Some MacBook Pro with Touch Bar owners report pinging, popping case noise during heavy use...

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
A small proportion of users with the 2016 MacBook Pro are reporting hearing a pinging, or popping noise, described as similar to that of crushing a plastic bottle, seemingly related to thermal conditions in the laptop.




According to several threads in the Apple Community Support Forums, and reiterated on social media, users who put the new MacBook Pro under load are reporting the noise. Apple service seemingly has no organized policy on the matter -- but some have seen the problem.

Users are reporting that they can reproduce the noise at varying spots along the display bezel just above the upper case assembly containing the keyboard. At first glance, the problem seems primarily associated with the 15-inch model, but scattered reports claim that it is happening in the 13-inch as well.



Out of 10 Apple retail store service departments that we polled on Thursday morning, five have seen the problem at least once, with two Apple specialists out of five we asked saying the same. One Apple Genius noted that she believed it was related to thermal expansion, and seemed to be harmless, albeit annoying.

Reported responses to the issue by Apple service include blaming the noise on a fan impinging on a dent in the case, resulting in a $150 service bill for cosmetic damage. Others are replacing casing assemblies under warranty.

Long-term data collated by AppleInsider about service trends do not at this time suggest a major problem on the scale of 2011-era MacBook Pro GPU issues, or Retina display de-lamination, inherent to the entire line. Informal polling of 15 MacBook Pro users in the Washington D.C. metro area conducted this morning found none experiencing the problem -- but 15 users asked is hardly exhaustive.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 2,704member
    Here we go....Hold on tight!!!! Of course this will be blown completely out of proportion. I'm sure Tim should be fired for this because this never happened when Steve was alive. All the BS we can handle!
    edited April 13 watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Make that 16 MacBook Pro users in the DC area not reporting a problem!  When we hit 20 can we call it conclusive?
  • Reply 3 of 19
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,192member
    Make that 16 MacBook Pro users in the DC area not reporting a problem!  When we hit 20 can we call it conclusive?
    No, because 20 among thousands of units is not a trend. Once you have thousands of samples, then you can start to draw conclusions.
  • Reply 4 of 19
    Add me to the (knock wood) no such problem (yet) group.

    If anyone is collecting data, mine is 15" 2.9 i7 / 460 / 2TB / Grey.
  • Reply 5 of 19
    I have this issue 15" 460 1TB bought from Canada
  • Reply 6 of 19
    emerrill999emerrill999 Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    I am one of the users that has this problem as well. 15" 460 512MB built in late December.
  • Reply 7 of 19
    Add me to the (knock wood) no such problem (yet) group.

    If anyone is collecting data, mine is 15" 2.9 i7 / 460 / 2TB / Grey.

    Yeah, but are you in the DC area?
    lorin schultz
  • Reply 8 of 19
    Add me to the (knock wood) no such problem (yet) group.

    If anyone is collecting data, mine is 15" 2.9 i7 / 460 / 2TB / Grey.

    Yeah, but are you in the DC area?
    Define "area." I'm in Vancouver, which on a celestial scale is very, very, close to DC. On a planetary scale, not so much.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    Add me to the (knock wood) no such problem (yet) group.

    If anyone is collecting data, mine is 15" 2.9 i7 / 460 / 2TB / Grey.

    Yeah, but are you in the DC area?
    Define "area." I'm in Vancouver, which on a celestial scale is very, very, close to DC. On a planetary scale, not so much.
    I'll allow it!
    lorin schultz
  • Reply 10 of 19
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,944member
    It is the popcorn maker!
  • Reply 11 of 19
    "popping" ultra thin $5000 laptops that lose data when a jet flies over too low
    what's next, will they spontaneously burst into flames?
    free us from this UltraFine hell

  • Reply 12 of 19
    "popping" ultra thin $5000 laptops that lose data when a jet flies over too low
    what's next, will they spontaneously burst into flames?
    free us from this UltraFine hell

    Lose data when a jet flies over too low? What?
    jdwmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 19
    anomeanome Posts: 620member
    Not seeing it (yet), but I haven't been running it too hot lately. I'm waiting on some stuff before firing up my VMs to do more testing for work, and I'll keep an ear out for it.

    Hopefully this isn't a major recall issue. That would be annoying. For users and for Apple, I expect.
  • Reply 14 of 19

    So what's this then? Ping-Gate? Pop-Gate? PingNPopGate? CantInnovateMyAssGate?

    On second thoughts, CantInnovateMyAssGate would be for the MacPro redesign that's coming out next.

  • Reply 15 of 19
    brainsbrains Posts: 11member
    Mine does it.  460 1TB.
  • Reply 16 of 19
    illybillyb Posts: 2member
    15" 2016 MBP max config here. I have had this issue for quite some time. And if by "heavy use", you mean "about 2 seconds after opening the laptop from clamshell", then yes, my issue happens after "heavy use". It also happens periodically throughout each day; there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the issue. Also, I constantly have a "sleep/wake failure" issue (kernel panic?) that causes my MBP to reboot. Happens at least once a day, after I am away from the computer for a while and go back to use it. When my machine reboots after the sleep/wake failure, it often will reboot again while in the process of the first reboot. Finally I am once again able to use my machine. The longer I use this machine, the more I question Apple quality.
    edited April 14 avon b7
  • Reply 17 of 19
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,689member
    illyb said:
    15" 2016 MBP max config here. I have had this issue for quite some time. And if by "heavy use", you mean "about 2 seconds after opening the laptop from clamshell", then yes, my issue happens after "heavy use". It also happens periodically throughout each day; there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the issue. Also, I constantly have a "sleep/wake failure" issue (kernel panic?) that causes my MBP to reboot. Happens at least once a day, after I am away from the computer for a while and go back to use it. When my machine reboots after the sleep/wake failure, it often will reboot again while in the process of the first reboot. Finally I am once again able to use my machine. The longer I use this machine, the more I question Apple quality.

    Even Mercedes and BMW have recalls (i.e, problems.) 

    There is no perfect quality control, though not everyone works as hard as Apple to a certain standard. Work to a certain standard, and that inevitable bad batch will be less widespread and very likely non-catastrophic.

    The point isn't whether you'll experience problems, but rather, what Apple does to satisfy you, the customer, when you do bring a problem to them. 

    it's all about cradle-to-grave support. 
    edited April 15
  • Reply 18 of 19
    I got my new 15" in Feb and noticed it within the first couple weeks.  Definitely something to do with thermal expansion and internals.  Doesn't cause any problems (yet) but it is disconcerting to hear this noise a couple times each day when the machine is heating up.  I do not expect this from a $3100 laptop.  It is really obvious when it happens.  I can't see how this slipped under the radar of QC. They probably had to make the decision to move forward due to significant delays it would cause in an already very late product.  Think about all those rumors about how they had to swap the battery out last minute because they could not get their special form fit, tiered batteries to work in the new design.  Probably related to the last minute engineering to stuff the old battery back in.

    Also probably also related key click/stick/repeat issues people have reported too.   I have seen forum threads on multiple sites that date back to December 2016 for both these issues.  Just starting to surface now in news sites.
  • Reply 19 of 19
    proto732 said:
    Think about all those rumors about how they had to swap the battery out last minute because they could not get their special form fit, tiered batteries to work in the new design.
    This issue has been discussed here before, and I think it was @Soli who questioned the validity of the rumour because there wouldn't be any reason to put a tiered battery in the MacBook Pro. It made sense in the Air because the chassis of the Air was tapered, so the tiered design allowed squeezing battery into progressively narrower spaces. The MacBook Pro is the same depth throughout -- not tapered -- with square edges. There is no need for or benefit to a tiered battery in that case.

    I don't recall if there was any further discussion on the matter, or if anyone came up with a plausible reason for the MBP to have a tiered battery that would support the rumour.
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