Some Mac Studio users are reporting a high-pitched “whining sound” that appears to be coming from a fan in the machine. The issue seems to be affecting a large number of users, as MacRumors reports a large number of pages of complaints on its forums.
The affected users report the noise as a hard to ignore high-frequency sound that is in addition to the usual fan noise.
Most of the complaints appear to be from buyers of the M1 Max Mac Studio rather than from Ultra users. The two machines have different heat sinks. The M1 Ultra is equipped with a much larger copper heatsink, which likely prevents the fan from kicking on as often, and there also appears to be a problem with the M1 Max setup that causes the whine.
MacRumors reader sunsetblvd discusses the issue:
Hi, I’ve been following this thread and wanted to share my experience with the Mac Studio. I ordered the M1 Max version with 32 Core GPU and 64 GB Ram. After a week or two I started noticing a high pitched whining sound. The ordinary fan noise was audible but not disturbingly so. The high pitched sound was sth I couldn’t ignore. I have a relatively quite working space and the sound kept being distractive. I decided to take my studio to the apple store after contacting apple support and trying a bunch of software fixes like reinstalling the os. After a day of inspection the tech guy at the apple store claimed it was just normal fan noise within the expected range of noises and said they couldn’t do anything about it. Disappointed I called apple support again and they agreed to send me a replacement, which I am currently waiting for.
Not all M1 Max Mac Studio models appear to be experiencing the issue, as some users report only hearing the standard quiet fan noise.
While Mac Studio buyers that have had their Macs for less than the two-week return period can trade their machine in for a replacement from Apple, those that have done so report the same issue with the second machine.