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Old 05-12-2009, 06:59 PM   #1
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High Pitched Whine

I just finished building my first PC and I've run into a very annoying problem. After the computer has booted into Windows and been running for 45-60 seconds it starts to make a high pitched whine. It fluctuates pitch based on what I'm doing as well. Sitting at the desktop idling I get a relatively low pitch but then when I click on something or even use the scroll wheel to roll through the start menu it get higher until it completes whatever I told it to do.

I've tested all the fans in the case, CPU/GPU/PSU/Case. None of them are the problem as I still hear it when they are stopped. It's not the HDD, it's as quiet as a mouse and the sound is coming from a different area of the case.

What can I do? At this point I've basically accepted I'm cursed and I'm going to have to RMA another part but how do I know what to send back? from what I can find online this could be a motherboard capacitor about to blow, a problem with the PSU, or (heaven forbid) the normal operation of this motherboard.

Parts in question are the GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P, and CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W.

EDIT: Hmm, I was trying to get a better fix on where the sound was coming from and I noticed something odd in the PSU. There are 2 separate spots in the PSU that resemble the Stay Puft Marshmallow man, one on the side of a capacitor. I'm guessing that is the problem but if it was would the computer even start up? I was under the impression that a bad capacitor means nothing works, especially in the PSU. I tried to get a picture but all I have is my phone so unless someone wants to see it I'll skip that.

Last edited by Stoke; 05-12-2009 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:10 PM   #2
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Your monitor?
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:14 PM   #3
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Your monitor?
Nope. I've been using the monitor for a week while waiting on my RMA from AMD.
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Old 05-12-2009, 08:26 PM   #4
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Glue in the PSU is normal - however if a capacitor burst it should be fairly obvious. Caps should be more or less perfectly cylindrical with flat tops. If the top has bulged out, then it's likely the cap did burst.

I would suspect the PSU myself to be making the noise if it's that audible. Unplug everything, and then use a paper clip or some other form of metal wire to short the green wire plug on the motherboard connector and any black wire plug on the motherboard connector. You'll jump start the PSU and you'll find out what the problem is. (it's 3.3v and extremely low amps, you won't even feel the current)
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Old 05-12-2009, 08:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by LiquidRain View Post
Glue in the PSU is normal - however if a capacitor burst it should be fairly obvious. Caps should be more or less perfectly cylindrical with flat tops. If the top has bulged out, then it's likely the cap did burst.

I would suspect the PSU myself to be making the noise if it's that audible. Unplug everything, and then use a paper clip or some other form of metal wire to short the green wire plug on the motherboard connector and any black wire plug on the motherboard connector. You'll jump start the PSU and you'll find out what the problem is. (it's 3.3v and extremely low amps, you won't even feel the current)
Ok, so I'm sure I'm doing this right, I unplug everything, do the paperclip thing and then turn the PSU back on for a while? And this is to see if it squeals while nothing is powered on except the PSU?
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Old 05-12-2009, 08:54 PM   #6
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I'm going to go with...Pomeroy.
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:13 PM   #7
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Ok, so I'm sure I'm doing this right, I unplug everything, do the paperclip thing and then turn the PSU back on for a while? And this is to see if it squeals while nothing is powered on except the PSU?
The PSU will turn on when you do the paper clip trick. The thing is it won't be hooked up to anything at all, and that should give you a good indication of what's going wrong.

If it's not whining, then plug it in to only the motherboard and disconnect all fans except the CPU fan. See if the whining starts. Keep adding more parts in until it starts whining. If you still can't isolate the part, try a different power supply if you have one, as I'd still suspect that to be the problem here.

e: in case it's not terribly obvious, unplug/switch off the PSU before plugging it into the motherboard.
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:46 PM   #8
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I had a video card that was noisy as hell for a while. I never quite figured out what was causing it, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a fan. The funniest thing was that I could literally hear everything I did, the biggest culprits being scrolling and dragging windows, but it let out this god awful whine regardless.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:06 PM   #9
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Well, I did the paper clip trick. After a few minutes the PSU started to give off a barely audible whine so I'm guessing it's the PSU itself. I wish I had another PSU to test with but I don't have anything I'd trust to not destroy my system. Anyway, I'm going to fill out the RMA from on Corsair's site tonight and let them deal with it. Thanks for your help!
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:11 PM   #10
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I'd like to see pics of the marshmallow stuff
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:42 PM   #11
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I'd like to see pics of the marshmallow stuff
Lol, ok. But remember I said they were crappy. And apparently they glow when you take their picture.


1. A little piece of circuit board.
2. Stay Puft
3. 3-4 in long capacitor.

The marshmallow covers the corner of the circuit board and probably a square inch of the capacitor.


The other spot. much smaller and is only covers some of a small capacitor.
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:30 AM   #12
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I've had the misfortune to experience this many times in the past . Usually it leads me to replacing the CPU fan and / or the PSU. On average, it was usually the PSU.
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