quick question on Air's fan, and audiblility

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jayo123456, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. jayo123456 macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    i went to the local store, and ran all the apps I normally have multitasking....and exhaust fan RPM was at 2000.

    can someone test in a reallllllly quiet room to see if you can hear the fan at 2000rpm? It was loud at the store, I couldn't tell.

    iStat or smcfancontrol shows fan rpm.

    tis probably a longshot to get someone to test this for me, but worth a try.
  2. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    Which one, 11" or 13"? Both are silent at 2000rpm. I have to place my ear under the MBA on the left side to hear the fan. When running full speed the 13" is much louder than the 11" but this only happens under abnormal conditions.
  3. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    It seems like at baseline the fan runs at 2000 rpm, I've noticed it stays that way most of the time unless I run something intensive. And I don't hear the fan at 2000 rpm, in a dead silent room.

    Tested on an 11" model.
  4. jayo123456 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    was wondering for 13",

    but thankx. Gonna order in a day or two.
  5. snorkelman macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2010
    Must confess I had to install CPU fan control just to make sure the fan was working on my 11" - at the 2000 rpm setting I couldn't hear it at all even with my ear pressed against the machine :)
  6. AppleGoddess macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2010
    I have crazy sensitive hearing, in my dead silent room, no noise at all.
  7. pfjellman macrumors regular


    Mar 18, 2010
    my exhaust runs at 1900-2100 rpm almost 90% of the time. this is dead silent, can only hear it if my ear is literally touching the MBA. when i play sc2 or do something else requiring a lot of cpu/ram/gpu, the fans will kick up to 4000-4500, and then it's about as loud as my old MBP 15" when it was on idle.

    if the fans get above 4500, they are decently noisy. again, this almost never happens (unless i'm gaming, in which case i have headphones on anyway). as soon as i'm done doing whatever it was to require the higher rpm, the fan gradually slows back down to ~2000 over a period of about 80 seconds. very slick and quiet. =)

    also, for what it's worth, this is the coolest laptop (temperature-wise) i've ever owned. i can be on it all day on a bed sitting on thick blankets (a danger zone for most laptops, not least of all my MBP 15" which could practically fry an egg on the bottom!) and the MBA is only somewhere between luke-warm and warm. this reason alone makes me inclined to enjoy this laptop more than any other i've owned, putting aside all of the other awesome features/benefits of the MBA. love this machine!
  8. speedle macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2007
    I received my 13" MBA today and didn't realise the fan was spinning until I installed smcFanControl. I'm in a silent room with the exhaust fan running at around 2000rpm and I cannot hear it unless I put my ear on the left side of the case.
  9. Scott6666 macrumors 65816


    Feb 2, 2008
    2000 is inaudible on all macs laptops (and netbooks :D). The trick is to keep it at that speed.

    The fans become audible at about 3000 rpm.
  10. Scott6666 macrumors 65816


    Feb 2, 2008
    11" or 13"?
  11. gb1631 macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2009
    PNW Puget Sound
    My hearing isn't to sensitive; however, I haven't heard any sounds from my MGB 11. It's really noiseless! ;)
  12. Marconelly, Nov 9, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010

    Marconelly macrumors 6502


    Jul 5, 2008
    I wouldn't call running any 3D game released in the last 5 years 'abnormal' condition.

    13" reaches 6500RPM so damn easily, and it sounds like a jet engine then - practically unbearable if you use it during the night time when everything around you is silent. Any better 3D game (Half Life 2 etc) will do it within first minute or two of playing, encoding videos will do it, I didn't test Skype yet, but I have a sinking feeling full screen video on it will do it as well. Surprisngly enough, it handles flash video better than I thought it would. Fan ramps up to about 4000 watching those, but it doesn't go to 6500.

    Also to note, 11.6" model handles heat so much better. Fans are a lot more hesitant to ramp up, and even when they do go up to 6500 (after a longer time of playing 3d games) the fan is simply not as loud as on the 13" model. Funnily enough, the gaming performance between the two is practically indistinguishable if you run games in their native resolutions. I'm deciding which of these two machines to keep, and the fan noise just might end up being a deciding factor, it's that bad on 13" one :\
  13. BENJMNS macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2005
    i'm not sure if it's handling the heat better cuz it does feature a slower processor and shorter battery life due to the smaller, lower res screen.

    the 13's heat level/fan noise level is definitely more than acceptable.

    now what would be cool is ... NO fan at all. :D
  14. Marconelly macrumors 6502


    Jul 5, 2008
    Most of the time it is, but running any game during night time just plain sucks. I think 11" model is using an ULV (ultra low voltage) processor while 13" one is using LV. Yes, it's faster, but even for tasks where neither of these CPUs is close from being maxed, like watching youtube videos, 11" fares much better in terms of heat generation and fan speed.
  15. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000


    Dec 20, 2009
    I too have very acute hearing, and own both the 11 & 13 versions.

    My office within my residence is also my library, music room and home theater. It's features well engineered acoustic ceiling and walls, as I'm a music buff and designed this room to serve me well in that capacity.

    I find both MBA's to be very quiet, even loaded up running resource intensive programs just for testing purposes. Yet that said, my 13" MBP and 15" mid 2010 i7/ MBP are a close second, with the latter being the most noticeable, mainly because I'm always pushing it due to the design work I do and the programs I use.

    Hope this helps you... :)
  16. jayo123456 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    from quietest to loudest you order the notebooks:

    mba 11
    mba 13
    mbp 13
    mbp 15

    all running the same apps?

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