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Will the FiiO E10 solve my problem?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I usually play MP3/FLAC on my netbook, but recently I noticed that whenever I do anything that uses CPU (scrolling, loading web pages, etc.), sometimes the sound gets distorted and gets stuck (buffer underrun?) The netbook only has an integrated DAC, but it does have a dual-core Atom on it. It should be more than capable of playing even FLACs smoothly right?
Assuming anything I try (reinstalling drivers, trying different ones, changing settings) don't improve the situation, will a dedicated USB DAC/amp such as the E10 fix it?
post #2 of 4

Unlikely that an outboard DAC will solve your problems as it sounds like your OS isn't giving the decoder thread enough priority. Using an outboard DAC only changes what hardware converts the bit stream to audio, which is already off-loaded from the CPU by your on-board audio chip.

 

You might see if a player that has a "keep on top" option helps you.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffsf View Post

Unlikely that an outboard DAC will solve your problems as it sounds like your OS isn't giving the decoder thread enough priority. Using an outboard DAC only changes what hardware converts the bit stream to audio, which is already off-loaded from the CPU by your on-board audio chip.

You might see if a player that has a "keep on top" option helps you.

I use Winamp.. It has a playback priority setting. I set it from low to realtime, no effect. Windows Media Player does not have the problem, but it can't play FLACs. I will try redownloading Foobar 2K and see what I can find. It could be a problem with the decoder Winamp uses.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
UPDATE: It seems to be a latency issue.

I followed the instructions given in this link: http://helpdeskgeek.com/windows-7/fix-audio-staticcracklingpopping-with-realtek-sound-card/
I found out that latency values are very high, occasionally passing the critical red zone (about 5300us).

I've included a screenshot:
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