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Windows 7 audio latency problem.


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Testplatform HP Pavilion DV-5 Entertainment Notebook PC (4GB RAM, 2GHz dual-core) with Microsoft® Windows® 7 x64 and Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1. Driver: USB_W7DRVBETA_US_1_01_0091. Tested with clean installed OS and only this driver.

The Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 is connected with optical TOSlink to a 5.1 Pioneer reciever.

There occures great (and increasing) latency while playback of videofiles.

-Sound will very noticably loose sync from video within a minute (all filetypes, not a codec problem). The latency will not occure with the internal notebook speakers, nor on same system with Microsoft® Windows® Vista x86. The Notebook ships with HPs "AMD USB Filter Driver" that should improve the performance of USB accessories, such as USB speakers or a USB TV tuner. I have tried to install this also on the testplatform to resolve the problem, however even though it seems to install fine the latency/syncproblem still resists. Im not sure whether this is important or not.

What can be done, any ideas, troubleshooting or tests I can do?

Edited by BoardBabe
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Im wondering if it could be something I use on vista called "AMD USB Filter-Driver" that installs default with my HP laptop. It should increase accuracy and speed performance of external USB devies such as speakers and TV tuners. This installs fine on windows 7 also, but I notice no difference. Maybe this is the problem?

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Could be as it (most probably) registers kernel-mode drivers. What happens if you uninstall it (assuming it unloads the drivers correctly too), or better still if you don't install it at all?

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The AMD USB Filter Driver seems to make no difference whether not installed (clean os), installed or uninstalled on Windows 7. The Creative beta driver (and Vista driver) both produce the latency, windows 7 natively supports the external soundcard however im unable to tell whether the latency is there or not, the native drivers corrupt and jitter the sound too much.

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hi, im using sounblaster live 24bit external sound card on win7 7048 x86, and i can say that with these USB_W7DRVBETA_US_1_01_0091 drivers i cant njoy music as long as i want, couse after a while it starts to crackle on my 5.1 system. on x64 win 7 7000 i cant even install any of the drivers couse then i get lost of BSODs(maybe its because i tried 3 different versions of drivers). so i guess it's up to creative to fix that :)

Edited by atmx
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hi, im using sounblaster live 24bit external sound card on win7 7048 x86, and i can say that with these USB_W7DRVBETA_US_1_01_0091 drivers i cant njoy music as long as i want, couse after a while it starts to crackle on my 5.1 system. on x64 win 7 7000 i cant even install any of the drivers couse then i get lost of BSODs(maybe its because i tried 3 different versions of drivers). so i guess it's up to creative to fix that :)

There's a huge difference between your card and boardbabe's one. Even in Vista, your card is not fully supported and the creative drivers are rubbish.

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There's a huge difference between your card and boardbabe's one. Even in Vista, your card is not fully supported and the creative drivers are rubbish.

thats why i hate this company, they dont think about future...only does decent drivers for the os that is on the market THAT time...

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The AMD USB Filter Driver seems to make no difference whether not installed (clean os), installed or uninstalled on Windows 7. The Creative beta driver (and Vista driver) both produce the latency, windows 7 natively supports the external soundcard however im unable to tell whether the latency is there or not, the native drivers corrupt and jitter the sound too much.

I must say that it's an issue you should take up with Creative (good luck with that!).

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I have been doing quite a few tests now. It is definatly a creative driver issue...

I tried to uninstall all Creative drivers, with console launcher and use only the native windows drivers for USB Audio Device. I also uninstalled the AMD USB Audio Driver Filter (seems to make no difference at all).

Windows now has two devices "Speakers - SB X-Fi Surround 5.1" and "Digital Audio Interface - SB X-Fi Surround 5.1". Both are working properly and the latency is gone, so this must be a creative driver issue... I am using the "Digital Audio Interface - SB X-Fi Surround 5.1" as default as I have the soundcard connected with TOSLink to a Pioneer multichannel reciever (VSX-D811). Audio is now crackle free and in sync.

However with the default windows USB Audio Device driver I am unable to passthrough SPDIF Dolby Digital/DTS signals and only get a stereo signal to my reciever, if I try enable SPDIF passthrough I get no sound. There is no option in the default windows driver to set the device to 5.1. SPDIF passthrough works with the beta driver.

I normally use ffdshow to enable DTS and AC3 passthrough, as the creative dolby digital live pack does not support the usb x-fi surround 5.1 (although i bought the pack). This normally works and does as well under Vista to enable DTS/DD passthrough for multichannel on movie files / DVD etc. With the beta driver installed this works as normal also on Windows 7, but i get the latency problem... With the default windows driver I have no way to set the card to 5.1 as in the beta driver, i suspect this is why ffdshow spdif passthrough of DTS/DD does not work.

With the creative drivers (beta or vista) the secound audio interface is listed as "SPDIF-Out - SB X-Fi Surround 5.1". Maybe the Microsoft USB Drivers does not recognize it as a SPDIF interface?

The native driver does not allow for any configuration of the soundcard, the creative driver allows one I suspect is key and it is the setup for 2/0 or 5/1 output mode. I would believe this is what makes the system identify the SPDIF as a multichannel supported port and makes passthrough in ffdshow for AC3/DTS possible. The latency seems to be definatly produced by the creative driver alone. System configuration has no impact.

The creative driver seems needed for AC3/DTS to be passed through the SPDIF port correctly, but it gets out of sync.

Im stuck with either no latency and stereo through the spdif with Microsoft native drivers

or

Latency (out of sync audio) and working DTS passthrough through the SPDIF with creative drivers.

If only there were an option to select 5.1 through the spdif in native ms drivers this would most likely work. Any ideas are appriciated!

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