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Windows 7: DPC Latency & sound dropouts

25 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
DPC Latency & sound dropouts

Hello everyone,

Recently I upgraded my computer hardware to a new motherboard, graphics card and processor. I moved my old hard disks (from my old hardware) into this new computer, turned it on and it started right up, I just had to re-validate Windows 7, which went without a hitch.

Yesterday, I bought a new headset and started using it with my PC (before I was using desktop speakers), however, when I turned on some music, I was hearing a lot of stuttering/static while it was playing. I had this problem before, but it usually only happened when there was a program running that was taxing the CPU, and that isn't an issue now.

I read around for a while last night about the issue, and it turns out that it's something called "DPC Latency", so I downloaded all the tools and tried to troubleshoot it for a few hours before I went to bed with no luck.

So far I've tried:
  • disabling HPET in bios & switching it to 64 bit mode (it was on 32 previously)
  • turning off Powermizer on the Nvidia card
  • disabling all USB ports one by one
  • disabling all audio and network drivers
  • changing the power settings for the CPU and HDD (tried this AHCI Link Power Management - Enable HIPM and DIPM
  • updated all my drivers except by BIOS so far (I haven't tried that because it seems kind of risky, but I suppose I would do it as a last resort)
Another issue I was having was with my processor making this high pitched whistling noise, but when I turn off "disable processor idle" in the Windows power management area, it stops making noise. The weird thing to me is, it changes my dpclat.exe from full red bars to this for about 1-3 minutes (but after a few minutes it just goes back to full red bars, 28000μs):

DPC Latency & sound dropouts-untitled2.jpg

Before I went to bed last night, I turned on a 2 hour audio track and set it to loop with LatencyMon running. You can see in the screenshot below that the main culprits are:
  • ndis.sys
  • ataport.sys
  • usbport.sys
  • dxgkrnl.sys
  • HDAudBus.sys
I've looked around on how to fix these individually, but I can't come up with anything at all. If I purchase a PCI sound card, would it fix these issues? I would prefer to fix it without having to do that, but if that's the only way to fix it for sure I can do it.

Here's the pastebin of the report so it doesn't make this post massively long -

If anyone has any ideas on how to fix this, I would really appreciate it!

DPC Latency & sound dropouts-untitled.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2012   #2

Windows 10 64 bit

As you moved to a new motherboard, you need to install all the motherboard chipset drivers and the device drivers for the hardware devices including the audio. The audio is especially critical and you should only use the drivers from the motherboard vendor, as non vendor drivers can have problems.

Start with the install of the correct drivers and work from that. Also, the video drivers are an issue with the sound problems you are having.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

When I set up the new parts, I installed these drivers:

off this page GIGABYTE - Motherboard - Socket 1366 - GA-EX58-UD3R (rev. 1.0) for Windows 7 64bit.

I also ran the Realtek Etherenet Diagnostic Utility tests, but everything passed with no issues.

I downgraded the Realtek driver I installed from their website yesterday to the one on the Gigabyte website, but nothing changed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 May 2012   #4

Windows 10 64 bit

So you really didn't just boot from the old hard drive and nothing else.

The chipset driver should be the first driver installed. The chipset driver defines the hardware on the motherboard and in most cases if the chipset driver is not installed the sound will not install.

The stuttering/noise, etc in the audio is a common complaint. There is no "one fix" for the problem. Sound Drivers is the first issue. Other drivers such as video are another issue. If you have wi-fi that can cause the problems.

Another issue is the shared IRQ (interrupt) that sound is on with. Sound is considered a low priority in Windows and thus is assigned a shared IRQ with a higher priority device. If you uninstall the sound in the device manager, restart the PC and when Windows starts it will detect and reinstall it and SOMETIMES it will put it on a different shared IRQ and help the stuttering problems.

I use my PC for my recording studio (I use Sonar X1) and I have it tweaked for recording but you shouldn't have to go that far.

There are many threads on here about the Stuttering, etc. Look over them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2012   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

I booted from the old drive and installed the drivers as soon as I was able to. Everything works perfectly (video drivers, hard disks, LAN, USB etc) except for the stuttering with the sound.

I've read a lot of the threads and I haven't been able to come up with a fix so far, but these are the steps that I've done since the last post:

I first disabled the Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller network adapter, and that stopped some small spikes in dcplat:

DPC Latency & sound dropouts-set2.jpg

I then let it run for a while, about 5-6 minutes without touching the computer (with the driver still disabled), came back and it looked like this:

DPC Latency & sound dropouts-set3.jpg

I had LatencyMon open over the same period too (since I disabled the network adapter):

DPC Latency & sound dropouts-set4.jpg

I tried disabling the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 display adapter while it was running, but there were zero noticeable changes in the latency meter or the sound clip I had on loop.

DPC Latency & sound dropouts-set5.jpg

and the pastebin from LatencyMon - ______________________________________________________________________________ -

edit: and 15 minutes later, this is what dpclat looks like, the same as before I disabled the realtek network driver:

DPC Latency & sound dropouts-set6.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2012   #6

Windows 10 64 bit

I don't really have any other suggestions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Hey guys,

This is my first post here, but I'm taking this opportunity to join the conversation because I've been experiencing similar problems to those described by @Piledriver721.

My system is custom built by ADK Pro Audio, a Kentucky-based company who specializes in assembling PCs optimized for audio and video production.

The audio playback issue started soon after I received the system, but for the most part, it has been intermittent. However, the brief audio dropouts seem to be occurring more frequently now and my workflow has been greatly impaired.

I have tried a couple of the suggestions listed here: disabling devices in Devices Manager and updating old drivers. Still, the problem persists. At this point, my DPC Latency Checker looks like this (as posted by Piledriver721) on a normal basis:

Whenever I start up Sonar X1 (my DAW of choice) or even when I use VLC player, the display turns completely red and audio playback is near impossible.

Are there any other possible fixes? Would changing to a PCI or PCIe audio interface help?

Thanks in advance guys.

This is a great forum.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2012   #8

Windows 10 64 bit

Have you talked to Scott, at ADK?

I'm just building a new DAW system for Sonar X1 (and Pro Tools MP9). I'm using an ASRock Z77 Professional M/B, i7 3770 CPU, 16GB of RAM and an SSD for the OS and Sonar, and a 1TB 7200 RPM for projects, etc. I'll probably be at the point of "smoke testing" it Friday, as the SSD is not due in until tomorrow. It will probably be tweaking to get it running properly. I have my current system tweaked that I have very low latency with the DPC Latency Test. I'm using a Roland Octa Capture for the recording interface unit. Wish me luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Thanks for replying @Firebird. I spoke to Eric over at ADK a few months ago. But I will ask for Scott the next time I call or email.

Your new system sounds like my dream build. Are you building it yourself?

Is there anyway to avoid the IRQ issue with a new build? Also, are there any other measures you know of to remedy my dropout problem?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2012   #10

Windows 10 64 bit

Focusrite has some suggestions on tweaking a system for recording. They talk about their own equipment but its applicable to any system. Look it over and see if there is anything that you or ADK hasn't done.

Optimising your PC for audio on Windows 7 .: Focusrite Answerbase

Yes, I'm building the system myself. I'm a retired computer techie that still hasn't completely retired. I needed a new system for Sonar X1 (I have X1D Extended Producer) and Pro Tools. The system I have now I built 4 years ago. What I'm building now is more than needed right now but I'm practicing what I preach to the computer clients I support when they ask me about a new PC system "buy as much as your pocketbook can stand" or "buy overkill".
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 DPC Latency & sound dropouts

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