Annoying 24" iMac Humming!

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I think my union with the iMac has been cursed from the start, after booting up for the first time it Kernel Panicked, then now it has the seemingly extremely popular humming noise - sounds like a dishwasher (albeit a slightly quiter one) and when you shut the computer down, the HDD "grinds", as in the sound KEEPS being noisy, like there is HDD activity even though the PC is OFF...



Remedy, Unplug the Power Plug.



Is a replacement the only way this is going to be fixed?
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    jsonjson Posts: 54member
    I also have the humming noise, it goes down if I increase the display brightness, and goes up (in volume) if I reduce the brightness.



    I also have a kind of "crackling" sound when the iMac is sleeping, or if I turn it off (but keep the power cord plugged in).



    I looked at some photos of a disassembled iMac and it seems to me there is some kind of power converter close to the harddrive and that the sound comes from that one. At least in my machine it is more of a crackling sound than the sound of a motor.



    I have spoken to the local store and they are going to contact the service center to check if there is a remedy at this time.



    I don't feel like exchanging the machine if I don't have to, since everything else about it is so great.
  • Reply 2 of 50
    I just have the humming noise irregardless of brightness - it is unacceptable simply because I own a 17" iMac and it is DEAD quiet (asides from the very rare instances when the fan kicks in) - I expect the 24" iMac to sound as it does when it is asleep or powered off, but without the crackling noise.



    The "humming" is definately a deal breaker as other people mention it should not be so, I am glad I don't have the brightness problem that is linked to the noise, but instead, I just have a constant "Whirr"... I will contact Apple on Monday but I am more than repaired to give the item back if they can't fix the noise.



    Is there any 24 iMac out there enjoying a blissfully silent machine?
  • Reply 3 of 50
    jsonjson Posts: 54member
    Yeah, it is really annoying....



    It seems to me that they have possibly used inferior power converters (if that is the correct word in English....).



    I heard that the same type of problem plagued the MBP:s at first, so hopefully they will find a cure. Just exchanging it for a new iMac right now might just mean getting another one with the same problem.....
  • Reply 4 of 50
    Are you sure?



    I question simply because there are owners out there that profess to "virtual silen[ce]" of their 24" iMac, I can't even type on it as I am very sensitive to sound and the whirring noise is extremelly annoying - I have less to lose than you as I suffer from a purple stuck pixel, but my thoughts so far, especially because other people have silent 24 iMacs, are that a return is in order unless it can be fixed...



    Furthermore, the 17" iMac I also own is DEAD silent, so I can see no reason why this one should be otherwise!
  • Reply 5 of 50
    It seems like many, if not all 24" iMacs have these issues. Many won't notice/care, but I did notice three problems with two machines:



    1. 'Gurgling' noise coming from power supply when asleep/off but switched on at the wall.



    2. Whine/buzz from the screen backlight, which changes with brightness but only goes away with turning the screen off. It isn't that bad, but when the screen sleeps, you realise how much it contributes to the overall noise of the machine.



    3. Both had slightly noisy fans, not that bad, but like a diesel engine ticking over in the far distance - very irritating despite the low volume.



    Ultimately, for someone who want to use the machine in a quiet room, it is less than perfect, and I became more and more worried about having a 50p fan go bad and having no way to get to it without voiding the warranty. While it's not that loud, what I now think made it much worse is that all the noises come from exactly the same direction as the screen, bringing them far more into focus in your mind than a tower under the desk.



    The irony of all this is that I'll be getting a Mac Pro instead - even more overkill than the iMac for my needs, but I feel more comfortable with the design and build quality. At least it allows me to get a better quality display than the one in the iMac.



    David.
  • Reply 6 of 50
    A most accurate account David - I luckily do not have the Brightness Issue - where the sound varies with Brightness - but I do suffer from a Dead Pixel and ultimately an unholy union with a piece of machine that should be perfect.



    I moved to a quiet neighborhood on purpose, the "Gurgling" noise and general unpleasant noise is completely unacceptable to me - I too am rationalizing on the point of a Mac Pro purchase but it is severely overkill on my part as all I wanted this 24" iMac was for iTunes, Web Browsing and Word Processing!
  • Reply 7 of 50
    jsonjson Posts: 54member
    Good luck on your MacPro! I am sure you're getting a great machine.



    Yeah, I kind of have a feeling that the problems with the 24" might very well plague most (if not all) of the ones built so far.



    I think how you react to these noises (or if you at hear them at all) will differ from person to person, just as most other things do.



    I also found that if I move the machine to different locations, such as closer to or farther away from walls or other furniture, the sound may be perceived as louder or quieter, and I suppose different people have their machine placed differently (of course ).



    Anyway, for me the gurgling noise is the worst. Not that it's the loudest, but I don't feel comfortable having electrical noises coming from the machine, especially when it is turned off.



    Second is the humming from the power supply (the sound that changes with the brightness). Again this is not really very comforting.... non-moving parts of a machine should really be silent... at least that's my view on things.



    Third is the fans. The fans seem to be giving away too much of a "motor noise". In general I'ven found that most high quality computer fans don't make that much of a motor noise.



    I have a MacBook with the same problems (albeit louder than my iMac, at least so far) and I am getting that fan replaced.



    Maybe I am nitpicking here, but when I pay this much for a computer I expect it to be, if not perfect, at least better than this.
  • Reply 8 of 50
    My thoughts exactly json - I will speak to Apple on Monday and see what remedies they can offer me, it is a genuine set of problems that they will need to acknowledge...
  • Reply 9 of 50
    imacfanimacfan Posts: 444member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kmhtkmhtkmht


    I too am rationalizing on the point of a Mac Pro purchase but it is severely overkill on my part as all I wanted this 24" iMac was for iTunes, Web Browsing and Word Processing!



    LOL - I'm not sure that my needs are even that demanding!



    David
  • Reply 10 of 50
    I've had my 24" Imac now for a whole week and I haven't noticed any noise from it at all. Even under Motion or World of Warcraft the Imac wasn't noticeable loud at all.



    Josef
  • Reply 11 of 50
    How quiet is your room?



    Ambient sound(s)?



    Running 10.4.7/8, this factor affects how loud the iMac is apparently...
  • Reply 12 of 50
    jsonjson Posts: 54member
    Well now I've been back to the shop and spoken with the guys there. They have contacted the service department (they are in another city) and discussed this issue.



    The service guys said, and of course this is "an educated guess" since they haven't actually checked my machine yet, that it might very well be a faulty component (or card) that is a part of the power supply. This power supply card is located close to the hard drive in the upper part of the iMac.



    Concerning the humming that changes when I change the display brightness they said that the same power supply card is responsible for handling the brightness of the display, so the "changing humming" might very well be yet another evidence that there is something wrong with this particular thing.



    They recommended that I keep the machine unplugged when I don't use it (there is apparently no imminent danger but still.... no need to keep it plugged in when I am not around).



    I will also send it in of course, but I don't really want to part with it until they have the necessary components available.
  • Reply 13 of 50
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Have these issues involved the 17" and 20" models?
  • Reply 14 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kmhtkmhtkmht


    How quiet is your room?



    Ambient sound(s)?



    Running 10.4.7/8, this factor affects how loud the iMac is apparently...





    My room is very quiet, the only thing that could make a sound besides my imac ist my powerbook, which is also nearly not noticeable.



    I'm running 10.4.8.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    Then it must be an inherent fault with my one then - simply because that many reports, including yourself procfess to the "silence" of the iMac - mine is certainly not silent, and I left it running all night thinking that perhaps something will change, I think, not.
  • Reply 16 of 50
    londorlondor Posts: 257member
    iMacs are very quiet but not silent.
  • Reply 17 of 50
    The 17" iMac is SILENT, I can attest to that as I own one also - silent, in the sense that most of the time, i.e. when the fan is off which is 95% of the time...



    I am sitting in front of the 24" iMac now and I hear a WHIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR, a quiet, muffled one, but certainly not silent...
  • Reply 18 of 50
    londorlondor Posts: 257member
    The fan is always on.
  • Reply 19 of 50
    imacfanimacfan Posts: 444member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kmhtkmhtkmht


    Then it must be an inherent fault with my one then - simply because that many reports, including yourself procfess to the "silence" of the iMac - mine is certainly not silent, and I left it running all night thinking that perhaps something will change, I think, not.



    If it is a manufacturing fault instead of a design fault (which is what I think it is), then it is a whole batch that is bad - The two ones which I both sent back, built two weeks apart, both did it.



    David
  • Reply 20 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iMacfan


    If it is a manufacturing fault instead of a design fault (which is what I think it is), then it is a whole batch that is bad - The two ones which I both sent back, built two weeks apart, both did it.



    David



    Have you attained perfection (silence) in the third one you typed your post with?
Sign In or Register to comment.