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Saphire 4890 making hissing sound

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 9, 2009 11:07:08 PM

I just got a 4890 from Newegg, the Saphire one. It's running just fine, but I notice it start making this strange like hissing screeching sound kind of like a CD/DVD drive. It's hard to explain. It doesn't sound that bad, but I'm just a little concerned. It's kind of an electrical hissing sound. I notice it when it's doing some 3D rendering. I was playing 2K9 yesterday and noticed it at the menu. It got quieter when I turned Vsync on.

Has anyone else noticed this with their 4890s? Is it normal?
April 10, 2009 3:55:39 AM

Boge42 said:
I just got a 4890 from Newegg, the Saphire one. It's running just fine, but I notice it start making this strange like hissing screeching sound kind of like a CD/DVD drive. It's hard to explain. It doesn't sound that bad, but I'm just a little concerned. It's kind of an electrical hissing sound. I notice it when it's doing some 3D rendering. I was playing 2K9 yesterday and noticed it at the menu. It got quieter when I turned Vsync on.

Has anyone else noticed this with their 4890s? Is it normal?

i get that in my 4890 when fan is up to 100%
April 10, 2009 1:28:03 PM

sounds like one of the caps, i would send it back
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April 10, 2009 1:29:36 PM

it sounds like the fan is making contact with something at high RPM. return.

on another note:

you know that when fans turn up really loud they make hissing sounds right....?
April 10, 2009 1:42:16 PM

he does not state than the noise is coming from the fan, he does say "It's kind of an electrical hissing sound" and that's what makes me think its one of the caps, a high pitched whine almost like a dog whistle will be one of the caps, whatever the problem he needs to RMA the card
April 10, 2009 6:26:44 PM

Actually, it does kind of sound like a fan, but I can figure it it's my CPU fan or Video card. I only hear it when I boot up a game. Even running Prime95, I don't hear it, just with 3d applications.
April 11, 2009 8:29:25 PM

This might be a good indication that it is the fan on the card, as if you're not running a 3d application it won't be under full load, which means it won't be generating as much heat...which therefore means the fan (temperature controlled) will not be at 100%.

So...it sounds like the fan. You can test it very easily by putting your finger on the center of the fan to slow it down; does the sound go away and then come back when you take your finger off? (obviously don't hold your finger there for very long or you'll overheat your card.)
April 12, 2009 5:25:18 PM

Gryphyn said:
You can test it very easily by putting your finger on the center of the fan to slow it down; does the sound go away and then come back when you take your finger off


No, the sound doesn't change. Now I'm a bit concerned again.

I'm having no issues at all. I think I may contact their service.
April 12, 2009 6:04:03 PM

if the sound doesn't change then its what i said above, a bad capacitor
April 15, 2009 4:06:36 PM

I bought the diamond version XOC from frys and had the same problem during 3d rendering, i took it back to frys and got a different one by XFX and had the exact same problem.. seems to be something in the GPU or a Cap, not sure so im probably going to downgrade to a 4870 or wait until ATI fixes it.
April 16, 2009 6:52:00 AM

Just got the new card. It's making the same sound. This one sounds a little worse. It sounds like a fan until you turn Vsync off, then I hear it really screech. Strange.

Everything appears to be performing just fine though.
April 19, 2009 6:56:47 PM

Reply from Saphire tech support...second reply:

Dear Customer,



Please be informed that if the high frequent noise came harder when running 3D applications.

This is inductor working noise and this is a normal behavior.

Maybe the noise will be different than each card because each inductor has different behavior.



Replace the cards can reduce the noise but it will not go away but just becomes lower.



This is a normal behavior and will not influence or damage the card



Thanks.
April 20, 2009 4:39:13 AM

Is this something you have to put up with for ATI 4890? Is this unique to Saphire card or common to all 4890 cards?
April 20, 2009 5:06:07 PM

Sounds like it's common with most 4890 cards, and even some newer Nvidia and the ATI 4870 cards. I found this yesterday.

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1410274

It's not super bad, but it's really noticeable for me because I'm in a quiet room and often times don't even wear headphones for sound or even have speakers with sound.

I had my brother listen to it, and at first, he couldn't even hear it. I really had to point it out for him to hear it. Once he did, he didn't even think twice about it. It was nothing to him. I'm thinking it's probably nothing to most people, that's why not everyone is saying anything.
April 22, 2009 9:05:01 PM

I got an XOC RADEON 4890 today and below are my observations:

I used 3 cards to check for this sound...8800GT, GTX-280, and XOC-4890...I have 2 Antec Quatro 850W supply from 2 different PC.

Only one card made the sound ... That is my 8800GT on one of the Antec Supply. This PC is lightly loaded. The only reason this high wattage supply is on that machine is that the orginal supply failed and i have the Antec-850 available. The GTX-280 and XOC-4890 has no sound.

The same 8800GT don't make a sound on my other PC using the 2nd Antec Quatro 850. The 2nd PC is the one that i'm using.

Its hard to make any conclusion on this.

The sound i got on my 8800GT is very faint. I need to be very close on the video card to hear. But once you hear you know its there and somehow my senses check for the sound automatically. It does not bother me. The CPU fan is louder on than the sound when power is applied on the 8800GT.

Sound created by coils or transformers are normal specially when there is an air-gap between the winding and transformer plates. This may be related to what the SAPPHIRE support people is stating.

Its possible that the squealling sound is the same to the humming on florescent lamps and transformer. I'm not sure...





April 22, 2009 9:11:12 PM

It is normal, it is not manlfunction, jsut a byproduct of what happens when we push so much current through electronics these days. Only those gifted with very good hearing will even notice this I might add. So think of yourself lucky :) 

If it really is too much to tolelrate you can attempt RMA, not all cards produce the same level of hum. It is also dependant on ambient temperatures, gpu load, gpu temps, PSU functionality.. blah blah blah.

Just one of those things.

Oh, and those curious.. It is caused by the rapid expansion and contraction of components due to the alternating magnetic fields produced by the current.
April 23, 2009 5:03:10 AM

daedalus685 said:
It is normal, it is not manlfunction, jsut a byproduct of what happens when we push so much current through electronics these days. Only those gifted with very good hearing will even notice this I might add. So think of yourself lucky :) 


I do have good hearing. I've thought that my whole life. Sometimes my friends make fun of me. Sometimes it's not so lucky to have good hearing either.

But yeah, you really won't notice it, especially if you wear headphones or have your sound up even mild. I just often play with headphones around my neck, and in a quiet room.

Sapphire was cool enough to offer a replacement until I got a good quiet one. I told them thanks, but no. As long as I know the card is okay, it's not that bad. I was just worried that something was wrong with the card.
April 23, 2009 2:17:38 PM

I have a sapphire 4870 and I've had it running for months with no problems. Like many others have said, it's just what happens with newer, higher voltage cards. I actually took some dynamat (sound absorbing material usually used for car audio) and coated the inside of may case. It helped a little but having very good hearing still allows me to hear this high pitched squeal. I took it off my desk and put it in the case opening slot of my desk. I can't hear it anymore. Don't worry about it, there's no problem.
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