Facing a strange problem

Priyadarshan bsd at bontempi.net
Thu Aug 18 07:51:05 UTC 2016

On Wed, 17 Aug 2016, at 19:11, Manish Jain wrote:
> Hi,
> I am facing a strange situation on my FreeBSD (10.3 amd64) box - some
> very 
> subtle hardware problem which I cannot determine what and which is
> causing me
> a lot of grief.
> 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.
> The noise is most pronounced as I hover and move among the categories in 
> the gnome3 Applications menu. 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. 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.
> 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. 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.
> Anyone who can help my identify the root cause would do an immense
> favour. 
> Short of buying a new computer, I am perfectly willing to spend some
> money 
> for new hardware that could put a fullstop to this messy noise. If the 
> noise is deemed to be from RAM, would installing a separate graphics card 
> solve the issue ? Suggestions are most welcome.
> Thanks for any help.
> Manish Jain

I had a similar issue with FreeBSD 10.x on a workstation with nVidia

It was high pitched, very audible, and changing in frequency, based on
CPU and IO activity.

Booting the same box from Linux was giving a different whine, lower
pitch, lower volume, and more stable (no much change, even with CPU and
IO activity).

When we changed the GPU (always nVidia), the whine changed again, more
subdued that time.

In that case, it was definitely the interaction between the driver and
the GPU.

They are giving us new workstations, with nVidia 970, I shall let you
know how they fare, it may take a month or so.


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