Question New build, audio crackling and occasional freeze/stuttering

h0lyshadow

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Nov 15, 2020
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Hi!

I'm coming from this thread https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/windows-stutters-intermittently-audio-drops-crackles-keyboard-input-drops-out.3760526/#post-22713977, as the user had (still has?) my very same problems. Colif was kind enough to answer my reply and said it was better to do my own thread so here we go.

I have recently and finally built this new PC, after seven years rocking a 4790k
Specs are:
  1. MSI PRO Z690-A DDR4
  2. i7 12700k
  3. Patriot Viper Steel 16GB Kit DDR4-3600 CL14 (two kits for 32GB total)
  4. 980 PRO NVMe M.2 SSD 1 TB
  5. DeepCool AK620 CPU Cooler
I have recycled the PSU, GPU, data disks and the case.
PSU is a Corsair AX860i, GPU a Zotac GTX 1080


The problem is that every time I boot the machine, the audio could crack during reproduction. 1st boot maybe it's 100% crackling for every single sort of audio, 2nd boot maybe the audio is broken for a second or two every X minutes, another boot and the problem is apparently disappeared, just to come back here and there randomly.
What is really weird is that my peers on voice chat, watching my stream, could actually hear the audio problems. It's something software related hopefully
I have changed audio driver/cleaned the previous one many times, tried to sfc /scannow the fresh system and whatsnot, without success


The build actually run buttersmooth, XMP profile on and stress tested the machine for hours with Prime95. no crash or freeze at all

Bios is updated, all the drivers are updated
I suspect it may be Windows 11 - I still haven't tried booting from USB a different OS and see if it's win11

Thanks for anyone willing to read my bad english and helping out

Cheers
 
Last edited:

Colif

Win 11 Master
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does it happen in safe mode?
  1. go to settings/recovery
  2. Next to Advanced startup, click restart now
  3. this restarts PC in a blue menu
  4. choose troubleshoot
  5. choose advanced
  6. choose startup options
  7. click the restart button
  8. choose a safe mode (it doesn't matter which) by using number associated with it.
  9. Pc will restart and load safe mode
just curious, will show if its maybe a driver or startup program

if it doesn't happen in safe mode, try a clean boot

Try a clean boot and see if it changes anything - make sure to read instructions and make sure NOT to disable any microsoft services or windows won't load right - https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/929135/how-to-perform-a-clean-boot-in-windows

this isn't a reset, all it does is stops non Microsoft programs from loading at startup, easily reversed.

if clean boot fixes it, it shows its likely a startup program. You should, over a number of startups. restart the programs you stopped to isolate the one that is to blame.

op has latencymon and will post screenshots later.

Using 2 non matching sets of ram can cause errors but not sure about latency (when I say non matching, I mean, they non from same set of ram. Sticks in sets only designed to work with other sticks in that set)

this might seem odd, but boot into bios and leave pc sitting in bios for a few hours. It can force nvme to run trim and might help. I have seen it work before.

Did you look at the video in the post you linked to? some of those fixes might help.
 
Last edited:

h0lyshadow

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So here we go

First boot was a disaster, with the audio completely broken. Indeed Latencymon found problems, following screenshots:





I've then rebooted into safe mode twice without any audio problem and now, while I'm typing and out of the safe mode, audio is also OK. It's really weird
Right now Latencymon is fine. I can sort of reproduce the bug by simply rebooting, sometimes is good, sometimes is bad, sometimes is partially bad.

I made a video but the sound is registered normally, no audio crackling. Think I'm gonna do the clean boot, anyway doing a format isn't a problem since it's a fresh setup.

PS Colif, lil tip: If you reboot Win10/11 while pressing left SHIFT, it goes into recovery automatically :)


Thanks for any suggestion!
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
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Jun 12, 2015
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PS Colif, lil tip: If you reboot Win10/11 while pressing left SHIFT, it goes into recovery automatically
i know that, there are a few ways to do it.

this might seem odd, but boot into bios and leave pc sitting in bios for a few hours. It can force nvme to run trim and might help. I have seen it work before.
this helped someone else before.

seems my problem isn't fixed, it happened tonight but unlike yours its not constant, I get one spike and then nothing for a few days... its not consistent enough for me to just run latencymon and find it.

highest on charts are Nvidia. This is both normal and a possible clue. I thought using older Nvidia drivers had fixed mine until today. Problem I have is I don't know cause. I was having bsod and found cause of it, but that wasn't answer.

did you try any of these? I might look at it again
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
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Last edited:

h0lyshadow

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Nov 15, 2020
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Hey there,

Did some testing in my freetime this weekend

  • Left the machine on BIOS screen for a whole afternoon
  • Cleanboot
  • Samsung Magician
What I'm supposed to see with Samsung software? It's still using MS NVME driver, did a benchmark and everything is fine from the software dashboard

Obv the problem persist.. all I can say is that rebooting may change drastically the crackling. Once you boot in a crackling session, everything will sound robotic, next reboot not guaranteed to fix but when the sound is somewhat fixed, then the fix persist for the whole session. Simply putting the same session into sleep, will cause problems once returning back from sleep state. Definitely something on startup

Next test will be Windows 10 on a isolated drive, for sure
 

h0lyshadow

Prominent
Nov 15, 2020
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Hi,
So far.. no good news.

The problem persist, it's on both Win10/11 and Linux too.

I've tried :

  • No external GPU
  • No auxiliary disks
  • Changing Ram pairs and slots (tested 8/16/32 gb)
  • Using ram @ stock bios settings, no XMP
I don't have a PSU to test it sadly
So it boils down to PSU/Motherboard/CPU

I've started the RMA process for the MB, hoping that's where the problem lies

In the meanwhile RTX 3080 arrived and I couldn't enjoy the new build :(

Thanks everyone for helping out


(For future unlucky bois: I've looked for many similar threads and people having this problem.. the only rare case where it was resolved was after bios updates, most of the time the thread just goes dead because there's no solution to defective hardware. Just RMA asap and don't make my mistake)

Cheers
 

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