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Is this PSU coil whine or something else?

By Aranc
Apr 3, 2013
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  1. Hey everyone,
    recently there has been coming some strange noise from my computer. I haven't been able to pinpoint it exactly, but I think it might be coil whine from my PSU. I managed to take a recording of it uploaded it here:
    http://picosong.com/nH4Y
    (you will need to raise the volume quite a bit, the sound starts at about 10 seconds in) As you can hear, it's not constantly there. It lasts for 6-7 seconds and then its fine for about 25 seconds. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,411   +1,595

    I don't think it is a PSU coil whine, otherwise it would be constant. I think I remember someone stating, coil whines are audible even after PC shut down. Audible after PC shut down because the coil still has power, which is what causes the whine.

    Sounded more of a cooling fan squall, but with less volume. It could be a mechanical drive squalling. Drive casings will dampen a squall, so it's not as loud.
     
  3. Aranc

    Aranc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It is quite loud tough, but I didn't manage to record it that well. It's driving me nuts really!
     
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,411   +1,595

    Temporarily disconnect all case fans, leaving only the CPU and PSU fans.

    Place an object in the center of each cooling fan and stop them from spinning, you will find which one maybe making your life miserable. Be careful not to touch the blades as they break real easily, especially if they have aged greatly.
     
  5. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 3,479   +624

    I didn't click the link, but PCI cards can get an audible buzz too.
     
  6. Aranc

    Aranc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Apparently not one of the fans.. quite annoying that I cant hear where it's coming from! If I really can't find it I might have to take the entire computer apart to pinpoint the culprit..
    Oh I see I didn't describe this in my post, but the frequency changes if I scroll or use my mouse.
     
  7. Aranc

    Aranc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok apparently, if I remove my 6970 the noise stops. But now I'm still not sure whether it's my GFX card or my PSU. I now suspect my 6970.. But could it be that because my PSU no longer has to power my 6970 that it 'doesn't get above the threshold' necessary to produce the sound?
     
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,411   +1,595

    Since you made this statement, I'm at a loss.

    With the frequency changing when you move the mouse, the PSU no longer makes any sense as being the culprit.
     
  9. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 3,479   +624

    Since you suspect the GPU, here's something to try. Download Furmark. Take note of any noises when you don't have program, then open it. You should immediately hear a buzzing sound.

    Also I think this is the PCI slot on the mobo that makes this noise, not the actual GPU.
     
  10. Aranc

    Aranc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yea this is the first time I'm unable to find out what's going on..
     
  11. Aranc

    Aranc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Nothing at all during the 1080p bench. It seems to be completely irrelevant what I do, it shows up every now and then. But when it shows up, whatever I do, changes the sound.
     
     
  12. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Booster Posts: 292   +44

    Aranc likes this.
  13. Aranc

    Aranc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks a lot! I thought that was what it is, but as it wasn't continuously, I wasn't sure. Time for a new one then. Already bought a new PSU, because well, I needed an excuse haha. Seeing as it's my bday in two weeks, I'll get enough money to buy a 7970 as replacement.. Thanks a lot Cliffordcooley, St1ckM4n and hood6558 for your help and tips!
     
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  14. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 3,479   +624

    I didn't read all the links, but - why doesn't it whine when under load? This is the point where all GPU and PCI slots whine...
     
  15. Aranc

    Aranc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    True, the whining isn't connected to the load..
     
  16. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Maniac Posts: 1,010   +104

    Could it be your motherboard? I know Linus from Tech Tips demo'd coil whine from a motherboard he wanted to use for his personal rig.
     
  17. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 3,479   +624

    Yeah, this is the PCI slot buzz which I refer to.
     
  18. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Maniac Posts: 1,010   +104

    Ah, I never heard of PCI slot buzz. Linus' problem was with the chokes surrounding his CPU socket iirc.

     
  19. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,411   +1,595

    Neither have I.
     
  20. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 3,479   +624

    Welp, it exists. I've seen it mentioned in prominent hardware review articles too, but alas Google comes up with nothing on a quick search. :(
     
  21. Aranc

    Aranc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The thing is, with Linus his video, the whining starts immediately when he launches Halo and it doesn't stop anymore. I can start up Crysis 3 just fine, and I only get the whining every now and then like I always do. We all know Crysis is loads and loads more demanding for a GPU..
     
  22. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Maniac Posts: 1,010   +104

    Ah okay, but Linus narrowed it down to the card, not the slot. He never said anything about returning his motherboard, he spoke about people trying to RMA video cards because of it.

    And as far as GPU and expansion slots always making noise, if it's anything like that coil whine in the video, I have NEVER heard that noise or any like it... EVER. Which would explain why your Google search came up empty. The PCI slot itself is not the culprit.
     
  23. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Maniac Posts: 1,010   +104

    Then that just means your whine is coming from another component, or your hardware is reacting differently. That's all. The only way to be sure (other than taking it to a computer shop), is to try every (ie) expansion card that may be the cause, with different hardware.

    ie: install your video card on another motherboard, or your motherboard with a different video card, etc.
     
    Aranc likes this.
  24. Aranc

    Aranc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The stupid thing is, I study software engineering at the university. And yet I can't solve this haha, maybe I should go do something else ;) I will try out some different things tomorrow! I'm quite sure it's the video card, about 95%.. especially because the sounds disappear when I take it out. I already replaced my PSU, and will replace my gfx card by the end of the month. That will most likely solve it, but I'm still interested in wth is going on :)
     


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