Hardware Tutorials

What Is Coil Whine and How Can It Be Fixed?

Modern computers are not only very powerful, but also extremely user-friendly. For example, they are expected to make as little noise as possible. Every now and then, however, problems occur that lead to noise and leave the user unnerved and frustrated. The so-called coil beeping is particularly disturbing and at the same time little known. This guidebook will take a closer look at this. What is it about at all? How do I notice it? And perhaps most importantly: What can I do about it?

What is coil beeping?

From a technical point of view, the phenomenon of the coil beep is quickly explained. It is an unpleasant metallic noise that occurs when an electrical component begins to vibrate due to the energy flowing through it. Coil beeping is particularly common in voltage regulators. The energy flowing through the coil causes the wiring to vibrate at irregular intervals, resulting in a particularly unpleasant and therefore conspicuous noise. In addition, coil beeping occurs to a certain extent in almost every electrical device. Most of the time, however, sounds are produced in frequency ranges that cannot be perceived by humans.

Coil beeping on PC

When coil beeping occurs on the PC, the question usually arises where this comes from. Due to the large number of powered components inside the case, laypersons often have great problems locating the noise. As a rule, however, the coils of the graphics card are responsible for the problem. The affected coils are usually the so-called converter coils, which are responsible for the voltage conversion. These should therefore first be checked.

The widespread opinion that the unpleasant beeping comes from the fan of the graphics card is a misconception. This is in no case responsible for the metallic beeping and should therefore not be subjected to an inspection first.

If, contrary to expectations, the coils of the graphics card are not responsible for the noise, it is worth checking the power supply unit next. In even rarer cases, the mainboard or the CPU cooler can be identified as the cause.

Is coil chirping harmful?

Although the sound suggests that the computer has been damaged, there is no need to worry. The beeping is extremely unpleasant, but does not indicate a defect. It is a normal side effect of normal operation. If you don’t feel disturbed by this noise, but are only worried about your PC, you can sit back and relax.

As already mentioned, the vibration of the metal transformer coils, which is comparable to a vibration and is caused by the current flowing through them, causes the unpleasant beeping. It therefore occurs in normal operation – if the coils were damaged and no longer function, the coil beep could not occur.

How can the bobbin beep be removed?

It is difficult to eliminate the noise. With some tips and tricks the problem can at least be alleviated. Three of these possibilities are presented below.

Insulate the PC

Probably the easiest way is to insulate the housing of the PC better. If you choose a case that is particularly well insulated, less noise will escape. The coil beep is then still present, but is perceived less strongly or perhaps no longer at all. Insulation material for PCs is nowadays also available separately and therefore any housing can be subsequently insulated.

FPS limit

If the graphics card is used less frequently, the voltage converters on it are also subjected to less stress, which leads to a reduction in the coil beep. This is possible by using a frame limiter. The graphics card then no longer represents the maximum possible number of frames per second, but a manually defined number. This reduces the performance of the graphics card and the beeping disappears. The simplest method of FPS limitation is to turn on VSync. However, since this can lead to an increased input lag, other options should be used if possible. The drivers of the installed graphics card usually help.

Replace graphics card

If you are sure that the coils of the graphics card are responsible for the coil beep, you can have the graphics card replaced to get rid of the annoying noise. If the warranty period has not been exceeded, it may be worth asking the seller for goodwill. Legally he is not obliged to take back a graphics card due to the coil beep – but it is worth an attempt in any case. However, it is easier to solve the problem during the withdrawal period by returning the card. If the warranty period is exceeded or the seller does not take back the graphics card, you should consider whether you can live with a coil beeping reduced to a minimum by insulating the PC or a permanent FPS limit. If this is not the case, you have no choice but to buy a new graphics card.

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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Berlin.

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