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Helpful ReplyHot!Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done?

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crystal6tak
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2016/03/11 11:01:35 (permalink)
Hey all! I got an EVGA 980 Ti FTW. Like many other 980 Ti's, it suffers from coil whine. I've already tried RMA, use other brands, change PSU, and burn in method. One method that recently peaked my interest is dealing with the coils themselves which I believe are the blocky things. I attached a picture of my card with a red square labeling the chokes.
 
Yes I realize they are not exposed so the common thought of putting glue on them wouldn't work.
 
However I've seen Powercolor do it (link on bottom) and read a post (Link on bottom) (near the end) saying it'll help and even claimed cooling the chokes will help with the coil whine. Heck MSI's 980 Ti Gaming 6G has a layer of thermal pad between the choke an the heatsink (link on bottom). Reports of MSI's 980 Ti having coil whine seems to be lower as well. Coincidence? Unfortunately I can't find much information and those I listed are probably the only documentation of muffling attempts at these block type inductor/chokes. 
 
SO, I got some questions on these chokes before I attempt anything with them. I hope someone here with experience with them would answer my questions.
 
1.) How durable are these chokes?
If I'll be messing with them I want to know how much force I can apply to them before they pop off or break. Such as squeezing material between the choke blocks, I don't want to damage anything.
 
2.) How much cooling do these choke need?
My plan is to wrap the chokes with adhesive thermal pads (at the same time install an Accelero Xtreme 3 cooler). Essentially making a shell over each block. If I do this, will the chokes overheat? I've read they are just coils and should withstand up to 105C. But I have no idea how much heat they put out and if giving it basically no airflow could suffocate them. I suppose I could try putting some heatsinks over the adhesive thermal pads, would that do the trick and keep them from exploding? Or is that not necessary? I don't want to use glue or silicon as I don't want this to be a permanent thing. I wish to be able to remove these thermal pads in the future.
 
3.) Would putting material on these blocks do anything at all? 
I have no idea if mine are solid or hollow chokes. Assuming they're solid, putting any material around (silicon, glue, thermal pads) should act as vibration absorbent right? Or am I missing something here?
 
4.) Can better cooling silence these chokes?
That nforce4max from the forum I linked said better cooling does help silence these chokes (he replied to a 6970 thread and that card does use square chokes). Does anyone have any take on this? I really don't see how better cooling would help but I'm open to anything.
 
EDIT:
Forgot I still can't hyperlink texts. Here are the links I talked about:
Powercolor: http:// s1278.photobucket.com/user/abundantcores/media/R9%20290%20Review/glue_zps92a9068b.jpg.html
Thread: http:// tomshardware.co.uk/forum/336688-33-card-buzzing-noise-fans
MSI: http:// techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_980_Ti_Gaming/images/cooler4.jpg
My card in case the attachment fails: http:// i.imgur.com/q0DEVrx.jpg
 
EDIT 2:
Check post 17! 
I have tried a small scale test and have put the results up. Go check it out if you're interested!
post edited by crystal6tak - 2016/03/24 13:35:44

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slayer_27
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2016/03/11 11:48:01 (permalink)
The way I understand this is the same principle that guitar pickups have wax around the coils to eliminate feedback. If you keep the coils from vibrating that should stop the 'whine'.

I'm not sure about getting the cover off of the coils but if you can you would need something to insulate them that can take high temperature under load.

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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2016/03/11 12:49:26 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby crystal6tak 2016/03/12 04:48:17
Just packing insulation around them won't do much. You would need to remove the cover and fill it with epoxy or find the orientation it is wound and drill a hole through the cover into the center or around the outside of the coil and pump it full of epoxy using a syringe. You need to restrict the coils from movement with a high temperature and strong substance which doesn't conduct electricity or react with magnetic fields if you want to have any substantial effect on the noise.

Warranty void if performed, BTW.
post edited by ty_ger07 - 2016/03/11 16:17:11
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crystal6tak
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2016/03/12 04:49:36 (permalink)
ty_ger07
Just packing insulation around them won't do much. You would need to remove the cover and fill it with epoxy or find the orientation it is wound and drill a hole through the cover into the center or around the outside of the coil and pump it full of epoxy using a syringe. You need to restrict the coils from movement with a high temperature and strong substance which doesn't conduct electricity or react with magnetic fields if you want to have any substantial effect on the noise.

Warranty void if performed, BTW.

I see...but would I be risking anything If I wrapped thermal pads around the choke blocks? I'll be disassembling my card soon anyways to install a third party cooler so I may as well try and see if there's any measurable difference. Risk as in overheating or damaging the chokes in any sort of way.
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2016/03/13 05:44:02 (permalink)
There is little that can be done to stop the noise at the chokes, but perhaps you can muffle the radiated high frequency noise by insulating your case. I think there is some sound deadening adhesive layers that could be added to the inside of your case panels. This may or may not be effective depending on how tight your case is sealed. 
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2016/03/13 08:13:49 (permalink)
DHLEVGA
There is little that can be done to stop the noise at the chokes, but perhaps you can muffle the radiated high frequency noise by insulating your case. I think there is some sound deadening adhesive layers that could be added to the inside of your case panels. This may or may not be effective depending on how tight your case is sealed. 


That isn't very true. Restricting the inductor coils from moving is the most effective method of stopping the noise. Any sound dampening or deadening external to the inductors will be much less effective. If you can restrict the coils from moving, the sound will stop completely. If you insulate the sound, the sound will just get a bit quieter.
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2016/03/13 11:41:38 (permalink)
DHLEVGA
There is little that can be done to stop the noise at the chokes, but perhaps you can muffle the radiated high frequency noise by insulating your case. I think there is some sound deadening adhesive layers that could be added to the inside of your case panels. This may or may not be effective depending on how tight your case is sealed. 

ty_ger07
That isn't very true. Restricting the inductor coils from moving is the most effective method of stopping the noise. Any sound dampening or deadening external to the inductors will be much less effective. If you can restrict the coils from moving, the sound will stop completely. If you insulate the sound, the sound will just get a bit quieter.

Now I really want to try just for the sake of trying lol. Even if it doesn't stop the vibration, it can act as a super close sound dampener no? Even if it does very little to the whine, that's still better than nothing. Right now I'm most worried about if I'll overheat the chokes if I wrapped it in thermal pads. Do you guys think encapsulating the chokes with 1mm thick thermal pads will overheat them?
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2016/03/13 12:17:33 (permalink)
I wonder how well liquid rubber would do?
It would pull off easily but would it cause them to overheat?
 
Performix 12213 Plasti Dip Black  - 22 oz. Dip Can Feb 6, 2014 by Performix $12.77 Prime
or
 
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 or even
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post edited by bcavnaugh - 2016/03/13 12:21:26



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slayer_27
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2016/03/13 12:43:59 (permalink)
crystal6tak
Now I really want to try just for the sake of trying lol. Even if it doesn't stop the vibration, it can act as a super close sound dampener no? Even if it does very little to the whine, that's still better than nothing. Right now I'm most worried about if I'll overheat the chokes if I wrapped it in thermal pads. Do you guys think encapsulating the chokes with 1mm thick thermal pads will overheat them?




That would be about as effective as covering your cars engine in cardboard to reduce the sound. I don't think it would overheat them but I doubt there would be any discernible difference.

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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2016/03/13 12:50:10 (permalink)
RMA would probably reject the card if any coils are modified.

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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2016/03/13 14:17:35 (permalink)
bcavnaugh
I wonder how well liquid rubber would do?
It would pull off easily but would it cause them to overheat?
snip*

That's...actually an interesting idea! I personally don't know anything about liquid rubber, would the rubber risk melting when the GPU is hot? I have no idea.
Shockjockey
RMA would probably reject the card if any coils are modified.

I'm not modifying the coils, never been the plan, merely wrapping the choke blocks in thermal pads or possibly liquid rubber. These should come off fairly easily effectevely returning the card to its stock state which should make the card eligible for RMA again.
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2016/03/13 15:26:44 (permalink)
Shockjockey
RMA would probably reject the card if any coils are modified.


Yup. I think opening them up and epoxying them is the only sure method to quiet them, but will definitely void the warranty (as stated).

Covering them with plasti-dip may or may not help. They may overheat if covered. The good thing, though, is that if they do overheat, the plasti-dip can be peeled off without a trace and the warranty personel will be none the wiser. It's a little shadey, but would be a safer bet. If they overheat and break, it's a way to get an earlier warranty replacement with little dispute. :-S
post edited by ty_ger07 - 2016/03/13 15:29:57
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2016/03/13 20:11:59 (permalink)
ty_ger07
DHLEVGA
There is little that can be done to stop the noise at the chokes, but perhaps you can muffle the radiated high frequency noise by insulating your case. I think there is some sound deadening adhesive layers that could be added to the inside of your case panels. This may or may not be effective depending on how tight your case is sealed. 


That isn't very true. Restricting the inductor coils from moving is the most effective method of stopping the noise. Any sound dampening or deadening external to the inductors will be much less effective. If you can restrict the coils from moving, the sound will stop completely. If you insulate the sound, the sound will just get a bit quieter.

Epoxy encapsulating the coils sounds great in theory but is not in practice. Getting access to these surface mount components is not easy, and you risk making a real mess on your board. How are you going to contain the epoxy and prevent it from leaking all over the board? What type of epoxy are you going to use? How will you know if you get full wetting of the coils? What if they are already coated with some sort of coating?
 
Sound deadening is easy and quite effective if you use the right damping material. Since very high frequencies are easy to absorb, I bet just placing a panel to block line of sight will reduce the levels by quite a bit.
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2016/03/13 20:19:06 (permalink)
bcavnaugh
I wonder how well liquid rubber would do?
It would pull off easily but would it cause them to overheat?
 
Performix 12213 Plasti Dip Black  - 22 oz. Dip Can Feb 6, 2014 by Performix $12.77 Prime
or

 Gardner Bender LTB-400 4-Ounce Black Liquid Electrical Tape by Gardner Bender $5.99 Prime
 
 or even
MG Chemicals 408A Rubber Renue, 125 ml Liquid Bottle by MG Chemicals $12.47 Prime

None of these materials (they are vinyl compounds) are high enough in temperature resistance. A liquid silicone may work better, but beware of using the acetic acid cure types. They will corrode the metals on your board. You need the methyl alcohol cure type (does not smell like vinegar). You may also be able to use a urethane type material that is used for mold casting.
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2016/03/13 20:23:15 (permalink)
ty_ger07
Shockjockey
RMA would probably reject the card if any coils are modified.


Yup. I think opening them up and epoxying them is the only sure method to quiet them, but will definitely void the warranty (as stated).

Covering them with plasti-dip may or may not help. They may overheat if covered. The good thing, though, is that if they do overheat, the plasti-dip can be peeled off without a trace and the warranty personel will be none the wiser. It's a little shadey, but would be a safer bet. If they overheat and break, it's a way to get an earlier warranty replacement with little dispute. :-S



"They may overheat if covered. The good thing, though, is that if they do overheat, the plasti-dip can be peeled off without a trace and the warranty personel will be none the wiser. It's a little shadey, but would be a safer bet."
 
Or, the stuff gets hot enough to melt or catch fire. Then you have just totaled a $700 VC if not your entire rig and maybe your house.
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2016/03/13 20:41:07 (permalink)
Once dry, plasti dip has a high flash point. +200 F (unknown exactly) is what they advertise for flash point. Fire point is even higher of course. When wet, it burns easily. When dry, it is very hard to burn.

http://youtu.be/sE3841-1E8s

It melts and falls away before it burns. You need a direct flame on a melted or peeled piece to get it to burn.

Like I said though, it would be shadey and I don't think it would work well anyway.
post edited by ty_ger07 - 2016/03/13 20:51:32
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crystal6tak
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2016/03/24 13:33:16 (permalink)
ty_ger07
snip*

DHLEVGA
snip*

slayer_27
snip*

bcavnaugh
snip*

Hey all! Thanks again for all the help! Just wanted to update you guys. I went ahead and did a small scale test. I simply placed thermal pads (2 layers of 1mm to be exact) between the chokes and the heatsink. Recorded the card on load at 65%, 100%, and 110%. Pre-chilled the card so no fans were spinning during the load.
 
Here, listen to it! (Skip to 1:30 for the results)
https:// www .youtube.com/watch?v=lUNXzqw7UrY
 
To me the audio level didn't go down, but there IS something getting muffled. Like the sound of something loose was tightened. Not a big improvement but still impressed such a simple tweak made any difference at all.
 
Unfortunately, I decided to only put padding on 8 out of the 10 chokes. Upon further inspection I realized with the shape of the stock heatsink, I could have padded the other two shorter chokes... Would that make a difference? I have no idea. I might test it.
 
Anyways, that's about it! I recommend anyone to try to see if squeezing thermal pads between the chokes and the heatsink will make any difference. I'm only one guy with one 980 Ti so this very slight improvement may not apply to everyone. Or maybe someone would have a much better result! Who knows. 
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LasseK1981
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2018/12/05 10:12:47 (permalink)
Hey.
Well great you tested but very bad you dident throughly complete it! Why leave some coils without??? makes no sense and ruins the result.. I just saw the video great work on that! I hate that fekkin sound.. for 1 month ive been battling with that also .. I have now RMA.
Although it did change the pitch I dont think it was lower or actually same noise level w/o pads.. 
 
IF I receive the new replacement card and it does the same, well im gonna take it to the next level trust me! Sealing the card all way round between pcb and block and thereby trapping the noise But whew! Now I gotta take a deep breath.. this month been wearing me down due to it bothers me and I sit restless all night morning to find solutions.. 
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2018/12/05 14:03:21 (permalink)
RTV silicone is good to 700 degrees and its black, but you can get it in all kinds of different flavors. Most factorys just use hot melt glue on them so you can try that too. I wouldn't wrap them with anything though cause then your making a wall that stop airflow to other components which isn't usually a good thing to do.

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LasseK1981
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2018/12/05 16:50:49 (permalink)
My worst concern is that it will properly never get off the PCB again.. and also trying to force block and PCB away from each other IF the silicone could be strong enough to take small components with it.. 
 
But would be nice if everything else fail .. I cannot live with terrible coil whine.. but lets see in one weeks time when replacement comes back.. 
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2018/12/06 06:35:47 (permalink)


The above video from Buildzoid just came out. He talks about why they whine, which coils inductors are more likely to whine than others, and theories to reduce their whine. I hope he posts a follow-up video where he actually experiments with quieting them.
post edited by ty_ger07 - 2018/12/06 06:42:05
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LasseK1981
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2018/12/06 10:55:30 (permalink)
It could be so cool if someone followed up on it and actually did something about it... the most crazy thing is the manufactors dont! 
 
However buildzoid and other maybe disappointed when they find out in many new cases its not even the coils them self but the MOSFETs
 
https://youtu.be/N-z9PidYH4E?t=904
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Re: Muffling GPU chokes/inductors. Can it be done? 2018/12/07 09:13:59 (permalink)
LasseK1981
It could be so cool if someone followed up on it and actually did something about it... the most crazy thing is the manufactors dont! 
 
However buildzoid and other maybe disappointed when they find out in many new cases its not even the coils them self but the MOSFETs
 
https://youtu.be/N-z9PidYH4E?t=904




''It could be so cool if someone followed up on it and actually did something about it... the most crazy thing is the manufactors dont! ''
 
well you know  evga uses reference parts  and then there ''better'' aftermarket cards  use there gen2  parts  .. now  is it the reference parted cards suffer the most  with coil whine  ???
 
then you got to wonder  how much this could be in play  in some cards as well
 
''Furthermore, as we mentioned in our GTX 980 review, GTX 970 has been a pure virtual (no reference card) launch, which means all of NVIDIA’s partners are launching their custom cards right out of the gate. A lot of these have been recycled or otherwise only slightly modified GTX 700/600 series designs, owing to the fact that GM204’s memory bus has been held at 256-bits and its power requirements are so low.
[Anandtech .com]''
 
 
may then just come down to lucky or unlucky   I don't notice any coil whine from my 980 tis    classy [evga gen2 ]  and a hybrid [reference ]
 
gen2 pictured under 8+2 power phase part here
https://www.evga.com/articles/00957/evga-geforce-gtx-980-ti-ftw/
 
reference type in these pic's
https://www.evga.com/articles/00934/EVGA-GeForce-GTX-980-Ti/
 
 
thing is what help you get hrer that has not been posted in most all forums a million times and 100's of aricals on coil whine on these cards .. 
 
then you got to figure if you rma or exchange a card 2 or 3 times  with no change in coile whining   is it really now the cards  or something causing it outside the card ?
 
from 2014 - one of many
https://www.pcper.com/news/Graphics-Cards/GeForce-GTX-970-Coil-Whine-Concerns
 
 

 
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