[SOLVED] Random short buzzing sound

AG90

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Hey all,

Quick question, sometimes I hear a random buzzing sound coming from the PC case, it's not a coil whine, more like an electricity or loose screw vibration. It lasts for like a second, and it usually appears when I wake up my displays, or when the fans start running at higher RPMs as far as I've noticed, but I could be wrong. Recently I've added one old HDD for storage, the HDD itself is healthy, so I don't think that is an issue. Could it be the PSU fan when it starts spinning maybe, or some loose screw (HDD cage maybe)?

I know that this would take a in-depth troubleshooting, but if anyone has any idea about what it can be, it would be most helpful!
 

AG90

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Seems like a sound plan. Hopefully not too complicated to figure out, beyond what is already involved.
Alright, after a thorough search, it happened to be one of my old 3,5" HDDs which I use as additional storage. As soon as I disconnected it, the buzzing stopped. The HDD itself is healthy, I've scanned it with various software just to make sure, but for some reason it is making that sound when the PC is powering on and in some other instances. Maybe some of the screws are vibrating when the HDD starts spinning.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
HDD cage is very possible. Remove it, and see if it still does it. Unfortunately, the noise you describe sounds EXACTLY what coil whine generally sounds like. An electrical buzzing or whine that happens under specific conditions, but there are plenty of other things that can cause similar sounds as well. Fan frames are well known to make similar noises when ramping up or starting, especially if there is a loose fastener or the part of the case it's attached to is not well reinforced and tends to vibrate. That should be easily found by unplugging case fans one at a time and recreating the conditions that cause the noise until you find it.

Power supply fan would be unlikely to make that kind of noise unless there was something wrong with the fan or fan bearing. What is the model of your power supply and how long has it been in service?
 
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AG90

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HDD cage is very possible. Remove it, and see if it still does it. Unfortunately, the noise you describe sounds EXACTLY what coil whine generally sounds like. An electrical buzzing or whine that happens under specific conditions, but there are plenty of other things that can cause similar sounds as well. Fan frames are well known to make similar noises when ramping up or starting, especially if there is a loose fastener or the part of the case it's attached to is not well reinforced and tends to vibrate. That should be easily found by unplugging case fans one at a time and recreating the conditions that cause the noise until you find it.

Power supply fan would be unlikely to make that kind of noise unless there was something wrong with the fan or fan bearing. What is the model of your power supply and how long has it been in service?
First of all, thanks for the in-depth answer!

I can definitely unplug the second HDD and see if that would fix the issue, if not I can remove the whole cage as you suggested. Now that you mentioned the case fans, somehow I suspect that they maybe are the issue, because I also added them recently. Possibly the frames where they are attached, probably front intake one. But if that is the case, I would definitely need to learn to live with it I guess, if somehow I can't dampen the sound?

PSU is brand new, it has been running for maybe 2,5 months. The brand is Seasonic B12 BC-Series 850W, 80+Bronze.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
If a case fan is the cause, these work really well for fans that they will work with. They don't LOOK quite as neat as being installed with screws, but they absolutely eliminate any vibration related noise. And they are available in many brands and a variety of colors, but I prefer the ones made by Noctua as they seem to be higher quality. Much like all Noctua products.

https://www.amazon.com/Noctua-NA-SAV2-Chromax-Anti-Vibration-Mount/dp/B018T3826S/ref=sr_1_16?crid=96FYN160HGPL&keywords=pc+fan+rubber+screws&qid=1640881418&sprefix=pc+fan+rubber+screws,aps,117&sr=8-16

Another thing you can do is place some pieces of self adhesive 1/16 or 1/32 thick foam rubber pads in between the fan and the case mounting surface. It won't work as well as the rubber screws, but it works better than just screwed to the case alone.
 
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AG90

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Thanks for the advice and for this product! I will definitely do a testing these days and see the outcome. Although, today nothing buzzed at all, and I've been running the PC pretty hard with several graphic design software simultaneously... So weird situation that's for sure.

While we are at the fans and if you don't mind me asking in this thread considering that I see that you are knowledgeable - I'm running two SP Thermaltake 14 Riing fans for the front intake, and one for the rear (also an SP Thermaltake Riing 14, had one extra laying around in the package), plus the stock Wraith Prism CPU cooler for Ryzen 7 3800x. The reason that I use the SP fans without water cooling, especially for the intake is that I'm also using the Thermaltake H100 TG case, which has a solid front panel with grills on the side, so that part of the case is not really air-optimized, but it definitely pulls in a decent amount of air with these fans. Is this a good setup for now? The temps have been pretty low, and I don't game too much. The PC is mostly used for work (graphic design).

Thanks in advance!
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
What is the exact model of your specific fans? There are a lot of companies out there that throw around the "static pressure" naming scheme quite often and for a lot of them they either don't actually have particularly impressive static pressure, like the basic Riing 14 blue LED fans which say they are high static pressure but have only a 1.5mm H20 static pressure rating, (According to Thermaltake, which makes the stat suspect to begin with) or in some cases they brute force their way to higher static pressure but at the cost of much higher noise levels.

There are a variety of Riing models and have some not inconsiderable differences.

Primarily I run only Noctua fans in my own systems, because they DO have high static pressure for most models but also are extremely quiet. They are certainly not the only company out there making good fans, but in my opinion they ARE without doubt the best of them among companies making consumer PC cooling fans.
 
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AG90

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What is the exact model of your specific fans? There are a lot of companies out there that throw around the "static pressure" naming scheme quite often and for a lot of them they either don't actually have particularly impressive static pressure, like the basic Riing 14 blue LED fans which say they are high static pressure but have only a 1.5mm H20 static pressure rating, (According to Thermaltake, which makes the stat suspect to begin with) or in some cases they brute force their way to higher static pressure but at the cost of much higher noise levels.

There are a variety of Riing models and have some not inconsiderable differences.

Primarily I run only Noctua fans in my own systems, because they DO have high static pressure for most models but also are extremely quiet. They are certainly not the only company out there making good fans, but in my opinion they ARE without doubt the best of them among companies making consumer PC cooling fans.
Yup, these are the ones https://www.thermaltake.com/riing-14-led-rgb-colors-fan-3-fan-pack.html

For now they are making the temps pretty low and the air that comes out of the PC case is pretty cold, even though they are at 1.58 mm-H2O, and at not so great CFM. I wouldn't use these on the radiator though, that's for sure.

Update regarding the noise by the way, it seems that it is one of the cables behind and nothing inside the case fortunately. I'm suspecting a VGA to DP adapter, but I will need to systematically remove each suspect. Good thing is that it starts to buzz while powering on the PC.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Buzzing.

Use zip ties to bundle ALL of your output wiring including display cable, power cable, usb cables, etc. into one large bundle, about 8 inches away from where they plug into the back of the case so that they are heavy and won't vibrate. Also, a couple of spots of silicone on the contact points for the rear I/O shield that snaps into place in the back of the case, will eliminate a lot of that.

As for the fans, let me clarify. For exhaust fans, static pressure is NEVER a concern, because the outside air pressure is ALWAYS lower than the internal case air pressure if you have any intake fans at all. CFM and noise levels are what you should be most concerned about for those fans, but you CAN certainly use fans with good static pressure if you want them to all match and are going to use such fans in intake locations, for uniformity.

For intake, CPU cooler heatsink and radiator fans, having high static pressure should be the primary concern, and obviously 1.58 isn't horrific, but it's also not very good compared to a lot of what's out there these days.

These, are my favorite go to fans until Noctua comes up with a newer A14 revision.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=nf-a14&i=electronics&crid=3ACTNHXJVTQZK&sprefix=nf-a14,electronics,114&ref=nb_sb_noss_1
 

AG90

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Buzzing.

Use zip ties to bundle ALL of your output wiring including display cable, power cable, usb cables, etc. into one large bundle, about 8 inches away from where they plug into the back of the case so that they are heavy and won't vibrate. Also, a couple of spots of silicone on the contact points for the rear I/O shield that snaps into place in the back of the case, will eliminate a lot of that.

As for the fans, let me clarify. For exhaust fans, static pressure is NEVER a concern, because the outside air pressure is ALWAYS lower than the internal case air pressure if you have any intake fans at all. CFM and noise levels are what you should be most concerned about for those fans, but you CAN certainly use fans with good static pressure if you want them to all match and are going to use such fans in intake locations, for uniformity.

For intake, CPU cooler heatsink and radiator fans, having high static pressure should be the primary concern, and obviously 1.58 isn't horrific, but it's also not very good compared to a lot of what's out there these days.

These, are my favorite go to fans until Noctua comes up with a newer A14 revision.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=nf-a14&i=electronics&crid=3ACTNHXJVTQZK&sprefix=nf-a14,electronics,114&ref=nb_sb_noss_1
I need to do some cable management these days anyways, so that will be the part of it :) Useful advice for the I/O shield, thanks! I also need to check if he is maybe the actual culprit.

And yes, I've researched Noctua fans and they are the best on the martket at the moment. I will stick with TT for now, 2 for for front intake, and 1 for exhaust (not counting the CPU cooler and PSU fan), until I get the better GPU at least. The system is running cool for now as I mentioned already.

Thanks for all the input and your time, it is highly appreciated! I will leave this thread open in case I find what is the main source of buzzing, and update it here accordingly in case anyone runs into similar issue in the future.

Cheers!
 

AG90

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Seems like a sound plan. Hopefully not too complicated to figure out, beyond what is already involved.
Alright, after a thorough search, it happened to be one of my old 3,5" HDDs which I use as additional storage. As soon as I disconnected it, the buzzing stopped. The HDD itself is healthy, I've scanned it with various software just to make sure, but for some reason it is making that sound when the PC is powering on and in some other instances. Maybe some of the screws are vibrating when the HDD starts spinning.
 

AG90

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Might be able to put some rubber pads between the drive and any metal it mounts to and eliminate or reduce the vibration.
Yes I can definitely try that if there is enough space between, thanks! The space between the cage and the HDD is almost completely snug though. Stupid question, but is there any possibility that the extra SATA cables which are not connected are actually producing the sound, or there is no way that they do that? Currently they are laying on top of the HDD cage.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Certainly anything that's not firmly secured or bolted in place might make noise. So it might be a good time to get some zip ties and do some cable management. You can tie loose cables bundled together to any available holes in metal close to where the cables are. Should help if that's the cause.
 
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AG90

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I must admit that I've done the cable management pretty neat on the back, and yes, most of the similar cables are zip-tied and in their respective channels. The only issue is that this PSU is non-modular, so unused cables are tucked in the PSU shroud and mostly laying on the HDD cage. I've done some more inspecting this morning, and it seems that it is definitely the drive cage. The screws to which the HDD is secured already have the rubber grommets though, so it must be some microscopic problem. Will figure it out eventually, the most important thing is that it is probably not dangerous to the hardware itself :)

Thanks for all your help and patience!
 
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