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6970 "electric buzzing noise"

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 23, 2011 8:42:03 AM

I really don't know in which section should I post this... but
anyways... I built myself a PC about two months ago and it has worked
like supposed until now. Couple of days ago I noticed that there was some sort
of sound coming from my case when I was gaming, so I opened up the
case and listened. It comes from the GPU area and it sounds like
umm... electronic buzzing. I can only hear it when the GPU is
stressed. I can hear it in unigine heaven, assassin's creed
brotherhood... = 3D applications. The sound is loudest while playing
assassin's creed cause it stresses the gpu a lot. I'm wondering if
it's my GPU or PSU (or mothetboard?) and should I RMA some
component... Oh and the noise goes away when I alt+f4 the game and
goes quieter when I pause it. I can hear the high pitched coil whine
too when the fps is in thousands in some menus and after unigine but
idk if its related to this noise. What makes this really strange is... I'm 95% sure the sound wasn't there before... I only have recently done the following: stopped the GPU fan manually cause it makes some sort of noise too (tested like that) and updated to 11.8 drivers (from 11.8a)... I have tried rolling back to 11.7 too... ask for more details :D 

GPU: Sapphire HD6970
PSU: Corsair 650TX v2 (80plus bronze)
Motherboard: Asus P8P67-m
a b U Graphics card
August 23, 2011 9:20:48 AM

i have same card and it has no buzzing noise. Although my old 4890's did this. I would rma it
August 23, 2011 12:51:54 PM

The thing is... I have to be sure it's the GPU causing it and not the PSU or motherboard, because if the guys at the store can't replicate the issue I have to pay them extra 20€ for checking it + the sending back fees...
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a c 173 U Graphics card
August 23, 2011 12:54:37 PM

It is coil squeal and it can be very annoying. Worse it can degrade the chokes over time resulting in a weaker power vrm as the insulation slowly fails resulting in small shorts. For most cards they don't entirely fail and is very common but some have failed as a result. So rma the card.
August 23, 2011 12:59:10 PM

nforce4max said:
It is coil squeal and it can be very annoying. Worse it can degrade the chokes over time resulting in a weaker power vrm as the insulation slowly fails resulting in small shorts. For most cards they don't entirely fail and is very common but some have failed as a result. So rma the card.

So it is just coil whine after all? Okay. Why didn't I hear it before... has it developed somehow? :o  And what are the chances I get a card back that does the same?

edit. I just tried underclocking the card and it reduced the noise quite a lot... does this indicate coil whine, too?
a c 173 U Graphics card
August 23, 2011 1:04:22 PM

I am going to guess one in twenty maybe but most never notice that there is an issue. It is just better to ditch it and rma for a new one. There are tricks to keep the noise down to a minimum. This is one trick from those who worked in tv and radio repair over the decades is to use silicone around the chokes. The other is what I like to do is try to cool them and it does work but not for every one and doesn't always work.
August 23, 2011 1:24:08 PM

nforce4max said:
I am going to guess one in twenty maybe but most never notice that there is an issue. It is just better to ditch it and rma for a new one. There are tricks to keep the noise down to a minimum. This is one trick from those who worked in tv and radio repair over the decades is to use silicone around the chokes. The other is what I like to do is try to cool them and it does work but not for every one and doesn't always work.

Okay thx for the info. I've heard that gluing them down would help but I don't want to void the warranty... I'll fill the store's RMA form soon... I think they accept RMA's for a year from the purchase date. Then I just have to hope that they will accept my RMA...
a b U Graphics card
August 23, 2011 1:28:31 PM

RMA the card and you will fix the noise. Ignore it and ou will kill your card, it is just a matter of time.
August 23, 2011 2:21:20 PM

So... just before I fill the RMA form... there is no chance that the PSU is causing it? The sound definitely comes from the GPU though...
a b U Graphics card
August 23, 2011 2:32:43 PM

well its possible but from what you describe its coil whine. do you have an old machine or a friends machine you can try the card in
August 23, 2011 3:13:59 PM

dhicks19 said:
well its possible but from what you describe its coil whine. do you have an old machine or a friends machine you can try the card in

My brother has a PC but the card is too long for the case... I'll fill the RMA form now... thank you everyone for your comments. I'll keep this thread updated.
August 25, 2011 3:57:44 PM

Status report August 25th: Card packed and sent back to the store.
:D 
a b U Graphics card
August 26, 2011 7:58:15 AM

it took this long lol? sweet, you will have a new card hopefully soon
September 9, 2011 1:49:05 PM

Okay another update... finally: They called from the store and said that they WILL replace the card. Great. Well... they didn't have any Sapphire cards so I agreed to take an XFX one... doesn't really matter... they're the same cards after all... so great :D 
September 13, 2011 2:57:38 PM

Installed the new card. It makes the same kind of noise, too but this time it's barely audible (= i have to stuck my head inside the case to hear it). So... I'm happy... for now... we'll see :) 
a b U Graphics card
September 16, 2011 12:57:29 PM

sweet
!