High pitch whine noise on new MacBook

styfle

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Mar 31, 2008
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#1
I got one of the new aluminum macbooks on black friday and have no problems with it until today. I was doing a video chat with my friend and all of a sudden I heard a high pitch whining noise. I thought it was coming from his computer but I muted the sound and still heard it. It sounded like it was coming from the left side near the power plug so I unplugged it (btw I was at 100% charged.) It seemed to rev down like it was a fan or something but then it started again. I plugged it back in and still nothing. I gave up and let it whine for a few minutes and finally I ended up lowering the brightness and sure enough, it pretty much stopped. I put it down to 1 notch and it was gone. I quickly put it back to halfway and heard it again. So I guess when I unplugged it, the brightness fell from 100 to half and thats why I heard the the whine rev down. I let it sit at 1 bar of brightness for awhile and now the noise hasn't come back. Any ideas if this is a big problem? Should I return my macbook?
 

Saverino

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#2
Is it possible that you have a backlighting issue?

I have the new MacBook as well and I've never experienced anything like this before...
 

styfle

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A quick google search showed that people have had similar issues with eMacs but nothing with the new macbooks. Its really weird but I'm glad its not doing it right now.
 

styfle

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It just did it again for the first time since my last post....
Anyone else have this issue? Is it even an issue?
 

danipoak

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#5
I'm pretty sure its the cooling fans. I have a white macbook and the fans go into over drive whenever I watch any kind of video be it youtube, video chat, or just watching a DVD.
 

Youngbinks

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#6
It very well might be the fans. My MBA gets a bit loud at times as well so it seems like the culprit.
 

styfle

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Well the thing is I've heard the fans (I have an app that lets you adjust the fan speed) and this sounds way different. Just really high pitched and its only affected by the brightness, not by cpu usage.

Any other ideas?
 

bladeslap

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Mar 11, 2009
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#8
High pitched whining sound from LED

I got one of the new aluminum macbooks on black friday and have no problems with it until today. I was doing a video chat with my friend and all of a sudden I heard a high pitch whining noise. I thought it was coming from his computer but I muted the sound and still heard it. It sounded like it was coming from the left side near the power plug so I unplugged it (btw I was at 100% charged.) It seemed to rev down like it was a fan or something but then it started again. I plugged it back in and still nothing. I gave up and let it whine for a few minutes and finally I ended up lowering the brightness and sure enough, it pretty much stopped. I put it down to 1 notch and it was gone. I quickly put it back to halfway and heard it again. So I guess when I unplugged it, the brightness fell from 100 to half and thats why I heard the the whine rev down. I let it sit at 1 bar of brightness for awhile and now the noise hasn't come back. Any ideas if this is a big problem? Should I return my macbook?

I'm having the same EXACT problem as you. My 13" Macbook (aluminum case) was on for about 2 hours or so and the high pitched sound started. The most ANNOYING ... and it goes down as you lower the brightness. The only thing that fixed it was rebooting -

Now, this is why I think many people don't hear it (including us)

1. You have to be in a relatively quiet room to hear it

2. You have to have very good hearing in the upper frequency area

3. You have to have your display pretty bright

I called Apple and they suggested I send it in or go to the Apple store.

I'm thinking of going to the Apple store because I really don't want to get the "We checked it out and everything is okay" line -- I know they have been having these problems with other displays too (according to Apple tech support)

Also, to comment on what someone said about thinking it's the fan -- TRUST ME ... this is not a fan issue - This is coming from the backlight. It's way too high pitched to be a fan issue - THis is about 10,000khz and is bordering inaudible (maybe 15-17,000khz) - The sounds changed instantaneously as you make a brightness adjustment
 

styfle

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#9
Thank you for responding bladeslap!
Everyone was like its the fan, but theres no way. I've heard the fan plenty of times. I really don't feel like taking it to the Apple store because it doesn't sound like anything they have ever heard of either. Let me know what you decide to do lol.
 

bladeslap

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Mar 11, 2009
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#10
Thank you for responding bladeslap!
Everyone was like its the fan, but theres no way. I've heard the fan plenty of times. I really don't feel like taking it to the Apple store because it doesn't sound like anything they have ever heard of either. Let me know what you decide to do lol.
Actually I AM going to take it to the Apple store and insist they replace the backlit LED display - That little stinker can get pretty loud and annoying ... i'm going to guess you're a little on the younger side because it's quite possible that an older set of ears might not hear a frequency this high - There was someone else next to me who was not able to hear it ... so it's possible the people testing and or diagnosing may not be able to hear the sound! Odd problem eh?
 

styfle

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#11
I would think I have above average hearing. I hear florescent lights, I can hear when someone leaves the TV on (even when the cable is off) just by walking in the room. But soon enough I'll loose my hearing...I enjoy going to harcore/metal shows :).

So tell me how that works out. If its not anything serious or they try to replace the whole macbook, I don't want to take it in. I customized my macbook too much.
Unless of course that time machine thing works really well. I have yet to try it out.
 

bladeslap

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Mar 11, 2009
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#12
The only thing I would think I have to do is remove my hard drive ... simple enough I would hope.
 

styfle

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#13
What did the Apple store say?
 
Jun 3, 2009
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#14
I'm getting the exact same problem..
contemplating whether to send it to the Apple store or not.
:/
 

bladeslap

New Member
Mar 11, 2009
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#15
I'm getting the exact same problem..
contemplating whether to send it to the Apple store or not.
:/
I'm going to go pretty soon - I still haven't gone - If you turn the brightness all the way down for about 5 seconds, you can then turn it back up and the problem has [temporarily] gone away.
 
Jun 3, 2009
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#16
Im scheduled for a genius bar tomorrow...
How long have you had it?
How often does it happen?
I've had my macbook 6-7 months its been happening the past week or so almost everyday atleast once or twice...
Should I demand they change my screen?
How long would they keep it? :/
This is pretty ridiculous considering I paid so much money for this laptop and its the second issue I get with it..
 

styfle

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Mar 31, 2008
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#17
I have had it happen maybe a total of 5-7 times. It seems like it happens more often when I'm multitasking but today it happened and I had only firefox and adium open...not to mention I left the room for about half an hour so the screen was asleep. It was loud this time (I thought my amp distortion was on lol). I just lowered the brightness all the way and after a few seconds it stopped. Let me know if anyone takes it to Apple. I want to know what they say.
 
Jun 3, 2009
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#18
Like I said, I'm taking it in tomorrow...
They're probably going to want to take it in but I dno if I can live without a laptop for a week or so..
Anywho I thought maybe the problem was screen profile related, as I had set another colour profile, but it happened again last night...
Im worried its happening a lot more than im noticing and I only notice when the room is quiet i.e im not watching a movie or listening to music...
Anyway I guess I can only hope they can do screen changes in a day or something..if they even change the screen at all, but this is totally unacceptable.
I got the laptop to record music, I can't with this high pitched buzz going on in the background.
 
Jun 3, 2009
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#19
I took the macbook to the Apple store yesterday..
Was a bit late and had a bit of an argument but one of the geniuses there was helpful enough to see me anyway.
Apparently there isn't an inverter in these screens but they took it in, and they actually replaced it the same day and I picked it up today morning.
I've heard of Apples customer service before but I wasn't expecting next day service.
I have a new screen now..I guess its a matter of waiting if the issue happens again but I'm hopeful it won't.
hope that helps
(It was under warranty so it was free - before anyone asks)