    Large writes:
    2015 MBP scores 1523 MB/s
    2016 MBP scores 2196 MB/s

    Small reads:
    2015 MBP scores 509 MB/s
    2016 MBP scores 555 MB/s

    Small writes:
    2015 MBP scores 909 MB/s
    2016 MBP scores 937 MB/s

    So it depends on your use case. For large reads/writes, the difference is quite big. For small reads/writes (which you will usually do), the difference is quite small and will probably not noticeable.
  13. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I bet it is coil whine. It is from the circuitry. Very common for electronic devices. My shaver even has coil whine I can hear when it is charging.
  14. theberto macrumors member


    Nov 22, 2015
    Thank you! what is an example of a large write?
  15. Zigman macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2012
    Mine has it as well (2016 15" 1tb), heard this on a couple of other 15" 2016 models as well as a 13" tb 512gb model.
  16. Zigman macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2012
    Did you ever get your replacement? If so, just out of curiosity, does it have the coil whine as well?
  17. LegolasWang macrumors newbie


    Jan 17, 2017
    Same noise here with 15 and 13
  18. Richard Peters macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

    Jul 18, 2010
    Surrey, UK
    My 2012 Macbook Air also has this although in all the years I've owned it, I never noticed until I read this thread! It's very feint though unless you put your ear close. My tMBP arrives next week, so I expect it'll also be the same
  19. princ2 macrumors member


    Jan 18, 2017
    Poland, Gdynia
    @Xombie11 I received mine MBP yesterday, will be testing it today for those noises. Will let you know. My configuration is non-BTO one, with 455 GPU.
  20. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Coil whine. Almost all electronics devices do it to a greater or lesser degrees. In the fast things like disk rotation and fan noise would mask it. Now that we have SSDs and with the new Macbook Pros have quieter fans you are more likely to notice it.

    You hear it more when you do more on your computer because it is cause by the magnetic fields generated when current is passed through the wires, especially coils, changes. More work, more current being passed, more potential for noise.
  21. Xombie11 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2009
    The genius at the Apple store agreed that my machine was defective -- the coil whine was louder than my other model, and the models in general. However because my machine was BTO, the only option he gave me for replacement was for me to sent it back, have a new one built and receive the new one in 2-3 weeks. Being out of my work computer for that long was not an option so I decided to keep my noisy Macbook pro and live with it. To be honest, the noise doesn't bother me as much anymore.

    Apple's policy on replacements to BTO machines is archaic -- have they never heard of a standard cross-ship RMA? For something this expensive ($3k+) their replacement policy on defective units is incredibly frustrating.

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