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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:50 am 
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We just got a 17" 1.83GHz Core Duo iMac at work for testing our university's apps through Rosetta (some don't work, oh well) and it's whisper quiet to me. I really want to try to crack it open and explore but I imagine mgmt would not like that. Of course it's somewhat hard to judge its sound levels since there is a giant industrial AC vortex sucking air into the ceiling all the time...

Now that the WinXP/Tiger dual boot solution has been found, I really want to buy a Macbook Pro. I have a Mac Mini at work and I enjoy working with OSX because it's a consistently pleasant surprise how straightforward doing computer things is. No concrete examples, just a sense that OSX is enjoyable to use but I always feel like WinXP is a chore... and that's after years of working with it. Anyway, enough Mac vs XP war for me, I can't afford a Macbook!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:32 pm 
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smilingcrow wrote:
forgieboy wrote:
What exactly was the "error" that you couldn't ignore?

Oops, (raises white flag), it turns out to have been MY ERROR; I completely missed the context of your original post. I apologise for coming on so heavy, I was out of order; even if my initial understanding had been correct, my response was still off kilter. It’s been an exceptionally difficult fortnight and the stress just got to me and leaked out sideways so to speak and onto this forum. Apologies all round.

That's all cool, no hard feelings. It's been a hard few months for me, so I guess I was a bit on the defensive!

Quote:
Getting back on topic: I was impressed by how quiet the G5s were for an off the shelf dual processor solution, back in the day. Still too noisy for my tastes, but it showed that Apple was ahead of the most of the pack in this area, so it’s no surprise to see that the new iMacs look promising. I used a friend’s iMac recently which was a mark 1 model I think and I was surprised by how noisy it was compared to a G5. Comparing a desktop to a floor standing computer is not always a fruitful execrcise.


Apple has re-designed the innards of the iMac since the iMac G5 rev A. Temperatures and noise levels improved in each revision as far as I'm aware. At the same time, they went from being very user serviceable to very un-user serviceable.... so the iMac Core Duo is more like a laptop to service then a desktop. I'm willing to make that tradeoff in order to get a better thermal design, though.

The last revision of G5 iMacs was reportedly very quiet, and from memory the G5 was about 80W or something like that. This means that going to a 30W chip (Core Duo), the noise really should be a hell of a lot lower! Any reports on the hard drive noise, anyone?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:07 am 
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Pictures of Dual Boot iMac running Windows Xp.

That's the winner of this competition.

So now that Mac can run Windows, there's not even need for the PC vs Mac fuss...

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:49 am 
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I’ve only just noticed that the Mac Minis have also moved to the Intel platform. I wonder if they will run as cool and quiet as the iMacs?
With a dual input monitor they would be a good choice for someone wishing to use both types of computers simultaneously. For the price difference in the UK (~£330) between a Mac Mini Dual Core and the cheapest iMac you’d only be about £25 short of the cost of building a decent quality low noise Sempron system. Hmm, that’s starting to sound interesting, add a USB KVM switch for the keyboard and mouse and away you go. Therefore:

Mac Mini + PC + 17" TFT = 17" iMac + ~£200


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 6:34 am 
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The mac minis are very quiet too, but the fans arc up under load, as one would expect. This is all 'heresay' from someone I know who has one, since I've never used one for an extended period of time.

Having owned a PC and a mac for the last 6 months, I can say that in my experience, you get very sick of switching between systems. As soon as you apply a lot of mods and tweaks to one system, you tend to neglect the other one and only use it when you HAVE to. In my case I have an iBook G4 (1.33Ghz) and an Asus Pundit-R with a 2.8Ghz P4C Northwood. My Pundit was my main rig for a while, but it's definitely fallen by the wayside since I got my iBook. The Pundit-R only has PCI slots, so graphics is very limited - this is an area where the iMac would be superior to my Pundit-R.

If anyone is considering going the Mac + PC setup, I'd definitely look at Synergy. It allows you to use one keyboard/mouse between multiple computers over a network, and I use it all the time.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 8:45 am 
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forgieboy wrote:
The mac minis are very quiet too, but the fans arc up under load, as one would expect. This is all 'heresay' from someone I know who has one, since I've never used one for an extended period of time.
It’s not surprising as with a form factor closer to a laptop in volume they are more likely to suffer from similar noise issues as laptops when running under load for extended periods. I’m not clear from the iMac preview whether its fan noise also ramps up after running for an extended period with both cores maxed out. That’s a critical issue for people who run a system at full tilt for long periods (Folding etc). Can anyone confirm how iMacs respond under such conditions?

forgieboy wrote:
Having owned a PC and a mac for the last 6 months, I can say that in my experience, you get very sick of switching between systems. As soon as you apply a lot of mods and tweaks to one system, you tend to neglect the other one and only use it when you HAVE to.

I think you’ve hit it on the head there as apart from techies, the only people running both systems will be doing so out of necessity. Personally, I would prefer to be able to run both systems simultaneously as from personal experience many moons ago I found dual booting to be a serious drag. I keep my desktop system on standby so I’m used to almost immediate access. Is it possible to run Windows as a virtual machine under OSX successfully? i.e. with USB and sound-card support.

forgieboy wrote:
If anyone is considering going the Mac + PC setup, I'd definitely look at Synergy. It allows you to use one keyboard/mouse between multiple computers over a network, and I use it all the time.
That looks good although it does state that ‘non-US English keyboards are untested and probably don't work’, which is a bummer for UK based people like myself.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 10:47 pm 
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smilingcrow wrote:
Personally, I would prefer to be able to run both systems simultaneously as from personal experience many moons ago I found dual booting to be a serious drag. I keep my desktop system on standby so I’m used to almost immediate access. Is it possible to run Windows as a virtual machine under OSX successfully? i.e. with USB and sound-card support.

Qemu will give you a VM for virtually anything under OSX on intel, but it doesn't do USB yet. I think it does do sound, and I know it does networking to some degree. It's useable for my needs, but not ideal. Virtual PC supports USB, Printing, Sound etc, but it will only run on PowerPC macs. I don't think Microsoft are too keen on allowing people to use VPC on an intel at native speed, since a lot of people would drop windows as their primary OS. That's what I read into MS's very slow response to getting VPC running on intel macs, but I could be wrong.

smilingcrow wrote:
forgieboy wrote:
If anyone is considering going the Mac + PC setup, I'd definitely look at Synergy. It allows you to use one keyboard/mouse between multiple computers over a network, and I use it all the time.
That looks good although it does state that ‘non-US English keyboards are untested and probably don't work’, which is a bummer for UK based people like myself.

It's worth a try anyway, it runs on OSX, windows an linux, so if you have another machine around to test out whether or not your keyboard setup is supported fully, it's pretty painless to setup (at least it is if you use the built-in GUI for windows, or one of the add-on GUI wrappers for the OSX version).


Last edited by forgieboy on Sun Mar 19, 2006 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 5:51 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Too bad the first three Mac virii were just now found...
You mean these? Not so much.

Quote:
I think it contains the power supply, too
It does. If you use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and the built-in Airport for networking, there is just one single plain power cable. Photographs well :)

Tiny Turtle wrote:
OS X being "UNIX based" does not mean you can run UNIX programs on it
Actually, you can for the most part. You may have to compile from source, and OS X includes GCC. Of course, to do hardware-specific stuff like monitoring, it would have to be written specifically for the machine.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:32 am 
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I received my 20" Intel iMac (containing the Western Digital 250 GB hard drive) and did some of my own sound level measurements with a B&K 2260 sound level meter.

I measured about 20 dBA at operator position (about 23 inches or 60 cm from the front of the computer), derived from a series of measurements. This was with the machine in idle. Apple's published rating for this model is 22 dBA at operator position both idle and hard drive accessing. My own experience is similar: the hard drive noise is very low when accessing, and slightly louder when writing...though I didn't take any measurements. Also, I have not noticed any increase in noise level under "load." I haven't purposely pushed it, though I have run some fairly processor intensive audio applications and files. No increase in noise. Also the DVD drive is very very quiet too.

It was tough to perform the measurements because I live in a New York apartment. Though my bedroom is quiet, there were extraneous low level noises from various things in the building (refrigerators, central ac units). You start to hear all kinds of things when you're trying to measure the noise of something as quiet as this iMac. In any case, I was able to factor out extraneous noises from the measurements because of features built into the B&K meter.

However, I would not describe the machine as silent. If your room is very quiet, you will hear it, partially because there is a slight "tonal" element to the noise - centered at about 125 Hz according to my 1/3 octave measurments - coming (I think) from the motor of a fan that seems to be on the left side of the computer (as you're facing it). Also, if you peer over the computer so that your head is close to the back vent, you will hear low level air flow sound. You have to struggle to hear this noise from operator position, though.

For comparison, my ibook is typically silent when doing normal computer tasks, because the fan(s) don't kick in. When the fans kick in, or when the hard drive is working away, the ibook is louder than this iMac.

In sum, my iMac is very quiet, and super quiet compared to normal desktop computers. If you're playing music, forget about it; you won't hear it.

I suspect, though, that there is some variation from model to model because of a) the different hard drives that come with the computer and b) slight variations in manufacturing of fan components that would cause some to operate more quietly than others.

Also, it could be that over time the computer will become noisier as dust gets into the fans and as bearings wear down. Hopefully, that will be a few years away.

Avi


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:30 pm 
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nice work avi - very informative!

what was the quality of the HDD sound like? Any whine/ higher pitched sounds, were the seeks noticeable, if they were, were they soft or hard? Was the overall sound obtrusive in any way, even though it was very quiet?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:44 pm 
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FYI, we have a 20" iMac in the lab, a loaner courtesy of Apple Canada. 8) We'll be posting a brief review soon.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:04 pm 
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mattthemuppet wrote:
nice work avi - very informative!

what was the quality of the HDD sound like? Any whine/ higher pitched sounds, were the seeks noticeable, if they were, were they soft or hard? Was the overall sound obtrusive in any way, even though it was very quiet?


The hard drive is very very quiet. It's Western Digital model WDC WD2500JS-40NGB. On Newegg, most reviews note that it is quiet.

And I just tried to download some files to hear the writing noise. I couldn't hear it at all. This thing must make some noise sometimes...right?...and I think I've heard some faint buzzing/grinding sounds...like a very muffled hard drive.

But really, likke I said, the only noise I notice if the room is very quiet is from (I think) a fan on the left lower side of the case.

Oh, and the DVD drive is extremely quiet too.

It'll be very interesting to get the "official" review of this machine from SPCR.

Avi


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:42 am 
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Some users have managed to boot XP on the Mac Mini; would this be possible on the iMac also?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:24 am 
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jaganath wrote:
Some users have managed to boot XP on the Mac Mini; would this be possible on the iMac also?
I already posted 2 links about iMac having dual boot windows xp /OSX on this same page, scroll upwards to find them.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:28 pm 
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avi - that's impressive! It'd be interesting to see/ hear how they've silenced the HDD so well to see if any of that tech can be used in PCs


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:01 pm 
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mattthemuppet wrote:
avi - that's impressive! It'd be interesting to see/ hear how they've silenced the HDD so well to see if any of that tech can be used in PCs


I wished I had a really quiet room to make the measurements a little easier. I'm not sure why the hard drive noise seems so minimal. But in photos I've seen, it sort of looks embedded (perhaps in a resilient foam?), which probably helps with vibration transmission. Also, it looks like it's a quiet drive to begin with.

I've read about an issue with Seagate drives, including the model that comes with some iMacs, where the self-check routine produces audible clicks. I had this with a drive I bought a couple of years ago, that I put in an external enclosure. The clicking was annoying and I got rid of the drive.

I want to amend something I put about the tonal component of the noise. While my 1/3 octave measurements indicate a peak at 125 Hz, you don't hear this frequency since it's low on the spectrum and low in level. It's subjectively not evident due to something called the Fletcher-Munson effect, which says that at low levels, the human ear is not sensitive to low frequencies...that's the lay person version.

Anyway, what stands out more are perhaps harmonics of this tone, and a slight whinny peak at 2500 Hz.

It's all pretty low in level so you either have to get close to hear it, or at operator position have the room be very quiet.

Avi


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 9:56 am 
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I didnt see it mentioned in the thread, but i read an article in a magazine where they took the new iMac apart. The HDD in that one was a 250Gb Maxtor DM10, and the noise of the computer was described as a slight whoosh from the HDD and the fans were not audible at least at idle because the HDD was louder, though still wery quiet and unintrusive(according to them that is). To me a 250gb samsung, watercooled and enclosed in thick heavy foam with heavy damping on top, is just about quiet enough but still audible 1m away..


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 11:45 am 
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I also just got a 20 inch Intel iMac from Amazon.com.


My initial impressions concur with those of aviavi:
- first and most noticeable thing is the fan in the lower left corner (facing the screen). There is a slightly rough whir and I can detect a little bit of bearing noise (sounds almost like a winding a watch sound). I can also hear it spin up (turbulence) under load, but I these sounds tend to be easily drowned out by a little bit of ambient noise.
- my iMac also has the WDC-2500JS hard drive. Seeks are slightly audible, but not that offensive (so far, most noticeable when surfing the web while also playing iTunes in the background). I can also hear hints of idle noise leaking out of the case if I really listening critically (ear next to computer). I am amazed that I can not detect any sort of transmitted vibration from the hard drive to casing.

Other thing that amazes me is how little power this thing consumes while webbrowsing, etc: easily under 80W including LCD screen and speakers! When it goes to sleep, it draws about 2 watts from the outlet (I used a Kill-A-Watt to measure these power draws).


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:14 am 
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Shining Arcanine wrote:
Quote:
You are kidding, right? The last time I used a Mac I could not figure out how to get the internal wireless card to work correctly, much less use the actual thing. The interface lacks inductive design so much that using it is painful. Navigating to various things through the dashboard was a pain as well. I am glad you enjoy it though. I know I would never be able to use a Mac OS X PC.


Are you kidding right?

1st to use the wifi u dont need to fuzz about it just look for the airwave >)) icon on the top bar.

2nd to configure anything, lokk for the apple with the light switch on the dock. aside it reads system control...

its easy ;)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:28 am 
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Tiny Turtle wrote:
JJRabbit,
OS X being "UNIX based" does not mean you can run UNIX programs on it. I fed "hardware monitoring os x" into Google and this was the first page it suggested. good enough for you? Otherwise I'm sure there are other options if you spend more than the ten seconds I spent.


OSX is derivated of NetBSD, a flavor of *nix, some things made for unix run natively and others you got to hack them. Just like any unix outthere. You are better off running to sourceforge and doing some checks f that, or looking on the utilities folder... ;)

Quote:
On another point, I can't believe how lucky I am. Somehow I manage to use my computer just about every day and I still don't have to reinstall XP every six months (nor every other year). I wonder how this is? Perhaps I'm not surfing enough porn or something?


I find this flaming but im going to answer it anyways. I used to have a Windows XP PC, and I didnt spend my entire day on porn or "something" but hey I liked to use my computer, to go anywhere and do anything, so why should I be limited to not use it because it will catch a virus or windows is going to screw up because it is badly designed? With my mac i go anywhere and do everything and I never have OS problems.

With my windows PC I had by a rule, to format my machine at least 4 times a year to have it running topnotch. To some its a formality to me was getting tiredsome...

Quote:
Incidently I installed XP (Home/SP2/Swedish) on my new rig a few weeks ago and I can't seem to find any cross-promoting marketing hooey in it. Perhaps Mr. Harris is confusing his XP installation with his previous W95 installation?


Mr. Harris is making the comparison of a BRAND NEW COMPUTER bought at a major retailer, not a copy of windows getting installed. When you buy a new computer from HP, compaq, AOPEN, Alienware or Dell, you get all sorts of ads, trash, subscribe to this o you will die kind of stuff. When you buy a brand new mac, you just plug and surf... and you dont see all that crap.

Quote:
Someone bothered by the harddisk noise, but afraid to shell out the cash for HD suspension/capsuling and instead opt for getting a new $1,500 rig has an interesting concept of money.


It used to bother me the fact that mac's are not CPU upgradable. But that doesnt bother me anymore, because the premium I am paying for premium hardware that lasts the same amount of time average of that of a PC. When you make a mayor change of CPU to a PC it usually is followed by a change of CPU, Motherboard, Memory this or that.. boom new PC... trust me i have been there... Maybe he sad his excuse was a noisy harddisk, but maybe it was just everything else that got him fed up too..

Quote:
P.S.
The appearance of the iMac is as Mr. Harris says unchanged from the previous incarnation, which was the second version of the G5 iMac.


actually 3rd incarnation...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:39 am 
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JazzJackRabbit wrote:
I wonder, can anyone install any hardware monitoring utilities on the new macs and check the CPU/Hard Drive temperatures? It should be possible since OSX unix based after all.


you can although form the imac's itself you can monitor these..


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:16 pm 
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Hello all;

I am new around here and I came after checking the user review by Mr. Harris. I wanted to let everybody know what has ben my experince as a User after using windows for over 15 years and being a computer engineer in a world that primarily uses windows.

At first, I didnt follow the Mac Philosophy. I thought they were ok, but too close up systems for me. Then when OSX arrived my overview of them changed.

The main difference between Apple and the rest of the PC world is one detail. Its what they call Human Interface. Anyone can make hardware but Apple makes human Interface, between the computer and its components.

I guess this would answer the question MikeC posted about why the iMac was so successfull in areas where PC's like the new Viiv's were not.

When I decided to change to OSX, It was mainly for the same reasons Mr. Harris changed. In short I got tired of being my own MIS. Even in the software part you se how apple is a human interface company. The OS is tailored to be fluid and it actually invites you to use it. Its cool and friendly. I have never found the Apple Platform to be lacking of software. As an engineer, I always found my transcition rather easy. All the applications I use for work I use them on my mac, natively. I use Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Microsoft Office, some compilers and some design software (engineering). Maybe the only department I find them lacking is in the game dept. I do like to play some games on my computer and the only one I can play here and there is World of Warcraft, luckily its available on a mac. But other games are slower to get there. Luckily thanks to the integration of Windows on Macs through Bootcamp this is no longer a hassle.


Another thing I wanted to express was on the topic of the quietness of the hardware. I have to say this part of their engineering is not only found on their mac mini's and imac's. But also very noticable in their PowerMac G5 Line. I myself have a PM Quad Core (2 dual cores). They say dogs are a reflection of their masters, well my computer is a reflection of me. :)

My Power Mac is a dream... it runs very fast everything I do.. I love it.. But the thing I love the most is the Quietness of my system. When you turn it on it does a soft whirr that is like a sigh mostlikely. Then its quiet. All the way... I have left my PM on for days and only when the room was hot it would turn on for some time, then quiet again... that would happen when I lived in Puerto Rico (much hotter climate) and it would happen like 2 times a day... Now I live in Maryland, and it never happens, I guess the environment is much cooler.

Overall I am very happy with how my mac has turned out to be for me. My wife is a Programming Engineer for the Government, one of those hush hush agencies... and she has even taken a liking for macs recently because they let us enjoy the side of computing we like, andoffer us the tools and venues to program what we want it in new and intuitive ways.

Last but not least, the last thing we like both my wife and me is that Apple includes their development tools right with the OS. So if there are any developers out there, you can go buy a mac mini and start deeloping apps for mac out of the box.

If anyone has a transition question or a why we changed and are loving it fire away :)

Kildjean


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 6:57 pm 
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kildjean wrote:
I find this flaming but im going to answer it anyways. I used to have a Windows XP PC, and I didnt spend my entire day on porn or "something" but hey I liked to use my computer, to go anywhere and do anything, so why should I be limited to not use it because it will catch a virus or windows is going to screw up because it is badly designed? With my mac i go anywhere and do everything and I never have OS problems.

With my windows PC I had by a rule, to format my machine at least 4 times a year to have it running topnotch. To some its a formality to me was getting tiredsome...
You made the rule reinstalling every three months and you were the one finding it tiresome. Evidently it was different for me as I managed to get by without reinstalling for years (without an antivirus program installed, btw). I refuse to believe I just "got lucky" and missed all the problems everybody else was having. No more flaming than the statement (not by you) that reinstalling XP every six months was mandatory for it to function properly.

Quote:
Mr. Harris is making the comparison of a BRAND NEW COMPUTER bought at a major retailer, not a copy of windows getting installed. When you buy a new computer from HP, compaq, AOPEN, Alienware or Dell, you get all sorts of ads, trash, subscribe to this o you will die kind of stuff. When you buy a brand new mac, you just plug and surf... and you dont see all that crap.
True. I see what you (and Mr. Harris) mean now.

Quote:
It used to bother me the fact that mac's are not CPU upgradable. But that doesnt bother me anymore, because the premium I am paying for premium hardware that lasts the same amount of time average of that of a PC. When you make a mayor change of CPU to a PC it usually is followed by a change of CPU, Motherboard, Memory this or that.. boom new PC... trust me i have been there... Maybe he sad his excuse was a noisy harddisk, but maybe it was just everything else that got him fed up too..
..and maybe it was something completely else - but I can't really respond to that, but instead have to stick to what's written in the review, right?

Quote:
actually 3rd incarnation...
It was? I'm not questioning your statement, but which were these? I thought there was only one G5 without Front Row and one with before the Intel one. What am I missing?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 7:25 pm 
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Tiny Turtle wrote:
You made the rule reinstalling every three months and you were the one finding it tiresome. Evidently it was different for me as I managed to get by without reinstalling for years (without an antivirus program installed, btw). I refuse to believe I just "got lucky" and missed all the problems everybody else was having. No more flaming than the statement (not by you) that reinstalling XP every six months was mandatory for it to function properly.


You probably just have it sitting in your house not connected to the internet and you prolly play solitaire. If you did half the work I do you would surely have to do the same kind of measures I had to take. Windows XP was a good idea at something much better than Windows 2000, but that was then. Now its one of the most insecure OS in the market right now.

Quote:
True. I see what you (and Mr. Harris) mean now.

Good, but to be fair, there are 3 demos installed on the mac, but you dont get spam about them. They are nanosaur2, Marble Madness and quicken for mac (full version). You know about them in the handbook that comes with your mac... not by trillion pop ups :)

Quote:
..and maybe it was something completely else - but I can't really respond to that, but instead have to stick to what's written in the review, right?


yup. without stirring away from his review, I think it was right on...

Quote:
actually 3rd incarnation...
It was? I'm not questioning your statement, but which were these? I thought there was only one G5 without Front Row and one with before the Intel one. What am I missing?[/quote]

Imac Plain Vanilla G5, Imac Plain Vanilla G5 Upgrade, then Imac G5 isight and imac Intel isight

:)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:12 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:55 am
Posts: 5085
Location: UK
Quote:
I managed to get by without reinstalling for years (without an antivirus program installed, btw).


Did you have it connected to the internet at all? From my experience as soon as a WinXP comp is connected to the internet (broadband, in my case) it gets bombarded by viruses and malware.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:20 pm 
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SPCR Reviewer

Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:23 am
Posts: 1845
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Cool it on the flame war please. If this continues I will start deleting posts...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:53 am
Posts: 24
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
kildjean/jaganath,
DSL and several hours of use per day (including pages with semi-legal stuff and the occasional less-than-completely dressed female...)

This was on the original XP and then XP-SP1 with whatever Ms wanted me to download from WinUpdate and SpyBot S&D/AdAware scans once or twice per month.

/Tiny Issues

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