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 Post subject: Widespread Laptop Whining / Buzzing problem
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 11:58 pm 
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It has come to my attention that several CPU/motherboards in laptops produce a VERY annoying, yet discrete high pitched whine or buzz.

Several threads are present on this throughout the web, but I haven't come across any here.

The solutions to this problem regards disabling Power Saving modes by one way or another in order to prevent noise (such as using RMclock or plugging in a USB device). Bad. Very Bad engineering folks. Turn power down... turn noise up.

This problem is known to affect many Macbooks, dells, and HPs (and probably others). The Core 2 Duo seems to be the greatest offender - but this is probably a coincidence due to the popularity of this chip these days.

Well, here are the links. A preliminary list.

Quote:


I think this issue is somewhat newsworthy, I've heard very little about it officially other than a obscure issue hidden deep in the support pages of dell/apple.

Here is actually a very good article on dell's site about this issue:
http://support.dell.com/support/topics/ ... en&s=gen#2

Quote:
1. An audible high pitched buzzing noise is emitted from the notebook.

When the notebook is used in a quiet environment, an intermittent high frequency buzzing noise may be heard from the system. It appears to change with processor activity and can increase in amplitude if USB 1.0 peripherals are attached. It can also vary between platforms depending on the installed devices and system specifications.

The buzzing noise is apparent to some degree on all notebooks, but is perceived as abnormal because it is different from other more familiar noises generated by the notebook.

The noise has been isolated to the processor’s power circuit and is only audible when the processor is in C3 (clock-stopped) power state. In C3 power state, notebook power is conserved resulting in reduced overall chassis heat and extended battery life. The varying voltage changes to the components in the processor's power circuit are caused by a phenomenon referred to as the piezoelectric effect. When a specific varying voltage is applied to these components, they begin to resonate producing sounds that fall within the frequency range of human hearing (15 – 20 KHz).

The level of the noise is within the acoustic specifications of the notebook and well below other noises from components such as the system fan and the hard disk drive.


On a personal note, this far, I've heard this on Dell 6400 and 9400 models. I was never to suppress the noise fully on the 6400 using techniques described above, I think it has a difference problem altogether (maybe that's why they don't offer that laptop with the T7400 anymore??)

With the 17" dell 9400 the Noise is also present, seemingly a little less noticeable. I seem to able to turn it off (at least to 99%, or maybe that's in my head :roll: ) using RMClock. Will try some other methods.

I've also seen this noise occur on one of toshiba's latest, a Core 2 1.66Ghz with Geforce 7600 Graphics (toshiba A100-VA9)

Also, a friend's Acer (Pentium M) also appeared to suffer from this problem.

Anyways... enjoy.


EDIT: lol just found these on youtube... enjoy (turn your speakers up)
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Mn798xmKBB8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuTRp2F0zRI

EDIT #2: Here's the latest from HP. Looks like they've stepped up, somewhat.
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/gene ... R1002_USEN

EDIT #3: The only trick that has ever worked for me was "run HLT command when os is idle" in RMclock.


Last edited by cloneman on Sun May 11, 2008 11:04 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 12:32 am 
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Quote:
The varying voltage changes to the components in the processor's power circuit are caused by a phenomenon referred to as the piezoelectric effect. When a specific varying voltage is applied to these components, they begin to resonate producing sounds that fall within the frequency range of human hearing (15 – 20 KHz).


AFAIAA this is not a piezoelectric effect,but they are right about the resonating of components caused by high-frequency "chopping" of the voltage. IANAEE. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 11:29 pm 
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My laptop has this problem as well. It's a Dell Inspiron 5150 with a Pentium 4. I fixed it with Notebook Hardware Control. It seems more noticeable when the computer is running off the battery, so I set it to always run minimum speed on battery, and underclock it to 800MHz, since if I'm using the battery I probably am not doing anything intense.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 3:43 am 
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I found on my new HP nc6320 the buzzing noise under battery when I connected a Microsoft Optical mouse via USB.

My solution was to go to Device Manager, select Universal Serial Bus Controllers, you'll see USB Root Hub a number of times. Select one, go to the Power Management tab and uncheck "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" Press Ok and then do the same for each USB Root Hub. Restart and that solved it.

Might not work for everyone but worth a try if it's bugging you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 10:53 am 
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Yeah, that seems to do the trick for some people. Plugging in a usb device is also known to help, prolly because it disables power saving. The other known method is to use RMClock, however that one increases CPU heat on top of power drain.

Have you been able to suppress the noise fully or can you still hear some faint electrical noise?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 11:39 pm 
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RMclock certainly helped me with this problem on my Inspiron 9300.

I'm glad to see that Dell finally has acknowledged this problem.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 10:50 am 
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tha_lode wrote:
RMclock certainly helped me with this problem on my Inspiron 9300.

I'm glad to see that Dell finally has acknowledged this problem.


What cpu did you have in there?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 6:34 am 
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Pentium M 1.86 ghz.


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 Post subject: Re: Widespread Laptop Whining / Buzzing problem
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 7:09 pm 
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cloneman wrote:
Also, a friend's Acer (Pentium M) also appeared to suffer from this problem.

That would be me, but to a lesser extend, my headphone jack is fine ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Widespread Laptop Whining / Buzzing problem
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 7:14 pm 
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Daijoubu wrote:
cloneman wrote:
Also, a friend's Acer (Pentium M) also appeared to suffer from this problem.

That would be me, but to a lesser extend, my headphone jack is fine ;)


The headphone jack thing I only observed on my dell 6400. 8)


Last edited by cloneman on Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 4:10 pm 
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IdontexistM8 wrote:
My solution was to go to Device Manager, select Universal Serial Bus Controllers, you'll see USB Root Hub a number of times...


The laptop I'm using right now is a Dell Latitude D520, T2300 at 1.66GHz. The whining was the first thing I noticed and primarily on sites with Flash media. Like silentpcreview.com actually which is the site I used for testing fixes :)

The USB fix works for me (note I have to disable power management on all root hubs, not just one) and makes all the difference. The battery life is indeed adversely affected but I still get over 3 hours. I say the USB fix works primarily as a bug in Windows XP rather than as a predictable side effect. I wouldn't otherwise see why the processor would be prevented from entering C3.

As an aside for those interested in a Latitude, the fan never goes on making it a quiet machine, processor wise at least. I can run Prime 95 and make it spin (I've had to now cause I've forgotten what the fan sounds like) and the fan isn't noisy but does have high pitch to it which isn't great.

Negatives are the annoying tweet (exactly like a cricket inside the machine) when charging above 75% that is really really annoying - what exactly is going on with power circuitry these days!?? Lucky you can avoid the issue most of the time.

And the hard disk in this machine is a SATA 40GB drive - a Fujitsu MHV2040BH. The idle noise isn't bad but the seek is quite loud. Probably the way XP does its filesystem flushes make it worse - "Chik chik" pause "chik chik" pause "shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" and then "clack!" as it parks. Urgh. I guess I've never noticed hard disks before over the howl of fans :wink: but this is quite annoying and Dell don't make any effort to soft mount it (par for the course I'd say). I'll check out some silentpcreview reviews then.

Conor.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 4:15 pm 
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you wanna post that in here as well please, carveone ?

http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=33854

thanks:P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 4:54 pm 
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cloneman wrote:
you wanna post that in here as well please, carveone ?

http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=33854

thanks:P


Sure ok! I haven't run speedfan or any of the other stuff - never occurred to me but I'll go ahead.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 8:55 am 
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A friend's 15,4" Dell Vista machine also started to whine when I enabled the "enter C4 on C3" feature in RMClock. Too bad, that saved 1 W ...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 10:06 am 
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I have the same issue with my D610. Its running an M 1.66Ghz cpu.

The USB drive in a USB port worked flawlessly until I installed this patch.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/918005

That patch fixes a power drain issue where USB devices stop a system from going into low-power mode...

So if you're running XP, try uninstalling this update if you can. Then just try a few different USB Flash memory sticks until you find one that works. (I had to try 5 different ones before I found one that worked.)

I upgraded to Vista and I thought that I was out of luck. I'll have to give RMclock a try! Thanks!


Edit: I tried unchecking "Enter C4 on C3 command" but it didn't solve the problem.
Are there other settings I should try in here?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 11:39 am 
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bigred wrote:
Edit: I tried unchecking "Enter C4 on C3 command" but it didn't solve the problem.
Are there other settings I should try in here?


The only setting that made a difference for me in RMclock is the "Run HLT command when OS is idle" on the management section of the program.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 10:54 pm 
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Thats the one I use also.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 6:13 am 
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Actually, just realized,unticking the C3 state seems to help as well for me. It's very difficult to perceive if the noise is completely eliminated, as the frequencies seem to be on the border of human hearing.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 5:26 pm 
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I had the same problem. I didn't want to enable "Run HLT command when OS is idle" in RMCLock as is reduces battery life by keeping the cpu busy.


Have a look at this:
http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/showthread.php?t=3516

Worked great for me. However I left both Thermal settings on.

Hope it helps.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 7:33 am 
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I've got a HP nx7400 with a T7200 CPU and it is suffering from the same flaw. I think it's rather annoying and simply can't believe that nobody heard that before sending the stuff for mass production. Or maybe some genius thought it wouldn't be noticeable for most users, who knows. It is an arrogant manner to sell such bogus hardware, a big "don't buy this crap again" label for those companies. It's surprising to see Mac on that list too, given the price tag of a Mac Book Pro...

I can't add anything new to what has been suggested for overcomming the problem. I haven't bothered playing with rmclock, but can confirm that plugging a power-hungry (200mA) usb device diminishes the sound (a 40mA mouse does not).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 8:17 am 
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I think the time as come to ask the big question... it seems as though intel is the naughty one here.

Does anyone have an AMD laptop with this problem?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 9:52 am 
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The problem has nothing to do with Intel or AMD directly. The blame is entirely on HP/DELL/Apple for choosing to integrate cheap crappy motherboards in their products.

Intel (or AMD either) can't control what type of capacitors or other components a given motherboard manufacturer is using. But when you're on the hunt for low production prices and large profits, it's an obvious choice to produce with the cheapest garbage available. The results speak for themselves.

Please don't turn the thread into an Intel vs. AMD war. It's clear that everyone has got a story to tell. The purpose of the thread is just to collect some info on the problem and the affected products, nothing more, as far as I can tell.

And by the way I think it's pretty clear that we're talking about core 2 based systems here, so the question is a bit out of place


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 10:07 am 
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npp wrote:
And by the way I think it's pretty clear that we're talking about core 2 based systems here, so the question is a bit out of place


People are reporting same problem with Pentium M, so...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 11:22 am 
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You're right. Still this doesn't change in any way what I sated above.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 3:22 pm 
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I believe if it can be shown beyond the shadow of a doubt that AMD motherboards don't whine it's worthy of investigation and thought. I've yet to hear a single person complain on any other message board of a Turion based laptop whining, and I think that's interesting. I've been scouring forums on this issue (albeit casually) for a good 5 months now.

Weather it's just chance that AMD boards don't whine or it's due to better quality control is unknown but at the end of the day, if they don't whine, it's all that much better.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 4:02 pm 
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It will be too strange if quality control is practiced in different manners for "Intel" and "AMD" motherboards, so I wouldn't bet on this one.

It is a fact however that there are notebooks that don't whine; and I wouldn't wonder if this is the case for the majority of them. So there is a way to make them properly, hence, there isn't some fundamental flaw in Intel's design.

It may be that we've got lemons of a large batch that HP and the others accepted with the hope that this isn't a serious issue.

But these are only suggestions; shame once again on that b****** making billions $ profit for playing this way.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 2:27 am 
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Cloneman, at least one AMD laptop has this problem. My two week old Compaq V3307AU whines like a *****. Interestingly though, it only does when I select "high performance". The low power modes actually eliminate the noise!

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Turion X2 TL-60 2.0Ghz
1Gb DDR2
120Gb WD Scorpio HDD
Nvidia 6150

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 11:29 pm 
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Hi my friend. You can call me "THE WHINE MAN" :twisted: :evil:

I want to show with you my (DIS)adventure with DELL.
I have bought an M65 PRECISION and discovered WHINE world....


Last edited by scaistar on Thu May 31, 2007 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 11:30 pm 
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Have reported to Technical support this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mn798xmKBB8 (PART1)

They send 2 technicians to my home for replace mainboard. The problem after this seems different.. but still present
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=legqLFgMKEo (PART2)

So they call me for replace the notebook. I accept and yesterday receive new.. but... with same problem. Now have two M65
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErkhU2qK-fM (PART3)

Today.. searching for DELL WHINE.. i discover that Dell well know the problem
Seems that Italian Technical support don't know about this document.
However.. dell surprise me when says "The level of the noise is within the acoustic specifications of the notebook"
I hope that when i call technical support they NEVER answer me this!
I'm preparing to war...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:06 am 
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I have excatly the same problem on my Fujitsu T4215 Tablet, T7200. It's in repair for s second time now, Fujitsu guys are refusing to acknowledge the problem, I quote "The noise is coming from the HDD and you are hearing it work with the different components in the notebook, it is normal for the T4215". Treating me like a child....

What's up with that? Is it time for a class action?


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