High-pitched squeal on first boot - video card or PSU?

Yesterday I started building a configuration very similar to the one posted by eloric in this thread - the only difference is I chose a different optical drive, but everything else is the same. Finished putting it together today (give me a break, it's my first build), booted up and I get a loud, high-pitched, continuous ear-splitting squeal. That can't be good. The squeal seemed to be coming from the lower half of my case, in the back. Either the video card or the PSU. I can't tell which, because those two components are relatively close together and the sound is so loud that I can't get a good handle on where the source would be... it's equally loud if I put my ear near either component.

So I started disconnecting components one-by-one. Got rid of the video card (AMD Radeon HD 6950 by HIS) and the squeal disappeared. I'm not sure if that's because the video card is faulty or if because the power supply can't push enough power - 850W should be more than enough though, it's just the one card and a 2500K. I tried plugging the system directly into the wall, which changed nothing, so that's not the issue.

When I strip the mobo all the way down to just CPU + HSF, I get the expected "where's the RAM, dummy!" beep pattern. Then when I add the RAM back in, one stick at a time, it recognizes the RAM. So that's not an issue either. If I add the video card next, I get the squeal.

I've gone through this checklist and can't see any other issues - if there are other problems, I just haven't encountered them yet.

This is my first build and my first desktop (I'm typing this post on my old laptop), so I don't have any spare compatible power supplies or video cards lying around to use for comparison purposes. So testing the components by swapping them out for known "good" components isn't an option. If there's no other way of identifying the culprit, I can get a cheap substitute for either component for testing purposes.

Oh, and I can't try starting up without the video card because the P8P67 Pro doesn't have a video out - or if it does, I can't find it.

Any thoughts on how to resolve this issue? I've spent two weeks sourcing parts and a full weekend working on this build - it would be nice if it would actually, you know, work.

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  1. And of course, moron that I am, I realize about a minute after posting this that my video card requires power from two PCI-E connectors. Not one.

    Crisis averted :D
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