Question Can PSU cause coil whine in GPU?

Mar 29, 2022
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I have recently bought some new components for my computer, including a new motherboard (ASUS ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming), CPU (Intel Core i7-12700K) and PSU (Seasonic PRIME TX-1000).

However, I kept my old graphics card (ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060).

I never really had any coil whine on my graphics card before - or at least it was so subtle that I never noticed it.

However, after building up my PC with the new components, I am noticing significant coil whine in my GPU now when it's under load.

Unfortunately I don't have my previous PSU (Seasonic PRIME TX-750) any more, nor any other replacement, so I cannot easily test it - but I am wondering if the PSU or any incompatibility between PSU or GPU could cause this?
 

Eximo

Titan
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It is possible, might have a random convergence of the switching frequency of the PSU and GPU lining up that causes coil whine in the GPU. I suspect this is more related to your changes in other hardware. GPUs tend to have excessive coil whine when frames per second are high, if you have drastically increased CPU performance and are running light titles with no frame limit, that can easily be the result.

PSUs can have coil whine of their own. Having such an oversized PSU may be the cause as well.
 
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Mar 29, 2022
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GPUs tend to have excessive coil whine when frames per second are high, if you have drastically increased CPU performance and are running light titles with no frame limit, that can easily be the result.
Thanks for the hint. This could very well be the case here with my CPU being so much better than my GPU. And indeed - the coil whine is worse in very old games where I have very high FPS. So that means that I probably have to buy a new graphics card now to match my CPU ^^
 

Eximo

Titan
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No, that won't really solve it. If you run old games, they will just try to run faster with a faster GPU, but the CPU will become the limit. A different GPU might behave differently though and have more or less noise.

It is a simple test. Set your monitor to run at 60hz, then turn on V-sync. If the coil whine goes away, it is definitely FPS related.

I have one game where the menu between two screens causes my GPU to scream like a banshee, even with the FPS limited to 144.
 
Reactions: mk53v3n
Mar 29, 2022
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Thanks for the suggestion. I followed it and reduced the FPS in the game where the coil whine is worst from 144 to 60 (and also to 30).

The coil whine is almost completely gone at 30 FPS, significantly reduced at 60 FPS, and very loud at 144 FPS. So that means it's very much FPS related.

I was also able to try the video card in a different computer and interestingly there is no coil whine at all (even at > 100 FPS).
However, the other computer is slightly older, has a different PSU (850W instead of 1000W, but same brand, i.e. Seasonic) and an older CPU (Intel i5-8700k).

Now I don't know what the best course of action would be...

Looking at the crazy GPU prices right now, I don't want to buy a new card for my new rig to be honest.
Maybe I will try my luck and switch the PSU and see if this has any positive effect...
 
Mar 29, 2022
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Quick update: It seems that the coil whine is actually not coming from the GPU but rather from the motherboard. I was able to borrow a graphics card (GeForce RTX 3080) from a friend, and I noticed that the whining is still there, even with the new graphics card. This also explains why my card does not produce any coil whine in my wife's computer.
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
Hmm, motherboard may have a 12V to 3.3 volt VRM on it, look for a coil and chip near the PCIe slots. Not that typical, so it might just be loose and need you to put a little silicon goop on it to stop it vibrating. Chopstick, wooden pencil, or dowel rod you can poke around and find what is vibrating.
 

Wayfall

Splendid
Coil whine can happen randomly I have found, never really pinned it down completely. I've seen people say it cause of a different combination of components, different electric frequencies and or the quality of the components themselves such as bad capacitors.

I myself have only ever had GPU coil whine. Its mainly been when I use to use FastSync or when i alt tab out of a game like Witcher 3 I will hear the GPU whine. For me its when the framerate is uncapped ie no Vsync or frame capper being used.

So depending on ur monitor HZ, cap to 59, 119 or 143. Should fix it.
 
Mar 29, 2022
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I changed the motherboard (replaced the ASUS ROG Strix with an MSI Carbon Z690) and the coil whine is still there...

I could swear it's coming from the motherboard's VRM, but it's really hard to say. Could also be the GPU...

I am really running out of ideas now. I switched literally everything by now except the CPU... But the CPU cannot be the cause of this crazy coil whine, can it?
 

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