RiMac: Fanspeed & Noise

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Maroder, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. Maroder macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2014
    Hi there,

    I would like to get the ne Retina iMac but have read some rumors about the fan being quite audible. As I do not have high demands on the GPU I would go with the R9 290x which should run cooler having a lower TDP than the 295x.

    I do not have any issue with fans kicking in when the components are put to use but I require a near silent workspace when writing, mailing or surfing the web. As noise is a very subjective matter I would like to point out, that the MacBook Air is my definition of silent.

    So has anyone got a Retina iMac and could record the noise of the fans when idle? That would help me a lot on the decicion wheter to buy the new iMac or got with a near silent MacBook Air.

    Thanks and kind regards
  2. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    You won't hear them unless you are hammering the cpu or gpu.
  3. iMcLovin macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2009
    its completely silent, at least with a ssd which I got. ...Unless you are hammering the gpu or cpu as tillsbury says. -Just like the previous iMacs. My "fanless" Lacie d2 makes a lot more noise than my iMac does.
  4. w00tini macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    I second this. no fan activity unless you're driving the CPU/GPU
  5. meagain macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    I'm just delving into things here as I'm thinking about buying myself a Christmas present ;) But fan noise is a huge issue for me and I remember well one of my iMacs having a big problem with that and I was miserable.

    I currently have a 3.4 ghz, i7 with AMD Radeon HD 6970m 1024mb

    I don't game, but would like to dabble in video processing.
    My 'thing' is running a bazillion windows & a bazillion tabs 24/7 (bad bad habit).

    I'm unsure which one to get but is it safe to assume the cheaper i5 with stock graphics would be overall quieter for me? I'm a bit unclear on how this all works.
  6. Onimusha370 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 25, 2010
    I'm quite sensitive to noise, but i can definitely hear my iMac fans when the machine is running at idle. Its only a slight hum (the fans are only at 1200rpm) but in a silent room its certainly noticeable, although not loud/annoying enough to put me off using the machine.
    When playing games/video editing/playing horribly inefficient flash videos the fans crank up to 1600 or 2000+ rpm, but even then the noise is drowned out by any sound playing on the machine itself, so its not a problem.

    Would recommend this machine to anyone, the text is ridiculously sharp and readable :)
  7. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    Compared to my rMBP, my RiMac is incredibly silent. I also have a lot of ambient noise like I am sitting near a door and the wind outside is blowing so that is all I hear right not but even playing games, I can't hear anything while on my rMBP, the fan is definitely something I can hear. Someone mentioned that due to laptops having smaller fans, they spin faster which may be the difference.
  8. macmee Suspended


    Dec 13, 2008
    Have yet to really hear the fan in mine, and my gpu diode got up to 100c. Not sure if this last part is particularly good or bad :D
  9. Maroder thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2014
    Thank you all for your input. I will get the RiMac then as the feedback seems rather positive :)
  10. 5iMacs macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2014
    For the i5/M290X/SSD version there is no sound when idle.

    The i5 is somehow so efficient that even when running at 100% (handbrake job), its power draw peaks at 57W and the fans are still inaudible (1198 rpm).
    Really inaudible. The hard drive in my previous iMac made more noise than this.

    There's no way on the planet to do 3D games without generating concentrated heat so even the M290X will rev up the fans after 10 minutes into a game. It is still very remarkable cooling. The GPU temp plateaus at 86C in Unigine Valley ExtremeHD and the fans average 1800, which is still fairly cool and quiet, see the fan speeds and temps posted by others for comparisons.

    I think the i5/M290X combination has significant benefits if quiet operation is a concern, for some reason the i7 is not doing so well there.
  11. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
    I have the same concerns as the OP. I got the i5 but with the upgraded graphics. Hmmmm, I am hoping for silent as I hardly ever do anything that requires power.

    I thought the 295x graphics would give better resale and also be better at simply moving all the pixels during web surfing, etc.

    I will have it Monday and will know more then.
  12. MowingDevil macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2008
    Vancouver, BC & Sydney, NSW
    I don't understand even considering resale value when considering upgrades. Who cares, you're not making money off that - it costs money to upgrade, more than you'll get back in any sale. Get the upgrades if you'll benefit from their use and any other reason is a waste of money.
  13. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
    Normally I tend to agree with you. In this particular case, I decided to err on the side of more graphics power. So that the resale market would be broader. Because the item is so darn new that no one REALLY knows anything about it. So this was my way of hedging this particular bet.

    Computer companies in general are know for releasing things that sound good, but in reality do not have enough power to do the job at hand. Celeron comes to mind. Lord those things were slow.

    And like Apple with its new mini with only 4GB and a 500GB Spinner proves my point. That thing is going to be as slow as sludge. No matter what the marketing boys say.

    Soon I will have direct experience and will report back.
  14. blackwoof macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2014
    Are you guys sure that the iMac is completely silent? Do you have SSD or do we expect differently? I could hear a hum like one of the guys said.
  15. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    Completely so. The only noise I can hear right now is the fairly quiet PSU fan on my 3d printer, which is in the next room. SSD only. If you have a fusion drive obviously you'll hear that above everything.
  16. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
  17. vir3l macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2014
    don't worry, it's near silent in everyday use.

    only when playing 3d games or using cpu for encoding/rendering it's getting constantly loud.
  18. FredT2 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2009
    I can hear the fan even at idle. But it's a very low whir and totally unobjectionable. Usually I don't even notice it. For what it's worth, I can also hear the fan in my Mac Mini, which most people say is completely silent.
  19. Train macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012
    I bought a Retina-iMac with a 3 TB fusion drive and it was way louder than my previos iMac (Mid 2011, 500GB hard drive). Googled for some benchmark and found out that the old hard drive emits 0,6 sone and the new one emits 1,9 sone in idle. It was too loud for me so I returned it to Apple and ordered one with a 1 TB SSD instead.
  20. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2012
    No it isn't.

    It't very quiet.


    For goodness sake. Why do people insist on posting such complete nonsense. It does my head in.
  21. paxos macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
    Is someone able to compare the "hum" noise directly of an SSD-only and a fusion drive riMac?


    SSD or FusionDrive?
  22. paxos macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
    I currently have an 1TB FusionDrive and can definitely hear something when the machine is idle. But I can't say if its the fan at 1200RPM or the hd.

    If the SSD only version is really "completely silent", that I would go for that. Anyone had both?
  23. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    So if I don't hear anything, then saying it is silent is nonsense? So I can't hear anything at all. I was playing a graphically intense game with 1 earbud in (I really don't like to use both) and I couldn't hear anything over the game sounds which weren't very loud. Then I took 1 ear bud out and wondered 'what was that noise' and it was my fan. Otherwise, I hear nothing though when I'm not doing graphically intense games. And I don't usually listen to music or anything so 20 inches away from my iMac, no other things blocking my hearing, I hear nothing. Is that better for you?

    And compared to my rMBP which I can hear immediately when doing something graphically, it is quite a contrast.
  24. FredT2 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2009
    SSD only is NOT "completely silent". It's not loud, but the fan is running and I can hear it.
  25. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
    I have the 512GB SSD, the 295x, 8GB Ram and the core i5.

    I surf and email and like that. I have not been able to get the fan to ramp up at all. Very happy with the sounds of silence of this computer.

    Super impressive.

    And I am merciless when it comes to the silence of my computer.

    I work at night and require silence.

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