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Strange Noise - Around CPU

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July 12, 2012 9:39:27 AM

Hey all, you may have noticed a previous thread I made when I was investigating the noise. I built this computer a few weeks ago, and the problem has only recently started. There are no evident performance changes. BUT IT IS SO ANNOYING AND SCARY! :cry: 

Problem :

The high pitched humming noise is not too loud relative to the case fans, however when listening for sounds from the rear vent of my case (behind the CPU section of motherboard), the noise became a more evident. When opening up my computer, I found that the sound was coming from the upper half of the motherboard around the CPU. The sound will always be heard, even when idling, and only becomes a consistent high pitch hum when windows reaches the desktop. It doesn't get any worst under load.

It is a much higher pitched version of the humming found on this video

I have not been able to test components on another computer as I previously had a laptop and my only friend with a desktop is on holiday for months.

Specs :

i5-2500k
Hyper 212 Evo
Antec Three Hundred Two case (with two case fans by the CPU, none by the power supply at base)
XFX HD 7850
Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3
XFX Core 550W Pro
A-Data 120gb SSD
Seagate 1TB Barracuda

Pictures :


None of the computers fans are obstructed, the computer and GPU temperatures are fine at all times.






More about : strange noise cpu

Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
July 12, 2012 9:48:48 AM

rotate the CPU 90 degrees counterclockwise so the fan is blowing towards the back like it should.

and get that power cable off of it!
July 12, 2012 9:59:20 AM

Anonymous said:
rotate the CPU 90 degrees counterclockwise so the fan is blowing towards the back like it should.

and get that power cable off of it!


But wont it be stuck because of the thermal paste I used? Or can you twist it off?

EDIT : All the video tutorials I have seen have set it up the same way as me.
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
July 12, 2012 10:15:15 AM

thermal paste is not like glue. just remove the heatsink, clean off the old TP and then apply new.

see the fan over the dimm slots?



you want it to blow out of the case not up in the case. and i'll be that is what is causing the noise.

EDIT: that video you watched, they may of had fans on the top on the case whereas you do not.
July 12, 2012 10:15:46 AM

You might find the airflow into the CPU fan is restricted by the big video card that appears to be a few millimetres in front of it.

Try putting your hand a few millimetres in from of the nozzle of a vaccumn cleaner. You will get a higher pitch noise as the vaccumn motor strains to suck in air, just like your CPU fan.

If you follow looniam's suggestion, then you will remove the airflow restriction. You coudl always move the video card to another slot if you have a suitable one on your MB.
July 12, 2012 10:23:55 AM

Anonymous said:
thermal paste is not like glue. just remove the heatsink, clean off the old TP and then apply new.

see the fan over the dimm slots?

.....

you want it to blow out of the case not up in the case. and i'll be that is what is causing the noise.

EDIT: that video you watched, they may of had fans on the top on the case whereas you do not.


Ah thanks very much for the suggestion, I am ordering some new paste / cleaner but unfortunately it may take a while :( 

I do have a fan at the top of my case however, follow the link below

If you see page 5 and the layout, the case came with fans at points 4 and 5. Air is coming out of fan 5, and I think coming in from 4
July 12, 2012 10:53:07 AM

poweruser_24 said:
You might find the airflow into the CPU fan is restricted by the big video card that appears to be a few millimetres in front of it.

Try putting your hand a few millimetres in from of the nozzle of a vaccumn cleaner. You will get a higher pitch noise as the vaccumn motor strains to suck in air, just like your CPU fan.

If you follow looniam's suggestion, then you will remove the airflow restriction. You coudl always move the video card to another slot if you have a suitable one on your MB.


On top of this, would it be worth getting some more case fans?

I'm still skeptical as the sound seems electrical?
Also, is it safe to keep using the PC up until I change fan orientation (may be a week or so)?

Thanks!!! :D 
July 12, 2012 11:32:41 AM

Just a small update, after a bit of investigation, the sound is a lot more audible above the CPU Heatsink then between it and the graphics card (See pictures on first post). When stopping the top case fan directly above it, I can still hear the sound.
July 12, 2012 11:35:22 AM

If you have onboard video, you could take out your video card to test whether it is the airflow to the CPU fan.

Not sue you need more case fans. You don't seem to be overloaded with too much stuff in your case (unless there are 10 HDD's not pictured).

From your description there are 2 fans pulling out the warm air already. The rear and top generally are both air exits, rather than inlets (hot air rises after all). Anyway, I would think it would be enough. Personally I'd have one on the front (pos 6) pulling air in and one in rear (4 or 5) pushing out, but that is just me. Best bet is to monitor MB temps. Plenty of tools out there that do that.

If the sound is electrical, then it could be the VRM's for the CPU. In that case you would want to replace your MB. But you need to be sure of that first so you dont waste your time and money. If you have any overclocking going on, turn it off.
July 12, 2012 11:51:26 AM

poweruser_24 said:
If you have onboard video, you could take out your video card to test whether it is the airflow to the CPU fan.

Not sue you need more case fans. You don't seem to be overloaded with too much stuff in your case (unless there are 10 HDD's not pictured).

From your description there are 2 fans pulling out the warm air already. The rear and top generally are both air exits, rather than inlets (hot air rises after all). Anyway, I would think it would be enough. Personally I'd have one on the front (pos 6) pulling air in and one in rear (4 or 5) pushing out, but that is just me. Best bet is to monitor MB temps. Plenty of tools out there that do that.

If the sound is electrical, then it could be the VRM's for the CPU. In that case you would want to replace your MB. But you need to be sure of that first so you dont waste your time and money. If you have any overclocking going on, turn it off.


No over-clocking at all! I don't think it is airflow to CPU fan, as when using a tube to listen in closely, the sound is much greater above the CPU fan. Do you also think I should rotate my CPU fan as previously suggested?

I used CPUID Hardware Monitor Pro for some minutes and here is a screenshot of the temperatures, I'm assuming motherboard temperatures look fine?




I am thinking of getting this 120mm SilverStone fan for intake

Thanks mate :) 
July 12, 2012 12:04:04 PM

MB temps are dependant on ambient temps, but generally anything over 45deg C is not ideal. 25-35 is a fairly normal range to have.

Sound is a funny thing, despite what your ears tell you it can come from other places. To be sure I'd test by removing the video card. If nothing else, it will remove some more noise so it is easier to locate the noise component. Id also unplug the case fans too while the case is open to make things quieter.

I agree with loomian that you should turn the CPU cooler. Regardless of whether it is causing the noise, you will have a more restricted airflow with the current orientation and placement of the video card.
July 12, 2012 12:17:15 PM

poweruser_24 said:
MB temps are dependant on ambient temps, but generally anything over 45deg C is not ideal. 25-35 is a fairly normal range to have.

Sound is a funny thing, despite what your ears tell you it can come from other places. To be sure I'd test by removing the video card. If nothing else, it will remove some more noise so it is easier to locate the noise component. Id also unplug the case fans too while the case is open to make things quieter.

I agree with loomian that you should turn the CPU cooler. Regardless of whether it is causing the noise, you will have a more restricted airflow with the current orientation and placement of the video card.


That's a a relief regarding mb temps! Phew.

Later I will also use a stethoscope to diagnose sound source. If the noise isn't the graphics card for sure, and persists in a week once I can finally rotate CPU fan, should I try replace mobo or just live with noise?

Thanks so much dude
July 12, 2012 12:56:56 PM

Be careful with the stethoscope. Big metal thingy on end and all that.

If its the mobo making the noise, I'd go for a replacement. It will probably die a death anyway if it is making a noise you can hear over the other general hum of other parts.
a b B Homebuilt system
a c 197 à CPUs
July 12, 2012 4:22:34 PM

use a paper tube from a large rool of paper towels...works just as well and wont short anything out.
July 12, 2012 4:24:42 PM

smorizio said:
use a paper tube from a large rool of paper towels...works just as well and wont short anything out.


I gave that a go today but it was too wide for pin pointing the specific source :)  A friend came up with using a straw, I'll give it a go tomorrow hehe
July 12, 2012 4:27:34 PM

poweruser_24 said:
Be careful with the stethoscope. Big metal thingy on end and all that.

If its the mobo making the noise, I'd go for a replacement. It will probably die a death anyway if it is making a noise you can hear over the other general hum of other parts.


Yeah I think I may stick to paper tubes and a straw where that is too big. Stethoscopes I find also don't work so great without full on contact, so may not be suitable anyway.

Hmm, do you mean an early death? I will change fan orientation next week when thermal paste + remover arrives in post, and then if the buzz continues, after getting back from my holiday (a few weeks), I will request a new motherboard! Is it safe to keep using the computer over the next few weeks bud?

ALSO, to test whether it is the GPU, could I simply unplug the GPU power cables, put the DVI into the motherboard and just boot up like that? Surely that'd be the same as taking the card out?

Thanks again for all your help, you're a saviour! :love: 
a b B Homebuilt system
a c 140 à CPUs
July 12, 2012 5:34:12 PM

I would not just unplug the video card. It should be removed as it will still take some power from the board. In most cases it will stop you from starting the computer(fans will spin and the computer will just keep beeping). Older low power Nvidia cards used to just down clock and boot anyway.

Do you still have this noise when the system is powered off?

It sounds like good old fashioned coil buzz(Board or video card). I do not know why everyone says it will kill parts. I think some users just do not have good hearing because I have not come across too many electrical devices that do not have some kind of buzz at one time or another. I have also had many people no able to hear a buzz that I can when we are both sitting next to the computer. I have far too much old equipment that buzzes and works for years to worry. I only worry if the noise is out of hand.

The cpu cooler would work better turned as it will not take video card heat, but is in NO way going to make that noise.

The Silver Stone AP is a good fan, but lacks actual air flow(but has decent pressure for what it is). It is made to direct air flow. It would only be useful as an intake fan. Do not use it for exhaust.

I think exhaust is the best place for a fan on your case, your system is not running hot anyway.

If you get normal hwmon not the Pro version, it will work without that Trial thing. Unless you need the "pro" features, just use normal.
July 13, 2012 8:50:17 AM

nukemaster said:
I would not just unplug the video card. It should be removed as it will still take some power from the board. In most cases it will stop you from starting the computer(fans will spin and the computer will just keep beeping). Older low power Nvidia cards used to just down clock and boot anyway.

Do you still have this noise when the system is powered off?

It sounds like good old fashioned coil buzz(Board or video card). I do not know why everyone says it will kill parts. I think some users just do not have good hearing because I have not come across too many electrical devices that do not have some kind of buzz at one time or another. I have also had many people no able to hear a buzz that I can when we are both sitting next to the computer. I have far too much old equipment that buzzes and works for years to worry. I only worry if the noise is out of hand.

The cpu cooler would work better turned as it will not take video card heat, but is in NO way going to make that noise.

The Silver Stone AP is a good fan, but lacks actual air flow(but has decent pressure for what it is). It is made to direct air flow. It would only be useful as an intake fan. Do not use it for exhaust.

I think exhaust is the best place for a fan on your case, your system is not running hot anyway.

If you get normal hwmon not the Pro version, it will work without that Trial thing. Unless you need the "pro" features, just use normal.


Well, a few days ago, I heard a noise while turned off (and power supply turned on), but that for some weird reason has gone away. The noise I picked up on when investigating further only really appears when reaching the desktop, and is definitely higher up in the computer (so around CPU region). It seems to be above my CPU currently, yet I'll be using a straw later to ensure it isn't from the GPU.

Thanks for the message though, this is very re-assuring :)  ! All my life when computers have made noises, I have just accepted that's what electronics do and left it alone, usually it was perfectly fine. So, only having built it am I aware I think. For some weird reason it isn't as loud today anyway!

With regards to cooling and airflow, thanks for your comments on the Silver Stone, I would indeed use it as an intake fan at the front of the case to complement the current exhaust fans. I heard that it is simply a good compromise between performance and silence, yet maybe a louder one could drown my paranoia regarding other random sounds in the chassis ;) 

Thanks mate!
July 13, 2012 4:14:40 PM

I think I may have figured what the noise is!

Basically, when investigating, preparing for the rotation of the heatsink, I noticed that with the current set-up (see first picture on thread), one of the RAM chips may be being slightly bent.

This may have caused connection problems or something, or may be causing a weird vibration somewhere along the line?
a b B Homebuilt system
a c 140 à CPUs
July 13, 2012 6:38:50 PM

I do not think the ram would cause this, but one never knows(99.9% sure its not that).

I would like you to look at this post and give it a try. Credit to jesdanco

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/292915-30-high-pitche...

If that makes the sound go away, it is the cpu power system, but when this "fix" is applied, the cpu will run hotter and the power consumption will be higher as well.

This image is based on the post linked above. Please ensure you are doing it right so the trick works. then make the power change in the control panel as listed. I tested it and it does work on my X58 board, but things get hotter for no good reason for my use.



Also I have a X58 board that has very bad buzz, the fix was to just disable C1E(its a power save option) in the bios. With speedstep still on, the noise was gone, but the cpu still entered low power states.

I have also noticed that my Z68 board does NOT change cpu voltage at idle(but the cpu clocks down and seems to run cool), so maybe some companies have made changes to remove this noise. I will try some tests with that system when i get a chance.

This buzzing noise can find it way back into a power supply as well. My old 8800GTX was bad for this(tried with different power supplies too). Some users report a mod of adding some 2200uF(to stabilize voltage ripple) caps as a fix. I do want to get some next time I shop at digikey and try some old cards that way :) .
July 14, 2012 2:29:43 AM

A lot of modern motherboards utilize some form of '14-phase power design' or whatever else they claim. What that really means is that the motherboard has 14 or so voltage regulators on the board. Each one utilizes some form of switch-mode regulator, and those types of circuits are notorious for spraying RF interference into the ham radios of their neighbors (so many old ham radio operators complain of switching power supplies these days!). I've run across several 12v switching power supplies and some computer PSUs that emit a high-pitch whine when power is being drawn. It makes sense to me that one of the voltage regulator circuits in your PSU or on your motherboard is causing this noise.

You should not be hearing a noise coming from your motherboard or PSU. It doesn't necessarily mean that the part will die sooner than it normally would, but it could come to that in some situations. It more than likely means that the part making the noise is also generating radio frequency interference. That may not bother you, but it would be 'nice' of you to have the manufacturer take care if it, in case any old hams are in your neighborhood. They already hate you if you have an old Plasma TV. ;)  The RF interference would more than likely be evident in the HF range (3MHz-30MHz) and wouldn't likely interfere with modern radio communications like cell/cordless phones or wifi (which are all now in the UHF to SHF ranges). Though I suppose it might splatter into the AM radio frequencies.
July 14, 2012 8:12:04 AM

nukemaster said:
I do not think the ram would cause this, but one never knows(99.9% sure its not that).

I would like you to look at this post and give it a try. Credit to jesdanco

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/292915-30-high-pitche...

If that makes the sound go away, it is the cpu power system, but when this "fix" is applied, the cpu will run hotter and the power consumption will be higher as well.

This image is based on the post linked above. Please ensure you are doing it right so the trick works. then make the power change in the control panel as listed. I tested it and it does work on my X58 board, but things get hotter for no good reason for my use.

http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/148/disableidle.png

Also I have a X58 board that has very bad buzz, the fix was to just disable C1E(its a power save option) in the bios. With speedstep still on, the noise was gone, but the cpu still entered low power states.

I have also noticed that my Z68 board does NOT change cpu voltage at idle(but the cpu clocks down and seems to run cool), so maybe some companies have made changes to remove this noise. I will try some tests with that system when i get a chance.

This buzzing noise can find it way back into a power supply as well. My old 8800GTX was bad for this(tried with different power supplies too). Some users report a mod of adding some 2200uF(to stabilize voltage ripple) caps as a fix. I do want to get some next time I shop at digikey and try some old cards that way :) .



:love:  YOU ARE AN ABSOLUTE LEGEND!

This did get rid of the noise completely, yet did unfortunately cause heating. I think if the sound gets on my nerves or out of control, I may use it, but it may be better to put up with it in the mean time. The average core temperatures rose by roughly 10 degrees on idle!

I will be looking to re-seat my heat sink anyway, so with a new Noctua NF-F12 on my heatsink, some better quality (arctic silver) thermal compound and consequently an intake fan at the front of my PC, I'm hoping I may run a bit cooler anyway.

Unfortunately, as I think you hinted, I cannot alter a C1E setting through the BIOS, so that option is ruled out. So, what are your recommendations?
July 14, 2012 8:16:06 AM

N0BOX said:
A lot of modern motherboards utilize some form of '14-phase power design' or whatever else they claim. What that really means is that the motherboard has 14 or so voltage regulators on the board. Each one utilizes some form of switch-mode regulator, and those types of circuits are notorious for spraying RF interference into the ham radios of their neighbors (so many old ham radio operators complain of switching power supplies these days!). I've run across several 12v switching power supplies and some computer PSUs that emit a high-pitch whine when power is being drawn. It makes sense to me that one of the voltage regulator circuits in your PSU or on your motherboard is causing this noise.

You should not be hearing a noise coming from your motherboard or PSU. It doesn't necessarily mean that the part will die sooner than it normally would, but it could come to that in some situations. It more than likely means that the part making the noise is also generating radio frequency interference. That may not bother you, but it would be 'nice' of you to have the manufacturer take care if it, in case any old hams are in your neighborhood. They already hate you if you have an old Plasma TV. ;)  The RF interference would more than likely be evident in the HF range (3MHz-30MHz) and wouldn't likely interfere with modern radio communications like cell/cordless phones or wifi (which are all now in the UHF to SHF ranges). Though I suppose it might splatter into the AM radio frequencies.


Thanks for the lesson on motherboard power regulators :) 

If you look at my previous reply, I have in fact determined that the sound disappears after preventing processor idling, yet temperatures rise to an unnecessary high.

Does that suggest there is in fact a problem with my motherboard? You made it seem like I can merely considering it an annoyance, thankfully no old-hams (I'm leaving to university soon, and my parents here at home are too old to hear the high pitch sound it makes, I also think I'm quite sensitive to these kinds of noises). It doesn't seem worth replacing currently considering the effort needed to replace a motherboard, and the fact that the sound isn't exactly overwhelming currently (just noticeable).

July 14, 2012 4:34:15 PM

TkTk said:
Thanks for the lesson on motherboard power regulators :) 

If you look at my previous reply, I have in fact determined that the sound disappears after preventing processor idling, yet temperatures rise to an unnecessary high.

Does that suggest there is in fact a problem with my motherboard? You made it seem like I can merely considering it an annoyance, thankfully no old-hams (I'm leaving to university soon, and my parents here at home are too old to hear the high pitch sound it makes, I also think I'm quite sensitive to these kinds of noises). It doesn't seem worth replacing currently considering the effort needed to replace a motherboard, and the fact that the sound isn't exactly overwhelming currently (just noticeable).


To be honest, it would bother me. I'm a bit OCD, though, so it may just be that I want everything to be perfect. It would also worry me that the board may fail earlier than it would normally be expected to. If it is under warranty and you can get the manufacturer to replace it, I would take advantage of that opportunity. It sure is a PITA to replace a motherboard, and it'll cost you some thermal paste, but I think it would be a good idea. If that's not possible, then I wouldn't probably bother getting a new motherboard or anything. I would certainly look into better cooling options and changing that setting that gets rid of the noise, though.

Good luck!


a b B Homebuilt system
a c 140 à CPUs
July 15, 2012 7:25:01 AM

The extra temperature should not hurt the cpu, just the electrical bill.

Please see page 34-35 in the users manual for the board.

Quote:
CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E) (Note)
Enables or disables Intel CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E) function, a CPU power-saving function in system halt state. When enabled, the CPU core frequency and voltage will be reduced during system halt state to decrease power consumption. Auto lets the BIOS automatically configure this setting. (Default: Auto)


Just a note on many gigabyte boards(My X58a UD5 included), if you hit Ctrl+F1 when you first are in the bios screen, you can unlock advanced features under MIT(MB intelligent Tweaker). So if you do not see what you need, try that.

Either way, it should be under

BIOS -> MIT -> Advanced Frequency Settings -> Advanced CPU Core Features -> CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E) (Auto). Try with it disabled.

As mentioned by a user above. switching power(A very efficient way to control power) on the board pulse power very fast and with different frequencies, this causes the coils(they are to help lower ripple in the voltage when combined with 1 or more capacitors) to buzz.
July 16, 2012 9:25:13 AM

nukemaster said:
The extra temperature should not hurt the cpu, just the electrical bill.

Please see page 34-35 in the users manual for the board.

Quote:
CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E) (Note)
Enables or disables Intel CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E) function, a CPU power-saving function in system halt state. When enabled, the CPU core frequency and voltage will be reduced during system halt state to decrease power consumption. Auto lets the BIOS automatically configure this setting. (Default: Auto)


Just a note on many gigabyte boards(My X58a UD5 included), if you hit Ctrl+F1 when you first are in the bios screen, you can unlock advanced features under MIT(MB intelligent Tweaker). So if you do not see what you need, try that.

Either way, it should be under

BIOS -> MIT -> Advanced Frequency Settings -> Advanced CPU Core Features -> CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E) (Auto). Try with it disabled.

As mentioned by a user above. switching power(A very efficient way to control power) on the board pulse power very fast and with different frequencies, this causes the coils(they are to help lower ripple in the voltage when combined with 1 or more capacitors) to buzz.


I tried with this C1E mode disabled, the noise didn't go away! The noise didn't even get quieter.... :cry: 

Well, that's annoying.
July 16, 2012 9:35:18 AM

Should I try disabling C3/C6 and EIST alongside C1E? It seems like that'd be the next thing to try, as processor idling was the culprit. They seem to do similar things?
a b B Homebuilt system
a c 140 à CPUs
July 16, 2012 5:26:03 PM

You can try, No harm in trying. I do not think it will help, but with c1e and speedstep(eist) off the cpu will run hotter for sure. In general the heat will not hurt the cpu(Some people run cpus full out for years on end. before the first A64 chips, power management of desktops was not used much at all), just take more power.
September 5, 2012 7:25:23 PM

I had the same problem with the same hardware ( 2500K + GA Z68X ).

I disable the "C3/C6 state" option in the BIOS.. nothing else, and the noise is gone :D 
!