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Graphics card generating clicks and pops

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,
I'm having a bit of problem with my current setup.

I have the Asus P8P67 motherboard and the Xonar STX sound card. Whenever my graphics card (an ASUS EN210 SILENT) throttles its core and memory clocks (core goes from 135 MHz to 589 MHz and memory goes from 270 MHz to 1400 MHz) I hear a loud pop/click! The noises are there both going up and down in clock frequency.

I've verified this with TechPowerUp's GPU-Z, looking at the real-time clock monitoring. I had the same problem with the on-board audio of my motherboard. At first I thought this might be due to a voltage spike generated by the gfx card that passes thru to the crappy on-board sound - which was one of the reasons I purchased the STX.

Has anyone experienced this problem or can help, i.e. graphics card core/memory freqency changes creating clicks / pops in the audio stream?

The problem persists even in ASIO mode. I've tried looking for a setting of my gfx card to stop it from throttling the clocks but found nothing.

Please help, this is really annoying :S

 

BTW, reading thru my post, I seem to have many ASUS components in my computer :)

post #2 of 14

I would suggest a few things:

 

* Try placing the soundcard in a different PCIe slot.

* Enter your BIOS and make sure the PCI clock is set to 100 (not auto).

* Make sure PCI and CPU spread spectrum are enabled if your motherboard has these options.

* Make sure your Southbridge voltage settings are at a constant value (not auto).

* Disable the GPU underclocking feature of your GPU.

post #3 of 14

You should disable Powermizer or find a way to force your clocks in 3D mode. Run Furmark (don't need to go overboard with stressing the card), and then your music to confirm that your Nvidia is causing problems.

 

If the problem still occurs, important BIOS settings to check for is to disable Turbo mode (along with their respective sleep modes, I think they're C6 and C7), set Vcore to be a constant value (not dynamically changing/Auto), and/or disable Speedstep.


Edited by ShinyFalcon - 4/27/11 at 3:20pm
post #4 of 14

How old is the video card? If its old, i'd get a new 580 or 460.

post #5 of 14

From the sounds of it you may have a ground loop & that can cause that. I had that until I addressed the ground loop, then the noise went away. I no longer hear the movement of the mouse or the video or CPU  processors like I did before. 

post #6 of 14

This is crazy, and I pretty much work with computer hardware for a living and I haven't heard of these two things interfering like that.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by shitkick View Post

This is crazy, and I pretty much work with computer hardware for a living and I haven't heard of these two things interfering like that.


This issue does not occure with just the computer generally. Usually when this occures it is a result of other equipment connected to the computer though it may happen if the monitor is connected to a socket that is at a different ground potential than the plugin that the computer is plugged into. Example, Computer plugged into a UPS but the monitor plugged in to the wall directly may cause this. The monitor is closer to the best ground than the computer producing a ground loop & that will expose noise from the inner workings of the computer that would not normally occure if they were plugged in to a socket that is at the same gound potential  
 

 

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

 

Update:
It turns out many people seem to have the same kind of problem, the symptoms are the same (pops and clicks in audio) but the causes are different. I did a simple search on "pops clicks" in this forum and got many hits - yes I should've done this before posting :)
 
Anyway, Windows Vista and 7 seems to have issues with latency. And high latency produces pops/clicks/stutter etc in the audio stream in Windows.
I don't entirely understand the problem but it might be related to resource conflict, drivers or HW. I used the DPC latency checker (http://www.thesycon.de/eng/latency_check.shtml) and for my Win7 x64 system it reports a latency below 500µs in general but every 5 seconds I get a spike of about 4000µs. And every now and then I get a spike of about 23000µs! This seems to correspond with the GPU throttling.
 
According to some threads and DPC latency checker, one should start hunting down the culprit by disabling/enabling resources and drivers in the Device Manager, and toy around with active services in Windows to see if this helps latency. After some hours of troubleshooting, changing BIOS settings and changing settings in Device manager, I finally found one issue. It was the sensor monitoring software in the ASUS AI suite II which caused the 4000µs spike every 5 seconds. After I turned the monitoring off they disappeared. I still have the 23000µs spikes whenever the GPU throttles up or down and there is the click/pop. I'm still to find a utility which can turn of my EN210 GPU throttling, because not even ASUS' own overclocking utility SmartDoctor can change the clocks on´my GPU. I've also tried MSI Afterburner with no effect.
 
And to answer some of your questions:
- I checked for ground loops, there are none
- BIOS has no setting where I can manipulate the GPU throttling and I can't find a utility that works either. The GPU is an ASUS EN210 SILENT, it's about a year old low performing Nvidia card.
- I've tried changing CPU throttling/sleep states but this doesn't help
- I'm going to disable the GPU driver and see if that helps. I'm also going to see if I can move the gfx card to another PCI slot.
 
Just to show what I'm talking about here, I've enclosed a screenshot. There is an audiable click/pop at both latency spikes. Note this is with the ASUS AI suite monitoring turned off, so all that remains is the "GPU induced" latency.
 
GPU_thr.png
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Update 2

Guess what, after disabling the display driver in Device manager, the spikes are gone, surprise!! This is clearly GPU related.

 

I have now a very low and nice latency of ~34µs. Now I have just to find a way off stopping this damned GPU throttling...

 

NoGPU.png

 

 

post #10 of 14

You can probably solve this problem using nibitor and rewriting the bios with your own custom rates.

post #11 of 14

Not the GPU, do this to fix it:

thist.png

You need to disable all the ins and outs you don't use, they are probably causing the click sound, I had this too, if I remember correctly it was my Ati HDMI output generating the click, or the S/PDIF.

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iced View Post

You can probably solve this problem using nibitor and rewriting the bios with your own custom rates.



Thanks, I'll take a look at nibitor.

 

I actually managed to fix the latency problem. I reverted from Nvidias latest reference drivers to Asus' own and that seems to have fixed the problem. My latency figures increased from some 100µs to about 500µs overall but the spikes from GPU throttling are gone!

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanium View Post




This issue does not occure with just the computer generally. Usually when this occures it is a result of other equipment connected to the computer though it may happen if the monitor is connected to a socket that is at a different ground potential than the plugin that the computer is plugged into. Example, Computer plugged into a UPS but the monitor plugged in to the wall directly may cause this. The monitor is closer to the best ground than the computer producing a ground loop & that will expose noise from the inner workings of the computer that would not normally occure if they were plugged in to a socket that is at the same gound potential  
 

 


Way over my head!

 

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

 

This is actually very important and many people miss this. Connecting you equipment to wall sockets at different potential can lead to equipment damage or even worse you can get electrocuted!
 
I got zapped once due to bad wall socket wiring. I built my new PC some months ago and connected it to my plasma TV. The TV and stereo system were connected to one wall socket, the PC was connected to another (just 1 meter away mind you).  I connected the PC to the TV via an HDMI cable. First couple of times I connected and disconnected the HDMI cable to the TV I noticed a small spark, I thought it's just some small static and didn't think more of it, until I once accidentally touched the back panel of the TV (which is grounded) and the tip of the HDMI cable coming from the PC with each hand, ZAPPP!!, I got a big chock :S
 
Long story short, it turned out the two wall sockets were on different phases, i.e. over 200 volt difference between them, so everytime the PC was connected to the TV a current flowed from TV to PC, potentially friying something in TV or PC. There was also a 50 Hz hum in the audio from the PC, obviously due to the potential difference.
 
So lesson learned, try to keep you equipment connected to the same socket, even if two sockets are only a few meters away don't trust they have the same potential and phase. Best case is to measure yourself. And ground everything properly! I went and bought an 8 way surge protector and connected everything to the same socket!
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