The Quest For Quiet

November 14, 2012

One perk about working from home is having control over the work environment. Finally got the desk, lighting, and computer set up, but today a new issue crept up: noise. Not very loud noises, but low-level hums, buzzes, and whirs. Kind of like a generator or laundry machine is on, somewhere. One of my Samsung monitors buzzes, probably from its backlight lamp. The oldest Mac Mini and the external drives just kind of hum sitting there. Both have noisy fans that occasionally kick in. And one LaCie drive makes an entire audio production out of spinning up – a static beep and slow rise, followed by a few more clicks. And all of these sounds have become more annoying once I figured out where they were coming from. And more often than not I resort to giving up on quiet and drowning out the sounds I don’t want to hear with music.

And that’s yet another advantage of an SSD vs. a traditional drive, or even the new Fusion Drive: no ticky noises. My MacBook Air with SSD is pretty close to silent, but it still has relatively noisy fans that turn on during times of stress.

It was a long-running goal of Steve Jobs to build a silent Mac. Technology isn’t quite there, but it’s possible, as we can see with the dead-quiet iOS devices with chips instead of drives and no need for fans. I really look forward to owning a future Mac that’s as quiet as the iPhone or iPad.