Resolved Processor whine after installing Lion on MacBook Air

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by bLink-404, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. bLink-404, Jul 21, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011

    bLink-404 macrumors member

    bLink-404

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    #1
    I've had the OS X Lion Developer Preview 4 installed on my MacBook Air (Late 2010, 13" model), and have since upgraded to the GM (when it was released). I've found that since upgrading to the GM, my processor "whines" — something it never used to do before. By "whine", I mean that when scrolling through web pages or images, hovering over apps in the dock – pretty much anytime I move the cursor – there are these sounds that emanate from the usually-quiet system, which I presume to fit the description of processor whine. The sound goes when I leave Photo Booth open, but when i run other multiple CPU-intensive apps simultaneously, the sound is still present.

    Since the GM is the same build as the final retail version of Lion, I wasn't planning to install it. However, do any of you think that a clean installation would eliminate the above mentioned issue? It's an issue for me because I use my MBA in a whisper-quiet environment for most of the time, so this constant "buzzing" is very irritating.

    I read somewhere that processor whine occurs due to the low-power state of one of the processor cores, so I was thinking that it could possibly have something to do with Lion using less processor power for "idle" activities. Not entirely sure though.

    UPDATE: After taking my MacBook Air to the Apple Store, they decided to replace the logic board under warranty, and this has resolved the issue. Thank goodness!
     
  2. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

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    Feb 26, 2011
    #2
    Well, there's only one way to find out for sure.
     
  3. bLink-404 thread starter macrumors member

    bLink-404

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    Jun 13, 2011
    #3
    What do you think the cause could be though?
     
  4. b.lam, Jul 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011

    b.lam macrumors member

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    Sep 5, 2010
    #4
    I am having exactly the same problem. But instead of a MBA, I have a 2010 Mac Pro with the 3.2GHz quad core.

    This buzzing sound occurs when the system is idle (edit: not exactly idle, but if the CPU load falls under a certain threshold: e.g. running WoW in background with reduced framerate, buzz can be heard; WoW in front with higher CPU load, buzz gone) and stops e.g. when scrolling through webpages. It did not occur under SL and also does not occur when running Windows in Bootcamp.

    Very very strange...
     
  5. bLink-404 thread starter macrumors member

    bLink-404

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    Jun 13, 2011
    #5
    That's odd – when I'm scrolling through webpages I can still hear it. The WoW effect seems to be similar to what's happening to me, causing me to believe it may be the GPU instead – when I leave Photo Booth open, the sound stops completely.
     
  6. WiBu macrumors member

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    Aug 10, 2010
    #6
    Sounds like a capacitor being a little loud. It usually isn't a problem, aside from the noise it makes.
     
  7. bLink-404 thread starter macrumors member

    bLink-404

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    Jun 13, 2011
    #7
    But what I don't get is how the problem appeared only after installing the GM, and the sound stops when I leave Photo Booth open. :confused:
     
  8. WiBu macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    #8
    It's probably part of the power management stuff, perhaps related to the integrated GPU or GPU switching.

    But honestly, I'm just making guesses here.
     
  9. b.lam macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    #9
    I could solve the problem by removing the CPU board and putting it back in. The buzzing sound is still there but it is much quieter (can only be heard when the case is open and the ear is near the CPU).

    Unfortunately, this will not work on your MBA.
     
  10. RJCP macrumors 6502

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    Jun 8, 2011
    #10
    I got this as well. It's really annoying.
     
  11. ugp macrumors 65816

    ugp

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    Location:
    Inverness, Florida
    #11
    Upon first start-up on my MBA the Exhaust fan was maxed out. A restart so far as seem to fix the issue. I just upgraded Lion on it so I will have to wait and see.
     
  12. bLink-404 thread starter macrumors member

    bLink-404

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    #12
    That's due to Lion re-indexing Spotlight upon the first boot. It's normal – many people have reported it to happen. After an hour or so, the indexing concludes and things should be back to normal.
     
  13. ArztMac macrumors regular

    ArztMac

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    Jul 22, 2011
    #13
    I've noticed it as well after I upgraded to Lion. Not immediately afterwards, but I don't always use my MacBook Air 13" Ultimate (2010) in a silent environment. Last night however, I noticed quite a distinguishable chirping sound coming from within the computer itself, just where the "w", "e", "2", and "3" buttons are located. It is really rather annoying.

    Letting PhotoBooth run in the background takes care of the problem. It only takes 2-3% of CPU taxation as well as only 50MB of RAM storage, so it's not too bad I guess.

    Isn't there are cleaner way to handle this sound, perhaps some options to disable the power management features of the CPU?
     
  14. bLink-404, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2011

    bLink-404 thread starter macrumors member

    bLink-404

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    Jun 13, 2011
    #14
    I installed the 10.7.2 Update seeded to developers and so far, it's gotten rid of the sound! All I hear is the perfectly blissful silence I've come to expect of my MacBook Air. :)

    UPDATE: So the sound is still present when scrolling in some apps, but at a lower volume. Let me know how it goes for you guys.

    UPDATE 2: After a few hours, it's back again –*with a vengeance, unfortunately. :(
     
  15. b.lam macrumors member

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    Sep 5, 2010
    #15
    Any updates on this issue? Did you try the latest 10.7.2 update yet?

    The reason why it did not occur directly after installing the update and coming back later on might have been the result of spotlight reindexing after the update.

    For my Mac Pro, the 10.7.1 update didn't solve the problem. So I am waiting for 10.7.2 and until then still using 10.6.8.
     
  16. bLink-404 thread starter macrumors member

    bLink-404

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    Jun 13, 2011
    #16
    The sound is less pronounced after the 10.7.1 update and only occurs when scrolling in Safari or Opera so I don't notice it as much. I also clean-installed Lion. However, it is definitely still there. But I'm already so used to Lion and its excellent features that I haven't downgraded back to SL.
     
  17. bob616 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 12, 2008
    #17
    then take your computer to the apple store and have them fix it.
     
  18. bLink-404 thread starter macrumors member

    bLink-404

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    #18
    Just to update everyone, I have indeed taken my MacBook Air to the Apple Store and they replaced the logic board under warranty, and I am very pleased to report that all sounds have gone. I can't hear a single thing now.
    Hooray for the Genius Bar! :D
     

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