What is Coil Whine & How to Fix it

Putting together a computer that runs quietly has never been easier than it is now. Coil whine is one of the most difficult noises to get rid of. Because of the high-pitched sound, it is not only bothersome, but it also suggests that something is amiss.

Identifying the source of coil whining will be covered in detail in this post. I’ll also share a number of ways and approaches for reducing and even eliminating the sound.

What is coil whine?

High-pitched noises produced by electromagnetic coils are known as coil whines. A high-frequency sound may be heard when a current flows through an inductor (a kind of electrical component). What we call “coil whining” is the source of this obnoxious noise.

What is Coil Whine & How to Fix it

Coils vibrate at frequencies we cannot hear most of the time. A issue arises only when the vibrations are heard.

PC components are especially susceptible to coil whining, which is a common occurrence in a wide range of goods and components. In particular, graphics cards (GPUs), power supplies (PSUs), and motherboard voltage regulator modules (VRMs) are notable examples.

What does coil whine sound like?

The sound of coil whining may be identified by its high pitch. As a high-frequency electrical buzzing, hissing, screaming or scratching noise, it might be referred to as a high-pitched sound. It doesn’t always sound the same, but if you’re unfortunate enough to be acquainted with it, you’ll recognise it instantly.

Coil whine vs capacitor squeal

Capacitor squeal is a term used to describe the sound of a coil whining. While high-frequency noises may be produced by capacitors, inductor coils are the most common source of your computer’s high-pitched noise.

When capacitors go faulty, hazardous gas is expelled through the top of the device. High-pitched whistling sounds like coil whining may be produced in this manner as well. A bulging top or liquid oozing from the top are telltale signs of a failing capacitor.

Due to the piezoelectric effect, ceramic capacitors may also produce similar noises, however this is not as frequent in recent PCs as coil whine.

What is an inductor and what does it do?

The core of an inductor is surrounded by a coil of copper wire. An inductor coil is another name for this device. Basically, its duty is to store electrical energy in the form of a magnetic field. Magnetic field and inductance are boosted by using an iron or ferrite core.

Many different terms are used to describe an inductor depending on what it is used for. As part of their work, inductors are responsible for ensuring that any power abnormalities are filtered out.

When it comes to graphics cards and motherboards, many of the inductors are in a smaller shape, enclosed in tiny boxes, and used to provide power to the major components.

What is Coil Whine & How to Fix it

Because the frequency of the current that passes through the coil varies, depending on the load of the system, the coil can start to mechanically resonate. This has the potential to create a high pitched noise.

What causes coil whine?

An inductor’s coils vibrate as electricity flows through them. When the inductor core vibrates against the coil at a frequency that is audible to the human ear, we hear coil whining.

The amplitude and frequency of the vibrations may be affected by the amount of electricity passing through. Consequently, the sound loudness and pitch shift. As a result, your computer’s coil whine may not always be there. The high-pitched whine may emerge and go depending on whether the PC is idle or under stress.

Inductor coils with faulty solder connections to the circuit board may also produce coil whining, although this is less typical.

Can coil whine cause damage?

Coil whine is not hazardous or damaging, despite the fact that it may sound like an issue with your computer. As bothersome as it is, there is no danger to your computer.

Coil whining, in reality, is a sign that the inductors are in good functioning condition. It wouldn’t produce a sound if they were damaged and couldn’t provide any electricity.

Coil whine is present in almost every electrical gadget, however it is usually not audible. Nothing to be concerned about, and it’s entirely typical.

Does it go away or get worse over time?

Over time, coil whining might either diminish or vanish altogether. If you buy a new GPU or power supply, this might happen right away or take a few days or weeks. However, in certain circumstances, it persists and does not go away.

The inductor’s physical characteristics influence the coil whine’s loudness. It’s possible that the high-pitched sound you hear could be too high for your ears to hear when you utilise the PC component.

Sadly, this also operates in the other way. ” In other cases, coil whining might worsen or even arise out of nowhere. Software (often games) that use a specified amount of power drain a specific frequency from the inductor, causing the inductor to vibrate at that frequency.

Can coil whine be fixed?

Coil whining may be reduced or eliminated. There are a variety of ways to do this. I’ve included a link to them at the bottom of the page. Since none of these strategies are guaranteed to work, your outcomes may differ.

Which PC components can cause coil whine?

The graphics card (GPU), power supply (PSU), and motherboard are all major sources of coil whining in PCs. Components that have inductors under a high load are more susceptible to coil whining because of the increased current flow through the coils.

Coil whining is more of an issue with certain electrical components than others. As an example, the high-pitched sound issues that plague the Dell XPS 15 and XPS 13 laptop models are well-known. In addition, certain MacBook Pros, such as the 2018 MBP15, often have it.

High-end Nvidia graphics cards, such as the GTX 1080/1070 and RTX 2080/2070 series, often exhibit coil whining, particularly when subjected to heavy loads (more on this later).

What is Coil Whine & How to Fix it

Because the frequency of the current that passes through the coil varies, depending on the load of the system, the coil can start to mechanically resonate. This has the potential to create a high pitched noise.

What causes coil whine?

An inductor’s coils vibrate as electricity flows through them. When the inductor core vibrates against the coil at a frequency that is audible to the human ear, we hear coil whining.

The amplitude and frequency of the vibrations may be affected by the amount of electricity passing through. Consequently, the sound loudness and pitch shift. As a result, your computer’s coil whine may not always be there. The high-pitched whine may emerge and go depending on whether the PC is idle or under stress.

Inductor coils with faulty solder connections to the circuit board may also produce coil whining, although this is less typical.

Can coil whine cause damage?

Coil whine is not hazardous or damaging, despite the fact that it may sound like an issue with your computer. As bothersome as it is, there is no danger to your computer.

Coil whining, in reality, is a sign that the inductors are in good functioning condition. It wouldn’t produce a sound if they were damaged and couldn’t provide any electricity.

Coil whine is present in almost every electrical gadget, however it is usually not audible. Nothing to be concerned about, and it’s entirely typical.

Does it go away or get worse over time?

Over time, coil whining might either diminish or vanish altogether. If you buy a new GPU or power supply, this might happen right away or take a few days or weeks. However, in certain circumstances, it persists and does not go away.

The inductor’s physical characteristics influence the coil whine’s loudness. It’s possible that the high-pitched sound you hear could be too high for your ears to hear when you utilise the PC component.

Sadly, this also operates in the other way. ” In other cases, coil whining might worsen or even arise out of nowhere. Software (often games) that use a specified amount of power drain a specific frequency from the inductor, causing the inductor to vibrate at that frequency.

Can coil whine be fixed?

Coil whining may be reduced or eliminated. There are a variety of ways to do this. I’ve included a link to them at the bottom of the page. Since none of these strategies are guaranteed to work, your outcomes may differ.

Which PC components can cause coil whine?

The graphics card (GPU), power supply (PSU), and motherboard are all major sources of coil whining in PCs. Components that have inductors under a high load are more susceptible to coil whining because of the increased current flow through the coils.

Coil whining is more of an issue with certain electrical components than others. As an example, the high-pitched sound issues that plague the Dell XPS 15 and XPS 13 laptop models are well-known. In addition, certain MacBook Pros, such as the 2018 MBP15, often have it.

High-end Nvidia graphics cards, such as the GTX 1080/1070 and RTX 2080/2070 series, often exhibit coil whining, particularly when subjected to heavy loads (more on this later).

What is Coil Whine & How to Fix it

This does not mean that other graphics cards do not experience this problem. It is a widespread issue that can not be narrowed down to specific models, certain brands or even specific types of components. Any component with inductor coils can end up experiencing it, but some tend to have it more than others.

How to find where the high pitched sound comes from

Coil whining in a PC is almost often caused by the GPU, PSU, or motherboard, as we explained above. For the most part, that’s the sequence in which they’ll occur. As a result, these are the first areas we check when attempting to track out the source of a noise. Listen, if you’re more technical.

So, how can we identify the source of the shrill noise coming from our computer?

We may utilise a variety of approaches to accomplish this goal.

Locating the sound by ear

Coil whining might be difficult to pinpoint in a computer. Noise from the fans might make it difficult to concentrate. The employment of a funnel-like device to shut out these background noises may be helpful.

There are a variety of ways to do this, including a piece of wrapped up A4 paper, a straw, or a funnel. To isolate a region, put the other end toward your ear and hold it there. The sound of that region will be directed into your ear, and some of the surrounding noise will be reduced as a result.

Perform a sound check on all three components before moving on to the motherboard. The coil whining is most noticeable in the area where the component is located.

Swapping out components

Try replacing out the components that could be causing the problem if you can’t hear the coil whine. The high-pitched sound should go away if you replace the component that causes it.

Of course, you’ll need a few more parts for this. The cost of purchasing an additional graphics card or power supply might be prohibitive unless you have the ability to return them to the retailer.

Begin by changing the graphics card if you have any spare parts. The power source can be swapped if that doesn’t work.

Changing the motherboard VRM coils is more difficult, but if you have previously switched the GPU and PSU, that is most likely what is making that noise.

How to fix coil whine

Coil whining may be reduced or eliminated in a number of methods. Even if one of the approaches works, there is no way to know for sure unless you try it. Software and hardware-based techniques are outlined below.

Things to try first

These are several things you should try first before continuing with the actual solutions.

Return/replace the component under warranty

RMA (return merchandise authorization) may be used to receive a replacement if the GPU/PSU/motherboard is still under warranty. Coil whining may be covered under warranty by certain manufacturers, but most are not. On their website, you should be able to find out whether the product is covered under warranty.

The same issue may not occur if you replace the component with an identical model, despite what you may think. There might have been an issue with the particular batch of coils utilised, or with the tiny tolerances on a given coil. The coils in the new part are most likely from a different batch.

This method may save you a lot of troubleshooting and fixing the issue yourself by using the warranty/RMA option. Even if it doesn’t work, there’s no harm in trying.

Wait a while

It’s possible that the coil whine will go away on its own if you wait a few days (or as long as you can bear to listen to the sound). It may disappear between a few days to a few weeks, depending on how long the coil has been in use.

Software fixes

Coil whining may be reduced by altering the frequency at which the inductor coils vibrate. Changes in the power draw of a graphics card or motherboard may be used to achieve this. The power supply unit’s output is impacted by this as well.

If you raise the frequency of the coils from, say, 15.000 Hz (in the range of 20 Hz – 20.000 Hz), the coil whining disappears totally.

Limiting the framerate

Limiting how many frames per second (FPS) a graphics card or system produces is one technique to reduce the amount of power it consumes. The maximum number of frames per second (FPS) in a game or piece of software may be infinite.

This is why the high-pitched sound is typically heard during loading screens and title screens of video games. During certain occasions, the framerate may be uncapped and you can get up to 200 FPS.

Inductor coil whining increases with increasing FPS, since a higher FPS allows for more power and current to flow through the coils.

Enabling V-sync / G-sync / FreeSync

Turning on V-Sync (or G-sync / FreeSync if your monitor supports it) in-game is the easiest way to deal with coil whine. It is a method that often works. It synchronizes the FPS of a game with the refresh rate of the monitor.

For example, if you have a 60 Hz monitor, the game caps the maximum FPS at 60.

V-sync can increase input lag, so if this is something you want to avoid, you might want to look at the next method.

Changing fan speeds

In certain cases, adjusting the GPU’s fan speed has helped alleviate coil whining. This has the effect of altering the graphics card’s internal component temperatures.

When the temperature of the inductor rises or falls, tiny vibrations of the coils may be reduced.

Power limiting, overclocking, underclocking and undervolting

Changing the power limit, overclocking, underclocking, and undervolting your graphics card are all other methods of altering the system’s power consumption. In MSI Afterburner or a similar programme, you may utilise various options to do this.

Coil whining from motherboard VRMs can also be addressed using these techniques, but you’ll need a separate piece of software for that.

It’s best to complete your homework and only use these sophisticated techniques if you’re confident in your abilities.

If the coil whining is caused by a power draw problem, anything that reduces that demand may help.

It is true that underclocking and lowering the power limit are approaches that restrict performance. If you want to be able to fully appreciate your graphics card, you shouldn’t have to do that.

Hardware fixes

Coil whining may be fixed or reduced using hardware approaches, as well as software ones. These tend to be more expensive to implement (either in terms of money or time), but they tend to be more long-term solutions.

Moving the computer further away

We may start with the easiest approach, which is to move the computer away from the user’s ears. The level of high-frequency noises, such as coil whining, diminishes fast as one moves away from the source. An additional metre away from the computer makes a significant impact in reducing the noise.

If you have enough room, you can do this. If the length of the external wires permits it. When this is an option, it is quite simple to implement.

Securing the inductor coils

On the other hand, the most drastic alternative is to secure the coils in place. This is done by applying a non-conductive substance like hot glue to the inductor. Inductor coils are not supposed to vibrate at all.

Insulating varnish, epoxy, or hot glue are often used for this purpose. As long as the liquid is non-conductive and eventually dries out, it should be OK to use on the device. When it succeeds, it provides a long-term solution.

Because modern graphics cards and motherboards don’t utilise open toroidal inductors, this is a difficult approach to do. The inductors are housed in a dampening material-enclosed tiny box.

What is Coil Whine & How to Fix it

Needless to say, this dampening material doesn’t always work very well. Especially when cheaper inductors were used. But without being able to open the inductors up, it is impossible to add hot glue or varnish to the coils.

This method also voids warranty, so unless you have tried all other possible solutions first, I don’t recommend doing it.

Video Guide

How do I fix my HDMI port on my PS4?

The only good and permanent fix for a bad HDMI port is to replace the entire port. Some of them just have pins that have been pushed back so they no longer make contact with the pins on the cable. Even though many times you can push these pins back, there is no good way to keep them there.

How much does it cost to fix PS4 HDMI port?

PS4 owners confirmed that Sony usually charges around $150 to repair your PS4 HDMI port. If you choose to go to a non-Sony repair shop, you’ll pay a lot less. Probably around $100. Keep in mind that if you go to a repair shop, this will void your warranty

Can you use PS4 with broken HDMI port?

Can you use the PS4 without HDMI? It is not possible to use your PS4 without HDMI because the console does not have any other video outputs. It also does not have driver support for USB to HDMI adapters, so outputting video through one of the USB ports is not an option either

How much does a HDMI port replacement cost?

The price for this repair varies widely. Sony charges around $150 or more to do this repair while other repair shops charge a lot less. My repair shop charges $89.99 (parts, labor and return shipping) and there are others that are probably in that same price range.

Conclusion

Infuriating high-pitched noise produced by your computer’s power supply called “coil whine.” Graphics cards, power supplies, and motherboards all have inductor coils to blame for the problem. At some time, every computer aficionado will have to deal with it.

Bryan V. Root
Bryan V. Root
Articles: 460

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.