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HD6950 Whining noise under load

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#1
Hello,

I have a problem with my HD6950. It's reference model branded by Asus. When I run power hungry games like Crysis, Metro or benchmarks like 3dMark 2011 or Kombustor, my card makes weird whinning noise (very high pitched). It's not loud, but it is the loudest noise that is coming from my computer.

I's weird because digital PWM section on HD6950 has no coils to whine. Fan on reference cooling is also OK, I have checked it. At first I was thinking that my PSU makes that noise, but that's not true. I think that noise is coming from this small buzzer on the right.



Does anybody have the same problem? Any ideas how to fix this?
RMA is not the option because ASUS service in Poland rejects that kind of RMA tickets.
 
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#2
So whether it whines or not, seems to depend on the amount of workload. So it might be fan speed related, I guess.
 
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#3
No it's not the fan. For testing purpose I've replaced the stock cooling to Accelero Xtreme with FANS disabled and whinning still appears (tested it without a fan for less than 15 seconds because I didn't want to fry my card).

It's definetly not a fan problem, any other ideas?
 
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#4
If there's any whining involved while the card runs perfectly fine with no artifacts on screen and 100% expected performance then it would definitely involve some sort of coil whine, either way it is normal and falls up to your decision whether you can live with the noise or not, I've noticed a bit of whining myself although I can't hear it over any of my fans since I have them on 60% most of the time while gaming.

And to be clear it also depends on the workload on the cards and is much more noticeable when running 3D mark vantage for me.
 
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#5
My friend's 6950 does this too. Thought everyone had just decided to live with it? All modern cards squeal under load. Not sure it's at a frequency everyone can hear though.
 
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#6
I've always wandered what this buzzer is for, but if it's buzzer that sounds, then it should be specific, constant tone sound, and it should be different from coil whine. And if buzzer sounds, then there is reason for it.
 
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#8
Have you tough't why it whines? are temperatures ok? I can't understand why it's needed.
 
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#9
It's not that my card whines all of the time. It's like electronic noise similar to coil whine only when card is fully loaded. Temperatures are good (70-78 degrees load).
 
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#10
It is the motherboard causing the problems.

I've got a 5870 (reference card) that when I plug it in to my Evga X58 LE one of the coils whine. I was pissed since I drop the card about 5" when messing with the Zalman cooler I have on it (it had never whined prior to this). Thought I knocked one of the caps a little loose enough to rattle. Once I put it on my Asus P6T6 it no longer whines.

The motherboard is the only thing that has changed.
 
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#11
My mobo does not whine with reference HD4850, reference GTX460 and HD5850 Twinfrozr. So mobo is also OK. Also I have checked that HD6950 in my old mobo P35A-S and it's also whinning. I must get used to it.
 
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#13
Yes, nail polish could do the trick. The problem is that reference HD6950 does not have any coils on PCB. There is nothing to paint with it.
 
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#14
There are coils, big grey square things with R23 written on them. If grey "case" isn't connected firmly to connection leads, it can whine.
 

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#15
I was planning to start a new thread with (probably) the same problem you are having with your 6950. Since you started this one that does't seem to be needed.

Yesterday I noticed that my card (XFX 6950) makes an odd noise when under high load. I was playing F1 2010 and over the sound of my cars engine I heard a sound that is in between a whine and a rattle(ticking noise). This was the first time I noticed it because it was the first time I did't use my headfones while gaming. The sound gets louder when under high load. When playing Torchlight I hear it a little and when playing F1 I hear it a lot. Temps stay under 75 degrees under high load. It probably has nothing to do with tempature since it stops the moment I close a 3d application and doesn't gradualy 'whine down'. It is not the fan, because the sound is still there when I stop it manualy. Flashing back to stock bios/settings doesn't help. I would love to put it in a different rig to see if something in my case is causing it, but my friends have very small cases and this card isn't small at all.

If a lot of people are having the same problem, that rma-ing isn't an option since you will just get a different card back which will have the same problem. Maybe we should make a poll to see what percentage of people have this problem. It is possible that a lot of people do have it, but never noticed it before, because there rigs make a lot of noise under high load anyway.
 

kohan69

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#16
The easiest solution to the problem is enabling vsync.

The noise seems to occur at higher FPS, so enabling vsync caps the fps limit, drastically reducing the noise.
 
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#17
I have have already noticed vsync noise and higher FPS noise. It's something different. It's like more electronic noise and I'm unable to silent it with frame capping or turning vsync ON.
 

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#18
The easiest solution to the problem is enabling vsync.

The noise seems to occur at higher FPS, so enabling vsync caps the fps limit, drastically reducing the noise.
Ah, that explains a lot since I play most of my games with v-sync on. But the buildin v-sync in F1 sucks, so I left it off. Plus, in 3dmark 11 the fps aren't that high, so it isn't a high load problem, but more like a high fps problem.
 
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#19
My mobo does not whine with reference HD4850, reference GTX460 and HD5850 Twinfrozr. So mobo is also OK. Also I have checked that HD6950 in my old mobo P35A-S and it's also whinning. I must get used to it.
I think my 5870 makes the same sound your talking about too. If you run Furmark does the whine if you run extreme burn and disable post processing (I think that was the setting. Its the one that makes the circle turn and adds the flames)?

I also have another 5870 that did not make any high pitched squeal when plugged in to the Evga board.

Do you have some kind of fan control for the fan headers on the motherboard? Try disabling them if so. I have an AMD Gigabyte board that squeals the bios beep speaker when the system fan header speed control is enabled. I know that is with the motherboard but worth a shot. Also might try loading fail safe defaults in the bios to see if that makes it stop.

One last thing (sorry if you mentioned it already), does the card squeal just sitting on the desktop, watching video, or only playing games?

Thanks
 
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#20
I had this problem with my 6950s. I was about to rma them till I put my ears to them. It only happened under severe load in one game. I pinpointed it down to the powersupply. Noise starts there then travels up to my cards.

I had the psu swapped out for a replacement, coil whine is now history. I'm glad I didn't end up rma my cards lol. I would have been stuck with the same problem with new cards.
 
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#21
One last thing (sorry if you mentioned it already), does the card squeal just sitting on the desktop, watching video, or only playing games?
It makes squealing noise when I load the card to the max (Crysis, Metro 2033, 3D Mark). On desktop and while playing low-specs games like Darksiders, NFS MW, Quake 3 there is no whinning.
 

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#22
when i had sli with GTX260 Core 216s they whined as well
 
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#23
It makes squealing noise when I load the card to the max (Crysis, Metro 2033, 3D Mark). On desktop and while playing low-specs games like Darksiders, NFS MW, Quake 3 there is no whinning.
Do you have PCIe Speed Spectrum disabled? I know everyone normally disables it when overclocking and I've tried overclocking with it enabled just to find out it causes havoc (as expected).

If you don't mind I would suggest setting things back to stock clocks for the cpu and enable PCIe Speed Spectrum to see if the noise goes away. It could very well be EMI noise that is being transmitted through the on board video card (bios beep) speaker (from your description).
 

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#24
I've always wandered what this buzzer is for, but if it's buzzer that sounds, then it should be specific, constant tone sound, and it should be different from coil whine. And if buzzer sounds, then there is reason for it.
Errors i would of thought like the one ytou get if you do not plug in the 6 and 8 pin connectors in. But for it to keep buzzing makes me think it's another error code or faulty.

If you think it's from the buzzer put a little bit of tape over the hole see if that changes or lowers the sound. If the sound don't change i don't believe it's that. Used to to do it with modems back in the day as they were annoying as hell.

EDIT:
Do you have PCIe Speed Spectrum disabled? I know everyone normally disables it when overclocking and I've tried overclocking with it enabled just to find out it causes havoc (as expected).

If you don't mind I would suggest setting things back to stock clocks for the cpu and enable PCIe Speed Spectrum to see if the noise goes away. It could very well be EMI noise that is being transmitted through the on board video card (bios beep) speaker (from your description).
You might be on to some thing there, which would make it more like a bug with the card
 
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