Details on the LCD iMac's Fan

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Date: Wednesday, January 23rd, 2002, 03:50
Category: Archive

You may remember that late revisions to the iMac line eliminated the cooling fan in an effort to reduce ambient noise created by the computer. In an interesting twist, Apple re-added the fan to the new LCD iMac but didn’t increase the amount of ambient noise generated by the machine.

TidBITS goes into more detail:

we didn’t discover until the next day that the new iMac does in fact contain a fan, rather than relying on convection cooling as we reported. However, we were pleased to learn that it isn’t an ordinary fan. It’s temperature-activated, like a PowerBook G4’s fan, and works at variable speeds depending on the iMac’s temperature (so it’s likely to turn off shortly after an iMac goes to sleep). What’s more impressive is that it was specifically designed to minimize noise, so that the fan is quieter than the hard disk, producing a maximum of 25 decibels. (By comparison, a whisper is usually 20 to 30 decibels at a distance between 3 and 15 feet, and the typical background noise in even a quiet room will be louder than the iMac’s fan.)

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