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Old 2010-02-07, 09:59   Link #1
Jaden
Witch of Betrayal
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Age: 27
Choppy sound issues

So yeah, my sound is breaking up in places when there is high CPU load. This problem popped up about a month ago and I can't quite make out what's causing it. I thought I would ask around before doing drastic things like formating.

The PC is a Fujitsu-Siemens multimedia type laptop, running vista 32-bit and (presumably) an onboard sound card that uses Realtek HD drivers.

The sound starts breaking up especially when watching HD video (when the decoding takes up much resources) and sometimes when playing music on the background while playing games.

There's nothing wrong with performance otherwise, only the sound is affected.

I've tried updating drivers and also tried downgrading to the ones that come pre-installed, doesn't really change anything.
Funnily the sound only breaks when using external speakers (the onboard ones are a joke, I don't want to hear anything coming out of those ) Whether it's headphones, surround speakers, USB speakers or a television connected with HDMI, doesn't matter.

As a workaround I've reduced CPU load by reducing sound quality and enchantments, and using more efficient decoding methods. That way I can usually watch (listen to) 720p video bearably, but it still doesn't eliminate the problem.

I was thinking this could be caused by 3 things:

1. HDD performance bottleneck: it's a 5400rpm piece of trash and I've clogged it up with a lot stuff on the way.
2. Hardware issue in the motherboard or something I can't do anything about.
3. A driver or settings thing I've failed to notice.

So, any ideas? Thanks in advance.
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Old 2010-02-07, 10:24   Link #2
Tiberium Wolf
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1-> This can't be. If you are fine with video and sound not then it's not hdd. Since video data >>> sound data.
2-> If you install a clean OS and install right away the correct drivers and still happen then it's hardware.
3-> It could be this one. Did you remove all the sound drivers? Like even going to hardware devices and remove the sound hardware and have it detect and install the driver on restart?
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Old 2010-02-07, 15:04   Link #3
SeijiSensei
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It sounds like your CPU is so busy decoding the video that it doesn't have enough cycles to spare for the audio decoding as well. What video card does this machine have? What model Fujitsu-Siemens notebook? Some of them appear to include the ATI Avivo technology which can offload the video decoding task to the graphics hardware. If you have an Avivo card, maybe you should try getting the most recent drivers from ATI and see if they help.
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Old 2010-02-07, 17:10   Link #4
Jaden
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Age: 27
It's the Xi3650.
Year old, and they it's not even in their catalogue anymore.
It's got an NVIDIA 9600(M) GT for graphics. I can't upgrade it's driver because the laptop needs a special one for it's hybrid SLI feature to work (you can turn off the graphics card and switch to an on-board one to save power. not that I'm really using that feature)
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Old 2010-02-07, 19:29   Link #5
synaesthetic
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I've noticed this happening since I updated to CoreAVC 2.0. When I play videos that bump up against 100% CPU utilization, I get stuttering, choppy audio. With CoreAVC 1.9.5 I got A/V desync instead, so I guess 2.0 has defaulted video decoding to highest priority...
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Old 2010-02-07, 19:42   Link #6
chikorita157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaden View Post
It's the Xi3650.
Year old, and they it's not even in their catalogue anymore.
It's got an NVIDIA 9600(M) GT for graphics. I can't upgrade it's driver because the laptop needs a special one for it's hybrid SLI feature to work (you can turn off the graphics card and switch to an on-board one to save power. not that I'm really using that feature)
With the nVidia Geforce, it should support DXVA... try using that and it will probably solve the issue... if not, update your sound drivers...

Also, Dox's nVidia modded drivers support Hybrid SLI, so you should probably try that out... (just Google for it). If you decide to do so, uninstall your display drivers completely before installing it.
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Old 2010-02-10, 18:03   Link #7
Jaden
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That helped a lot, thanks. I managed to involve my GPU in the decoding there.
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Old 2010-02-11, 15:05   Link #8
SirJeannot
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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happened on my corporate dell laptop (vista32). sata drivers were faulty (huge dpc).
you can check that with the tool called dpclatency. installed the sata driver from dell, video playback (even sd) was fine after the update
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Old 2010-02-12, 17:27   Link #9
SirJeannot
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for the record, similar problems and well known problem, not always the same driver though :
http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/12/s...g-audio-issue/
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Old 2010-02-21, 18:40   Link #10
Jaden
Witch of Betrayal
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Age: 27
Yeah, sound issues like this seem pretty common these days. I've no issues with video playback anymore, but the problem still rears its head in some games ....

I was trying out the Starcraft 2 beta today and the sound went really bad in game there, was mostly static...well, it is a beta, so I guess that can be overlooked.
Meanwhile S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, which doesn't even run very smooth on this computer, doesn't have sound issues.

And I found something interesting, if I set the core affinity of Starcraft 2 to a single CPU core, the sound is fixed >_> Kind of stinks playing like that, though. Maybe I'll let Blizzard's techies try to solve this for me. And the next thing I hope might fix it is upgrading to win7 64-bit.
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