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Power Supply Coil Whine/Noise and my view on PSUs

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Arrow Power Supply Coil Whine/Noise and my view on PSUs

Hello, guys

Wanted to share my experience with PSU coil whine and what I have done to mitigate it. I have had several PSUs now. Back in the day I had a PSU that had no coil whine noise, that was in 2000, then I build a new system using Enermax, and I started hearing a high pitch noise. After reluctantly calling Enermax (still under warranty), I convinced the guy that this PSU is making noise. He sent out a brand new PSU. The sound was slightly less, but still there.

I bought a Corsair TX650, and the sound seemed to be less now, probably 50-60%, I bought different GPU and noise was back again. It was bearable but still annoying. After selling my GPU the noise was almost gone, I was just running on my CPU and iGPU (4790k and Intel HD 4600), so recently I bought Asus Cerberus 1070ti, and noise became the worst I have had with Corsair.

Upon opening up PSU, I rolled up a piece of paper into a tube and used my ears to listen to where it's coming from. It was cricket loud. I found that every coil that the power supply had ...had a whine. I mean EVERY....I took a hot glue gun, and probably used 10-12 sticks of polymer glue on coils. The sound reduced by 60%, but still was hearing it. I took it apart again, and saw that the DC transformer is making 50% of the noise db compared to the coils that were now fixed. I padded it with glue as well.

Now I can say I almost made the PSU 80% quieter while gaming, and almost 200% quieter when using computer otherwise.

I spend close to 4 hours sealing everything that was making annoying noise. I tried changing voltage on GPU too, but it didn't make it better.

If you think that changing PSU will make a guarantee that you will not have noise...forget about it. I read countless forum posts here and not here, and people were raving on Newegg about similar issues.

I will never buy Corsair PSU again, nor Enermax. My Corsair is Gold+ rated, and even still...EVERY...E-V-E-R-Y....coil was making noise, even the ones I couldn't see right away.

Components are horrible quality. And even though GPU comes into resonance with PSU's frequency, manufacturer MUST account for it, by creating good DC transformer.

I have bought several audio components, and 1 of them had a HORRENDOUS buzz like vibrator no matter what outlet I used, and of course...you guessed it...it used a DC power supply.

Good components account for radio interference/magnetic interference/and voltage disturbance, bad ones don't.

Buy good components if you can, but know that even something that costs $100 is not guaranteeing you a silent PSU. Unless you have a hot glue gun, and are willing to take the risk of destroying your PSU to remove sound, and void the warranty.

For me...I was out of the warranty already, and I knew that changing PSU is not guaranteeing me anything when it comes to noise. 4 hours later...I can now enjoy the sound of my room...while everything is quiet without gaming.

You build a silent set up for a reason, not for PSU to destroy the concept. Manufacturers need to fix this, it's fully unacceptable.


My 2 cents.

Last edited by XLifted; 04-21-2018 at 05:36 PM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 05:46 PM
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Okay.

I have two Corsair power supplies -- an HX750i and an HX1000i. Neither have any coil whine at all, and I had 650W load (Threadripper 1950X and Titan Xp, both highly overclocked) on them. The Titan Xp has a soft whine but only when running [email protected] No whine while gaming.

I will also add this: There is absolutely no way for manufacturers to test their products with all components on the market. This goes for any component.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 06:50 PM
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No.
No manufacturer needs to fix this. Seriously, taking a paper roll and actively listening for coil whine is ridiculous. Not to mention, it is physically impossible to "fix" it in the first place.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 07:31 PM
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I had what I thought was coil whine on two Corsair PSUs. 1200i and 1500i

Turns out it was the outlet I was using in my house, it's an old house with super old wiring.

I only noticed it when I switched rooms, guess the room I switched to has noisy power as the first one did not produce this sound.

The second I plugged it into my utility line for washer/dryer, a GFCI protected outlet, it all went back to normal, zero whine. My tower is right next to me on my desk, so I would know of the slightest whine.

Before I did that, I got a line conditioner and UPS to try and get rid of it, it diminished it, but not all of it, using the first outlet that is. That's what led me to try a totally different circuit using a decent grade extension cord.

Since you're getting this issue from multiple brands and multiple PSUs, I would look into trying another power outlet that you know is protected, just to test. Since those outlets were updated at some point. It's worth a shot. Having this issue on so many PSUs leads me to believe you may have dirty power from your house. While you're at it, use a different surge protector as well, something else could be causing this.

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Last edited by KCDC; 04-30-2018 at 07:47 PM.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 01:52 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by XLifted View Post
Upon opening up PSU, I rolled up a piece of paper into a tube and used my ears to listen to where it's coming from. It was cricket loud. I found that every coil that the power supply had ...had a whine. I mean EVERY....I took a hot glue gun, and probably used 10-12 sticks of polymer glue on coils. The sound reduced by 60%, but still was hearing it. I took it apart again, and saw that the DC transformer is making 50% of the noise db compared to the coils that were now fixed. I padded it with glue as well.
Poorly secured MOSFETs can vibrate as well, you may need to tighten the nuts holding them to their heatsinks or use epoxy on them if that fails.

Really though, if silence is mandatory and you find yourself gluing every component that could possibly vibrate, you may as well look into encapsulating the entire board.

Quote: Originally Posted by soureraser View Post
No.
No manufacturer needs to fix this. Seriously, taking a paper roll and actively listening for coil whine is ridiculous. Not to mention, it is physically impossible to "fix" it in the first place.
While I agree that trying to completely eliminate noise from switching PSU is something that isn't reasonable for most product lines, it's hardly impossible.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2018, 12:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I bought EVGA P2 1000w, no coil whine in PSU, reduced coil whine in GPU by 60%, I can barely hear it
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 05:33 PM
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How many PSU's or GPUs are tested in a quiet room for whine I wonder ?

I've had GPUs that were a bit annoying sometimes, but not enough to RMA or try to alter myself.

^^^
HHMMM Mosfets shake aswell, I wonder what all else shakes around in SMPS, that might be heard. I wonder how much energy actually ends up as sound ??? But I don't think I learned much acoustics in highschool physics.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Kaltenbrunner View Post
How many PSU's or GPUs are tested in a quiet room for whine I wonder ?

I've had GPUs that were a bit annoying sometimes, but not enough to RMA or try to alter myself.

^^^
HHMMM Mosfets shake aswell, I wonder what all else shakes around in SMPS, that might be heard. I wonder how much energy actually ends up as sound ??? But I don't think I learned much acoustics in highschool physics.
Figure I update on my PSU situation after about a year.

I am running EVGA Supernova 1000w PQ still to this day, and I run it in Eco Mode, so the fans don't kick in until 400 watts is used throughout the system.

Power supply is SILLLLLLLLENT, and I have fan controls on the back of PC for a quick silent profile, I can hear refrigerator more from my room than PC.

It's an amazing powersupply, $200 worth.

They don't really test for noise, because many manufacturers don't care, they test for fan noise, but not for coil whine, many manufacturers will deny your RMA if it's coil whine related.

EVGA was very good about it, they allowed people to return/exchange GPUs for that reason at one point, unlike many other companies

Their GPUs suffer more or less from that issue, but PSU's are amazing. Yes, the mosfets vibrate, that is absolutely true, along with copper coils you see through the PSU grill.

The better the PSU, the less chances it will happen. Because you can dampen it with proper coil installation around it.

I dumped tons of glue manually (using glue gun) on my Corsair 650w, and reduced the coil whine by around 60-70%, but not completely silent like EVGA's power supply.

EVGA all the way. I think they have 10 year warranty on PSU as well. Corsair has 5
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 02:32 PM
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EVGA neither Corsair manufacture PSUs they only put their name on one designed and made by other companies.

There are ways to reduce whine/buzz from PSUs if the manufacturer cares.

EVGA as far as I know is only popular in US where people do RMAs with manufacturers not retailers, but even that is now bad with EVGA as they changed their RMA rules, their RMA reputation went steep downhill. Yet in US that brand is hyped endlessly when it comes to GPUs despite issues on latest cards with cooling, the RMA handling changes and people getting screwed over, ...
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Kaltenbrunner View Post
How many PSU's or GPUs are tested in a quiet room for whine I wonder ?

I've had GPUs that were a bit annoying sometimes, but not enough to RMA or try to alter myself.

^^^
HHMMM Mosfets shake aswell, I wonder what all else shakes around in SMPS, that might be heard. I wonder how much energy actually ends up as sound ??? But I don't think I learned much acoustics in highschool physics.
Quote: Originally Posted by JackCY View Post
EVGA neither Corsair manufacture PSUs they only put their name on one designed and made by other companies.

There are ways to reduce whine/buzz from PSUs if the manufacturer cares.

EVGA as far as I know is only popular in US where people do RMAs with manufacturers not retailers, but even that is now bad with EVGA as they changed their RMA rules, their RMA reputation went steep downhill. Yet in US that brand is hyped endlessly when it comes to GPUs despite issues on latest cards with cooling, the RMA handling changes and people getting screwed over, ...
Oh yeah? What happened, how did it change in comparison to the past, can you explain?
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