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24" iMac Owners: Does your iMac hum at low brightness?

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24" iMac Owners: Does your iMac hum at low brightness?
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: New York
2006-11-24, 23:09

Because mine does, and it seems from reading various forums and reviews that they ALL do. Granted, the circumstances must allow for a completely silent environment to hear the hum, but late at night, or early in the morning it is definitely there and annoying.

I don't know much about why there is a hum, but it's quite bothersome for a $2500 machine
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
2006-11-24, 23:32

Mine knows all the words.

Seriously, first I've heard of the humming iMac.
I have a 20-incher and haven't had it in a quiet enough situation to ever hear a hum but it sounds like this is a 24" thing, right? It's an engineering feat to squeeze all that stuff into the iMac enclosure... I expect that it's the power supply making the noise.

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Minnesota
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2006-11-24, 23:46

Nope, it's the backlights that hum. It's a known problem. But not really anything you can do about it.
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: In Seine
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2006-11-25, 00:47

My first gen MBP always hums when the backlight goes down anything past max.
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Derbyshire, England
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2006-11-25, 03:29

Yep, mine hums too...

Pretty annoying after a while, I have set it so that it doesn't dim - doubt Apple will do anything about it, it says it is whisper quiet in their own marketing, but doesn't mention it hums - I mean with these Macbook Pro's whineing, will the next Mac Mini whistle?
New Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
2006-11-25, 19:56

Pretty much all LCD screens have a screech or hum to them when they're set to low brightness. As far as I can tell, it's because of the lamps, as has been mentioned before. My 15" LCD, my 17" LCD, and my 20.1" Widescreen LCD all have the same issue. My ears are especially sensitive to higher pitches, so I can't bear to have my 20.1" on anything but full brightness, unless I want a headache.

It really is a shame that LCD screens are that way. In most environments it's really not a big deal, but late at night in a dimmed room, where I do most of my computing, it's a shame having to choose between burnt out eyes or ringing ears.
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Florida
2006-11-25, 23:43

Nope, I can't say that mine does. It's pretty much silent.
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Unknown
2006-11-26, 02:59

I have to put my ear so close to mine that I can feel the heat from the screen before I can hear anything. From normal viewing distance - dead silent.

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Join Date: May 2005
Location: New York
2006-11-26, 10:24

Yeah about the same here. I'm not sure it really bothers me enough to send this otherwise perfect machine back
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
2006-11-26, 11:06

Originally Posted by Think View Post
it's a shame having to choose between burnt out eyes or ringing ears.
Maybe for the time being you could put a grey film over your screen, so that it dims the light. That is, until you or Apple found a better solution to the problem.
Rocket Surgeon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Whitby
2006-11-26, 14:09

Some Lee Filters or Rosco Neutral Density should do the trick.
Veteran Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pittsburgh
2006-11-27, 08:02

My 24" iMac hums no matter the brightness setting. Making it dimmer simply makes the hum louder.

When the iMac is cold, the hum oscillates in volume. When the machine warms up to normal operating temperature, it returns to a constant hum.

The hum is audible from anywhere in the room or even in the hallway. Sometimes the hum disappears for a few hours but it is nearly always present. While not loud, it isn't very white-noise-esque. It is a definite pitch that drowns out all fan noise completely.

I haven't decided if it is worth trying to get serviced. My understanding is that apple doesn't have a policy on the hum and a replacement machine is the current solution.
2006-12-15, 05:13

My imac 24" suffers from the 'hum' when on low brightness. However, I have found that setting the brightness to full and then using the utility here
there is no hum. Also it is possible to set the brightness much lower than the standard Apple display preferences.

The only downside is that the utility runs as a standard app in the dock etc. It would be nice to have a status bar version.

Why can't Apple fix the hum if third-party apps can?
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Join Date: Dec 2004
2006-12-15, 09:31

mine scats like Cab Calloway
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