What is the Macbook Pro 15 Normal Noise Level?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DavidLeigh, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. DavidLeigh, Aug 24, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012

    DavidLeigh macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2012
    Hi All,

    Ok, i can be extremely paranoid about the noises made by brand new laptops. I just want to know whether the noise i'm hearing at the moment is normal. So what s the normal noise level for the Macbook Pro 15 running on spinning hard drives. Aside from the very light fan noise, the machine makes a faint but low pitched buzzing or humming noise, like a machine noise. Is this normal? Like i said, i might just be paranoid and i'm sure i will get used to the noise if it is normal. But i need to know for sure, particularly before the 14 day period is over.

  2. DavidLeigh thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2012
  3. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    If you have a harddrive running you will have trouble hearing your fans when they run at 2000rpm.
    Those are much less noisy. Fans are a somewhat lower pitched than the hdd noise.
    I'd say it takes about 2800-3000 rpm for the fans to become as loud as a 5400rpm hdd. Above 3000 they are dominant.

    I am not sure but it sounds a bit as if you are mistaking the hdd for the fans and the low pitched humming is the actual fans at low speeds.

    You want a silent notebook. Put in an SSD and run the Intel HD whenever possible to keep the fans running below 2500rpm.

    Weird unnatural sounds are almost always high pitched stuff coming from caps on the logicboard. An uneven clicking sound can also mean some bad bearing of the fans.
  4. token787 macrumors regular


    Jun 30, 2012
    I have the new cMBP and it's very silent. No humming, no pings, no turning. Just silent!! My mac rocks!!:D
  5. DavidLeigh thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2012
    See that's the thing. I'm guessing i have the same machine (15 inch and using spinning HDDs). I don't know if it's supposed to be completely silent. Certainly if i have an external hard drive running, then it drowns out any noise from the macbook. But when it's dead quiet, what noises do you hear aside from the very light "blowing" sound that i'm guessing is the fan? My macbook makes another machine noise. It isn't loud or clicking or high pitched. Maybe i'm just being paranoid. I have not had a new laptop for a very long time (like 5 +years) and certainly not a mac, so I don't know what noises to expect.
  6. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    So try to locate the sound.

    The HDD should come from the botton right.
    It is never completely silent. If you can here 2000rpm fans depends on the surrounding noise level. It needs to be really silent.
    The fans at 2000rpm should be most audible near the hinge.
    Any odd stuff should be more to the left under die keyboard. That is the only place strange stuff can come from that shouldn't be.

    You can also listen to it with the HDD off.
    Just start SpindownHD incase you have devtools installed.
    pmset -a disksleep 1

    Quit every running program and wait for 1 min until the hdd should spin down.
  7. DavidLeigh, Aug 25, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012

    DavidLeigh thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2012
    Thanks for the advice. I just check energy saver and found that sleep for the hd is already turned, but in all honesty the noise i'm talking about is such a general machine noise that emanates from all around the machine that i'm guessing it is the fan. I just thought that when people talk about fan noises, they mean a loud blowing sound as opposed to constant buzz or hum. So my question is then how loud is the fan supposed to be? I mentioned above that it's been a while since i bought a laptop so i really don't know what to expect. I have used my brother's macbook air, and didn't notice any noise but then i probably wasn't listening and i'm guessing a 13 inch macbook air will be much quieter. The only way for me to be sure is to compare it with another machine at a shop which is what i'm planning to do.

    Edit: actually i noticed that the noise in question is definitely from the left. Not sure if it's the top of bottom though.
  8. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Install SMC Fan control and check how fast the fans run.
    You can also increase them step by step to understand how the noise changes.

    The default HDD spindown is set at 10 mins which IMO is way too long. My command would have set it to 1 min. I would set it to 2-5 min.
  9. token787 macrumors regular


    Jun 30, 2012
    I have NO NOISE at all, sometimes I have to make sure it's on and running it's so quiet. Don't hear fans at all. I would take it in and get it inspected, couldn't hurt.
  10. nitromac macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2012
    If you're doing nothing but regular web browsing, it should be very quiet. Once you start streaming video, you can start to hear the fans. The jet noise comes in when you start doing heavy work (Photoshop, FCP, gaming, etc)

    Do you have a CD/DVD inserted? The humming machine-like noise might be from the superdrive spinning.
  11. DavidLeigh thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2012
    Ok, this is even more weird guys, because i swear it's a lot more quiet today!!!! :confused: Even makes me think i was crazy yesterday!

    If it's intermittent then i'm guessing it's a machine vibration of some kind. I ran SMC fan control yesterday and found that the fan is 2000 rpm. This is the minimum and i'm guessing it accounts for the "nearly silent" blowing noise. The noise i'm talking about is a vibration or buzzing/humming sound. On the right side, it's a lot less noticeable and higher pitched. However, on the left there was a much more lower pitched vibration that is definitely perceptible even half a metre away. This seems to have disappeared today! Electronic machinery doesn't somehow "wear in" does it, cause that's the first i've heard!

    What makes this that much more worrying is that yes i've not used my laptop for anything besides browsing, so i haven't even pushed the fans or read much of the hard drive.

    Token787: are you sure it's completely silent? I'm sure you can at least hear the light blowing noise right which is the fan at 2000 rpm?
  12. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Some people just don't have good hearing or a noisy environment. I life next to a forest so I can also hear 2000rpm. Yet even in some libraries I have trouble hearing those.

    Try shutting of the HDD that is the only way to understand how much difference there is. Or increase the fans with smc. Mine are virtually impossible to hear next to an HDD until they get to 2600rpm at least.

    The left could really only be something coming from the speakers. Electronic stuff is really high pitched often so high that old people cannot hear it. The sound card usually shuts off if there is no sound to play. Maybe it was active and delivering some background noise.
    Maybe listen to some very quite classical music and see how good they are doing.

Share This Page