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Old 04-06-09, 05:30 AM   #1
intarweb
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Default GTX 260 Core 216 SSC Squeal :(

So, I just got my shiny new card, and I've noticed it has what some claim is a common issue; squealing. Okay, nothing new there, and yes I know this has been covered several times. However, I've done a bunch of searches and am simply unable to find sufficient answers to two specific questions, so I made a thread

First, description of circumstances: happens during the usual stuff; high FPS and whatnot. At lower FPS, I can hear a lower pitched buzzing if I put my ear up close to the case that isn't there when a game isn't running. I don't know if it happens in all games; I just noticed it happened when I bothered to check for it. I don't know if the lower pitched sound is normal since it seems to be rarely mentioned. The low pitched sound is not particularly loud, and I doubt I would have noticed except for I was already listening for the squeal and this particular phenomenon seems to just scale with FPS (e.g. lower FPS = low frequency, high FPS = high frequency). Anyway, I suppose someone can comment on whether that alone is normal to begin with.

Now, the two questions:

1. What are my realistic chances of getting a non-squealing card if I RMA this thing? I ask because, other than the squealing, I actually really like the card, and I haven't been able to find any sort of real specific response about the frequency of this problem in order to help me weigh my options. Those options being, essentially, live with it, RMA it for a new one, or return it and get something else. Everything is running smoothly, temps are good, and fan noise is pretty good. In terms of sheer performance, it seems like a great card, but the squealing is really bugging me as it's decently loud (well, relative to my fairly quiet computer anyhow).

2. Where is the squealing supposed to be emanating from, really? I noticed that the capacitors and chokes on the end nearest to the PSU connectors is claimed to be the source of the sound on some sites, but when I try to locate the sound on my card it seems louder towards the end nearest to the display outputs. I don't see any caps/chokes on the side on the few blurry pictures I've managed to find of these boards uncovered, but I do see what looks like regulation, some d/a circuitry, and I guess a bus controller or something of that sort (not sure at the moment; haven't looked it up). I looked up a video on youtube where someone had a squealing card, and his *seemed* like it was coming from the area mine is, but people seem to consistently blame devices on the other end of the card.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 04-06-09, 09:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: GTX 260 Core 216 SSC Squeal :(

I've just bought a gtx 260 and apart from the fan being slightly louder than my 8800gts, I have no squealing noise whatsoever. Just the typical wooshing noise. What speed is your fan running at. Try downloading evga precision utility and setting your fan to a lower setting if its bothering you, but check your temps to make sure it's not over heating.
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Old 04-06-09, 10:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: GTX 260 Core 216 SSC Squeal :(

My 8800 GTX made the sound as well.....especially during ATItools artifact testing....I think it is normal.....card ran great for over 2 years, died.....then Evga(great company that they are) replaced it with a 9800GTX+

I wouldn't worry.....like I said....card made the noise from day 1 and still lasted for more than 2 years......running games everyday.
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Old 04-06-09, 12:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: GTX 260 Core 216 SSC Squeal :(

I can hear a lower pitched buzzing if I put my ear up close to the case

It may be coming from your computer's switched-mode power supply, a coil probably

The extra load perhaps has sent a coil singing, or something else could be physically touching the case and causing resonant buzzing

Try switching from say 60Hz monitor refresh rate to another refresh rate, and also to lower screen frequencies, (line output transformer test) - see if it makes a difference to the sound. Turn the monitor off and listen. Only to help break the problem down are these tests, not for permanent settings

What make of card? Try the card manufacturer's user forums for more focused help, EVGA has very good after-sales support in my experience

A singing coil can be quietened by potting the coil - which should already be potted of course: using cold-cure resin, lacquer or similar setting compound. If no luck fixing this and no RMA possible I mean
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Old 04-06-09, 05:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: GTX 260 Core 216 SSC Squeal :(

Thanks for the replies!

kindred - It's not fan noise; it's coming from what sounds like maybe a regulator on the side of the card nearest to the display outputs.

Tho - Yeah, it does seem it will last despite the problem; it's just I'm sensitive to high frequencies so it's driving me a bit nuts >.<

weevil - It doesn't appear to be my PSU causing the noise as it's very localized around the card itself and scales with FPS. It almost sounds like maybe it's what looks like the digital supply making noise and hence the scaling with frequency. The card brand is eVGA.

Thanks again for the help, guys!
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Old 04-06-09, 06:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: GTX 260 Core 216 SSC Squeal :(

I guess I'm also considering switching to an HD4890 to resolve the problem. I haven't really kept up on driver quality recently and don't know about how support for CUDA/PhysX APIs should factor into my decision, but Anandtech and some others seem to suggest at least the latter issue isn't that important. I'm happy with the drivers so far on this card; have had remarkably smooth operation, actually. However, the 4890 is a faster card overall it seems. Just wondering about thoughts on that choice as I'm trying to weigh the issues between what seems like a good card with good drivers so far and some neat perks versus a faster card with DX10.1 (which seems to be gaining some support?); I don't know on the drivers yet! >_>

I also called eVGA and asked what the chances of me getting another squealing card is, and the tech support guy appeared to suggest it was low. However, I guess I'm feeling a bit nervous about it because I tried a Superclocked before this and it had the same problem >.<
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Old 04-06-09, 07:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: GTX 260 Core 216 SSC Squeal :(

I have had this problem on most of my nVidia cards tends to happen mostly with 3D games that are running at insaine frame rates, like Divx video for intros or main menus where the fps is over 500.
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Old 04-06-09, 08:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: GTX 260 Core 216 SSC Squeal :(

Does your current card do it?
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Old 04-07-09, 11:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: GTX 260 Core 216 SSC Squeal :(

tbh I think its the PSU that causes the cards to squeal. I noticed it on my bros PC when I gave him my GTX280. With his old Corsair 620w it squeals like a pig but is totally silent with a Corsair 850w. I even RMAd the 620w but it still did it...
Just sharing my findings...I could be wrong but that is how I got rid of it on my bros PC.

Edit- rereading your post I have to say he might have had a different squeal as it only did it during game cut scenes or when in the game menus. I didn't do it while actually gaming so we might have had different issues
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Old 04-07-09, 05:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: GTX 260 Core 216 SSC Squeal :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Nick View Post
tbh I think its the PSU that causes the cards to squeal. I noticed it on my bros PC when I gave him my GTX280. With his old Corsair 620w it squeals like a pig but is totally silent with a Corsair 850w. I even RMAd the 620w but it still did it...
Just sharing my findings...I could be wrong but that is how I got rid of it on my bros PC.

Edit- rereading your post I have to say he might have had a different squeal as it only did it during game cut scenes or when in the game menus. I didn't do it while actually gaming so we might have had different issues
It doesn't squeal while gaming; I can just hear a low pitched buzz that scaled up into a squeal when in the usual cut scenes/menus. I only hear squealing during high-FPS environments like those you just mentioned.

Is this problem caused by Corsair PSUs? (I have one too! )
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Old 04-07-09, 06:54 PM   #11
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Default Re: GTX 260 Core 216 SSC Squeal :(

I don't want to tell you that its the psu as I'm not 100% but I do know that moving to a more powerful one fixed it for him. Tbh I don't understand it as the Corsair 620w is more than capable of running the card and everything else in his system but a more powerful one -still corsair- did the trick
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Old 04-07-09, 07:01 PM   #12
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Default Re: GTX 260 Core 216 SSC Squeal :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Nick View Post
I don't want to tell you that its the psu as I'm not 100% but I do know that moving to a more powerful one fixed it for him. Tbh I don't understand it as the Corsair 620w is more than capable of running the card and everything else in his system but a more powerful one -still corsair- did the trick
Interesting. I doubt it was the extra power; I wonder if it's something like noise, inductance, or nominal impedance on the rails. I tried a non-Corsair 600W PSU to no avail, I guess I could try another PSU in the house but I doubt it will make a difference. There is also another user in another thread who has an HX620 like your brother and he is reporting no squealing >.<
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