USB DAC audio static when playing demanding games
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prozonelayer

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Wondering if anyone has suggestions for the issue I'm having. I've been trying to eliminate static I hear through my USB DAC when playing demanding games on PC. When I play a game like Warzone and am in game, any voices I hear from people in Discord or from the announcer in game have a ton of static. In the Warzone lobby or in less demanding games like Fall Guys, there is no static. If I use my motherboard audio there is no static, but using my Schiit Modi 3 and Magni Heresy stack there is. Unfortunately, I am using a Mini ITX motherboard with no SPDIF out, so USB is my only option. I notice no static or other audio artifact issues when listening to music or doing any other non-demanding tasks. So far I have tried...
  • Using different USB cables (all 2m or less).
  • Powering the modi 3 via a separate USB cable.
  • Using the modi 3 without the heresy, still hear static through the powered speakers I attached it to.
  • Using the pre out on the heresy, still hear static through the powered speakers.
  • Using different USB ports, isolated the Modi 3 to the chipset USB controller with all other devices on the CPU controller, still hearing static.
  • Using an ifi iDefender+ in between the motherboard and Modi 3, with the iDefender+ plugged into a separate Aukey USB power adapter via its USB-C port.
From what I tried above, I'm fairly confident that the static is introduced somewhere in the USB controler -> Modi 3 path. I was hoping the iDefender+ would be able to solve this issue as I read other reviews stating they were able to eliminate noise from high GPU usage, but it has only been able to quiet the static somewhat.
 
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Roseval

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prozonelayer

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Thanks for the suggestion, hadn't even considered that.
I downloaded latencymon and ran it while playing Warzone and did indeed see latency issues. I did the following things to try and alleviate them...
  • Disabled USB selective suspend
  • Disabled unused Realtek audio device
  • Disabled unused Wifi card
  • Enabled MSI Support on the two "High Definition Audio Controller (Microsoft)" devices.
  • Disable pagefile
After doing these things, I restarted latencymon and played Warzone again. This time, I did not see latency issues, but still experienced static and pops in the sound. I am going to look around for more things to try out, but if you or anyone else has suggestions I'd appreciate it.
I attached both logs in case that helps.
 

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prozonelayer

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I updated my BIOS, which had the unintended side-effect of resetting all of my BIOS settings including my RAM overclock, and now my audio issues are gone! Not sure if the BIOS update itself fixed the issue or if there was a problem with my RAM overclock or some other setting, but I'll slowly introduce changes and see if anything causes the audio issues to resurface. Thanks again for your suggestion! Wouldn't have thought the issue could be latency related without it.
 
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PurpleAngel

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An Asus Xonar DG or DGX sound card is a low cost card comes with an optical port.

Also might try using separate power strips/surge protectors.
 
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NA Blur

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Wondering if anyone has suggestions for the issue I'm having. I've been trying to eliminate static I hear through my USB DAC when playing demanding games on PC. When I play a game like Warzone and am in game, any voices I hear from people in Discord or from the announcer in game have a ton of static. In the Warzone lobby or in less demanding games like Fall Guys, there is no static. If I use my motherboard audio there is no static, but using my Schiit Modi 3 and Magni Heresy stack there is. Unfortunately, I am using a Mini ITX motherboard with no SPDIF out, so USB is my only option. I notice no static or other audio artifact issues when listening to music or doing any other non-demanding tasks. So far I have tried...
  • Using different USB cables (all 2m or less).
  • Powering the modi 3 via a separate USB cable.
  • Using the modi 3 without the heresy, still hear static through the powered speakers I attached it to.
  • Using the pre out on the heresy, still hear static through the powered speakers.
  • Using different USB ports, isolated the Modi 3 to the chipset USB controller with all other devices on the CPU controller, still hearing static.
  • Using an ifi iDefender+ in between the motherboard and Modi 3, with the iDefender+ plugged into a separate Aukey USB power adapter via its USB-C port.
From what I tried above, I'm fairly confident that the static is introduced somewhere in the USB controler -> Modi 3 path. I was hoping the iDefender+ would be able to solve this issue as I read other reviews stating they were able to eliminate noise from high GPU usage, but it has only been able to quiet the static somewhat.
I've read that the video driver can cause this issue. Make sure that is up to date first.

Now check that the Realtek High Definition Audio driver is up to date. Ensure your audio is set to 16-bit 48kHz.

Let us know if that fixes it please.
 
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prozonelayer

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Thanks for the suggestions NA Blur and PurpleAngel. I was able to fix the issue and explained in post #4. Have not had popping/crackling audio since then and re-introduced a less aggressive RAM OC.
 
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NA Blur

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Great news indeed! Keep on listening my friend.
 
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NA Blur

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You could overclock your RAM again just to test it. That's if you want peace of mind knowing what the heck it was in the first place.
 
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