SSD squeaking / buzzing?

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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SSD squeaking / buzzing?

Post by dkslim » Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:15 am

I have tried 2 different SSDs (Western Digital 256gb and Intel 320 120gb), they both make high-pitch squeaking and buzzing sounds when undergoing activity, particularly when running benchmarks. The noise is very soft, most people I think won't notice such a small noise. But has anyone here noticed it too? I am worried that this might be a sign of problems later on.

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Re: SSD squeaking / buzzing?

Post by Vicotnik » Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:18 am

Are you sure the sound is coming from the SSD? I have faint squeaks now with my new system, seems to be I/O-related but not only when the SSD is involved but also when I write to an USB-stick for example. In my case the sound is coming from the motherboard.

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Re: SSD squeaking / buzzing?

Post by mentawl » Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:43 am

I get the same thing if I have EIST and the other CPU power saving features enabled on my motherboard. Could try turning them off temporarily to see if that is indeed the issue :)

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Re: SSD squeaking / buzzing?

Post by mikewu » Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:49 am

I hear the same thing, but I'm pretty sure that it is coming from the power components on the motherboard and not my SSD or power supply. For me it is both during network and disk activity.

I think it comes from the fact that when you're doing I/O you're getting really short bursts of large activity from the CPU, memory, buses every time a packet/sector of data comes in. Then, because all of our PCs are fast now, everything goes dead idle for what to the PC seems like a long time until the next packet/sector comes in. The CPU current must look like a PWM waveform with something like a 5% duty cycle.

Probably happens with every device to some degree, but SSDs must be delivering data with a frequency that happens to bother us more, or are delivering data at a higher data rate that is causing more CPU current volatility.

Whatever it is, it drives me crazy because there isn't anything I can do about sound coming out of components on a motherboard other than shove the whole thing into a dampened case. My quietest system actually uses a normal WD10EADS (1TB, 5400RPM) hard drive. I can't hear it idle at all outside of the case and seeks are muffled that I almost never notice them. And for sure, those seeks bother me far less than the squeaking from the MB.

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Re: SSD squeaking / buzzing?

Post by dkslim » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:35 pm

Yes, I am very sure it is coming from the SSD.

I had the SSD outside of the computer case, 1m away from everything else, and I put my ear right next to the SSD. The noise I heard coincides exactly with the time I do the benchmarks. So it is 100% confirmed that the noise is coming from the SSD.

Now, I know the noise can come from other components too, I am very familiar with that. I have a motherboard that does the same squeaking/buzzing when C1E is enabled, so I have it disabled - and I have a chosen a power supply that has minimal squeaking/buzzing. The noise I'm discussing in this thread, is all about the SSD, nothing to do with power supply or motherboard or graphics card. To make myself 100% satisfied, I plugged the SSD in a completely different computer (different chipset), and the SSD made the same noise there.

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Re: SSD squeaking / buzzing?

Post by multiplexer » Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:27 am

Well, it's not all to strange that an SSD can squeak. SSDs are fed from 5V while the microelectronics usually run at 1.8-3.3V and the NAND flash runs at 12-24V. There's bound to be at least two voltage regulators on the board, and I know as a matter of fact that Intel always uses switching supplies for this purpose (some manufacturers use linear supplies for the microelectronics, but a switching supply is always necessary for the NAND supply). These can output some noise and yes, that noise should change with load.

That being said, my three X25-V's are dead silent, as is my Vertex 2 60GB. In other systems I've built for other people - with predominantly OCZ and Intel SSDs - I have also never observed noise coming from drives. It's certainly not a universal problem.

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