Question Unbearable whistling from ASUS ROG Strix 3090

cogsman

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I bought this 3090 and not only is it crashing MSFS 2020 (which is what I bought it for in the first place) but it's making a crazy whistling noise under load.

Actually, I don't really know if it's the GPU. Everyone is telling me it's coil whine, but all the videos detailing this sound nothing like what I'm experiencing. To be honest, it sounds more like an alarm sound.

The problem persists regardless of if I limit the framerate, turn vsync on or off, etc. The card benchmarks show that it is pushing serious frames regardless, so I am wondering if it is even the GPU?

I undervolted the card to 925mV, which seems to have reduced the issue but it did not eliminate it.

I am thinking of buying a larger 1200W PSU to add to the case. Before I do that I wanted to reach out to see if anyone has any sage advice. I made a video detailing the issue. Any feedback is appreciated:

View: https://youtu.be/-NRaOWJwF-4
 

DavidM012

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Well you can try to isolate the source of the noise with a microphone but I haven't seen many threads with 'solved' coil whine problem on this forum


One that was solved: https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/every-gpu-i-get-it-has-coil-whine.3759584/

Here they suggested using a plastic or wooden chopstick to try and isolate the noise. It could be caused by electrical noise from the motherboard vrms or the power supply unit.

So the implication is you could go on switching random combinations of PSU, GPU, and motherboard ad infinitum until you find a combo that doesn't whine. Simply switching one component may not remediate the problem.

A search of coil whine on this forum suggests that the majority of sufferers get the 'ump and stomp off before a solution is found. The answers given on 'solved' threads that explain the problem don't necessarily contain a remedy for your particular variety of coil whine.

There's too many possible combinations of hardware to 'breadboard' the problem by process of elimination. If you imagine that you could rma dozens of mobos and psu's in the search for a solution.

So I would imagine that it's also a further gamble going higher up the tier of a more quality PSU - if the mobo vrms are the source of the noise because both a more quality PSU and a more quality mobo are expensive. Because the vrms are on the other side of the PSU circuit. I mean the sequence is wall socket, ->PSU, ->Motherboard. So switching the psu doesn't eliminate and isolate the motherboard as a source of electrical noise either. Electrical noise may not be the sole cause of the coil whine. It might be that gpu.

Can you list the full specs of your system?

PSU Make and Model
Mobo Make and Model
Gpu Make and Model
Ram part no., Make and model
Cpu Make and model

The mobo psu and gpu models seem more relevant than the rest of it, the drives, the case etc.

Was the system prebuilt or did you assemble it from parts?

If the cause is electrical noise you could maybe try an uninterruptible power supply or some filter that smooths out the noise from the mains. When you think about it there's sources of em noise everywhere so it's hard to isolate.
 

cogsman

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I assembled the system myself.

PSU Make and Model - Seasonic Focus GX-850
Mobo Make and Model - ASUS ROG Strix B550-i Gaming
Gpu Make and Model - ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3090 OC
Ram part no., Make and model - Crucial Ballistix Ram, not sure the model #
Cpu Make and model - AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

So I appreciate any feedback. I find it incredibly hard to believe that in so many of the threads, we are essentially faced with a "live with it" scenario. This is exactly like driving a car with ridiculous brake squeal, but hey, the car still stops so just live with it. Nobody would accept that. That's just a general comment, not aimed at you @DavidM012
 

DavidM012

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Well a solution is possible in some cases by gluing the coils and experimenting a bit but it isn't easy to have access to different combinations of hardware and a ups because they're expensive. I've also seen attempts to glue the coils fail to remediate the whine.

I suppose it's one of those things where if the majority were affected the manufacturers would certainly address the design. It's a matter of advantages and disadvantages of different approaches. Producing a lot of hi performance gear at a price consumers can afford carries the risk of some incidents of coil whine. We live with the risk of motor vehicle accidents.

So whether a coil whine protest group would have any effect on the problem is also dubious. So chipping away at it trying to isolate the source in your case is probably equal odds to everyone else. If there were some options to try. I could try searching it if anyone has solved it with a rog strix and seasonic combo but the information might be a bit spotty.

There might be other ways around the problem than technical. Just compromising on the performance a bit and go lower instead of higher for a while to avoid the minefield of coil whine.
 

Nighthawk117

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I bought this 3090 and not only is it crashing MSFS 2020 (which is what I bought it for in the first place) but it's making a crazy whistling noise under load.

Actually, I don't really know if it's the GPU. Everyone is telling me it's coil whine, but all the videos detailing this sound nothing like what I'm experiencing. To be honest, it sounds more like an alarm sound.

The problem persists regardless of if I limit the framerate, turn vsync on or off, etc. The card benchmarks show that it is pushing serious frames regardless, so I am wondering if it is even the GPU?

I undervolted the card to 925mV, which seems to have reduced the issue but it did not eliminate it.

I am thinking of buying a larger 1200W PSU to add to the case. Before I do that I wanted to reach out to see if anyone has any sage advice. I made a video detailing the issue. Any feedback is appreciated:

View: https://youtu.be/-NRaOWJwF-4
That's not coil wine, I've never had coil wine that sounded anything like that or anywhere near that loud. That sounds more like the solid beep you get when there is something wrong with the power connector to the GPU. I couldn't tell from the video, but do you have 2 separate power connectors coming from the PSU or did you daisy chain them?

I have a Seasonic GX 1000W with a 3080, you may run into problems with the 3090 and 850W due to transient spikes. Though it is one of the better quality PSU's so in theory it should be ok.
 

DavidM012

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Last edited:
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Not common, but I suspect that sound could actually be coming from a PSU.

Have you tried reseating the GPU? Then try to unplug and plug everything to the PSU see if behaviour change.

If not the PSU then you certainly have faulty GPU, if you bought it use, I suggest you to give it back to whoever sold it. Only if it is the gpu tho, and yes you should be able to return it! As item isn’t described as “broken”
 

cogsman

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Folks it seems like the problem is solved. And @DavidM012 it's all because of you! In your post above you mentioned "....and a ups because they're expensive". You meant to say PSU but that typo made me realize that I had my system plugged into a 750W rated APC UPS along with some other devices. So I thought, is it possible that the UPS is unable to channel anything beyond 750W (or close to that threshold) when it's needed by the system?

I plugged my system directly into the wall instead and bingo! I've run all programs and all benchmarks. No more beeping/whining. It must have been the UPS backup all along!

This is why community and conversation are such awesome things. I can't thank all of you enough for the help you've given in helping me to troubleshoot.
 
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cogsman

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That's not coil wine, I've never had coil wine that sounded anything like that or anywhere near that loud. That sounds more like the solid beep you get when there is something wrong with the power connector to the GPU. I couldn't tell from the video, but do you have 2 separate power connectors coming from the PSU or did you daisy chain them?

I have a Seasonic GX 1000W with a 3080, you may run into problems with the 3090 and 850W due to transient spikes. Though it is one of the better quality PSU's so in theory it should be ok.
Nighthawk just as an FYI, I have three separate power cables into each plug. I made sure not to daisy chain them.
 
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DavidM012

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I typed ups intentionally meaning uninterruptible power supply but thought people don't usually have them because they're expensive, thinking it would filter the power, however a different problem seemed to result from using the ups to do that, but I didn't realise you had one!

So that all depends similarly on it's make and model and there's the same lo, mid, and hi range as there is with pc's and everything else consumer so it depended on it's capacity.

A ups (uninterruptible power supply) gives you maybe 20mins of battery power to backup your data in the event of a power cut so that's another reason why they aren't commonly used since there isn't the capacity to do much else.

Not often a lot of point to a ups probably a surge protector is more suitable for pc's but they don't give you any battery power if you really want to save your data if the power goes out.

Maybe, go solar?
 

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