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Coil Whine: Sapphire HD 7970

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 9, 2012 10:22:56 PM

My Sapphire HD 7970 has recently started a loud, annoying, coil whine whenever the GPU load goes above 50%. I submitted a warranty request but I have a feeling it will get shot down. Anyone have any tips on how to stop this crap form happening? It's soooooo annoying.

Troubleshooting steps thus far:

1. Reseated card.
2. Reloaded drivers.
3. Swapped PCI-E power cables and the modular PSU spots they were in.
4. Flipped the BIOS switch on the card.
5. Unplugged PSU and held power button down for a minute to clear all power in the case.

It is only happening under heavy load, and it wasn't happening last night. Come home from work, and BAM, coil whine. It pulses and changes pitch as a run around a game, which makes it even worse.

1. Skyrim: Whine.
2. TSW: Whine.
3. Max Payne 3: Whine.
4. Terraria: No whine.

PC Specs:

2600K (OC)
ASRock Fatal1ty Pro Mobo Z68
8GB Mushkin Memory (OC)
Crucial M4 SSD

Help meh!!!!
July 9, 2012 10:35:03 PM

I believe coil whine is usually caused by bad caps. Are you sure it is the GPU and not the PSU? I purchased a brand new PSU to replace a solid one that had worked for almost two years without issue until it started making a faint clicking noise. The brand new PSU makes a bit of coil whine especially when under higher load. I got an RMA on my original and no more coil whine. Are you able to RMA your card?
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July 9, 2012 10:48:31 PM

It must be freaking loud to be heard above your case fans etc!?
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July 9, 2012 11:36:30 PM

teh_gerbil said:
It must be freaking loud to be heard above your case fans etc!?


VERY loud.

Are you sure it is the GPU and not the PSU? said:
Are you sure it is the GPU and not the PSU?


100% sure it is my GPU.
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July 9, 2012 11:49:18 PM

Well, in Nz anyway, we have consumer laws, and the specific one you would be after is 'Not fit for the purpose for which it was bought' ie: Too loud to be adequately used. It sounds faulty.
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July 10, 2012 1:20:11 AM

Thanks for the replies all. My RMA through Sapphire was approved. Time for a replacement!
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July 10, 2012 1:27:06 AM

Ohh, it's sapphire, heck yes, they would want to defend their name! They're an excellent brand, please don't judge them by this one bad card :) 
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