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Windows 7: High Audio Latency (Pops/Cracks/Stutters)

17 Mar 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 
High Audio Latency (Pops/Cracks/Stutters)

Heyo!

I have some serious audio issues that seems to point to some type of hardware or driver I recently installed. I have a lot of popping, cracking and stutters that actually make video playback stutter when it happens too. I play a lot of video games, it doesn't seem to impact games outside of having stutters and pops (i.e.: the game doesn't stutter or freeze like video).

I want to say this started happening when my machine mysteriously crashed a few weeks ago. My USB portable hard drive would cause Windows7 to hang on startup and would take 30 minutes to load Windows. After that time, I noticed my audio had broke it's drivers and I reinstalled new ones for an external sound card. I used the computer with the broken audio for another week and now I'm just getting tired of the issues. I assumed it was just with the sound card I was using, thus I removed the hardware and went back to onboard audio with my old Gigabyte Motherboard. However, the issues are still present even though I'm using a different audio source and utilizing different (REALTEK) drivers that are up-to-date.

My wife said she uninstalled some codec, but I have no idea what ones were uninstalled. I suspect that could be the issue, however my Catalysis Control Center for ATI is no longer working either. I assume my graphical drivers could be a cause as well. If not, I'm at a loss other than the recent memory I added. I put in 6 gigs of memory (2x 2gigs + 2x 1gigs) when of course, my 32bit Windows 7 Ultimate only supports up to 4gigs.

I checked the latency with LatencyMon and dpclat.exe. My DPClat stats show the currently latency averaging above 2K all the time. LatencyMon statistics are listed below. Any help would be much appreciated.

Quote:
CONCLUSION
____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
Your system appears to be having trouble handling real-time audio and other tasks. You are likely to experience buffer underruns appearing as drop outs, clicks or pops. One or more DPC routines that belong to a driver running in your system appear to be executing for too long. Also your system appears to be having trouble which may be attributed to SMIs, IPIs, CPU bugs or unexplainable stalls. One problem may be related to power management, disable CPU throttling settings in Control Panel and BIOS setup. Check for BIOS updates.
LatencyMon has been analyzing your system for 0:00:59 (h:mm:ss) on all processors.


____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
SYSTEM INFORMATION
____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
Computer name: VISTA-ULTIMATE
OS version: Windows 7 , 6.1, build: 7600 (x86)
Hardware: 965P-DS3, Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
CPU: GenuineIntel Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6320 @ 1.86GHz
Logical processors: 2
Processor groups: 1
RAM: 3582 MB total


____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
CPU SPEED
____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
Reported CPU speed: 1866.0 MHz
Measured CPU speed: 1617.0 MHz (approx.)

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 (s): 4371.488177
Average measured interrupt to process latency (s): 3.103055

Highest measured interrupt to DPC latency (s): 3669.329202
Average measured interrupt to DPC latency (s): 1.094498


____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
MEASURED SMI, IPI AND CPU STALLS
____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
The SMI, IPI and CPU stalls value represents the highest measured interval that a CPU did not respond while having its maskable interrupts disabled.

Highest measured SMI or CPU stall (s) 679.119383


____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
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 (s): 720.501072
Driver with highest ISR routine execution time: ataport.SYS - ATAPI Driver Extension, Microsoft Corporation

Highest reported total ISR routine time (%): 0.047887
Driver with highest ISR total time: ataport.SYS - ATAPI Driver Extension, Microsoft Corporation

Total time spent in ISRs (%) 0.072930

ISR count (execution time <250 s): 16109
ISR count (execution time 250-500 s): 0
ISR count (execution time 500-999 s): 11
ISR count (execution time 1000-1999 s): 0
ISR count (execution time 2000-3999 s): 0
ISR count (execution time >=4000 s): 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 (s): 4348.579314
Driver with highest DPC routine execution time: ntkrnlpa.exe - NT Kernel & System, Microsoft Corporation

Highest reported total DPC routine time (%): 1.475778
Driver with highest DPC total execution time: ntkrnlpa.exe - NT Kernel & System, Microsoft Corporation

Total time spent in DPCs (%) 2.124078

DPC count (execution time <250 s): 339473
DPC count (execution time 250-500 s): 0
DPC count (execution time 500-999 s): 99
DPC count (execution time 1000-1999 s): 12
DPC count (execution time 2000-3999 s): 519
DPC count (execution time >=4000 s): 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 11
Hard pagefault count of hardest hit process: 5
Highest hard pagefault resolution time (s): 14888.411040
Total time spent in hard pagefaults (%): 0.013011
Number of processes hit: 3


____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
PER CPU DATA
____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
CPU 0 Interrupt cycle time (s): 2.455993
CPU 0 ISR highest execution time (s): 720.501072
CPU 0 ISR total execution time (s): 0.086283
CPU 0 ISR count: 16120
CPU 0 DPC highest execution time (s): 4348.579314
CPU 0 DPC total execution time (s): 1.627332
CPU 0 DPC count: 335129
____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
CPU 1 Interrupt cycle time (s): 1.280531
CPU 1 ISR highest execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 1 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 1 ISR count: 0
CPU 1 DPC highest execution time (s): 4280.068596
CPU 1 DPC total execution time (s): 0.885665
CPU 1 DPC count: 5009
____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

17 Mar 2013   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

I just removed the memory I installed and re-installed the old memory with a reboot. No change.
I followed that up with removing my ATI drivers and reinstalled new ones with a reboot. No change.

Sort of at a loss for what is causing the issues. I run the latency checkers with no audio and everything is still high all the time. Something funky is going on.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2013   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TehFamine View Post
I just removed the memory I installed and re-installed the old memory with a reboot. No change.
I followed that up with removing my ATI drivers and reinstalled new ones with a reboot. No change.

Sort of at a loss for what is causing the issues. I run the latency checkers with no audio and everything is still high all the time. Something funky is going on.
uninstall and reinstall your audio drivers. all of them. maybe your speakers are going bad? connections? a lot of times, audio drivers cause stutters and lag in video. you can try to disable them in DM and play a video to see if the stutters stop. try connecting head phones in, that will tell you if its your speakers. or the driver.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


17 Mar 2013   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

I should have mentioned previously, I only wear headphones on the computer. I wiped the previous drivers for my external sound card and re-installed. I did the same for on-board audio (REALTEK) as well twice. I used the motherboard drivers and then the recommended real drivers from their website.

I'm doing more tests and I noticed every time that I run software on my machine, the latency is all over the place. If I run just Chrome, DPC Latency Checker shows above 2K latency. If I just run the checker without any software open, it's all green. I cross-referenced this with my Windows Task Manager and I see my CPU spiking dramatically on every action within windows. Maybe this is related to my CPU in some way? It's rather old, it's a Core 2 Duo.

The issue doesn't seem related to any of my audio drivers or maybe not audio at all. I think the entire PC is stalling and just impacting my playbacks like video and audio. I'm not stuttering in windows or in video games for example. Those are smooth. It's just audio playback and video playback it seems. There is cracks, pops and just hanging in those areas.

I went through most of my device manager disabling stuff to see if it has any impact on the DPC Latency Checker. None had, so I'm still at a loss what this could be.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2013   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TehFamine View Post
I should have mentioned previously, I only wear headphones on the computer. I wiped the previous drivers for my external sound card and re-installed. I did the same for on-board audio (REALTEK) as well twice. I used the motherboard drivers and then the recommended real drivers from their website.

I'm doing more tests and I noticed every time that I run software on my machine, the latency is all over the place. If I run just Chrome, DPC Latency Checker shows above 2K latency. If I just run the checker without any software open, it's all green. I cross-referenced this with my Windows Task Manager and I see my CPU spiking dramatically on every action within windows. Maybe this is related to my CPU in some way? It's rather old, it's a Core 2 Duo.

The issue doesn't seem related to any of my audio drivers or maybe not audio at all. I think the entire PC is stalling and just impacting my playbacks like video and audio. I'm not stuttering in windows or in video games for example. Those are smooth. It's just audio playback and video playback it seems. There is cracks, pops and just hanging in those areas.

I went through most of my device manager disabling stuff to see if it has any impact on the DPC Latency Checker. None had, so I'm still at a loss what this could be.

maybe your wife installed something? virus check, and check whats installed.... do a system restore to an earlier date.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2013   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Checked that too. Nothing there. We have a fully activated Avast (updated) and Malware running all the time. It's possible that it still could be something like that of course. Will do a full-scan just to make sure.

I'm doing an audio test right now with Spotifly. Latency checker is all over the place, but no skips, hangs or stalls yet. Going to check out Youtube next and see if video playback is screwed before going in-game. Been playing SimCity the past few days. Audio in SimCity is glitching like crazy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2013   #7

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TehFamine View Post
Checked that too. Nothing there. We have a fully activated Avast (updated) and Malware running all the time. It's possible that it still could be something like that of course. Will do a full-scan just to make sure.

I'm doing an audio test right now with Spotifly. Latency checker is all over the place, but no skips, hangs or stalls yet. Going to check out Youtube next and see if video playback is screwed before going in-game. Been playing SimCity the past few days. Audio in SimCity is glitching like crazy.
system restore dident work?

also what anti virus did u have prior to avast?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2013   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

I've been using Avast since forever. I built this machine like 6 years ago with Avast hah.

Seems the audio is better in video playback on Youtube. Maybe it's resolved regardless of what latency checker is saying atm. Going in-game to check out the audio there. Hopefully this is resolved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2013   #9

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TehFamine View Post
I've been using Avast since forever. I built this machine like 6 years ago with Avast hah.

Seems the audio is better in video playback on Youtube. Maybe it's resolved regardless of what latency checker is saying atm. Going in-game to check out the audio there. Hopefully this is resolved.
ohh ok.... wow six years!? time for a clean install?! that will fix your problems! lol

i know when i installed AVG, then uninstalled it and installed avast, it really screwed up my computer. u name it, and it was wrong. the only thing i was able to do was clean install
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2013   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

No worries. It seems like it's fixed now. I think what resolved the problem was a complete wipe of my video card drivers with a CCleaner registery clean to boot. I reinstalled the correct legacy drivers for my older video card and was too hung up on the Latency Checker numbers to actually see if the audio was stalling. It seems even though those numbers are still spiking, I'm at least not hearing it through my headset.

I'll give this a good 24 hours until I close out the thread just to be sure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 High Audio Latency (Pops/Cracks/Stutters)




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