GeForce GTX 970 Coil Whine Concerns

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 28, 2014 - 04:09 PM |
Tagged: maxwell, GTX 970, geforce, coil whine

Coil whine is the undesirable effect of electrical components creating audible noise when operating. Let's look to our friends at Wikipedia for a concise and accurate description of the phenomenon:

Coil noise is, as its name suggests, caused by electromagnetic coils. These coils, which may act as inductors or transformers, have a certain resonant frequency when coupled with the rest of the electric circuit, as well as a resonance at which it will tend to physically vibrate.

As the wire that makes up the coil passes a variable current, a small amount of electrical oscillation occurs, creating a small magnetic field. Normally this magnetic field simply works to establish the inductance of the coil. However, this magnetic field can also cause the coil itself to physically vibrate. As the coil vibrates physically, it moves through a variable magnetic field, and feeds its resonance back into the system. This can produce signal interference in the circuit and an audible hum as the coil vibrates.

Coil noise can happen, for example, when the coil is poorly secured to the circuit board, is poorly damped, or if the resonant frequency of the coil is close to the resonant frequency of the electric circuit. The effect becomes more pronounced as the signal passing through the coil increases in strength, and as it nears the resonant frequency of the coil, or as it nears the resonant frequency of the circuit. Coil noise is also noticed most often when it is in the humanly audible frequency.

Coil noise is also affected by the irregularities of the magnetic material within the coil. The flux density of the inductor is effected by these irregularities, causing small currents in the coil, contaminating the original signal. This particular subset of is sometimes referred to as magnetic fluctuation noise or the Barkhausen effect. Coil noise can also occur in conjunction with the noise produced by magnetostriction.

Gamers that frequently upgrade their graphics cards may have been witness to this problem with a particular install, or you might have been one of the lucky ones to never deal with the issue. If your computer sits under your desk, in a loud room or you only game with headphones, it's also possible that you just never noticed.

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Possibly offending inductors?

The reason this comes up to today is that reports are surfacing of GeForce GTX 970 cards from various graphics card vendors exhibiting excessive coil whine or coil noise. These reports are coming in from multiple forum threads around the internet, a collection of YouTube videos of users attempting to capture the issue and even official statements from some of NVIDIA's partners. Now, just because the internet is talking about it doesn't necessarily mean it's a "big deal" relative to the number of products being sold. However, after several Twitter comments and emails requesting we look into the issue, I thought it was pertinent to start asking questions.

As far as I can tell today, GTX 970 cards from multiple vendors including EVGA, MSI and Gigabyte all have users reporting issues and claims of excessive coil noise. For my part here, I have two EVGA GTX 970 cards and an MSI GTX 970, none of which are producing sound at what I would call "excessive" levels. Everyone's opinion of excessive noise is going to vary, but as someone who sits next to a desk-high test bed and hears hundreds of cards a year, I am confident I have a good idea of what to listen for.

We are still gathering data on this potential issue, but a few of the companies mentioned above have issued official or semi-official statements on the problem.

From MSI:  

The coil whine issue is not specific to 900 series, but can happen with any high end GPU and that MSI is looking in to ways to minimize the issue. If you still have concern regarding this issue, then please contact our RMA department.

From EVGA:

We have been watching the early feedback on GTX 970 and inductor noise very closely, and have actively taken steps to improve this. We urge anyone who has this type of concern to contact our support so we can address it directly.

From NVIDIA: 

We’re aware of a small percentage of users reporting excessive “coil whine” noises and are actively looking into the issue.

We are waiting for feedback from other partners to see how they plan to respond.

Since all of the GTX 970 cards currently shipping are non-reference, custom built PCB designs, NVIDIA's input to the problem is one mostly of recommendations. NVIDIA knows that it is their name and brand being associated with any noisy GeForce cards so I would expect a lot of discussions and calls being had behind closed doors to make sure partners are addressing user concerns.

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Interestingly, the GeForce GTX 970 was the one card of this Maxwell release where all of NVIDIA's partners chose to go the route of custom designs rather than adopting the NVIDIA reference design. On the GTX 980, however, you'll find a mix of both and I would wager that NVIDIA's reference boards do not exhibit any above average noise levels from coils. (I have actually tested four reference GTX 980s without coil whine coming into play.) Sometimes offering all of these companies the option to be creative and to differentiate can back-fire if the utmost care isn't taken in component selection.

Ironically the fix is simple: a little glue on those vibrating inductor coils and the problem goes away. But most of the components are sealed making the simple fix a non-starter for the end user (and I wouldn't recommend doing that anyway). It does point to a lack of leadership from board manufacturers that are willing to skimp on hardware in such a way to make this a big enough issue that I am sitting here writing about this today.

As an aside, if you hear coil whine when running a game at 500-5000 FPS, I don't think that counts as being a major problem for your gaming. I have seen a video or two running a DX9 render test at over 4500 FPS - pretty much any card built today will make noises you don't expect when hitting that kind of performance level.

As for my non-official discussions on the topics with various parties, everyone continues to reiterate that the problem is not as widespread as the some of the forum threads would have you believe. It's definitely higher than normal, and getting public acknowledgements from EVGA and MSI basically confirms that, but one person told me the complaint and RMA levels are where they were expected to be consider the "massively fast sell out rates" the GTX 970 is experiencing. 

Of course, AMD isn't immune to coil whine issues either. If you remember back to the initial launch of the Radeon R9 290X and R9 290, we had similar coil whine issues and experienced those first hand on reference card designs. (You can see a video I recorded of an XFX unit back in November of 2013 here.) You can still find threads on popular forums from that time period discussing the issue and YouTube never seems to forget anything, so there's that. Of course, the fact that previous card launches might have seen issues along the same line doesn't forgive the issue in current or later card releases, but it does put things into context.

So, let's get some user feedback; I want to hear from GTX 970 owners about their experiences to help guide our direction of research going forward.

Click here to take our short poll for GTX 970 owners!

If you already own an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 graphics card, we want to hear from you. The option above will allow you to tell us if you have GTX 970 with no problems today, or if you do have a GTX 970 with a coil whine issue, please let us know what vendor is exhibiting the problem.

Source: Various

October 28, 2014 | 05:05 PM - Posted by Jesso2k (not verified)

I've put spent a couple hours finding the max oc on my EVGA 970 SSC. At first I heard a faint buzzing while looping benchmarks but it seems to have gone away. I did hear it whine once after closing out the Unigine Heaven benchmark for the duration of the load screen. Nothing in-game has distracted me however.

I know real coil whine when I hear it, my Zotac 780 Amp! was so bad I sold it for a deep discount a month after purchase. Watching some of these youtube video's has me shaking my head, I can't hear anything out of the norm.

October 28, 2014 | 05:14 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Even for identical graphics cards, coil whine is likely going to be a case-by-case effect. That buzzing you heard during the loading screen of Unigine is very common - that portion of the game is likely running at 2000+ FPS.

Try turning off V-Sync on Skyrim or Civilization: Beyond Earth - those loading screen will hit upwards of 5000+ FPS on some GPUs and you'll hear coil whine from ANY graphics card.

October 28, 2014 | 05:43 PM - Posted by Jesso2k (not verified)

So a check for no issues from me.

Btw, I found that max oc to be 1505MHz on the core clock with the temps levelling out at 77C without adjusting the fan curve. So this card can be run 24/7 at its highest potential performance output without turning to watercooling! Anyone telling holding out this gen over fears of coil whine is really missing out.

October 28, 2014 | 05:21 PM - Posted by Farley Malone (not verified)

I have a EVGA Superclock sitting in a box behind me packed and ready to go back to newegg because of its crazy loud coil whine. Normally I don't care about noise while gaming but this was way louder than the rest of my system. My Gigabyte g1 gaming had it for about 2 mins when I first installed the card and started using it but it has since disappeared.

October 28, 2014 | 05:23 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I think it's caused by low quality/old power supplies.

October 29, 2014 | 01:58 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Does a Corsair RM1000 (1 month old) @ 150$ is a cheap powersupply?

October 29, 2014 | 04:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have an EVGA Supernova G2 750W, which I only bought in June and which received a 9.8 rating on JonnyGuru. Still had to return two MSI 970s, bought from two different retailers, due to coil whine (of the buzzing variety). I've had five other cards in the same system (460, 7850, 270 and two 280Xs) since it was built, and none of them exhibited any coil whine at all, even when overclocked.

I've never seen anything like the volume of complaints about coil whine with the 970 that have popped up on forums around the web after any previous GPU launch. I can only assume that quality control has taken a nosedive across the board due to overwhelming demand.

October 30, 2014 | 11:23 AM - Posted by Panta

"I've never seen anything like the volume of complaints about coil whine with the 970 that have popped up on forums around the web after any previous GPU launch"

absolutely agree - this is clearly visible in newegg
customer review's.

this is significant issue.

May 21, 2015 | 03:14 AM - Posted by natas (not verified)

No LOL, You can get coil whine when overclocking your cards and the noise frequencies become audible because of many reason including desynchronisation. You can get coil whine simply because your audio card has a pretty nice pre-amp but badly the frequencies of your video cards interfere with it. You can switch your audio card for a cheap soundblaster for example and never hear the noise again since the pre-amps on those cards are so cheap and almost useless. I don't see how some models can interfer with something. LOL

October 28, 2014 | 05:35 PM - Posted by Jesse (not verified)

I only ever noticed it with my old HD 6870 when the framerates went above 200 on a loading screen.

Here's an idea, use RivaTuner's frame limiter to set a global fps limit at just above your refresh rate. There's literally no downside.

October 28, 2014 | 05:42 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I read on some forum that you could get rid of coil whine by running something like furmark for 30-60 minutes.

October 28, 2014 | 05:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This was a problem with kepler also they are not looking into it i ended up going through 4 cards before going with classified card with higher quality VRM and problem was gone.

October 28, 2014 | 06:00 PM - Posted by Edkiefer (not verified)

I have a MSI 970 and its coil wine is same as the 660ti it replaced .
I can only notice it when running BM and when fps goes very high .

I don't notice in any game and even with BM, like Heven/Valley during the BM testing I have to put head near side of my open grill on 500R case .
So to me its nothing bad and probably same as any other high end GPU .

October 28, 2014 | 06:03 PM - Posted by Edkiefer (not verified)

I forgot to add I normally run with Vsync off and a fps cap much higher than 60 .
If you set Vsync on you never hear it, even in Heven (though no one runs it like that )

October 28, 2014 | 06:04 PM - Posted by Eddie (not verified)

Ryan the older you get the less sounds you hear. Specially after around 25 you loose hearing of a lot of sounds. I recommend to retest you cards with a 20 year old next to you.

October 28, 2014 | 06:55 PM - Posted by fade2blac

True, a subjective and anecdotal observation is just that...subjective and limited. However, I would not discount that Ryan's relative wealth of first hand experience gives a well informed perspective on the issue.

It's a fact that not all ears hear the same. For example, I can hear when my GF's tablet is done charging from across the room because the charger makes a high pitched squeal when under zero load. However, my GF seems not to notice this. On the other hand, she is especially sensitive to the nails on chalkboard kind of sounds whereas I can hear them but it doesn't make me cringe.

An objective alternative to a "calibrated" 20 year old could be to use an array of high quality microphones and an audio spectrum analyzer. First, you have to isolate from ambient noise and then properly phase and balance your microphones using a white noise generator. Also, don't forget that the "DC" power coming from any PC power supply is actually a PWM approximation. Shouldn't we also consider possible dependance on switching frequency, ripple voltage, and any injected noise on the 12V rails? Add in an oscilloscope and/or electrical spectrum analyzer that can monitor supply voltage while you're at it. Hopefully this electrical setup also provides a way to accurately track power draw as this can have an effect. Additionally, one should add in temperature measurement, both ambient and component level. High accuracy FLIR camera anyone? This will mean stripping the air cooling apparatus and replacing it with a water block and separate fans so the IR camera has a clear line of sight. Finally we need to deal with sample size so everyone needs to send your PC's in for profiling.

Obviously, I'm being facetious, but the point is there are a lot of variables and even the components themselves have variability in assembly, tolerances, specifications, and non-ideal characteristics. Given the right 20 year old, Ryan may prefer that approach (maybe not for strictly scientific reasons =P)...but then that too is subjective.

October 28, 2014 | 07:06 PM - Posted by Searching4Sasquatch (not verified)

I don't have a GTX 970, but my R9 290x is driving me crazy with the coil whine. Starting Rome II: Total War is the worst scenario for it.

October 28, 2014 | 08:39 PM - Posted by Jesse (not verified)

Use a framerate limiter - set it globally to your monitor's max refresh rate.

October 28, 2014 | 09:00 PM - Posted by willmore (not verified)

The descrition given for this problem is a bit off. What's happening here is the process called Magnetostriction. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetostriction

Basically, the changing magnetic field found in the inductors--which are part of a Switching Mode Power Supply--cause the ferrite material in the inductors to physically change dimensions. This makes them tiny little speakers. If you cause the power draw to vary periodically, you can provoke a physical resonance in the inductor as a whole.

The coils in the inductors used in modern GPU SMPSs are 'potted' in ferrite material--the coil itself cannot move.

October 28, 2014 | 11:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

i struggle to even get my 970 to work properly. after my 3rd card replacement with the rma my monitor still loses signal after windows splash.

appears nvidia driver has some compatibility issue with certain motherbords.

October 28, 2014 | 11:48 PM - Posted by Spacebob (not verified)

So I literally just replaced my 7870 Tahiti LE with the Asus GTX 970 a few hours ago and I can definitely hear some coil whine while games are loading. There are some caveats though. My speakers (5.1) need to be off, the side of my case (Corsair Air 540) needs to be off, and I need to be on the ground next to the card to hear it. I wouldn't call the noise a problem because under my normal gaming conditions I can't really hear it but it's definitely a noise my previous card wasn't making. Unless the sound gets worse I plan on keeping the card.

October 29, 2014 | 02:00 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You're lucky. I can hear mine at 10 feet across the room. Case closed..

November 2, 2015 | 11:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The same here. I replaced two of my 7870 Tahiti LE in CrossFire with one Asus GTX 970 inside Corsair Air 540. My old cards never made any noise in any game unlike the new one. It's not very obvious from inside a closed case and with fans noise in the background but as I've never heard anything like that coming from my old cards I can certainly sense it.

October 29, 2014 | 06:35 AM - Posted by fkr

replaced my CF 7950's (for sale for 120 a piece in phoenix az) with an EVGA gtx970 sc acx 2.0. not even the faintest of coil whine.

performance was a sideways move but it runs silent comparatively to the CF setup.

best overclock is 1550 on the core and only +60 on the memory. only a small bump to the voltage (any more voltage and crash and less of an overclock possible even tho temps never break 65 at 100% fan) and power limit is maxed.

only issue I have had so far is when testing the overclock and doing a restart after a freeze sometimes the card is not recognized and I get no signal to main 1440p monitor. only thing that fixes this is pressing the power button on my asus p8z68-v pro gen3. pulling the plug from the wall does not work. switching pcie lanes does work but when putting back into first slot still not recognized. press that power button and voila. this has worked twice and now that I know the max overclock everything is great and no issues. although i am trying to sell it for more than i paid for it.

October 29, 2014 | 08:50 AM - Posted by fkr

i wanted to add that if you own an evga gtx 970 they are giving away free backplates

http://www.evga.com/articles/00876/EVGAs-Got-Your-Back/

shipping in two weeks time so get on the bus and get yours

October 29, 2014 | 10:52 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How about coil whine on 70fps (Kombustor test furry tessy)?
I can hear it cleary (closed case) over the sound my fans:
3x120mm
2x200mm
3xGPU hans

But when you start playing you tend to ignore it most of the time.

My question would be can this damage the card or shorten the lifespan? Especially when OC ing.

Also OC further, increases the coil whine...but its understandable as more current passes through the coils.

GTX 970 G1 gaming

October 29, 2014 | 01:48 PM - Posted by Darth_Rogue (not verified)

I just got the MSI 970. I notice some mild coil whine when the card is under a high load, like when doing an OC stability test or during 3DMark. But in regular gaming sessions I never hear it, regardless of whether I have headphones on or not. I'm no electrical engineer, but it doesn't seem to affect the operation of the card, so as long as it keeps working I don't plan to worry about it.

October 29, 2014 | 04:24 PM - Posted by lordbinky (not verified)

While coil whine CAN induce failure, it's no more likely to occur than the million other electronics failures. It's more of a quality of life thing for the user.

As mentioned before, potting them is the standard practice when the frequencies are in the audible range. The solution is to dampen the vibration, so home fixes are along the lines of a dab of certain clear nail polishes, hot glue, or the real deal potting material (epoxy). I had the same issue occur in an overclocked monitor, and it's a simple and straightforward (and usually warranty voiding) fix. Look into it before trying, although the only three issues are 1)using too much which impacts cooling of the component 2)using a conductive (or contaminated to be conductive) adhesive 3)using an adhesive that attacks the component (like standard silicone which gives off corrosive gases as it cures, although RTV silicone does not)

January 19, 2015 | 07:12 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

My PSU died 2 days after installation of my 970 FTW, the PSU was a corasiar cs750m that was 1 month old... Very upset, and not sure it was due to this GPU or not...

October 30, 2014 | 10:18 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have owned Asus, MSI, Gigabyte GTX 970, they all have coil whine, pretty audible. It's not in like benchmarks running fps up to hundreds but some less GPU intense games like world of warcraft and I always set v-sync on, they all have coil whine as long as GPU is under load.

October 30, 2014 | 11:30 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There is the possibility the coil whine you are experiencing is coming from another component in your system like the motherboard rather than from the graphics card.

October 30, 2014 | 10:54 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Anyone who thinks it's the power supply is talking a load of nonsense. I have a corsair HX850i and they specifically state and I quote "is built with capacitors and other internal components specially selected to eliminate coil whine and other electronic noise"

My old XFX GTX 275 made a horribly annoying coil whine, my EVGA did not but cost about £40 more, I had them both on sli until I replaced them with a single EVGA gtx 580 which was also whisper quite until the fan kicked in.

I'm on my 3rd card now, first was a MSI 970, then a gigabyte g1 and now an Asus strix. May have to return that one if the noise doesn't die down in a week or two.

Nvidia most definitely have a problem on their hands and I recommend people who haven't already bought one to wait a little while.

November 6, 2014 | 12:12 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This doesn't mean your powersupply gives "clean" 12VDC. Quote would mean the components on their device have been taken care off, but it might still feed higher-harmonics over ur 12VDC line into ur card(s).

So yes, it can still be your powersupply even if the whine sounds comes from the GPU.

October 31, 2014 | 11:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

My Asus 970, HAD coil noise.
I could reproduce the noise ondemand by running FurMark with Furry object off. This could start making the coil noise. Nothing to do with the load of GPU because toggling furry object doesn't load the gpu enough to even kick in the boost.

Also, noise wasn't just from benchmark tools. I could hear while playing Diablo 3.

Anyways... one day I decided to just leave the card running FurMark with furry object off while i went out for a dinner and came back later in night. I was too tired to notice at the time but next day I noised that coil whine noise have died down extremely.

Now... even if I put my ear next to it and focus... i can barely hear it anymore.

But in the beginning... it was loud enough to be very annoying.

November 1, 2014 | 01:07 PM - Posted by Draconorst

Gigabyte GTX 970 here, No coil whine.

November 1, 2014 | 10:06 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I had MSI GTX970 and Gigabyte GTX970.They all have coil whine on any FPS!

November 2, 2014 | 12:29 AM - Posted by chaseydog (not verified)

2 Asus STRIX-GTX970's in SLI. Not OC yet. Absolutely no coil whine as of yet (tested in FurMark and Unigine), at least not that I could hear.

November 2, 2014 | 01:37 AM - Posted by bk (not verified)

I bought the MSI 970 off newegg and a 840 pro ssd from amazon. Did a clean install and have never heard the gpu at all (fan noise or whine)! Plays games maxed out at 1400p, I love this CARD!

November 2, 2014 | 10:17 AM - Posted by Barfly (not verified)

My Gigabyte GTX970G1 has no coil whine, I'm curious if venders are sorting this out with new shipments because i was going to purchase another and SLI, I may have got lucky on the first one.

November 3, 2014 | 02:19 AM - Posted by Shortwave (not verified)

My 660 and even my shield Tablet have coil whine.
Since every computer I build is aimed to be as quiet as possible..
It's really noticeable. Even when I move my mouse on my desktop without even having a 3D application running it whines notably.

Oh well..
Lesson learned.
Guess we know why theres so many refurbished nvidia cards.

November 3, 2014 | 01:09 PM - Posted by Bart Dekker (not verified)

I bought an Asus Strix GTX970 and it buzzed the hell out of my computer. I returned it, got a replacement, and that also buzzed at the same level.

Then, the retailer said it was a "card feature", so I had to deal with it. I then swapped it for a MSI GTX 970 which also had the same noise, I then used the 14 days trial period (Netherlands) to get a refund.

During this time I replaced my PSU with a new one, Corsair CX750m and it still buzzed. I put the fans to 100%, sounded like a leaf blower but no buzzing, that only happens when I stress my GPU to a 100%, and the thing is, I bought that beast to stress it for 100%, not to use 60% of it! (thats when the noise was gone).

Here is the audio, compare it with my old HD6850.

https://soundcloud.com/astralfridgemagnet/sets/gtx970-and-hd6870-compari...

You cant record it that well, but boy is it insanely annoying when gaming and that sound is above your speaker audio.

November 5, 2014 | 11:03 AM - Posted by Evolver (not verified)

I was thiiiiis close to buying my first nVidia card until I started reading about all of these coil whine issues and now I've decided to wait until I see AMD's new batch of cards.

November 18, 2014 | 03:19 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How about showing the results of the poll?

November 29, 2014 | 04:49 PM - Posted by NVIDIA (not verified)

I have returned 3 GTX 970s due to coil whine, 2 EVGA (garbage quality build many imperfections on the cooler) 1 ASUS Strix (Great build quality,but still loud Coil Whine). I'm on my 4th card now an ASUS Strix 970 the coil whine is still an issue but this one has the least amount that I have heard, at this point I'm giving up on returning it and will ship back it stops functioning.

This a NVIDIA issue, WTF....I doubt that we should blame the OEMS, but seriously EVGA?? The build quality on the PCB and cooler is so inferior to ASUS that i laughed....

I would AVOID the 970 if you have the cash to pick up a 980

November 29, 2014 | 09:21 PM - Posted by film editor (not verified)

Not much of a gamer, but for what it's worth I've been running an EVGA superclocked 970 ACX 2.0 for a couple weeks now and it's whisper quiet. I've been stressing it out editing 4K 10bit XAVC footage in AVID and Premiere Pro. The EVGA runs cool, quiet and completely destroys my previous 2000 dollar Quadro card.

System:
Xeon 1650 V3
X99 MSI SLI-Plus
64GB Corsair LPX Mem
EVGA 970 ACX 2
Vengeance C70 case

December 1, 2014 | 08:00 PM - Posted by Lunarfang (not verified)

Hey guys I'm an upcoming developer and I'm getting into the hardware scene so forgive my if I say something stupid. I get coil whine with my gtx 970 strix while playing cod advanced warfare as soon as gameplay starts. Game this has happened with ACU plays great, watch dogs was fine without a hitch. Together with my Devils Canyon series cpu could this game just game just be pushing the frames up too high?

December 3, 2014 | 09:23 PM - Posted by lotsofgreencards (not verified)

I've had 13 nvidia cards this year. That's a long story, but every single one of them was fine (no rmas, etc). 660ti's, 760s, 770s, 780ti's.

The first card with audible coil whine has been my MSI 970. Thing is, I don't really care, but it is there and it does overcome ambient noise levels. I don't have a particularly quiet setup (but not obnoxiously loud either).

I've been on the edge of returning it and trying my luck again purely for resale value. I've sold a lot of cards in person this year after they see it

December 10, 2014 | 11:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I had 2 MSI gtx970 and both had coil while... I dont think so that is problem of PSU becouse i bought new one after send first on RMA.

Now is time for Gigabyte...

December 16, 2014 | 04:50 AM - Posted by Andy (not verified)

I have had the MSI GTX 970 Gaming Golden edition for a few days now. There is noticeable coil whine when running at 60fps and very high pitch squealing when its 600fps+. Its fairly quite at 30fps, just the video card humming (fans off)

Trying to do a burn in, hopefully helps as if I cant get rid of the audible whine when running at 60fps its going in for a RMA.

December 26, 2014 | 11:19 PM - Posted by Shane (not verified)

I own an ASUS Strix 970. I may have found something, possibly to do with this...

I got the high FPS screech, hit Vsync and that stopped the noise but then... In Skyrim the card started to make a different sound, equally as annoying though. Went into Kombustor and ran 'Lakes of Titan (Nightmare 1080p) and boom! The sound is there too.

Basically, when I monitored it, 1.2v on the card seemed to be the trigger. If anyone else could confirm this it would be great, as I only get this sound when the voltage hits that number and interestingly increasing the voltage beyond that in Afterburner actually reduced the noise a little.

December 27, 2014 | 09:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

i entered a false submission on the poll because i wanted to see the results; im sure a very high percentage of people did the same thing. you should either clarify that the results aren't available, or make them available and add an option for "i dont have one, but i want to see the results".
also theres no button to submit new comments in chrome unless you go to the last page.

January 5, 2015 | 02:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have an Asus Strix 970 too. It makes practically no noise in Battlefield 4. It rarely makes noise in Dragon Age Inquisition. For some reason it starts to happen more after 4 hours of gaming. Loud enough to hear through my case but only for very short times. Not worth complaining about.
Then when I play Farcry 4 as soon as I go into an ingame menu or a loading screen (this does not happen at the title screen) it erupts into some kind of Scandinavian Death Metal sound. Then while playing it just stays there. I'm talking about a sound audible from another room in the house. It sounds like an electric chainsaw breaking if you can imagine such a thing. I stopped playing Far Cry 4 because of it. Turning on Vsync helps but the sound is still very audible. (And playing with Vsync on sucks)

If anybody has a solution to this please let me know, it's too late for me to RMA.

Currently thinking of upgrading my PSU or messing around with the voltage.

January 8, 2015 | 11:57 PM - Posted by Matt Helander (not verified)

I have coil whine issues on my TWO EVGA 970FTW Cards on an Asus P8Z68Mobo.

It only happens during loading screens or high FPS (300+) runs like 3D Mark passes.

I currently have the side of the case off and it's quite audible, even if you were not listening for it.

That being said, I am upgrading to an ASRock x99 platform, and will report if anything changes in those situations, although I do not expect it to.

January 19, 2015 | 07:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Any update? I have the FTW on a z97 MSI SLI Plus with a 750 HCG Antec. My Corsiar cs750m died 2 days after installing my new GPU... and the PSU was 1 month old..

January 19, 2015 | 07:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Any update? I have the FTW on a z97 MSI SLI Plus with a 750 HCG Antec. My Corsiar cs750m died 2 days after installing my new GPU... and the PSU was 1 month old.. Should I even stick with the FTW?

January 19, 2015 | 07:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Any update? I have the FTW on a z97 MSI SLI Plus with a 750 HCG Antec. My Corsiar cs750m died 2 days after installing my new GPU... and the PSU was 1 month old.. Should I even stick with the FTW?

January 12, 2015 | 02:22 PM - Posted by Blair (not verified)

This summer I am going to upgrade my R9 270, And I am going to get a R9 290 or the GTX 970, But it looks like I will get the R9 290 instead, Because every manufacturer of the 970 is apparently using cheap components. And the responses to the coil whine have been BS like this, Do not worry it is normal, Or it is not a big deal. Or they even go as far as claim it is because you need to limit FPS! If a GPU is running solid and normal, You should never have to limit FPS, That is insane! And there is nothing at all normal about electrical components making noises. Nvidia should have recalled the GTX 970 instead of letting this go on as far as it has! And it looks like not one of the board manufactures care either! This should be a huge wake up call for people. We are letting companies get way out of hand, And we are letting them treat us like dirt! When a hardware component gets coil whine (especially a PSU) you are supposed to replace it, before it burns up and causes damage. Because coil whine means something is failing. And this is exactly what will happen to every 970 with coil whine! And you will basically have a expensive paperweight. All I can say is good luck to you. This is a shame! I really wanted to buy a GTX 970 this summer too! I wanted it for it's performance, and I wanted Nvidia's reliable drivers. AMD's drivers are horrible. I had no driver issues at all with my old 650 Ti, But I have had many driver issues with my R9 270. And AMD has had the same driver issues for years, So AMD is just as bad as any other company. But it still looks like I have to buy the R9 290, Because a buggy driver is better than a GPU that is slowly burning up.

January 22, 2015 | 01:39 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

for pete's sake people -.- and I'm talking to you who claim that coil whine is a hardware malfunction . Electrical components DO make noise .In fact you already experience it around u daily and one great example is that of a camera flash that when turned on makes a buzzing until it gets full load.The coil whine in graphics cards is ,according to Wikipedia : "As the wire that makes up the coil passes a variable current, a varying magnetic field exists around the coil. Forces due to this magnetic field can cause vibration of the coil wires or the core of the coil. For some magnetic core materials, a (strong) varying field can cause vibration of the core due to magnetostriction. If the frequency of the current in the coil falls within the audible range, the resulting vibration may produce sounds audible at a distance from the coil, especially if magnified by a mechanical resonance in the components or in the equipment enclosure." .It's perfectly normal for a high end gpu that draws lots of power to participate in this phenomenon ,it's just that usually the vibration occurs in non-audible frequencies for most of them except ,as it seems , for the majority for gtx 970 cards .I my self own a gigabyte gtx 970 g1 gpu and even though its a complete monster under every load ,it produces coil whine in a particular test (ice storm) of 3D mark .Then thing is ,that when fps get really high (~2800 for this test) that's when usually the whine occurs .One great way is to limit the fps to the standard of ur screen (60 or 120) or to enable v-sync ,although the latter is not recommended .Anything beyond 60 fps is not percievable by the human eye and is just an extravagancy . If u are up for a more permanent solution and u just bought a new card ,one can simply just use a burn-in tool (e.g. furmark) to check whether the whine continues after the industrial glues have fallen in place .Other than that ,letting the gpu ran in circumstances where the whining is most intense has shown to take it away .

April 15, 2015 | 09:58 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If the coil vibrates, the manufacturer has to stop/suppress this vibration. A minimum amount of glue on the wire will do that. If the manufacturer does not care, the consumer should not care to buy the product. It's that simple.

January 19, 2015 | 03:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This is the most well written article on coil whine I have read. Can anyone tell me is this coil whine?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGgB2FXZ_ro&feature=youtu.be

The sound increases louder as the power % goes up.

February 1, 2015 | 03:41 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yes.

January 25, 2015 | 02:48 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Bought an MSI 970 GTX Golden edition 3 days ago and installed it into my new rig... Horrible coil whine running 3D benchmark, specifically Ice Storm scene... I actually thought water was boiling in my kettle next door (kitchen) for my Cup o noodles soup when i started that Benchmark..

January 31, 2015 | 08:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I just bought an EVGA gtx 970 sc and while it's a fantastic card, mine whines like a b****. My older 280x that it replaced whines only when it hits 150+ fps at 99% load but this one does it at low usage. Im a casual gamer and i play with vsync enabled so its weird that its whining like this. Not only does it whine but the crackling noise associated with it is the major annoyance. So anyway, anything above 30% usage and vsync shouldnt do this. Its ubsurd.

April 25, 2015 | 06:09 AM - Posted by Jon (not verified)

My MARS 760 died on me and I had an in-store warranty from my local computer store. They couldn't get me another MARS so they gave me an EVGA 970 SC, took it home right away and gave it a whirl. I've never heard so much coil whine from a GPU before, I thought a wire had fallen into the fan.

So I called them up and they exchanged it for another one. Same thing. They replaced it again with an ASUS STRIX 970 and SAME THING except this one whined when moving the mouse around on the desktop too. That's three 970s with a ridiculous amount of electrical noise. I'll be taking the STRIX back too, hopefully the next one will be good.

Before anyone jumps on the rest of the hardware, ROG Z97 IMPACT.. brand new. The MARS was silent and I borrowed a STRIX 960 just to check, no noise. So it's the 970s.

May 17, 2015 | 01:58 PM - Posted by Kindo (not verified)

I just finished building a new computer, and one of the components is a Gigabyte G1 GTX 970. A few hours after everything was up and running, I started hearing infrequent, 'whining' noises coming from my computer. The occurance does not seem related to heavy load or high frame rate, as it occurs even when idling on the desktop and with Vsync switched on.

June 15, 2015 | 02:21 AM - Posted by BossTek (not verified)

Eh yo! Yeh! You know what I am sayin yo? It's because I did not sale them yo! Only I can get the good ones since I party with the owner of Nvidia yo! They just sale you all crap because you are not me yo!

July 1, 2015 | 07:37 AM - Posted by David (not verified)

I own EVGA gtx 970 with this "strange" coil buzzing at very intensive gaming (Battlefield 3 Max details 1440p) and im glad that you resolved the problem. My coil "whine" starts with single "cracks" and then these cracks happen more and more often. In fat my GFX starts to sound like sawmill. gonna see the coils put some glue
maybe replace these coils with high quality ones (got some electronics engineering skills). I'm just dissapointed that EVGA put low quality elements into their graphisc cards. Also heard that EVGA low-end 970's have 4+2 phases instead of 6+2(any other manufacturer)

November 12, 2015 | 10:06 PM - Posted by vinh (not verified)

i dont hear any coil whines, all i hear is pc nerds whines in this thread

December 25, 2015 | 05:15 AM - Posted by Tseng Slabs (not verified)

Instead of using glue on the coil put some in your ears. Hope this helps.

May 22, 2016 | 06:44 PM - Posted by dphorton (not verified)

I hope you never have a problem. Then you see a post like yours, not nice.

December 25, 2015 | 05:50 AM - Posted by Tseng Slabs (not verified)

Board partners knew the coils produced audible harmonics.
They can`t expect their customers after paying half a G note or more for high framerate cards to accept a framerate cap to quiet poorly insulated inductors. Maybe finally they will address the issue and modify the components. If so, their next card advertised with high framerates could also claim now with "Quiet Coils" along with their pretty fan shrouds.

December 27, 2015 | 04:33 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

and which board partner do you work for?

May 22, 2016 | 06:41 PM - Posted by dphorton (not verified)

I have loud Coil Whine. I have replaced one EVGA 970. The Replacement has the same problem. It drives my Dog crazy. It is very loud. I am thinking about contacting EVA Support again. I even replace my Power Supply and still the same problem.

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