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I have an external GPU which emits a whining sound with the loudest band at ~6500hz and has harmonics at +/- multiples of ~1600hz from that point. Is it possible to design a grate of some kind that would allow airflow to the components, but would attenuate these specific frequencies? I think cutting 6500hz down may be sufficient for this to stop bothering me so much.

Specifically, I'm using the Pro version of the Blackmagic eGPU, which has a Vega 56 and lets airflow pass through both the bottom and top of the unit. I believe most of the sound leakage comes from the top side of the unit. It is not user-servicable, so I'd rather not open it up and would prefer to put something on top of it.

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The trouble with trying to use something essentially filled with holes to block high-frequency sound is that generally, holes don't do this job well.

High frequency is easy to block - you could use acoustic tile, rockwool, or even wrap it in a bit of carpet or bubble-wrap if it wasn't for the air-flow issue.

I wonder if you could use a modification of the trick used to quieten air-con in studios - essentially build a tunnel of carpet, with turns to prevent sound egress & fans well inside the structure to keep up sufficient air-flow.

The design of that box looks like it wants cold air in the bottom, with hot air venting from the top. Some kind of fan-driven 'carpet chimney' might just work. You could cobble one together just as a test, to see if the idea works before committing to any kind of 'structured' assembly. See if you can get a cheap 120cm computer fan underneath it, which ought to be quiet enough, running slowly.

You could also see if just putting it on the floor under the desk instead of on it might be sufficient - depends on how loud it is, I'd guess.

All of this, of course, could be cured by getting any & all the fan-driven components right out of the room, but that's going to be more expensive on cabling, plus extra space required &/or racking etc.

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    I ended up returning it because it seemed like there was no way to reasonably cut down the noise. I am instead using the non-pro version of the eGPU, which is very quiet. The fan was usually not the issue—it was coil whine that was causing the problem. 2 days ago

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