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  1. #1
    New owner noise question
    Hello,

    I'm new to iMac and OSX. I didn't want to spent 's on a newer computer and not like it, so i got a 2010 iMac 27" i7 with 16gb ddr3 and 1024mb graphics for 200 on eBay as my entry computer to OSX. I have a couple of questions though.

    Should the fans be silent? because i can hear one at idle, under load its still the same volume. The CPU fan is quiet and can only hear it a little, The ODD fan is quiet and can only hear it a little. The HDD fan however is finished i think, its very loud and sound like a long continuous whisper sound.

    I have watched the iFixit on how to tear the unit down and have done so. I have given everything a good clean and vacuum. all three fans are perfectly clear and clean.
    The HDD fan is clocking at around 1100rpm so no thermal sensor issue causing the fan to speed up as i've read on almost every post relating to the fans. I think this might need replacing or is it designed this way?

    I know the machine gets hot at the top as the aluminium case acts as a huge heat sink, so maybe the fan is loud as a result?

    So far, for my first 3 weeks of owning it, although its a 2010 model with upgraded ram and the stock Apple HDD being its only bottleneck its still lightning quick and no slowdown that i have lived with for years with previous PC's. I'd just like to know if i need to replace the fan or its just always this way?

    Thanks in advance for any help given, and i know i've typed a lot so i've bolded my main questions for anyone wanting to help, but quickly and doesn't want to read all the post

  2. #2
    New owner noise question
    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 01, 2009
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    Posts
    4,948
    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP 15" Mid 2015, iPhone XS, an iMac, plus ATVs, AWatch, MacMini
    Welcome to the forum, and to the Mac community.

    The fans idle at about 1000 RPM, so if you know it's at 1100, that's not that fast. I have a 2008 iMac that is the controller of my home automation and runs 24/7. The fans on that one are quiet, and the case is cool. It's not under much stress, to be honest, but it doesn't get hot at the top. Warm, a bit, but not hot.

    The bottom line is that it sounds like the fan is noisy, but functioning. You asked "if I need to replace the fan." Need? Probably not, if it's functioning. But if the noise is bothering you, you certainly can replace it to see if that makes it quieter.

    On the other hand, you could put on some music and just cover it up...it seems to be functioning just fine.
    Jake

  3. #3
    Hello,

    Thank you for the advice, i have stripped it down again and tried to spin the fan manually and i got the same sound, i think the bearings have gone and thats what i'm hearing, as it is an 8 year old machine its not unlikely. I have ordered a replacement and i will see how it goes. I temporarily ran without the HDD fan for about 10 minutes and the whole system was as quiet as a mouse. So i think i'll replace and see how i go.
    But overall i'm very impressed with how OSX performs its very fast and i can't believe i didn't switch sooner.
    For the age i was expecting a little lag but everything is open in seconds i'll keep this for a year or two and maybe invest in a newer model.

    Happy owner here.

  4. #4
    New owner noise question
    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 01, 2009
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    Posts
    4,948
    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP 15" Mid 2015, iPhone XS, an iMac, plus ATVs, AWatch, MacMini
    Glad to hear it! One thing I can suggest about the transition from Windows to macOS is to learn how the macOS approach is different. In Windows, you spend a fair bit of time worrying about maintenance of the OS, where files are stored, how to organize the hard drive and doing tidy-up work. On the Mac, you have your area for files (Documents) and you don't really have to worry as much about how that is organized. If you use Photos, it will sort out where to store the images, you just work with them as you want. Similarly, you don't have to do as much "cleaning" or "boosting" the performance. The OS will, if you leave the machine running overnight, do some internal maintenance during the night that is just about all you need. You also don't need any antivirus, as there are no viruses for the macOS out there to worry about, which means that the AV software has nothing useful to do. You might look for something like malwarebytes, at malwarebytes.com, just in case something nasty comes in through the browser, but most of that is just annoying. If you get malwarebytes, all you need is the free version. It will install the pay version, nag you for about a month to pay and then lapse back to the free version. You can also look at OnyX, from titanium-software.free.fr to run occasionally. Leave the defaults as the developer set them and maybe every 6 months or so let it run the maintenance routines. Frankly, although I have it, I only run OnyX when I see a performance hit (almost never) or when I remember it (maybe once a year?).
    Jake

  5. #5
    New owner noise question
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, US
    Posts
    5,350
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS Mojave, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    If you want, there are a few fan monitor apps available, and currently, I'm using Macs Fan Control, https://www.crystalidea.com/macs-fan-control.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

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