[SOLVED] What is causing the noise in my PC?

photon123

Distinguished
Nov 12, 2010
28
1
18,545
1
My pc was making annoying noises. It seemed to me like the noises were coming from the power supply, and it also seemed to me that there were 2 different types of noises. One was clearly coming from the PSU fan, while there was also a weaker one coming from something else. Considering that my power supply was very old, I decided to buy a new one. So I replaced the old Corsair HX 520 with a new Corsair RM850x(2018 version). The fan noise is gone, but the weaker noise still persists. The strange thing is that I can't figure out what makes the noise. It is not made by the speakers. It is not made by any of the fans(I stopped them to be sure) and not by the hard drive(I disconnected it to be sure). Nothing else should be moving, but apparently something does. What could it be? Coils? Something else? And where? Currently the noise seems to only happen when I scroll a page. It doesn't matter if I use the mouse or the keyboard. In the past though it was on other occasions, but it was always only when something was happening. One thing that seemed to help was switching the display output from the graphics card to built in graphics. I am not sure if this was a coincidence, but I couldn't get the noise while using the built in graphics. Another thing that helped in the past was turning off CPU power saving in BIOS. Unfortunately BIOS update changed the settings and I can't figure out how to set things the way they were before.
So what could it be? Graphics card? Power supply again? Could it be that both Corsair power supplies have the same problem? I am not sure about it, but I vaguely remember the problem started when I bought a pc with the HX520. I later replaced all the components with new ones except the power supply and the problem remained. Now I replaced the power supply and there is nothing left from the old PC, yet the problem remains. This is crazy.
Did anyone else encounter this with Corsair power supplies or any other hardware?
This noise is not that loud, but the pitch is annoying. The fan problem was worse. I wonder though if I did a mistake buying another Corsair power supply.
 

LinuxDevice

Honorable
May 20, 2017
536
45
11,440
101
I tried listening carefully. It is hard to tell, but my best guess is that the noise is coming from the graphics card. I have Zotac GTX 1080. I think there was also similar noise from the old power supply, which is why I found it so annoying that after replacing it, some of the noise was still present. I can't hear anything definite from the new power supply, so hopefully I didn't make a mistake with it. The graphics card is covered, so I can't tell what is making the noise there, if it is there indeed.


I checked it, and it was disabled. Enabling it didn't make any difference.
Sometimes such a whine noise is noting a component on its way to failure, but quite often there is nothing wrong. Much of the time it is just as @Phaaze88 mentions, just power regulator components changing what they are doing (they dynamically adjust and typically use inductive components...which can make noise...in order to regulate). The idea that the whine changes depending on compute load suggests the VRM is the noise source, but the VRM is divided into many components all over the motherboard and any PCIe card.
 

LinuxDevice

Honorable
May 20, 2017
536
45
11,440
101
This is just a wild guess, but you are describing events which consume CPU power for a moment, which in turn might indicate a momentary increase in power delivery. The integrated GPU would use less power than the discrete GPU, so that also matches the case. There are often inductors or inductive components on the motherboard itself which are related to power delivery, and these can "whine" slightly with a higher pitched "noisy" tone when under load. An electrolytic capacitor would not normally whine or make noise, but if it is at the very edge of failure, then it might. When an inductive component whines it might not be anything wrong, or it might be very slowly failing. You might find this a bit crazy, but consider using something like a straw in one ear and listen with the straw close to various components when the whine occurs to see if one stands out.
 
Reactions: photon123

photon123

Distinguished
Nov 12, 2010
28
1
18,545
1
I tried listening carefully. It is hard to tell, but my best guess is that the noise is coming from the graphics card. I have Zotac GTX 1080. I think there was also similar noise from the old power supply, which is why I found it so annoying that after replacing it, some of the noise was still present. I can't hear anything definite from the new power supply, so hopefully I didn't make a mistake with it. The graphics card is covered, so I can't tell what is making the noise there, if it is there indeed.

Disabling VRM Spread Spectum in bios may stop or reduce the noise produced.
I checked it, and it was disabled. Enabling it didn't make any difference.
 

LinuxDevice

Honorable
May 20, 2017
536
45
11,440
101
I tried listening carefully. It is hard to tell, but my best guess is that the noise is coming from the graphics card. I have Zotac GTX 1080. I think there was also similar noise from the old power supply, which is why I found it so annoying that after replacing it, some of the noise was still present. I can't hear anything definite from the new power supply, so hopefully I didn't make a mistake with it. The graphics card is covered, so I can't tell what is making the noise there, if it is there indeed.


I checked it, and it was disabled. Enabling it didn't make any difference.
Sometimes such a whine noise is noting a component on its way to failure, but quite often there is nothing wrong. Much of the time it is just as @Phaaze88 mentions, just power regulator components changing what they are doing (they dynamically adjust and typically use inductive components...which can make noise...in order to regulate). The idea that the whine changes depending on compute load suggests the VRM is the noise source, but the VRM is divided into many components all over the motherboard and any PCIe card.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY