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Buzzing PSU (HX620W), solutions?


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Problem

After having searched for a quite while for the most silent computer components, I was very disappointed to notice that the psu I chose made a lot of noise under certains conditions (Corsair HX620W). It's some kind of electrical sound, not from the fan. I'm 100% sure that the sound is coming from the psu.

 

Example

The Witcher (computer game): At the intro movie the psu starts buzzing very loud en with a very high tone. When there is a spoken dialogue in the movie, the tone changes slightly for the duration of the dialogue.

In the game menu the sound settles down a bit, but you can still hear it. When I select 'load game' the sound stops. After the game is loaded, the sound returns.

 

Conclusions

As you can see, the sound the psu makes depends on what the computer is doing. Next to The Witcher, I've tested Call of Duty 4 and 3DMark2006 and get similar results with the psu sound. I also tried to stress the cpu with Orthos, but that didn't make the psu make any sound. So it seems it's video related.

 

Solutions

I've searched this forum and found similar posts, like someone who experienced high sounds when turning anti aliasing on in far cry. But nowhere could I find working solutions. Placing the psu directly in a wall socket or replacing the psu with another version didn't seem to help. I therefore have 2 questions.

 

Questions

  1. Is there any working solution yet for making the buzz from the psu go away?
  2. If not, what can you advice me to do?

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  • Corsair Employees

It’s very difficult to test units for audible noise in reality, because Corsair’s test environment has a very clean power source. Many times, the clicking/buzzing noises come from the PFC filter circuitry or components used in the AC-DC conversion process, and these components all can react differently based on how clean the power source is. A unit that performs silently here in the lab may buzz or click in a house with older wiring, or a room with a failing battery-powered UPS, or any number of other things. One possible solution would be to use a battery backup with AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulation) as they can "clean up" the power signal a little bit and possibly resolve the issue. Also, I would recommend that you make sure you have the latest BIOS for your motherboard, and then load setup defaults, and reconfigure your BIOS settings, just to make sure everything is setup how it should be. If all else fails, then we would be happy to have the unit replaced, and you can use the On Line RMA Request Form and we will be happy to replace it. Be sure to check the box that says “I've already spoken to Technical Support and/or RAM Guy.”

 

Also, Are you sure the Video card itself is not causing the sound you are hearing? The PSU only knows whether to be on or off, if the sound changes depending on whether or not you are stressing the video card, then there may be some other issue and you might want to try swapping video cards to see if you can isolate the problem.

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I didn't try swapping psu's cause of the work involved, but I did try swapping my video card (with another Asus EN8800GT). I got the same sound results with it.

 

If the buzzing is caused by an unclean power signal, than that should mean that another computer connected to this power signal would buzz too right? That however is not the case. My old pc (with all different components) didn't buzz.

 

I'm quite sure that the buzzing is coming from the psu. I've got a very silent system (no stock coolers, large heatsinks etc.) so you can track the buzzing easily. When I put my ear on the psu you can only conclude that this is where the sound comes from.

 

I didn't try updating my bios yet, but I quess I will try that soon.

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  • Corsair Employees
Normally it is the higher efficiency PSUs which will buzz when they do not get "clean" power, which could explain why an older PSU would not give you the same results. At any rate, if you would like to have it replaced, we would be more than happy to do it for you.
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  • 10 months later...

I recently stumbled upon this thread. I have a similar problem with my PSU. It buzzes in game, even when the card outputs less FPS than the refresh rate of the monitor and it changes depending on where I look.

 

Im not completely sure my aparments power lines are the best so they may be the ones to blame.

 

What I meant to ask is if this symptom is something to be worried about in short and long term or if it is a normal procedure and I should just let it be. Will the PSU damage itself from this noise or is it normal operating procedure? So to speak.

 

Another question, I dont have access to a battery backup with AVR where I live (damn 3rd world...), Is there any other way to "clean up" the power signal? Maybe buying a new power cable or something like that. Will changing the PSU for another exactly like it solve the problem?

 

Thank you very much.

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  • Corsair Employees
Other than a battery backup with AVR, there are not a lot of easy ways to clean up the signal. The noise itself is likely the slight vibration of a capacitor at a frequency that is out of sync with the rest of the unit. This could also come from a capacitor from your video card or motherboard. The noise would not indicate any functional problem with the unit, and other than the annoyance of the sound itself, there is nothing to worry about. We would be happy to replace the PSU if you wanted to go that route, however there are so many possible reasons as to why you might have this issue, that we could not guarantee that replacing the PSU would resolve it.
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Thanks for your answer Ram Guy. Ill probably just learn to live with it.

 

But it seems interesting to mention that in other forums a user has suggested that I RMA it. Of course I doubt he has the knowledge and experience that you do so its probably best not to take him to seriously.

 

So nothing is gonna happen right? My PSU wont blow up and take the rest of my pc with it, right? =P

 

As always, thank you very much.

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Hi,

I bought this Corsair 620HX after reading perfect reviews to replace a 1 year old but underperforming ******c MorpheusPower. I am happy with the performance, much more stable. BUT, the 620HX makes a high pitch continuous buzz, I believe referred to as coil whine. I'm pretty sure the noise is emanated from the PSU.

I have been using an HD4870 1GB and after reading complaints regarding this "coupling", I purchased a GTX260 216. Nothing changed, the incredibly irritating buzz is there. Another person may not bother but me, after having invested $XX on silent components like Noctua fans, noise absorption materials, etc, and even this PSU, I cannot take it.

One of the potential solutions offered in these forums was to disable C1E and EIST. Did that but nada... "It" is still there...

I have a triple boot PC with Vista, Ubuntu and OpenSUSE (all 64) and it doesn't matter, the pitch starts as soon as the OS loads and does not stop. It makes like nanosecond pauses sometimes as if trying to communicate in Morse code, but it never stops.

In terms of the health of the power supplied, well I'm using a CyberPower CP1000AVRLCD rated at 600W and the supplied power is pretty healthy as far as I can monitor. The drawn power is less than 200W idle and the buzz is there even when idle.

 

In summary, I am kind of frustrated because even Corsair replaces this PSU there is no guarantee the new one will resolve the problem. By the way I have a question, is it possible to request an advance RMA because I cannot afford to send the only PSU I have left? Yeah, I sold away the old one for pizza money... :)

 

Any suggestion/help is highly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

 

PS: I even purchased a new motherboard but didn't have time to try it... I have the Abit IP35 Pro installed with 4x2GB Corsair Dominator and Q6600.

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  • Corsair Employees

If possible I would test the PSU in with a different motherboard, or in a different system and make sure you can still duplicate the issue. If the the problem remains then we will want to get the PSU replaced for you. You can use the On Line RMA Request Form and we will be happy to replace it. Be sure to check the box that says “I've already spoken to Technical Support and/or RAM Guy.”

 

For questions regarding the RMA or possible RMA options, wait until you get the RMA number and then contact our customer service at 888-222-4346 and dial "0", (510) 657-8747 or email rmaservice@corsairmemory.com and they should be able to answer any questions.

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Thanks for the response!

I will try my new board and if the buzz persists I will kindly ask that a cross shipment made available. You didn't mention anything about this option, I hope Corsair will help me out.

I very recently purchased this PSU with so much expectation and I don't have any other PSU or system as a back-up, and I work 10+ hours on my computer at my home office.

Thanks again!

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