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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

Had my Asus TUF 3090 OC a couple of weeks now and got around to watercooling it but wow, the coil whine is intense. It's easily as loud as having the stock fans running full bore but due to it's pitch it's extremely annoying. It only happens under load and I initially mistook the coil whine for the noise that my DDC pump was making.

The supplier is going to take a look at it/possibly replace it but I wanted to know if there was anything else I could do to try and prevent having to RMA the card? I've tried with/without the EK backplate. I read some people had some joy by loosening certains screws but I'm not sure which ones they meant.

Also, I'd need to replace the stock cooler before sending it back and I'm wondering if anyone knows the thickness/layout of the thermal pads used on the stock cooler? The foam like pads they used more or less just disintegrated when I took the cooler apart.
 

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Coil whine is primarily caused by Ferrite Chokes, inductors, other components that are made of separate parts that are glued together. Often the parts are not perfectly put together or not enough glue is applied. Some people have reported coil whine that was caused by improper solder, although I have never seen the latter. I have heard of some brave souls re-gluing a component, personally I never went that far.

The "whine" is actually the component vibrating causing a whine [or] high pitch noise. The way I get around that is to make certain that I buy parts that have high quality components, which in the past have included MSI Lightning and Gaming X Trio cards, however every new generation has to be checked for quality components especially for the latter. To find which component on your video card is the problem you would need to have access to it and good luck with that, it is not as easy as checking parts on a motherboard.

Easiest solution would be to RMA your video card for a new one. The good news is the vibrations that cause the whine seldom cause structural damage, the bad news is the whine.
 

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Iconoclast
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How good of a sample is this card otherwise? If it's below average, go a head and RMA it. If it's above average, I'd keep it and just encapsulate the chokes with superglue.
 

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maybe this the reason on strix 3080 vs 3090
the two poscap near thr i/o was changed to jap poly..
 

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High Clocker
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My XC3 had bad coil whine.
EK answer was to losen the screws which some what worked but then I got thermal throttling for the back vram.
Putting some rubber bands around the whole card mostly fixed it but was ugly.

Just did a re-seat on the cooler and back plate today and filled in the whole back of the card with thermal putty and its completely silent now.
Its just going to be a nightmare when it comes to removing that back plate in the future.
 

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How good of a sample is this card otherwise? If it's below average, go a head and RMA it. If it's above average, I'd keep it and just encapsulate the chokes with superglue.
Super glue breaks with impact or in this case a vibrating component.
 

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Iconoclast
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Super glue breaks with impact or in this case a vibrating component.
It can't vibrate if it's encapsulated in superglue. I've had good success with plain ethyl 2-cyanoacrylate glues, which are thin enough to penetrate even small gaps in the inductor casing. It's also possible to remove, because it dissolves in acetone (most plastics used on video card PCBs will resist acetone much longer than cyanoacrylate superglue will).

You can get rubber filled cyanoacrylate (usually with 'gel' in the name) that has higher impact resistance, but it's often too thick to wick into tiny gaps. If the inductor coil is exposed, this isn't an issue, but the chokes on most GPUs only have a small gap where the contacts protrude from the case.

There are also epoxies and underfills that can work, but they are harder to work with and a lot more expensive than superglue. I use BGA-Coat (which is very low viscosity during it's working period and hardens into a stiff, rubbery consistency) for somethings, but since it can only be removed mechanically, it's extremely permanent on an inductor.
 

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My XC3 had bad coil whine.
EK answer was to losen the screws which some what worked but then I got thermal throttling for the back vram.
Putting some rubber bands around the whole card mostly fixed it but was ugly.

Just did a re-seat on the cooler and back plate today and filled in the whole back of the card with thermal putty and its completely silent now.
Its just going to be a nightmare when it comes to removing that back plate in the future.
I just got my EKWB XC3 3090 block. Installed it following instructions 100%. Temperatures are amazing but...now I have EXTREME coil whine. My heart sank first time i put the card under load.

Stock cooler i pushed the card hard for 3 weeks and it was dead silent, but this EKWB installation made it chirp like a demonic banshee. I don't know what to do. I plan to maybe drain the loop and take the GPU block out and re-seat everything.

Which Thermal putty did you use when you did it to yours?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hello all, thanks for the replies.

The card isn't a great sample, in-fact it's worse than the Zotac Trinity 3090 card I got on behalf of a friend. The Zotac card could hold sustained higher clocks under heavy loads, even with a lower power limit. I'm in contact with the retailer about RMAing it but returning a card that's had the stock cooler removed seems to be a bit of a grey area (in Europe at least). I think that is pretty harsh considering the stock fans more or less masked the noise of the coil whine with the stock cooler on. If they agree to RMA it I'm just going to sell the replacement at cost price to someone local I think. I've just slipped outside of owning it for 30 days so that will probably be the only option I get, failing that all I can do is sell the card with the caveat that it has coil whine.

I know coil whine doesn't bother a lot of people but my system is basically silent apart from when in games where looking at the sky and then looking at horizon level, etc causes different pitches of coil whine.. it sounds almost like a bad auto-tune in a song and I personally think it's unacceptable in a £1600 component.

Loosening the screws as suggested by EK must lessen the mount pressure and causes an instant rise in temperatures and drop in clock speed so I'm not sure if the screw loosening helps the vibration or if it's just the instant power drop from the throttling that stops the coil whine.

I was lucky enough to order an EVGA FTW3 Ultra OC 3090 yesterday which should be here at about 2pm today. Going to test extensively for coil whine before ordering a water-block for it. Also it looks like EVGA are a bit more forgiving when it comes to people using waterblocks, etc.

I'd be interested in the thermal putty as well to see if that makes a difference.
 

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High Clocker
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T-Globle and got free samples from them.
TGX-2 in a mini tub, TG4040 in a tube then a couple of off cuts of pads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
T-Globle and got free samples from them.
TGX-2 in a mini tub, TG4040 in a tube then a couple of off cuts of pads.
Thanks for the reply. Worth making a note of.

I've spoken with the retailer who've raised an RMA to go back to ASUS so we shall we what happens.. The EVGA FT3 Ultra is a million miles better than the TUF OC card I have (imo). Just messing around yesterday I could hit just short of 14,700 on PR but only like 13,500 with the TUF OC card.
 

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returning a card that's had the stock cooler removed seems to be a bit of a grey area (in Europe at least). I think that is pretty harsh considering the stock fans more or less masked the noise of the coil whine with the stock cooler on.
One new product it is yours to manipulate after the end of the warranty.
ASUS does not accept RMA for Coil whine.
ASUS has extreme difficulties to deliver VGA stock in Europe, and neither there is any availability of RTX 3000 even at ASUS factory.
Be warned that you will face a long wait of two months if you expect ASUS to help you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
One new product it is yours to manipulate after the end of the warranty.
ASUS does not accept RMA for Coil whine.
ASUS has extreme difficulties to deliver VGA stock in Europe, and neither there is any availability of RTX 3000 even at ASUS factory.
Be warned that you will face a long wait of two months if you expect ASUS to help you.
I have an EVGA FTW3 Ultra 3090 now so I'm not too worried about it being with them for a while. I have contacted ASUS support who've told me to request an RMA via the retailer and made them fully aware that I had waterblocked the card. I've asked support for the thermal pad sizing so I can restore, as best I can, the card to the stock configuration and I'll test the coil whine again at that point. I didn't really have enough time to test the card with the stock cooler on in games. Secondary to that was the fact that on the same day I installed a new DDC pump which was quite noisy, so it's entirely possible that I discounted some of the coilwhine as pump noise before the waterblock even went on.

Even the likes of Zotac allow people to waterblock cards as long as no damage is done in the installation or restoration to a stock state.

Maybe I've just been lucky but I've never had a card with coil whine before but to me it's very much like buying a premium product only to find that it makes a terrible screeching noise that changes pitch depending on what you're doing. In my had that level of noise just isn't acceptable, nor is running the fans at 3000RPM to disguise said noise.

No hate, only my opinion.
 

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No hate, only my opinion.
Identical feelings here too.
But be aware ( I am in electronics working professionally) in some cases or most of them, an portion of coil whine this is unavoidable at high power in consumption electronics.
And one last detail, the ones be 100% honest when they require RMA, they do get better service than others.
ASUS and their dealers are not stupid, they have deal with thousands of customers.
At ASUS forums a cheater dropped at the floor one expensive card, cooler plastics were damaged, then he was nag that ASUS is to blame about not accepting RMA.
There is allot of nut cases out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Identical feelings here too.
But be aware ( I am in electronics working professionally) in some cases or most of them, an portion of coil whine this is unavoidable at high power in consumption electronics.
And one last detail, the ones be 100% honest when they require RMA, they do get better service than others.
ASUS and their dealers are not stupid, they have deal with thousands of customers.
At ASUS forums a cheater dropped at the floor one expensive card, cooler plastics were damaged, then he was nag that ASUS is to blame about not accepting RMA.
There is allot of nut cases out there.
For sure. I was/am very open and honest about the fact that I had put the waterblock on it. I really feel as if as long as you don't cause any damage by adding/removing a cooling system that the card should still be warrantied. After all the intent is for the card to run cooler over the long term. Due to the nature of coil whine I'd imagine it would be very hard to make the coil whine worse, and even if you did I would imagine it could only be done through something that would effect the vibration such as over/under tightening or incorrect thermal pad use.

I could totally understand why they wouldn't want to warranty damaged items OR people who shunt/power mod the cards, etc as it's then running well outside of it's tested and specified use but for a simple "shroud change" lets call it I really don't think there should be an issue.

I understand that coil whine is something that can happen and to a certain level it's acceptable but this EVGA card is running the 500w bios and I don't hear anything from it at all and the card is a good 150w higher than the TDP of the ASUS card. I have an audio clip saved somewhere, I'll add it to this thread at some point today.
 
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