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EVGA (core 216, 55nm) 260 GTX making noise/buzzing

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May 27, 2009 4:19:18 AM

A bit bummed here. Got a whole new load of hardware for a new system and was hoping not to have too many issues. Started of with a RAID 1 issue. Initially thought it was driver related but found out this morning that one of the HDs has bad sectors. Need to RMA.

At the same time I have noticed that while my EVGA GTX 260 (core 216, 55nm, regular edition) is working fine, it's making unexpected noises. I have heard about capacitor whistling/whining and maybe I can only hear the noise I'm hearing due to my case yet being open, but when I go to google and do a search, scrolling with the mouse is making the card make noise. I'm pretty sure it's the video card based on where the noise is coming from. I would just not expect it to make noise for such light activity.
It's hard to describe the actual sound it makes. It's not whining, whistling or some high pitched sound. It's more of a buzzing, almost like the actual scrolling sound an older mouse would make, just a lot more quiet but enough to be noticed. Is this normal or do I have a dud?

Just not sure whether I should RMA this. Will the replacement have the same issue, or have more of a noise issue? If this is normal, is this eventually going to go away or will this remain?

Want to add that I have a Corsair HX1000 powering this.

Once I get my build done and I'm happy with it, I'll post a new topic with images.
May 27, 2009 4:31:02 AM

It sounds like a bad capacitor. It can happen to all electronics with capacitors. I would try to RMA it. I have the same exact card and mine is still working fine right now without noises.
May 27, 2009 1:34:11 PM

Come to think of it, the noise is almost like a hard drive churning, but it's coming from the video card. The churning speed depends on the speed of the mouse scrolling. I called EVGA yesterday and they told me to turn my fans to be louder as the noise would not affect the hardware's functionality or life. I could also RMA it, if it bothered me. Since this is a new build, I may RMA it since I still have this main PC until I get the new one just right.

Anybody else experience this with this card? Did a replacement make it better or worse?
Related resources
May 28, 2009 12:34:23 AM

Changed the title to see if anybody else ran into this
May 28, 2009 12:51:42 AM

Your problem exists on a lot of reference Nvidia cards. My Palit GTX260 has the same problem. It works fine though.
The problem has to do with no shielded chokes and VRM circuitry.

Here is a good link with some info on the problem:
http://theovalich.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/nvidias-dead...
May 28, 2009 1:41:00 AM

That's interesting but mine does not make noise under load, just when I'm browsing the internet. The up and down scrolling in google makes noise, even at low speed scrolling. Been doing some testing and found that if I push the card down a bit (that is pushin down vertically on the edge of the card), the noise decreases significantly. When I push ir up a bit, it gets worse. It's really odd.
starting to look more and more like I need to RMS this bad boy.
a b U Graphics card
May 28, 2009 1:42:23 AM

It is simple harmonic distortion. nothing is broken. it happens with everything with high current. My 4890's will occasionally hum at load.

If it is too loud it can be grounds for RMA but it depends on teh company. Sometimes they will not accept it as a RMA reason.
a b U Graphics card
May 28, 2009 1:43:01 AM

It probably doesn't make noise under load because the fan drowns it out :) 
May 28, 2009 2:01:38 AM

Yeah i know that noise it's like an old HDD under load but for only short moments I've always thought it was my mobo not my graphics card but i never bother to check as performance and reliability tests gave me an okay and it's been working for years.
a b U Graphics card
May 28, 2009 2:07:29 AM

It can be really bad in cheep PSU's as well.
June 15, 2009 3:20:57 AM

I got my replacement card this weekend. Fan enclosure looked a bit scuffed (missing the sicky plastic to protect it) but overall it looked new. Had retail packaging and shrink-wrap as well. Noticed just one difference. The fan enclosure on my previous model said EVGA. This one reads NVIDIA. Card does the same so I guess it must be just something it does. I may just have to live with it and most likely will not hear it once the case sides are one.

Just curious if anybody else got replacements and how they looked versus original. Newegg said it was new.
June 17, 2009 2:40:22 AM

Some additional detail. Product serial number is identical but this model has a black side versus the red side on the previous. Do they have several revisions? Is one newer compared to the other?
a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2009 3:22:18 AM

The cards serial number is the same cause its sold to you, and registered to you under that number.
The humming sound comes from when high freq power goes thru a componant, and it isnt vibration/shielded properly, called wax potting. They coat them to keep the vibration down, or to stabilize them, and is most likely why, when you pushed down on your card, it helped anchor the componant
June 17, 2009 3:33:27 AM

I meant the complete part number/model number is the same. The serial number is different. The plastic is just a different color. This one has a black grill. The original one I gor had a red grill. Not sure if there is any difference or if one model is an older revision.

About the humming, it only happens on specific pages when I scroll the mouse very fast up and down. Examples are google and cnn. I suspected the white background first but it does not happen with this page, or with newegg. Just odd on how it does this.
a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2009 3:50:39 AM

Just like cars, they come in all colors.

For something to make an audible noise, it has to hit the right freq, so maybe what you were doing was it. Its determined by the amount of power drawn thru whatever componant thats causing it.
June 17, 2009 12:43:48 PM

During the test to get your windows score, it makes a high pitch tone, which I found is common in many situations. I just think it's odd for new HW to hum like an old HD, but just more quietly. Maybe I just need to get used to it. Just a bummer.
June 23, 2009 1:43:24 AM

Okay, I decided to return the card I got, just because it looked used. It had scratches and marks all over the plastic when I received it and it looked like an older version. I returned it this time with a full refund (Newegg waived the restocking fee, which was nice), and because of the refund RMS, I was able to hold on to the card for 7 days, which gave me enough time to order another new one. This one seems to be much better, looks more like the initial one I got, and the noise is much better overall. I can still hear something but it's just so much more silent. Also the squealing during 3D testing and during the windows test are close to a minimum so I believe this one is much better schielded.

Unigine Tropics demo testing provides the same results but also with almost no noise. Just can't get the directx 10 to work in this demo but since I'm no gamer, I may not worry about this.

I guess third time is a charm.
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