Question 5900X + MSI X570 Unify, awful whine / noise ?

Mar 4, 2021
I’ve finally managed to acquire a 5900X, and I’ve paired it with a MSI MEG X570 Unify, and I’m getting a horrible whining noise in games.

From what I can tell it’s related to the transfer rate on the PCI interface. I’ve found that the noise is worst when running benchmarks that results is a high transfer rate, as opposed to just high GPU power. Furmark (with the furry object disabled) and Novabench seem to produce the worst noise.
I can’t tell exactly where it’s coming from, but it sounds like a high-pitched white noise. I've turned off all the fans, so it's no coming from any of them, and the frequency & volume of the noise seems to vary with the framerate in the benchmarks.

I ended up taking the board back and getting a new one, but I’m getting the exact same thing.

I’ve tried it with 3 different GPUs (GTX 1070, GTX 780, GTX 550Ti) and while the 1070 is loudest, they all produce the same noise.
I’ve tried dropping the PCIe bus down to gen 3, disabling XMP, both upgrading and downgrading the BIOS, but nothing makes any difference.

I’m at a complete loss, I don’t know what else to try.

Could the problem with the CPU itself? The packaging it was in was a little beat up, but the CPU box itself looked fine. Unfortunately, I don’t have any other compatible CPUs to try, and I really don’t want to have to send it back and try and get a new one.
What you're hearing is most likely coil whine, this doesn't really have much to do with the PCIe interface but rather the power draw during high load. This is caused when a large amount of power is flowing through mosfets, a part of the voltage regulator management system (VRM). It usually comes from either the GPU or the power supply. Since you've been replacing the board and the GPU's and the same noise is persisting, it's most likely coming from the PSU. You can try to isolate the noise by taking a used paper towel tube and putting it up to the PSU or GPU and listening if the noise is loudest at whatever the tube is aiming at.

This is not something you can fix, only replace the component making the noise, though it's kind of a luck of the draw whether or not your replacement unit will suffer the same whine. My psu produces this whine, though over time it seems to have gotten a little tolerable.