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Radeon HD 4870 buzzing issue

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 4, 2009 10:06:02 PM

I just got a HIS Radeon HD 4870 IceQ4+ edition and it runs great, decent temps considering it's factory OC'd.

However, pretty soon I noticed a major problem. Whenever the card is being used for more then just simple tasks (anything from flash intensive webpages to crysis) it make a quiet (but very noticeable) buzzing sound through the speakers. It's not coming from the video card, it's a buzzing sound being produced through the speakers.

The issue is definitely being caused by the card, though. It's the only component of my system that changed when the issue started. In a full 3d game it'll be a constant buzz. When on a website with many pictures, it'll just buzz with every scroll, but no buzz when it's still.

Here's my specs, for reference:

Corsair 750W PSU
ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe
Phenom X4 9950 (2.6 Ghz)
8GB DDR2 1066
HIS Radeon HD 4870 1GB IceQ4+

Right now, typing this post, I have no buzzing. However, if I tab back to World of Warcraft it'll start up again.


Help guys! I searched the web but couldn't find anyone with a similar issue, just lots of issues with the card's fan buzzing, but not buzzing from the speakers. -_-
August 4, 2009 10:31:40 PM

Ok, update. There's more to the situation.

I hadn't noticed the issue right away, it was a couple hours have I installed the new card before I noticed the buzzing, even though I'd played a couple of graphic intensive 3d games already. As I was explaining the issue to someone else, it dawned on me that I noticed it after I plugged in my headset to use Ventrilo.

So, I unplugged my headset and the buzzing went away! I can leave the microphone pluged in, but as soon as I plug in the speakers of my headset, the buzzing starts back up.

It should be noted that this still didn't happen until after I installed the new video card. Before I was running a Radeon HD 4670 1GB and had no issues with buzzing from the headset speakers. This is still a new issue.

Also, the port I'm using for the headset is part of the computer case, in the front. It's the one that connects to the motherboards "front audio port" connector. So, it's different from speaker and microphone ports in the back of the case, which are mounted to the motherboard directly.

For testing purposes, I plugged the headset's pink microphone jack into the rear microphone port. A window popped up from my installed SoundMAX software and informed me it detected the hardware properly. Then I plugged in the headset's green speakers jack into the rear speaker port. The SoundMAX software popped open a window asking what I plugged in. I chose "Headset" from the choices and it told me I had plugged them in incorrectly and said to plug them into the front audio port. Without unplugging them from the rear audio port, I tested the headset's speakers. They are producing no sound.

And just for reference, I'm using on-board audio, if you hadn't already figured that out. SoundMAX Integrated Digital HD Audio, specifically.
a c 105 U Graphics card
August 5, 2009 9:22:23 AM

May not be any help to you but, when I install ATI drivers I select advanced install. When presented with the option to install the sound drivers I decline. Never have sound problems.
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August 5, 2009 3:17:13 PM

THe buzzing is perfectly normal, and a product of the card's power-delivery design.

Sucks that it comes through your headphones, but it may be that both share common ground line, or the headphones are jsut picking up the EMI. it's possible that your pcu is a bit underpowered, but chances are it's just the new vga. I have a pair of 4890's, and they squeal worse than my pair of 4870's.
a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2009 3:23:09 PM

You should plug in either headsets or speakers. If you can, plug the headsets into the speakers. You can get a switch made by Plantronics to switch between the two at a press of the button.
Go into your audio settings and change it so you get sound through the speakers and not HDMI.
August 5, 2009 7:54:30 PM

RevaD said:
THe buzzing is perfectly normal, and a product of the card's power-delivery design.

Sucks that it comes through your headphones, but it may be that both share common ground line, or the headphones are jsut picking up the EMI. it's possible that your pcu is a bit underpowered, but chances are it's just the new vga. I have a pair of 4890's, and they squeal worse than my pair of 4870's.


You think it could be an issue with my 750w PSU? I have 4 PCIE power cables and a mobo that supports crossfire, so I was thinking of getting a second 4870, but if you think this issue could be a power problem I might not do that...

evongugg said:
You should plug in either headsets or speakers. If you can, plug the headsets into the speakers. You can get a switch made by Plantronics to switch between the two at a press of the button.
Go into your audio settings and change it so you get sound through the speakers and not HDMI.


I've tried unplugging the speakers from the computer completely and just plugging in the headset. Still got the low buzzing sounds.
Also tried muting HDMI audio through the SoundMAX software, didn't solve the problem. I couldn't find any other way to disable HDMI sound.
August 5, 2009 8:16:59 PM

I got the same issue, but only when someone is calling my cellphone that my speakers start to act up. anyways, it is definitely a ground issue. make sure that your video card is properly seated in. oh and please tell me that your case is a metal and not Plexiglas. electrical interference can be coming from wires being on top of each other behind the pc. make sure that the power cord is not rubbing on the speaker wires.
a c 191 U Graphics card
August 5, 2009 8:31:18 PM

It could be that something moved when you installed the new card. You may have a grounding problem, or signal cables [now] running too closely to power cables.
On the other part of your issue, check your mobo manual; often you can use the rear panel connectors, OR the front audio connectors, but not both.
August 5, 2009 10:59:47 PM

Duesouth said:
I got the same issue, but only when someone is calling my cellphone that my speakers start to act up. anyways, it is definitely a ground issue. make sure that your video card is properly seated in. oh and please tell me that your case is a metal and not Plexiglas. electrical interference can be coming from wires being on top of each other behind the pc. make sure that the power cord is not rubbing on the speaker wires.


My case is a Thermaltake Armor Series, says it's Aluminum/Steel.

Now, when you say it's a grounding issue, I'm not sure what you mean. Are you just refering to the power cable from my power supply that runs to the wall having contact with the speaker's power and audio cables? Because pretty much all of my wires are touching back there. They way the have to run behind my desk, they're all kind of bunched up... Is that bad?
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