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Question New 2070 super has some coil whine, what to do?

VashHT

Platinum Member
Feb 1, 2007
2,626
231
106
I decided it was time to upgrade my 980Ti and ended up picking up a 2070 super, an EVGA Xc Ultra. The cards works great except it has a bit of coil whine. My 980Ti (an evga FTW card) also had some coil whine, but the fans were also a lot louder when gaming on that card so I wouldn't hear it much unless it was a menu running at like 2000fps or something like that. My 2070's fans are far far quieter than my 980Ti, but that means I can hear some faint coil whine in games now (most notably Witcher 3 which I hit around 100fps on).

Anyway I guess I'm asking for any suggestions on how to reduce the coil whine, or should I just exchange it? I may try a new PSU, mine is a Corsair which I think are supposed to be pretty good still, but it's also kinda old so I figured it's worth a try. I may also try insulating the sound from my case a bit, I have a corsair cube case and the dust filters on the top and front of the case are pretty open, I ordered some foam sheets to see if they would block sound a little more without messing with the airflow too much.

Does anyone have recommendations for power supplies to try? From looking around it seems like Corsair and Seasonic are still popular companies, I was hoping there was a newer company putting out really high quality stuff like PC Power and Cooling used to do but it didn't seem like it.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,016
6,364
126
I must be extremely lucky, or perhaps, my ears just aren't sensitive to those frequencies anymore, because I have yet to actually really experience any "Coil whine", either GPU VRM-based, or mobo VRM-based (technically, it's the coils, not the solid-state VRM parts).

Or maybe, I just choose cards with solid chokes, and whatnot. I've been buying mostly AMD cards, and they tend to be a bit overbuilt, although I also recently (in the last six months) picked up three GTX 1660ti cards, two MSI Ventus OC, and one MSI Gaming X, which are pretty decent quality cards, IMHO. Along with an XFX RX 5700 reference.

Or maybe, my fans and WC AIO pump just drown out any coil whine that I might encounter. I also run fans around the apt., to move air, and I'm mining on my rigs, so yeah, moving air around and cooling my place is important.

Edit: So, I guess, I'm sorry that you're experiencing this. I have no experience with the issue, so have nothing to suggest. Other than maybe get some silicon "goop" and try to stabilize the coils with it, maybe? Does you card have open / coiled chokes, or solid chokes? ("Black chokes")
 

VashHT

Platinum Member
Feb 1, 2007
2,626
231
106
I'll have to check out the video card to see what kind of inductors are on there, I'm pretty positive it's my video card since the noise disappears when I exit a game. Honestly it's not too bad, my PC is so quiet now that it's just more noticeable than with my previous card. I looked up my PSU and it's a Corsair HX850i so it should be good but I think I'll try a different supply just to narrow it down a bit.
 

RetroZombie

Senior member
Nov 5, 2019
464
385
96
When it happen I only get rid of it by replacing the PSU.
No magic driver, no magic new bios, no magic bios setting, ...
I admit never tried to replace the mobo for example to see if it would solve the problem.

By the way I always replaced with a 100 Watts more powerful PSU than the prior model even if it was of the same brand/model.
 

railven

Diamond Member
Mar 25, 2010
6,604
560
126
My GTX 1080 Ti and RTX 2080 Ti whine like a cricket orgy. Thankfully I can tune them both out, but boy is it annoying for the few seconds/minutes you are aware of it.
 

VashHT

Platinum Member
Feb 1, 2007
2,626
231
106
My GTX 1080 Ti and RTX 2080 Ti whine like a cricket orgy. Thankfully I can tune them both out, but boy is it annoying for the few seconds/minutes you are aware of it.
Yeah after being able to play for longer last night I think I can probably live with it. Witcher 3 really is the worst with it, I tried playing some other games and I can barely hear it. With Witcher 3 it sounds like it fades after I play for a bit, either that or my ears start to tune it out. I can still kind of hear it but it's not too annoying. I'm still gonna try a couple things to help with it, but at this point I probably won't return the card even if nothing helps, I'm kind of skeptical that there are cards with absolutely zero coil whine. More likely I think it's people with better sound blocking cases or they're using headphones or their hearing is going bad or something.
 

railven

Diamond Member
Mar 25, 2010
6,604
560
126
Yeah after being able to play for longer last night I think I can probably live with it. Witcher 3 really is the worst with it, I tried playing some other games and I can barely hear it. With Witcher 3 it sounds like it fades after I play for a bit, either that or my ears start to tune it out. I can still kind of hear it but it's not too annoying. I'm still gonna try a couple things to help with it, but at this point I probably won't return the card even if nothing helps, I'm kind of skeptical that there are cards with absolutely zero coil whine. More likely I think it's people with better sound blocking cases or they're using headphones or their hearing is going bad or something.
I've read a few people RMA'd their cards and got back cards with less coil whine, but not no coil whine.

If you can stomach it, you should be fine, but if it is too much I'd suggest an RMA. You never know, you might have a bad apple (not knowing how bad yours is of course).

For example, my original RTX 2080 Ti had significantly less coil whine than the replacement I got (RMA'd it because of space invaders). In the end not enough for me to RMA it a second time.
 

EXCellR8

Diamond Member
Sep 1, 2010
3,887
788
136
Yea I agree... I can deal with it up to a certain point but then I'm considering an RMA (and a potential cheesed explanation of what's occurring).

One downside to liquid cooling cards is there seems to always be a little bit of CW at load with no active fan running. Those who claim absolute zero CW either can't hear it or are in denial. Yes, you can try and counter it within reason but that doesn't mean it's not there. In most cases, ambient sound can help, along with some sound deadening, but I actually envy those who can't hear the frequency.

I had a 290X years ago with absurd CW that I didn't notice until I pulled the OE cooler off in favor of a block. It was so bad, I could even hear it with headphones on. Can't say I was sad to see that one sold to a mining zealot.
 

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
5,398
1,180
136
I have only heard coil whine during super high frame rates. Like I may have a game locked at 60fps, but a menu or something may skip around that and run at 500fps. And for reference, my new 5700XT is actually able to play a lot of games with the fans off), so it is silent, and when gaming at 60fps (limitation of my current display), it is dead silent. but even when playing something that does stress it, its yet to make any whine noises.

Most corsair PSU's are manufactured by SeaSonic, which are arguably the best PSU's you can buy. If its old, feel free to change it out, but I doubt it will change your GPU's sound.
 

VashHT

Platinum Member
Feb 1, 2007
2,626
231
106
Well I'm going to try a second PSU today, not really expecting it to make a difference but at least then I'll know that's not the problem. If it weren't for Witcher 3 I don't think I'd have any problem with this card, I was playing more yesterday and the pitch of the whine changes as you run around which is pretty annoying, if it was constant I think I could ignore it.

If the PSU doesn't work I may try getting it replaced, I'm mostly just afraid of getting a replacement that's worse. I'd try an AMD card too but my monitor is gsync so I don't want to lose that.
 

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
5,398
1,180
136
Well I'm going to try a second PSU today, not really expecting it to make a difference but at least then I'll know that's not the problem. If it weren't for Witcher 3 I don't think I'd have any problem with this card, I was playing more yesterday and the pitch of the whine changes as you run around which is pretty annoying, if it was constant I think I could ignore it.

If the PSU doesn't work I may try getting it replaced, I'm mostly just afraid of getting a replacement that's worse. I'd try an AMD card too but my monitor is gsync so I don't want to lose that.
Does it go away if you enable vsync to lock the FPS at 60 (Unless you have a higher refresh display).
 

VashHT

Platinum Member
Feb 1, 2007
2,626
231
106
Does it go away if you enable vsync to lock the FPS at 60 (Unless you have a higher refresh display).
Yeah I've got a 165Hz monitor so I'd rather not lock it to 60. One thing I did do that seemed to help with Witcher 3 at least was to set the max fps in the nvidia control panel to 165Hz. Before the intro screens would be at like 2000fps and the coil whine sounded like a banshee, but now I can't hear anything. Maybe it's a placebo too but I feel like it wasn't as bad in the game after this either.

In case anyone cares, I tried a different PSU and it didn't do anything. I bought a replacement air filter for an AC unit and cut it to cover certain vents in my case, there's kind of a strip of pretty open venting on my case (it's a corsair cube case thing), so I cut this filter foam and covered those and it helped a bit actually. Maybe this info will help someone else, I kinda wish I had bought a quieter case now, I think that would have fixed the problem for the most part.

I was pretty set to keep the card, but then I tried to play WC3 reforged last night and man does the coil whine scream when that runs at 165Hz. If I can't get it reduced in that game I'm just gonna try exchanging or RMAing it, thanks to everyone here for the suggestions.
 
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supersilent

Junior Member
Jul 17, 2020
1
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I think higher clocking might have to do with it and you can work against it with external phase corrections and proper PFC in your PSU. They could just change their electronics for petes sake. For this kind of money. I have this crap tinnitus from my RTX 20xx card all the time. Also idle and undervolted. I never had it with any AMD lower end card last 20 years.
 
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FaaR

Golden Member
Dec 28, 2007
1,057
410
136
you can work against it with external phase corrections and proper PFC in your PSU.
Doubtful. "Phase corrections" (whatever you mean by that) and PFC would only affect the AC side of the power supply. Coil whine is an electromagnetic phenomenon on the DC side, similar to the whirr you hear from brushless harddrive spindle motors for example. It rises from the pulsing nature of power consumption in modern, high performance electronics.

What does help sometimes is making sure components are sufficiently "potted", IE glued in place. With chokes, the ferrite core part might not be entirely secure so it has the potential to vibrate as the component is stressed electrically, same thing with capacitors I hear. Gluing them down can help against that (something which is fairly often done in power supplies by the way; it's the typically white silicone gunk you see drizzled randomly over various components inside.)

They could just change their electronics for petes sake.
Coil whine is typically not considered a fault with the device, unless the manufacturer specifically states so. Be Silent! for example apparently has a coil whine warranty for its power supplies, but then again their main selling thing is to, err, be silent... :p I've heard people have had some success with Apple too getting them to replace macbooks pro that whined, but that might be more up to the whims of whatever "genius" handling your service request as I don't think Apple has any stated policy either.

As coil whine can be very tricky to avoid completely I suspect they would not approve if you called them up and asked, after all, product returns/replacements cost them a lot of money...


For this kind of money. I have this crap tinnitus from my RTX 20xx card all the time. Also idle and undervolted. I never had it with any AMD lower end card last 20 years.
It's often largely random if you get it or not. The joys of arbitrary variations due to mass production. I have two ASUS Vega64 GPUs that whine, and the ASUS mobo whines too when the CPU is loaded hard. All of these components are labelled with their "Strix" branding (IE, owl, so supposedly silent... *ahem*) Guess that shows how much that's worth. :p
 

KentState

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2001
8,077
285
126
Maybe I've been lucky, but this is something that I've never experience with a computer as far as I can remember. Had plenty of fans with baring issues or whistles from air movement. Maybe just never had a room or environment quiet enough to hear it over everything else.
 

b-mac

Member
Jun 15, 2015
147
23
81
My 2080 Ti at max power limit has pretty terrible coil whine, I have to keep the voltage below 900 mV to make it tolerable. I can still maintain 1900 MHz around 875 mV which makes the whine tolerable under load and still maintains good performance.
 

Guru

Senior member
May 5, 2017
830
361
106
Its mostly the PSU actually and its because its not sitting well, try and apply firm pressure on it with your hand to stabilize it and confirm that way if the coil whine is coming from it, which means it's not even coil whine, but a lose PSU and from the fan rattle it destabilizes the parts inside to create a noise.

I suggest doing the same with the GPU, often times firm pressure to make it solid and rigid in place will stop "coil whine", so check that as well!
 

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