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Video card whine?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 13, 2006 8:45:33 PM

The past few days I've noticed, any time I do anything even midly graphics intensive, I get a loud, very high pitched squeal coming from the video card. It's an eVGA 6800GT PCIe at stock speeds and using a vf-700cu hsf on it.

I've never seen (or actually heard) this before. I know it's not the monitor (even with the monitor off the sound is still there). It's not fans either, I've stopped every fan in my system at one point. I've tried googling, but all I get is people crying about their hsf.

Does anyone know what causes this or to fix it? And does this mean the card is dying? I've had it for almost a year now and never Oc'ed it and it's worked fine until the past few days. Any help would really be appreciated. It's to the point of giving me a headache now. Thanks.

More about : video card whine

March 13, 2006 8:53:06 PM

I recently installed a zalman vf-700cu on my AGP 6800 GS.

Okay its not the same card, but would like to say.. I forgot to hook up the power molex to it :lol: 

So, some of you can imagine the sound of a fire alarm going off, when I turned on the PC. :roll: :oops:  :oops:  :oops: 

With that said, I kinda wonder if your PSU is barely giving the amps needed for the card. Which in turn, that squeal maybe that intergrated speaker on the card, if it does that same thing on my GS, to warn of no power hook up to the card.

Perhaps getting volt meter on the PSU could help shed light?
March 13, 2006 9:40:04 PM

No it's not an alarm or beep like the motherboard speaker. It actually does sound exactly like the high pitched squeal that a going bad CRT monitor gives off. But I'm not using a CRT and like I said the sound will still persist even after shutting the monitor off.

Kind of weird you should mention the PSU, I'm having a bit of a problem/quirk with my new motherboard (Abit Kn8-SLI). Anyways any monitoring software I try shows my 12v at 11.43v and fluctuates sometimes down to 11.37v. But the BIOS displays the 12v as a steady 12.03. I've learned a while ago not to take monitoring software or even BIOS readings as gospel so I took out my trusty DMM and probed the ATX connector, the 12v p4 connector and an unused molex connector. Every spot showed a rock solid 12v rail between 11.99v and 12.05v. This while running 2 instances of F@H (loading both cores to 100% load I think is a good way to test 12v stability). So as far as I can tell the psu is giving the components the power they need, psu by the way is an Antec 480NeoPower. And I just checked the pcie connector and its a steady 12.05v.
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March 14, 2006 12:41:08 AM

It is just that you mention a low high pitch squeal, under some strain, graphic wise. The only device that would start to squeal, if it came from the video card, would be that intergratded speaker, on the video card, not motherboard/systemboard or hooked to a PC speaker on the case.

I guess your card doesn't have a round cone like speaker near the molex plug on the PCI-E card?

Since I'm on a AGP 6800 GS I can only guess that the PCI-E 6800 GT would be the same/similar.

If you unplug the 12V molex plug from the card, and start your system, does it have a loud squeal? Could it be similar to what you were hearing?

If that is the case, I'm just wondering under some stress, graphic wise, if this would be an indication of power loss, or insufficient volts at that particular instant?

My MM5 shows my constant 12V at 11.18 - 11.37V. I might trying monitoring more when I do play some games.

But anyways... just trying to help you figure out where the squeal is coming from. I wasn't implying it was coming from the MB though.
March 14, 2006 1:11:31 AM

The sound is almost ear piercing, nothing like an alarm, buzzer, speaker I've ever heard. If you've heard a CRT whine you know what I mean. No there's no speaker/buzzer on my video card. Must be something new.

After taking another careful inspection, it seems it's not the video card after all. But something on the motherboard :(  As long as there is any kind of load it will whine. Like a webpage loading, it'll whine for like a second. Playing a game, it'll whine from the time you load the game to you quit. I thought it was the video card because most of that involves it. But I ran a couple instances of F@H again and there was the whine.

And looking around on the net it's what appears to be Coil whine. I don't know if theres different quality coils or what but I guess the coils get loose, ever so slightly and generate this noise I'm hearing. To me that says shotty components and I'm wondering too if this is coinciding with my low 12v readings from the software.

I appreciate you taking your time to try and help. Looks like I'll swap this motherboard and see if a new one does it, ah the lovely world of computers. I swear every system I've built for others has run perfectly. I can't seem to get any of that luck.
March 14, 2006 2:51:10 AM

I guess it may just be a BFG feature. Can't seem to see them on the other 6800GS version, execpt mine.

You can see it right next/behind to the 12V plug:



I know mine has an ear piercing squeal, very similar, perhaps the same sound to a fire alarm. :lol: 

Buy anyhoo... perhaps it may be something else going on your system/coil.

Good Luck in finding the problem.
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