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NUC 11 Pro Coil Whine

JRS1
Beginner
1,389 Views

Is coil whine typical for NUC11TN units?

I noticed mine keep very high pitched chirping while idling and fan is spinning around 25% speed. I can hear chirping slightly over fan noise. Definitely coming from the unit itself.

I'm not sure it did it when I got it couple weeks ago but I just now noticed it, so I'm pretty sure it was not there. I've heard worse whining in other computers too, so this is not extremely loud and I was wondering if that is a feature as it tend to be in case with other computers I've seen (heard) it happening?

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21 Replies
AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
1,198 Views

Hello @JRS1

Thank you for posting on the Intel® communities.


In order to review this further, could you please provide us with the following information?

1- Date of purchase of the Intel® NUC:

2- An audio or video file of the sound/behavior.

3- Run the Intel® System Support Utility (Intel® SSU) to gather more details about the system:

  • Download the Intel® SSU and save the application on your computer
  • Open the application, check the "Everything" checkbox, and click "Scan" to see the system and device information. The Intel® SSU defaults to the "Summary View" on the output screen following the scan. Click the menu where it says "Summary" to change to "Detailed View".
  • To save your scan, click Next and click Save.
  • Once you have saved the file (.txt file), please attach it to your reply.

To upload and attach a file, use the "Drag and drop here or browse files to attach" option below the response textbox.


Best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician


JRS1
Beginner
1,180 Views

1. It was bought January 2022 (manufacturing date is December 2021).

 

2. I tried to make this but my phone seems to pick up all ambient noises so it is hard to hear from those. I will try again later with fan off or very slow. I think it is almost  impossible to hear with default Balanced fan mode because fan is running so fast. I need to test more.

 

3. I rather not install any unneccessary apps to my NUC but my NUC11TNKI5 is with just with added Samsung 980 Pro 1TB NVMe drive and 16GB Ram (Crucial 2x8GB kit CT2K8G4SFRA32A (16 chip version modules). Nothing else but Monitor on HDMI 2 port, USB to Centronics adapter on backside USB 3 port and Logitech Unifying receiver on USB 2.0 port. Windows 11 with drivers dowloaded from Intel.com (latest available, those that are not listed for Windows 11 I used Windows 10 drivers as instructed).

 

Let me ask this first. By asking this detail does it mean NUC11TNKI5 powered on should not make any sound at all when Fan is not running?

 

This coil whine is not terribly loud but it seems to get louder when Power Options / PCI Express LSPM is turned OFF (default is MAX). When it is off I can hear this from arms lenght away in a completely silent room, but when it is OFF it is almost impossible to hear. I think why I noticed this sound was after I changed Power Options.

 

Also while my NUC is in sleep mode (power led blinking), there is slight ticking sound. Seems to vary and it might get lower if it is longer in sleep mode. I need to test more.

JRS1
Beginner
1,175 Views

I tested more and I noticed that putting ear right next (almost touching) to right side air intake grille that is where coil whine is easiest to hear. This is where I can hear it when fan is running at 25% speed (about 1400rpm) and Power Options is on default PCI Express LSPM Max (when turning off, it is louder).

JRS1
Beginner
1,147 Views

I'm still in process trying to get recording of coil whine but in the mean time, I found similar post in this forum about similar problem. 

community.intel.com/t5/Intel-NUCs/NUC8i7HVK-coil-whine-problem/m-p/699715#M70070

Sounds from my NUC11TNKI5 are similar, there is just variation in how loud or what kind of intervals (it is more like chirping type pattern in my unit, maybe related to ssd activity or cpu partly) it happens when I change LSPM setting in Windows 11. Also there is almost constant silent clicking sounds coming when unit is in Sleep mode with fan off or very low.
Also in my unit, I use only 25% (1400rpm) fan setting, so it makes any background noises from the machine possible to hear because default Balanced fan mode is so loud it will hide coil whine.

 

In the mean time, can you confirm if NUC11TNKI5 is supposed to be completely silent with fan off or at 25% speed when putting ear almost touching range or within small distance from the machine in a completely silent room? I mean if that is the case, then there is obvious problem with my NUC. I just want to avoid unnecessary steps trying to get silent machine in case this is normal for this model but most peoples just don't listen to it so carefully or not use low fan speed or just cannot hear this type of sounds even they are there.

Please reply.

AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
1,139 Views

Hello JRS1

Thank you for your response and for all the details.


Please allow us to review further the information you shared and your concerns. We will be posting back as soon as more details are available.

Note: Just for clarification purposes, the Intel® SSU tool does not "install" on a system. It is a portable .exe file that automatically runs when double-clicking on it just to collect system information.


Best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician


AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
1,116 Views

Hello JRS1

 

After reviewing this further, we have confirmed that using stock settings the Intel® NUC is absolutely quiet when powering on.

No noise is audible from the fan or coil noise. Please see BIOS picture for Cooling options.

Cooling NUC11.jpg

 

Our recommendation is to try a new power adapter. We recommend reaching out to Intel® Customer Support directly through phone or chat to review warranty status for your Intel® NUC and for assistance to try a new power adapter.

Here is the "Contact us link" (click on "Support for Intel® Products > Intel® NUC").

Please make sure to select your country or region and to contact us within your local business Support hours. Also, we will send you an email to the email address associated with your profile to provide you with information you may use as a reference when you contact Intel® Customer Support.

 

Best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician

 

JRS1
Beginner
1,108 Views

Did you test it with FAN off or only 25% speed? Like I mentioned in my previous messages, default BALANCED mode is way too loud to hear coil whine. Based on the photo you posted, you have been using BALANCED mode with fan running at 42% speed (that masks coil whine in my unit too).

Also did you actually tested it in a completely silent room? Additional noises like loud room ventilation or such may also mask this sound, so it is best test in a silent room to make sure.

 

Like I mentioned, Windows power options also make difference to how louc coil whine is.

If just going to bios (pressing F2 during power on), als coil whine is different and very mild compared to while using Windows 11.

AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
1,089 Views

Hello JRS1

Thank you for your response and for the additional details. Please allow us to review further regarding your concerns and we will be posting back as soon as more information is available.


Best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician


JRS1
Beginner
1,077 Views

Great!

 

Here are my Bios Cooling Options settings listed in detail:

Fan Control Mode = Custom
Fan off capability = off
Primary Temperature Sensor = CPU
Maximum Temperature = 95
Minimum Temperature = 75
Minimum Duty Cycle (%) = 25
Duty Cycle Increment (%/C) = 8

Secondary Temperature Sensor = SSD
Maximum Temperature = 65
Minimum Temperature = 48
Minimum Duty Cycle (%) = 25
Duty Cycle Increment (%/C) = 4

 

Also I have tested using settings with Fan Off capability = on (combined with settings where Fan Off Temperature is adjusted so high that Fan is (mostly) off in use, like 55-60C). In this case it is easiest to hear possible coil whine due to there is no additional noises from the cooling fan. Again all this needs to be done in a completely silent room. Probably normal office room with ventilation might be too loud environment to hear this very well.

 

With these settings machine is otherwise very silent and for that in a completely silent room I can hear coil whine from very close distance. Most easy it is to hear when I put my ear right next to side air intake grille.

AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
1,045 Views

Hello JRS1

Thank you for your patience in this matter.


After checking this further, we would like to share the following details regarding your concerns:

  1. Question: Did you test it with FAN off or only 25% speed? Answer: We tested the Intel® NUC on default settings. We did not make any changes.
  2. Question: Did you actually test it in a completely silent room? Answer: yes, it was a quiet room. No external noises.


At this point, our recommendation is still to contact Intel® Customer Support for warranty assistance either to replace the Intel® NUC or the power supply for a Liteon brand.


Best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician


JRS1
Beginner
1,040 Views

@AndrewG_Intel wrote:

Hello JRS1

Thank you for your patience in this matter.

 

After checking this further, we would like to share the following details regarding your concerns:

  1. Question: Did you test it with FAN off or only 25% speed? Answer: We tested the Intel® NUC on default settings. We did not make any changes.
  2. Question: Did you actually test it in a completely silent room? Answer: yes, it was a quiet room. No external noises.

 

At this point, our recommendation is still to contact Intel® Customer Support for warranty assistance either to replace the Intel® NUC or the power supply for a Liteon brand.

 

Best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician



Thanks for your reply but I don't understand why you did not test with the settings I listed??? As I said, default Balanced cooling mode is way too loud to make it possible to hear this Coil Whine I described because fan is running so high speed (fan is way too loud for my taste in that mode). Can't you try it with the settings I listed or try even with fan off in a completely quiet room?

I don't see a point testing with the way you say (unless you do not actually want to check it for possible Coil Whine)?

 

You mentioned getting Liteon brand PSU. Is there some knows problem with Coil Whine with other brand PSU's?

I think mine says Chicony. Also do you actually have NUC11TNKI5's in stock to replace it with the new unit? I would not want to trade brand new unit for refurbished, especially when it is not even sure these sound be 0db silent regarding Coil Whine!?!?

AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
1,026 Views

Hello JRS1

Thank you for your response.


In regards to your questions, please allow us to explain the following:

1- Question: You mentioned getting Liteon brand PSU. Is there some knows problem with Coil Whine with other brands PSU's? I think mine says Chicony.

Answer: We basically have replaced Huntkey power adapters, we have checked internally with our team but do not have reports of defective "chicony" brand power adapters.

 

2- Question: Do you actually have NUC11TNKI5's in stock to replace it with the new unit? I would not want to trade brand new unit for refurbished, especially when it is not even sure these sounds be 0db silent regarding Coil Whine!?!?

Answer: We cannot guarantee a new replacement, we understand they are "known working units" for replacements.


Also, we are reviewing your comments about testing with the specific settings that you listed. As soon as we have more information about this matter, we will be posting it here in the thread.


Best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician


AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
986 Views

Hello JRS1


We would like to inform you that we have tested this again and followed the steps you provided using the BIOS settings that you shared and we did not get any problem in a silent room. This is either a NUC board-bios or power supply issue. Therefore, we recommend following our previous instructions and contacting Intel® Customer Support to replace the power supply or the Intel® NUC.


Thank you for all your efforts and best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician


JRS1
Beginner
967 Views

@AndrewG_Intel wrote:

Hello JRS1

 

We would like to inform you that we have tested this again and followed the steps you provided using the BIOS settings that you shared and we did not get any problem in a silent room. This is either a NUC board-bios or power supply issue. Therefore, we recommend following our previous instructions and contacting Intel® Customer Support to replace the power supply or the Intel® NUC.

 

Thank you for all your efforts and best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician



Checking few things about your test. Did you have your machine booted in Windows 11 while listening to it? Also from what distance you listened to it? In my unit I can easily hear it when my ear it right next to unit but I can notice sounds from 20-40 cm from the unit, even up to my normal distance where I sit (maybe 60-70cm from the unit) but only if I concentrate listening to it very carefully.

Did you have the same parts inside the machine I have? Mine has Samsung 980 Pro 1TB NVMe and 16GB Ram (Crucial 2x8GB kit CT2K8G4SFRA32A (16 chip version modules). I’m not sure but maybe some of the sounds come from Samsung NVMe because it seems to change depening on how I use it.

 

Is Coil Whine indication that unit or PSU is broken / failing soon or possible dangerous (especially PSU), or is this purely ”cosmetic” issue? As I said before I would not want to take a risk of getting possible refurbished unit as replacament. Also I’m concerned what if new unit also is making this sound? 

It would be interesing to hear from other NUC11TNKI5 owners if their units are 100% free from Coil Whine with the settings I listed?

AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
933 Views

Hello JRS1

Thank you for your response.


Please allow us to share the following details in regards to your comments/questions:

1- "Did you have your machine booted in Windows 11 while listening to it?"

Yes, we tested using Windows* 11 Pro 10.0.22000 Build 22000.

2- "From what distance did you listen to it?"

Once the lab was conducted we were very close to the product. We do not have a measure but typically we tried to place the ear next to the NUC on a room dedicated for Labs. Silent ambient.

3- "Did you have the same parts inside the machine I have?"

The Lab was not complete using the same hardware as the one that you reported. We always use tested components.

4- "I’m not sure but maybe some of the sounds come from Samsung NVMe because it seems to change depending on how I use it?"

If you are willing to try, you can test another drive that may prove this behavior.

5- "Is Coil Whine indication that unit or PSU is broken/failing soon or possibly dangerous (especially PSU), or is this purely a ”cosmetic” issue? As I said before I would not want to take a risk of getting a possible refurbished unit as a replacement.

We have received reports that it may be caused by the power supply but also the NUC (board). Replacement units are always "known good working units".

6- "I’m concerned what if a new unit also is making this sound?"  

We cannot assure this information but based on our testing, this issue does not occur to all NUCs.


Best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician


JRS1
Beginner
912 Views

"Once the lab was conducted we were very close to the product. We do not have a measure but typically we tried to place the ear next to the NUC on a room dedicated for Labs. Silent ambient."

 

So you are stating NUC should be dead silent (0 db) while running with fan turned off or if fan running only very low speed only fan noise should be heard and nothing else even with ear almost touching the unit in a dead silent room?

I'm not sure what you mean by dedicated room for Labs but I assume it is isolated room typical without ventilation typically used in office spaces? Because that kind of ventilation itself is causing room to be pretty loud.

 

Again I want to make sure to avoid going fool's errand trying to find completaly silent unit.

 

I found this thread in Reddit about previous generation NUC with pretty similar sound mine makes. Based on that it turned out that OP exchanged his unit but still had the same sound, just not as loud. Hard to judge from video how loud that was in reality but sound itself is similar to mine, especially ticking (which is not from fan I'm 100% sure).

https://www.reddit.com/r/intelnuc/comments/mpqthl/today_i_got_the_intel_nuc_nuc10i7fnh2_im_verry/

 

"The Lab was not complete using the same hardware as the one that you reported. We always use tested components."

 

Could you list the parts you had in your test unit? You had at least some fast NVMe drive (Samsung preferably to have even close to the same I have here).

 

"If you are willing to try, you can test another drive that may prove this behavior."

 

I don't have another NVMe I could try but I try to investigate it other way. I've seen quite many mentions about coil whine in NVMe drives, so that could be part of the problem.

 

 

5- "Is Coil Whine indication that unit or PSU is broken/failing soon or possibly dangerous (especially PSU), or is this purely a ”cosmetic” issue? As I said before I would not want to take a risk of getting a possible refurbished unit as a replacement.

"We have received reports that it may be caused by the power supply but also the NUC (board). Replacement units are always "known good working units"."

 

I see that but is this Coil Whine indication of something failing completely soon or possibly being even dangerous like fire hazard or such, or is this only "cosmetic" issue and safe to use if you ignore the sound?

 

"We cannot assure this information but based on our testing, this issue does not occur to all NUCs."

 

Do you have actual production unit manufactured around December 2021 in your hands to test or are you relying to "golden" sample / preproduction unit?

 

Also how warranty actually works and is it available in every EU country? Do you first have to send your unit in, or do you first get replacement and then return faulty?

 

 

AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
852 Views

Hello JRS1

Thank you for your response.


We have completed the lab with compatible hardware and we didn't find coil whine issues. For instance, on one of the units, we used Intel® SSDPEKKW020T8 and RAM Crucial* Ballistix Sport LT.

At this point, our recommendation is to replace the PSU or the NUC. Please note that we as a community don't handle the warranty process for EU countries, and we are not aware of the specific local process. For more information, we recommend contacting Intel® Customer Support in your location so they may assist you to verify how the process works and more information about it.


Best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician


JRS1
Beginner
804 Views

Thanks for your reply, but there was so many open questions in my previous message which you commented nothing?

 

We have completed the lab with compatible hardware and we didn't find coil whine issues. For instance, on one of the units, we used Intel® SSDPEKKW020T8 and RAM Crucial* Ballistix Sport LT.

 

But I don't see a point for testing it with only 2666MHz memory when my system is using 3200MHz. Also seems like tested hardware list is full of under 3200MHz memory or otherwise old models that are not commonly available anymore but NUC 11 support 3200MHz, so it would make sense to test correct speed memory with it.

Also NVMe you used for testing is pretty low performance model, it would be nice if you could try even some of the Samsung NVMe you list on supported hardware list.

 

At this point, our recommendation is to replace the PSU or the NUC. Please note that we as a community don't handle the warranty process for EU countries, and we are not aware of the specific local process. For more information, we recommend contacting Intel® Customer Support in your location so they may assist you to verify how the process works and more information about it.

 

I'm afraid my location does not have direct support or warranty from Intel and all goes through seller. However problem is that seller was also from another country (within EU also) and there is a lot of delays and uncertain things with this procedure whether they consider this a fault or minor feature. I got impression they consider Coil Whine generally common feature with many different computers (not just Intel specifically) and they will need to listen to it whether they think it is excessive and if not then I have to pay labor cost for testing and freight cost both ways, easily quarter to half of what NUC cost, so I would not want to take a risk is this turns out to be common with currently sold NUC's after all. That's why it would have been good to hear if you could try yourselves with some recently manufactured unit and not just some lab sample/development units to make sure?

 

My friend recently got NUC too (not sure which model exactly but it is NUC 11) and I may be able to check it when I visit there, so maybe I might be able to check it myself if it is completely silent before sending my in to seller.

 

I also consider I might just move my NUC further away to make it impossible to hear any sounds from the unit but it is still open whether in NUC case it is safe to ignore Coil Whine? Is it purely "cosmetic" issue and pose no actual danger, or it is sign of possible danger like fire hazard or early failure happening soon?

 

 

 

AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
740 Views

Hello JRS1

Thank you for your response. Please allow us to double-check this and we will be posting back as soon as possible.


Sincerely,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician


AndrewG_Intel
Moderator
700 Views

Hello JRS1


Coil whine is a high pitched noise caused by the vibration of an electromagnetic coil as current runs through it.

An example of coil whine can be found in this YouTube* video.

We tested this on an equivalent unit and we don't hear any other noise different than the spinning fan. We have performed several labs, followed your instructions and the same BIOS settings and we are not getting the behavior you reported. At this point, what we can offer is a refund if you are not happy with the device.


We don't process warranty over the community, you will need to call/webchat or chat directly with us in order to process the warranty. We will send you an email with some information you can use as a reference when contacting Intel Customer Support in your region.


Having said that, we will proceed to close this request now. Thank you for your understanding.

If you need any additional information, please submit a new question as this thread will no longer be monitored.


Best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician


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