The fan is the most notable difference between Apple’s two new M1 MacBooks. While the fanless MacBook Air has to throttle the performance as the temperatures rise, the Pro can use its fan to sustain its performance for a much longer time. But, how loud are the Pro fans? Read on to know the answer in our M1 MacBook Pro fan tests.
How Loud are the M1 MacBook Pro fans Compared to its Older Version?
If you have used any older MacBook Pro model, then you might probably know its biggest issue is that the fans are so loud. This leads to the question about how noisy the fan is in the new M1 MacBook Pro.
Well, if your MacBook’s CPU is under roughly 50°C, then the fan won’t even turn on. Therefore, there is zero fan noise in that case. In reality, you will get this result almost 95% of the time because the M1 models actually run quite cool. Plus, they are also very thermally efficient.
When the fan does turn on during gaming, rendering, or 3D modeling, its noise is quite difficult to notice at lower rpm. So, if you’re in a quiet room, you may just barely hear it. However, once the CPU starts to get hotter, the fan rpm will increase. But, even at its fastest speed, it’s still noticeably quieter when compared with the previous Intel-based Mac.
In our test, we compared the M1 version with a base model 2017 intel MacBook Pro. One other thing we noticed is that the fan on the M1 MacBook Pro is more efficient than its previous version. In fact, with the Intel model, the fan would just run at its highest speed and stay that loud until the CPU temperature went down or you stopped whatever intensive task you were doing.
On the other hand, the new M1 MacBook fan speed goes up and down depending on the temperature. The fan will make loud noises when necessary. Wait no more, let’s get into the testing!
Read more: 13-Inch M1 MacBook Pro vs. Intel MacBook Pro
M1 MacBook Pro Fan Noise and Performance Tests
In these tests, we didn’t use a decibel meter because it doesn’t really give you an accurate portrayal of the noise difference in real life. So, instead, we used a quality microphone to record the Mac noise.
At medium load, the M1 MacBook Pro fans range from 3000-5000 rpm. And, when it reached max load during Blender Render, the fan still didn’t exceed 5000 rpm.
On the other hand, the 2017 Intel MacBook Pro fans went straight to 7000 rpm (fan max speed) during Blender Render.
Besides, we manually adjusted the fans of the M1 MacBook Pro to reach 7000 rpm just like the Intel one and the noise levels were exactly the same. This means the fan itself isn’t necessarily quieter. We believe that Apple uses the exact same fan and heatsink design on both versions here. But, the fact is that the M1 MacBook Pro is so much more efficient and powerful than the Intel version. Therefore, its fan simply doesn’t need to spin that much.
So, the winner is, of course, the M1 MacBook Pro because it simply doesn’t need to run its fan at the highest speed all the time. That makes it significantly quieter than any MacBook previous versions.
The Bottom Line
The M1 chip really made the difference when compared to its Intel chip. Its new design architecture keeps the whole system running optimally, thus boosting the overall performance.
Throughout the test, the M1 MacBook Pro fan often stayed still unless we really stressed the CPU or CPU to the max by doing intense gaming or rendering videos.
What do you think about the new M1 MacBook Pro and its fan noise? Let us know about it in the comments!
Related article: M1 MacBook Air: 8GB vs 16GB RAM