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Old November 28, 2007, 12:20 PM
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Exclamation 8800GT - Strange Noise

I've been lurking here for about a month now and really enjoy this site. I thought that this would be the perfect place to post a very strange problem I am having...

I got my XFX 8800GT Alpha Dog edition in the mail yesterday. I installed it without issue. What is strange though is that when I play a game it makes this ticking/clicking noise. This noise only happens while I am in 3D mode. What is even stranger is that the card runs great. I can play Crysis, for example, at 1280x1024 on high settings at very high frame rate even though this ticking/clicking noise is coming from the card.

I tried three different power supplies to be sure it wasn't the PSU. I have since reinstalled my 7600GT and, even though the games are quite a bit slower again, there is no ticking/clicking. I also checked the fan on the 8800GT while it was in operation, using my finger to stop the fan to be sure it wasn't what is making the noise and it isn't. Is there any reason why the 8800GT would be generating this noise? The noise almost sounds like a hard drive constantly seeking but it is coming from the 8800GT. Very strange.

Tested in again this morning and it is definitely not the fan. The sound is absolutely coming from the 8800GT. If I place my hand over the 8800GT fan, it muffles the clicking noise. If I stop the fan, the clicking noise does not stop. It sort of reminds me of the clicking noise you'd hear on old computers you'd in SciFi movies form the 50's. And this clicking changes in frequency/rhythm when I move my character around within the 3D game. For example, if I look at the ground in Crysis the clicking is "normal speed"... If I look across a bay the clicking slows down... if I look at a bunch of trees the clicking really gets hyper. It is the wierdest thing ever. It is as if the 8800GT has a PDP-11 hidden somewhere under it's heat shield.

I definitely don't want to mess with the card beyond what is allowed. The warranty isn't voided if I add a 3rd party heat sink so I figured removing their terrible thermal paste job - it was really TERRIBLE - and doing it myself wouldn't do any harm and in fact it made the 8800GT cooling run more efficient. I'm disappointed but I will keep looking for answers or have the card RMA'd. I'm interested in seeing what XFX has to say.

I really should have taken pictures of their paste job. There was so much paste between the GPU and the heat sink that I'd venture to say it would have made a very bad trap for heat instead of a conduit. The rest of the paste was these terrible pads that had fibers in them. I removed all those sons of bitches too and put on non-electrical-conductive thermal paste. Worked really good. Its so terrible that this card, more or less, works absolutely perfectly except for the fact that it sounds like there is a 50's style mainframe inside my rig. LULZ!
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Old November 28, 2007, 12:21 PM
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Here is a "picture" of my 8800GT.



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Old November 28, 2007, 12:26 PM
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In regular windows, when you move the mouse, does the card make noise? Also, run AtiTool, the 3D cube thing, and see if the noise is loud then. My 8800GTX's literally scream. Even just moving the mouse around browsing websites, it makes a strange noise. not so much ticking, but almost a scratchy squeal. I believe it is capacitors or other power conditioning pats. Not a problem, but pretty annoying.
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Old November 28, 2007, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Cptn Vortex View Post
In regular windows, when you move the mouse, does the card make noise? Also, run AtiTool, the 3D cube thing, and see if the noise is loud then. My 8800GTX's literally scream. Even just moving the mouse around browsing websites, it makes a strange noise. not so much ticking, but almost a scratchy squeal. I believe it is capacitors or other power conditioning pats. Not a problem, but pretty annoying.
In 2D mode it is very quiet, even moving the mouse doesn't do anything strange. It is only when I am in a 3D game does it make this rapid clicking noise. Someone from another board suggested it is the inductors making this noise. I'm guessing it is a good candidate for an RMA since I got got it? It definitely isn't a scratchy squeal, it sounds just like a ticking/clicking you'd usually hear come from a hard drive but instead it is coming from underneath the heat shield somewhere.
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Old November 28, 2007, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voodoo View Post
In 2D mode it is very quiet, even moving the mouse doesn't do anything strange. It is only when I am in a 3D game does it make this rapid clicking noise. Someone from another board suggested it is the inductors making this noise. I'm guessing it is a good candidate for an RMA since I got got it? It definitely isn't a scratchy squeal, it sounds just like a ticking/clicking you'd usually hear come from a hard drive but instead it is coming from underneath the heat shield somewhere.
I'd pull the heatsink off and make sure none of the thermal pads are interefering with the fan blades. The thermal pads on these things aren't that great.

I suggest load up rivatuner or ati tool and crank the fan speed up and see if it gets louder.
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Old November 28, 2007, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by enaberif View Post
I'd pull the heatsink off and make sure none of the thermal pads are interefering with the fan blades. The thermal pads on these things aren't that great.

I suggest load up rivatuner or ati tool and crank the fan speed up and see if it gets louder.
I've stopped the fan with my finger and the ticking/clicking continues. I also removed the heat sink, applied my own thermal grease (their grease & thermal pad job was terrible) and the ticking/clicking still mocks me. It is the strangest thing I've ever witnessed with a card. I've got the card setup as a RMA return now as after a conversation with XFX it seems that this sound may be coming from the power conditioning portion of the card, from a faulty inductor specifically. But, I'd definitely like to hear other possibility before I ship this otherwise perfectly running card away for a week.
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Old November 28, 2007, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voodoo View Post
I've stopped the fan with my finger and the ticking/clicking continues. I also removed the heat sink, applied my own thermal grease (their grease & thermal pad job was terrible) and the ticking/clicking still mocks me. It is the strangest thing I've ever witnessed with a card. I've got the card setup as a RMA return now as after a conversation with XFX it seems that this sound may be coming from the power conditioning portion of the card, from a faulty inductor specifically. But, I'd definitely like to hear other possibility before I ship this otherwise perfectly running card away for a week.
Sounds like a faulty capacitor or something.. very odd.
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Old November 28, 2007, 12:58 PM
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I have heard some people fixed the issue by putting some glue from a glue gun on the pieces that make noise, as the noise most likely comes from minute vibrations in the power conditioning parts. I forget what the parts are called...I'll post a pic of what the culprit could be. Apparently a little dab of glue stops or suppresses the vibrations. A way to test is to use a pencil eraser, and touch the different parts on the card when it is running, to see if anything can stop the noise. I have tested this on my cards, with no luck though. I will take it out of the case and on a test bed sometime to find what the real problem is.
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Old November 28, 2007, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Voodoo View Post
I've stopped the fan with my finger and the ticking/clicking continues. I also removed the heat sink, applied my own thermal grease (their grease & thermal pad job was terrible) and the ticking/clicking still mocks me. It is the strangest thing I've ever witnessed with a card. I've got the card setup as a RMA return now as after a conversation with XFX it seems that this sound may be coming from the power conditioning portion of the card, from a faulty inductor specifically. But, I'd definitely like to hear other possibility before I ship this otherwise perfectly running card away for a week.
Its the beating of that hideous heart! :). Sounds like a cap to me. I'd rma that sucker, or at least talk to the vendor about it.
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Old November 28, 2007, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cptn Vortex View Post
I have heard some people fixed the issue by putting some glue from a glue gun on the pieces that make noise, as the noise most likely comes from minute vibrations in the power conditioning parts. I forget what the parts are called...I'll post a pic of what the culprit could be. Apparently a little dab of glue stops or suppresses the vibrations. A way to test is to use a pencil eraser, and touch the different parts on the card when it is running, to see if anything can stop the noise. I have tested this on my cards, with no luck though. I will take it out of the case and on a test bed sometime to find what the real problem is.
Yeah those pictures you posted are inductors. I was thinking of doing the dab of glue bit but that damn giant heat shield of the 8800GT prevents me from checking to see which of the inductors is clicking/ticking. I have since obtained an RMA from NewEgg. I'll still have it around tonight though so I will try a few things before I ship it off tomorrow. I'm not sure if that large portion that sits on the heat sink is removable, it looks like it and if so then I could get to the inductors rather easily while the card is running.
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