High pitch whine coming from my Apple displays

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by fowler., Dec 15, 2004.

  1. fowler. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2004
    I just started noticing this recently.. maybe within the past two months.

    When I click on a window that's open, I hear this intermitent high pitch whine coming from the display. It happens on both of them (20" original cinema and 17" lcd).

    It's not a big deal, but sort of annoying..

    Any clues?
  2. Linksgolfer84 macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2003
    Hey There... I remember reading an article about how Televisions work on HowStuffWorks.com, and they mentioned that some people have hearing that is sensitive to the frequency of the refresh rate. I know the LCD is a different beast, but it too has refresh rates of a certain frequency, and perhaps you are sensitive to that!

    Just a thought.
  3. fowler. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2004
    That means I'm superman? :p

    I am definitely sensitive to that sound that tv's make. I can be two rooms away and hear it usually.

    Regarding the displays, I never heard it before I had dual displays or with my 733 g4
  4. goodtimes5 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2004
    Bay Area
    I've heard this on my original 17" LCD too.

    I can also hear the sound of a TV screen. I don't know how to describe it. It's like a hollow staticy sound/feeling.
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    As a kid in a now famous scene once said in an Arnold movie...

    "Maybe it's a tumor"
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Are you sure it's not your computer making the noise? The G5s can make a sort of screeching noise under certain circumstances (as can some graphics cards), and since it's happening with both of your monitors, that seems a lot more likely than it being the screen.

    Why I say that (sorry, I'm a geek, I get carried away):

    CRTs make all kinds of unplesant high-pitched whining noises due to the electron gun's scanrate and other electronics, and those of us with sensitive hearing can find the noises very annoying unless the refresh rate is high enough to put it above our hearing range.

    That said, I've never in my life heard of an LCD doing the same thing, and I can't figure out how one would other than funky electronics in the processing section, in which case what's on the screen would, I suppose, make a difference.

    I say this because in a TV, you have an electron gun scanning back and forth about 15K times per second, a frequency some people can hear and is very annoying if you can. CRT monitors have higher (and variable) refresh rates and numbers of horizontal lines, so the gun is usually much higher pitched and well above human hearing.

    LCDs, on the other hand, turn on each row individually and send an electronic pulse to each pixel; there's nothing moving, and even if there were even small, old LCDs would theoretically whine at something like 30KHz (768 rows X 45Hz refresh rate), which is way above what any human can normally hear. The only other thing that might make noise is the backlight, but that shouldn't be audible either, and certainly wouldn't change based on what was on the screen.

    I'd be interested in hearing somebody more knowledgeble about this come up with a theory.

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