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#1 2013-01-05 10:42:07

gav989
Member
From: England
Registered: 2011-10-04
Posts: 53

Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

Hi,

This has been annoying me since I got the computer (about 2 years ago). Whenever my CPU gets really busy, there's a horrible piercing buzzing sound coming from the computer. Video explains better:

http://youtu.be/-cLP22sCP68

The example I'm using here is ripping a DVD in handbrake (which seems to use the CPU a lot). The percentages I film in the middle are the CPU usage output from conky, one for each core (quad). The second mouse click (near the end) is me resuming the rip.

I built the computer myself, the processor is a sandy bridge i5 2500, I'm using the stock Intel CPU fan. My instinct is that the stock CPU fan isn' great and I should replace it, but thought I'd seek the opinion of others first.

Let me know if there is any information I should add to this

Thanks for reading


Intel sandybridge i5-2500 / nvidia GTX 460 / gigabyte GA-H67A-UD3H MOBO-B3 / 12gb RAM / i3 wm

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#2 2013-01-05 12:55:20

graysky
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From: The worse toilet in Scotland
Registered: 2008-12-01
Posts: 8,647
Website

Re: Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

I've read about some motherboard components actually screeching under load but never seen or heard it first hand.  From your video, it seem too abrupt to be a fan IMO.  Can you manually control the fan speed?  If so, jack it up while idle and see if you hear it.  See, https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Fan_Speed_Control

You might have better luck asking this question in a hardware or overclocking forum.  The fact that you run linux isn't important; stick to the fact that it happens under load.

Suggested venues:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/for … p?59-Intel
http://hardforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=2


CPU-optimized Linux-ck packages @ Repo-ck  • AUR packagesZsh and other configs

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#3 2013-01-05 13:23:43

Šaran
Member
From: Bosnia
Registered: 2011-09-03
Posts: 407

Re: Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

Why don't you just disconnect fan from motherboard when buzzing starts?

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#4 2013-01-05 13:26:56

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 14,191
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Re: Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

Šaran wrote:

Why don't you just disconnect fan from motherboard when buzzing starts?

Was that meant as a joke?


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#5 2013-01-05 13:27:20

graysky
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From: The worse toilet in Scotland
Registered: 2008-12-01
Posts: 8,647
Website

Re: Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

Šaran wrote:

Why don't you just disconnect fan from motherboard when buzzing starts?

I think my method is far safer and will get to the same conclusion... smile


CPU-optimized Linux-ck packages @ Repo-ck  • AUR packagesZsh and other configs

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#6 2013-01-05 13:28:53

shulamy
Member
From: israel
Registered: 2010-09-11
Posts: 340

Re: Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

first disconnect all other fans.

if you can disconnect the cd drive or at least open it.

if it is the cpu fan you can put your hand on it and see if it helps.

maybe a change in the screws tightness will help.

you can also take off the cover of the spindle and oil it - i do it a lot of times and it helps.

if there is dust on the wings cleen it - for better balance.

it can also be the power supply fan.

ezik

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#7 2013-01-05 13:56:28

gav989
Member
From: England
Registered: 2011-10-04
Posts: 53

Re: Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

Thanks for the link, pwmconfig seemed to be the 'test your fans' command. Though I don't fully understand what's going on (first time dealing with an issue like this), my understanding is that the noise happens when the CPU gets hot because the fan isn't cooling it enough/going fast enough. Video to show what I mean:

http://youtu.be/HhyZCNgfVcw

So my uneducated conclusion is that my CPU fan is either not doing a good enough job or my sensors aren't making it go fast enough. Do you reckon a better CPU fan would help?

I considered going to a more focussed forum but I like it here and am already a member so thought I'd try here first


edit: thanks for other responses, didn't see them at time of posting this

Last edited by gav989 (2013-01-05 13:57:08)


Intel sandybridge i5-2500 / nvidia GTX 460 / gigabyte GA-H67A-UD3H MOBO-B3 / 12gb RAM / i3 wm

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#8 2013-01-05 14:01:00

Šaran
Member
From: Bosnia
Registered: 2011-09-03
Posts: 407

Re: Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

Trilby wrote:
Šaran wrote:

Why don't you just disconnect fan from motherboard when buzzing starts?

Was that meant as a joke?

Well, no. My old PC's cpu fan didn't want to be told how fast to spin (I used windows and speedfan at the time) and pulling the plug seemed like
a perfectly safe option for troubleshooting opposed to sticking anything into fan and and risking damage to it.

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#9 2013-01-05 14:09:24

Trilby
Forum Moderator
From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 14,191
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Re: Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

I agree that sticking something in the fan to stop it sounds worse than unplugging it.  But that doesn't mean either one is safe.

gav989 - the processor doesn't make sound.  The sound is not "because the fan isn't cooling it fast enough".  The sound is most likely the fan itself - *because* it is cooling the cpu fast enough.  If the fan wasn't propperly cooling the cpu, your computer would shut down.

Graysky's suggestion was so you could crank up the fan speed while nothing else was happening - that way you could confirm that it was actually the fan making the sound you are describing.


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#10 2013-01-05 14:59:31

gav989
Member
From: England
Registered: 2011-10-04
Posts: 53

Re: Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

Yes but when that pwmconfig thing stopped the fans completely the tower made the noise, which told me that:

1. It wasn't the fan making the noise (because they weren't going at the time)
2. The noise wasn't because of the CPU load (which was low at the time)
3. The noise is associated with a rise in CPU temperature (which would happen when the fans stopped)

Which has led me to assume that the CPU was not being sufficiently cooled. I don't know much about this so if any of my assumptions here are incorrect please let me know why.

I also didn't understand how best to increase the speed of my fan manually, is there a simple command for this or do I have to reconfigure the sensors?


Intel sandybridge i5-2500 / nvidia GTX 460 / gigabyte GA-H67A-UD3H MOBO-B3 / 12gb RAM / i3 wm

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#11 2013-01-05 15:10:04

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 14,191
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Re: Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

I just installed pwmconfig, it does not necessarily stop fans - it just tests sensors which *may* stop fans on *some* hardware.


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#12 2013-01-05 15:27:20

gav989
Member
From: England
Registered: 2011-10-04
Posts: 53

Re: Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

It makes the noise after I said yes to

"Warning!!! This program will stop your fans, one at a time, for approximately 5 seconds each!!!"

So whatever it does after that messages caused the noise, if it doesn't stop the fans, any idea what it is doing?

note: I''m not trying to be rude or confrontational, sorry if it comes across that way, I'm just a bit confused


Intel sandybridge i5-2500 / nvidia GTX 460 / gigabyte GA-H67A-UD3H MOBO-B3 / 12gb RAM / i3 wm

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#13 2013-01-05 15:36:21

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 14,191
Website

Re: Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

I don't know everything that it does, but read the man page - it sends packets of data to sensors.  That is the tools intended purpose.  It warns you that it may - as a by product - disable fans one at a time ... but then it reenables them.

So if the cpu temp went up while a fan was temporarily disabled, once it comes back online one would expect the fan to kick in at high speed.

You *may* certainly be right that it is not the fans - I just find it odd that you are using the least conclusive test of that when you can directly manipulate fan speed and see if that is what makes the sound.

EDIT: I see Graysky's link took you to a wiki page that only discussed that tool - I was thinking it was a link to actually controlling fan speeds.

You can explore /sys/devices/* to find your fan control.  You may have several fans, each with a files stating their max, min, and current speeds, and often one file each storing a 0 or 1 for whether they are manually controlled.  As root, you can set one fan at a time to manual by echoing a "1" to the right file, then echo a speed near the max to the speed file.  You'll hear the fan spin up.  Then echo a "0" back to the manual file and speeds will be controlled automatically again, and that fan will spin down to a more reasonable speed.

This way you have direct control of WHEN fans speed up and you can hear the result, AND you'll know exactly which fan - if any - are causing the sound.

For example, on my iMac I did the following:

/sys/devices/platform/applesmc.768$ ls
hwmon        fan2_input   fan3_max                  light        temp4_input
power        fan2_label   fan3_min                  modalias     temp4_label
driver       fan2_manual  fan3_output               name         temp5_input
fan1_input   fan2_max     fan3_safe                 subsystem    temp5_label
fan1_label   fan2_min     key_at_index              temp1_input  temp6_input
fan1_manual  fan2_output  key_at_index_data         temp1_label  temp6_label
fan1_max     fan2_safe    key_at_index_data_length  temp2_input  temp7_input
fan1_min     fan3_input   key_at_index_name         temp2_label  temp7_label
fan1_output  fan3_label   key_at_index_type         temp3_input  uevent
fan1_safe    fan3_manual  key_count                 temp3_label

/sys/devices/platform/applesmc.768$ cat fan*_output
1000
1252
1000

/sys/devices/platform/applesmc.768$ cat fan*_manual
0
0
0

/sys/devices/platform/applesmc.768$ su
Password: 
# cat fan1_max 
5200
# cat fan1_output 
1000
# echo 1 > fan1_manual
# echo 3000 > fan1_output
# echo 0 > fan1_manual
# exit

Last edited by Trilby (2013-01-05 15:44:18)


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#14 2013-01-05 18:49:45

gav989
Member
From: England
Registered: 2011-10-04
Posts: 53

Re: Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

OK I had a poke around and continued to find everything confusing, but I found this directory:

/sys/devices/platform/it87.656

which contained

[root@gavdesktop it87.656]# ls
alarms	    in0_beep   in4_alarm  in7_min		   temp1_alarm
driver	    in0_input  in4_beep   in8_input		   temp1_beep
fan1_alarm  in0_max    in4_input  in8_label		   temp1_input
fan1_beep   in0_min    in4_max	  intrusion0_alarm	   temp1_max
fan1_input  in1_alarm  in4_min	  modalias		   temp1_min
fan1_min    in1_beep   in5_alarm  name			   temp1_type
fan2_alarm  in1_input  in5_beep   power			   temp2_alarm
fan2_beep   in1_max    in5_input  pwm1			   temp2_beep
fan2_input  in1_min    in5_max	  pwm1_auto_channels_temp  temp2_input
fan2_min    in2_alarm  in5_min	  pwm1_enable		   temp2_max
fan3_alarm  in2_beep   in6_alarm  pwm1_freq		   temp2_min
fan3_beep   in2_input  in6_beep   pwm2			   temp2_type
fan3_input  in2_max    in6_input  pwm2_auto_channels_temp  temp3_alarm
fan3_min    in2_min    in6_max	  pwm2_enable		   temp3_beep
fan4_alarm  in3_alarm  in6_min	  pwm2_freq		   temp3_input
fan4_beep   in3_beep   in7_alarm  pwm3			   temp3_max
fan4_input  in3_input  in7_beep   pwm3_auto_channels_temp  temp3_min
fan4_min    in3_label  in7_input  pwm3_enable		   temp3_type
hwmon	    in3_max    in7_label  pwm3_freq		   uevent
in0_alarm   in3_min    in7_max	  subsystem

I noticed in the wiki page Graysky linked me to it says: "If at any time during tweaking you notice the CPU temperature start to rise dramatically, do a echo "255" > /sys/class/hwmon/hwmon0/device/pwm1 to spin up the fan all the way until things cool down"

So I played around with the pwm1 and pwm1_enable files in that directory and this was the result (again, I have made a video and, again, I have made assumptions about what I'm doing):

http://youtu.be/xHoWnjbVOU4

I didn't have any fan1_manual or fan1_max type files like you did, are there any other files in that directory you think I should test?


Intel sandybridge i5-2500 / nvidia GTX 460 / gigabyte GA-H67A-UD3H MOBO-B3 / 12gb RAM / i3 wm

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#15 2013-01-05 23:37:55

Trilby
Forum Moderator
From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 14,191
Website

Re: Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

OK, thanks.  It does seem that this is not a fan making the noise.  Sorry to doubt you, but I just wanted to make sure we could close that door confidently before other things were investigated.

It does seem odd that the sound came on so quickly after not having the fan on full.  If it was a temperature issue, you'd think it'd take at least a few moments - that seems almost instantaneous: fan goes off, 'buzz' comes on.  This is not based on much, but it makes me wonder if there could be a power regulation issue - fans running at full speed will draw a good amount of power - when the fans turn off, that draw is gone. [Note: this part is complete ignorant speculation.]

Can you monitor temperatures to see if there is a certain temperature range it starts in?

Last edited by Trilby (2013-01-05 23:39:19)


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#16 2013-01-06 02:06:36

gav989
Member
From: England
Registered: 2011-10-04
Posts: 53

Re: Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

Please don't apologise, I appreciate you taking the time to write and help me.

I agree that it is strange how quickly it starts buzzing, I'll try a handbrake rip tomorrow and monitor the cpu temperature - it usually starts about a minute or so into the rip which would make sense if it was a rise in temperature causing the noise


Intel sandybridge i5-2500 / nvidia GTX 460 / gigabyte GA-H67A-UD3H MOBO-B3 / 12gb RAM / i3 wm

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#17 2013-01-07 12:05:57

neilzium
Member
Registered: 2011-12-17
Posts: 41

Re: Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

Sounds like it could be coil whine, in which case there's not much you can do about it. From my experience, coil whine can kick in under slight fluctuations in power consumption but it depends on which component is actually causing the problem.

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#18 2013-01-29 10:04:13

gav989
Member
From: England
Registered: 2011-10-04
Posts: 53

Re: Annoying noise coming from tower - CPU fan?

sorry to bump old thread but I've been busy and problem persists

I tried encoding using handbrake again and the temperature didn't alter much (lingered around 35C) but the noise started after a minute or so

neilzium: thanks for the tip, not heard of that before so I'll look into it




EDIT:
turns out either i'm an idiot or conky is lying to me

either way this noise starts when the cpu temperature goes over 80°C, I think it's just a BIOS controlled warning noise, just ordering an awesome CPU fan to help fix the problem

Last edited by gav989 (2013-03-03 16:15:04)


Intel sandybridge i5-2500 / nvidia GTX 460 / gigabyte GA-H67A-UD3H MOBO-B3 / 12gb RAM / i3 wm

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