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New Retina Macbook Pro - strange whining Sound

33296 Views 102 Replies Latest reply: Nov 9, 2013 8:45 PM by Hoth RSS
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zpete Calculating status...
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Jun 25, 2012 3:27 AM



i just received my new Macbook Pro Retina - brilliant machine. But suddenly it starts to whine - I can hear the whining while sitting in front of the notebook, so its pretty loud. The sound does appear when I move windows or enter mission control. The sound disappears when I plug in the power supply. I made a recording:

None of my Macbook's I owned before made such noises. Is my notebook faulty?



  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 25, 2012 3:33 AM (in response to zpete)

    Could be the fans, actually it MUST be the fans, as that is the only part that is actually moving on the Retina MBP. Everything else is Solid State.


    Yes it is faulty in some way.

  • SaintBol Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2012 12:53 PM (in response to zpete)

    Same noise here with a new MacBookPro Retina.

    It happens only when the Mac works on battery.


    It's definitely not a fan noise.


    It's obviously a noise coming from an electric part, maybe a capacitor or a MOSFET, or a capacitance, these components are known to be able to sometimes generate audible noises.

    This kind of noise sometimes happens on old motherboards.


    It's apparently triggered by some transient activity increase in some parts of the CPU, triggering an current increase in the capacitor (or other electric components), triggering some noise in audible frequencies.


    It's a slightly annoying and ridiculous defect, anyway; I'm curious on how Apple will react to this, since it's not an isolated problem...

  • SaintBol Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 4, 2012 12:06 AM (in response to zpete)

    Did they exchange it, or did you ask for a refund?


    By the way, it seems that the noise is not audible when the battery level is low, only when it's high enough, apparently.

  • danielmtz Calculating status...
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    Jul 14, 2012 7:36 PM (in response to zpete)

    I have exactly the same problem (same noise) when running on battery, What can we do? Getting a refund is the only solution? I really like my MBP with retina display....


    Anyone lucky finding a solution?



  • SaintBol Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 15, 2012 6:16 AM (in response to danielmtz)

    I had this problem too, but I also had the image ghosting problem.

    While the noise was annoying, the image ghosting was just unacceptable.

    So at the 12th day, I returned it for a refund.


    Now, I'm back on my good old Late 2008 Unibody MBP

    I'll wait for the next revision of the MBPr, since the current one is unfinished


    Remember however that such a noise is not easy to "show" at a genius bar; so I think it's best to have it exchanged as soon as possible, or even refunded before the 14 days period.

  • Ahzari Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 17, 2012 1:05 AM (in response to zpete)

    So I had this problem on and off with my rMBP the whining sound was coming from the top left corner of my computer. I made a recording too showed it to the genius bar - I was allowed a replacement (though the genius bar guy didnt really say much on the matter) - just got my replacement unit in today (had to go through since mine was a special order/upgrade) and it also makes the same very annoying whining sound. The 2 units I have had so far have this problem on and off (I dont remember if it was when I had the power adaptor on or not). I did notice however that if I closed the lid and opened it back up or restarted the sytem the problem would go away.


    Dont really know what to do now this was acting as my primary computer. Dont really see the point of ordering another replacement as it seems this is a common problem (most people probobly havent realized it yet). In addition my replacement unit has noticeable gaps between the bottom lid and the rest of the unibody - dont know if the screws werent tightened enough or what but this too is annoying. Havind had 2 SSD macs (both Airs) previously I was hoping the build and low noise level to follow suit with the retina mac.

  • Ahzari Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2012 1:16 AM (in response to Ahzari)

    actually.. the new unit has now been making the whining noise consistently for about 20 minutes - restarting / sleeping / shutting down did nothing to tame the high pitch whine. Wow - this is just awful!


    EDIT: I found the solution to mine (and hopefully your) problem! I had a feeling it was the video card... So I went into power options and turned off automatic graphics switching.. now no more noise (turning it on - noise started right back up-). albiet my battery will likely run down faster but at least I wont have to listen to that horrible sound.

  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2012 2:17 AM (in response to Ahzari)

    That great. Accept something that costs a couple of thousnds of dollars that clearly isn't correct.


    No wonder Apple has all that money in the bank.

  • Joshua Coventry Level 2 Level 2 (190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2012 3:37 AM (in response to zpete)

    If you've got components causing a 'squealing'-type noise, as capacitors and such can do if they're bad, then get a replacement from Apple, otherwise you're asking for trouble. Shootist007 is right - don't accept it when its costs you thousands.

  • Ahzari Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2012 5:10 PM (in response to zpete)

    True - didnt give much thought into the electrical problems that could be associated with the noise. I contacted Apple Care - they sent the problem up to Coopertino. The rep was very concerned that this was an issue with 2 rMBPs I ordred from Apple back-to-back.. I sent him a video/audio clip of the noise and when/how it was occuring. I should be getting a response in the next few days. As it stands, I'm going to send the newer (July-order)-more problematic rMBP back and keep the older (June-order) one that has intermittent problems until Apple gets back to me with a solution. If this is a widespread problem - which it might be, maybe they'll do some recalls...? Though i dont remember Apple ever doing that before.


    I'll keep you guys posted on the progress.

  • Ahzari Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 18, 2012 3:46 PM (in response to Ahzari)

    Woops.. that should be *Cupertino. Still no update, going to give a call back to the rep on Friday if I don't hear anything.

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