The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Macbook Pro 2016 - noisy?
Old 11th March 2017
  #1
Lives for gear
 
CarLofgren's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Red face Macbook Pro 2016 - noisy?

Hey guys - I've been trying to hold off buying a new Mac for quite some time, but I feel a purchase is getting near.

The most common pros and cons of the new MBPs have been done to death, but can the people in the house who actually owns one of the new 2016 models please tell how the noise/fan levels are - especially under stress such as recording, plugins etc. NOT casual surfing - but practical work with music production.

Would greatly appreciate your input.

Right now I am using three Macs - one iMac at home, one Mac Mini at the office and one old Macbook in my studio. The thought of consolidating all Macs into one is very appealing as you might imagine. I think I'll use the Macbook in clamshell connected with two monitors so I need to get some adapter for that.

Anway - the fan/noise level is what I fear most - and I am pretty damn spoiled with the extremely silent iMac and the near totally unhearable Mac Mini.

The more expensive MBPs have dual fans - maybe that's a good thing creating a cooling solution that doesn't need to run at noisy speeds?

/C
Old 11th March 2017
  #2
Here for the gear
 

I have the 2016 15" 2.7GHz Mbp, and I find it very quiet. It gets quite hot before the fans kick in, and even then the fan noise is very low. In a normal environment sith some ambient noise they are hard to hear at all, and if you have any sound coming out of the speakers you can't tell that they're on.
Old 12th March 2017
  #3
RiF
Lives for gear
 
RiF's Avatar
Dunno about the 2016, but my 2015 15"'s fan is pretty audible (some would call it loud) under load.
Old 12th March 2017
  #4
Gear Nut
My 2013 15”’ Retina i7 is also noisy when I am using it heavily or have 3 monitors attached. Quiet now I have cleaned the dust out of it most of the time when it is not under load though..
Old 13th March 2017
  #5
Lives for gear
 
807Recordings's Avatar
 

I have the last i7 15MB retina before this new touch bar thing. It is loud even when tracking and not using muc CPU in Ableton.
Old 13th March 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
 
CarLofgren's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by 807Recordings View Post
I have the last i7 15MB retina before this new touch bar thing. It is loud even when tracking and not using muc CPU in Ableton.
Oh my... this make my hopes sink quite a bit. Honestly I have zero interest in the new shallow keyboards or the touch bar - and I was actually thinking about getting the MBP 15 inch maxed out. But if it doesn't need much to get noisy then it's a pass.

Damn it.

/C
Old 14th March 2017
  #7
Lives for gear
 
807Recordings's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarLofgren View Post
Oh my... this make my hopes sink quite a bit. Honestly I have zero interest in the new shallow keyboards or the touch bar - and I was actually thinking about getting the MBP 15 inch maxed out. But if it doesn't need much to get noisy then it's a pass.

Damn it.

/C
The fans I find louder than my 2012 15. I have mine fully loaded with RAM and SSD drive. If I am using my open ear headphones it can be very distracting and actually working on the near fields at lower volumes a bit distracting to, especially when trying to hear reverb tails and fades.

CPU never has maxed out yet but a slight glitch in audio has appeared again I must search out.

I personally would not go with the latest model just because it is the first generation and if I had the money I would have either gone iMac or MacPro.

But this will work if I use it for live PA.
Old 15th March 2017
  #8
Lives for gear
 
CarLofgren's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
I gave in and bought a 2015 MBP i7. With a bit of luck I'll grow old quickly and I won't notice the fans
Old 16th March 2017
  #9
Here for the gear
 

I've got a MBP 2016 15" top i7 top spec, etc. It is "virtually silent" when browsing etc, by which I mean the sound of a person's normal breathing is louder. It's *far* quieter than the 2015 MBP I had previously, and runs a fair bit cooler (and the battery lasts way longer too).

However, when it's working hard (which includes running Bitwig 2 or Studio One 3 at *idle* with a few plugins running, or just plugging into the external monitor, thereby triggering the graphics card), it warms up from the browsing temp (36C at the cpu) to around 58C, with the fans at 3k rpm. At this speed they are audible enough that tracking quiet vocals in the same room picks up the noise (even though the laptop is hidden behind a directional mic and sound shield). It's fairly low level, so easily removed with RX5, but it's annoying to have to do it.

On the upside, even a crappy laptop cooling pad lowers the temperature by about 8 degrees, and allows the fans to slow down to a quieter level. The problem then is finding a laptop cooling pad with low SPL.

I've tried a couple and they had annoying low frequency rumble, but it's hard to find good quality ones where I live. Internet reviews of laptop / notebook coolers never focus on the sound level (if you're lucky, people say "it's loud" or "it's quiet"). If anyone here has found one which is truly quiet enough for use in the same room as vocal tracking, I would love to hear about it.
Old 26th March 2017
  #10
Lives for gear
 
CarLofgren's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Just to finish this thread and add some input in case someone else is thinking in the same terms as I did.

I went for the 2015 MBP with a 2.5 i7 Quad, 16 MB and a TB SSD.

My impressions in no particular order:

1) Silent. VERY silent. Compared with my 2011 iMac which is quite silent - this one barely makes a sound when using it normally, light load. Editing audio files, writing. Surfing etc. Impressed. I am sure it will sound like a damn airplane when under load - but so far I am deeply impressed.

2) The SSD makes the whole difference in the world. Superfast and smooth operation.

3) MacOS. Going Sierra at this point in time was a totally painless experience.

4) Feel between iMac 27" screen vs Macbook Pro 15 inch. Both good and bad. Good that with the limited screen estate I now much more focus on the job at hand, rather than having a bunch of windows open at the same time. Bad that some apps/plugs require a lot of screen - which means moving around windows.

5) Ports. Everybody is hating the new 2016 MBP for its lack of ports, and I would done that too. I already feel the 2015 MBP to lack enough ports. Simple remedy though. Thunderbolt 2 dock should arrive next week.

All in all I love it - weirdly enough, I feel much more productive with a laptop than I ever did with my 27 inch iMac. It's something to do with the smaller form factor and limited screen estate that makes me focus more clearly.

I was thinking about buying the 2016 MBP - but mainly held off because NEVER BUY A FIRST GENERATION APPLE PRODUCT. Always wait for the second generation. I am sure the new MBP concept will turn out to be a killer in a generation or two.

/C
Old 31st May 2017
  #11
Lives for gear
 
smoovemode's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarLofgren View Post
Just to finish this thread and add some input in case someone else is thinking in the same terms as I did.

I went for the 2015 MBP with a 2.5 i7 Quad, 16 MB and a TB SSD.

My impressions in no particular order:

1) Silent. VERY silent. Compared with my 2011 iMac which is quite silent - this one barely makes a sound when using it normally, light load. Editing audio files, writing. Surfing etc. Impressed. I am sure it will sound like a damn airplane when under load - but so far I am deeply impressed.

2) The SSD makes the whole difference in the world. Superfast and smooth operation.

3) MacOS. Going Sierra at this point in time was a totally painless experience.

4) Feel between iMac 27" screen vs Macbook Pro 15 inch. Both good and bad. Good that with the limited screen estate I now much more focus on the job at hand, rather than having a bunch of windows open at the same time. Bad that some apps/plugs require a lot of screen - which means moving around windows.

5) Ports. Everybody is hating the new 2016 MBP for its lack of ports, and I would done that too. I already feel the 2015 MBP to lack enough ports. Simple remedy though. Thunderbolt 2 dock should arrive next week.

All in all I love it - weirdly enough, I feel much more productive with a laptop than I ever did with my 27 inch iMac. It's something to do with the smaller form factor and limited screen estate that makes me focus more clearly.

I was thinking about buying the 2016 MBP - but mainly held off because NEVER BUY A FIRST GENERATION APPLE PRODUCT. Always wait for the second generation. I am sure the new MBP concept will turn out to be a killer in a generation or two.

/C
I have the same model you do. But my fan noise is loud when mixing moderate to large projects with lots of plugins. My only remedy so far is to play the music louder but any subtle adjustments are an issue. I'm strongly considering getting something else and just use the mbp for DeeJay use.
Old 31st May 2017
  #12
Lives for gear
I think the fan noise could be related to which DAW one is using. I mostly use Logic Pro X on my 2015 MBP Retina 15" and my fans are usually silent.
Also, my model is the one with only integrated graphics. Did you guys get laptops with the discrete graphics (Nvidia/ATI) option?
Old 31st May 2017
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

My first Mac for audio was a G4, then a G5 dual core when they first came out. After that I got a MBP 17" i7 quad core 2.4. I have since upgraded to 16 gigs of ram and an SSD. For a while it worked like a charm but lately it's been getting slower and crashing to the beat of the band. Something wrong? Maybe. But at this stage of the game I will never (shouldn't say never but...) get a laptop for audio production again. They just aren't made for the kind of heavy lifting and extended use that audio requires Imo.

With the new pro level iMacs coming and a modular MP using a laptop for audio is even less appealing.
Old 31st May 2017
  #14
Lives for gear
 
smoovemode's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeegee 303 View Post
I think the fan noise could be related to which DAW one is using. I mostly use Logic Pro X on my 2015 MBP Retina 15" and my fans are usually silent.
Also, my model is the one with only integrated graphics. Did you guys get laptops with the discrete graphics (Nvidia/ATI) option?
You brought up a good point. It could be that Cubase is the issue. Obviously it works but maybe the way it's designed makes the macbook pro work more. I wish there was a Logic X pro demo but there isn't. I stopped at Logic 9 but if buying a using logic would keep me from buying a much more expensive box, it might be worth it.

I will say this. MacBook Pros are overrated. Every "so called" article rates them as the best for music production which to me is a questionable statement. These articles always mention the SSD, forgetting that most laptops in it's price range have SSDs. Furthermore many "gamer laptops" make great music production laptops, not only have one SSD but usually have slots for 2-3 more SSDs. So, instead of plugging in a bunch if external drives you can have everything inside.

I do see where these writers make their argument. When it comes down to putting everything on a single drive, nothing does it better than a Mac. But, that's about it.
Old 31st May 2017
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by smoovemode View Post
You brought up a good point. It could be that Cubase is the issue. Obviously it works but maybe the way it's designed makes the macbook pro work more. I wish there was a Logic X pro demo but there isn't. I stopped at Logic 9 but if buying a using logic would keep me from buying a much more expensive box, it might be worth it.

I will say this. MacBook Pros are overrated. Every "so called" article rates them as the best for music production which to me is a questionable statement. These articles always mention the SSD, forgetting that most laptops in it's price range have SSDs. Furthermore many "gamer laptops" make great music production laptops, not only have one SSD but usually have slots for 2-3 more SSDs. So, instead of plugging in a bunch if external drives you can have everything inside.

I do see where these writers make their argument. When it comes down to putting everything on a single drive, nothing does it better than a Mac. But, that's about it.
I wonder if loading garage band up with a large project might give you any clue as to how Logic would run?
Old 1st June 2017
  #16
Lives for gear
 
smoovemode's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_Jezz View Post
I wonder if loading garage band up with a large project might give you any clue as to how Logic would run?
great idea
Old 1st June 2017
  #17
I am Running MacBook Pro 2015 2.5 Quad Core Dual Video Card. When I am running my DAW funs are loud. It drives me nuts. They kick in with BitWig Studio 2.1. And Ableton. Oh well.
Old 1st June 2017
  #18
Lives for gear
 
smoovemode's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Primo View Post
I am Running MacBook Pro 2015 2.5 Quad Core Dual Video Card. When I am running my DAW funs are loud. It drives me nuts. They kick in with BitWig Studio 2.1. And Ableton. Oh well.
I feel you, I'm online now shopping for another computer to use.
Old 1st June 2017
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoovemode View Post
I feel you, I'm online now shopping for another computer to use.

What are you looking into buying ?
Old 1st June 2017
  #20
Lives for gear
 
thismercifulfate's Avatar
A lot of people hate on the 2013 Mac Pro, but it was a fantastic upgrade from my maxed out 2010 17" MBP, not least because I went from the super noisy fans to total silence. My nMP sits arms reach from me on my desk and I have yet to hear it make a peep. My mics pick up the cheesegrater in the machine room next door more easily than my trashcan. Laptops (at least the ones with the kind of specs you need for recording/mixing) always have and for the foreseeable future will always be noisy.
Old 1st June 2017
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarLofgren View Post
I think I'll use the Macbook in clamshell ...
Bad idea if you want it to run cool, and therefore quiet.
Old 1st June 2017
  #22
Lives for gear
 
smoovemode's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Primo View Post
What are you looking into buying ?
I was looking into an iMac but I'm also keeping my options open. I may go back to a PC laptop or the 2013 Mac Pro (which I totally agree with everything he said). I've had great success with gamer laptops. They're very powerful and the one I had handle heat well enough for me not to complain about its fan. I had a 2013 Mac Pro too, thinking I could get away with just using my MacBook Pro, I sold it. As Merciful Fate just said it's whisper quiet.

I'm sure you will hear many folks saying that they laptop is fine. Which I agree, it will be until you load up on power gobbling plugins and Virtual instruments which I use on every track.
Old 1st June 2017
  #23
Gear Head
 

It looks as if the MBP will be getting an update around next week's WWDC. I hope they don't discontinue the 2015 model. I'm saving for a new MBP and I'm not sure the 2016 models offer enough to make me take the plunge. Not to mention that I'd rather spend the extra money on more SSD space rather than a touch strip.

https://www.macrumors.com/2017/05/31...ipads-eurasia/
Old 1st June 2017
  #24
Lives for gear
 
3rdpath's Avatar
My BTO 2012 i7 quad MBP died last week. It was my first non desktop and I'm heading back to the desktop setup to replace it. It was hot, loud and just adequately powered. NTM, it only lasted 3.5 years...that's completely unacceptable for a Mac. I rarely took it out of my studio and I kept it on a raised stand that had cooling fans to pull the heat from the Mac. A Very disappointing experience.
Old 2nd June 2017
  #25
Gear Nut
The MBP (regardless of year) is not more or less noisy than any other laptop i have come across. What matters is how you set your power options, beware of "performace mode" because this more or less puts the fan(s) at 100%, at least if you are running a MBP bootcamped with windows.
But, change to balanced mode or similar, the mbp is pretty darn quiet, imho. Also running OSX my mbp never makes a sound.
Old 2nd June 2017
  #26
Lives for gear
 
smoovemode's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by defdaft View Post
The MBP (regardless of year) is not more or less noisy than any other laptop i have come across. What matters is how you set your power options, beware of "performace mode" because this more or less puts the fan(s) at 100%, at least if you are running a MBP bootcamped with windows.
But, change to balanced mode or similar, the mbp is pretty darn quiet, imho. Also running OSX my mbp never makes a sound.
I would have to respectfully disagree. I had a MSI gaming laptop and it was not nearly as loud as my MacBook Pro and I had more plugins loaded on it then I did the MBp.
Old 3rd June 2017
  #27
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoovemode View Post
I would have to respectfully disagree. I had a MSI gaming laptop and it was not nearly as loud as my MacBook Pro and I had more plugins loaded on it then I did the MBp.
No worries. As i wrote, the laptops i have come across - so it may vary with your own experience.
Old 1 week ago
  #28
Here for the gear
 
krystalskull's Avatar
 

I have the MBP 2016 15" touchbar, top spec 2.9 GHz and 4 GB graphics card connected to LG Ultrafine 5k monitor. At $6700 AUD for an under performing laptop.... what was I thinking? I should of bought an IMac as the MBP struggles with projects. When running Cubase 8.5 over 50% CPU usage fans are annoying. I bought the Coolmaster SF-17 laptop cooler and the fan in that is as loud as the MBP (makes a buzzing sound). I know that Cubase has GUI issues so that could be causing some of the problem. But I'm also looking at different options, maybe iMac Pro or switching to Logic. Never thought I would say this but even thinking of going back to PC/Windows to run Cubase.
Old 1 week ago
  #29
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by krystalskull View Post
I have the MBP 2016 15" touchbar, top spec 2.9 GHz and 4 GB graphics card connected to LG Ultrafine 5k monitor. At $6700 AUD for an under performing laptop.... what was I thinking? I should of bought an IMac as the MBP struggles with projects. When running Cubase 8.5 over 50% CPU usage fans are annoying. I bought the Coolmaster SF-17 laptop cooler and the fan in that is as loud as the MBP (makes a buzzing sound). I know that Cubase has GUI issues so that could be causing some of the problem. But I'm also looking at different options, maybe iMac Pro or switching to Logic. Never thought I would say this but even thinking of going back to PC/Windows to run Cubase.
Logic Pro X is super efficient on my 2015 15" Retina MacBook Pro. Too bad there's no demo for you to try.
Old 1 week ago
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeegee 303 View Post
Logic Pro X is super efficient on my 2015 15" Retina MacBook Pro. Too bad there's no demo for you to try.
The demo IS GarageBand, it a simplified version of Logic, they share Most of the effects, interface elements and instruments.
Logic can be configured with a simplified interface, for easing the transition from GarageBand.

Take a closer look plus it's Free.
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+  Submit Thread to Reddit Reddit 
 
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump