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Old April 6, 2010, 03:15 PM
Arundor Arundor is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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My System Specs

Default Unusual noise from system

I'm having an issue with two unusual sounds coming from my system. The system specs are listed on my profile. The system is only a few days old but I have been experiencing this problem ever since I got it. I'm not really sure if this is a benign issue or a real problem. I'm hoping someone can help me figure out what's going on.

I cleared CMOS and am running at stock settings so overclocking is not among the variables that need to be considered.



Problem 1, the "whistling" sound:

The sound seems to be coming from the CPU area. It is a continuous noise that sounds very much like air whistling through the fan, except the sound does not change when the fan speed changes. I have also tried disconnecting all the case fans to rule out those as the cause. It also does not seem to be related to load, as the sound is there whether the computer is idle or loaded by folding or prime95.

If the computer has been turned off all night, it takes a few hours after turning it on before I hear the sound. If the computer has only been off for a few minutes beforing turning it back on, the sound appears immediately. This made me think it was some sort of overheating issue, but I cannot find any component that is running unusually hot. HWMonitor reports the CPU temperature at 58-60 under load. I have also used an IR thermometer gun to check the VRMs and capacitors surrounding the CPU. Some are blocked by the heatsink, the ones I was able to measure were all below 40.



Problem 2, the "squealing" sound:

I don't know if this is related, but there is also a different "squealing" noise that only shows up under specific circumstances. This too seems to be coming from the CPU area, but based on the type of sound I can be fairly sure it is not the fan. The only way I have found to reproduce this sound is to restore a virtual machine that had previously been suspended. In this case it is linuxrouter's VM for bigadv folding.

By using the Windows 7 Resource Monitor I can see that restoring the VM simultaneously stresses the CPU, RAM and hard drive. However, testing these individually does not reproduce the problem. I used superpi and IntelBurnTest to test the CPU individually, memtest86 to test the ram individually, and large file copies to test the hard drive indivually. None of these triggered the sound. I'm also tried stressing the system by gaming, using PCMark Vantage and 3DMark Vantage, none of which reproduced the squealing sound.

Unfortunately I do not have enough spare components to swap the hardware around and isolate any one piece as the cause.

So far I have not noticed any actual impact on system performance. Not sure if I'm overreacting or if any of this is real cause to be concerned, but I'd rather err on the side of caution and see if anyone has input on the matter.
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