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HD 7970 Coil Whine - Is it damaging to the card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 13, 2012 4:26:38 PM

Hey there,

Just bought a Gigabyte WF x 3 HD 7970 card. I lucked out and got a rev 1 which means it is not voltage locked! Yay!! Also, out of the box it has proven to be a great overclocker. Easily hit 1150/1550 with no voltage increase, all while staying unser 55 C.

The only issue I have is that it does have some coil whine. Now, this was purchased for a new build, and all of the parts have not come yet. Currently I have it in my 4 year old PC with a 4 year old power supply, and I suspect that it is possible that the power supply is causing a part of the problem.

The coil whine doesn't really bother me. I can make it out in my HAF 932 case. The new build is going in a FT02 and I play with headphones on, so I doubt I will really even hear it.

I am just wondering if coil whine is damaging to the card? If so I may need to RMA it, but I do not want to as I feel I've won the silicone lottery as far as it being a rev 1 Gigabyte card and being a great overclocker.

Your thoughts are welcome.

xoxo,

HMF
November 13, 2012 4:36:31 PM

as far as I know, coil whine is fine as long as the card is performing the way it should. Then you're only bothered by the noise.

Theoretically, coil whine causes extra noise in the circuit

On the other hand, make sure that's actually what it is. I've seen many people confuse fan motor noise with coil whine.
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a b ) Power supply
November 13, 2012 4:37:36 PM

Yeah no problem physically, but I would get rid of the sound. Get an aftermarket cooler. LOL
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November 13, 2012 4:58:52 PM

AntiZig said:
as far as I know, coil whine is fine as long as the card is performing the way it should. Then you're only bothered by the noise.

Theoretically, coil whine causes extra noise in the circuit

On the other hand, make sure that's actually what it is. I've seen many people confuse fan motor noise with coil whine.


Yep. I did check, and that is certainly what it is. There is a pretty clear difference.

Novuake said:
Yeah no problem physically, but I would get rid of the sound. Get an aftermarket cooler. LOL


Windforce cooler is non-reference and is a great cooler, and I love it deeply. Deeply.
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November 14, 2012 1:20:44 PM

love it with great force? ;) 
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a b ) Power supply
November 14, 2012 9:57:36 PM

Coil whine in its self isn't a big problem depending on the type of coil in question. SMD mounted ferrite shielded inductors (coils) are the ones to watch out for as they often degrade and fail over time. The other types are all ferrite core and they can buzz from time to time depending on the vrm circuit that drives them. The problem is when they overheat and the insulation begins to degrade allowing current to pass into the core or the shell allowing the windings to short. Not only does it weaken performance and stability some can completely fail thus not allowing no or very little current to pass it all. It is like switching off vrm phases so the rest has to work hard to drive the same current load as before. It can cause the rest to fail much sooner than the first coil as the load is carried with fewer phases.

In the end it all comes down to which type and the build quality of that coil. Other factors are mainly the circuit, temp, and if there is enough capacitance (high enough rated cap) to really get the most. When there isn't enough coils tend to buzz more often than either wise.
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a b ) Power supply
November 14, 2012 10:35:37 PM

you said you overclocked it have you tried pushing it back to factory default and seeing if it helps maybe the strain on the card is causing the sound.
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a b ) Power supply
November 14, 2012 11:19:42 PM

Is it this pcb? http://i.imgur.com/bCJHpl.jpg

If so the problem is only cosmetic and if you keep the whole card at very good temps it should last a long longer than you would need it.
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