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Noisy component in new build

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February 14, 2012 3:55:33 PM

Hello,

My new system is producing an electronic screeching/beeping noise, which I believe to be "coil whine" after researching the issue a bit. It's intermittent and seemingly related to system load. If I'm just surfing the web or sitting on my desktop, the sound is a chirp/beep similar in pattern to hard drive activity noises or Morse code... something along those lines. However if I'm doing something more intensive such as running a benchmark or playing a game, the noise will turn into a steady screech with varying pitch.

Through swapping/removing components I've narrowed the problem down to the motherboard, CPU or PSU. I don't believe its the PSU as the sound seems to be coming from the top of the motherboard near the CPU (PSU is mounted at the bottom), but I can't be sure. Are CPUs even capable of making noises such as this? Can anyone recommend further steps to determine the source of the noise?

Also, if it is the motherboard and I have to get it replaced, would I need to reinstall any software, or would everything still play nice so long as it was the same model?

System specs are:
ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB)
i5 2500k
Corsair HX850
GIGABYTE GV-R695OC-1GD Radeon HD 6950 1GB

Thanks for any help.

More about : noisy component build

February 14, 2012 4:03:43 PM

I had a friend who had the same issue with an ASUS H61 board, I think the motherboard is likely to be the issue although it could be the PSU. I think it is very unlikely to be the CPU.
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February 14, 2012 4:46:01 PM

Does it play through your speakers? Plug in pair of headphones, mute the sound, and see if you hear it through them when you're playing a game.

That's called the Squeal of death, and there are some fixes but they don't necessarily work. Check out this link:
http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=118017

Otherwise, thankfully it could be coil whine, but I don't know much about this. All I know, this is usually due to the GPU. it can be due to the PSU as well, but I would try overclocking the GPU slightly to see if the whine is still there. Eventually, the whine's frequency will increase through higher voltage and disappear (in principle).

Try it out, don't overclock too much if you aren't used to it.

Post back and let us know.
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February 14, 2012 4:51:59 PM

Thanks for the replies.

quicksand10 said:
Does it play through your speakers? Plug in pair of headphones, mute the sound, and see if you hear it through them when you're playing a game.

That's called the Squeal of death, and there are some fixes but they don't necessarily work. Check out this link:
http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=118017

Otherwise, thankfully it could be coil whine, but I don't know much about this. All I know, this is usually due to the GPU. it can be due to the PSU as well, but I would try overclocking the GPU slightly to see if the whine is still there. Eventually, the whine's frequency will increase through higher voltage and disappear (in principle).

Try it out, don't overclock too much if you aren't used to it.

Post back and let us know.


I haven't heard anything strange through the speakers, even with everything muted. Also, I tried booting up with the iGPU after removing my graphics card and the noise was still present, so I know that isn't the issue.
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February 14, 2012 5:02:49 PM

Okay, excellent. In that case take the cardboard roll from a roll of paper towels, put it near your ear and try and listen through it, pointing at the PSU and CPU to find where it's coming from.

If it's the CPU, try overclocking it a bit. If it's the PSU, call CORSAIR and ask for an RMA :) 
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February 14, 2012 5:22:59 PM

Ok, I'll give it a listen when I have a chance. I'm still suspicious that it could be a motherboard issue though. Is there a reason you only listed the CPU and PSU as possible culprits? I'm just not sure how to differentiate them since I'll be pointing the tube at both the cpu and motherboard at the same time.
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February 14, 2012 5:27:41 PM

fireketchup said:
Is there a reason you only listed the CPU and PSU as possible culprits? I'm just not sure how to differentiate them since I'll be pointing the tube at both the cpu and motherboard at the same time.


For coil whine, the motherboard can't be a culprit. It could be capacitor whine which is motherboard related, but since it increases under load, I think it's more likely to be related to the CPU or PSU.

Listen to some of the capacitors on the motherboard as well if you can't find a noise from the PSU or CPU.

Post back here with your findings :) 
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February 14, 2012 5:32:28 PM

fireketchup said:
Ok, I'll give it a listen when I have a chance. I'm still suspicious that it could be a motherboard issue though. Is there a reason you only listed the CPU and PSU as possible culprits? I'm just not sure how to differentiate them since I'll be pointing the tube at both the cpu and motherboard at the same time.



it might be one of the PC case fans, CPU cooling fans, PSU fans GPU fans. Are you using a stock CPU fan? Try to eliminate one of each.
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February 15, 2012 12:16:40 PM

I'll try to test the fans/listen with a tube today, but in the mean time I found this thread - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/301877-30-high-pitched-squealing-motherboard-common. Does this seem plausible? The only difference is that my noise isnt present until getting into Windows. Do you think it could still be a fan? I don't believe the fans are ramping up their rpms upon loading windows or anything like that. I'll check them anyway though.

Just wanted to say thanks again for helping me out, this noise is so obnoxious.
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February 26, 2012 12:18:20 AM

Updating my problem with some new information.

I found another thread here that describes my problem almost perfectly. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/292915-30-high-pitched-noise-coming-area. After following the advice in the thread to disable the power management setting "processor idle disable," the high pitched noise present at low system loads has disappeared. Does this mean voltage regulation circuitry on the motherboard is the problem?

Although disabling that setting fixed half of my problem, there is still a lower pitched noise present at high system load. This noise is closer to a buzz.

As far as where these noises are coming from, I hooked up my PSU outside my case and it is definitely making noise. However, the motherboard also seems to be making noise. Both components are emitting similar sounds (same pitch, pattern, etc). Do you think both my motherboard and psu are both defective, or could one component be causing a problem in the other?
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February 26, 2012 2:22:27 AM

One more update.

After some testing I've noticed that the lower pitched buzzing has something to do with my graphics card. I removed it and ran prime95 while watching a youtube video at 1080p, and noticed no noise. With my graphics card installed, gaming still produces the buzzing. Ugh, this is all making my head spin.
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February 29, 2012 11:05:35 PM

fireketchup said:
One more update.

After some testing I've noticed that the lower pitched buzzing has something to do with my graphics card. I removed it and ran prime95 while watching a youtube video at 1080p, and noticed no noise. With my graphics card installed, gaming still produces the buzzing. Ugh, this is all making my head spin.


Bump with a little more information. In addition to this buzzing noise, I've also noticed that my system sometimes makes a sort of "click" when I mouse over a link or scroll through a web page. It clicks once when mousing over a link, and clicks rapidly if I'm scrolling a page (sounds almost like something is rattling when this occurs). As with the buzzing, I couldn't reproduce the noise with my graphics card removed.

The main confusion I have is that the buzzing is audible in the psu as well. Could my psu be doing a bad job supplying power to my other components, causing all these weird little noises?
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March 2, 2012 12:46:38 AM

Yes. It's a little harder to define than that though. It can simply be the dynamic between them. Like an argument where you aren't sure who is right. You replace the board, it gets less, you replace the card, it gets better or not...

If you contact Corsair support they will probably be happy to replace the PSU, and it may or may not resolve the issues. I know it would be nice to be able to know for sure, but I really don't know of any way, and I probably would know by now if there was a testing method that worked better.

Stethoscope or cardboard tube to isolate the noise, as I think was already mentioned.

First though, especially because of the clicks, I would breadboard the system. Get it out of the case to rule out some short in the case creating some interference.
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March 4, 2012 12:40:07 AM

Proximon said:
Yes. It's a little harder to define than that though. It can simply be the dynamic between them. Like an argument where you aren't sure who is right. You replace the board, it gets less, you replace the card, it gets better or not...

If you contact Corsair support they will probably be happy to replace the PSU, and it may or may not resolve the issues. I know it would be nice to be able to know for sure, but I really don't know of any way, and I probably would know by now if there was a testing method that worked better.

Stethoscope or cardboard tube to isolate the noise, as I think was already mentioned.

First though, especially because of the clicks, I would breadboard the system. Get it out of the case to rule out some short in the case creating some interference.


Thanks for the information. At this point I think I'll just RMA the motherboard for the power management noises and see if my other problems go away with the new board. I'll post again when I have any updates.
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