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The MacBook is (at least in theory) noiseless as well. It has an SSD and no fans.

A few Chromebooks fit this description as well, at least they used to.

My Samsung Chromebook from 2012 has an ARM processor, solid state storage, and no fans. It is pretty slow by today's standards though.

I think several companies make cases for the Intel NUC boards that radiate the heat away and have no fans, too.

Many of them are still fanless: https://chromebookdb.com/search.php?fanless

My Samsung Chromebook 3 gets a touch warm but never uncomfortably so like my 2012 Retina MacBook, which lets you really feel it when your code is inefficient. (Granted, the Chromebook is a lot less powerful)

Funnily enough, my MacBook Air 2013 produces a buzzing sound on SSD access. It's barely audible, but it's there.

My MacBook Air 2013 is routinely the loudest machine in the room when it's compiling or similar.

Does it have fans? If not, what kind of noise is this ?

MBAs have fans, the 12" MacBook doesn't.

Possibly inductors vibrating.

"Coil whine".

No, the sound comes mostly from the fans, which when at their maximum start to get loud.

Oh...it’s not just me then.. Every couple of months I check my 2015 MacBook Pro system info because I’m utterly convinced that it has an hard drive because of the SSD noise. It’s quite frustrating actually..

Imagine being a kid in the 80s or 90s at school and hearing the distinctive 20k tone of a CRT Television humming and wondering if you were going to be watching TV in one of your classes that day. It was like a dog whistle for kids.

If you're in the US or anywhere else with NTSC, the horizontal scan rate (and thus the whine of the flyback transformer) is 15.75 kHz :)

525 lines / 2 for interlacing * 60 fields per second = 15750

times 1000/1001 ever since color was introduced, so about 15734 Hz

For me that was a thing until the late 2000's.

They were still using CRT TVs in 2012 when I finished high school. I wouldn't be surprised if there were still plenty of schools with CRT TVs and VCRs for educational material.

I still have a 19" CRT[0] as 2nd monitor at work because... why not?? It still works most of the time and supports a decent resolution (1400x1050 - 1600x1200 flickers). And it's a nice nostalgic conversation piece :)

[0] https://www.cnet.com/products/compaq-s910-crt-monitor-19-ser...

Back around 2001 I took my desktop build (Celerin 300A oveeclocked to 450MHz), installed a giant passive heat sink on the CPU and PSU, put in an 8MB IDE flash drive, and network booted off a server in my laundry room. I thought I was finally noiseless. But the end result was worse. I had coil whine out of my power supply any time CPU usage ramped up. If I was in the same room, I could tell whenever my email pinged the server or if a cron job ran. It was both instructional (why is my cpu ramping and I’m not even logged in?) and really annoying.

I had one of those, I think it may have overclocked to 550MHz, I can't remember for sure. The cooling fan was audible outside of my house!

I’m routinely annoyed by what I am reasonably sure is the sound of my MacBook Pro’s heat pipes and other warm components expanding and contracting, making creaking noises shortly after starting it up on a winter day. Then there’s the gentle gaseous hissing I would swear is the heat pipes condensing and evaporating (based on workload and laptop temperature concurrent with the noise) if I could think of a practical reason for them to be audible.

No, it's not just you. I can hear the SSDs in two of my laptops.

So does my Kingston SSD. And the switching of my switching power supply sometimes (rarely) is the loudest thing in my desktop pc.

Can confirm the 12" MacBook is totally noiseless. It's a neat little thing.

The Dell XPS 13 should also be noiseless when the fan is not on, but many models also suffer from coil whine.

I find coil whine a worse background sound than the lower frequency fan hum.

When I go to editfight.com on my rMBP the fans go crazy and it gets super hot. When I visit it on my iPhone it stays the same temperature and is silent. Kind of an extreme example but the principle is the same. Phones are better for sites like this.

The rMBP is very different from the MacBook.

Oh I didn't know that. I thought Apple recently shifted the MacBook so that it was more "pro" and the MacBook Pro so that it was less "pro", making them a lot closer to each other, almost identical. I thought I remembered a lot of criticism over that move too, here on HN.

I bought an Asus "zenbook" ux305 for this reason. It uses an Intel core M processor, which idle around 800mHz but turbo boost to around 2gHz, which I believe have been discontinued.

I was worried about performance, but it has been very acceptable. It depends what you need it for, but I can run 2 monitors, a Linux VM and atom all while streaming HD video. Or I can do light web browsing for 10 hours on battery[1]. I love it.

On the rare occasions I need more power, I spin up a spot instance.

[1] If you use Linux on a laptop, install "tlp". It optimizes battery life without a noticeable reduction of performance.

MacBook Air and Pro both have fans. I don’t know the entire Apple line of all time by heart, so there might have been another MacBook that had no fans.

Its the super thin 12 inch MacBook they currently sell, which is just called "MacBook".

My bad. Thanks for the info!

The Pro better not go fanless! Oh my CPU melted while compiling and running a few VMs.

The Macbook? My Macbook's fans are incredibly noisy. I've already replaced them once, hoping that would fix the issue, but it didn't. Macbook fans are just noisy. At least the 2011 unibody ones.

It sounds like you’re talking about a MacBook Air as a generic MacBook, whereas in fact the MacBook is it’s own distinct line of computer, debuted in 2015. It indeed does not contain fans.

Macbook debuted in 2015? Macbooks were first released in 2006. Mine is a Macbook Pro.

Obviously newer models are different from older models, and Air models probably don't have the fans that Pro models do, but the claim that Macbooks don't have fans is a bit too broad to be true.

You don't understand. They mean the laptop literally called just the Macbook. It's a 12 inch fanless laptop.


This is why these 'simple' naming schemes are confusing.

The Macbook didn't exist in 2011. You're thinking of the Macbook Air or Macbook Pro. The Macbook with no fans was released in mid-2015.

First line of the pertinent Wikipedia article: "The MacBook is a brand of notebook computers manufactured by Apple Inc. from May 2006 to February 2012, and relaunched in 2015."

In Jobs' 2x2 matrix, the portable half was initially populated by iBook and PowerBook, later by MacBook and MacBook Pro.

And yet, in a post referencing a fan-less "Macbook" it's almost certain that the "Macbook" in question is the only fan-less laptop Apple produces, which is coincidentally called simply "Macbook."

It's unfortunate that Apple has confusing brand names, but the fact remains that the Macbook indeed has no fans so the original comment who hears fan noise is obviously using a different model of laptop.

Of course there are Macbooks without fans, but the claim that "the macbook has no fans" is a bit too broad and generic to be true. Macbook Pros are also called Macbooks. Older Macbooks are still Macbooks (they seem to be pretty durable).

So if you say that recent Macbooks have no fans, that may well be true. But it's not true for all Macbooks.

How would you prefer we refer to this specific product [0] in the plural form if not “MacBooks”? Please note, once again, that this is not the same product as the MacBook Pro [1] or MacBook Air [2].

[0] https://www.apple.com/macbook/

[1] https://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/

[2] https://www.apple.com/macbook-air/

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