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Arrrgh Tone from speakers driving me insane!!

Last response: in Components
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March 30, 2010 12:42:34 AM

I'm having a very very annoying problem. My computer is making a very high pitched and low volume tone at seemingly random times.

Upon investigation it does this whenever my CPU is under a heavy load (if I push 100% CPU usage, for example.). the problem is very similer to this one posted:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/204917-10-high-pitc...

But that user makes no reference to CPU load. I am using an Nforce4 motherboard and using the onboard sound. Not sure of the power supply but it is 400W. OS is Xp pro and anything else I can try and provide as its needed. Also, I recorded an MP3 of the tone I recorded. Its alot less loud than this in real life, but Audacity was set to record things louder than they are.

http://tindeck.com/image/jipd This is seriously driving me insane, help?
March 30, 2010 8:45:11 AM

Check the fan on the CPU, may be that the bearings have worn and under load/increased heat the fan will spin faster, with worn bearings it will amke some extra noise.
March 30, 2010 9:31:24 AM

The sound is most defiantly coming through the speakers though. The recording was done by switching audacity to "What I hear" mode and recording that.
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March 30, 2010 10:28:11 AM

He's right. It's not mechanical or have anything to do with fans.
I've had the same problem for a while with a couple computers using the audio out jack and a pair of decent headphones...
With horrible ones, the sound in question is almost unnoticeable but still there and with the good ones with a much higher response range, it's still faint but extremely annoying.

It makes this white noise kind of sound when the cpu is churning, when I press my pen on my graphic tablet or when drives are loading are loading anything. When everything is absolutely idle, it's quiet. My other computers with high end motherboards don't have this problem and it's only present on the stock foxconn x58 board with embedded audio in my dell desktop and one toshiba laptop.

I never really found a solution apart from ignoring it or drowning it out with music but I'd love to know where it comes from and if there's a way to fix it, although since it's coming from the front audio out, I'm guessing it's got to do with bad motherboard component quality and some signal leak, maybe even poor em shielding which pretty much makes me think I'm not gonna fix this without replacing components...
March 30, 2010 10:39:13 AM

EMI was my first idea, but how it only happens when my CPU is going at full pelt kinda made me think twice, cause EMI would happen pretty much all the time I think? Someone correct me if I'm wrong there.

As far as a solution, that other thread suggested an audio card, would that help?

Edit: Love the username Kravmaga
a b à CPUs
March 30, 2010 11:34:14 AM

what are your full system specs? if you're pushing the PSU harder than you ought it could potentially cause unusual problems.
March 30, 2010 11:53:56 AM

AMD Athlon 3800+
1.5gb of ram
Geforce 210
Nforce4 motherboard.

Also running 3 hard drives, two IDE and one SATA.

If you need anything else just ask.
March 30, 2010 7:09:15 PM

Using a discrete sound card is quite probably going to solve it, however I honestly haven't tried it so I cannot back that statement.
In my case the laptop's sound card can't be changed and my desktop has no pci ports and all pcie 1x sound cards look like overpriced gear designed for those with modern 7.1 speaker sets, which would be a huge waste on me since I only use stereo headphones.

Also, I honestly doubt the problem stems from PSU limitations because not only was the problem present with the stock dell cpu which is adequate by design for the config in question but I've also recently changed it out for a 200 dollars seasonic on the advice of someone on this board in order to prepare for a new vga card and the problem has not changed one bit.
I've long lost hope that anyone could fix this the way I imagined it, that is to say, without me having to spend too much money or having to replace smt components on my mother board...
March 30, 2010 7:36:03 PM

I have to agree with kravmaga, I had a similar issue with an Asus P5E3 board that made various whining noises through the on-board sound. Mine got continually worse over the two months I tired to solve it. Moving wires inside the case and re-installing audio drivers did nothing.

In my case getting a dedicated sound card did solve the issue. However, I had long been preparing for a better audio setup so I wasn't miffed by the price. Most ~$50 cards will give the same quality as on-board sound.
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