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My computer recently began making a pulsating buzzing noise. It will be sitting quietly, when all off a sudden there's a buzzBuzzBUZZBuzzbuzz sound, repeating again and again. It's actually pretty quiet - but it's definitely noticeable. I'm worried that something might be borked!

I recently installed a new GFX card, could that have something to do with it?

It's a desktop PC tower, without integrated speakers (no cell interference).

The sound will stop and start randomly - I'll have the noise going on for a good 20m, I'll leave my computer, come back, and it's gone. It does not seem to be associated with any computing processes (ie, high CPU consumption, demanding graphics...).

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Did you try switching back to the old graphics card? Also check that card and all the cables are properly seated. – ChrisF Jan 1 '12 at 22:41
Are you comfortable with your computer, you could open it and see if a fan might be causing the noise and possibly see the cause if so. – Serodis Jan 1 '12 at 22:43
It could be the GFX card, mine squeels (not buzz, thats why I am not posting as a answer) in tune with the current Z depth I am looking at (how a bad cap tunes to the Z depth I will never know) Some modles of video cards are notourous for "Singing Caps". Does the sound start/stop when using a 3D game? – Scott Chamberlain Jan 1 '12 at 23:36
Chris - I did not, maybe that's what I should do next. Serodis - That actually sounds likely, the fan was at running pretty strong when the noise was happening! How would I confirm this? Scott - Thanks, but nope. – guywhoneedsahand Jan 2 '12 at 4:40
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Depending on the kind of buzz, cables or dust.

Most of the noise for me ends up being dust/lint in the fans. A shot of compressed air will do it, but be sure to check em all... case fans (possibly more than one), graphics card (probly not on the new one), cpu/heatsink...

Also make sure no stray cables are dipping close to a fan. Heat changes can create some movement & account for erratic noises that come & go.

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Well, this might be an odd question, but is there a mobile phone near the speakers? I've heard interference from them before and its quite common - it sounds something like this. If its that, well, move your phone.

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Unfortunately no, it's coming directly from the computer (which has no integrated speakers). – guywhoneedsahand Jan 2 '12 at 4:40

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