Computer making a buzzing noise during certain tasks

Discussion in 'Computer Software and Operating Systems' started by Dork, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. Dork
    OP

    Dork Newbie

    Okay I really need help with this. I just recently noticed that when doing certain tasks, my computer makes this low buzzing sound. It isn't loud, but it's enough to drive me insane.

    Here are my specs:
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
    Intel Core i5 4430 @ 3.00Ghz
    12 GB DDR3 RAM
    GeForce GTX 285

    Somes tasks that I do that make this noise include:
    Scrolling up and down on a webpage
    Playing games
    Moving the cursor in specific programs (AutoCAD, Photoshop, etc)

    I checked my temps and they are all good, and I have no idea what the fuck is making this noise.
     
  2. marcus134

    marcus134 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    is that sound is coming from your speakers?
     
  3. InuYasha

    InuYasha Professional Coke Fiend

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    Could be the mic sound if you have one plugged in,or you could also check out the sound options and mute/turn down the volume,in the past "line volume" was doing simliar problems on other computers for me so check out the sound options and see if any of the volume sliders (aside from the main sound) change anything...
     
  4. Dork
    OP

    Dork Newbie

    It's not speakers or anything.
    I don't own speakers and I only use a Logitech G930 headset, and it's definitely not coming from that. The sound appears to be coming from the back of the desktop, but I have no idea what component could be making that noise.
     
  5. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    It could be a number of things:
    • "Tired" transformers or capacitors (inspect the PSU, the monitor and the motherboard)
    • Damaged or pulled speaker cable (inspect the speakers, the cable and the connectors)
    • Lose HDD cover screws (listen to the HDD. Under NO circumstances should you tighten the screws - it requires a special factory screwdriver with measures just the right tension on the screw)
    • Worn out fans (inspect the bearings of the fan - they can start being squeaky if they're running dry on)
    ...among others. It'd make helping you much easier if you located the approximate source of the sound first.
     
  6. Dork
    OP

    Dork Newbie

    I know it can't be my HDD because its no where near the sounds origin, and I don't own any actual speakers. I'll try to find the source, but could you elaborate on "tired transformers or capacitors"?
     
  7. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    As current passes through some types of electronic components, they emit sound due to ever so slight vibration. Wear and tear causes this sound to increase in volume and changes frequency overtime until it becomes audible to the human ear.







    I'm terribly sorry for the quality of those recordings, I couldn't find anything "better" on Youtube to demonstrate the phenomenon. Of course these are extreme examples - your "buzzing" problem might be far less audible.

    The only real "fix" to this issue is replacing the affected part. If the capacitors are buzzing then you should replace them anyways since they're probably close to spilling. If it's the transformer then it simply means that it's no longer working at its nominal values, hence the sound.

    Capacitors can be found all over the motherboard, but they're relatively small and rarely emit sound - you're more likely to find the buzzing ones in the PSU where you'll also find the biggest transformer. It's also worth checking out the monitor since those often buzz for the exact same reasons.
     
  8. KingBlank

    KingBlank King of Nothing

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    I think the noises while scrolling can caused by your cpu, I had this problem so I reapplied my thermal paste and it fixed it.
     
  9. Dork
    OP

    Dork Newbie

    Alright, thanks. It doesn't look like the sound matches with mine, and the sound can't be coming from the PSU since it's located above the sounds origin. Although, lets say for instance that I did have crummy capacitors or a busted transformer, wouldn't the sound be happening at all times, not just when I did something as small as scrolling down a webpage?
     
  10. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    No, not necessarily. Capacitors are situated around the CPU nest and supply it with power, their buzz is directly connected with the load of the CPU since the higher the load, the more energy the CPU demands. The capacitors always vibrate, but they may vibrate more under heavier loads, thus becoming audible.
     
  11. Dork
    OP

    Dork Newbie

    Alright, thank you. I'll report back when I can find exactly what component is making this noise.
     
  12. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    It's very easy to do so with your average microphone - scan around in search of the source, just make sure you don't short anything while you're at it. :yay:
     
  13. Dork
    OP

    Dork Newbie

    Forget what I said before, looks like the sound is originating from my PSU.
     
  14. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    I see. Well, in that case, the steps are pretty clear - replacing the PSU altogether if it's a cheapo one, if it isn't, replace the affected parts... But honestly, if the "buzzing" isn't that loud, there really isn't much point in doing so - doesn't hurt to inspect it though. ;)
     
  15. Dork
    OP

    Dork Newbie

    I know the sound is nothing too bad, but is the buzzing a sign that failure is eminent?
     
  16. raulpica

    raulpica With your drill, thrust to the sky!

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    Buzzing equipment can stay alive for years to come. It's not necessarily a sign of impending failure.
     
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  17. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    A transformer or a capacitor can buzz for years before it actually breaks, especially a transformer - it's pretty normal for them to "buzz" as they get older. I'd open the PSU up and dust it, check for any damage or bulging capacitors and if everything's alright, I'd close it back up.

    EDIT: Ninja'd by raulpica. In any case, remember to wait a while after unplugging the PSU if you want to dust its guts - it may retain some charge even after it's unplugged, so give it a rest before you start fiddling with its insides, not just for the equipment's but also your own safety. You can also forget that part if the computer is still under warranty and you don't want to open it.
     
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  18. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    In my experience, no. I've seen a few PSUs with a buzzing sound that lasted years before finally dying to a power surge (damned lightning). However they did tend to heat a little more than average. Resistance leads to noise leads to heat leads to wearing out.
    Edit: double ninja'd.