Model A1311 / Mid 2011 / 2.5 & 2.7 GHz Core i5 or 2.8 GHz Core i7 Processor

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Any chance to get a zero noise iMac due to hyperacusis?

Hello, I will install a SSD instead of a HDD into my iMac.

HDD noise should diseappear but residual fan noise will remain. I know the level is considered as low and event silent for a "normal" user but it remains a problem when you suffer from severe hyperacousis and tinnitus.

Is there any chance to get a noiseless iMac device by also replacing fans or create a warm airflow from bottom to the top with another way than default fans ?

Thank you in advance for your suggestions.



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Hyperacusis (also spelled hyperacousis) is a health condition characterized by an over-sensitivity to certain frequency ranges of sound (a collapsed tolerance to usual environmental sound). A person with severe hyperacusis has difficulty tolerating everyday sounds, some of which may seem unpleasantly or painfully loud to that person but not to others


Hello, I come back with my noiseless imac project.

With ifixit instructions help, I removed the DVD device, its dedicated fan, replaced the HDD by a SSD and disconnected the HDD fan. Here is the current temp and fan under normal use:


GPU is a few degrees higher.

For the remaining CPU Fan noise which is lower and certainly not audible for regular users, I thought to use a Peltier-like electrical exchange heater technology, cold side sticked on the CPU and a heat dissipator sticked on the warm side appearing outside the imac case through an unique big hole a little larger thans the dissipator size.

Do you think it could work ?



I'm not sure that would work here as you have the current heat exchanger mounted on the CPU so you will have a hard time mounting it without disrupting it. The other factor here is you have a chimney effect within the iMac (it was designed this way on purpose). Creating a large hole within the back case will likely interfere with this. So in both cases you likely won't gain any improvement in cooling (in fact you could make it worse).


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4 Answers

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The iMac is going to require fans of some sort for the processor, no matter what you do. The reality is there is no such thing as a silent fan. The only other way to cool the processor, is through liquid cooling, but there are no liquid cooled options for iMac's at this current point in time. There are programs that allow you to control each individual fans RPM, which may help, but there is still definitely going to be some noise.

Because of your condition, the only real solution I could see working, is purchasing a Mac Mini and placing it somewhere as far away as possible from your ears. Most monitors don't contain fans, or any other components that produce noise. I believe this is your only solution to achieving "zero noise" as you're hoping for.

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Thank you Matthew, your suggestion partially matches my current workaround. I placed a second hand little 13" Macbook on the other side of a wall and connected an external Dell display port monitor through a small hole in the wall. It "works" but I lost the nice Apple quality display with this third-party monitor. I felt years back in terms of quality... I didn't notice the Mac mini option and this could be a very interesting one instead of the laptop one. The only Apple monitor available in the purchase options is a huge 27" thunderbold one which is really too big for the space available. Despite my research, I didn't succeed to find a real "Apple-like" external display with a size of 21" or less. Do you also have a suggestion for this option ? Is this possible to get the same display quality somewhere with a reasonnable monitor size ? Thanks, David.


You could use a standard VGA equipped LCD display then using a VGA to display port adapter to hook into the Mac Mini.


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I think Steve Jobs was noise sensitive as he hated noisy systems. He fought tooth and nail with his engineers to make each Mac system he over saw as quiet as humanly possible. Jony Ive appears to be following Steve's lead here with the current crop of systems.

With that said the Mac systems are the quietest computers out there (they have set the bar for quite a few years now). But, alas they do have fans and that could still be hard on someone with Hyperacusis.

Maybe a better direction for you would be an iPad. It doesn't have a fan or even have a noisy keyboard or mouse.

There is little one can do here to modify the system to make it quieter without effecting it's cooling. There are a few things that still can help here:

  • Using a SSD Vs Hard Disk will make less noise and heat so if you are planing on buying a new system get one with an SSD or see about swapping out your current HD for a SSD.
  • Buying the highest performing system you can. While that may not sound intuitive, a systems processor that has to work harder makes more heat so a processor that makes easy work of the task will run cooler. With the end result a quieter system.

Both of these only go so far and there is nothing more you can do.

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OK, why the down vote?


Neg vote was left by probably an error


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Earplugs, noise canceling headphones? - You might be able to remove the optical drive and put a second fan in that space... don't know where or how you'd evaluate or rate a fan for it's nose though.

If this Answer is helpful please remember to return and mark it Accepted.

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Liquid cooling may be an option, but you'll be dealing with fan AND pump noises unless you are able to direct the noisy parts out of your room. As Dan said there are no water cooling kits available for iMacs, you have to custom build it yourself. Aside from building the kit, imac's own design is a problem since the SMC will still try to operate the fans. As a personal project this may continue, but the iMac water cooling kits would almost certainly not survive as a product, nobody is going to convert an already extremely quiet computer to water cooling

Another idea is convection cooling, it's totally silent but involves some crazy custom parts. Powerful desktop chipset may require heat sink that looks like an organ to be effectively cooled. Having an iMac with giant metal fins pointing outwards does sound cool

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Both of these suggestions would involve absolutely destroying your iMac. I would strongly recommend not even considering to attempt either of these solutions. They'd both involve taking the computer entirely apart and drilling large holes directly into the aluminum enclosure.


Another way of looking at it, you get to design and build your own custom iMac


You'd definitely have a one of a kind iMac, that's for sure.


Tom - This person suffers from hyperacusis. They aren't going to be drilling or hammering their iMac to create a One Of A Kind system. The pain of the noise they would be facing doing this would be inhuman!


He doesn't have to do it himself. Maybe asking a friend? Besides, one have to go through something if he wants anything done. Hope he finds a solution to make his life better


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