Originally Posted by jzatopa
I know this is an older thread but I wanted to share my experience. Did you ever find a way to get rid of the digital switching/ticking noise?
I have this as a setup
Asus E35M1-M PRO
Asus Xonar Essence ST (pci)
Seasonic fanless X-400 PSU
siliverstone GD02-MT case
I have the same exact problem and I have not been able to fix it. I have swapped every single part in this setup and the only way I could get it to be noiseless was to remove everything from the case and even then I had to make sure everything was connected just right or I would get noise again. I even RMAed the motherboard with no help. I even went to the point of buying a different motherboard (ASUS again, could this be the problem) and still had the same noise. I do not get the noise when any of these parts are in my other rig. I am at a Fing losss. My last 2 guesses are that it's the case or ASUS. This is the most frustrating problem I have ever encountered in a computer.
What I'd do, if you think it's the case causing some sort of grounding noise, is isolate just the HDD from it. Either remove it from the HDD slot and let it sit on a piece of cardboard inside the case somewhere (as long as the HDD isn't touching metal), OR suspend it from the bottom of the cage with something (twist ties or zip ties).
Also, it could be the type of system you've chosen, not so much as the brand. The E350 (or E450) utilize the A50 FCH
(Fusion Controller Hub) and they do not have native support for legacy PCI slots, so any motherboards with a PCI slot or two will be using a bridge chip. The thing to do would be to test it out in another platform (Socket AM3+ or older, or Socket FM1 for AMD; Socket 1156 or older for Intel) and see if that persists when a chipset that natively supports PCI is used. Since as you likely know, any time you have to pass a signal through another circuit, things can pick up interference. I know it's still a digital signal at that point, but I think even they are susceptible to such things.
Hope that helps some