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Graphics card making a strange noise.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
August 19, 2012 12:14:24 AM

Graphics card making a strange noise.?
Hey guys, and gals. Ok so i got a new graphics card a few weeks back, and just latley when i take my headphones off i notice a reletivly strange noise, it sounds almost like a rat squeeling. Almost like an eek eek type thing.. but obviously i know its not, its only when im playing games like EvE online and World of Tanks, neither of them have Vsync on but when on diablo 3 i dont hear the same noise? Anyone have any clues what it is?.

Additional Details
Its a new card, capacitor is supposed to be one of the best you can get, theres no performance issues at all, card sits at a max of 70 deg C "only when its hot in the house" and its only with games with Vsync off. Games with Vsync on dont seem to make any noise apart from the fan.
It could be the heat, im not sure. Only fans in there are the GPU the proccessor and the PSU. But ive no clue, it somewhat sounds rattly.
a b U Graphics card
August 19, 2012 12:23:20 AM

Some GPU fans have been known to rub the shroud or frame around them. - especially on gigabyte cards. Some people have had to modify them a little - I can't remember exactly what they has to do, but it sounded easy - Google it.
a c 107 U Graphics card
August 19, 2012 12:24:03 AM

The card has coils in the power system to help smooth out the power with the capacitors. The regulator pulses the power VERY fast and the pulse rate changes with load(this is how the voltage is regulated). This can cause the coils to make a buzzing sound.

This will not hurt the card in the long run and some users report being able to RMA over it. I find it to be luck of the draw to be honest.

Some users also claim that better filtering in the power supply(More caps in most cases) can reduce or even remove this.
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August 19, 2012 12:29:48 AM

Some additional details, i just opened the side of the case to double check there were no cables infront of the card that could be hitting the fan, but nope nothing in the way, its 100% the card i apriricate the replys and am very satisfyed, but the longer im on certain games "eve online for instance" the louder it gets, im not sure if its the fan, or if somethings wrong with the card its self, i have a MSI geforce GTX 550 Ti cyclone II 1gb card, obviously i can cope with the fan noise, but the crackling/rattly sound is a little worriying its only on games that i have hitting some high FPS such as about 100 ihs, "though i cant get world of tanks to hit over 60" when i close eve online the rattling takes a while but it stops.. its never happend on the desktop.. so im a little bit concerned that running ALL games as high as they can go maybe straining the card, i know it hits up to 70 deg C and the fan hits high speeds of about 80% usage, i can feel the back of my PC getting extremely hot, could it just be the heat causing some noise issues? or as you say could it just be the electrical pulses, i also have no extra fans in the machine. Its just the GPU proccessor and PSU fans in there. Hope this provides a bit more information into my problem.
August 19, 2012 12:32:54 AM

I also ran MSI afterburner and unset the auto on the fan and set the speed to 80-90% usage, the fan doesnt seem to be causing the issues. The fan hasent ever hit 80% usage in gaming, so my testing it up at 80-90% proves its not the fan.
a c 107 U Graphics card
August 19, 2012 12:33:04 AM

If the sound stays for a bit after closing a game it may well just be the fan after all. The fan may take some time to slow. the voltage regulator on the other hand tends to drop to idle instantly.

Try to use MSI afterburner to slowly increase the fan(while NOT gaming) speed bit by bit and see if you can reproduce the sound.

Remember to set the speed back to auto after you are done.
August 19, 2012 12:39:37 AM

Read above again mate, sorry but couldnt edit the first one not sure why but eh.
a c 107 U Graphics card
August 19, 2012 12:45:17 AM

I would still try at some other speeds, the main reason being fans can do strange things. I had a fan that was louder at 900rpms but quiet at (as well as anything below about 850)950+.

I did not even see your post. Mine was posted 10 seconds after yours. So when you posted, I was already just about to hit submit(So I never saw yours).

That said, If it is a buzzing that almost sounds like it is oscillating, chances are its just coils
August 19, 2012 1:06:19 AM

Ok, i just double checked the fan speeds again, started at 60% then worked up to 100% "it never hits that anyway", absulutly no noise at all from the fans end, "apart from the obviouse fan noise haha" As i said before its only when playing uncapped games, diablo 3 runs fine without the noise.. World of tanks and eve get the sound.. neither of those have vsync on, next thing ill test is ill set my card to have vsync on by default, and see how the card sounds running eve like that.
August 19, 2012 1:18:43 AM

Ok im not 100% certain, but i have Vsync on, limiting my framerate to 60.1 on everythin, no performance issues, and the awfull noise appears to have gone.
August 19, 2012 1:35:50 AM

So it looks as though the high frame rates could have been straining my card, not sure how or why, but it looks as though its that. I prefer not to play games with Vsync because it causes my mouse to trail behind where i move it slightly and i dislike that. I also love seeing the higher frames in the corner, but from what it appears i might "have" to have it on to stop my card making that noise. Will test a few other games, see if the noise stays down.
August 19, 2012 2:33:53 AM

Ok sorry for the spam in the thread guys, but ive just looked more into "coil whine" and have heard a few from videos on youtube. Now i realise mine sounds about the same, "not exactly the same" but close. Is it anything to get worryed about?.
a c 107 U Graphics card
August 19, 2012 4:21:01 AM

No, I have cards and even boards that have done it for years. All my SMC routers[that's 3 since the Win95 days and one was run up until D-link released the DIR-655] did it as well. I even opened one to see what the heck could make a sound in a router(it was more of a hiss by the time it was heard through the case).

My 8800GTX and X1900XT cards did it loud enough to hear at quite some distance(interestingly enough in City Of Heroes when looking at crafting items or SG base items). I never heard this before I moved out of my Antec Sonata(and into a 900) case. It did a very good job of making the sound go away(shame it was not soo good at killing hard drive sounds, but I had loud drives.).

I do not think you have anything to worry about, but if the sound bugs you, some companies will RMA over it, but sometimes you get the same thing all over again or even worse.