Facing a strange problem

Polytropon freebsd at edvax.de
Wed Aug 17 21:00:36 UTC 2016

On Wed, 17 Aug 2016 19:11:10 +0000, Manish Jain wrote:
> I recently upgraded my motherboard, CPU and DDR RAM because the previous 
> hardware was making a lot of high-pitched noise. After installing the new 
> MB + CPU + CPU fan RAM, the high-pitched noise (which resembles a bad 
> bearing turning furiously) has not gone away. The pitch has changed, but there
> is an incessant noise which becomes pretty irritating after some time sitting 
> next to the PC.


Many years ago, I had the same observation with a Voodoo graphics card
inside a 500 MHz Pentium III system. Especially what you describe next
sounds familiar:

> The noise is most pronounced as I hover and move among the categories in 
> the gnome3 Applications menu.

I also noticed a relation to what the graphics card was doing. Especially
when rendering 3D stuff (while doing OpenGL programming), the sound was
very annoying. It could be "modulated" by changing the window size or
the screen resolution.

> I have no idea whether this has anything to do 
> with Radeon HD 8470D onboard graphics chip, which is currently unsupported 
> on FreeBSD and has to be driven with the vesa driver. But it is a 
> possibility because, as far as I remember, the noise was not present when 
> I was running Windows XP with the correct official graphics driver.

The GPU does different things internally depending on the driver.
Especially the direct rendering functionality is different from
what the "software renderer" does which generates the result image
in VESA mode.

> If the 
> noise is related to graphics, then quite likely the source would be the 
> RAM modules - my system's video RAM comes from the main RAM.

Interesting thought.

> Other possibilities include the power supply unit and the cables. I am 
> currently ruling out the MB, CPU and CPU fan because all of them are brand 
> new.

Have you ever heard the term "defective by design"? ;-)

> I suppose the hard disk can also be ruled out it is a solid state 
> disk purchased just 2 months back. Except for the mouse, all USB devices 
> too can be ruled too because I disconnected all USB peripherals (bar 
> the mouse, for which I changed the port from backside to front) and the 
> noise keeps coming unabated.

Some years ago, I read an article about the mouse movement (!) making
noises through the sound "card"... but when you hear the noises from
the system, not from speakers or via headphones, this probably is not
the case here.

> If the 
> noise is deemed to be from RAM, would installing a separate graphics card 
> solve the issue ?

That depends on the graphics card. You should choose wisely which brand
and model you obtain. Compatibility is as much an issue as acceptable
driver support, but luckily there are several good GPUs which are known
to work with FreeBSD.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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