High pitched ringing defies troubleshooting

MyrmidonMyrmidon Baron von PuttenhamCalifornia Icrontian

Hey folks - I always go to you before I go to reddit.

I just upgraded the motherboard, CPU, and RAM in my machine (ow.... my wallet...), and I'm in the middle of a re-OS... but the wife and I are finding that the new machine makes a BRUTAL high-pitched ringing noise, like the sound of an old (lol old) CRT television/monitor. Thing is... this high-pitched ringing sound responds to NOTHING. It is unlike any problem I have ever encountered, and I'm no spring chicken.

-Ringing sound (duh)
-Sound appears to be a standing wave in the right places - it exists in certain parts of the room, but not in others
-Sound does not increase or decrease in intensity or pitch no matter what load is on the machine. Even having the case cover on does not dull the sound.

Troubleshooting attempts
-Tried manually stopping/unplugging all fans one-by-one
-Tried manually stopping/unplugging all HDDs one-by-one
-Unplugged motherboard speaker/buzzer
-Removed video card
-Placed hands over every vent I could
-Rolled up a piece of paper, jammed it in my ear, and moved it around the case to find the sound - I heard the sound in FOUR COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SPOTS. Similar to the room, the sound appears to be a standing wave inside the case.
-Attempted to dampen any metal joint I could find - screws, risers, what have you - and any other thing I could touch (heatsinks, the chipset, pieces of the IO panel, LEDs, anything that might make a noise).

Upon discussing it, I think the noise is electromagnetic in nature, but I'm not sure which of these bagged assholes is the culprit. Do you have any other ideas to try? Otherwise it's probably time to RMA the motherboard...


  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Wut? Meechigan Icrontian

    Sounds like capacitor whine to me.

  • Cliff_ForsterCliff_Forster Icrontian
    edited June 2016

    I think Alex is right, I would contact the Mobo manufacturer and RMA the board. It could be the GPU even, so I suppose you could remove that first and power it up, but it sounds like capactor whine to me.

  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian

    I'd be very surprised if it wasn't capacitor whine

  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi Icrontian

    You didn't change the PSU? It could be in the PSU now that you have different other components.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    You have a defective capacitor, most likely on the motherboard. Sometimes it's the PSU.

  • @Ryder raises a good point, could be a PSU cap as well.

  • MyrmidonMyrmidon Baron von Puttenham California Icrontian
    edited June 2016

    Thank you for the insight! Since the mobo and PSCU are the only things I haven't tested, I figured they were probably the things to replace... I was secretly hoping there would be some setting regarding voltage throttling or something absurd, though. Save me a couple bucks, right!

    Meanwhile, I had no idea capacitors could whine. This is good information.

    Thanks guys!

    EDIT: Had some time to continue working on the problem when I got home today - I put the kibosh on RMAing the motherboard for a moment (which had been my next step before posting) and tested out the PSU - this was in fact the problem. I never would have guessed it, since, you know, no moving parts besides the fan. Thanks!

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