Laptop Fan Noise - What are your good or bad experiences?

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
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GRRRRRRR!
11392 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Wed Apr 21, 2021 5:53 pm

echosystm wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:48 pm
Lol triggered. Find me a PC with equivalent price/performance to an M1 MacBook Air that doesn't sound like a jet taking off. I'll wait.
See, that's your problem, you fit your expectations to what Apple tells you you need. I don't work like that. I know what my needs are and I find a spec that matches them. So my answer to your question would be that the Surface Pro 4 I recently paid Au$550 (US$420) for fails to meet my needs better than an M1 MB Air does in that it runs all the software I need it to in an ultraportable form factor. It has many of the same compromises as an MB Air but I haven't had to update any of my software since I bought it, just so things will run on it, nor will I have to worry about compatibility with any of my peripherals, now or at any time in the future.
I'm guessing you have the Dell G7, with a 6 core i7-10750H? Here is the performance difference.

Single core: 1140 vs 1740 (52% faster)
Multi core: 5470 vs 7640 (39% faster)
It's faster than a two year old CPU, so what? The M1's multi-core performance, in the 3rd party benchmarks I've seen, is on par with a 10th Gen Intel Core i5. But everyone knows that AMD currently has the fastest processors, so if raw power mattered, I wouldn't even be running an Intel CPU. Graphics performance is more important for my work, which is what I buy computers for, and the M1 Air doesn't have serious graphics and, therefore, is completely useless to me.
The MacBook Air is $375US cheaper, is faster by about 2 entire generations, is silent and doesn't look like a piece of crap from the 90s. I feel sorry for you man. You got scammed.
Here again, you demonstrate dumb-ass Apple style thinking. Nobody pays full retail price for any PC. My G7, for example, had a list price of Au$2799 when I bought it. But the new CPUs were about to be released and everyone was trying to sell out the 8th gen models, so bargains could be had for under Au$2000. So I shopped around, which is something you can do in the PC world, and discovered that Dell were offering a 9th gen G7 with a similar discount, so I got it for just Au$1580, more than Au$1200 less than retail. Of course, since then I have upgraded it substantially, swapping the secondary drive, a spinning HDD, for an SSD and quadrupling the RAM. I am about to update the primary SSD, too, to double it's capacity. That should keep it humming along for a few more years, at least until the next day, on-site warranty runs out in 2023.

The other thing is that I had a choice of a 15" or 17" screen, with or without touch and I think there were two different resolution options for each size, so I was able to get exactly what I wanted, pretty much no compromises required, at a price Apple want three times as much for.

The question you need to ask, of course, is if the M1 chip is so good, why did Apple stick it in their entry-level consumer-oriented laptop first and not into their pro-sumer models? Could it be that Apple are fully aware that the M1 is not suited to professional, or semi-professional use?
NOVAkILL : Dell G7 Core i7, 32GB RAM, Win10, Zoom U24 | Studio One | Thorn, bx_oberhausen, ARP Odyssey, JP6K, Hexeract, Vacuum Pro, TRK-01, Knifonium, Equator, VG Carbon | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Analog Keys, Ultranova, Rocket.

KVRAF
2587 posts since 15 Feb, 2020

Post Thu Apr 22, 2021 6:58 am

BONES wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 5:53 pm

The question you need to ask, of course, is if the M1 chip is so good, why did Apple stick it in their entry-level consumer-oriented laptop first and not into their pro-sumer models? Could it be that Apple are fully aware that the M1 is not suited to professional, or semi-professional use?
Apple release their new chip and place it in entry level models first. And these models turn out to be pretty good. I bought one for a family member, very cool.

The issue is...?
At ease, soldier!

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GRRRRRRR!
11392 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:58 pm

Price, as always, and service. Apple charge a fortune for mediochre hardware with mediochre warranty and really bad service. I'm sure the new Air is a great machine, it's just that I can buy a great machine for a lot less without much effort and I won't have to wait around until all the vendors I deal with have had time to update all their products to work with it. It does my head in how eager Apple customers are to pay a premium to be treated like shit. If Microsoft was like that, or any PC vendor, they'd have gone out of business decades ago. Remember what a disaster Vista was? Well that was all because 3rd party vendors needed to write new drivers for their hardware, something they'd never had to do before and certainly haven't had to do since. Microsoft learned a hard lesson but Apple do the same sort of thing over and over again and their customers put up with it. It's very, very strange.
NOVAkILL : Dell G7 Core i7, 32GB RAM, Win10, Zoom U24 | Studio One | Thorn, bx_oberhausen, ARP Odyssey, JP6K, Hexeract, Vacuum Pro, TRK-01, Knifonium, Equator, VG Carbon | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Analog Keys, Ultranova, Rocket.

KVRAF
2587 posts since 15 Feb, 2020

Post Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:24 pm

Treated like shit? really bad service?

Put the crack pipe down bones.

Yep, the new Air is a great, noiseless machine. However, OP not into Macs which I can also certainly understand, so regardless of our opinions, it's not his/her choice of machine no matter how good/quiet/overpriced it is.
At ease, soldier!

KVRist

Topic Starter

67 posts since 8 Apr, 2020

Post Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:14 pm

Thanks for the sane voice, revvy ;-). But I might as well add some thoughts, and facts, on the MacBook (M1) vs PC (Ryzen) debate, so I looked at the reviews over at notebookcheck, and the Cinebench R20 benchmark (I just picked the one from the top to have a scale of comparison).

The Mac Book Air M1 is really impressive. I like the fact that it is passively cooled (no fan noise). Single Core performance is great (401 points), Multi Core is below the competition (1863 points).

The Mac Book Pro M1 is at 406 (single) and 2109 (multi), but has a fan that reaches up to 41.9 dB.

The T14s AMD with Ryzen 7 measures 468 (single) and 3050 (multi) and reaches 32.3 dB max.

So on paper, the Mac Book Pro M1 can get louder, while the T14s has better performance. Most importantly, the T14s gives me 32 GB RAM and 1 TB SSD, which I cannot find in a Mac Book at a comparable price. The Mac Book Air is really impressive, but lacks a bit of oomph to be my main work machine.

But my main reasons for preferring a Thinkpad:
* Nothing compares to a Thinkpad keyboard. After using one for 6 years, I don't even want to think about using anything else. And the latest Mac Books are notorious for keyboard problems (some of my colleagues have Mac Books, and they complain about the keyboards a lot).
* Plugin compatibility. I would probably loose access to plugins that I use and I don't want to deal with this uncertainty any further.
* I am not very fond of the closed Apple ecosystem and UI.

Now, about the noise: As you see above, on paper, the Mac Book Pro can get louder. The T14s is reasonably quiet. My issue is specifically with an annoying whine in the mid-high range that really sticks out of the noise floor. But I realize that question may be a bit too specific to discuss here.

As I wrote before, I am currently having the fan swapped. Maybe that will help, maybe not. I'll let you know how it goes.

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KVRAF
1802 posts since 15 Mar, 2002 from Seattle, WA - USA

Post Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:53 pm

Not that it really matters since you're more interested in a Windows laptop, but I've never once heard my M1 MacBook Pro fan turn on when doing music production. In that use case it's dead silent, even under heavy load. I had to run World of Warcraft for 30min straight to finally hear it spin up. Also, the M1 MacBooks don't have the same butterfly keyboard that plagued the 2016-2019 models (which I hated). They reverted back to more traditional scissor switches with greater key travel, so a major improvement. They're still not as good as the Thinkpad keyboards though; Those are among the best. I hope you can find your audio dream machine. I've had mediocre experiences with reliability in the past with HP and Dell laptops for audio, but Thinkpads always worked well for me, especially when they were still under IBM.

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KVRist
60 posts since 19 Apr, 2021

Post Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:58 pm

I've got my eye on this one.

https://www.asus.com/us/Laptops/For-Hom ... Duo-UX581/

It looks surprisingly powerful.
Noise Producer

KVRist

Topic Starter

67 posts since 8 Apr, 2020

Post Thu Apr 22, 2021 11:07 pm

Tronam wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:53 pm
Not that it really matters since you're more interested in a Windows laptop, but I've never once heard my M1 MacBook Pro fan turn on when doing music production. In that use case it's dead silent, even under heavy load. I had to run World of Warcraft for 30min straight to finally hear it spin up. Also, the M1 MacBooks don't have the same butterfly keyboard that plagued the 2016-2019 models (which I hated). They reverted back to more traditional scissor switches with greater key travel, so a major improvement.
I really appreciate this, thanks. On the T14s, I've had the fan kick in when using Vital and VCV Rack, which both seem to rely on the GPU a lot. Any experiences with graphics heavy plugins on your MacBook Pro?

Also good to hear about the keyboard.

If I could be really sure a MacBook Pro would remain completely silent in my use cases I might even consider one. I am so easily annoyed by fan noise. (But I'd still have to make a list of all my plugins and find out if they're compatible ...)

KVRist
112 posts since 24 Oct, 2006

Post Fri Apr 23, 2021 3:57 pm

The TDP of the processors says it all. That heat has to go somewhere. The fan in the MacBook will be on far less often.

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KVRAF
1802 posts since 15 Mar, 2002 from Seattle, WA - USA

Post Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:53 pm

I couldn't seriously recommend going all in on a Mac right now for audio unless you were a Logic user. The whole product line is in mid-transition and although developer progress has been pretty good so far, many plugins still depend on Rosetta to run including all that use iLok for their copy protection and very few DAWs are native yet, aside from Logic or Reaper (and Tracktion?). Getting a Windows laptop will ensure full compatibility across the board without any unexpected early adopter hiccups. I might feel differently in a year, but by then we should see an even more powerful M2.
Last edited by Tronam on Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KVRAF
3919 posts since 6 Nov, 2009

Post Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:58 pm

Lenovo ThinkPads are fairly light and quiet, but they have a very high pricetag for what they are.

KVRAF
2587 posts since 15 Feb, 2020

Post Fri Apr 23, 2021 6:10 pm

Tronam wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:53 pm
I couldn't seriously recommend going all in on a Mac right now for audio unless you were a Logic user. The whole product line is in mid-transition and although developer progress has been pretty good so far, many plugins still depend on Rosetta to run including all that use iLok for their copy protection and very few DAWs are native yet, aside from Logic or Reaper (and Tracktion?). Getting a Windows laptop will ensure full compatibility across the board without any unexpected early adopter hiccups. I might feel differently in a year, but by then we should see an even more powerful M2.
As a Mac user I couldn't agree more. All my stuff is fine but I wouldn't be encouraging music producers to switch right this moment.
At ease, soldier!

KVRist

Topic Starter

67 posts since 8 Apr, 2020

Post Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:59 am

So, I got my laptop back with a new fan. To be honest, I wasn't even very optimistic about having the fan changed.

But it turns out the new fan sounds much better. Just white noise, as it should be, no whine that sticks out of the frequency spectrum. I am almost surprised how unintrusive it is now.

As a result I am now very happy with the device, and with my decision to buy another Lenovo Thinkpad. This is not the first time for me that a Lenovo dealer has repaired a (rather minor) flaw on a new device relatively quickly.

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KVRAF
1802 posts since 15 Mar, 2002 from Seattle, WA - USA

Post Mon Apr 26, 2021 12:05 pm

revvy wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 6:10 pm
As a Mac user I couldn't agree more. All my stuff is fine but I wouldn't be encouraging music producers to switch right this moment.
Yeah, it's just not ready yet, which is why I think their release strategy makes sense so far. Starting with the entry level systems gives higher end app developers more time to migrate over to ARM64. I got the M1 MBP as an adjunct to my desktop, but Logic's performance has been so good that I'm starting to wonder if I'll even need much more than that in the future. It'll be hard now to go back to fan noise again on any computer. If I was into heavy 3D modeling/rendering or gaming, I'd obviously feel very different about it.

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