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iMac Pro Fan Noise Definitive Measurement?

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iMac Pro Fan Noise Definitive Measurement?

Postby Uncle Freddie » Thu May 10, 2018 5:41 pm


I am this >< close to buying an iMac Pro (10 core). But I need as close as possible to silence in my studio. Over the last 20 years, I have gone to great lengths and untold expense to achieve silence.

I have seen articles and YouTube videos for months describing the iMac Pro as "silent" but they are, by and large, the opinion of video professionals. Folks who generally need a lesser calibration of silence than audio pros do.

I have heard that the 10-core model is louder than the 8-core, and vice versa. And that the 18-core model is the loudest, except for when it is the quietest. Nobody seems to have their facts straight. Maybe the biggest drawback of all: I cannot just go to my Apple Store and try it myself, since the store is far too noisy.

So I wrote a test script to saturate an iMac Pro's CPU to generate fan noise.

The script is here:

It doesn't touch the GPU, which is fine, since audio apps like Logic Pro X, etc. don't either.

Would anyone like to run it and report back?

Please take a look and confirm for yourself that it will do absolutely no harm to your system. Save it, rename it to, chmod 755 it, and run it from the Terminal.

My thinking is that a generous person out there could run it and report back how loud their iMac Pro gets.

Ideal: measure the noise with an SPL meter.

Report your results here, or private message me with them. I would greatly appreciate it.

Uncle Freddie
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Re: iMac Pro Fan Noise Definitive Measurement?

Postby Dins4ever » Sat May 26, 2018 8:29 pm

Sorry Uncle Fredie, I don't have a new iMac; because I have the same concerns as you do.
I read the article in the latest June edition of SOS about the iMac Pro. The author seemed to gloss over the fan noise issue and dismiss the form factor issue.
The last thing I want is a fan blasting off centre stage on my studio desk. I gather from reading the Apple specs that the fan only goes full tilt when the CPUs get driven very hard or get very hot.
I did try to check this out when the iMac Pro was first anounced but it seems to me Apple don't quote any noise rating figures.
In my opinion the form factor is all wrong for a music studio. I don't want a bunch of cables coming out of the back of the screen all over my desk. These should be tucked away out of sight under the desk or round the back.
And buying the iMac Pro ties one into the screen that comes with it and takes away any choice one might have for 2 screens of something even bigger.
I agree the iMac Pro has a very impressive spec.
I for one have been waitng for a year or more for the promised new Mac Pro.
I hope it will have a spec at last as good as the iMac Pro.
I intend it be tucked away under the desk out of the way in a sound proof box.
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Re: iMac Pro Fan Noise Definitive Measurement?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat May 26, 2018 9:01 pm

Dins4ever wrote:I read the article in the latest June edition of SOS about the iMac Pro. The author seemed to gloss over the fan noise issue and dismiss the form factor issue.

Um, I don't think he glossed over the fan noise issue (if there is one). He said:

What these numbers mean is that the iMac Pro is astonishingly quiet when you consider the performance. I used and witnessed the iMac Pro in many acoustically‑balanced rooms and at no point was the fan any more audible than the hum created by other pieces of equipment in the room. Remarkable, to say the least.

That doesn't sound like glossing to me, more like tackling it head on. Form factor is a matter of taste. I'm currently using a Mac Mini quad core but my previous machine was an iMac. I had no more problem with the form factor then than I do with the Mac Mini now. It's different but so what?

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