Wednesday, May 04, 2022, 14:23 Economy

Mac Studio: Annoying Noise Complaints by Several Users

Apple designed the Mac Studio to fit on the desk and not to disappear underneath or next to it like most other high-performance computers. Because of the resulting proximity to the user, the Californian company went to great lengths to keep the noise development as low as possible, especially the necessary fans. According to tests and measurements, this was largely successful: Apple's compact desktop workstation is considered one of the quietest devices in its category.

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Users perceive "high-pitched whining".
However, quite a few Mac Studio owners are now complaining about annoying noises that are reportedly extremely disturbing and irritating. This is a constantly perceptible shrill sound, which is apparently related to the fan. In the MacRumors forums, corresponding posts now fill almost fifty pages. One user describes the noise as a "high-pitched whine" that drowns out the quiet hiss of the cooling fan. A forum member took a frequency measurement and determined an exact pitch of 2,120 hertz, which roughly corresponds to a four-dashed C. For comparison: trained coloratura sopranos reach a maximum of just under 900 hertz.

Frequency varies depending on fan speed.
According to other observations, the frequency varies depending on the fan speed, consequently it is not a coil whine according to the affected users. However, the shrill sounds do not occur in all devices. Primarily affected by the problem are the models equipped with an M1 Max, reports about the variant with an M1 Ultra are a clear minority. This could be due to the fact that the devices with Apple's most powerful chip have a different thermal design. Possibly, the fan is activated less often due to the installed copper heat sink and is also operated at lower speeds. Some owners of the Mac Studio received a replacement device from Apple, but the unpleasant noise also occurred. It is currently unknown whether the Californian company can solve the problem with a software update. Apple has not issued a statement so far.

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