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Strange humming sound emmiting from my PC.

Last response: in Components
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May 16, 2011 8:12:35 AM

I have a problem with my 2 week old PC, apparently. I am going to get as detailed as possible here.

AMD Phenom II x4 955 BE
Asus M489GTD PRO/USB3
Asus DVD drive
Asus GTX 570 DCII
WD 1.5tb HDD
Antec Truepower New 650w
NZXT Phantom-3x120mm fans, 1 140mm fan, 1 200mm fan.

Basically the problem is this. I am getting a very distinct sound from either my PSU or my GPU during games only! I've run Kombuster and Heaven, I even ran Prime95. Silent as it was up until last night.

It all started after I installed Sims Medieval for my wife. I loaded it up to do updates and to redeem a code that came with the game for her. All of a sudden I hear this very loud whining/humming sound. Loud enough to startle me. Then a message pops up informing me that my GPU is not supported for Sims Medieval.

So, I uninstall the game and load up Mass Effect 2 to play for a bit. I now hear this sound again. It's not nearly as loud however. Still loud enough. My FemShep needs to be leveled, so I go into the squad menu and man, does that sound get loud! I exit the sqaud screen and it stops completely until I esc. again back into the game.
I then exit the game entirely. I then load up Crysis(which I was playing an hour previous without this sound)the sound is there, but not as bad as in ME2. I do notice something however, when I look around in both games the noise changes a bit. If I look at the ground in ME2 the noise is more high pitched, if I look up at the sky, the noise is more low pitched.

Also, I turned off the meager graphics option in ME2 and noticed that the sound had subsided somewhat.

Ultimately, I am stumped. I think it might be Coil Whine, but then I could be wrong. I do strongly suspect my PSU. When I place my ear up the back of the PSU I can really hear that sound very clearly. As soon as I stop any game the sounds ceases.

Here is what I have done so far.
Rebooted.
Shutdown, plugged into different outlet. I do use a Surge protector, btw. I tried it without the surge protector and the sound was still there.
Reseated GPU.
Changed PCI-E wires.

So, I decided to ask of the opinion of the community.

P.S. Modding games shouldn't have any effect on something like this, should it? Also, as I suspect it is the PSU, I'll put here in this forum.
a b ) Power supply
May 16, 2011 8:26:01 AM

The whining sound might be either the GPU fan or PSU fan spinning up faster to handle a higher load caused by gaming.

I would point at the GPU fan.
Anyways, easy way to figure out is take a pen. Fire up a game, so the noise comes back, take the pen and stick it into the fan of the PSU so that the fan stops. Don't worry the fan will be fine. If the noise stops, thats your problem. IF not, try the GPU fan.

Hope this helps.
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May 16, 2011 2:33:32 PM

^+1 Sounds like a fan is spinning up to cope with the temps/higher load when gaming.

I doubt your psu would be making coil whine although its possible.

My 4890's used to coil whine
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a b ) Power supply
May 16, 2011 3:07:10 PM

Don't reply to spam.
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May 17, 2011 2:48:43 AM

Erm...spam? what are you talking about?

Yeah, could be, I am going to try this method out and see what happens!

EDIT: I tried the test with no results either way. The sound seems to be the loudest when I or my wife places an ear right next to it.
Although, she has better hearing than I, she suggested that it may be the CPU fan.
My Cooler Master Hyper 212+ should be in on the 18th. So, I'll know the answer to that soon enough.

Any other suggestions? The reason why I am trying to find out is because I am not sure if the PSU could pose a fire hazard, if it was the PSU. From what I've read it shouldn't. That it would be fine.
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a b ) Power supply
May 17, 2011 4:43:26 AM

uhtred said:
Erm...spam? what are you talking about?

Yeah, could be, I am going to try this method out and see what happens!

EDIT: I tried the test with no results either way. The sound seems to be the loudest when I or my wife places an ear right next to it.
Although, she has better hearing than I, she suggested that it may be the CPU fan.
My Cooler Master Hyper 212+ should be in on the 18th. So, I'll know the answer to that soon enough.

Any other suggestions? The reason why I am trying to find out is because I am not sure if the PSU could pose a fire hazard, if it was the PSU. From what I've read it shouldn't. That it would be fine.


Sorry, I'm not talking about your thread.
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May 17, 2011 5:30:47 AM

Are you sure sticking a pen in a fan won't break it? I suppose I've stopped fans without breaking them, but I've definitely broken fans (with a leave blower while cleaning a VERY dusty system outside).
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May 17, 2011 8:24:17 AM

Well, I tried it out and all is good. I used my finger to stop the CPU fan as well, just by placing my finger on the center of the fan and nothing happened. The noise was still, even more pronounced than usual.

I had a friend who came by a bit ago to check out The Witcher 2(amazing game, btw)He listened and claimed it was the CPU like my wife did. Funny thing is that running the Witcher 2 on Ultra we didn't hear any sounds whatsoever. Strange.

I may just have to remove the PSU out of my case, but in order for me to do this, I'll have to disconnect everything so I can get it out of the case. Blah. I'm going to remove my GPU and run the onboard graphics (HD4920) Test out ME2 and see what happens.

If anyone has any other advice, please feel free to offer it up.
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May 17, 2011 8:40:51 AM

I guess its just a matter of narrowing it down, as annoying as it is it has to be done. Just do what you said, try a diff psu / use onboard graphics. you will find it in the end, goodluck
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May 17, 2011 11:20:54 PM

Sounds like it's the CPU. Let us know if the Hyper 212+ fixes it.
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May 18, 2011 4:46:41 AM

So I went through the hassle of removing my PSU outside of the case and to think I had such neat cable management too. Ah, well. I've found the problem for sure. It is the PSU. Now that it is out side of the case and I can press my ear up against it, I hear that sound more clearly than before. Bummer. I guess an RMA is in order after all.

I'll contact Antec, I'll attempt to leave this thread open for updates, as while the sound is coming from the PSU. I am going to mount with the fan facing down instead of up and see if this makes any difference(unlikely).

Since it is the PSU, should I be concerned about this?

EDIT: Where are my manners?! Thank you for the advice, folks!
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May 18, 2011 5:11:49 AM

The last two times a PSU was noisy for me was twice with a single garbage Logisys PSU (not in my main rig, btw). I found the sticker had come off of the fan and I fished it out through the fan grate with a pencil. Then it happened again with the other fan and I had to open the unit up to find the sticker that had been flapping against the fan blades.

Anyways, check for a sticker visibly touching the fan that you can reach with tweezers.
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May 18, 2011 6:05:51 AM

So, after mounting the PSU facedown, no results. I figured as much but thought I'd try.

The thing is I stopped the fan from spinning on my PSU and the noise was still there, even more pronounced. I'll take a look into the fan to see about the possibility of a sticker being in there. My Hyper 212+ will be in tomorrow, so I'll have to install that anyway.

In mean time I'm going to contact Antec and see what they say.
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a b ) Power supply
May 19, 2011 10:02:39 PM

Yea, time to get rid of the PSU. If it isn't the fan making noise then it's something much worse.... say a highvoltage worse. I wouldn't even be firing it up anymore. The thing is a ticking timebomb.
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May 20, 2011 1:39:31 AM

Yes, I figured that I shouldn't. I don't wish to lose anymore components when that thing goes.
Antec is in the process of opening an RMA. They have odd customer service hours, though. I think it was 5 hours out of the day. Weird.

I installed the Hyper 212+ and nothing changed. This is a real bummer as I haven't even been able to play The Witcher 2 for more than an hour...

Thanks to all for the contribution!
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May 20, 2011 1:40:12 AM

Best answer selected by uhtred.
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a b ) Power supply
May 20, 2011 2:38:05 PM

This topic has been closed by Saint19
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