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What's the quietest new Mac?
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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What's the quietest new Mac?

I'm shopping for a new Mac for my studio, and one of my main concerns is fan noise. I work in a one-room project studio where quiet sources are being tracked within 10-12 feet of the CPU. So I need a computer that can be counted on not to ramp up to obtrusive fan speeds unless driven very hard.

I'm starting from the assumption that almost any current Macs except the MB Air and i3 Mini would be usable for me. I'd prefer to go with a more powerful machine for future-proofing purposes if possible, but not at the cost of increasing noise issues. I'm primarily looking at the i5 and i7 Minis, i5 and i9 iMacs, and iMac Pro.

Would you say any of those options are notably good or bad on the noise front? I have read good things about the iMac Pro in this regard, but I'd really rather not spend that much if I can help it. I'm assuming MBPs will be noisier than comparable desktops, so I didn't include them in the list above, but if that's not true I'd be interested in knowing that too.

Thanks!
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightchef View Post
I'm shopping for a new Mac for my studio, and one of my main concerns is fan noise. I work in a one-room project studio where quiet sources are being tracked within 10-12 feet of the CPU. So I need a computer that can be counted on not to ramp up to obtrusive fan speeds unless driven very hard.

I'm starting from the assumption that almost any current Macs except the MB Air and i3 Mini would be usable for me. I'd prefer to go with a more powerful machine for future-proofing purposes if possible, but not at the cost of increasing noise issues. I'm primarily looking at the i5 and i7 Minis, i5 and i9 iMacs, and iMac Pro.

Would you say any of those options are notably good or bad on the noise front? I have read good things about the iMac Pro in this regard, but I'd really rather not spend that much if I can help it. I'm assuming MBPs will be noisier than comparable desktops, so I didn't include them in the list above, but if that's not true I'd be interested in knowing that too.



Thanks!
I haven't compared it to many other macs but the mac mini is very silent. It can have coil whine issues apparently but mine doesn't.

The mini is built to run hot. The fans will not kick in unless absolutely necessary.

Another thing to consider is that the Mini can be placed away from the monitor etc. It can be placed inside a desk or even in another room.

If you don't need a decent GPU the mac mini is probably very cost-effective. Especially if you install RAM yourself and have external drives. I paid for 32 gb RAM though and 1tb SSD and for me that's been working great but it's ridiculously expensive
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyMantra View Post
I haven't compared it to many other macs but the mac mini is very silent. It can have coil whine issues apparently but mine doesn't.

The mini is built to run hot. The fans will not kick in unless absolutely necessary.

Another thing to consider is that the Mini can be placed away from the monitor etc. It can be placed inside a desk or even in another room.

If you don't need a decent GPU the mac mini is probably very cost-effective. Especially if you install RAM yourself and have external drives. I paid for 32 gb RAM though and 1tb SSD and for me that's been working great but it's ridiculously expensive
Thanks! Which Mini do you have--i5 or i7?
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightchef View Post
Thanks! Which Mini do you have--i5 or i7?
i7

I think I remember some people saying that the i3 or i5 versions are more silent, but since noise isn't an issue anyway the i7 works for me
Old 5 days ago
  #5
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Thanks for the advice HeavyMantra -- I saw a maxed i7 Mini at the refurbished store for $2700 and had to bite. It'll be nearly twice as powerful as any Mac I've ever owned, and since I already own a good 28" 4K monitor I'll be saving roughly $2K over the cost of an iMac Pro. If I need to make a box for it, I'll make a box.
Old 5 days ago
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

My iMac Pro is very quiet. So was my older iMac. So was my even older Mac Pro cheese grater. Pretty much Macs are quiet. My HDX sonnet chassis is louder and so are my external SSDs.
Old 5 days ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason kalman View Post
My iMac Pro is very quiet. So was my older iMac. So was my even older Mac Pro cheese grater. Pretty much Macs are quiet. My HDX sonnet chassis is louder and so are my external SSDs.
Yeah. I mean, even my 2015 MBP, which has been my sole machine since my 2008 cheese grater bit the dust three years ago, is quiet most of the time. It's just that when it's not, it's really....not. That's a risk you run with any very compact, high-power machine. But the difference between a laptop and a mini is that it shouldn't be hard to put the mini in a well-isolated but well-ventilated position and just leave it there (especially if I add a Thunderbolt dock).
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