Author Topic: Possible to fix coil whine on NVidia GPU Rtx2080 Super?  (Read 4158 times)

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Offline FflintTopic starter

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Possible to fix coil whine on NVidia GPU Rtx2080 Super?
« on: September 30, 2023, 09:23:48 am »
My main question is: is coil whine caused by coils in such GPUs cards, or capacitors? Also is it possible to identify offending parts?

Now some background info.

I've got my rtx2080 maybe 3 years ago(it is Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER GAMING OC 8GC GDDR6). It works fine in games. However when I used it for running AI models I always heard a loud buzzing noise (like coil whine but lower pitch and repeating very quickly). I assumed it is just the PSU (I had a be.quiet pure power 11 650W and I just assumed the card is probably pulling a lot more momentary power than the reported 200W) so I just let it be for a while.

However, I recently replaced my PSU with be quiet Pure Power 12 1000w and I bought a used gigabyte rtx3090 24g oc. The plan is to use both GPUs at the same time for running AI models for a bit and maybe to sell the rtx2080 if I don't need it.

The rtx3090(vram) does heat up pretty quickly, but the card doesn't make any noise. My old rtx2080 still makes the old buzzing noise even with the new PSU. This convinced me it is the card itself.

So I'm wondering, if it is really caused by a coil I should be able to just swap the offending coil and have the card "fixed", but I'm not sure how to identify the offending one as I can't run the card hard with no radiator. Any ideas?

The noise is very annoying, as I said it never happened to me in games before, but I can't really sell it in good conscience without mentioning it and if I do I'll have to lower the price significantly. So  I'd prefer to fix it. I have hot air rework equipment and enough experience to swap parts.

I'd love some advice from anyone who successfully fixed a noisy gpu.
 

Offline DavidAlfa

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Re: Possible to fix coil whine on NVidia GPU Rtx2080 Super?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2023, 11:23:24 am »
AFAIK it's a combination of PWM and coil physical resonance frequencies, just like a guitar.
In some cases the coil might be vibrating inside the ferrite, in others it might be entire coil.
Or it could be some stupid ceramic capacitor due piezolectric effect.
Some people have filled the coil with superglue to stop the vibration, with more or less success.
You may find the problematic coil by covering it with some sort of non conductive clay-like material to dampen the noise.

I had this issue with a Gigabyte B650M DS3H motherboard, apparently a very common issue in these.
It was an incredibly loud ~10KHz brain-drilling noise.
After 3 hours trying to fix it I got a headache sop bad I went to bed full of painkillers and slept for 14 hours!
Solution was return and buying an Asus mobo...
« Last Edit: September 30, 2023, 11:25:27 am by DavidAlfa »
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Offline harerod

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Re: Possible to fix coil whine on NVidia GPU Rtx2080 Super?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2023, 09:14:53 pm »
DavidAlfa gave the sources for whining coils. A simple remedy would be a drop of superglue on/in the offending coil. The glue will creep into the coil, between the windings and quiet things down. So, why not pop open a new tube of superglue and treat all magnetics on your board?
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Possible to fix coil whine on NVidia GPU Rtx2080 Super?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2023, 09:48:58 pm »
As he mentioned, the whine could come from a ceramic capacitor as well.

Many graphics cards (and motherboards btw) exhibit some kind of whine coming from the various DC/DC converters, depending on load.
Very loud whine is fortunately the exception, but some kind of subtle high-pitched noise during some specific loads is much more common.
For instance, my Lenovo laptop makes this occasional subtle (but noticeable) whine when maxing out Ethernet throughput while copying files via Ethernet.
The GPU (MSI, AMD chip) of my workstation does also have a subtle whine accompanying the movement of the mouse when I move around complex 3D parts in 3D CAD software. Not loud enough to be annoying, but still there.

 

Offline harerod

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Re: Possible to fix coil whine on NVidia GPU Rtx2080 Super?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2023, 10:00:22 pm »
Of course I have encountered whining capacitors (chip and wound foil) as well. Besides superglue, hot glue or non-acidic silicone may also help to quiet things down. Either a drop or coating the whole component.
However, at some point we should start to consider thermal management, before globbering all over the board.
 

Offline FflintTopic starter

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Re: Possible to fix coil whine on NVidia GPU Rtx2080 Super?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2023, 11:05:15 am »
DavidAlfa gave the sources for whining coils. A simple remedy would be a drop of superglue on/in the offending coil. The glue will creep into the coil, between the windings and quiet things down. So, why not pop open a new tube of superglue and treat all magnetics on your board?

Unfortunately these are not the kind of coils you can put any liquid in whatsoever. There are no exposed windings. The regulators components look like this (this is the photo of my card, but it looks similar). I believe the chips next to them also contain the mosfets.


They are smd components. The noise isn't that loud (I'm hearing it from the inside of a closed pc case) and it isn't that high pitch. It is more like very short impulses of few khz repeated at maybe 20Hz. It's not continous, when I run the ML models it's buzzing when the model is doing it's processing.

I'm thinking, perhaps one of the components is moving on the board? Some solution would be to glue it to the pcb, but then what if it doesn't help and I need to replace it...

I might have to get all these caps and coils and replace the whole lot. There is about a dozen phases or so. It will be very disappointing if it makes no change....
 

Offline DavidAlfa

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Re: Possible to fix coil whine on NVidia GPU Rtx2080 Super?
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2023, 07:44:02 pm »
Buzzing is very common as the load constantly changes, almost every computer does this to some extent, event the PSU itself.
As long as it doesn't get crazy... it's just like a subtle whisper.
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Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Possible to fix coil whine on NVidia GPU Rtx2080 Super?
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2023, 08:43:28 pm »
Buzzing is very common as the load constantly changes, almost every computer does this to some extent, event the PSU itself.
As long as it doesn't get crazy... it's just like a subtle whisper.

Yep. I find it occasionally "distracting" (in particular on laptops that you tend to stand closer to), but not overly annoying. Would be nice to get rid of this kind of noise altogether though, but it's much harder than it looks from a design POV. Anyone having designed SMPS have run into this at one point. When the culprint is one (or more) ceramic capacitors, some possible approach to avoid audible noise is to limit the mechanical coupling to the PCB by adding slots on each side of the capacitor. (Something you can also try with inductors.) That may not always be feasible depending on your layout, creates holes in ground planes (which is not fantastic from an EMI POV), so in many cases, we just don't bother and hope for the best. Using some coating (conformal coating, silicone paste, whatever) may help dampen vibrations, but as harerod mentioned, they can cause thermal management issues. So, yeah.

 

Offline FflintTopic starter

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Re: Possible to fix coil whine on NVidia GPU Rtx2080 Super?
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2023, 03:15:56 pm »
The problem is "sort of" resolved... I bought another used rtx3090 and I have no more space for my old rtx2080 in the case ;D

But  speaking seriously, I might try adding it via a pcie1 to pcie 16 riser cable(more vram is always better for me, even connected via slow pcie 1) , or I'll use it in another pc.

An idea with conformal coating is an interesting one. (I have a bottle of a uv activated paint on conformal coating I use to protect pcbs from water). The only reluctance I have about it is with regards to thermals. The card uses 1mm squishy pads on top of the coils andcapacitors that transfer the heat to the radiators. I'm worried the coating could restrict the heat transfer a lot. So I might have to get used to it.
 

Offline harerod

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Re: Possible to fix coil whine on NVidia GPU Rtx2080 Super?
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2023, 03:28:08 pm »
The problem is "sort of" resolved... I bought another used rtx3090 and I have no more space for my old rtx2080 in the case

I feel your troubles. The other day I had a full ashtray in my private airplane. I solved that issue by buying a new aircraft.

More seriously, have you tried any of the hints? Superglue or silicone?
 
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Online wraper

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Re: Possible to fix coil whine on NVidia GPU Rtx2080 Super?
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2023, 03:32:28 pm »
It's caused by MLCC capacitors and has nothing to do with coils.
 

Offline DavidAlfa

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Re: Possible to fix coil whine on NVidia GPU Rtx2080 Super?
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2023, 03:33:27 pm »
Try a different PSU.
My RTX2060 did something likw that when playing, like white noise.
Was also heard when scrolling in Chrome, moving windows...
I changed my 10yr old 650W PSU to a new 800W and the noise went away.
A noisy PSU will "modulate" all the regulators connected to it.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2023, 03:35:51 pm by DavidAlfa »
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Online wraper

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Re: Possible to fix coil whine on NVidia GPU Rtx2080 Super?
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2023, 03:40:18 pm »
BTW these inductors are just 2-3 turns of thick wire with ferrite material compressed around them. No air gaps whatsoever.
 

Offline FflintTopic starter

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Re: Possible to fix coil whine on NVidia GPU Rtx2080 Super?
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2023, 08:37:31 am »
The problem is "sort of" resolved... I bought another used rtx3090 and I have no more space for my old rtx2080 in the case

I feel your troubles. The other day I had a full ashtray in my private airplane. I solved that issue by buying a new aircraft.

 :clap:



More seriously, have you tried any of the hints? Superglue or silicone?

No, I haven't had a chance to do anything with the card other than swap in the other rtx3090 and the nvlink bridge(before anyone tells me nvlink makes no sense - this is for running and training ML models locally not gaming) . I've been using any spare time I had to play with my new aircraft... I meant dual rtx3090 setup

Regarding superglue, if these were open coils, the kind you could see the wire on, I'd have done it by now, but in fully encased coils this would  fix them to the pcb in a difficult to reverse way(there is a debonder for superglue, but I don't know how well it penetrates tight spaces like the gap between the pcb and an smd component).

So I much prefer  an alternative the best of which is IMO conformal coating I have as it simply dissolves when soldering (you can solder through it when cured). But I'm not totally convinced to do it  due to the thermals (on rtx cards capacitors and coils are cooled by the massive heatsink via a 1mm thermal pad,  then when I open a 3 year old card they'll probably crumble away and I'll have to put $50 worth of thermal pads in it).

So with this thread I was more hoping for some reply like "I had exact same thing and I resolved it this way" more than "try superglue". Then I could maybe buy some cheap pads, open the card once and fix it, rather than keep trying stuff.

Try a different PSU.
My RTX2060 did something likw that when playing, like white noise.
Was also heard when scrolling in Chrome, moving windows...
I changed my 10yr old 650W PSU to a new 800W and the noise went away.
A noisy PSU will "modulate" all the regulators connected to it.

I've replaced the PSU when I installed the other card. I used to have be quiet pure power 11 600W, now I have pure power 12 1000w. The rtx2080 sadly sounds exactly the same.

I think it is worth mentioning it is not the kind of quiet noise you can sometimes hear from some laptops, also my other rtx3090 has such quiet noise too. I'm nit bothered by it one bit. I'm not sure how to describe the loudness of it. It's not screaming, but it's definitely loud, otherwise I wouldn't be bothered by it at all.

BTW these inductors are just 2-3 turns of thick wire with ferrite material compressed around them. No air gaps whatsoever.

Yes, also the solder pads are quite large. I'm very interested in what makes one of these cards be a lot louder than the other with the same layout/parts. The only thing I can think of is gaps inside the coils(ferrite not compressed enough).
 

Online wraper

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Re: Possible to fix coil whine on NVidia GPU Rtx2080 Super?
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2023, 10:18:43 am »
Yes, also the solder pads are quite large. I'm very interested in what makes one of these cards be a lot louder than the other with the same layout/parts. The only thing I can think of is gaps inside the coils(ferrite not compressed enough).
Different MLCC part number.
 

Offline MathWizard

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Re: Possible to fix coil whine on NVidia GPU Rtx2080 Super?
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2023, 08:33:38 pm »
Yeah I've heard swapping the PSU can sometimes help/make it worse, I guess it depends on the impedance's and matching, and all the frequencies, etc.

As far as I know, most cars coming off a line, sound way more uniform than GPU's. I mean no car's should leave a factory with squealing gears or fan belt.

What I don't normally hear about, is if anyone spends the money to buy new LC parts, and swap them in and roll the dice that they make less noticeable noise. What would a bag of parts off Mouser/Digikey cost, $100 or more ?

I guess you could keep going, if it's not just 1 parts, but the way they all interact, including with the PCB.

Someone should hook up some scopes and microphones and post some pictures.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2023, 08:37:40 pm by MathWizard »
 


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