Quieting my StusserBeast

So I’ve got the XPS 420 we all bought a year ago, and it’s started making enough vibration noise to really bug me. It seems like a vibration of part of the case, perhaps one of the internal fans. It’s not generalized noise that could be fixed with case linings or sound dampeners. I think. I’m pretty sure. It’s a pain in the ass in that way that something is when you don’t notice it’s happening but suddenly find yourself very annoyed, then realize there’s been this annoying sound on the threshold of hearing for the last 20 minutes.

First off, does anyone else with a StusserBeast have this problem? If so, how have you dealt with it?

Second, how the heck do you diagnose PC case noise? I’ve opened up the side of the case while the PC is on to listen, but the hum that’s the main annoyance to me is only intermittent, and mostly eludes me. I touch the center of the GPU fan to slow it down briefly; no dice. Not the culprit. I hold on to various case components and other PCI cards, and no luck, either. If touching them dampens the noise for a second, it tends to come right back, even while I’m holding the case piece.

The CPU fan is incredibly hard to get to, so I can’t touch it while it’s running without taking some shit apart. The PSU fan is deep inside the PSU, which I’m not too keen on opening while it’s on.

Should I man up and stick a screwdriver in the PSU while I’m running Crysis? What should I do? This vibration is really starting to drive me nuts!

Yeah, you need to find the culprit.

Stop one fan at a time using a screwdriver or a pencil (not for too long though). Don’t open the PSU itself, but stick something slim through the openings in the case. The same with the case fan.

Have you tried putting a large book on top of the case?

If it’s just barely noticeable with the case open, it’s probably a loose component somewhere vibrating. Very tough to track down.

Cases don’t usually cause the underlying noise. They vibrate when something else vibrates. Based on the time period at hand I will offer one culprit: dust.

Clean the eternal hell out of every fan in your case with canned-spray air and either a small vacuum or a small brush to get it out of the case with. Start with the CPU fan, PSU fan, and GPU fan, and then work on to the case fans and even chipset fans if there are any on your motherboard.

If you still have massive case vibration after that, then you probably have something much more major that is wrong with your PC.

My 420 started getting loud during games, but was ok while idle. Turned out that it was just built up dust in the 8800GT’s fan. I used some compressed air and I’m back to quiet.

Cases are super quiet if you don’t put any components in them.

Or if you never run any power through those components.

Unless the “components” are actually rodents, at which point the case tends to get a lot quieter after you run power through them.

I have a 420 too (I refuse to call it a Stusserbeast cuz I recommended it first) and I get the same vibration problem. But I figure I’m responsible, from having upgraded the RAM, sound, and video and not doing something right along the way, then moving the machine coast to coast a few times. I think it’s vibrations along the metal doors.

I’ve found every case of “excessive noise” and/or vibrations is just a fan that needs some lubing. Disconnect your fans till you find the culprit, then oil it as necessary. Unless you’ve purchased peso fans from Mexico or something a simple lubing should fix whatever problem you have (every single one of my case fans has eventually worn down and needed oil).

If you don’t know how to do this, just peel the central sticker back on your fan, pop off the little cap there (some don’t have one) and then drop your oil into the center there. You probably don’t want to go crazy with it – I just use a little. Then slap the cap back on and press the sticker back in place.

Not buying a Dell solves the problem.

I mean, not really, Pogo. Any fan can get rusty with age. Well, whatever the dirty plastic equivalent of rusty is. Dirty, whatever. Need to stop typing no

Well it certainly doesn’t help that his PSU fan is deep inside his PSU. I’ve never seen a fan actually be on the inside of the PSU.

What? Every PSU fan is inside the PSU. The PSU is a box with stuff inside of it, always.

I think I may have misinterpreted what he meant by “deep inside.” I imagined some fan that you couldn’t see or could barely see, when every PSU fan I’ve seen is the first thing you see when looking at it from outside of the case, acting like a case fan.

Still, that would be the easiest thing to pinpoint the sound. Unless he really does mean it’s deep inside. Which is what I’m like… saying… man.

Is this an ear piercing edge of hearing whine?

It could be a fan scraping against it’s housing…

or… It could be your HDD dying…

I had a hard drive that started dying and it’s fan was fine. It wasn’t it’s power supply either.

I couldn’t figure out if it’s noise was what I was hearing or if I was going deaf. Its quite unique to hear something of that calibur. I asked my friends and there opinion was that I had to get my hard drive backed up quickly or it would lose it’s contents.

So find out if it’s your hard drive or not… you could loose something important.

Holy fucking hell man are you serious? Am I missing an inside joke?

I currently have this problem. I had assumed it was my 4 month old 4850 video card. The whine only starts up after a few minutes when it has a chance to get hot. I’m currently getting around the problem by having the case open and setting up a big box fan to blow air into the case, which keeps the whine from starting up most of the time.

It hadn’t occurred to me that it could be the hard drive. Hmmm.

When you receive a PM about your grammar, you will know.

On topic.
Yeah, HDDs can make a really high pitched whine that is the ball bearings or something inside them grating. From what I read, it is basically a death sentence. You could have anywhere from 2 minutes to 2 years, but things are going to go south soon.

I thought my laptop fans were grating loudly, until I turned off my laptop and left my external on… and the whine persisted.

I’ve got this precise issue in my 420, though it only seems to manifest in Fallout 3. After a few minutes of playing, one of the fans, I assume the GPU fan, starts revving up like crazy, and making huge amounts of noise. If I hit escape to bring up the menu, it gradually slows down and stops. I’ve run an Nvidia GPU temperature monitor, and it logs the temperature as a consistent 65 degrees throughout. I’ve blown all the dust out of the card, but this damn whine will not cease. No other game is producing this issue, weirdly, and Fallout 3 only started causing it in the last month or so. Driving me batty.