does coil whine ever get any better? (decrease over time that is)

Jason

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Feb 20, 2003
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just got a new system built using a corsair 650tx psu.

first time i booted up i heard this peculiar squealing noise. sounded very much like an electronic noise, almost like the noise you get coming over speakers due to interference from a cell phone. i was a little freaked, to say the least.

then i fired up this reallllly old 2d spaceship game that was originally coded back in 1995. it's my all time favorite game ever, but it's 2d spaceships, so it's absolutely not even going to begin to push my 5770. well, i'm playing along and i start to hear more noise, this time it's more of a crunching/chatter than a squeal, the kind of noise you would expect from a hard drive that's reading/writing. soon as i stop the game, the noise stops.

long story short, after a bunch of reading up on the subject, and opening up the case to stick my ear right up next to every last component, i'm about 99% sure that the noises i'm hearing are psu related. i think it's what's referred to as "coil whine."

does this noise ever go away? can you "break-in" a psu? i don't necessarily think my corsair is faulty as far as pumping out proper voltage throughout the system. it's just this damn noise. it's so annoying. i constantly hear it over my case fans. i'd hate to rma a psu just for noise, and i'm not even sure if corsair would accept the rma request for such an issue.
 

Zero82z

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It does go away sometimes, but not always. If the sound is really a serious problem, then Corsair would RMA it for you. however, I suggest that you check to find out for sure which component is making the sound, since it may also be your video card or motherboard.
 

Jason

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my only real method of determining where exactly the noise is coming from is to open up the case and stick my ear just about literally onto each component. my psu is bottom mounted in a cooler master 690. it's set far enough away from my motherboard and graphics card such that i'm as certain as i can be that the noise is coming from the psu.

i actually did touch my ear to the psu casing and rebooted a few times to verify the initial squeal i described. it's quite loud and unmistakable, coming from the psu. the grinding/chatter isn't as loud and a little more difficult to be sure of the source.

the only thing that is causing me to have doubts is that i'm experiencing some graphical glitching in that super old game. however, i'm not so sure it's my gpu's fault. the game is so crazy old that i think maybe a dx11 vid card just doesn't quite know how to handle it. i've had no problems running furmark. going to try a few other benchmarks later this afternoon when i have the time.

one final thought. can a fan emit the kind of electrical squeal i'm talking about? it's definitely more of a squeal than a whine. the only other possiblity i can think of is that between the honeycomb grill on the case and the circular grill on the psu itself, perhaps the psu fan's airflow is too heavily restricted, causing the fan to moan and groan.
 

Zero82z

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my only real method of determining where exactly the noise is coming from is to open up the case and stick my ear just about literally onto each component.
Roll a piece of paper into a tube, stick one end next to your ear, and use the other end to probe around the inside of your case.
 

texuspete00

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The 2D game comments remind me of how my GTX280 squeals in menus and such (I think ppl suggested vsync to make it stfu), but not in games.
 

Jason

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vsync on you mean?

only thing i've been able to do to help alleviate my troubles with this game i'm talking about is to enable software emulation, taking my gpu out of the picture entirely.
 

Jason

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quick update:

i'm now hearing the crunching/chatter noise when i have a webpage or a document up on my screen and i grab the scrollbar and scroll up and down, back and forth.

this is just weird. did some more research, and all i can figure is that it's somehow related to my gpu/psu. is that correct? can certain gpus cause a psu to emit these kinds of noises in these kinds of situations? it seems like it's a 2d issue, such as texuspete mentioned.
 
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bitgod

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quick update:

i'm now hearing the crunching/chatter noise when i have a webpage or a document up on my screen and i grab the scrollbar and scroll up and down, back and forth.

this is just weird. did some more research, and all i can figure is that it's somehow related to my gpu/psu. is that correct? can certain gpus cause a psu to emit these kinds of noises in these kinds of situations? it seems like it's a 2d issue, such as texuspete mentioned.

Ok, that's weird that you say that, cuz I've noticed that recently on mine, I'm like WTF? So I get squealing in this new system when I'm in 3D, so I assume it's the 5870 doing that, but there's some little bit of noise at other times, and I've noticed lately when I'm scrolling in firefox that I was hearing some noise. I thought I was going crazy until it happened multiple times, I thought maybe it was RF interference from a wireless mouse or something. I'm going to be interested to see what happens when I change to a Seasonic X750.
 

Jason

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so my options are deal with it or try to rma the psu and see if corsair will maybe do an advance rma? this is the only psu i have. can't afford to sit without a system for the weeks it would take to process the rma and get a new one. and of course, there's no guarantee a new one won't have the same problem.

rock and a [h]ard place, here i come!
 

larrymoencurly

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From what I've read, coil whine has as much a chance of improving with age as old, smelly milk in the refrigerator has of becoming fresher tomorrow. :(

The usual solutions are to wedge insulating material, like a stick of wood, between the circuit board and core or apply more varnish to the windings, but somebody said that reversing the coil can help because the vibration isn't exactly symetrical.
 

Elledan

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All coils vibrate during use. The question is whether or not this vibration's frequency falls within the audible range for humans. The specific frequency changes during use and with age which could make it drop out of the audible range.

I had coil noise with my Corsair VX550 until I rebuild the system (same hardware, just disassembled and reassembled everything) after which it was gone. Coil noise can be induced by feedback from VRMs such as those on the mainboard and GPU. The load on these VRMs will thus change the feedback induced on the PSU. Small changes can apparently change this feedback sufficiently to change the coil frequency as in my case.

If it does persist, however, an RMA would be your best option.
 
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Just RMA it. I had a power supply that made an annoying high pitched squealing noise and I had to replace it. It sucks, but it had to be done. Hate hearing that noise, it can be distracting and very annoying.
 

Jason

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interesting tidbit!

i finally got around to overclocking my xeon x3440. to go along with the OC, i ended up disabling speedstep, CE1 and the higher C states as well. also disabled turbo boost. guess what? no more noise!
 

drescherjm

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That's probably because the system never goes down to a power level that causes the whine.
 

Jason

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yeah, that's what i figured. i guess i just can't return to stock unless i feel like going insane. that squeal is seriously annoying.
 

bitgod

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Well I cured my excess non-game-playing whine and the whine from scrolling the mouse. I was checking out Corsair's forum and someone said turning off EIST and C1E in the BIOS got rid of the noise for him. I turned both off on mine, the noise was still there. Went back into BIOS and turned off 1 more C state setting, now that noise is gone. Of course on the downside, no more automatic lower core votage and no more auto increasing my CPU speed. Normally if I was OCing, that'd be fine, though at the moment I've been running at stock trying to figure out what's causing some drive I/O issues.
 

DeFex

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My motherboard was doing that. I just put a dab of hot glue on the coil.
I dont know if the enclosed coils can whine, if they can that kind of sucks.
 

Megalith

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It can't be a coincidence; every time I hear about PSU whining, I hear some mention of a Corsair 600 series PSU.

I wasted time unplugging everything in my system because I gave Corsair the benefit of the doubt, but I shouldn't have fooled myself because the noise was clearly stemming directly from the PSU.

Luckily my Seasonic X750 will arrive today.

IMO, part of the whining problem stems from the multi-rail design.
 

silent-circuit

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It can't be a coincidence; every time I hear about PSU whining, I hear some mention of a Corsair 600 series PSU.

I wasted time unplugging everything in my system because I gave Corsair the benefit of the doubt, but I shouldn't have fooled myself because the noise was clearly stemming directly from the PSU.

Luckily my Seasonic X750 will arrive today.

IMO, part of the whining problem stems from the multi-rail design.

Corsair PSUs aren't actually multi-rail, you know. They're marketed as multi-rail, but they're all single rail internally.
 

lgestle

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I had multiple systems with 260 GTX's and narrowed it down to specific power supplies. So far I have tested.

No coil whine:
BFG LS-550
Antec NeoHE 500, 550, 650

Coil Whine:
Antec Quatro 1000
 

silent-circuit

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Odd. I don't have any coil wine with a pair of 4890s and a Quatro 1000w, but I did have coil whine (from the cards, not the PSU) with 8800 GTX SLI and Tri-SLI in the past.
 

lgestle

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Odd. I don't have any coil wine with a pair of 4890s and a Quatro 1000w, but I did have coil whine (from the cards, not the PSU) with 8800 GTX SLI and Tri-SLI in the past.
Could be a 2XX GTX thing. I did not try with an HD4850, but duplicated the issue with 2 different 260 GTXs.
Edit:
Actually 3 different Builds and 3 different 260 GTXs. All were using Asus P5Q-Es, EVGA or PNY 260 GTXs, and either Q6600/Q8200/Q9550s.
 
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Zero82z

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It varies between different video cards, different PSUs, and even variations between different instances of the same model. It's not something you can really predict.
 

Megalith

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I put in the Seasonic X750 and am still getting problems. While I used to have a light whine when I scrolled through webpages, I now get a fuzzy/static-like sound on certain sites. Also, the whine/buzz problems are still there in games. I opened up the case to check if the noise was still stemming from the PSU, but now it sounds like it's coming from the Radeon 5850. I'll need to check it out with a paper tube tomorrow to be sure.

I feel completely hopeless and the HTPC I put two grand toward feels useless. How the heck am I supposed to figure out what is causing the problem? I don't have time to buy and switch out random components.

Though there is actually sound coming from my PC, I'm starting to think that there really is something on the outside that is contributing to the issue. I noticed that even when I changed the output setting on the HDMI receiver that my HTPC is hooked up to, I was still getting the strange noise through my speakers.

Maybe it really is a ground loop issue. I wanted to get a cheater plug the other day for tests, but I wasn't sure about how dangerous it could be. Are the dangers minimized if you plug a cheater plug into a grounded surge protector?
 

MarshMellow

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My 4870 whines a bit, usually if there is no vsync and its allowed to loop over a simple scene at 2000+fps. I think it consumes the most power in this setting. Some graphics drivers don't do windowed vsync even if you have forced it on. Some ATI drivers do this others do not (depends on version) and NVIDIA is the same, some drivers do some don't.

When I underclock my video card and even if there is no windowed vsync the whine goes away, so I think it is related to the power usage of the video card. Underclock your card to lowest setting and the issue will go away in windowed mode I bet.
 

bitgod

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Hah, me too, I have my X750 sitting here, going to put it in later today, guess it's best not to try installing it while half asleep. :) And then if there's no initial noise, I'll turn the functions I turned off to see if it comes back or not, though once I figure what's causing some intermittent drive I/O issues, they'll be off again so I can OC the CPU again.

Also pulled out my kill-a-watt to see what draw this system has with the HX620 vs X750.
 

bitgod

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Ok, found the best fix for all of the squeaking and chirping I was hearing in my system, putting in the X750. Now I can fire up a game without hearing all that noise. I'll have to try turning on the BIOS items I disabled to see if I hear any noise.
 

Megalith

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I ended up trying a cheater plug and that completely killed the noise.

Is the X750 worth keeping over the HX620?
 

Zero82z

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Is the X750 worth keeping over the HX620?
Depends what for, and for how much money. I would say if your system runs on the HX620 and you would have to spend a lot more for the X-750, stick with the Corsair.
 

MJZ

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Ok, that's weird that you say that, cuz I've noticed that recently on mine, I'm like WTF? So I get squealing in this new system when I'm in 3D, so I assume it's the 5870 doing that, but there's some little bit of noise at other times, and I've noticed lately when I'm scrolling in firefox that I was hearing some noise. I thought I was going crazy until it happened multiple times, I thought maybe it was RF interference from a wireless mouse or something. I'm going to be interested to see what happens when I change to a Seasonic X750.

It's your PSU. And I had an X750 that did the exact same thing. Every scroll through a webpage would cause a squeal from the PSU.

No more squeals from HX650 and HX850. Until I bought another HX850 today, which is squealing under load, but in a different way.
 

MJZ

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I put in the Seasonic X750 and am still getting problems. While I used to have a light whine when I scrolled through webpages, I now get a fuzzy/static-like sound on certain sites. Also, the whine/buzz problems are still there in games. I opened up the case to check if the noise was still stemming from the PSU, but now it sounds like it's coming from the Radeon 5850. I'll need to check it out with a paper tube tomorrow to be sure.

I feel completely hopeless and the HTPC I put two grand toward feels useless. How the heck am I supposed to figure out what is causing the problem? I don't have time to buy and switch out random components.

Though there is actually sound coming from my PC, I'm starting to think that there really is something on the outside that is contributing to the issue. I noticed that even when I changed the output setting on the HDMI receiver that my HTPC is hooked up to, I was still getting the strange noise through my speakers.

Maybe it really is a ground loop issue. I wanted to get a cheater plug the other day for tests, but I wasn't sure about how dangerous it could be. Are the dangers minimized if you plug a cheater plug into a grounded surge protector?

Game load with squeal/buzz/whine = your 5850.

My 5870 does the same thing. You either accept it that these things are just made that way, or you risk worse (Nvidia cards will squeal like pigs, like my GTS 250 does as well).
 

Megalith

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Well, here's the thing---I removed the ground from my PC, and the buzzing/whining went away completely.

Now I'm trying out how to get rid of the ground loop without actually defeating the ground. The only idea I've got so far is to try a Tripp-Lite isolation transformer.
 

MJZ

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Removing the ground is risky, unless you can properly protect yourself/equipment from a surge. I'm thinking personal safety is more important.
 

caw2007

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I started getting this issue when I switch to my i7 setup and a 5870 a few months ago and just chalked it up to coil or capacitor whine from my GPU. However, a few other instability issues have been eating at me, so i decided to get a HX850 since Newegg has them for $170 plus shipping. Replaced the PC Power and Cooling Quad 750 and lo, all my minor instability issues and even the coil/capacitor whine is GONE!

That power supply was 4 years old and served me well, but I guess that was the issue, go Corsair!
 
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I started getting this issue when I switch to my i7 setup and a 5870 a few months ago and just chalked it up to coil or capacitor whine from my GPU. However, a few other instability issues have been eating at me, so i decided to get a HX850 since Newegg has them for $170 plus shipping. Replaced the PC Power and Cooling Quad 750 and lo, all my minor instability issues and even the coil/capacitor whine is GONE!

That power supply was 4 years old and served me well, but I guess that was the issue, go Corsair!


I'm hoping for similar results when my HX850 gets here tomorrow/Monday.

My issue is when my 5870 gets taxed to 100% folding my 2 year old Antec Truepower 650W squeals like a stuck pig. The second I stop folding on the GPU it goes away. CPU is still chugging away at 100% while folding.

My system is overclocked, and it is an older PSU so here's hoping the HX850 is the fix. I was buying it anyway so the timing could not have been better for the whine to start.

.....though it's driving me wacko because I don't want to stop folding. (7000+ PPD.)
 
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