Home Apple Apple’s Computers, Fan Noise and Ridding yourself of Distraction

Apple’s Computers, Fan Noise and Ridding yourself of Distraction

by Kerry Dawson

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Current Mac compters of the Intel x-86 architecture run hot which to cool them often leads to the fans kicking in. The faster the chipset, the more heat that is generated and the more the fans are required for cooling.

As an example, the fans in a Macbook Air rarely run whereas the high end Macbook Pro 16” runs extremely hot leading to a lot of fan noise. Interestingly, the iMac Pro with its Xeon processors rarely has the fans in gear. The chip can handle an awful lot and therefore the fans never run except under the most extreme of circumstances.

The Problem

Fan operation might cool the chip but it is incredibly distracting. The more your work involves intense concentration, the worse the effect of the distracting noise. If as an example, you are a writer the fans not only distract you from your work but then it causes you to have to re-read to pick up your flow. This is not a small problem.

I was working with a fully loaded iMac about 3 years ago and the fan noise was not tolerable. I would often describe the problem as such:

I felt like I was behind a jet plane on the runway throttling up its engines to get ready to take off. This was extremely annoying.

I had an iMac before that for 3.5 years that was no problem whatsoever. In the case of this new iMac it was horrendous. I kept the computer for four months and changed it for an iMac Pro which had just come out. What a relief. Apple, without me asking, fully re-imbursed me for the iMac as they saw that I had ordered the iMac Pro.


Another problem that occurs with the heat is the chip, to cool itself, will have to throttle or slow down to reduce the heat. Thus, your computer might be rated as able to turbo boost to say 5 MHZ but you will rarely get there. Performance of the computer is thus also impacted by this problem and it is a problem.

My Solution

Imac pro white background

With all the positive reviews that were coming out on the Macbook Pro 16” I thought this might be a nice solution as I’d have some portability while being able to connect it to monitor and operate the sytem like a desktop. The thinking in theory was good however, the reality was very different.

The Macbook I chose was fully loaded and fast. However, it generated heat quickly and with that the fans ran frequently. I talked to tech support; rebuilt the computer and did all the maintenance functions but nothing could rid me of that fan noise.

I returned the iMac Pro with 64 gigs of memory. This computer is a charm. It is I think the best computer Apple has ever built.

For portability and quiet fan noise I got a Macbook Air with 16 gigs of RAM and a 256 gig drive. Most of my work is done on the iMac Pro but I will take the Air down the street to a coffee shop just for a change of scene. This computer is fast, extremely portable but best of all the fans rarely ever run.

The iMac Pro some might think is overkill but it’s not if you need peace and quiet. The bulk of my work is done on the iMac Pro. You can throw anything at it and the system handles it like a champ. Combined with the Air and I have one dynamite configuration. It shouldn’t be necessary to go to this extent but the reality of it is such that there wasn’t much choice. You either put up with the fan noise and get impeded in your work or you do away with the fan noise by getting this combination I have or the like and not only are you ahead in terms of distraction but there is little the system isn’t capable of handling.

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