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Problem with audio - will new USB DAC fix it?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I'm having a problem with my netbook's onboard Realtek High Definition Audio..
It produces a crackling noise/sudden silence when performing normal tasks while playing music files, such as scrolling on a web browser or opening a folder in explorer. The only time it isn't skipping is when I type using Word, but sometimes when autosave kicks in it skips.

I'm thought it was a latency issue, and it seemed it was on Windows 8 (about 5000~ms latency), with ASIO drivers. But, after downgrading to Windows 7, latency values are normal, well below the yellow threshold on DPC Latency Checker, and audio still skips. frown.gif

It could be a driver issue, but there are no updates for the audio driver for this particular model (Acer Aspire One D270).

I'm planning to buy a USB DAC, to amp my headphones as well as to have better sound quality. Now the question is.. Will a USB DAC solve the skipping? The netbook is a dual-core Atom N2600, with 2GB RAM (more than enough for FLAC, right? I hope). The only thing I could think of is that the ethernet/wifi is choking up the pipelines of this poor thing, and not having enough bandwidth (is that the right term?) for audio to play smoothly, or the "green" 5600RPM drive at 3GbPS SATA transfer rate not having enough random access read/write time.

TL;DR
Problem: Realtek HD audio crackling/skipping distortion
Windows version: 7 Ultimate SP1

Latency: >600ms
Processor: 1.6GHz Atom N2600 2 Core 4 Threads

RAM: 2GB
Hard drive speed: 5600RPM, 3GbPS SATA


Realtek driver version: 6.0.1.6374
Audio files that skip: 192kbps MP3 to 5000kbps uncompressed FLAC, haven't tried WAV

Player: iTunes, though Foobar2000 also skips

post #2 of 5

Here is what I could dig up:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/433551/crackling-noise-with-itunes


 

NamlessPFG mentions:

 

"My friend's Alienware M18x had sound issues as well. Occasional pops and other artifacts that were subtle over the built-in speakers, but irritatingly noticeable over headphones.

 

The weird thing is that they went away when I put it in Intel graphics mode. Sounded just fine, and DPC latency was noticeably lower. Get those SLI GTX 580Ms running again, though, and it came back.

 

If it has switchable graphics, try switching to integrated graphics and tell us if the sound problems go away or not."


This may also help:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/224636/crackles-due-to-pci-bus-noise


EasterDavy Notes:

"'Im now pretty sure that my wireless networking card is causing this. I disabled it in Device Manager and the popping stopped completely. Upon enabling it again it started up immediately. Is there any way to stop the card from interfering with my audio? I always listen to music when I'm on the internet and I wouldn't like if I were doomed to always hear cracks and pops while using it."

post #3 of 5

Fiio E10 USB-DAC-Headphone amplifier, $44.99 at Adorama.

post #4 of 5

A DAC is merely a dedicated soundcard, Get the Fiio Exx and forget about the issue

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by squallkiercosa View Post

A DAC is merely a dedicated soundcard, Get the Fiio Exx and forget about the issue

I guess I could demo an E10 sometime next year, and see if it goes away. smily_headphones1.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

Here is what I could dig up:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/433551/crackling-noise-with-itunes


 

NamlessPFG mentions:

 

"My friend's Alienware M18x had sound issues as well. Occasional pops and other artifacts that were subtle over the built-in speakers, but irritatingly noticeable over headphones.

 

The weird thing is that they went away when I put it in Intel graphics mode. Sounded just fine, and DPC latency was noticeably lower. Get those SLI GTX 580Ms running again, though, and it came back.

 

If it has switchable graphics, try switching to integrated graphics and tell us if the sound problems go away or not."


This may also help:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/224636/crackles-due-to-pci-bus-noise


EasterDavy Notes:

"'Im now pretty sure that my wireless networking card is causing this. I disabled it in Device Manager and the popping stopped completely. Upon enabling it again it started up immediately. Is there any way to stop the card from interfering with my audio? I always listen to music when I'm on the internet and I wouldn't like if I were doomed to always hear cracks and pops while using it."

Mine has a GMA 3600, which isn't switchable graphics. It couldn't be the wireless alone, since ethernet also makes audio distort. Hmm.. it might be the PCI bus that's overloaded? confused.gif
 

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