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7970 buzzing sound

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January 14, 2012 2:33:23 AM

Hi Forum,

So i've purchased a MSI 7970 recently and i've just noticed that it makes a wierd buzzing sound, bzzzzzz whenever

1. I run a game (BF3/Metro2033/Skyrim etc).
But if i'm not in any games, there is no buzzing sound.

2. This occurs regardless of me overclocking it or not

3. In Skyrim ==> only buzzes once i've loaded a game. If i start it and leave it on the menu screen there is no buz.

4. In battlefield 3, when it's loading between maps/loading hte lelve before joining into the game)

IS something wrong? lol

More about : 7970 buzzing sound

January 14, 2012 2:46:30 AM

I'm no expert, but I know when some graphics cards are under a lot of stress they can make a buzzing sound like that. My old 5870 did with furmark. With my laptop I always had a buzz/clicking sound when I gamed. Does the pitch/speed of the buzz sound speed up and slow down depending on the frame rate? Anyway sounds normal to me, but wait for advice from a 7970 owner.
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a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 2:47:44 AM

buzzing through the speakers or from the gpu itself?

if it's not from the speakers, then your fan is fugly. It's under warranty so just rma it.

Actually check to make sure u pulled off all the clear plastic stuff that comes on the card. If some of that is left it might be causing the noise. otherwise rma.

if it's speaker noise, update your drivers to the newest from amd's website. If it doesn't fix it, rma.
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Related resources
January 14, 2012 2:51:52 AM

That doesn't sound like a fan issue if it happens only in certain cases. Just go to CCC and manually set the fan to 100 or somewhere in that range and listen for it if you want to verify.
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a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 2:59:09 AM

It could be a ferrite choke on the card, if the noise does not start when maxing the fan at no load, it is probably a ferrite choke or something similar.
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a c 107 U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 3:03:13 AM

fb39ca4 said:
It could be a ferrite choke on the card, if the noise does not start when maxing the fan at no load, it is probably a ferrite choke or something similar.

This gets my vote. It is a known fact that coils can buzz. This said, i have had it with some video cards(X1900XT 8800GTX being the loudest) and even some boards(K8V SE and X58A UD5[this was fixable with a bios option])
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January 14, 2012 4:06:21 AM

Koolg223 said:
I'm no expert, but I know when some graphics cards are under a lot of stress they can make a buzzing sound like that. My old 5870 did with furmark. With my laptop I always had a buzz/clicking sound when I gamed. Does the pitch/speed of the buzz sound speed up and slow down depending on the frame rate? Anyway sounds normal to me, but wait for advice from a 7970 owner.



I went in BF3 and tested with the console to cap my FPS.
Its actually like a buz at each frame rate per second.

SO if i capped it at 1 FPS, it would like.. do the little buz for a VERY BRIEF moment, then it would be quiet. Then on the next Frame rate, it would buz for at that same point.

As i progressively increased my FPS cap , the buz became more regular - So it appears to be dependant on my FPS (in a game of course).

Is this a normal thing? I'm not experiencing any problems btw.. im at 1100/1575, no blue screens, lags, stutters or overheating.

*** edit: Fan speed has no correlation, 20%/100% its still there.
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January 17, 2012 7:26:59 PM

Just plugged in my XFX DD Black, same buzzing noise here when I start Just Cause 2 or 3dmark11.
Actually really annoying.
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January 17, 2012 7:57:37 PM

Yea, at first i didnt notice because i OC my card and consequently cranked up my fan so didn't hear it. But when i turn off OC mode for like skyrim, that's when i first noticed it.

I'm just hoping it's not defective or dangerous to my system. I'll be contacting my store to see what they say.

Anyone else have the same problem or explanation of why it gives off the buzz sound based on fps?

Thanks
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a b U Graphics card
January 17, 2012 8:26:10 PM

I sometimes hear my CPU or HDD working, but it's more of a clicking sound. Are you hearing that?
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a b U Graphics card
January 18, 2012 4:49:27 AM

6970 has the same Noise , 6990 has it too , seems like normal .
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February 3, 2012 2:50:29 AM

I have the same issue. I first had an XFX 7970 BE. I was having constant display driver crashes and the card would buzz under load. (I can go into Skyrim and play, then the buzz would appear. If I paused the game, it would stop.) I RMA'd the card thinking it was bad. But, upon receiving my MSI 7970 OC edition, it has the same buzzing sound. I fixed the display driver crash by overclocking my pc. Don't know why it helped, but it did. Anyone have any ideas regarding the buzzing?
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February 3, 2012 3:00:08 AM

Yea i think it might b normal, i havent had any problems with it. No display crashes/no overheating or anything. BUt yea i was just concerned after dumping an alot of money on one of these babes.

I'll leave it atm, its still happily running overclocked so yea its doing its job.
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February 3, 2012 3:14:08 AM

I never had this problem on my 5870 though. It just worries me. I don't wanna have to rma anything else.
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February 9, 2012 5:24:59 PM

I have the same buzzing sound on my 7970.

Is it ok? RMA?

What did you people do?
Thanks
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February 9, 2012 5:52:38 PM

IMO monitor your GPU temperature, make sure everything is OK in that department
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February 9, 2012 6:06:59 PM

I would rma. I think it is a defect. I had an xfx, msi, and gigabyte all at stock speeds. All of them buzzed. I'm now waiting for Kepler.
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February 9, 2012 6:08:31 PM

Thanks for the reply.
Temp is good, it doesn't come from the fan.
Searching the web, it appears to be "coil whine".

Don't know if it's armful. I think i gona have to rma.
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February 9, 2012 7:28:41 PM

That's what i read as well. I came to the conclusion that a $600 graphics card shouldnt have this problem. Even if it doesn't do any harm.
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February 10, 2012 11:40:49 AM

Does it sound like this?


BZZZZZZZZZ
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February 10, 2012 11:55:40 AM

It sound like an electrical buzzing noise.
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February 10, 2012 1:01:42 PM

Oh. So something more like


"MMMZMMMMMZMMMMMZMMMMMZM" ?
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February 10, 2012 1:16:13 PM

It seems to be related to the frame rate. The lower fps, the slower the buzz is.
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a b U Graphics card
February 10, 2012 1:59:53 PM

i also noticed that with my old ECS 560 ti, my new one MSI Twin Frozr did not make the sound, i noticed that sound on very demanding games/benchmarks, it is NOT from the cooler, looks a lot more with the sound that some PSUS do also when the energy is low;

would be nice to know what was causing that too...
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a c 107 U Graphics card
February 10, 2012 4:29:10 PM

Coils buzz, that is what you hear. With cards more advanced and power usage and frequency swinging all over when in use, you get many frequencies(how fast it moves back and forth) you can hear.

It sucks, but it is more luck of the draw. some cards will have no noticeable buzz then another from the same company will have it.

I have had boards/power supplies/video cards that have had this issue(only one board I could fix it on.). The power supply actually did it when I placed a very low powered system on it. The sound stopped with a more powerful system.

All of my current power supplies will buzz if they are on UPS power(damn non sine wave ups)
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February 10, 2012 7:19:47 PM

Hi,

I have just this evening installed my much anticipated 7970, only to hear a slight buzzing sound when I am playing either Crysis 2 or BF3?! My native resolution is 1920 x 1080 and like you, it stops the moment I stop playing games, and exit back to the desktop, very strange.

I also wonder if this is just the way the cards were designed, and if I had not bought it so early on, will there be a 2nd generation that will have ironed out this problem?

Can you hear yours above any sound coming from your speakers? As mine is to be fair only really audible when I mute the sound? It is somewhat unnerving though as these things are not cheap and the 5870 this replaces never made any such sounds!!

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a b U Graphics card
February 10, 2012 9:02:17 PM

edifice said:
Hi,

I have just this evening installed my much anticipated 7970, only to hear a slight buzzing sound when I am playing either Crysis 2 or BF3?! My native resolution is 1920 x 1080 and like you, it stops the moment I stop playing games, and exit back to the desktop, very strange.

I also wonder if this is just the way the cards were designed, and if I had not bought it so early on, will there be a 2nd generation that will have ironed out this problem?

Can you hear yours above any sound coming from your speakers? As mine is to be fair only really audible when I mute the sound? It is somewhat unnerving though as these things are not cheap and the 5870 this replaces never made any such sounds!!


if you read the posts above you will see that this is Coils buzz, and some cards may do this sounds when they are under stress...

i also don't know if this is harmfull, but my brother ECS 560 ti do this sound also when under stress, so it is not specific from 7000 series...
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a c 107 U Graphics card
February 10, 2012 11:04:12 PM

edifice said:
Hi,

I have just this evening installed my much anticipated 7970, only to hear a slight buzzing sound when I am playing either Crysis 2 or BF3?! My native resolution is 1920 x 1080 and like you, it stops the moment I stop playing games, and exit back to the desktop, very strange.

I also wonder if this is just the way the cards were designed, and if I had not bought it so early on, will there be a 2nd generation that will have ironed out this problem?

Can you hear yours above any sound coming from your speakers? As mine is to be fair only really audible when I mute the sound? It is somewhat unnerving though as these things are not cheap and the 5870 this replaces never made any such sounds!!

Count your self lucky, I could hear my 4870(or was it the 8800GTX, they both did it) clear across the room. And it varied with load so some games would be quiet them get louder at certain parts. Solution...Put that card in my Antec Sonata(Or my Fractal Define R2) system. My Antec 900(Still a great case) seemed to let all those sounds out allot more. In fact I never noticed any video card noise before I moved to a high airflow case(lots of vents let sound out).

Your card clocks down at idle so the noise should be less.

You can try to set power tune(In CCC, but it may hurt performance under some games.) down and see if it makes a difference.
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February 13, 2012 10:44:40 PM

I have exactly the same problem, its getting quite annoying since I payed almost 500 euro's for such a card! It seems that how longer I am using it (while gaming) the worse it gets but when I shut down the game it suddenly stops, annyone has a solution to this?
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a c 107 U Graphics card
February 13, 2012 10:50:58 PM

I am not sure you can do much about it. Well maybe RMA but it seems they are all that way(may get one as bad or even worse). That said, with motherboards messing with the power savings(C1E ect) could help, but you do not have much option for the video card.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
February 14, 2012 12:39:38 AM

I would just rma the card for a fresh sample. There are some mods that I know that can band aid the problem but you have to do it early on. For the x1900xt/xtx well they are easy and consume only a fraction of the power of modern cards. The 8800gtx is the same but those older cards were built to last despite a few things. The problem with these chokes is after a while with the coil squeal that the coils are running at rather high temps and can degrade as what happened to plenty of gtx280 owners as well a few 58x0/69x0 boards. In short once the coils degrade enough the power vrm simply can't provide enough power to the core so eventually overclocking head room diminishes down to stock then eventually below stock. Fortunately these cards have a lot more phases than past generations but with already high power consumption life span isn't going to be as great. Two or three years is what most might get.
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a c 107 U Graphics card
February 14, 2012 3:08:44 AM

I would not have guessed that a coil would degrade, I mean a transformer is effectively 2 coils(induction) and those last for a very long time despite making a racket some times. Even a ballast for a florescent light will not burn the transformer portion until all the other parts are long failed.

By the same right, my 4870 has made a racket for years, but has never shown any signs that it was loosing power. My Samsung 254T power supply buzzes(5 years and counting but you can not hear it unless you are placing your ear very close to that section of the back)

Now capacitors, those will age and loose capacity as well.

I am still for the RMA idea if it bugs you that much, but it seems like almost all the cards are that way. Some power supply makers started to add a capacitor to the PCI-e plugs(or at the board) claiming it would make the power more stable and cards less likely to have this issue. I am almost sure my Corsair HX 850 has that(looks like some on the board, but they may be for something else), may be worth a try with my 4870 or 8800gtx to see if that works.

They list it as a feature here. Antec has also done this for some units(PowerCache™).

"To reduce electrical whine/buzz associated with high performance graphics card’s dynamic loading changes, 2200uF capacitors are attached to PCI-E connectors.
This design also helps to maintain better voltage stability and improve ripple & noise performance. "

http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=240&area=

I kind of wonder it it is something so simple as filtering the power so the load changes have less effect.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
February 14, 2012 10:51:05 PM

nukemaster said:
I would not have guessed that a coil would degrade, I mean a transformer is effectively 2 coils(induction) and those last for a very long time despite making a racket some times. Even a ballast for a florescent light will not burn the transformer portion until all the other parts are long failed.

By the same right, my 4870 has made a racket for years, but has never shown any signs that it was loosing power. My Samsung 254T power supply buzzes(5 years and counting but you can not hear it unless you are placing your ear very close to that section of the back)

Now capacitors, those will age and loose capacity as well.

I am still for the RMA idea if it bugs you that much, but it seems like almost all the cards are that way. Some power supply makers started to add a capacitor to the PCI-e plugs(or at the board) claiming it would make the power more stable and cards less likely to have this issue. I am almost sure my Corsair HX 850 has that(looks like some on the board, but they may be for something else), may be worth a try with my 4870 or 8800gtx to see if that works.

They list it as a feature here. Antec has also done this for some units(PowerCache™).

"To reduce electrical whine/buzz associated with high performance graphics card’s dynamic loading changes, 2200uF capacitors are attached to PCI-E connectors.
This design also helps to maintain better voltage stability and improve ripple & noise performance. "

http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=240&area=

I kind of wonder it it is something so simple as filtering the power so the load changes have less effect.


My grandmother worked for 12 years at one of the few plants in the US that still builds transformers and calutrons for the power companies and the military. They are built very much differently than what we consumers have in our appliances sadly. Heavy duty lubrication and thermally conductive oils, heavy duty high gauge insulated copper wire, and much more. Even the quality of the paper used to separate layers of the coils is better than what is used for cardboard. In short they are built almost by hand and made to last. The coils that are used in consumer electronics and appliances are very different. Basically a dry insulated coil that is allowed to fail and doesn't maintain life as well performance from vibrations due to charge and discharge cycles. Overtime the insulation gradually fails and allows for shorts to take place that at first only weaken the coil then eventually at some point blue smoke or no current to pass at all. I've seen a few cards die from it that could have been fixed if proper replacement chokes could have been found :c
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April 13, 2012 7:16:09 PM

FYI-
I recently purchased a XFX HD Radeon 7970 black edition. It made the same buzzing sound as described above when under load (i.e. gaming). Because of the short RMA policy provided by my retailer, I had it RMA'd immediately. I just received the new card today and it produces the same sound under the same conditions. Beings that it is such a common issue, i would imagine that it isn't a catastrophic malfunction. Either way, this card has a [limited] lifetime warranty and i use headphones when gaming so the buzz goes unnoticed.
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April 14, 2012 3:33:39 AM

my Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 OC dose the same thing. Only when the framrate is high though above 100.
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May 7, 2012 8:19:21 AM

My MSI reference 7970 with an EK waterblock has the very loud electrical buzzing noise under full load, very annoying
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May 7, 2012 10:16:09 AM

I guess they don't make these cards to last.
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a c 107 U Graphics card
May 7, 2012 8:12:50 PM

Sonny73N said:
I guess they don't make these cards to last.

My x1900XT(this card has been in service since it was released) and 8800GTX did it and still work to this day, I do NOT think it is going to shorten the cards life.

This issue happens on both the Nvidia and ATI side as well as many motherboards.

Lets not forget that many monitor power supplies do this as well and still last for a long time.

Very tempted to try the power cap trick, but all i have access to at the moment are some rather large 4700uF caps(not that those would not work, but I have other plans for those.).
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May 31, 2012 4:21:34 PM

I've recently bought two 7970 Visiontek cards (20 days apart) The first one came in with a black PCB and metal GPU back bracket.

The second one I received came in with a blue PCB with no metal GPU back bracket (sorry don't know the technical term)

All to say that the second card does have a very high pitch noise when 3d application are running and the first one doesn't.

Card were purchased at NCIX.com


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