Quietest Mac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ng7apoc, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. ng7apoc macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2010
    One of the things most important to me, and I'm sure many others, on choosing a computer is that its quiet. Following on from my iMac issue I'm now considering buying something else - most likely a Mini but maybe a Pro.

    I know this may sound like an obvious question "surely the Mini is quieter!" but is it really? and how do both compare to a base model 2011 21.5 iMac.

    As more information goes I live in a rural area with no passing traffic or people walking by, I'd often not have any music or TV on either so if the computer makes noise I will hear it :( Its also not uncommon for me to be using my computer well into the early hours with people sleeping in bedrooms to three sides of me.

    I have a late 2007 MacBook that doesn't take much to get up to maximum fan speed of 6000rpm and its horrendous the noise it makes. This is in part what puts me off the Mini because from reading the Mini section here it seems to vary from people with machines that never go above stock 1800rpm to those who seem to always have the fan running at or close to maximum.

    I'd guess the Pro is a bit more noisy at default but may be better overall if its fans stay constant and don't ramp up like the Mini's does

    I've never heard either a 2011 Mini or 2009/10 Pro running in a quiet environment so I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts and experiences
  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    What do you do with it?

    Web browsing: install flash blocker.
    Video rendering? Mac Pro.

    You got 30 days to try it out if you got a new mini.
  3. ng7apoc thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2010
    The Mini probably suits my needs better of the two given my usage, and its far cheaper too - even with SSD.
    No rendering and only the occasional older game but a fair amount of video encoding and I have 5 external 2.5" HDD's that could see some of them end up in a Pro so it wouldn't exactly be overkill like some would see it, particularly if it was quiet.
  4. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    I haven't had a Mini since the G4 model, but I've had two Mac Pros -- a 1,1 and a 2010. I live in the country.

    The 1,1 sometimes spins up its fans when it wakes from sleep, and that's annoying.

    But neither of them makes enough noise for me to hear. In truth, that's 85% of the reason I bought Mac Pros (the rest being because of expansion).

    I care very much about noise and I don't think a Mac Pro is going to be significantly noisier than a Mini. If I put my ear to the front of the 2010 MP, I can hear a fan, but from my work position about 1 metre away, I cannot hear a thing.
  5. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    Playing any web video on my '06 MacBook cranks the fans up.

    On a 2011 MacMini, high quality video recorded from an EyeTv plays great and no fan noise.

    On a 2008 MacPro quad core, some things crank up the fans so loud it sounds like a helicopter taking off
  6. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2003
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    I would say most if not all of my computers have ran pretty quiet. I would have to say though, I noticed that if any of my Mac's ran hot it was either do to A) flash, or a movie playing or B) a computer that was at the end of its family line, with faster chips [meaning the first class of G4 vs. the Windtunnel G4].

    My MBP, gets some what warm, but not hot like my last MBP I had. My MP, however, I think is one of the coolest, and quietest machines I have ever owned.
  7. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    I would wager that the new mini with a SSD is about as quiet as your gonna get. Thats what I would buy if I was in your position. Also flash blockers can be very handy at keeping the CPU from working too hard.
  8. Sensamic macrumors 68030

    Mar 26, 2010
    Buying a quiet mac is probably my biggest concern always.

    When I bought my first mac, the iMac late 2009 27 inch, its HDD was very very loud for my taste. After a lot of research I bought an external SSD which I boot from (240GB OWC via FW800) and now my iMac is wonderful. I can work during nights or whatever without hearing the HDD.

    Fans are super super quiet, you can't almost hear them:

    ODD: 998rpm

    HDD: 1099rpm

    CPU: 938rpm

    I love how silent this setup is. I have a Mini too as HTPC and its very quiet, but not as the iMac thanks to the SSD.

    My next mac will surely come with SSD preinstalled. Its the only way to have a silent computer.
  9. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Either the iMac or Mac Mini will be pretty quiet; my MBP stays at 2k rpm pretty much 90 percent of the time unless I'm playing a game. Whether it's flash video, a flash site, or I'm just running a ton of things in the background, it stays quiet.

    Mac Pro would be offering more than you need at an extreme price, IMO.
  10. ng7apoc thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2010
    Thanks for the help guys, as I've explained in this post in the other thread it seems better suited overall and fingers crossed I will be happy with the noise level :D
  11. lickitysplit macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2010
    I have 2 friends with Mac Mini's and they are damn near silent. Same goes for the iMac really so I'd say either one as far as noise is good.
  12. Dizzler macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2009
    I also have a Mini (late 2009) and it, too, is silent. It does have an external power brick, however, if that matters to you. I love this thing. It's the quietest Mac I've ever owned.
  13. Canaan macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2011
  14. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Ahh, but only if you get an SSD in it--those old 3.5" drives whined horribly (I say this having worked very hard at silencing one while using a G4 tower for a living room server--the drive was louder than the rest of the fans in the tower).

    Even a modern "green" 3.5" drive usually makes more noise than the fans in my 2009 mini, and the newer models are DEAD silent.

    That said, even 27" iMacs are surprisingly quiet these days--you can honestly barely hear the one in my living room even at night unless it's under load.

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