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Serious popping, clicking with USB DAC - Page 2

post #16 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

 

Overall, your system is more than capable of glitch-free playback. The HDD is on the slower side, being 5400 RPM, however it shouldn't be the culprit. On the other hand, the GPU is a low end model, and if you intend on doing a lot of audio playback/recording, I would recommend you disabling desktop composition entirely.

 

You should never update drivers through Windows Update, always from the hardware manufacturer instead. Unfortunately, Sony is one of the few brands that still do shameful Device ID swapping and sometimes adding hardware adapters to make it harder for replacing hardware, which in that case you should first update to the latest drivers available from Sony, then individually updating drivers from the hardware manufacturer itself.

 

Lowering color depth does indicate that the issue might be related to the GPU. The easiest way to check whether the GPU might be faulty (despite being low end, it should handle full Aero with little degradation) is to go to system properties, Advanced tab, Performance Settings, then selecting the best performance adjustment. Restart your computer and test whether you still suffer from those issues. This, with 32-bit color.

 

I had actually done this previously, but did not think of restarting my computer. Will try and let you know.

post #17 of 56
Thread Starter 
Thank you for that post. Selecting best performance under the Performance Settings, and selecting 32-bit colour works fine :) This is certainly an improvement. 
 
One thing i noticed though, with every combination of settings i have chosen so far in this journey (that's what im calling this), audio plays back click free when the WIndows Aero theme is not running. So i actually went ahead and selected best quality (all options ticked) under the Performance Settings and chose a non-aero theme. Rebooted and audio is still fine biggrin.gif
 
I enabled the aero theme it just to make sure it's the cause and sure enough the stutter comes back. Disabling it once more and it's gone again. So it looks like the aero theme is the culprit.
 
It's awesome how we managed to narrow down the issue, but I imagine nothing can be done from here.
post #18 of 56

There is an odd issue of DWM forcing the desktop to run with V-Syncing, which along with typical modern GPUs doing dynamic clocks for power management, can introduce quite some issues, something that becomes apparent on lower end IGPs/GPUs. You might want to try different driver versions, they differ in more than just additional software profiles. From what some people tell me, 12.10 seems to be reasonably stable, might be a good starting point, but don't be afraid to go further back to older drivers, especially since newer drivers target newer hardware.

 

Also, you might want to consider giving Windows 8 a try. I found it to fix multiple audio issues that could only be solved with either deep tweaking or specific Microsoft hotfixes that had to be manually requested (such hotfixes don't appear on Windows Update). There is an ongoing thread here about the OS: http://www.head-fi.org/t/631736/windows-8

post #19 of 56
Thread Starter 

I will certainly consider trying out different ati driver versions later on, but for now im happy. Aero isn't such a big deal, plus the new driver seems to be slightly smoother in some games I play. This driver should be stable considering it has WHQL certification.


Edited by beaver316 - 11/29/12 at 12:56pm
post #20 of 56
Thread Starter 

I'd like to post an update on my situation here, and im afraid it's bad news. I had a VGA monitor lying around so I decided to hook that into my my laptop, giving me a dual display. Audio still works fine with the extra monitor so long as I disable aero, but a new issue has reared itself. If I disable and unplug the monitor (i.e. going back to how things were previously), the problem arises again even with aero disabled! I was using the monitor for a few months without unplugging it, but now that I've moved my laptop somewhere else and disconnected the monitor the issue has popped up (pun intended). I am at my wits end with this laptop, please can someone help me salvage something here.

 

I also installed Ubuntu yesterday and I still hear popping on that, albeit far less. Using ALSA in the media player DeaDBeeF completely solves it, but I can't move to Ubuntu at this time.

 

Disabling the graphics card altogether in Device Manager solves it, but I can't use the laptop in that state.


Edited by beaver316 - 1/9/13 at 2:39am
post #21 of 56
Did you try increasing buffer length in your audio player? This may help if the problem is caused by some software grabbing the CPU for itself for too long and starving the player.
post #22 of 56
Thread Starter 

Yes I tried that. I tried many different buffer sizes both high and low. No go.

post #23 of 56
Thread Starter 

I've come across a very useful article that I believe has led me on the right track. On this link under the IRQ Conflicts section shows this:

 

Quote:

IRQ sharing can also cause these problems.  Follow these steps to check for conflicts:

  1. Go to the device manger (Start>Run>devmgmt.msc)
  2. Select Resources by Connection from the “View” menu
  3. Select Interrupt Request (IRQ) and a list will be displayed
  4. Find your “OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller” in the list
  5. Look for the PCI number listed before your FireWire controller

Do other devices have the same PCI number?  If a device such as the graphics/video card, Network Controller (Ethernet, modem, or wireless), or the built-in audio card have the same number, this may be the source of your problem.

 

I did exactly this and came across this

 

 

 

As you can see there are 4 other devices which share the same number as my OHCI Compliant Host Controller. So by process of elimination I started disabling them one by one and testing audio playback between each disable. None of them did the trick until I disabled Mobile Intel Chipset PCI bla bla. By disabling that Im left with a black screen, so I reboot and am greeted with low res. Audio works perfect at this point. So I believe the graphics card was disabled and looking at the Device manager confirms this. 

 

I further investigated by looking at the Resource usage of the Intel Chipset bla bla, the memory range is highlighted.

 

 

 

Using this I found it matches here:

 

 

 

And as you can see it lists the graphics card under the same memory range which explains why the graphics card is disabled when I disable the Intel Chipset.

 

So long story short either the chipset or the gpu are at fault here, and I think there's nothing else I can do unless somebody has any ideas. I'll try to hunt down some different drivers.

post #24 of 56
It appears that you have several USB controllers which use different IRQs. Try different USB ports.

You can find out which USB controller your DAC is attached to in the "devices by connection" view (look at these 4-digit numbers at the end). Then find this controller in "resources by type" view and check if it shares IRQ with GPU (or something else). If it doesn't, your problem lies elsewhere.


BTW, IEEE 1394 is FireWire, you don't need to touch this.
post #25 of 56

In my case, I noted some popping here and there through the USB DAC when I'd open and close windows on the computer.  In my case, it turned out to be a anti-virus program causing the issue.  It was a free-ware anti-virus program -- Avast!  Once I booted into safe mode, and uninstalled it, my sound has been pure ever since.

post #26 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

In my case, I noted some popping here and there through the USB DAC when I'd open and close windows on the computer.  In my case, it turned out to be a anti-virus program causing the issue.  It was a free-ware anti-virus program -- Avast!  Once I booted into safe mode, and uninstalled it, my sound has been pure ever since.

 

Your post had given me a sense of hope seeing as I have avast on my system. I uninstalled it, rebooted, played some music.... and still pops frown.gif Man I'm starting to think this will never be solved.

post #27 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mich41 View Post

It appears that you have several USB controllers which use different IRQs. Try different USB ports.

You can find out which USB controller your DAC is attached to in the "devices by connection" view (look at these 4-digit numbers at the end). Then find this controller in "resources by type" view and check if it shares IRQ with GPU (or something else). If it doesn't, your problem lies elsewhere.


BTW, IEEE 1394 is FireWire, you don't need to touch this.

 

I will get right on this and post back.

post #28 of 56
Thread Starter 
mich41, it seems your idea has worked a treat!
 
I had actually done before what you suggested, by seeing what other devices share the same number as my usb port and disabling those devices (there were about 4 of them including my wireless network card and SATA). In the end it didn't work. But I hadn't noticed that my other USB ports have different IRQs, meaning there are different devices with the same number. Turns out for my other usb port there's only one other device with a similar number. I disabled that and rebooted. 
 
So far so good biggrin.gif
 
edit: it seems that device i disabled was responsible for one of my usb ports, so im one port short now but I can deal with that beyersmile.png

Edited by beaver316 - 1/9/13 at 2:08pm
post #29 of 56

*thumbsup*

 

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. 

post #30 of 56
Quote:

Originally Posted by beaver316 View Post

 

Turns out for my other usb port there's only one other device with a similar number. I disabled that and rebooted. 

 
So far so good biggrin.gif
 
edit: it seems that device i disabled was responsible for one of my usb ports, so im one port short now but I can deal with that beyersmile.png
It's likely that you could re-enable this device without issues. IRQ sharing shouldn't normally cause problems unless the "other" device constantly does lots of stuff (like GPU does) or has really braindead drivers.
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