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inverse coil whine (low power sound problem) MSI Gaming X Trio 3070

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connta

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Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Has anyone had a problem where the GPU is working just fine (splendid actually) under power but on idle its giving out "coil whine"? I put quotes because it isnt really a coil whine, it sounds more like some PWM high frequency switch, almost like a hard drive head. The rest of the pc is super quiet, this sound is also pretty quiet but it is uneven and irritating.

It has something to do with power, that much is clear but in all honesty i cant say if its GPU or PSU related, i tried listening with a straw and it seems like its coming from GPU. Old 1080Ti didnt have any issues like this and i believe it drew more power in all regards (low and high), PSU wasnt touched with the upgrade, same cables, same routing. PSU is also single rail Strider+ 850W so it definitely has enough power.

The sound happens almost constantly on idle but it is changing tone, as i said like a higher pitched hdd head when its changing lanes a lot (some sound higher pitched, some sound more muffled). I tried following whats going on in AB plots but got nothing consistent. With a small load the sound seems to still be there but almost cannot be heard, it really needs total silence and concentration and at that level im not sure if im really hearing it or is it just stuck in my head.

I found a way to reproduce it tho, at its highest volume and to make it constant so im not crazy. :D Since i play everything in windowed mode on a 55" tv, when desktop is idle the sound is there and when i launch a game the sound stops completely (clear change) and then it is kinda back once the game starts but very very low (as described above). While the application is running it will stay as such with very minor oscilation and basically any sound from the game or music will cover it completely (fans wont tho, since all are super quiet). Now, when the game is running and i pick up the game window to move it the game will freeze while the window is being moved and the sound will go bonkers, being as loud and as constant as it gets. As soon as i release the window, the sound goes silent.

Has anyone had anything similar? :D

EDIT: Oh, forgot to mention, i do a bit of night crypto mining, to pay off the scalping prices of GPU. When the GPU is mining (theres load on it, in W more than with a low powered game) the sound is still present same as on idle. ETH mining basically only uses memory so this makes me think the problem is in the chip power delivery, not the memory power delivery.
 
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Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
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Jun 5, 2013
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Go Blue!
This sounds like it is actually coil whine in the GPU. Unfortunately, there aren't many ways to fix coil whine. Try enabling G-Sync if your monitor has it. If not the only other option I can think of is to try adjusting your fan's curve so they run at idle speeds. This can change the power draw on the coils and potentially silence them.
 
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connta

Registered
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Aug 13, 2020
So, wait, coils can whine on very low or very high power? Thought it was only on high power, ha.

Well, yeah, thanks for the sugestion but i tried most of common sense things and only when the actual chip on the card is fed power and voltage above a threshold i get silence. Wont work if i just set clocks but nothing is being drawn to the actual chip. As i mentioned, mining consumes around 120w and it puts the chip on 1000Mhz/770mV/100% usage but this is only so in the stats, theres nothing really going to the GPU in terms of power draw (amperage i guess), all goes to memory and chip stays low power (thats why you can mine aditional coin, one that works on the gpu algorithm, without losing any performance).
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
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Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
Coil whine can happen at any power draw, it just depends on the particular coil. Yours likes low power in order to sing. A simple solution is to just let in mine when it would otherwise be idle. This would be beneficial two-fold. :)

I know this isn't the answer you want, but there really is little you can do about coil whine. Generally, we would consider an RMA if it was that bad, but with the GPU market the way it is, I would highly discourage it.
 
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connta

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Aug 13, 2020
Yeah, no RMA at this point, i might just sell it to miners and buy another, wanted to switch to Radeon anyway. I got lucky buying this card at around 730e and now its 200e more so even if i got my money back i wouldnt be able to buy another lol. I basically wanted Trio or TUF for the silence so it will be very hard (impossible better said) to get a specific model from a specific vendor for the RMA.

Its already mining ETH when it should be idle but if i put another coin on it, the computer becomes unusable basically, even YT bugs out sometimes. Ill find a way to deal with it for the time being. Thanks for the confirmation and all.
 
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connta

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Aug 13, 2020
Guys, new development.

It isnt the GPU load nor the GPU itself, thats why i couldnt find anything consistent in AB, its the CPU load! Basically if the CPU is under 20W power load (no matter the V, or so it seems for now) there will be a rattle, once the load is nearing 40W the sound will slowly become less audible to be completely and definitely gone on higher loads.

Now, everything would indicate that it is the MOBO actually that is rattling but i dont remember it rattling when i bought it last summer, would defenetely notice. Do coil whines just appear or should they be there from the start?

EDIT: Also since it seems to be the MOBO, any pointers on what i should thinker in BIOS first? Maybe try constant voltage?
ATM i just run prime95 on 1 core without HT or AVX and that puts the CPU load around 37w and the sound is almost gone, lol.

EDIT2: Well, since i was using sound out from HDMI i figured i dont need the sound on MOBO and that was disabled but i had an epiphany that could shift the MOBO power draw just enough to not rattle and god damn it did, LOL. Thanks for the inspiration with the fan curve, thats the logic i used. It didnt clear it exactly all the way but it seems like a good start and definitely better. When i ran prime95 before there was clear difference, now there basically isnt any suggesting the noise floor has changed (for the better).
 
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Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
Generally coil whine is something we have to live with or replace the component. The only way I'm aware of to help its to play around with the different voltages to reduce it. I would not, however, sacrifice performance, stability, or thermals.