Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Hi there, Zephyrus S17 ticking noise and screen line/halo? Is it faulty? Please help

Level 8
There is a TLDR; version after the PS at bottom of post for those who don't want to read the entire thing
Hi everyone
Last year I bought a brand new S17 with specs:
Win 10 Home
32GB Ram
Nvidia 3080
CPU 11900H
UHD 120hz 3ms screen
3TB Raid 0 (3x1tb Samsung Gen4)

basically it was the 2021 Asus flagship in Australia and retailed for 5899 AUD, I paid 5800 the first time.

I returned it because the fingerprint reader only worked 1 out of over 100 times testing, there was a strange white line/border about 1cm from the screen and when the cpu or gpu was under any kind of load it made the strangest ticking noise. I initially thought it was a fan problem because the Asus utility said "there may be a problem with the fans", but I realised that the noise happened when there was any load, even in silent mode, and the diagnosic fan issue was very intermittent and often said everything was fine, and I also heard that it can happen with Asus utility even when fans are fine. So I put it down to some sort of weird motherboard noise.

In any case
I returned it
7 months later, I saw the identical laptop for sale as Asus certified refurbished

I spoke to the seller and he assured me it was all fine and I took a chance and re bought it, and I believe I may have the exact same unit as it has all the identical issues!
The serial number is different but Asus support told me on the phone that the serial is changed for a refurb.

Why did I rebuy this laptop? Well, asides from enjoying games often, my main pastime is music production, in fact it was my job for over half my 50 years of life, but now due to health issues I only do it for personal enjoyment. i.e. I compose and record songs.
For those unfamiliar with DPC latency, it is a crucial thing for big music projects, and many laptops have a DPC latency that is far too high which makes working at a low audio driver latency (which is what we want when playing virtual instruments and recording external sources) impossible.

The Asus S17 is one of few laptops that pass the latencymon tool, in fact it's the best result I have ever seen from any laptop in my life, which is why it is ideal for my needs.

Furthermore, it was a great price refurbished, still has a 3080 and 8 core 11th gen in it so can play any modern game, I prefer a 17inch screen, the card reader is very fast, 5 USB ports vs 3 or 4 on most others, thunderbolt, and the fantastic keyboard (mechanical I believe, but whatever it is it is wonderful to use). It also has the best in built speakers I have ever heard on a Windows laptop (not macbook pro quality but clear and loud and a bit of bass) so is great for hotel room use. Thermals and fan noise are also excellent vs most others. I missed that laptop and was always sad I had a faulty one as it was the last in stock at the time.

Here is the ticking noise:

Images of the display have been attached, taken from phone, you can really see it on blues and greys, this a pic of a youtube video and explorer screen and you can see the halo or line 1cm from all borders.
It is present in bios as well so isn't a driver issue
It affects everything, movies, games etc

So my questions are:

Do you think this is faulty and should definitely NOT be like this? Or is it a known thing with the 4K S17?
Or is the screen something that could get better over time?
The weird ticking noise?

At this stage they are coming Thursday to pick it up for return but I am desperate to keep it this time, if there is anything I can do and will cancel that return if so.

I honestly believe it's the same unit, and they didn't fix anything on it and just slapped a refurb sticker on it. They had even reset it in Chinese so I had to format it and install windows myself as I can not read Chinese. I can't believe a 3,950 AUD laptop was presented to me that way, the screen and body were filthy, I had to work for an hour to remove all scuff and oil marks, but still, I love the darn thing but have lost confidence in Asus repair to be honest.
This is in Australia, and 3,950 AUD vs 5999 for when it originally came out, believe me for my country is a good deal. An MSI laptop with 4K screen is 7 grand, granted 12th gen but still only 32gb ram, 2TB SSD etc, so I am happy with what I paid but I just want to be sure I am getting what I paid for.

Any advice would be sincerely appreciated.. I am under a bit of a time crunch, sorry about that!

PS the forum has compressed the images a lot but you can still see the white lines 1cm from border of each pic, but I can upload uncompressed to my dropbox if anyone needs me to
Top pic is of left side of screen
Middle pic is of right
Bottom pic, the blue one, is of a video and this time it is showing the white line on the left and top side of screen

TLDR; version
Refurbished S17 2021 with specs:
Win 10 Home
32GB Ram
Nvidia 3080
CPU 11900H
UHD 120hz 3ms screen
3TB Raid 0 (3x1tb Samsung Gen4)

Making this ticking noise with any cpu or gpu load

and 4K panel has white lines 1cm from border, have included 3 pics.

What do you think? Normal or faulty hardware?


Level 8
Edit, I thought this was too interesting not to mention.
Asus support gave me the serial of this machine prior to it being changed at refurbishment, and to my shock and horror, it was indeed the machine I had bought last December. No WONDER it had precisely the same issues, and I am living proof that the refurbishment team do NOTHING. They probably just saw that it turned on and that was it LOL. I'll never buy an Asus refurb again as long as I live. Brand new, yes.
What are the odds? I mean deep down I didn't think it was possible, I was genuinely surprised when I read the serial in my email last night.
Heck, if anyone is listening, and I have those sort of odds, could you apply it to the lottery for me too then? 🙂

So absolutely, I am 100% convinced indeed the machine was a lemon and faulty and what I experienced was not normal, so no problem to talk about it after all now. I am thrilled I sent it back. Phew! Dodged a bullet a second time.

Original Post prior above edit:

Well don't worry about it. 89 viewed and not even one could say
"that sounds fine" or "that sounds wrong"
"screen is fine" or "screen is hosed"?

It is packed up and just dropped off at post office per eBay rules.

I won't ask for help again but regardless, I couldn't take the risk because they already opened it up to "refurb", temps weren't as good as the previous one I had, and I believe if they were going to change the motherboard or whatever this time that they might not re paste GPU and CPU with liquid metal as per factory. The tick noise happens when under any load, even in quiet mode, so has nothing to do with the fans. I should have made an audio clip of it with fans low. That was on me and my bad. Re not using liquid metal, this is Australia and they do stuff like that. I actually wonder if they'd know what liquid metal even is lol!

Furthermore, my Legion 7i with 3070, not 3080, with optimus off/g-sync on gets almost 20% higher in SOTR test at 1080P. It's hitting 140W constantly and outperforming the 3080 here which gets about 118 fps and the Lenovo gets 137, the highest 3070 result I have ever seen in a laptop . Still, the Asus speakers were the best of any laptop bar MacBook pro and the keyboard was the best laptop one I have ever typed on, only Alienware comes close, and the key lighting was the best too in an age where more and more cheap out and don't illuminate secondary keys. I will always be torn two ways about it. I doubt I will ever find a laptop with a DPC latency of 100us ever again either, my Lenovo can't even come close for audio production and barely passes the latencymon app. All performance aside, that is what mattered most, but if I couldn't fix the tick noise I would have gone insane recording external music sources with it, so, neither here nor there as it stands.
CPU performance of the 11900H is identical to the 11800H in my Lenovo as that's overclocked to 4.4 all core (highest power limit allows) which is same as 11900H. CBR20 both get 5570. Really even the Lenovo screen is better for work as it's 16:10.
So yeah, the big thing for me and re buying this was ultimately for audio production due to the ridiculously incredible DPC latency. For everything else I already have a laptop that does what I need very well.

If anyone is planning to come in the topic and say, "that is fine, all S17 have ghost lines near border and that tick noise is OK"
PLEASE DON'T, as now I can't undo sending it. That's my first reason for posting here again, to actually sincerely ask that no one interjects now that it is done as I don't want to regret.

Asus guy on phone said he couldn't hear ticking noise in file even though the first thing you hear is fan noise as the CPU is under load and a tick pattern clearly and loudly on top. He was probably gaslighting me, and he said the screen meant there was probably something pressing against it. Actual words.

I give up.


PS if anyone knows of any modern laptop in existence, 10th gen minimum or higher, that has really low DPC latency like the S17, PLEASE, on that one, let me know, as I have not been able to find one. So yeah I still need help after all, who am I kidding. Asus is a brand I love so an Asus would be great.
If any of you are unfamiliar with DPC, this is the app tester link

Good day to all of you.