Corsair HX620, buzz not squeal

GJSNeptune

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I assembled my new rig last night. I have a few finishing touches to do still. Got a bad stick of memory, Jab-Tech sent me a PCI extension cable instead of an ATX extension cable, and a LG775 bolt kit is in the mail. And, well, possibly an issue with the power supply.

Antec Twelve Hundred
E8400
P5Q Pro
Xigmatek HDT-S1283
2x2GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 DHX
Corsair HX620
EVGA GTX 260 Core 216 (bought a 192 but comes up with 216 shaders in GPU-Z)

With the side panels still off, I fired up Supreme Commander to behold the beauty of my GTX 260. As soon as I entered a saved game, I heard a subtle buzzing noise, but I wasn't conscious of it until I exited the game and the noise stopped. I fired up SupCom again, entered a game, and the noise came back. I put my cursor over the Exit to Windows button and put my head near the innards of the system. I clicked and the noise stopped.

I fired it up yet again and listened very closely to my video card and power supply. I poked the exhaust fans, the fan on the heatsink, and the video card fan with my finger to slow them down to hear if the buzzing changed or stopped. It didn't.

I couldn't poke the PSU's fan because of the grill, and it was almost time for bed, but I put my ear right up to it and the noise was prevalent. Does the power supply speed up the fan in relation to the load? I couldn't tell if the fan spun faster when I fired up the game. Today after work I'll try to slow down its fan to see if the noise changes.

It isn't a constant buzzing. I haven't installed any other games to test it with, but I put SupCom on High everything with 8x AA. It's running at only 1280x1024 though. Can't be very taxing for a GTX 260, right?

People have complained about their HX620 squealing (under load I think). Someone here pointed out a thread on another forum where someone concluded that his Radeon video cards made his HX620 squeal. Maybe NVIDIA makes power supplies buzz?

I can't recall any noises from my HX520 in my previous rig. I'm only 99% sure it's the PSU. I'm going to really try to figure out if it's the PSU or the video card.
 

Xeth

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FWIW I had a PC P&C Silencer 750 that did the same thing with both an 8800 and a 4870... It was not audible unless I ran something silent like 3DMark, so I didn't bother with it for a long time, but I finally RMAed it a couple of months ago and the replacement did not have this problem.
 

Mav451

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Heh that someone is me. The SPCR thread I linked to was revealing b/c it rules out nVidia as a primary factor if ATi cards were also doing the same thing.

The sad panda part is that the replacement Corsair sent me makes the same exact sound, not a decibel quieter :(
 

GJSNeptune

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Yours was the squeal though, right? Capacitors can squeal, but can they buzz?
 

GJSNeptune

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Should I contact ZipZoomFly or Corsair? I PM'd Mike Clements but he hasn't responded yet. Got the memory from them as well.
 

j3ff86

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I bought two 450VX's that made the same noise. I've got an Antec now that is silent. I'm flabbergasted that the Corsairs are recommended so much when they have such a huge flaw.
 

GJSNeptune

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It's not all of them. My HX520 is fine. The VX400 in my parents' rig is fine. I would buy ten more Corsair units today if I needed them and had the money.
 

Mav451

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Well I'd recommend them for 8800GT's and under. It seems once there's a serious 12v rail load, the squealing becomes intolerable. That said, instability is not the issue -- it is the acoustics of the electrical equipment that is in question.

Frankly, it's disappointing and I will probably never recommend a Corsair PSU again *unless there's a serious effort made to fix it. Corsair is recommended to be used for enthusiast rigs - enthusiast rigs will consistently tax the 12v line, and unless all of us avoid GTX260's (or higher) loads? Then the squealing will always be a problem.
 

JoeBob

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There's always the odd unit of any batch of any brand of PSU that can do strange things. Some brands pop up more often because they sell large amounts of units, and you'll hear lesser amounts of complaints from people who bought a brand that sold in less numbers, it's pretty logical.
 

GJSNeptune

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Well mine isn't squealing. I really hope it's the fan spinning faster and buzzing for some reason, because I really don't want to pay to ship it for an RMA.
 

Mav451

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Well mine isn't squealing. I really hope it's the fan spinning faster and buzzing for some reason, because I really don't want to pay to ship it for an RMA.

SPCR is anal about fan noise - there's no way it's the fan for the 620HX, otherwise they would have brought it up during reviews. And the chance of a shitty fan vs. bad electrical components? I just don't see that happening.

JoeBob said:
There's always the odd unit of any batch of any brand of PSU that can do strange things. Some brands pop up more often because they sell large amounts of units, and you'll hear lesser amounts of complaints from people who bought a brand that sold in less numbers, it's pretty logical.

Well problem is
1) Direct from factory RMA, was sealed and appeared to be new as well. This was unofficially confirmed by that awesome new electronics smell upon opening.
2) Date of manuf.
My squealing (and now heading back to Corsair) 620HX is from a ZZF purchase in Nov. 2007. The unit I have now is from a 2008 batch.

What are the chances that these two batches, separated by well over a year, have the same problems from something as simple as QA/QC? It's doubtful.
 

GJSNeptune

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You think the chance of a bad fan is less than bad electrical components? For Corsair's Seasonic HX units?

It must be ZZF. I got my PSU and memory from them. A buzzing PSU and a dead module. No wonder they have slightly better prices. :( :p
 

Mav451

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I wouldn't blame ZZF. My RMA unit (Dec 2008) came right from Corsair and it's rodent-like squealing is the same as my ZZF model (Nov. 2007). Plus, Corsair packages the PSUs very well anyway.
 

j3ff86

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There's always the odd unit of any batch of any brand of PSU that can do strange things. Some brands pop up more often because they sell large amounts of units, and you'll hear lesser amounts of complaints from people who bought a brand that sold in less numbers, it's pretty logical.
It's not just a couple odd units. Visit the Corsair forum's PSU section; a lot of the threads are about the noise. Granted that is a sample taken from people having problems with their PSU, but it seems significant to me.

http://www.asktheramguy.com/v3/search.php?searchid=2804218
 

Mav451

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Wow great link.

Just clicked through one thread, and I already see more cases that are follow in line with my experience:
http://www.asktheramguy.com/v3/showpost.php?p=376192&postcount=11

*the guy mentions two, different video cards. ATi and nVidia. Both produced sound. This falls in line with my experience (gave my GTX260 to friend - 0 noise in his case, regardless of application)

http://www.asktheramguy.com/v3/showpost.php?p=373882&postcount=8
And his comment about just how loud and noticeable the sound is. As I said, confirmed from the bottom/left corner of my case. Having an LL A70A, there's only one thing there: The PSU.
 

GJSNeptune

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What's it mean that video cards are causing the PSU to squeal and/or buzz? Wouldn't anything suddenly drawing a lot of power cause it?
 

GJSNeptune

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It's not the PSU fan. I stopped it while in SupCom and the buzzing was still there. I tried to ghetto steth the PSU and the GTX 260, but I'm equally split between the two. Since the noise isn't squealing, I'm leaning towards the GTX 260, as I've Googled and saw some people complaining about video cards buzzing.
 

echn111

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Some powerful GPU's can 'squeal' - something to do with the capacitors.

But you're describing buzzing, and, as of your last post, still unsure which component is causing it.

Regardless of the noise type, I would first identify which component this annoying sound is coming from first. Take a magazine, roll it up, put it against your ear while directing it to different component. Getting the PSU out of the case will help even more. Then I'd just RMA the noisy part. If you're into SPCR type noise levels, any squealing and/or buzzing is completely unacceptable.
 

Elios

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yea mine is doing this too with my new 260
didnt do it with the 8800GTS and i just checked the rails with 3dmark running
12v is rock solid at 12.14v but the 5v is at 4.96v dont know if has any thing to do with it

also if the papers that come with the PSU are to believed the fan doesnt throttle up till the PSU is using atlest 50% of its rated out put and the fan is bearly spinning soo...

edit mind you the squeak is very quite if i hadnt been running a benchmark i would of never heard it over the game sound
 

GJSNeptune

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So you're getting a squeak and a buzz, or one of those?

I'm pretty sure it's the GTX 260 buzzing, and apparently it's common for NVIDIA cards. That at least means I won't be paying a million bucks to ship a PSU.
 

GJSNeptune

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It's definitely the power supply. I removed the HX520 from my previous build and connected it to my GTX 260 while keeping the HX620 powering everything else. I fired everything up, went into Supreme Commander, and sure enough the buzzing started. I put my ear to the HX520 which was beside the case, and it was buzzing. I listened to the inside of my case and it was normal, although the HX620 has a subtle buzzing. I can't tell if it's the sound of the fan slicing through air or what.

The PALiT 9800GTX in my previous build never made the HX520 buzz, so why is the GTX 260 making both units buzz? Seems more like a flaw of the power supplies, and since both buzz with the GTX 260, I see no point in spending $15-20 to ship one back for an RMA just to get another unit that'll do the same thing.
 

Mav451

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Yay, so now you know I wasn't talking crazy :D
Not that it's something to celebrate...

And I'm not sure how you are getting $15-20 to ship it back. Fedex came out to $10.53. I used the same huge box (and packing materials) they used to ship me the RMA unit.

PLUS, I ship from Maryland (East coast), so it's the farthest possible zone to get the Cali. Fedex ground is also $4-6 cheaper than UPS, faster (shipped out and received by Corsair in 4 biz days)...it's really a surprise anyone uses UPS anymore.
 

GJSNeptune

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No reason to RMA it if it's a flaw with the series. I guess I'll send in for the rebate, try to sell the unit on Craigslist, and go with a Silverstone or something.
 

jyi786

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I have this "issue" also. As soon as I upgraded from my eVGA 8800GTS 320MB to the GTX 260 216, whenever entering a game, the PSU starts buzzing. It's very subtle, almost inaudible, and changes depending on load. For instance, if I fire up STALKER CS, it will buzz; if I fire up Crysis, it will also buzz, but a different kind of buzz. Depending on the game, the buzz will be either higher pitched or lower pitched, but it buzzes.

If it's an issue, I'd like Corsair to address and rectify it. For what it's worth, I've never had any problems with such a combination yet. But the buzzing should not be there; I'm afraid something will fail prematurely.
 

GJSNeptune

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RAM GUY says it's the GTX 260 since both of my HX units do it. He says the GTX 260 probably has a bad voltage regulator and is giving the power supplies feedback.
 

Redbeard

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RAM GUY says it's the GTX 260 since both of my HX units do it. He says the GTX 260 probably has a bad voltage regulator and is giving the power supplies feedback.

It could definitely be the card. I know for a fact we've seen this happen occasionally with the newer cards, like the 4800 series and GTX 200 series occasionally in the lab, and not just on our PSUs.

I have a PSU from one of our competitors that has been working fine on the test bench for about 6 months now, the other day I swapped out the video card from an 8800GTS 512 to a GTX280, and it made a horrible squealing noise under load. Swapped to a different GTX280, the noise went away.

Used the "noisy" GTX280 on a different make of PSU, no squeal.

It's likely a component variance type of issue.
 

GJSNeptune

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So the noisy GTX 280 made the first PSU squeal but not the second?

Have you had any noise from Corsair units? Specifically the HX?
 

Mav451

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I have a PSU from one of our competitors that has been working fine on the test bench for about 6 months now, the other day I swapped out the video card from an 8800GTS 512 to a GTX280, and it made a horrible squealing noise under load. Swapped to a different GTX280, the noise went away.

Used the "noisy" GTX280 on a different make of PSU, no squeal.

It's likely a component variance type of issue.

Well that's just a lovely conundrum. Two antithetical conditions :(
The real question is why would a GPU only be noisy on PSU A and not on PSU B? The same GPU is being used, which eliminates the GPU as the problem. How can call a GPU "noisy" if it isn't noisy _all the time_ (but only in certain PSU combinations?)

The problem then lies in the electrical design differences between the PSUs.
 

GJSNeptune

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I don't have any other PSUs to test with. I don't think the HX520 squealed with my 9800GTX in my previous computer, but the performance difference between the two cards is pretty significant (if that even matters).
 

Elledan

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The noise would have to come from the coils on the PSU's PCB. Something about the load on the circuit modifies the frequency of the coils to within an audible range. Coils always vibrate, that's unavoidable. You can reduce the frequency (making it inaudible) by putting something like glue on it (or caulk, as PSU manufacturers love to do...).

Why these particular cards make the coils buzz like this I don't know, but it would have to be something about the VRM on them. Someone with an oscilloscope and intimate knowledge of the PSU in question could possibly answer this question.
 

Redbeard

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The noise would have to come from the coils on the PSU's PCB. Something about the load on the circuit modifies the frequency of the coils to within an audible range. Coils always vibrate, that's unavoidable. You can reduce the frequency (making it inaudible) by putting something like glue on it (or caulk, as PSU manufacturers love to do...).

Why these particular cards make the coils buzz like this I don't know, but it would have to be something about the VRM on them. Someone with an oscilloscope and intimate knowledge of the PSU in question could possibly answer this question.

You're very close to a nail on the head. Even two PSUs with identical electrical characteristics and components may react differently to the same GPU.

My guess is that if you get slightly varied VRMs on the GPU, they provide a kind of electrical "feedback" of sorts, which causes the coils to vibrate differently than on other GPUs. Then, you take two PSUs, one with a little more caulk on the coils than the other, and the PSU with less caulk on the coil sees its coils vibrate noisily.

Switch out the GPU for one with a different set of VRMs that are on the other side of the component variance, and the issue goes away.

It's only started happening because of the 4800 series and the GTX 200 series, really, and even then we're seeing very limited amounts of it. But it's not a power draw issue because a GTX 260 might make the noise while two 9800 GTX's in SLI don't.
 

GJSNeptune

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I've read several times that EVGA is supposedly the only company to use digital power on their cards, whereas everyone else uses analog pwn according to the reference design. Some say, however, that they aren't convinced EVGA is fully digital.
 

Mav451

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Hey guys - just to give you an update:

After trying to Modu82+ and still hearing squealing (albeit about 1/3 the total piercing volume of the 620HX), I decided to return that and go with one of the few non-Seasonic units in the Corsair line.

I originally incorrectly assumed the TX650 was a CWT; so when a poster reported that he heard squealing in that as well, I was basically going to give up on the Corsair line. However, a quick search at JonnyGruru - it's actually the 750 that's the CWT, the 650 remains a Seasonic. This explains why the poster who replaced his 620HX still heard squealing. Anyway, just put it in, and opened rthdribl - if there was squealing, I'd say it's 1/20 the volume of the 620HX. It's basically gone.

Yeah, I paid retail, but it was at MC who has a hilarious $50 rebate, so I'm basically getting a Wii game 2.5 months from now. *shrug* Well my search is over, although going back to a non-modular PSU was somewhat sad-panda and a hail back to pre-A64 days. Guess I'll keep the 620HX as a back-up or sell it, who knows.
 

zod96

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I just got a Evga GTX260 SC 55 nm and it buzzes while in 3d mode :-( 2d is ok but as soon as I fire up a game or benchmark it buzzes. I've got a Corsair 620 psu. My 4870 1 gb ati card does not do this, its dead silent...
 

UtopiA

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I've owned a 550VX and 620HX.
All 550VX's have a buzzing noise, it appears to come from the clear plastic piece that Corsair places above the fan; probably to direct airflow inside the PSU.

When you hear the buzzing, jam something into the fan momentarily, so the fan stops spinning.
See if the buzzing stops after you block the fan.

It could be a lot of other things causing the noise, but I'll tell you now, a lot of Corsair PSU's have rattling coming from the plastic fan cover.
 

_G_

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I have an older 620 that has been silent so far. maybe a batch issue with the newer stuff who knows. Mines powering a q6600, a 4870 and an 8800gtx for a second monitor so its not like it has an easy life lol.
 

Mav451

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I seriously doubt it's age.

My original 620 came ZZF in 2007. The RMA unit is from 2008. Both units had the same high, piercing volume of noise, so it is a DESIGN problem, nothing related to newer or older batches.
 
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