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Thread: [HELP] Power supplies doing screeching noises




  1. #1
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    Default [HELP] Power supplies doing screeching noises (it was C1E in bios)

    Hey there,

    I'm having problems with my new rig (cf my sig) : during boot, right after the usual POST and BIOS screens, the PSU starts to "screech" like some old RTC modem. Noises are synchronized with HDD accesses. Noise aside, everything works fine.

    I tried booting a bare system with simple DVD drive, same noises also in sync.

    Then I basically switched every component between my new and old rig and all worked fine : video board, PSU, HDD.

    I went to my local store to test : same noise with 3 different PSUs :
    - mine,
    - Antec NeoHE 500W
    - Some coolermaster 630W

    Even switching MB kept the PSU screeching.
    Edit: switching to an identical EX58-UD4 (straight out of the box) -> same noise.
    With an Asus P6T -> No noise ...
    The Gigabyte board might be more power hungry.


    What the hell is wrong ?

    Thanks for your help.

    MB: Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4
    Proc: Intel Core i7 920 @ 2.6GHz
    PSU: Artic cooling 550R
    Mem: 3x1Go G-Skill 9-9-9-24-1T
    Video: nVidia 8800 GT 512MB
    HDD: Seagate 7200.11 500Go
    Last edited by frown; 07-11-2009 at 09:07 AM. Reason: changed title

  2. #2
    Chike is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: [HELP] Power supplies doing screeching noises

    This is interesting, you are PSU is not connected to a UPS is it?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: [HELP] Power supplies doing screeching noises

    Quote Originally Posted by Chike View Post
    This is interesting, you are PSU is not connected to a UPS is it?
    If you mean Uninterruptible Power Supply, no, the PSU is connected to the main.
    MB: Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4
    Proc: Intel Core i7 920 @ 2.6GHz
    PSU: Corsair TX650 (bye bye Artic cooling 550R)
    Mem: 3x1Go G-Skill 9-9-9-24-1T
    Video: nVidia 8800 GT 512MB
    HDD: Seagate 7200.11 500Go

  4. #4
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    Default Re: [HELP] Power supplies doing screeching noises

    I picked 700+ but I read that a power supply works best at the upper end of it's wattage. So I would say add up all your wattage use and if you plan on adding SLI or crossfire include those in your calculation and then choose whats best for you... JMO

  5. #5
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    Default Re: [HELP] Power supplies doing screeching noises

    The noise you are hearing is called coil whine. Some may tell you it's a capacitor making the noise, but it is not. Capacitors only make a noise when they're venting, ie when they have a leak.

    Coil whine is usually isolated to the PSU. It is caused by a coil inside vibrating at a high frequency. It may be that the noise changes in volume and/or pitch as the PC is loaded. Although it is not dangerous in the slightest, most manufacturers will RMA the unit if it is bothersome.

    As you have tried various different units, it could possibly be something to do with your mains supply. A "dirty" mains supply (lower/higher voltage than spec, distortion present etc) can cause components to vibrate inside the PSU too, that wouldn't normally be as noisy or that would be silent on a "clean" mains supply.

    To test this, try plugging in the PSU at another location. If the whine is only present when the PC is switched on (some coil whine is present when only the +5VSB rail is in use), you will either need to transport the PC to the same location (prefered method) or google how to start a PSU when not connected to a PC. If a load is needed before the whine presents itself at the original location, starting the PSU with no load at an alternative place is of no benefit.

    If it's found that there is no whine at the test location, there are various solutions. Having a professional test your electrics is an option, as is buying and using a power conditioner.

    Edit** Also make sure it is definately coming from the PSU. Some 8800 series cards including GTX, GTS, GT and Ultra have had coil whine issues.
    Last edited by Psycho101; 07-10-2009 at 07:31 AM.
    Coolermaster CM 690 II advance Case
    Corsair HX750 (CWT, 91%(80+ Gold rated @230V) single 62A 12V rail
    P55A-UD4 v2.0 @ F14
    Core i5 760 @ 20 x 201, 4.02GHz
    TRUE Black with a single Noctua NF-P12 pumping out 55 CFM @ 19db .
    2 x 2GB Mushkin Ridgeback (996902), @ 7-10-8-27, 2010-DDR, 1.66v
    2 x Gigabyte GTX 460 1024MB in SLI (Pre OC'd to 715MHz core and 1800MHz VRAM) @ 850 Core / 4100 Mem.
    Intel X25-M Boot Drive (OS and Programs) 200MB/s Read & 90MB/s Write
    Corsair X32 200MB/s Read & 100MB/s Write
    WD Caviar Blue 640GB C (Steam, Games, Storage, Temp Files & Folders, etc)
    Samsung F3 500GB Backup/Images
    Noctua 1300RPM 19dB case fan (rear extraction)
    3 x 140 MM Coolermaster LED fans (one front intake, one top extraction, one side intake)
    Dell Ultra Sharp 2209WAf E-IPS @ 1680x1050

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: [HELP] Power supplies doing screeching noises

    Thanks a lot guys,

    Quote Originally Posted by Conners View Post
    I picked 700+ but I read that a power supply works best at the upper end of it's wattage. So I would say add up all your wattage use and if you plan on adding SLI or crossfire include those in your calculation and then choose whats best for you... JMO
    I tried multiple PSU wattage calculators and got around 450W so I guessed 500W or 550W would be ok but both my units are noisy (Antec NeoHE 500W and Artic Cooling 550R).
    On itself, a Core i7 seems to require more power than a Core 2 Duo. Then the Gigabyte EX58-UD4 might require more power than usual (I edited the first post :)
    I went to my local store to test : same noise with 3 different PSUs :
    Edit: switching to an identical EX58-UD4 (straight out of the box) -> same noise.
    With an Asus P6T -> No noise ...
    The Gigabyte board might be more power hungry.
    There was also this guy online complaining that after 5 month of using his UD4P powered with a 500W PSU, SATA ports died one after the other ...
    I'd rather not fry such an expensive toy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho101 View Post
    The noise you are hearing is called coil whine. Some may tell you it's a capacitor making the noise, but it is not. Capacitors only make a noise when they're venting, ie when they have a leak.
    Don't know which piece actually whines but I've been told that's a sign of over-current in a switching power supply which correlates with noises being synchronized with disk accesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho101 View Post
    A "dirty" mains supply (lower/higher voltage than spec, distortion present etc) can cause components to vibrate inside the PSU too, that wouldn't normally be as noisy or that would be silent on a "clean" mains supply.
    Moving the whole rig around from where it was, to the kitchen and to the store where i bought the MB didn't shut the noises.

    Anymore pointer is welcomed.
    MB: Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4
    Proc: Intel Core i7 920 @ 2.6GHz
    PSU: Corsair TX650 (bye bye Artic cooling 550R)
    Mem: 3x1Go G-Skill 9-9-9-24-1T
    Video: nVidia 8800 GT 512MB
    HDD: Seagate 7200.11 500Go

  7. #7
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    Default Re: [HELP] Power supplies doing screeching noises

    One thing not to skimp on is a power supply. Another is the 12 volt rail, IMO a single high amp rail i way better than a multiple low amp rail.

    I chose a single 12 volt 70A PS that was modular for my application for three reasons. 1) single 12v high amp rail, 2) I wanted modular and 3) what I wanted out weighted the price.

    Better to buy once for me... but that's just me... Psycho101 has alot of good views into the problem. But I think we're in agreement that a PS squealing is a not good thing.

    G/L in whatever choice you make.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: [HELP] Power supplies doing screeching noises

    If by over current you mean that the PSU is having too much amperage drawn by a certain device, ie the hard drive and that's what's causing the noise, the person who told you so is misinformed. Disks do draw a fair amount of power on spin up, but once at speed the power drawn isn't too much. It could be that by pure coincidence both units have a tendancy to whine when pushed or even at any wattage drawn.

    I returned two BFG ES-800 PSU's because of this issue quite recently. A Zalman 500W heatpipe cooled PSU I won in a competition also whines a little, but is only just audable. This happens in the rig in my signature and also the spare PC I have My current HX750 has no whine at all. It's not as quiet fan wise as the BFG, but not having that whining is a big relief.

    With a single GPU card, up to a HD4890 or a GTX280, a good quality 520W PSU such as a Corsair HX520 would power the system. Power consumption on such a system at full CPU and GPU load would reasonably be around 450-470W from the wall and about 380-400W from the PSU as DC. This is probably a slight over estimate, and actual consumption may be less.

    As for the person with the 500W PSU and his failing SATA ports, there's no way a lack of available wattage/amperage could do that. It may have been that the unit was of poor quality or faulty.

    On a side note, not wanting to worry you too much, beware of that 550R. They're dodgy to say the least. There are rather alot of incidents of them going bang on people.

    The latest issue of Custom PC magazine has a PSU roundup. The main sub heading for the Ac Fusion 550R says
    "Dangerous and explosive - two things a PSU should never be"
    Dangerous refers to the fact that it's possible to touch the PSU's innards through the weirdly mounted fan. Explosive refers to this:
    The 550R worked flawlessly at 50% load but failed to produce 550W..... After just 4 minutes and 12 seconds (by which time the 3.3V rail had dropped to 2.2V -ATX spec is 3.14V minimum) the PSU made a nasty burning smell and switched off. Permanently.

    The ineffective and dangerous fan alone would be enough not to recommend the 550R, but given that it blew up at full load we can't stress vehemently enough that you should avoid [this PSU]
    Coincidentally it's also revealed that another PSU reviewed in the article is identical inside in every way and is rated at only 500W (Silverpower SP-SS500).

    Would your local store be willing to try some PSU's with you until you find a quiet one? Some local stores value custom alot and would be more than happy. I worked for a small business (garden equipment and machinery) and doing such things almost always resulted in a sale, and the customer frlt important as I spent time personally making sure they were happy. Look for trying :

    • Any Corsair unit. In order of preference HX, TX, VX though all are pretty outstanding. The Newest are the HX750 and HX850. They're 85+ Gold rated in the UK and Silver in the US.
    • OCZ ModXStream Pro - Good solid quiet unit
    • Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro series - I've used a 650 and a 1kw in builds I've helped with and they're both going strong, and live up to their name
    • Seasonic M12D - 750W and 850W available. These are expensive but fine pieces of kit.
    • Enermax Revolution - Super expensive at 200/$320 for 1050W but very well engineered.


    Stay safe and keep an eye on that 550R
    Coolermaster CM 690 II advance Case
    Corsair HX750 (CWT, 91%(80+ Gold rated @230V) single 62A 12V rail
    P55A-UD4 v2.0 @ F14
    Core i5 760 @ 20 x 201, 4.02GHz
    TRUE Black with a single Noctua NF-P12 pumping out 55 CFM @ 19db .
    2 x 2GB Mushkin Ridgeback (996902), @ 7-10-8-27, 2010-DDR, 1.66v
    2 x Gigabyte GTX 460 1024MB in SLI (Pre OC'd to 715MHz core and 1800MHz VRAM) @ 850 Core / 4100 Mem.
    Intel X25-M Boot Drive (OS and Programs) 200MB/s Read & 90MB/s Write
    Corsair X32 200MB/s Read & 100MB/s Write
    WD Caviar Blue 640GB C (Steam, Games, Storage, Temp Files & Folders, etc)
    Samsung F3 500GB Backup/Images
    Noctua 1300RPM 19dB case fan (rear extraction)
    3 x 140 MM Coolermaster LED fans (one front intake, one top extraction, one side intake)
    Dell Ultra Sharp 2209WAf E-IPS @ 1680x1050

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Default Re: [HELP] Power supplies doing screeching noises

    I have a EX58-UD3 with a Core i7 940, and I used to have PSU whine. At the time I was using a Corsair TX750, then I returned it for a Corsair HX620 thinking it was defective or something. One thing that did shut the PSU whine off was disabling "CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E)" in the MIT> advanced CPU features in the Bios.

    That completely stopped the whine for me, but I wasnt satisfied with that so, I returned the Corsair, and got an Antec Truepower New 750, 80plus bronze, and this PSU has no whine whatsoever, even with enhanced halt on.


    System specs:
    mobo: EX58-UD3R Bios version F6
    cpu: Core i7940
    mem: 3 gigs Patriot Viper Ram, 1600mhz
    vid card: MSI Nvidia N275GTX video card
    hdd: Dual western digital 160gb HDD's, in RAID 0 configuration
    psu: Antec Truepower New 750 watts
    case: coolermaster storm scout
    heatsink: Xigmatek Dark Knight
    Last edited by jabs83; 07-11-2009 at 02:24 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: [HELP] Power supplies doing screeching noises

    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho101 View Post
    Stay safe and keep an eye on that 550R
    I got a Corsair TX650W in exchange for the Artic Cooling 550R but the noise was still there. I couldn't test many PSUs since I got them from a different shop. Then jabs83 came by ...
    Quote Originally Posted by jabs83 View Post
    At the time I was using a Corsair TX750, then I returned it for a Corsair HX620 thinking it was defective or something. One thing that did shut the PSU whine off was disabling "CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E)" in the MIT> advanced CPU features in the Bios.

    System specs:
    mobo: EX58-UD3R Bios version F6
    cpu: Core i7940
    psu: Antec Truepower New 750 watts

    Disabling C1E power state did the trick ! What a relief.

    I can't get any details on what that C1E state really is beside "It saves power". Also, disabling C1E and checking CPU voltage/speed under idle/load with CPU-Z showed no differences :
    Voltage bumps from 0.928V to 1.248V
    Speed from 1598MHz to 2798MHz

    Googling around :

    • TX650W and TX750W are ATX12V v2.2 (no EPS -> single 12V rail)
    • HX520W and HX620W are ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V 2.91
    • Antec TruePower New series are ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 2.91

    Could it be related to the ATX12V version ?

    Let's hope the PSU shop agrees to swich the TX650W for an Antec - TP-650.

    Thanks a lot for all your great pointers guys.
    Last edited by frown; 07-11-2009 at 10:17 AM.
    MB: Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4
    Proc: Intel Core i7 920 @ 2.6GHz
    PSU: Corsair TX650 (bye bye Artic cooling 550R)
    Mem: 3x1Go G-Skill 9-9-9-24-1T
    Video: nVidia 8800 GT 512MB
    HDD: Seagate 7200.11 500Go

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