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Noisy Gtx980? 2015 15" MBP, Thunder2


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Hi, I've not posted on here since I built my eGPU for my 2015 MacBook Pro over a year ago. That unit was an Akitio Thunder2, RM 650W PSU, CoolerMaster 130 case, powered riser cable with a Zotac GTX 770 card.


It's mainly used for playing Elite Dangerous on and it has been working perfectly.


Recently I had the opportunity to upgrade the GTX 770 to a GTX 980 Reference card. It was pretty much a straight swap out except for the cards power connectors. On the GTX 770 these were 1 x 8-pin and 1 x 6-pin connectors. On the GTX 980 these are 2 x 6-pin connectors.


Simple enough with my 650W PSU I just switched connectors. I am using the same powered riser cable for the PCIe connection.

The unit boots up and works okay on Windows 10 via the display port connection. It will even play Elite Dangerous on Ultra settings and give a steady 60fps.


So all good! Why am I posting here and asking for help???


Well, I noticed that when playing Elite Dangerous I could hear a high pitched electronic screaming noise coming from the unit. At first I thought it was the GTX 980 power coil as apparently they do sometimes do this. However on closer inspection the noise is coming from the Akitio board.


It appears to be power related, so I tried to stress the card (and hopefully use more power) by using 3D Mark 11. Sure enough when running the benchmark tests the Akitio board makes a very high pitched electronic screaming noise. The noise stops when the tests stops. So it is caused by load on the graphics card and therefore I presume power, or lack of it.


Do you think power is the problem here? If so, what should I do? I don't use the 2.5mm power adapter input on the Akitio board because my powered riser cable has a MOLEX adapter attached to it. 


Should I scrap the powered riser cable and get a non-powered version and then create a MOLEX to 2.5mm DC adapter plug for the Akitio power socket? Would that supply enough power for the GTX 980.


The GTX 770 never had this problem, but I presume the GTX 980 draws a lot more power under load.


I've attached some pictures below. Any help or advice you can give would be appreciated.





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Noises because of GPU load are more common nowdays with the Maxell GPUs! That is because the GPUs now have a very complex power management, allowing the GPU to switch extremly fast between power states and loads.

A very common problem are the GTX970 cards with poor coils and weak power system on the card.

A bad PSU can cause the same problems, but I would say that the AKiTiOs power system was not made for such high loads and reacts with that sounds. It's no problem, just a bit uncomfortable.

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Okay, that's good to know. The card does operate correctly even with the noise.    


Are you saying there is no advantage to switching to a MOLEX to Barrell connector instead of a powered PCIe riser cable?  

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