Which is the quietest Mac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Love, May 9, 2008.

  1. Love macrumors 68000

    Love

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    Just southeast of Northwestshire
    #1
    I was wondering how loud the Mac mini is. I'm considering a Mac mini (I have DKM), an iMac, or a Power Mac G5. Which one is the quietest? I'll be using the machine in a rather small room so I hear everything.
     
  2. shiseiryu1 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 30, 2007
    #2
    Quietest mac

    I've had a mac Mini and a 20" and 24" iMac; I think they are all very quiet. Once or twice the fan has kicked on with my 20" (i think i was playing Half Life 2) but usually it's virtually silent. I didn't have my mac Mini long but for the time I did have it; it was also virtually silent. The only Apple machine that I've had that isn't silent is the MacBook. If I watch TV using Slingbox or hook up my Macbook to a USB hub, the fan starts a blowin'. :(
     
  3. sfroom macrumors regular

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    Apr 30, 2008
    #3
    Every Power Mac G5 I've used sounds like a jet taking off when you put pressure on the CPU and/or GPU. The thing had something like 13 fans in the case.

    The most silent computer I've ever used was my white 24" iMac 2.16 w/ 7600 GT.

    I've never used a mini, but would expect it to be fairly quiet.

    All of the intel machines, with the exception of the laptops, which need fans to stay cool, are pretty silent machines. However, in my experience, the optical drives in these machines are NOT quiet. Perhaps it's just in contrast to the computers, but I always found my iMac's optical drive loud.

    I've used an August '07 Aluminum 2.4 Ghz 24" iMac as well, and it's quiet, but there is slightly more fan noise than in the old white 24" I owned.
     
  4. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    #4
    I've got a 2.0 C2D mini and an aluminium 24" iMac and used to own a dual 2.0 Power Mac G5.

    The mini is the quietest, very quiet in fact and in normal use is more or less silent.

    Next comes the iMac which you can hear the fan but it isn't offensive in any way. I'm now sitting six feet from it and all I can hear is a faint hum.

    The G5 was louder and I wouldn't recommend it if the sound of fans bothers you as it was certainly audible from 12 - 15 feet away.
     
  5. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

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    #5
    All of them have fans and those will kick on if you do any gaming or encoding. Things will get really quiet when SSD drives can be standard and it doesn't have a DVD drive.

    The Macbook Air with such drive would technically be the quietest.
    You need a Mini Air.
     
  6. minik macrumors 65816

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    #6
    My best bet will be the Mac mini as you can put it a litter away from the display. My 3.06Ghz iMac is very quiet, I can literally leave it on at night in my bedroom while I'm sleeping. I couldn't do that on a MDD G4.

    My DP 2.0Ghz PowerMac G5 is acceptable.
     
  7. Yvan256 macrumors 601

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    Canada
    #7
    My external 1TB MyBook drive makes at least 4 to 5 times as much noise as the Mac mini (unless the Mac mini is doing a DVD encode to H.264, in which case the 1TB drive is only 2-3 times as loud). ;)
     
  8. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

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    Mar 6, 2007
    #8
    I have been waiting for Apple to produce the Mythical Midrange Tower, but I may have to just give up and buy a Mac Pro. What is the noise factor of such a machine?
     
  9. minik macrumors 65816

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    #9
    We have 3 Mac Pros here and they are all pretty quiet. Oh well, those Cisco switches are much louder.
     
  10. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    #10
    If it wasn't for the tiny light on the front of the Mac Mini, you wouldn't know it was running .... :)

    ps
    The Mac Pro is much quieter than the previous equivalent (G5 Power Mac) but in comparison with the Mini the Pro sounds like a tornado !!!! I speak from experience, I run both.
     
  11. Muncher macrumors 65816

    Muncher

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    #11
    I don't like how quiet my imac is; sometimes the screen will turn off, and I'll come home from school later to find my imac was on the entire time (that's with the fan turned up slightly :p).
     
  12. Love thread starter macrumors 68000

    Love

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    #12
    Does anyone know the brand of hard drives that go in to Mac minis?
     
  13. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

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    #13
    Right now I have a Mac tower and a Windows tower in every room in my house, and they are all networked with Ethernet. I am considering replacing all the Mac towers with Mac Pros, and I am concerned about the "tornado" like noise of the Mac Pro. The Mac Mini might be OK, but I have read technical reports that indicate that the Mini is not capable of handling streaming High Definition TV programs. Can anyone enlighten me about the Mini and the Pro?
     
  14. minik macrumors 65816

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    #14
    I have seen Seagate Momentus 5400.2 and HITACHI Travelstar 5K160 line.


    The Mac Pro is pretty quiet actually in general. Occasionally, the fans will spin up at a higher RPM. It's better than the G5.
     
  15. deftdrummer macrumors regular

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    San Diego
    #15
    I have the 2.4 ghz aluminum imac and I almost never hear it. The exception is when the optical drive is spinning but its SPINNING folks!

    Even the fan running full speed when I'm doing intensive CPU operations makes hardly a sound. I am thoroughly impressed.
     
  16. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    #16
    The only time I ever hear my iMac or my Mac Pro is when I'm loading or burning a DVD or CD.

    I encoded 9 hours of video on my Mac Pro two weeks ago and never heard a peep. Handbreak worked for about an hour converting a movie on my iMac and I never heard a peep.
     
  17. Love thread starter macrumors 68000

    Love

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    Just southeast of Northwestshire
    #17
    I've had a white MacBook, and it was decently quiet, unless you started doing things that would stress the machine. I'm also considering a Black MacBook, what kind of hard drives go in to those? I know my white one had a Toshiba.
     
  18. aaquib macrumors 65816

    aaquib

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    Toronto, Canada
    #18
    Easily Mini. You really won't even be able to tell that its on, unless you're running software from the optical drive. Then it gets a bit noisy. Either ways, its a great purchase and I love mine :). Just get an external HDD, or internal if that's what you prefer, and you'll be fine.
     
  19. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    Sep 16, 2007
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    Berklee College of Music
    #19
    I think all the machines are decently quiet. My PC Desktop and Inspiron both run really loud compared to my Macbook, and our school tech guy's Mac Mini runs very quietly, too. I didn't even notice it in the fairly small room for like 15 minutes.

    I never even hear my Macbook fan unless I'm running something big.
     

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