Worth getting the TB MacBook Pro just to avoid fan noise?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Karvel, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. Karvel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    England
    #1
    I was originally looking at the base 13" non-TB MacBook Pro (but with a 16GB memory upgrade) but I've been finding a quite a few online reviews that mention quite noticeable fan noise in the non-TB models vs. the TB models (something about a cheaper fan part used?) Anyway - is it worth the delta in price between the base TB and base non-TB to not have this noisy fan?
     
  2. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    England, UK
    #2
    It's not a cheaper fan - it's a fundamentally different cooling system. The TB models have two fans with intake vents along the side and exhaust in the hinge (see this page, scroll about half-way down). The non-TB models rely on a single fan with intake/exhaust vent in the hinge (like a MacBook Air) - they don't have the vents on the side at all.

    The 28W CPU in the TB models should be more efficient than the 15W in the non-TB models. The degree to which this impacts a given MacBook would depend entirely on the user's usage - including the tasks they do and even their physical environment (humidity, ambient temps, etc).

    Both models have fared incredibly well in benchmarks from reputable sources, with neither model suffering from throttling in common CPU or GPU benchmarks. However, when both the CPU and GPU are under load, they do throttle. And this is where the 28W CPU should start to shine. It should maintain a considerably higher base clock speed under these extreme conditions. It's unlikely, though, that you will stress your MacBook in such a way very frequently.

    One thing I don't know is whether the maximum fan speed between non-TB and TB is any different. And if so, what's the decibel difference between 2 fans at say 3000rpm and 1 fan at say 5000rpm. I didn't pay enough attention in physics classes as a kid, it appears.

    Not sure if that answers your question, but hopefully a concise bit of information for you.
     
  3. Falhófnir macrumors 68000

    Falhófnir

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    #3
    I think it's only the 15" that has all the asymmetric/ split blades shenanigans, the 13" is just one or two regular fans - the difference probably lies in the fact two can keep the cpu cooler running at a lower (quieter) speed than a single one. Really it probably only matters if you're going to be pushing the machine moderately (enough to make fans come on but not max them out).
     
  4. Ashton Cofer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    #4
    I'm not informed on the fan issue between the two devices but I would still recommend that you go with the touch bar model for other reasons. Keep in mind that with the touch bar model, you not only get the touch bar but also a faster processor, Touch ID, and two more thunderbolt 3 ports (with the ability to charge on both sides). In my option, it is definitely worth paying extra for it.

    FWI I have a 13" 2016 MacBook Pro with touch bar and 16GB of RAM and I have been more than happy with my purchase. :)
     
  5. Karvel thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    England
    #5
    Thanks all. I'm guessing the "buy the best spec you can afford" adage comes into play here!
     
  6. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
  7. JesterAZ macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2017
    #7

    I'm still waiting for this fan thing I hear so much about to happen.

    2017 13" MBP 256gig with 16gig of ram.

    36 tabs open right now in safari, Spotify open, Word with three docs open, 2 excel sheets, Chrome with three tabs, screen at 50%, bluetooth headphones connected, on wifi of course and I still don't have this fan phenomenon. Backlit keys are off.

    Oh yea, mail open, text messages, and I'm charging my phone. Battery indicator says 14 hours of battery life left.
     
  8. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    England, UK
    #8
    You wouldn't hear fans with that usage. That's just memory heavy, not particularly CPU intensive. Especially when you have 16GB memory, there's little need for swap.

    You could happily do that kind of work on a 12" MacBook without issue, let alone a new MBP.
     
  9. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    #9
    As stated, nothing particularly CPU intensive. Just a bunch of static apps open taking memory. Even Skype video chat will put more load on the CPU than what you have going on there. I don't personally own a nonTB MBP so I can't comment on fan noise, but if you really want to see if you have any, download handbrake and encode a long HD video.
     
  10. bhatiak macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    #10
    Hey, sorry for bumping up this old post...I'm curious to hear about your experience with the MBP. I have the nTB with the same specs as you (16gb/256gb), and I feel like the fan will randomly come on when I'm not even doing anything CPU intensive.
     
  11. pejx72 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2017
    #11
    I got the 13 TB for precisely this reason - the noise. Has not disappointed me, runs totally silent 99% of time, and barely audible fan hum the other 1%
    The notebookcheck reviews of the 2016 nTB and TB models explains the massive difference in cooling systems. My takeaway was that the 13 TB version's cooling setup (heat pipes etc) is pretty much the same as the 15 TB which means it can handle the 28W cpu without breaking sweat.

    I also run an app that disables Turbo Boost on the Intel cpus so that makes my computing even more silent. My MBP 13 TB is the maxed out 3.5-4.0Ghz one btw.
     
  12. bhatiak macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    #12
    It makes sense that the fans would turn on under higher load. My confusion is why Skype with a few Safari tabs is a problem. I bought this laptop so I could reliably run a 1080p monitor and do all my university related work - powerpoint, researching, report writing, and video calling...And it seems like this is an issue for a premium laptop in 2017. Seriously lmao - an old beat down 2012 windows laptop can do this with less issues.
     
  13. Krolik12 macrumors newbie

    Krolik12

    Joined:
    May 27, 2018
    #13
    I am new to MBP, had to return several laptops because of excessive noise. So, if i understand you correctly, MBP 13 with TB is quieter that 15 inches or they are about the same noisewise?
     
  14. goyingus macrumors newbie

    goyingus

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2017
    #14
    The non TB model throttles almost immediately when you put the CPU under pressure (goes down to 2.6-2.8ghz), without the need of the GPU to be active, unless I got a defective unit, which might be the case.
     
  15. satinsilverem2 macrumors 6502a

    satinsilverem2

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #15
    the nTB base speeds are 2.0 and 2.4 GHz. throttling is when the speed of the CPU is below the base clock speeds. your seeing a reduction yes but not full throttling as 2.6-2.8 is substantially higher than the base clock. Intel also rates the max turbo boost speeds for one core active which almost never happens.
     
  16. goyingus macrumors newbie

    goyingus

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2017
    #16
    You're also getting a more expensive machine that uses more energy, has a 10% smaller battery, is more likely to break and costs more to repair.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 14, 2018 ---
    I believe max turbo clock for both cores is 3.2ghz in that model, as that's the highest mine will go, for a very brief period of time. And I thought throttling also meant going below the turbo speeds, since many machines usually never go bellow that rating, the MacBook Air 2013 and the Mac minis 2012 and 2014, for example. I may be mistaken, though.
     
  17. Gara_kons macrumors newbie

    Gara_kons

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2018
    #17
    Notebookchecker mentions also faster Wifi on the TB models and i have found that on the 13" models the fans dont spin all the time. I still cant decide between those too. Its a 200 euro difference for me here.
     
  18. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    England, UK
    #18
    My work laptop is a 2017 nTB. My personal laptop is a 2017 TB.

    The TB is DEFINITELY silent more of the time for my usage. Both perform equally well. I use the TouchBar but don’t really miss it on my nTB. Battery seems very similar on both, never noticed a difference.

    For the sake of €200, I would go for it. If €200 is a lot to you, you’re not missing out on much.

    Just my 2 cents after almost 1 year of using both every day.
     
  19. Gara_kons macrumors newbie

    Gara_kons

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2018
    #19
    Only some battery comments about the TB got me skeptical but with the light use of browsing studying watching videos and some skype I don’t believe it won’t last a day.
     
  20. Painter2002 macrumors 6502a

    Painter2002

    Joined:
    May 9, 2017
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #20
    I have a 2017 13" MacBook Pro WITH TB, and I can tell you the dual fans on this machine are never heard... but more importantly the additional 2 usb-c hubs are worth the extra money. If you buy the MacBook Pro without TB you will likely want to buy a USB-C hub, and good ones run upwards of $100-300 anyways.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 18, 2018 ---
    I can get a full 8 hours on light use of web browsing/watching youtube videos, etc. If you do more intensive tasks, it may last less (like 5-6 hours for photo-editing). Also I like to point out that with the USB-C charging, this may Touch Bar MacBook Pro charges to 50% in less than an hour, so you can charge it during a lunch break and have enough juice to finish the day if you need to.
     

Share This Page