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Curious Case of Coil Whine

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
*See post #4.*

My computer has developed a horrendous coil whine seemingly overnight. The strange part is that it only happens at idle-ish, like when I'm watching a TV show or browsing the web. When my system is stressed at all, be it a game or P95, it stops. That seems counter-intuitive to me, hence the confusion.

Any ideas what it could be? Mobo, PSU, something else? Any way to narrow down the possibilities? I've tried the rolled up sheet of paper trick to no avail, and I don't have spares of anything so I can't swap parts out. I am pretty sure it's not my graphics card, HDD, or RAM, since P95 doesn't stress those (did Small FFTs to eliminate RAM).

Thanks in advance.
Edited by PiERiT - 8/6/11 at 8:46am
    
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post #2 of 5
Are you sure its not a fan bearing wearing out? It would be most pronounced when going at slow RPM. Otherwise I've never heard of "coil whine" that isn't from load. If you have anything overclocked, the first thing you should do would be to return it back to stock clocks - to check the fans, try unplugging them individually and letting the computer idle, if you still hear the sound its not that fan, move on to the next.
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
The only fan that ramps up under load is the CPU fan, but it's the same (low) speed in the BIOS as it is when idle in Windows, and there's no coil whine in the BIOS.

Only thing OC'd is my CPU, and I tried that at stock yesterday. No luck.
    
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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hmm, I read about this happening on other boards (MSI P67 specifically). It was alleviated by disabling C1E in the BIOS. I just tried that and, sure enough, it helped. It didn't eliminate it entirely, but it's quiet enough to where I can't hear it with headphones on, which will have to do. I've had C1E enabled since I bought the damn thing a year ago; I guess it decided to start being picky today.

I also tried disabling C3/C6 and EIST. They seemed to help further, but that may have just been a placebo. Can anyone with experience comment?
Edited by PiERiT - 8/6/11 at 8:52am
    
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post #5 of 5
Well, you said it only happens at idle, when your PC uses the least power.
Disabling C1E increases the power draw at idle which stops the whine for some reason.
Coil whine is caused by resonance in the coil so maybe at whatever power your idling PC pulls the switching frequency of the mosfet pushing current through the coil (inductor) is a harmonic of the natural frequency of the coil.

It's either the CPU power delivery circuitry on the board or your PSU, I doubt it's the graphics card as the CPU's power usage changing affected it.

Try rolling up some paper and listening through it to pinpoint where the whine is coming from if you want to know which it is.

Edit: It could also be a fan, some of them do make odd noises when undervolted. My old delta clicked. tongue.gif
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Ex-Kentsfield rig
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Q6600 RIG :D
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
4790k MSI Z97M Gaming 780 Ti SLi Corsair Vengeance pro 2x8GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Seagate NAS 240GB m500s RAID 0 MCP 350 w/ res top >> MCP655 >> Heatkiller full... Windows 8.1 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
3X QNIX 2560x1440 @ 110Hz G910 EVGA Supernova 1000 G2 Stacker 830 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
G402 / Deathadder 2K13 League of legends one, cloth ODAC >> O2 >> HD800 / K702s Samson mediaone 5as 
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Samson GoMic Asus wireless AC Logitech G27 Logitech C920 Webcam 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 Asus P5Q-E 8800GTX Crucial Ballistix Tracers 
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