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Arundor April 6, 2010 02:15 PM

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.

ilya April 6, 2010 02:30 PM

I would guess it's faulty mosfets, but I'm not an expert in this area. I've had it happen to me on a few boards, but never a Gigabyte. Try contacting Gigabyte and asking them.

For me, the sound was present whenever the board was powered. The sound was like one of those high-pitch ringtones that people use in class so the teacher (assuming he/she is well over the age of 25) couldn't hear it. One was an old MSI socket 478 and the other was a Biostar 478.
The sound went away whenever I flipped the PSU switch, but it was so annoying I ended up just trashing both boards since they were out of warranty. On a side note only a few people I knew could hear it.

N.V.M. April 6, 2010 03:03 PM

i would try disconnecting that CoolerMaster heatsink fan and see if it makes the noises. it's just a simple 120mm fan that you probably easily replace or borrow, just for testing?

_dangtx_ April 6, 2010 03:10 PM

assemble it on the table with components like psu and such spread apart, take video card out. was going to say unplug cpu fan but...kind of getting warmer outside so maybe not altough the 212+ is a beast..so try that too.

gingerbee April 6, 2010 03:23 PM

i would do all of the above but it does sound like a mosfets. take it out then check it on the box with no fans.jmo

Arundor April 6, 2010 06:19 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.

When I originally posted this thread I didn't know that Gigabyte had a support forum of their own, but I have sinced learned of it (Official GIGABYTE Forum - Index). According to what I read there, this is actually a common problem with this motherboard. By disabling CPU Enhanced Halt and setting the CPU voltage manually instead of leaving it on auto, I was able to get rid of the "squealing" sound.

The "whistling" sound is still there. I'll likely still do what N.V.M. and dangtx suggest to try and pinpoint the source of the whistling. If I'm lucky it may just turn out to be the fan.

_dangtx_ April 6, 2010 08:29 PM

lets see wich is the killer :)

and fold on man!@!!!

Caldezar April 6, 2010 08:52 PM

The 'whistling' sound might be coil wine. Does it happen mainly under specific video circumstances?

Arundor April 6, 2010 09:21 PM

It seems to continue regardless of system conditions, but some of the users on the Gigabyte support forum have also suggested it might be coil whine.

One of the theories is that it's coil whine caused by certain brands of PSUs. I'm no expert on electrical engineering so I'm not certain how plausible the theory is, but several people with this motherboard and a Seasonic or Corsair PSU have reported the "whine" sound, and reported that switching to a different brand of PSU solved the problem. Not that the PSU was bad, but they are theorizing that Gigabyte's power circuitry has some sort of compatibility issue with these PSU's. I'm using a PC P&C PSU myself (confirmed good by multimeter), but it could be that those have the same problem.

When I have some time tomorrow I will be trying to pinpoint the source of the sound just to satisfy my curiousity, but the problem has been reported with boards from various different manufacturing batches so RMA'ing for a replacement might not do any good.

ilya April 7, 2010 09:27 AM

If the reports were of Seasonic and Corsairs, I would think you have the same compatibility issue.

Older Corsairs and most PCP&P PSUs are all Seasonic OEMs.

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