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iMac fan noise
Last post Wed, Aug 26 2020 by Paul, 10 replies.
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Posted on Mon, Aug 10 2020 14:19
by lupine
Joined on Sun, Feb 14 2016, Posts 55

Hello,

I am planning to upgrade my current working computer (i9 6-core MacBook Pro 15") for better CPU performance and cooling, in order to avoid the jet sounding fans of my current MacBook Pro.

I use Cubase + VE Pro to compose quite large orchestral audio music (about 50 virtual instruments) and particularly during the recording phase, with a reduced buffer size, the CPU is largely engaged and VE Pro consumes the majority of its resources. 
I am looking at the new 2020 iMac with i9 10-core CPU but I am a little worried about the possible noise it can make, since it's using the same old single-fan cooling.

Is there anybody which is using the last year i9 8-core iMac and can tell me what's like the fan during virtual instruments MIDI recording? Did you encounter annoying fan noise?

Thanks :)

Tags: iMac fan noise
Posted on Tue, Aug 11 2020 01:19
by karmakarmakarma
Joined on Wed, Oct 10 2018, Posts 10

I have a 2019 8 core i9 iMac and the fan noise does ramp up quickly, but there are a few things to share. 

1. The main reason for fans to ramp up on a Mac in my experience is driven by the CPU switching on Intel's Turbo Boost mode even when the load on the CPU is really low.  All of the DAWs I've used regularly (Logic, Live, Cubase) cause this (all that floating-point math I guess). 

2. To manage fan noise, I use an app called Turbo Boost Switcher Pro - https://www.rugarciap.com/turbo-boost-switcher-for-os-x/ to disable the CPU's Turbo Boost mode when working in a DAW.  I can enable Turbo Boost mode again if a project maxes out the CPU with Turbo Boost off, but that happens infrequently.  I've used Turbo Boost Switcher for years and had no issues with it.  They have a free version you can test on your MacBook.  If you like it, buy the pro version which has some nice features and is like $10. 

3. That all being said, I own 2 MacBooks (i7 and i5), the i9 iMac, and an older 12 core Xeon MacPro.  The fans on the iMac are a good bit quieter than fans on a MacBook when maxed out, but they are still way more than you'll want to hear while composing. 

Good luck with your process.  Hope that helps in some way. 

Posted on Mon, Aug 17 2020 11:13
by Sakamoto
Joined on Sun, Jan 19 2003, Germany, Posts 107

Hi, is the iMac 2019 fast enough to run Synchron-libraries? I consider to get one - or better the 10core 2020 iMac - because the MacPro is not affordable for me. Thanks

Posted on Mon, Aug 17 2020 11:18
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12787

Hi Sakamoto, 

It all depends on your expectations and workflow... I'm running all products on a 2013 iMac, with lots of SSD drives, this is also where I record and edit all videos I make. 

So you should be fine. In case you need additional computing power: Add another computer and use VE Pro to offload some of the tasks.

Best,
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Tue, Aug 18 2020 12:05
by Sakamoto
Joined on Sun, Jan 19 2003, Germany, Posts 107

Hey Paul,

great to get this answer I asked in the past so often before. I think I will go for the iMac 2020 10core. Which kind of SSD-drives do you take for using VSL- and video-editing? Or would you wait for the silicone Macs? My 12 core Mac Pro mid 2010 ist just struggling with the Synchron libraries and as a VSL-devotee I would love to get the full Synchron strings.

Best Alfred

Posted on Wed, Aug 19 2020 08:54
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12787

Hi Alfred, 

I'm using different m.2 SSD drives whenever possible, but video editing is actually on bigger HDDs. 

The new machines are pretty incredible - If you have the time, it will probably pay off to wait for the next generation (only downside: You'll have to stick to the new OS, which is usually buggy for some time)..., but I know it's always hard to find the right point in time to upgrade.

Best, 
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Aug 19 2020 16:50
by Sakamoto
Joined on Sun, Jan 19 2003, Germany, Posts 107

Dear Paul,

thank you so much! Now I have a good foundation for my further decision. Just one last question: how do you connect the m.2 SSD-drives and the bigger HDDs to your 2013 iMac? And: could the Ethernet connection of the iMac 2020 be an option to connect an NAS as a further option to the two Thunderbolt-slots or is too slow?

Thanks in advance

Alfred 

Posted on Wed, Aug 19 2020 18:45
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12787

Hi Alfred, 

Unfortunately a thing like a last question does not exist. I know that for sure. 

I am using both Thunderbolt and USB3. 

Not sure what you want to do with a NAS... why would the Thunderbolt slots be too slow?

Best,
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Tue, Aug 25 2020 22:45
by Sakamoto
Joined on Sun, Jan 19 2003, Germany, Posts 107

Sorry Paul,

I was just worried that I don't have enough thunderbolt slots in the iMac. If I use one for the second vomiter and the other one for SSD I have no other slot left for storage.

Best Alfred

Posted on Wed, Aug 26 2020 07:15
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 12787

Hi Alfred, 

I guess the only way to find out is to give it a try!

Best,
Paul

Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
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