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Unusual "humming" sound by GPU in Dreamfall Chapters


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#1 Niggelz

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 15:25

Hello everybody!

 

Yesterday I bought Dreamfall Chapters on GOG.com, installed and patched it to version 4.1.1 and started the game.

After a few minutes of gameplay I noticed a strange humming sound (not the fan, since it sounds distinctly different) coming from my GPU and could feel the PC case getting quite warm. When I minimized the game and switched back to Windows 10, the humming was gone immediately.

I started MSI Afterburner to monitor my GPU, went back into the game (*humming*), went back to Windows and could see that my GPU load reached levels up to 99% and never goes under ~65%. Which I find suspicious since I can run games like Battlefront, Metal Gear Solid V and The Witcher 3 without reaching those heights all the time. 

When I limit the frame rate to 30 fps the humming is gone but I don't see the point in having to play at 30 fps if my PC is capable of running it at rock-solid 60 fps (and more, but I use v-sync, of course).

 

Is this a familiar problem and/or is there any solution to it? As bad as I want to play the game I still don't want to kill my GPU  :wacko:

 

My specs:

 

CPU: i5 3570K @ 3.4 GHz

GPU: MSI Twin Frozr GTX 780 3GB VRAM

RAM: 8 GB Corsair Vengeance

Cooler: Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3

SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB

OS: Windows 10 64 Bit 

 

Thanks in advance, I appreciate any kind of help!

 

 PS: I'm German so please try to be forgiving in case you find any grammatical errors in my postings  ;)



#2 Ikon

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 16:06

That's an interesting problem. I haven't heard of anyone else having this exact issue.

 

I get that you would rather run at 60 frames/sec if your computer is capable of it, but DFC really doesn't need that kind of frame rate. It's not an FPS after all. I have found that 30 frames/sec is plenty. Have you considered/tried in between frame rates like 35, 40, 45, or 50? I suspect that may be the best way to go.


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#3 Morten

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 17:25

Rendering the game at 60 frames per second shouldn't require 99% of the GPU's workload, so something seems to not be right at all. Now, I don't know the refresh rate of your monitor, but since you're using V-Sync that should at least clamp it to the refresh rate.

If for some reason V-Sync doesn't work, or it's forced off in your GPU control panel, I'd understand how the GPU would be able to go "sort of" haywire.  :wacko:


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#4 Mr Moo

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 17:52

The sound you are hearing which isn't fan noise, may apparently be caused by the video card's voltage regulator. If it's really annoying (and it sure sounds like it is), then it's a valid reason for returning the video card (RMA). It's apparently not dangerous in any way, but it's annoying enough to be a cause for replacement. And if they refuse to replace it, you may insulate the components to eliminate most (if not all) of the sound, by following video guides (this would likely void the warranty though).

 

Link to an old discussion about this matter.

 

That said, you shouldn't get 100% GPU load in this game. But your hardware issue should be looked at in any event.



#5 Ikon

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 17:57

Yeah, no way should it be using using 100% of the GPU.


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#6 Niggelz

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 20:21

Thanks for all the replies so far!

 

Rendering the game at 60 frames per second shouldn't require 99% of the GPU's workload, so something seems to not be right at all. Now, I don't know the refresh rate of your monitor, but since you're using V-Sync that should at least clamp it to the refresh rate.

If for some reason V-Sync doesn't work, or it's forced off in your GPU control panel, I'd understand how the GPU would be able to go "sort of" haywire.  :wacko:

 

My monitor's refresh rate is the standard 60Hz, so 60fps should work just fine ;)

 

And for V-Sync: I tried every single combination of it, forcing it in-game, forcing it through the Nvidia Control Panel, tried the "Adaptive"-option, limited the frame rate (as stated above) through MSI Afterburner...all to no avail. Except for the 30fps solution but that is kind of the last resort for me.

 

The sound you are hearing which isn't fan noise, may apparently be caused by the video card's voltage regulator. If it's really annoying (and it sure sounds like it is), then it's a valid reason for returning the video card (RMA). It's apparently not dangerous in any way, but it's annoying enough to be a cause for replacement. And if they refuse to replace it, you may insulate the components to eliminate most (if not all) of the sound, by following video guides (this would likely void the warranty though).

 

Link to an old discussion about this matter.

 

That said, you shouldn't get 100% GPU load in this game. But your hardware issue should be looked at in any event.

 

It's not very loud but since my whole rig is designed to be as quiet as possible (case included), it is still noticeable and annoying. At least to me ;)

 

What irritates me is the fact that my graphics card (like the whole system) usually stays nearly completely silent even under heavy load. Technically much more demanding games like e.g. The Witcher 3 push the card to it's limits but I've never heard it make noise like it does while playing Dreamfall Chapters. Most of the time you can't even hear the fans so this humming is quite a concern to me.



#7 Lee-m

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 04:15


That said, you shouldn't get 100% GPU load in this game. But your hardware issue should be looked at in any event.

My GTX 980 frequently hits 99% gpu usage while playing DFC @ 60fps (v-sync on). It's not constant, but in the large areas it can spend quite abit of time there. So I would expect the OPs card to hit 99/100 fairly regular. At least in my experience.

The humming could be a bunch of stuff. It could be feed back from the powerlines when the gpu is stressed. Could be an inadequate/cheap PSU.
The original Dreamfall running in windowed mode used to do this to me on my old 470gtx, and most other games never did. It used to drive me insane !

You don't really say if the humming sound is direct from the hardware or coming out via your speakers/headphones but I just got a £5 ground loop isolator to attach between the sound output and the amplifier. Solved the problem :)


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#8 khh

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 13:25

It would be interesting to know what fps you get when you have V-sync enabled but not the 30 fps cap. You can enable fps to be displayed in Shadowplay, Steam (options, in-game, fps overlay) or recording software like fraps. If it stays below ~60 fps it's a problem with your GPU, if it goes above that it's a problem with the game or the engine.

And I seem to recall that there were some AMD players who were experiencing trouble with vertical sync not working right after the Unity 5 upgrade.

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#9 Ikon

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 14:36

Niggelz, Lee-m, you guys got me curious, so I fired up Afterburner and loaded a Propast saved game on my i7, 16GB RAM, GTX 750 Ti SC system. As with your systems, my GPU immediately jumped to 99%. Running along the river front in the Bricks I got the following:

 

  • 98 to 102 % GPU usage
  • GPU temp of 44C
  • frame rate of 32 to 43
  • GPU power of 100%

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#10 Lee-m

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 17:27

  • 98 to 102 % GPU usage

102% ? obviously that is not correct.

Stick with gpu-z for watching the gpu.

#11 Ikon

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 04:34

102% ? obviously that is not correct.

Stick with gpu-z for watching the gpu.

 

I just figured it just meant it was overclocking. Not familiar with gpu-z (I really don't play with this stuff too much any more. My days of bit twiddling are pretty much behind me).


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#12 Lee-m

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 07:04

I just figured it just meant it was overclocking.

Maybe. Its a really odd way to show the usage. Whats idle on that scale ? 2% or 0% lol ? What happens if its over clocked but showing 90% ? Strange software, but if your happy with it fine.

Anyway, my point was gfx cards getting maxed out by DFC is common, its not a symptom of some issue. A solid 60fps... I wouldn't have thought anyone would get that right now.

But if the humming sound is all the time, not just when the gpu stressed out, maybe it is a hardware issue.

I really got nothing else I can add unfortunately. Hope the issue gets resolved.

#13 Niggelz

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 17:34

It would be interesting to know what fps you get when you have V-sync enabled but not the 30 fps cap. You can enable fps to be displayed in Shadowplay, Steam (options, in-game, fps overlay) or recording software like fraps. If it stays below ~60 fps it's a problem with your GPU, if it goes above that it's a problem with the game or the engine.

And I seem to recall that there were some AMD players who were experiencing trouble with vertical sync not working right after the Unity 5 upgrade.

 

As I said, with V-Sync enabled I get a solid 60 fps. Never dips. At least in the first sequence, since I haven't got past that part because I don't want to run the risk of destroying my GPU ;) 

 

 

 

You don't really say if the humming sound is direct from the hardware or coming out via your speakers/headphones but I just got a £5 ground loop isolator to attach between the sound output and the amplifier. Solved the problem :)

 

It is from the hardware!

My PSU is be quiet! Straight Power E9 580W.



#14 Ikon

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 17:39

Stick with gpu-z for watching the gpu.

 

I downloaded GPU-Z. Turns out, I have seen it before. Besides the hardware pane being a royal pain to read, my main issue with it is I couldn't find a way for it to display the frame rate. Does GPU-Z have that feature as far as you know?


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#15 Lee-m

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 17:50

I downloaded GPU-Z. Turns out, I have seen it before. Besides the hardware pane being a royal pain to read, my main issue with it is I couldn't find a way for it to display the frame rate. Does GPU-Z have that feature as far as you know?

It's not for that. Its to display info on your gpu, and show sensor info, like temp, load and voltage. Its the gpu equivalent of cpu-z (obviously).

For fps display use shadow play(best option) or fraps.

It is from the hardware!
My PSU is be quiet! Straight Power E9 580W.

 
I havent looked up that psu, but it does seem some what underpowered for a guy with a gtx 780 and an i5. No idea what the efficiency on that is.

Nothing bad is gonna happen to your gpu imho. Not unless its already weak. It could just be the capacitors making the sound, thats fairly (ish) common, mostly on overclocked cards (factory or manual).

#16 Niggelz

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 18:09

 
I havent looked up that psu, but it does seem some what underpowered for a guy with a gtx 780 and an i5. No idea what the efficiency on that is.

Nothing bad is gonna happen to your gpu imho. Not unless its already weak. It could just be the capacitors making the sound, thats fairly (ish) common, mostly on overclocked cards (factory or manual).

 

Ok, I guess I should upgrade on my PSU then! Though I still wonder why this only happens with Dreamfall Chapters and not all the other, more demanding games.  



#17 Ikon

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 23:56

Though I still wonder why this only happens with Dreamfall Chapters and not all the other, more demanding games.  

 

Are we 100% certain those other games are actually more demanding, or is it being assumed?


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#18 Ikon

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 00:05

It's not for that. Its to display info on your gpu, and show sensor info, like temp, load and voltage. Its the gpu equivalent of cpu-z (obviously).

For fps display use shadow play(best option) or fraps.

 

For me, I can get everything I want from Afterburner.

 

I didn't think Shadow Play was supported on my GPUs. I'll have to check. I have used FRAPS in the past; it's OK, but sometimes I think it interfered with gameplay a bit.


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