We’ve all been there – you’re in the middle of an intense game when suddenly, your computer starts making an annoying buzzing sound. If you’re like most people, you immediately start looking for a way to make it stop.
Unfortunately, the buzzing sound usually comes from your power supply unit, and it’s not always easy to make it stop.
In this post, we’ll explain what causes PSU buzzing while gaming and how you can stop it. We’ll also give you some tips on how to avoid the problem in the future and talk about the dangers of not fixing it.
Why Is My PSU Buzzing While Gaming?
There are a number of reasons that could cause your PSU to make a buzzing sound when you play games, these are:
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This is a pretty common issue that tends to result in your PSU (Power Supply Unit) buzzing while gaming. The buzzing sound occurs when the components of the unit rattle.
This tends to happen when a large amount of electricity is flowing; especially in the inductors. However, it is not a sign of a defective unit.
Your PSU Is Incorrectly Positioned
Your PSU will likely emit a buzzing sound if it interacts with another component. For example, if it is positioned in a manner that has it touching a cable, it will buzz as a result of the interaction.
In this case, simply try repositioning your unit.
Your Computer Requires More Power
When your PSU is unable to deliver the amount of power needed by your gaming computer, it begins to struggle. The buzzing sound is a sign that it is attempting and failing to provide the required amount.
This is quite common among games that are relatively demanding like Far Cry or Warhammer 2.
A Broken Or Impaired Part
A PSU has a ton of internal components and a broken part is unlikely to be visible from the outside.
As the parts are inside a casting that should not be opened, the buzzing sound indicates that a component needs to be replaced.
Take your unit to a technician, don’t do it at home if you don’t know what you are doing.
What Are The Dangers Of A Buzzing PSU?
Although a buzzing PSU while gaming will not always be faulty or an area of concern, there are a few exceptions.
Can Cause Hardware Damage To Your Other Components
If your PSU is in fact faulty, it can cause severe hardware damage to your other components.
Individuals who regularly notice hardware failures (for example new PC fans constantly dying) are likely to have a PSU that is faulty.
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Additionally, a PSU that delivers irregular power or too much power is likely to overload your hardware parts. Therefore, always steer clear of refurbished Power Supply Units.
If you ever notice a burning scent or smoke coming out of your PC, you have damaged components. If you ever notice either of these two signs while gaming, switch your device off as soon as possible and open the case.
Ensure the motherboard and PSU are carefully inspected for damages.
Do keep in mind that damages will be relatively less obvious when it is a capacitor. When a capacitor is overloaded you are likely to hear a bang- indicating the fact that an electric surge has been prevented.
In order to check for a malfunctioned capacitor, look for relatively darkened or discoloured areas.
Although a skilled technician can undoubtedly change a dead capacitor, the same incident is likely to occur repeatedly if you have a buzzing/faulty PSU.
Therefore, consider replacing your PSU as soon as possible.
How To Fix PSU Buzzing While Gaming
Now that you know what causes it and the dangers associated, let’s look at how to fix it.
Step #1: Find Where The Sound Is Coming From
Simply open the side of your case and listen carefully to each part. Once you are sure of the location, proceed with the troubleshooting process.
Additionally, ensure you do not touch any components while the case is open.
A lot of gamers are surprised as they often discover that the buzzing is coming from the motherboard or graphics card instead of the PSU!
Step #2: Reposition and Clean the PSU
The key to solving issues that involve dust or incorrect positioning is to clean your PSU.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what to do:
- Having switched off your PC, flip the PSU switch and unplug it from the wall. Open the case after about 5 minutes.
- Next, unscrew the power supply at the back of the case.
- Using compressed air, begin cleaning the inside of your computer (Start at the top and work your way towards the bottom). Once you reach the power supply area, blow the air directly onto the fans.
- Check if the fans spin freely as the dust is being removed from them. Make sure you target the area in between the PSU and the point that it screws in.
- If your PSU was incorrectly positioned, make sure it is placed firmly on the base of the case (or side) that you plan to remount it. Ensure it is well screwed into place so that it does not move or rub against other components.
- Once you have completed the above steps, switch your PC on and check to see if the buzzing persists. If it does, begin checking for other issues.
Step #3: Look for Conflicts
A simple way to look for conflicts would be to switch off your PC and run your finger along the connections when your device is off.
Look for irregularities in the wires, places the wires snag or other obstacles in general.
If you come across such issues, use cable management to bundle and fix everything that you can. Finally, check to see whether it fixed the buzzing issue.
Step #4: Watch Your Temperatures
If you are unable to locate the source of the buzzing after a careful examination of your PSU, its positioning and other components, consider using a temperature monitor.
Once a temperature monitor has been installed on your PC, you will be able to use multiple options to track your CPU and GPU temperatures.
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- Put the monitor on a second screen. By doing this, you will be able to view it while running full-screen programs on your primary monitor as well.
- Make a note of the temperatures during the times when the PSU is not buzzing. This will give you a baseline of the heat of your device at any given time.
- Once the PSU starts buzzing, make a note of the temperatures. If it is higher than the usual temperature, the buzzing sound is likely to be related to the computer requiring more power and the PSU struggling to provide the amount needed.
Step #5: Pay Attention to the Timing
If you only hear the buzzing sound while your PC is being switched off, for example, it could simply be the sound of the power draining from the capacitors.
As long as your PSU and computer have no other issues, this will not be an area of concern.
However, if the buzzing is heard for extended periods of time at random moments, it is best to have it examined by a professional.
Step #6: Track Your Voltage
Use a voltage tracker to see if there are any unusual lags or spikes without performance boosts, which could be a sign that your PSU either has a damaged internal component or has reached the end of its life.
If you discover that the voltage is far from what was expected, consider replacing your PSU.
Replacement is definitely the better option in this case, as the failure to replace can result in your PSU dying while being used- an occurrence that can leave other components burnt.