[HELP] Weird sound issue, crackling and cutting in and out, can't narrow it down?

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EDIT/ Fixed, either read the thread or TL: DR moved the soundcard to a PCI slot that was not shared with the GPU



I've been having some sound issues lately when gaming, crackling (which increases as the sounds in game get louder), sound cutting in and out and sometimes just cuts out completely. All these issues are very temporarily 'fixed ' by disabling and re-enabling the active sound device via Windows Sounds. The issue comes back with 1 min though every single time. I've tried to narrow it down to one specific thing but I can't, so I must be missing something. It's not a permeant issue as it comes and goes, but lately it's becoming very frequent, like I was playing a game earlier and it was fine for an hour but then it started and wouldn't go away.


Crackling happens when:

  • Actually gaming (different games) (intermittent, getting more frequent now)
  • Recorded gaming clip played back on PC, through soundcard with headphones
  • Recorded gaming clip played back on PC, through monitors speakers via HDMI (bypassing soundcard and its software & drivers)

No crackling when:
  • Gaming clip played back on mobile device with headphones (eliminating PC altogether)
  • Gaming clip uploaded to YouTube and played back on PC, through soundcard with headphones
  • Gaming clip uploaded to YouTube and played back on PC, through monitors speakers via HDMI
  • When 'testing' soundcard output via Windows 'Sound'
  • When 'testing' monitors speakers via Windows 'Sound'
  • Using any other software on the PC regardless of using soundcard or monitors speakers
  • Listening to music, even at max volume

So somehow both my soundcard and my monitors speakers have the exact same crackling while gaming and listening back to the recorded gameplay clip on the PC but neither have an issue when listening back to the same clip on YouTube or doing any other sound related tasks??!!

How can my monitors sound (through HDMI from my GPU) have the exact same crackle as the sound coming out of my Soundcard? The two systems are not linked in any way, so how can I even begin to diagnose it? All drivers are up to date and messing with one sound driver will not impact the other so what the hell is goin on? My PSU (ASUS ROG STRIX 850W Gold) is only 4 months old so I don't expect that to be causing a problem.


This is where I'm at:
  • It can't be the headphones (because the monitors speakers do it too)
  • It can't be the video clip (because when played back on another device it's fine)
  • It can't be the soundcard (because the monitors speakers do it too)
  • It can't be the monitors speakers (because the soundcard do it too)
  • It can't be the soundcard software (because the monitors speakers do it too)
  • It can't be the soundcard drivers (because the monitors speakers do it too)
  • It can't be GPU drivers (because the soundcard do it too)
  • It can't be the motherboards onboard sound drivers (because I am not using that at all)
  • It can't be any specific game (because it happens on multiple games)
 
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OP
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15 Apr 2016
Posts
1,153
LatencyMon seems to indicate all is okay:

50904148282_5f7853a1e0_o.png


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CONCLUSION
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Your system appears to be suitable for handling real-time audio and other tasks without dropouts.
LatencyMon has been analyzing your system for 0:00:20 (h:mm:ss) on all processors.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
SYSTEM INFORMATION
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Computer name: DESKTOP-HD7BSPL
OS version: Windows 10, 10.0, version 2009, build: 19042 (x64)
Hardware: System Product Name, System manufacturer
CPU: GenuineIntel Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-7700K CPU @ 4.20GHz
Logical processors: 8
Processor groups: 1
RAM: 32703 MB total
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU SPEED
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Reported CPU speed: 420 MHz
Note: reported execution times may be calculated based on a fixed reported CPU speed. Disable variable speed settings like
Intel Speed Step and AMD Cool N Quiet in the BIOS setup for more accurate results.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
MEASURED INTERRUPT TO USER PROCESS LATENCIES
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The interrupt to process latency reflects the measured interval that a usermode process needed to respond to a hardware request
from the moment the interrupt service routine started execution. This includes the scheduling and execution of a DPC routine,
the signaling of an event and the waking up of a usermode thread from an idle wait state in response to that event.
Highest measured interrupt to process latency (µs): 36.20
Average measured interrupt to process latency (µs): 3.129955
Highest measured interrupt to DPC latency (µs): 31.80
Average measured interrupt to DPC latency (µs): 1.410730
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
REPORTED ISRs
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Interrupt service routines are routines installed by the OS and device drivers that execute in response to a hardware interrupt
signal.
Highest ISR routine execution time (µs): 51.677619
Driver with highest ISR routine execution time: dxgkrnl.sys - DirectX Graphics Kernel, Microsoft Corporation
Highest reported total ISR routine time (%): 0.028141
Driver with highest ISR total time: dxgkrnl.sys - DirectX Graphics Kernel, Microsoft Corporation
Total time spent in ISRs (%) 0.034974
ISR count (execution time <250 µs): 9207
ISR count (execution time 250-500 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time 500-1000 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time 1000-2000 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time 2000-4000 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time >=4000 µs): 0
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
REPORTED DPCs
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
DPC routines are part of the interrupt servicing dispatch mechanism and disable the possibility for a process to utilize the
CPU while it is interrupted until the DPC has finished execution.
Highest DPC routine execution time (µs): 78.943095
Driver with highest DPC routine execution time: nvlddmkm.sys - NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 456.71 , NVIDIA
Corporation
Highest reported total DPC routine time (%): 0.013563
Driver with highest DPC total execution time: Wdf01000.sys - Kernel Mode Driver Framework Runtime, Microsoft
Corporation
Total time spent in DPCs (%) 0.043244
DPC count (execution time <250 µs): 18622
DPC count (execution time 250-500 µs): 0
DPC count (execution time 500-10000 µs): 0
DPC count (execution time 1000-2000 µs): 0
DPC count (execution time 2000-4000 µs): 0
DPC count (execution time >=4000 µs): 0
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
REPORTED HARD PAGEFAULTS
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Hard pagefaults are events that get triggered by making use of virtual memory that is not resident in RAM but backed by a
memory mapped file on disk. The process of resolving the hard pagefault requires reading in the memory from disk while the
process is interrupted and blocked from execution.
NOTE: some processes were hit by hard pagefaults. If these were programs producing audio, they are likely to interrupt the
audio stream resulting in dropouts, clicks and pops. Check the Processes tab to see which programs were hit.
Process with highest pagefault count: chrome.exe
Total number of hard pagefaults 1
Hard pagefault count of hardest hit process: 1
Number of processes hit: 1
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
PER CPU DATA
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 0 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.201069
CPU 0 ISR highest execution time (µs): 51.677619
CPU 0 ISR total execution time (s): 0.055958
CPU 0 ISR count: 9207
CPU 0 DPC highest execution time (µs): 78.943095
CPU 0 DPC total execution time (s): 0.067331
CPU 0 DPC count: 17735
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 1 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.009773
CPU 1 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 1 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 1 ISR count: 0
CPU 1 DPC highest execution time (µs): 4.245476
CPU 1 DPC total execution time (s): 0.000041
CPU 1 DPC count: 41
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 2 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.017745
CPU 2 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 2 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 2 ISR count: 0
CPU 2 DPC highest execution time (µs): 38.912857
CPU 2 DPC total execution time (s): 0.000903
CPU 2 DPC count: 413
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 3 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.012265
CPU 3 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 3 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 3 ISR count: 0
CPU 3 DPC highest execution time (µs): 6.923333
CPU 3 DPC total execution time (s): 0.000127
CPU 3 DPC count: 79
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 4 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.016782
CPU 4 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 4 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 4 ISR count: 0
CPU 4 DPC highest execution time (µs): 5.391190
CPU 4 DPC total execution time (s): 0.000104
CPU 4 DPC count: 56
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 5 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.014988
CPU 5 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 5 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 5 ISR count: 0
CPU 5 DPC highest execution time (µs): 6.070476
CPU 5 DPC total execution time (s): 0.000118
CPU 5 DPC count: 59
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 6 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.016363
CPU 6 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 6 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 6 ISR count: 0
CPU 6 DPC highest execution time (µs): 9.013810
CPU 6 DPC total execution time (s): 0.000176
CPU 6 DPC count: 77
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CPU 7 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.013837
CPU 7 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 7 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 7 ISR count: 0
CPU 7 DPC highest execution time (µs): 8.793571
CPU 7 DPC total execution time (s): 0.000392
CPU 7 DPC count: 162
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
Soldato
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How can my monitors sound (through HDMI from my GPU) have the exact same crackle as the sound coming out of my Soundcard? The two systems are not linked in any way, so how can I even begin to diagnose it?

Both systems are using the PCIe bus and it only seems to happen when the GPU is under stress. Crackling during recording just means the sound was present when you were recording it so it will be there no matter what you play it through.
It may be that the only solution is to use an external DAC/Amp or USB soundcard such as the Creative SoundblasterX G6 if you need virtual surround sound.
 
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This now seems to be a permeant problem, as in, I start gaming and the issue appears after about 30secs-1min, I disable/re-enable the sound device and it goes away, but 30secs-1min later its back and this just happens constantly now, which pretty much means I can't do any gaming at all.
 
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Both systems are using the PCIe bus and it only seems to happen when the GPU is under stress. Crackling during recording just means the sound was present when you were recording it so it will be there no matter what you play it through.
It may be that the only solution is to use an external DAC/Amp or USB soundcard such as the Creative SoundblasterX G6 if you need virtual surround sound.

Well the crackling does not appear on the video if the video is watched on a different device completely (phone/tablet), and I need this Soundcard because it can drive my 250ohm headphones. So, are you saying it's a motherboard issue?
 
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I shouldn't have to ditch my soundcard if it does not have a problem surely? I had a DAC/AMP before and hated the whole setup, the soundcard is a much nicer, cleaner, all-in-one solution that performs better. If the motherboard is at fault surely I should change that instead?
 
Soldato
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If it's sharing with the GPU then you're asking for trouble. The bottom slot works well for me as it's on a different bus
 
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if it's in the second full size slot (the one used for SLI) then it's sharing bandwidth with the graphics card

I'll take it out and have a proper look shortly, the GPU is quite big and I can't remember exactly what's what under there, before I do that though I'll just disable onboard sound in the BIOS and see if that makes any difference so I can rule it out. You are probably on to something though, not sure why I didn't see the connection that the GPU and soundcard are both using the PCI slots though lol
 
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You'll probably find the info buried in the motherboard manual somewhere, that will show which PCIe slots are shared - it's unlikely that the small one at the bottom is shared with the ones used for the graphics card(s)
 
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My motherboard actually only has 3 full sized PCI slots, the soundcard was a later addition and was installed way after the GPU, before installing the soundcard I wrongly assumed that the GPU was hiding another PCI slot so I put the soundcard in what I thought was slot 3 (I figured it wouldn't be sharing with the GPU and it'll give the PSU fan some breathing space), but it was actually slot 2 (not good). Now it's down in slot 3 where it belongs, I just did 10 mins gaming and had no audio problem BUT that doesn't mean it's sorted because up until this morning the issue was a bit more sporadic, it would only become apparent after 30mins-1hr of gaming. I'll go do some more gaming and see what happens, it'll either show me problems within an hour or two or it's fixed. I'll report back here when either one becomes apparent. Fingers crossed.

50904289142_ea1a290f1d_o.jpg
 
Soldato
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looking at the photo the two full length slots will be shared together and the three small slots should be on another bus. It may also be that the two top small slots are shared and the bottom slot is on it's own but could possibly share with the M.2 slot - which could cause even more problems.

D'oh! I just spotted a 3rd full length PCIe slot right at the bottom - now I'm completely lost as to which slots are being used :D
 
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