Question Pulsing, crackling noise coming from PSU when GPU is under moderate load

jeffbruno155

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Dec 11, 2017
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I can't be sure it's coming from the PSU, but when I hold my ear up right against it that's definitely the loudest spot that it's coming from. I just purchased this computer yesterday so there's no incidents that caused it, just noticed it when i'm doing heavy calculations or renders.

The crackling is buried under 6 fan noises, but you should be able to pick it out: https://vocaroo.com/1haFRjc4pqbp

Specs:
Intel Core i9 10850K 3.60GHz (5.20GHz Turbo), 10-Core 20-Thread
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 24GB
GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS ULTRA, WIFI 6 AX 200
32GB RGB DDR4 3200MHz
850W 80 Plus Gold PSU

I should note the PSU comes with a brand new power cable so I'm not using an old one.
 
Last edited:

jeffbruno155

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Dec 11, 2017
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Yeah, that's ACRF PSU, coil whine is expected.
I thought it might be coil whine, but when I looked up examples of coil whine they all sounded like sustained high pitch frequencies and mine is more punchy and rhythmic, creating pauses between each noise.

On the streamable link I raised the volume on that one so you should be able to hear what I mean.
 

Juular

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Mar 14, 2020
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It is coil whine, it's not always continous and high pitch, it's simply GPU/PSU chokes vibrating according to current changes, which happens due to changing load. Your application pushes a batch of workload to the GPU, the GPU calculates if very fast expanding the coils due to heat and magnetic fields, the CPU or whatever else is bottlenecking this workload prepares the next batch, coils shrink due to no load, finally, the next batch is ready and the cycle repeats. You hear that as this noise. More technical term would be an electromagnetically induced acoustic noise, so you see, it's not necessarily a whine. It's probably a GPU that produces it but as i said, this PSU being an older ACRF topology is susceptible also.
 
My condolences.

Yeah, that's ACRF PSU, coil whine is expected.
I thought it might be coil whine, but when I looked up examples of coil whine they all sounded like sustained high pitch frequencies and mine is more punchy and rhythmic, creating pauses between each noise.
It's not coil whine in the typical sense. It's actually transformer whine coming from the main transformer (T1). Coil whine is a generic term people use to describe any audible noise coming from any magnetic component (coil, transformer, etc.)
 
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