If you prefer a quieter Mac than a more performant Mac. You can download an app called Volta or Turbo Boost Switcher which allows you to control Turbo Boost on your CPU. Disabling Turbo Boost will lower maximum clock, greatly reducing power requirements and noise
The lowest spec chips generally use less power at full load and require less cooling. Opting for the lowest spec CPU can often help reduce noise at peak loads. As a more powerful chip generally has higher TDP (Thermal design power) and requires more cooling. A couple of examples:
Offices should be tranquil places of work where unnecessary distractions are minimised. Sound plays a big part in that.
I had to return a 2019 Mac Pro for being too loud. I have a very quiet office at home, as low as 23 Decibels. Any fan noise is obvious. I was looking to get a quieter computer than the 2015 27 iMac Retina, which was quiet but would get loud under load.
The Mac Pro looked like the machine for me. It was supposed to be Cool. Quiet. Capable. Unfortunately there were next to no reviews and real data on how loud it was non-existent. I had no choice, I bought it based on the marketing materials available to me.
After it arrived, I found it irritatingly loud in my quiet office. Much louder than my 2015 iMac and louder than a not especially quiet PC. I thought it was broken. I phoned up Apple several times and after lots of back and forth I was no more informed than when I started, so I decided to send it back.
I eventually discovered, whilst the Mac Pro is quiet compared to many workstations it was the loudest computer in Apple's most current lineup.
QuietMac.app helps people make informed decisions on buying a computer that suits their home office environment or studio