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Old 01-27-2011, 06:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy PSU Clicking

Ok, this is a weird one. Just built a new PC about a month ago and was running fine for the first week. After that I was noticing a clicking sound coming from my computer when I was playing any game that was graphically intensive. Strange thing is, the clicking is in sync with the frame rate. Every frame is a click (I know this because when FPS goes down, the clicking slows with it.) I have an EVGA GTX 460 with a Thermaltake Toughpower XT 875W. I eventually RMA'd the PSU because that's where it seemed to be coming from.

Got the replacement, and after about a week it's doing the same thing. I know the card is getting enough power, and I know it's the power supply because after the first RMA I tried it with my older 7900GS and it did the same thing. Any ideas as to what's happening? Maybe I just have horrible luck.

Thanks in advance for any help
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: PSU Clicking

PSUs do not click. I would look more at your GFX card or HDD.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: PSU Clicking

I would bet it is the hard drive making the noise. But I have never heard of a hard drive clicking that fast.

Download a program called CrystalDiskInfo and see what the health of the drive is.

CrystalDiskInfo - Software - Crystal Dew World

Pretty nice little program if you ask me.

There is also a program called Hard disk sentinel that gives little more detailed info about t he health. But it is only a trial version.

Hard Disk Sentinel - HDD health and temperature monitoring
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: PSU Clicking

Maybe I didn't word it right. It's not a hard drive clicking noise. And I know for a fact it's not the hard drive after several fitness tests. I've RMAd my GPU, but even with another known working card the noise is still coming from what seems to be the power supply. It's pretty quiet, but noticeable. Very subtle ticking. When I have a very high frame rate it sounds more like a buzzing.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: PSU Clicking

What voltages are you getting? Get HWMonitor and post up a screenshot.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: PSU Clicking

If this happened with 2 PSUs, I think it safe to rule out a PSU issue.

Are you 100% sure the sound is coming from inside the computer and not from the speakers? Is so, you need to open the side panel and stick your head in there and try to pinpoint the source. You say it turns to a buzzing sound. PSU transformers buzz, but (1) you already tried another PSU and (2) transformers buzz louder and softer, not faster and slower.

Touch bare metal to discharge any static then very carefully and lightly touch the center hub of each fan. If the sound is coming from a fan, the sound will noticeably change in pitch.

Rest your finger on your drive(s) and see (feel and listen) if the sound corresponds to any vibrations you feel.

If you eliminate fans, drives, and other sources, and if you are sure the sound is in sync with your FPS, then I would look at the graphics card.

BTW, PSUs can make a clicking sound. However, the typical cause of that is something in the way of the fan blade, or the fan blade is improperly set on the spindle causing the blade to scrape the housing or cover/grill.
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: PSU Clicking

Trust me, I've done all of that. I've stopped all fans, and the noise is still coming from what seems like the power supply. Meaning, when I stick my ear near the PSU, it's loudest. It also is not the PSU fan. It is also not coming from the hard drive.

I'm convinced still that it is in fact the Power Supply, but I will RMA every part in this machine if I have to :P
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: PSU Clicking

You are on a surge protector, correct? Could be surges that kill your PSU.
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: PSU Clicking

But you have already tried two PSUs - it seems unlikely the 2nd PSU would do the exact same peculiar thing. But, unlikely does not mean impossible. And after re-reading your opening post, you've tried two graphics cards too. With PSUs, at least you can stick your ear right up to the back vent.

Note many motherboards have integrated speakers - locate that and make sure it is not coming from that.

I think if me at this point, I might pull everything out of the case and assemble the computer on my wooden bench. You might use a dinning room table or large cutting board. In this way, you can spread everything out and not have to deal with the sound reverberating around and through the metal of the case.
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