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Old 07-01-08, 01:56 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 898
Exclamation GTX 280 screeching...

Just got my 280 today, and it is suffering from a horrible screeching noise in 3D apps.

I did the following before installing:

- Uninstalled Nvidia display drivers and EVGA precision 1.11 via the control panel. No other Nvidia related apps were present such as Nhancer, CUDA, or Nvidia PhysX
- rebooted into safe mode, ran Driver sweeper 1.55, cleaned "Nvidia Display", ran CCleaner
- rebooted, loaded default BIOS values
- Shutdown, removed 8800 GTX, cleared CMOS.
- Installed GTX 280 w/ 6 pin and 8 pin directly from the PSU
- Booted up, installed 177.41
- rebooted, installed EVGA Precision 1.20 and Nvidia PhysX, read Idle temps @ 48*C with clocks in low power mode
- Set fan speed to 100%, ran 3Dmark06

This is where it gets complicated. I noticed a faint noise coming from the card during loading, which I had experienced on my 8800 GTX and 9800 GX2 in 3Dmark03, and 05, but not in 06. Didn't really think much of it, figured it was some driver problem or something related to the clock speed modes. The test completed without error, and showed a score of 15k, not anything special but fine for stock GPU and CPU clocks AFAIK. The card temp did not exceed 62*C which was refreshing as I thought I'd dodged a bullet.

I proceeded to bench Crysis with the Crysis Benchmark Tool. Simple test, DX10 64-bit, all High, 1920x1200, no AA/AF. There was again a faint noise coming from the card as soon as the map loaded. The sound was still very faint, only this time it sounded sort of like a hard drive activity, but when I turned my case fans down it was much louder than that; I could distinguish my hard drives from the card. Again, the benchmark completed, and read an average of 37.5fps. Max temp was 68*C.

At this point, I thought maybe it had to do with the fan speed, so I set it back on auto and ran 3Dmark Vantage. I didn't hear the same type of sound this time so I thought it was fixed. Vantage scored ~P12000 with the CPU score being around 35k so PhysX was working correctly. After that I ran the extreme preset, fan still on auto, and heard the screeching again, only louder. It continued throughout the entirety of the test, and the score was X4900.
I loaded up CoD4 and the screeching was very loud as soon as the map loaded. It was now constant and unbearable, I exited out, and ran Furmark, still loud but not quite as loud as CoD4. Clearly there was something wrong, and the easiest most probable cause was the driver, so I uninstalled 177.41, cleaned with Driver Cleaner etc, and installed 177.26 off of the EVGA disk. CoD4 and Furmark still caused the screeching (temps were still fine btw)

I thought it might be a power issue, since the noise only occured when the GPU was under load as it would be in game, so I switched out the PCI-E connector with the other 6+8pin and reseated the card. This did not fix the problem, so I thought maybe it was the PCI-E slot, so I installed it in the middle white PCI-E 1.0 slot, still nothing. Earlier I thought it might have been a clock problem, so I lowered the GPU, Shader, and Memory clocks about 25MHz, and tried the fan at different settings, nothing helped.

I was beginning to think there was no other cause then the card itself, nothing seemed to work. The last thing I could try was a different system. So I put the 280 into an older system with a Gigabyte P35, Q6600, 4GB ram, 3 HDDs, Vista64, and used the same 850w PSU from my main rig. I only did limited tests on this setup as I was short on time, and am currently away from home. What I did do however, was install 177.41, Precision 1.21, 3Dmark06, and Furmark. 3Dmark seemed fine for the first test so I moved on to Furmark, that was fine, and then to CSS, which was fine aswell. These were all running in 1280x1024, and I did not run anything but Vantage Performance Preset and 3DMark06 at 1280x1024 on my main PC. I don't think it's the resolution though. The fan was also at 100% during these tests, ruling out strain on the fan. After about 20 minutes of testing, there was no screeching as far as I could tell. BTW, the airflow in this 2nd system was horrible as it was quickly put together for a quick test only, and the card did not go over 85*C. So for people with overheating issues, I dont think it can be explained by airflow alone.

Several things to note:

1) There is NO screeching coming from the card at desktop, even with the fan @ 100%
2) There is NO screeching during loading except in 3DMark.
3) My 8800GTX and 9800GX2 exhibited similar issues, but very faint and only in loading 3DMark03 and 05. There was never any screeching with these cards in gametests or games themselves.
4) CoD4 and Furmark were the loudest, and ONLY ingame
5) Performance seems fine
6) loading my preconfigured BIOS settings, OC and all did not change anything

So it seems to me like it is the fault of the board, not the card or PSU. Unfortunately I did not have time to test further, but in the interim period I would greatly appreciate any advice or suggestions anyone may have. I won't be back home until noon tomorrow. I don't want to RMA the card if I don't have to, and I dont think I should have to right now based on these tests. I'd like to know if there's anything I could do with my current system to fix the screeching. Also, I will try to upload an audio file tomorrow if necessary.
Core i7 980x @ 4.4GHz - EK Supreme HF - BlackIce GTX 360 - MCP655 - Rampage II Extreme BIOS 1639 - EVGA GTX 480 SLI - Corsair Dominator 3x2GB DDR3 1600
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Windows 7 x64, 3DMark06:30000, 3DMark Vantage: P38000

Eurocom M860TU: X9100 - 9800M GT - 2x2GB OCZ DDR3 1333 - 320GB 7200rpm - 15.4in 1920x1200
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