Question to current MBA owners! Please Help

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by eboroian, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. eboroian macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2008
    Hello all,

    I am considering buying a macbook air (not 1.6 hdd), so i guess this question is to all the current owners. I used to own a black macbook, but returned it because of a very annoying, constant, high pichted buzzing/hissing sound coming from the top left of the keyboard. Apple stated that this sound was normal, and macbooks were indeed louder than MBPs and indeed have a slight hiss...

    Before I decide to buy the MBA I was wondering if anyone with one has had a similar sound, or if it's silent like the mbp?? The sound can usually be heard in a quiet room or if you put your ear against the top left side of the keyboard...if your very sensitive to sounds (like me), you may have more ease hearing this...

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

  2. RedAbundance macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2008
    New York, NY
    my air is surprisingly quiet overall, although the hard drive makes some really negletible clicking noises every now and then, and there's no hissing noise coming from the upper left hand corner. i assume the ssd will be more quiet, and i also recall reading some post on here saying so.
  3. joegomolski macrumors 6502


    Apr 28, 2006
    So CA
    No sounds for me. I have the SSD, and I don't hear anything, what a blessing!
  4. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    Same here... the only thing I ever hear is the fan, typically when I play videos or do a large WiFi file copy.
  5. Santa Rosa macrumors 65816

    Santa Rosa

    Aug 22, 2007
    So far with the SSD Air only hear the fan when it is getting above idling which I suppose is reasonable. The MBP is a noisier machine simply due to the fact that it has the hard drive spinning in it the whole time.
  6. aussieinrome macrumors regular


    Apr 5, 2008
    Rome, Italy.

    I've got the SSD version and it's totally silent, the fan has only ever gone on once and I could barely hear it.
  7. eboroian thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2008
    Thanks for the replies. Does anyone with the 1.6 80G drive have any sort of buzzing or hissing noise??

    Thanks e
  8. MarkF44 macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2008
    Yes, I have the basic MBA and there is a hissing noise, it is specially noticeable when the house is quiet, early in the morning, when you wake up, you have fresh ears and a quiet house, just power on the MBA and hissing is annoying.

    once the environment get noisy it is not an issue, however, if I use the MBA the fan get 6200 RPM and then it is very unconfortable, the MBA is pretty nice, done by the designer to stay on the shelving.

    IMHO it is not the 4200 HDD, the hissing seems to match the 2500 RPM fans when MBA is IDLE....
  9. eboroian thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2008
    oh wow. That's what i was wondering about. Has it been like that since you got it? Does it ever stop or does it happen constantly? What exactly does it sound it very noticable or not?

    Anybody else with the basic model notice this?

  10. AstroHouse macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2008
    Morada CA

    I've been very happy with my MBA 1.6/80. It's a week 5 that I have been using heavily for 6 weeks and it is blessed!

    I've had no noises - no HD noises, no clicking, clacking, or wheezing. No core shutdowns, no fan problems and for some unknown reason the display opens to almost 180 degrees with no stability problems and it lays flat! If I could clone it everyone would be happy, happy, happy.

    I could be the poster child for Win to Mac switchers.:D
  11. w00tini macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    no noises or hissing here...i think anyone with that problem should see the Genius bar pronto.
  12. steve31 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2007
    Edmonton Canada
    SSD here and zero noise!:D I sold my black macbook for it but I did not notice any high pitch noise with it. Just the fan and hard drive clicking. It might have been just a few that were affected with your problem. It was the poorly lit screen that was the reason I sold it. The MBA has a very bright screen that makes it a pleasure to use.
  13. stakis macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2007
    beware of a clicking noise that happens every once in a while from the hdd model... apparently this is normal with 1.8" Hdd drives...
  14. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    Your fan noise might be high depending on where you put the laptop and what you do on it.
  15. sir. mac macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2006
    Yes, I have this hissing sound on my MBA (week 11) 1.6 80hdd. Just delivered in for repairs and they came back to me saying there was no sound. I just told them that they had to check it in a quiet room, haven´t heard from them since. Seems my sound increases when using the touch pad (like you can do morse-code tapping the mousepad). The sound is gone if I restart the machine in safety-mode. It also looses the sound if I connect a live USB-unit. Meaning a mouse or a loading ipod.

    Hoping for them to fix it, as I find it very annoying when the room is quiet. It started suddenly, and I noticed it right away. There was nothing I can think of causing it.
  16. MarkF44 macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2008
    same for me except that I use the USB port, hissing can be fan, HDD or the famous "Intel Core Duo Whine"
    For many reasons ( I am trying to switch to MacBook Pro with my reseller :(

    battery life, hissing, fans at 6200 RPM...
    I don't enjoy my MBA anymore:(
  17. eboroian thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2008
    I'm starting to think this is simply a sound that is audible to some people, and isn't to others. My experience with apple, concerning this, was not a good one, as they refused to change my black macbook after the 14 day return period (thanks ebay lol)...

    I'm just wondering if anyone who is very sensitive to sounds, noticed this on a prior mac, but hasn't on the MBA.

  18. Thomi macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2008

    Hi! It seams that I am one of these "high sensitive" audible users too. I currently only can compare my MBA 1.6/80 with the white Penrin MB of my wife, since you definitively have to be in a complete silence to hear it. And I am not experienced with prior Macs.

    However: The MBA has some sort of a high pichted buzzing/hissing sound which sometimes can be temporarily suppressed with cpu loading tasks. But it's really barely noticeable, compared for instance to the idle HD spinning sound which is coming from the MB (!) when both machines are in operation side by side in idle mode with minimum fan rpms (even tough there is a HD in my MBA as well!)

    So yes, my MBA is constantly emitting a quite silent buzzing sound, and I believe that every unit out there might do this. But apart from that it is still more quiet than anything else I know, including a non-buzzing, new generation MB. May be the casing of the MBA is just a bit less damping these sounds than the thicker MB does. But I wouldn’t tax the buzzing sound as annoying, since it is quite stable and can’t be compared with a fan running at higher rpm or anything else.

    Finally it may be a very individual question. Some users won’t hear it at all, some won’t bother about, while a few ones might become nuts about it. I might be wrong but that's my two cents.

  19. aussieinrome macrumors regular


    Apr 5, 2008
    Rome, Italy.
    I've used my Macbook Air (SSD version) in a completely quiet room and I hear nothing, even when I press my ear up against it. Thank god mine doesn't make this sound, I'd send it back, I've got incredible hearing...
  20. sir. mac macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2006
    I for one think it´s slightly annoying when working in a quiet room. But that could be just my brain obsessing about my MBA not being without flaws :p

    Got it back from repair the second time just today, and although they didn´t refuse to acknowledge the sound, they never the less refused to do something about it. Claiming that it was "below the mac official noise threshold", and that machines make lots of strange sounds. It probably is below the threshold, but irritating still.

    The thing that annoys me the most though, is that it appeared suddenly. I´m dead certain it wasn´t there all the time, as I had already worked for hours in a quiet room when I noticed it. I tried a clean install, but that wasn´t it.

    A strange thing is that the noise is different now from before the repairs (they also adjusted the MBA so it sits steady on the table). Tapping the mouse-pad creates a longer lasting pitch than the former morse-code pitch response. Or then again, maybe I am just going insane :D

    I guess I´ll have to use a USB mouse (active USB-plugs make the noise go away as well as safety-mode), or just use ear-plugs when working.

    My last, albeit remote, hope for remedy is to try the coolbook-app. Will report back here if any results at all.
  21. Heavenkittykat macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2008
    I have the 1.6GHZ 80 GB HDD version and I don't hear any clicking, hissing or any noise whatsoever, I don't have any fan, core or heating problems either. I don't even hear my fan. Even in a very quite room I would try to load a video and try my best to hear the fan that everybody is talking about, but I couldn't hear anything. Perfectly silent. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. I have the 10 week MBA by the way:)
  22. pgharavi macrumors regular


    Nov 25, 2004
    the MBA is the loudest laptop I have ever owned, all due to fan noise (nothing to do w/ the HDD).

    I found the terminal command for smcFanControl to limit the max fan speed to 4000rpm (from 6200) and you can't hear anything.
  23. sir. mac macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2006

    What is it, the command I mean. And is it safe to initiate? Do you use this together with coolbook?
  24. eboroian thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2008
    Sir mac (or anyone who can hear this buzzing), have you ever listened to other MBA's to see if you could hear this with them? I initially thought the problem with my black macbook was case specific, but when i listened to other MBs i realised they all made this annoying sound, and that some people simply couldn't hear it well, or it didn't bother them...

    It would be interesting to see if you can hear this on other MBAs aswell. You may be like me i.e very sensitive to certain sounds...if you get a chance, check it out and get back to me. If you can't hear it on other should defo let apple know and see if they can exchange yours...

    If you can hear it on others however, i'll just conclude that apple kind of sucks and quality controle in general lol...Your thoughts??

  25. pgharavi macrumors regular


    Nov 25, 2004
    Yes (w/ caution) and Yes (to no avail).

    I bought CoolBook after seeing the glowing reviews here and I've found that it does nothing for me. I'm not sure if I'm using it right, but I've read through the thread, read all the manuals, and I'm simply not seeing the drops that everyone else magically is. If you want to do what I am doing, in Terminal:

    /Applications/ -k F0Mx -w 60e0

    (that's the default 6200 RPM)

    /Applications/ -k F0Mx -w 3e80

    (That's 4000 RPM Max)

    I obviously gain a few degrees C when limiting to 4000, but at least my MBA shuts up. I wouldn't watch 720p mpvs w/ this, but 99% else, it's great.

    I think most people are seeing a placebo effect w/ CoolBook (or they are not including values for the full 1400 and 1600 settings).

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