motherboard crackling and clicking noise

Motherboard Crackling And Clicking Noise: A Complete Guide!

Despite being important, computers aren’t flawless and cause many malfunctions. 

Sometimes you may hear a clicking noise or crackling sound coming from your motherboard. But by taking the correct steps, you can solve the problem by yourself. 

What are the reasons behind the motherboard crackling and clicking noise? 

There can be many factors behind motherboards making crackling noises. Badly positioned fans or bad wirings are often the main culprits. Damaged components such as burnt capacitors can make loud clicking noises. Also, faulty hard drives, CD drives, and power supplies can generate crackling noises.  

That was a summary of all the possible reasons for fixing motherboard cracking noises. Each of these problems requires further elaboration and we’re more than happy to do so. 

If you want to fix your motherboard clicking noises, stay with us till the end. 

Motherboard Crackling/Clicking Noises: 5 Problems & Solutions

Most of us that are familiar with PCs have dealt with one problem or another. A lot of the time, malfunctions are caused by software issues. 

But hardware issues can also arise if there are connection problems. Sometimes the problem can be about hardware compatibility. 

For example, many times users have wondered about using quad-channel RAM with Ryzen CPUs. And honestly, these are pretty fair concerns. 

But motherboard clicking noise problems are something we don’t usually encounter. That’s why motherboard problems often require checking out other problems. 

That being said, people can wonder what causes motherboard clicking noises? 

There can be multiple reasons behind motherboards emitting a clicking noise. Bad wiring, badly positioned cooling fan, and damaged connectors can cause noise. Your motherboard can also be faulty and needs repair. Also, bad hard drives, and faulty CPU and PSU connections can cause clicking noises.

These are your regular reasons behind motherboards creating clicking noises. As you can see, the motherboard itself may not be a reason in the first place. 

That’s why you’ll have to check out different components including the motherboard. 

But luckily for you, we’ve talked about all the possible motherboard problems. And we’ve also provided the necessary solutions right after.

possible motherboard problems

Problem 1: Badly Positioned Fans Can Create Clicking Noises

First and foremost, you’ll have to check all the fans on your computer. Most of the time, fans are the ones that create motherboard crackling noises

If the fan is wrongly positioned, it can cause noise. On top of that, there can be wires or components interfering with fans. 

Sometimes it can also be the fans themselves. It’s called coil whining. Either way, you’ll have to make sure fans are spinning freely and perfectly.

Solution: Inspect the Computer Fans

Before you can proceed to inspection, you’ll have to shut your PC off. Make sure the electric connection to your PC is turned off. 

When you’re done, open the casing of your PC to inspect the fans. Take a light with you if you have to. 

  • First, check the CPU cooler of your PC. If it’s an air cooler, there are chances wires are interfering with the fans. 
  • Afterward, check the GPU and casing fans. A lot of the time, the fins can touch a nearby component. 
  • Make sure all the components with fans are installed correctly. These include the casing fans as well. 

If you find no interruption of any sort, turn the PC on. Check whether it’s any of the fans causing the clicking noises or not. 

Still, if you find a fan making noises, it can be coil whining. Coil whining can be easy or hard to fix; depending on the severity. 

For your GPU or PSU, you can claim a warranty if you have one. Luckily, most PSU companies provide a full warranty for coil whining. 

But if it’s a casing fan, you can simply replace it. In the case of air coolers, you can claim a warranty or find a replacement. 

Speaking of casing fans, you can try some of our best picks-

ProductsReasons to BuyPrice
Noctua 1700 PWM, High-Performance Cooling Fan 120mmQuiet and high-performance fanCheck Latest Price
Cooler Master MasterFan 120mm PWM Static Pressure Fan3-in-1 package with RGB lighting and controlCheck Latest Price
Noctua 1500 PWM, High-Performance Cooling Fan 140mmQuietest 140mm casing fansCheck Latest Price

Pick any casing fan that you like the most and get the old one replaced!

Problem 2: Bad Wiring Can Cause Crackling Noises

If your PC fans are alright, it’s time to go one step deeper. Apart from fans, the motherboard wirings of your motherboard can be a culprit behind clicking noises. 

The wirings are related to the motherboard and the PSU exclusively. Since PSU is the one that electrifies the motherboard. 

Solution: Check the PC Wiring,

As usual, make sure the PC is turned off. Disconnect or turn off the wall switch that connects your computer.

After that, open up the casing and look for faulty connections. Start by checking the CPU cooler connector. Make sure the connection is stable and firm.

Check out the SATA ports that are being utilized. Other than SATA, check the 24-pin ATX power connectors. They can often cause noises if loose.

When you’re done, look for the floppy drive connectors and PCI-E connectors. If all the connections are fine, boot up the computer.

You can now check if any connectors are making noises. Take your time so that you can check thoroughly. 

If you indeed find a connection that may be generating noises, try replacement cables. Make sure you have the correct replacement cable before you check it. 

Here’s someone who dealt with this problem to remove the motherboard’s crackling sound.

Problem 3: Damaged Motherboard Components Generate Noises

If the connections are fine, you’ll have to look for noisy motherboard components instead. It’s possible to have some motherboard components damaged or fried.

A lot of the time, this is caused by a power supply. That’s why PSU connections will need to be checked.

Solution: Check the Motherboard Components

We have already mentioned the power supply as a possible reason. To check that, you’ll need another compatible PSU and its cables.

Other than that, you can start checking motherboard components. Check the capacitors as they can be damaged. Clicking noises from motherboards can be due to damaged capacitors. 

You’ll also have to check the soldering of the motherboard. If there’s anything unsoldered, it can be a reason. Damaged soldering and unscrewed components can produce noise. 

If you happen to find any parts that are fried or damaged, claim a warranty. If there’s no warranty available, you’ll have to get a replacement yourself. 

Sometimes it can be a CPU fan port. You can use the system fan port as a replacement for the CPU fan port.

CPU fan port

Problem 4: Faulty Hard Drives & CD-Drives Generate Noises

So far, we’ve only talked about the motherboard-end noise problems. But in reality, other components can generate clicking noises too. 

Faulty hard drives can produce a crackling or clicking noise. Like hard drives, damaged or loosened CD drives can also create a motherboard clicking sound

Solution: Replace the Hard Drives & CD Drives

It’s rare nowadays to have CD drives in the computer. If you’re not using the CD drive anymore, you can throw it away. 

Get a replacement if you need a CD drive. 

To do this, disconnect the CD drive SATA connector from the motherboard. There will also be a power connector for the CD drive. Detach the power connector and you’re good to go.

But hard drives are difficult to replace. If you want to do it, make sure you have the necessary files saved somewhere else. 

When you’re done, find the SATA port and disconnect the plugged SATA cable. After that, remove the cable from the hard drive as well. 

You can use a screwdriver to get the HDD out of your system. Claim a warranty if you still have access to it. Otherwise, you’ll have to get a new HDD. You can also choose to get an SSD if your motherboard has an M.2 connector. 

Speaking of hard drives, here’s what our experts recommend-

ProductsReason to BuyPrice
Seagate Bare Drives BarraCuda 1TB Internal Hard Drive HDDHigh Writing SpeedCheck Price on Amazon
Western Digital 2TB WD Blue PC Hard Drive HDDReliable Storage HDDCheck Price on Amazon
Seagate BarraCuda 4TB Internal Hard Drive HDDMore Storage for PCCheck Price on Amazon

You can choose any HDD you prefer and get started! 

Problem 5: Failing Power Supply Often Creates Clicking Noises

It’s easy to make a mistake when looking for the source of the noise. After all, all components are connected. 

After hard drives and CD drives, we’re going to talk about the power supply. Failing power supplies can create clicking noises as well. 

Solution: Replace the Power Supply

If your power supply is going to fail soon, it’ll send some messages first. And that’s what clicking noises are. 

If you locate the power supply itself to be the culprit, there’s nothing you can do. But take note that clicking noises aren’t the same as coil whining. 

You can fix a power supply’s coil whining by yourself. There are some complex procedures but it’s doable. 

But a PSU can’t be saved if it has clicking noises. In such a case, it must be replaced with a new one. After all, a faulty PSU can potentially kill your whole system. 

Replacing a PSU is quite easy. If you don’t know what PSU to get, you can use a wattage calculator online. 

Other than that, check for the wattage in the old PSU. Get a new PSU of the same wattage ordered!

To save you some time, we’ve listed some of our best picks- 

EVGA 550WCheck Price on Amazon
EVGA Super Nova 80 Plus Gold 650WCheck Price on Amazon
Corsair RM750x 750 Watt 80+ Gold CertifiedCheck Price on Amazon

You can pick whichever matches your wattage and start replacing it!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will coil whine go away?

Coil whines don’t always go away by themselves. Sometimes it can go away or become less audible. If your GPU has a coil whine issue, undervolting helps immensely. But don’t worry though. Coil whines aren’t harmful to your PC. In most cases, components are made not to create coil whine.

Is it normal for a PC to make noise?

Yes, some components in your PC make noises naturally. For example, a hard drive is supposed to make noise when it’s spinning fast. Other components such as CD drives or fans also create noise. But usually, they are quiet sounds and mostly humming. But you shouldn’t expect clicking noise.

Why does my GPU make a buzzing noise?

Buzzing noises made by GPUs can indicate dirt and debris. When the GPU accumulates a lot of dirt, the fans may create buzzing noises. If that happens, you’ll need to clean your GPU fans. Slowly use a brush to clean the GPU fans. You can also use compressed air for faster cleaning. 

Take Away

That was everything we could deliver on motherboard crackling and clicking noise. We hope this discussion helped you pinpoint the source of the problem. 

If you can’t solve the problem yourself, take the motherboard to a repair shop. Experts will be able to test the motherboard easily as they have alternative equipment. 

Finally, have a nice day! 

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