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9500pro PSU Whistle??

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
April 7, 2003 4:47:22 PM

I have been using a 9500 pro 128mb video card for the past 4 weeks.
I have enjoyed every minute of it, and will remember Sapphire for my next purchase. However, in the past week and a half I have noticed something quite strange. My Power supply has begun to emit a faint whistling sound.
The sound occurs on and off depending on the movement of my mouse, and the speed of with I type. The sound makes noise quite frequently, and has become quite an erritant. Presuming that this was a PS problem, I emailed the company (Enermax), they did not seem to have an answer. The other day I decided to switch video cards for an hour, to my suprise, the sound completely stopped. I was still not convinced it was the video card since the sound emitted from the Power Supply, so I continued to install an NVIDIA GFX card, once again, no sound. I finally decided to put back my 9500 pro, unsuprisingly, the sound began. Also, the sound seems to happen more and more. Also, please do not blame the Power supply, I have tried it with 2 other cards, one of which was another sapphire 9500 pro, no sound from either. I have also emailed enermax about the problem, they do not know or heard of the problem before. If you have encountered this or know how to fixthis proble problem , I would greatly appreciate some assistance.

Bryan Schurko

More about : 9500pro psu whistle

April 8, 2003 2:31:13 AM

You're not the only one and its good to know I'm not the only one. I've been running a 9500Pro on my computer since the end of December and have had the exact same problem. I'm running a Compaq Presario 5330US which has a 250 watt PSU. (apparently (from what I've read) companies like Compaq rate their PSUs on continuous output instead of peak output so this 250W may be just as efficient as a 300W PSU that was rated at peak output, or something like that). At first I thought it might be the fan on the 9500 but after opening the case I discovered the sound was definitely coming from the PSU. Not the fan on the PSU mind you, but the PSU itself. Other than the annoying sound (which, as in your case sometimes goes away for a few seconds when I move/use my mouse, especially the wheel) I haven't had any real problems, although I did have some minor graphical glitches a few weeks after I purchased the card, but haven't noticed anything abnormal for two months or so now. I did post on these boards back in January (in fact thats when I found this website) about this, alas none of the responses were helpful in suggesting a fix. (I can't buy a new PSU because of the proprietary nature of the Compaq motherboards, believe me I tried). Anyways, its nice to know that I'm not the only one experiencing this noise. Sorry I couldn't offer any help 'tho.
April 8, 2003 3:14:18 AM

Just an off the wall suggestion. Have you cleaned your PSU's? Both of these machines have run a couple of months. I built in Nov. & started heating up a tad bit in Jan., I mean 5c over what I had when I built. I took the machine out in the garage & first sucked what I could off the HSF, vid board fan, & all the fans in the case with my shop vac. Though I'd done a good job on it. Being it was out in the garage already, like my sig., I decided to take things apart & look at them. What I found was the dust & crud was worse in the PSU than it was in the case. So I decide to fire up the air compressor & do some real cleaning. Shoot the PSU was loaded. It amazed me. I have a Antec 1080 AMG case with a 430w True Power PSU with dual fans in it. It has 4 case fans & 2 PSU fans. 2 in the rear, 1 in the side cover, & 1 in the HDD bay. It also has a filter in the front of the case to filter out dust. Somehow the PSU is the thing that collects the dust & grime on the blades of the fan. It gives a different sound dirty than clean. I have to clean the PSU at least every 2 months or it starts getting noisy. Could this be a solution?

Like I said it's an off the wall suggestion, but I though I'd just mention it to you guys. I could be completely wrong, but it got my curiosity up & I've though about this a lot. Sometimes it's those little things that fix stuff. However, I could just be talking nonsense, but had to say something. Doesn't look like your getting any other suggestion for such a strange problem.

If it ain't broke, take it apart & see why not!
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April 8, 2003 5:13:55 AM

In my case the sound started right after I installed the card and turned the computer on. It wasn't something that happened after a few days or weeks.
April 8, 2003 8:45:00 PM

ATi's minimum recommended PSU power is 300W. And even then you would best be using a brand name one. Some have been able to go by with 250W, but they have little load. Others, need 300W at least.
All I can say is, it's the PSU brand that is important. Quality over quantity.

This post is brought to you by Eden, on a Via Eden, in the garden of Eden. :smile:
April 9, 2003 2:37:31 AM

Are you sure it's your PS making this sound? This sounds alot like the EMI I get on my line-in input (and the others to a much lesser extent). Try turning off your speakers, and if it goes away, mute inputs in the volume control thing until it stops.
April 9, 2003 6:31:40 AM

On mine, its definitely the PSU, I've opened the case to listen and thats where the sound is coming from. Also, it doesn't matter whether my speakers are on or off, the sound is still there.
April 9, 2003 3:55:38 PM

might just be the frequency at the card operates, creating sound from where the power comes from. Just a blind guess... so I may be wrong. Either of you try contacting ATI? they were very good with my tech support not to long ago.

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... And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free, and I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
April 10, 2003 12:40:05 AM

It actually does sound like electronic feedback now that you mention it. Maybe thats it.
April 10, 2003 1:21:35 AM

I know this is going to sound completley nuts..but...having been a Sonar Tech in the Navy for 4 solid years...I'm pretty familiar with sound and electronics...

I have to agree with the previous guys who are saying this is related to the frequency of the card in relation to the power supply..

It sounds like your getting some weird harmonic between the card and the PSU...

Perhaps it's because the ATI card uses an external power connector vs. AGP slot power..and the two are conflicting...or else they are directly in phase with one another and thereby increasing the db of the noise...which normally wouldn't be heard...

I know this doesn't make a lot of sense...but...I've seen stranger things in my day...

I have no idea at this moment...what normal AGP slot power draw is (that stuff doesn't really interest me, I just plug em in and they work, if something doesn't work, then I get curious) nor do I know what that particular ATI card is drawing off the PSU. I'm just saying...the "noise" may not necessarily be a problem.

But I'm glad you noticed it..because I have super sensitive hearing (I can hear a 120V electrical outlet from 3 feet away with nothing plugged into it, heh) and a noise like that would drive me stark raving mad. So I'll steer clear of it. (I hope my 9800 Pro doesn't do that, EeEEEEEeeekkk!!)


Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
--Albert Einstein
April 11, 2003 1:14:07 AM

All I can say is WOW. You guys are really great, I didn't expect anyone to reply. I thank all of you for your posts. I am wondering if just returning the card for a new one would fix it? I am guessing it is because I tried out a friends sapphire 9500 pro (but it was modded) although I doupt that would of made a difference. Is there any chance that it could be my power supplies fault or my mobo like said above? I doupt it, but what do you think?
April 11, 2003 1:17:33 AM

Oh yes, I did get a reply back from Sapphire, it was a one sentence answer :S lol
This is what it said:
"If that is the case please take the card back to the vendor and have them process RMA for you."
April 12, 2003 10:52:26 PM

April 12, 2003 11:26:59 PM

I would have to say from an electrical standpoint that what you are hearing from your PSU is a harmonic from the stepdown transformer. when put under loads the electronics(transformer in particular) emit a humming sound because of the amount of current passing through them (electrons). If you put it under a heavier load you have to move more electrons. This causes more movement and you eventually reach a point where you have a lot of noise. If you go beyond(usually bad) or below(usually better) that "harmonic" point you lessen the noise. Have you ever gone to one of those power substations on a quiet night and heard those transfomers humming? That is what is happening in the PSU, except on a more high pitch scale. That is my assesment of the situation. The friends "modded" card may have had less power consumption or more power consumption and changed the harmonic to something you couldn't hear.

Just a computer junky
April 13, 2003 12:13:18 AM

I asked my physics teacher about this for ya. Hes a computer/electronics/sound geek too. His assesment was that there happened to be a point on your PSU with a resonant frequency in the range that your gfx card emitted. How this has to do with your mouse and keyboard i have no idea whatsoever, but maybe when you use your mouse/keyboard it sends an electric pulse that knocks the resonant frequency on your PSU.

Hope it helps!