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Discussion Starter #1
I've just built a new quiet PC for the living room: i5 6600, EVGA GTX970, RX550 PSU and Cosair 250D case.

When sitting idle, the PC is making what at first sounded like fan noise - it's not loud but certainly noticeable. At idle there are only two fans running: the 140mm case fan and the Noctua fan on the heatsink, as both the GPU and PSU have fans that don't spin until needed.

Now here is what's weird, if I stop both those fans, it turns out they are completely silent (as I'd hoped) and not what's making the noise. The noise remains!

It's not the secondary HDD (primary is SSD) as that's not even being accessed and I can put my ear to that and tell the sound isn't coming from there.

I don't think it's coil whine as it's not that electrical sounding and doesn't actually sound like a whine, it's much more like a fan hum!

Any ideas?
 

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Whine or Hum? Sure sounds like coil whine, either in the PSU, video card or MB. I've heard coil whine from a PSU that hummed its way into annoyance. Usually the artifacts of coil resonance are high frequency in nature, but occasionally sub-harmonics are generated. Does the hum remain when the system is in sleep mode?
 

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I have the same thing, but I think it is a type of coil whine. Except its not 'whiney', it just sounds exactly like a loud fan. I disabled all fans in my system and it still occurs, but only when my GPU is running a heavy load. Hence its a capacitor on my GPU that sounds like a fan
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Discussion Starter #4
Never had it before with any of my other builds in the past. It's annoying because this is the first time that with fan and CPU technology being what it is, I've finally got them truly silent. Only to have this noise now!

I don't think it's the GPU because it's doing it even at idle. It's probably the PSU then, but of course that's hard to test.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by MicroCat View Post

Whine or Hum? Sure sounds like coil whine, either in the PSU, video card or MB. I've heard coil whine from a PSU that hummed its way into annoyance. Usually the artifacts of coil resonance are high frequency in nature, but occasionally sub-harmonics are generated. Does the hum remain when the system is in sleep mode?
It's definitely a hum and not a whine. I honestly thought it was a fan noise it's that similar - but I can guarantee the fans aren't spinning. It stops when the PC goes into sleep mode. I will unplug the GPU tonight and see what happens. If it is the PSU, which seems likely, it's gonna be a real pain finding an alternative. I liked the RX550 because the fans remain off until you hit a certain power draw.
 

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Unplug the HDD. Even if it is not being accessed, it spins. It can cause a resonant hum in another part of the case. Boot with that unplugged and see if it goes away.
 

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Lots of good suggestions.

You can use a piece of wooden or plastic dowel to listen to for noises. put one end on what you want to listen to and other up to your ear. A screwdriver works great too, but be careful you don't short anything out.

be quiet! PSUs are .. well .. quiet.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciarlatano View Post

Unplug the HDD. Even if it is not being accessed, it spins. It can cause a resonant hum in another part of the case. Boot with that unplugged and see if it goes away.
I had a hum like a transformer hum and was tracking it down when a hard drive failed. The noise then went away and has not come back. My guess is that a bearing failed and it locked up.
 

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Huummm.. might be it.
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Had a super hi fidelity sound system years and years ago with an intermittent hum. Figured it all out about a year later when I got wife a new fridge in the kitchen .. about 25 feet away.
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I think the hum was intermittently resonating in the floor.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks guys.

It turns out it was the hard drives! I don't think I've ever built a PC so powerful that was quiet enough to make the hard drives the noisiest component. I may see if I can set them to fall asleep as for the most part they're just used for mass data storage and backups.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by slikvik View Post

Thanks guys.

It turns out it was the hard drives! I don't think I've ever built a PC so powerful that was quiet enough to make the hard drives the noisiest component. I may see if I can set them to fall asleep as for the most part they're just used for mass data storage and backups.
Aha! So it was the power supply hard drive. How do you have the drive mounted? I haven't used a standard case mounting system in years for spinners, always use my own DIY elastic suspension. Check the soft suspension bridge of spinner silence over at SPCR

 

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Discussion Starter #14
That looks cool.

They're mounted into plastic trays of the Obsidian 250D case using rivets instead of screws. Sound doesn't change when I put decent pressure on them so it maybe it's that these Toshiba drives are just a bit noisy.
 

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I use lots of Toshiba 3.5 and WD Blacks and noise is never an issue when suspended by hairband elastics. If you're only using one spinner in the system, you shouldn't have to suffer the noise of factory drive mounting. Get out the tin snips and some hairband elastics and make your own silent fashion statement.
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