Wednesday, November 19, 2014

GTX 970 cards and coil whining

gtx 970There are many reports of coil whine with GTX 970 cards than ever before. These coils are in the power delivery and regulation circuitry. When the components are pushed hard, they start to vibrate to a level it is audible, especially if they are not high grade components. But it is weird that this is happening with cards as power efficient as GTX 970s, because there are many cards that draw more than 100W more power but without claims of coil whine.

When I bought my MSI GTX 970 Gaming graphics card, I hoped that it would be free of coil whine too. This is because it is using a custom PCB with very high quality components. Alas, there is coil whine. It is not very distracting or pronounced, however it is there...again, not all the time but at very random occasions; not even when it is under very high load either.

I tried capturing it on audio but it was extremely difficult to capture anything useful because of the noise from the other fans inside the case. However I found a video posted by someone on YouTube demonstrating coil whine on his Asus Strix card but that was way extreme compared to my case. I don't hear that level of coil whine. One might even call mine as having no coil whine at all. But I still hear it and it is a extremely distracting when it is there. Plus, I didn't pay for it in the first place. In fact, I paid more not to have it. Plus, there are people claiming that the little hum that their cards originally put out eventually became an irritation as they decided to stick even when the card was loaded properly. 

There are a category of people who claim that changing the PSU made things better. I do not know how this is possible, because the GTX 970 should not be using more power than a GTX 670 which I had and it never had this issue. Certainly the old card has a terrible cooler which ran loud but it could not have drowned out the coil whining because that is a very distinct high-frequency noise. Plus, I have a high quality Corsair PSU which is a rebranded Season G-Series 650Watter, a brand which is considered one of the best, if not the best. So I don't think that replacing the PSU would improve the situation in my case. 

Since this card was bought from Amazon, I can return it free of charge within a month. I love their return policy by the way. I can either return it for a full refund of I can ask for a replacement. Of course I would ask for a replacement, because I think this is the best GTX 970 card for me - as there aren't any blowers with the NVTTM cooler.

What I am worried about is getting a card that would have even more coil whine than my current card. I of course can return is as well. But I don't like the hassle. I mean, I want to play games; not troubleshoot. 

Edit1: Click here to read about a study done by HardwareCanucks on coil whining.

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