Airtop3 application note - reducing acoustic noise

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Introduction

  • Airtop3 cooling is silent because there are no fans or any other mechanical cooling device
  • Airtop3 incorporates high power electronic circuits that may emit acoustic noise during operation generally known as "coil whine"
  • Coil whine is the result of high frequency switching of power circuits that induce piezoelectric force on capacitors and strain on inductors making each vibrate. In some cases these vibrations are in an audible frequency
  • Coil whine is common in computers but in most cases it is not audible above the louder fans, which is not the case for Airtop3
  • Airtop3 hardware is designed using techniques for reducing coil whine, but unfortunately it was not possible to eliminate it completely in hardware
  • The main sources of coil whine are the the motherboard, graphics card, SSD and power supply
  • Coil whine is often related to the specific workload at a given moment
  • Adjusting power management policies can significantly reduce coil whine / acoustic noise as detailed below
  • Worth noting that changing power management settings slightly affects power consumption and thermal performance so the user should consider the trade offs. It does not affect reliability and warranty.

Acoustic Noise Mitigation in BIOS

  1. Reboot and press F11 (not DEL) to enter advanced BIOS settings
  2. Advanced --> Setup items availability: Development
  3. Advanced --> Power and performance --> CPU - Power Management Control --> CPU VR Settings --> Acoustic noise Settings:
    1. Acoustic Noise Mitigation: Enabled
    2. Pre Wake Time: 255
    3. Ramp Up Time: 255
    4. Ramp Down Time: 255
    5. For each of the four sections below (IA VR Domain, GT VR Domain, SA VR Domain, VccIn VR Domain):
      1. Disable Fast PKG C State Ramp for xx Domain: TRUE
      2. Slow Slew Rate for GT Domain: Fast/16
  4. Save and Exit

Reducing graphics related noise in Linux Mint

Symptom: when running Linux Mint using Intel graphics, running glxgears, glmark2 or other graphics intensive application results in continuous buzzing sound Solution:

  1. Reboot and press F11 (not DEL) to enter advanced BIOS settings
  2. Advanced --> Setup items availability: Development
  3. Advanced --> Power & Performance --> GT - Power Management Control:
  4. RC6(Render Standby): Disabled
  5. Disable Turbo GT frequency: Enabled
  6. Save and Exit
  7. Boot into Linux Mint
  8. Open NVIDIA X Server Settings
  9. Select Intel (Power Saving Mode), enter root password to apply
  10. Log off and login

Disabling C-states in BIOS

  1. Reboot and press F11 (not DEL) to enter advanced BIOS settings
  2. Advanced --> Setup items availability: Development
  3. Advanced --> Power & Performance --> CPU -Power Management Control --> C states: Disabled
  4. Save and Exit