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Fan noise?

407 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Dec 5, 2012 9:28 AM by macdhar RSS
macdhar Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Dec 5, 2012 8:38 AM

My new Mac Book pro makes a noise that sounds like if you hold a seashell up to your ear. A gentle "whooshing." It makes this noise all the time. Is this normal?


Also when I'm doing something, like clicking through folders in finder, or browsing the Internet, the noise will increase slightly for each click. It's annoying, and I'm wondering if it's normal.

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), 15'', 2.6 ghz, 8 gb
  • sanjampet Level 5 Level 5 (6,890 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2012 8:58 AM (in response to macdhar)

    Yoou can try a SMC reset, this controls the fans.


  • Courcoul Level 6 Level 6 (11,200 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2012 9:04 AM (in response to macdhar)

    The fan (13") or fans (15" & 17") runs all the time; default speed on mine is 2000 RPM. So if you're unaccustomed to a laptop with fans and/or in an exceptionally quiet environment, you may end up noticing a faint constant noise.


    As workload increases, so does internal component temps, one of the myriad sensors picks it up and the fan revs up to compensate. At worst, I've seen mine go up to 6000 RPM and sound like a mini jet engine.


    With age & dust or if defective, the fan motor bearings deteriorate and get noisier. Or a blade unbalances and you get a scraping noise. Only fix is a replacement as the fan is sealed and not serviceable. Sometimes an excessively dusty fan may be rehabilitated with compressed air, but that will be temporary. If under warranty this kind of issue is usually covered and new fans will be put in gratis. Have done this in my last two Macs.


    Since there's no way for us to hear your Mac's noises and any description will be perforce subjective, maybe you can find a reasonably quiet store and sample other similar units to see if all sound the same.


    Edit: sanjampet does have a valid point. Sometimes the energy controller, aka SMC, goes nuts and thinks the Mac is overheating, resulting in unnecessary fan speeds. A reset may help then.


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