PS: We have Dell Precision workstations (were i work), and even those are silent when idle or at half-load, they only turn up there fans under heavy load (and become noisy), so companies like HP or Dell have thermal management and temperature controlled fans.
But there are also Dells and HPs that are needlessly loud. At my old workplace some of the (<2yrs old) Dells would ramp up the fans to jet engine levels while doing light browsing. If they are getting quieter in general I'd say it's mainly because Intel chips are taking less power and hard drives are becoming quieter.
PS: The Apple apologists should kiss the feet of Intel, for inventing thermal management
Intel's power management is good but thermal management not I would say. Instead of making a system themselves they leave it to motherboard manufacturers and the result is it's rare to find a desktop motherboard where the fans can be set in BIOS/EFI to turn completely off below a certain temperature.
I didn`t say all of them are quiet, but they do make models that are quiet under half-load or idle, and somewhat noisy under idle. The Lenovo desktops (at the faculty i went) are also quiet when idle (browsing, listing to music, office documents etc.) but are loud when you put the under load.
Intel doesn`t make thier own motherboards?What, in what parellel universe does that happen? http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... name=Intel
Intel`s motherboards are the most stable motherboards in this branch, and Apple`s motherboards are designed and made by Intel. Same goes for Dell/HP who have custom motherboards too, just open a Dell/HP PC and try to find that model in a shop..you won`t.
As for power management of the fans, PWM rings a bell? My Asus mb with Q-Fan automatically controls my PWM fans according to the CPU/MB temps. My fans idle at 400rpm (that`s inaudible at 2 am at night, with windows/doors closed in a very sound/thermal isolated house) and go up to 900rpm under heavy load with a Q9550+8GB+9800GTX+ Corsair VX450 and 3 softmounted hdd-drives (WD640AAKS) + Ninja2 & AcceleroS1. 2 intake fans + 1 cpu fan, ArcticCooling PWM 120mm models all controlled by the BIOS, daisy-chained together on the same PWM header. And Asus Q-Fan is available on almost every board they make/made
in the last 2+ years, rangeing from cheapo 40 bucks mb to 400$ models. Gigabyte and other manufacturers have similar things, all have at least one PWM fan header and a couple of voltage controlled headers.
DFI has a function to disable the fans completely when the CPU goes under a certain temp, but it`s useless considering the fact that a 400rpm fan is almost inaudible, even at 2 am in the night.
As someone said before, good job Apple on pateting things i have been doing for the last 2 years, and people on SPCR have been doing for the last 10.