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Help! Drop outs in my computer audio

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Here's my situation:

 

I've built a new desktop PC (Core i3, Gigabyte H57 motherboard, all other parts are new), but I've noticed this problem: I put my computer to sleep when not in use, and after 5-6 days, my audio playback start to have jitters. If I turn my computer off (even briefly) and turn it back on, the jitter disappear. I am using a power conditioner (Belkin PF30), and this issue happens with my iBasso D2 Boa and on-board sound. I'm suspecting it's my power supply (OCZ 500w ModxStream).

 

Does anyone had similar situation? If so, what was your cause?

 

I'm really frustrated when it jitters in between beats :P totally destroying the music...

post #2 of 13

Your using the onboard as a source?

I would sugegst getting a higher quality source for your audio.

I amnot sure what you are describing, you mean drop outs, like the audio stops?

What you are describing is technically not jitter.

post #3 of 13

I sleep my computer constantly and have never had this issue, what player are you using? and better explain "jitter" I don't think you are using the term correctly.

post #4 of 13

I take it you are using Windows.  You might want to use something to clear the RAM buffers when the computer wakes up or even keep them constantly refreshed.  Just an idea.

http://www.pcwintech.com/cleanmem

http://www.bysoft.com/freeram.php


Edited by Dynobot - 10/9/10 at 1:19pm
post #5 of 13

A possible cause is a device driver or hardware component that doesn't properly go to sleep mode or doesn't properly wake from sleep mode.  It's not an uncommon problem.  Some hardware and drivers just don't do it right.  More common with desktop hardware than laptop hardware.  Laptop devices expect to be put in sleep mode.  Desktop hardware and the drivers may not expect it and may not handle it properly.

 

So look for the most current drivers for anything and everything, but especially things on the mother board.

 

I'd put a guess on a driver that doesn't initialize properly after waking from sleep mode and is stuck in a CPU hogging state.  That is something that will cause high DPC Latency delays which will cause brief audio dropouts.

 

Read up on DPC Latency.  Run the DPC Latency Checker.  See what it does in normal use.  See what it does after waking from sleep mode.  Read the info on the DPC Latency Checker web page for background info on what's going on.  Read the Product Sheet PDF file as well.  It will explain things and give some guidance in how to figure out what device is causing high DPC Latency.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

Your using the onboard as a source?

I would sugegst getting a higher quality source for your audio.

I amnot sure what you are describing, you mean drop outs, like the audio stops?

What you are describing is technically not jitter.


I've tried with both onboard and my USB DAC (iBasso D2 Boa). I guess what happened are drop outs, like the music stutters for a split second. In the worst case, my music just stops.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark50521 View Post

I sleep my computer constantly and have never had this issue, what player are you using? and better explain "jitter" I don't think you are using the term correctly.


I'm using MediaMonkey. Sorry for the misuse of the term "jitter", still a newbie here :P
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynobot View Post

I take it you are using Windows.  You might want to use something to clear the RAM buffers when the computer wakes up or even keep them constantly refreshed.  Just an idea.

http://www.pcwintech.com/cleanmem

http://www.bysoft.com/freeram.php


I've tried that, didn't seem to help. I have 4GB of ram, and I have more than 50% free most of the time, so I don't think it might be the issue.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham Sandwich View Post

A possible cause is a device driver or hardware component that doesn't properly go to sleep mode or doesn't properly wake from sleep mode.  It's not an uncommon problem.  Some hardware and drivers just don't do it right.  More common with desktop hardware than laptop hardware.  Laptop devices expect to be put in sleep mode.  Desktop hardware and the drivers may not expect it and may not handle it properly.

 

So look for the most current drivers for anything and everything, but especially things on the mother board.

 

I'd put a guess on a driver that doesn't initialize properly after waking from sleep mode and is stuck in a CPU hogging state.  That is something that will cause high DPC Latency delays which will cause brief audio dropouts.

 

Read up on DPC Latency.  Run the DPC Latency Checker.  See what it does in normal use.  See what it does after waking from sleep mode.  Read the info on the DPC Latency Checker web page for background info on what's going on.  Read the Product Sheet PDF file as well.  It will explain things and give some guidance in how to figure out what device is causing high DPC Latency.


I ran the DPC Latency Checker, and it is showing yellow bar + rather frequent red bars. I think this is the issue here. (I have left my computer on (including sleep) for a few days right now) I will retest when I shut down and turn it back on. I've tried disabling my network and sound drivers but to no avail. I will read up more on DPC Latency and see if it can solve the problem.

 

Update: I've turned off and reboot my computer, latency is still >1000us. This is abnormal right? I've uninstalled Microsoft Security Essential and got Avast instead, because I read online that MSE causes some DPC latency issue.

 

THANKS A LOT for all your input so far!


Edited by icebird144 - 10/9/10 at 9:20pm
post #7 of 13

If your DPC latency is averaging around 1000 μs or more you're likely to have problems with audio.  Get it below 250 μs with only occasional blips up to 1000+ μs and you'll be doing much better.  Mine averages below 200 μs with blips up to 1000 μs.  Audio works fine for me, no glitches.  The folks who do studio style multi-track recording have some ninja style tricks to get the DPC latency down to crazy low levels.  But that often requires disabling some hardware and processes and services during the recording sessions.

 

Some things like IDE ATA CD/DVD drives can add a little bit to the DPC latency.  Disabling the ATA drives in Device Manager can get you better latency numbers.  There's other examples of hardware that can cause an increase in DPC latency.  Networking hardware is typically the worst offender though.

 

Disabling unnecessary services can also improve DPC latency.  Sites like black viper have some guides on what can be disabled.

 

But mostly it is a lot of experimentation to find out what gets you low enough DPC latency.  You don't necessarily need crazy low DPC latency numbers to get glitch free stereo audio.

 

I'm using Microsoft Security Essentials.  It hasn't caused bad latency problems for me.  I do have it configured to exclude my media folders and to also exclude the media player processes (Foobar, J River, etc).  Don't want it doing on access scanning of my media files while they're being streamed.  But otherwise it seems to work fine.

post #8 of 13
post #9 of 13

Try setting your Vcore to a constant level (not Auto, which causes it to vary) in your Gigabyte's BIOS.

 

I've had problems from the beginning with my i5 rig (Gigabyte P55-USB3 + i5 750), but fixed it by not allowing Gigabyte to dynamically change voltages of my components, though I'm not entirely sure if this was all it took since I did a lot of other changes... like disabling turbo mode.

 

Edit: What is your video card? If it's a Nvidia, run something like Furmark and see if the latencies drop.


Edited by ShinyFalcon - 10/12/10 at 10:33am
post #10 of 13

In the voltage pane of my BIOS auto just meant the default voltage value (evga). The setting that changed the voltage dynamically is called VDROOP, which you can turn on and off. It's an intel feature.

 

For the DCP latency issue, do you have uTorrent open? The last time i had issues utorrent was the culprit, but it just kind of fixed it self over time. 

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've disabled my ATA controller, changed my antivirus to Avast, and no uTorrent running - DPC Latency is still at ~1300us

 

I've run LatencyMon and it identifies the driver causing the problem is nvlddmkm.sys (NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 258.96)

 

I will try to disable variable VCore to see if it helps.

 

@ShinyFalcon: What mode should I run FurMark in?

 

Thanks everyone!

post #12 of 13

Anything is fine, you don't have to overstress the card with extreme benchmark. We're just adding a load to the card, as if you're playing a game. If the latency lowers while it's running, then the Nvidia's Powermizer (dynamic clock changing) is probably causing the latencies. This was the case with a 210M on a laptop, but I really didn't expect this behavior on a desktop card.


Edited by ShinyFalcon - 10/14/10 at 12:03pm
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyFalcon View Post

Anything is fine, you don't have to overstress the card with extreme benchmark. We're just adding a load to the card, as if you're playing a game. If the latency lowers while it's running, then the Nvidia's Powermizer (dynamic clock changing) is probably causing the latencies. This was the case with a 210M on a laptop, but I really didn't expect this behavior on a desktop card.


BINGO!! I did what you said and my latency drops to <200us.

 

After searching around for a bit, I installed the BETA Nvidia driver and my latency keeps at <200us without running Furmark. I believe this is case closed.

 

So many thanks to EVERYONE!

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