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macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 7, 2020
I recently purchased a top-spec 27" iMac with the Pro Vega 48 card.

As soon as I turn it on, and whenever the iMac is awake, regardless of how little it is doing, I can hear a slight but certain fan noise coming from it. It is very quiet, but in a quiet room it is noticeable when working at it. It is not just the familiar sound of wooshing air, but also whirring, ticking sound is present.

Since this is fairly quiet, I wonder if it is normal? I have been on the phone to Apple and done all the diagnostics and resets.

Here is a clip of the noise, which is constantly present, filmed from quite close up:

Is this normal, or a fault?


macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2018
The Sillie Con Valley
Normal? Maybe. All iMacs have an idle speed. If the noise you're hearing is air, that's ok. If you're hearing a low pitched noise, it could be a bad bearing—this does happen. Unfortunately, until the Apple stores reopen, you have nothing to compare it with.

The iMac Pro is as quiet as I've ever encountered but they have two massive cooling fans. When everything else is dead quiet, I can tell it's on but that's all. The only time I've ever heard the fans is when I run a test that runs each fan to full, just to make sure it's working.


May 6, 2016
San Diego, CA
I would suggest downloading a fan and temp monitoring tool such as Macs Fan Control and seeing what speed the fans are going at. Baseline idle is 1200rpm for the 2017 iMacs, and I assume it would be the same for the 2019 models? At any rate, see how the fan speed and temp relate to each other as you use the machine. Also, if this is within the first few days of your new iMac being set up from scratch, it wouldn't be out of the ordinary to notice fan and temperature spikes as the system does its thing like indexing and synchronizing iCloud data and whatnot.
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