My Dead Quiet Office

I normally work from home in a small but well appointed home office. As a computer professional (and geek) I’ve got numerous computer systems activated at any given moment. I have my big 27″ iMac which handles my personal business, my Dell 17″ laptop for use with my primary job (checking emails, running simulations, etc.), a Dell Netbook for occasionally running PC-based applications (e.g., Microsoft Visual Studio 2005), and my old Quad-Core Desktop PC which I fire up sometimes to do some heavy video processing in batch mode.

Before I purchased my iMac, I used my Quad-Core Desktop PC as my main workhorse computer system. Being a desktop it can become quite loud in my office, but I tried to minimize that by installing a power supply with an oversized fan (quieter) and a variable CPU fan which I can turn down to also minimize the noise. Nevertheless, there was a constant humming in my office that just became the normal background noise as I worked throughout the day.

Since switching from my Quad-Core machine to my iMac desktop, my office has been dead quiet. I’m not sure how Apple did it, but the Quad-Core CPU in my iMac Desktop doesn’t seem to need the same airflow as my PC desktop machine. I don’t hear a thing while I’m working with my iMac. Only on some rare occasion I’ll hear my iMac hum as the internal fans are cooling the CPU during some intensive video processing action, but this happens rarely. The only sound I hear is the hard drive whirling every so briefly when I’m saving a file to the drive.

This is so unlike my Windows PC where the hard drive will thrash away constantly and for no apparent reason. I could never figure out why was my system’s disk drive thrashing away so much. What was it doing that required so much disk reading and/or writing? It just didn’t make any sense to me. On my iMac, I don’t have any of that crazy nonsenseical disk thrashing. None.

My Dell work laptop, however, is the biggest noise maker in my home office. I can hear the internal fan spinning constantly with Microsoft Outlook being the only application open and the disk drive thrashing fiercly whenever I do any activity. So whenever possible (like on the weekends) I’ll turn off my laptop and just have my wonderful iMac Desktop running silently in my office, allowing me to work in peace and quiet…


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