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Audio stuttering under medium load


phaolo
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Hello, since ages my PC is suffering from audio stuttering under medium load.
It seems to happen is some circumstances while doing multiple things.
For example if I open the browser while listening to a video, or using Discord's voicechat (web) while playing a game, etc..
I use the Nvidia audio, so I didn't even expect this problem.

I recently read online about IRQ sharing conflicts, so I checked device manager and I noticed that:
Nvidia GTX 1070 + High Def audio + CPU + other PCI ports all share the same value.. is this normal?

If not, how can I change it and to what?
(I hope it is, because I never managed to clearly identify & resolve this issue)

IRQs.jpg

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You may try switching some devices to MSI mode.

Windows: Line-Based vs. Message Signaled-Based Interrupts. MSI tool.

The GTX 1070 is probably the first candidate to try that is likely to work in that mode, maybe also the audio controllers. Don't know about those chipset entries.

Tread carefully; make the change to 1 device at the time and see how the system works afterwards.

And make sure you get to know how to restore the original settings from outside the operating system because if you change the critical device that doesn't work in that mode, such as SATA controller, it can happen that the system no longer boots until old settings are restored.

Registry can be edited by booting from Windows DVD, accessing the repair options and running regedit from Command Prompt, where you select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, then Registry->Load Hive... where you browse to your normal Windows root partition from where you navigate to and select Windows\System32\config\SYSTEM, input the name under which it will appear under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and then you can browse to appropriate settings and undo them.

Back when I messed with these settings, I did it all manually with registry editing, never tried the mentioned MSI utility.

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Thank you. This is a bit scary, though.

The SATA controller is already MSI, so I don't need to touch it.
A System Restore would be enough to fix the other changes, right?

In theory I'd like to separate the HD Audio Controller, but I'm not sure it can be switched.
Could I maybe just increase the Interrupt Priority of the GPU and audio to High?

Edited by phaolo
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5 hours ago, phaolo said:

A System Restore would be enough to fix the other changes, right?

Yeah, System Restore should cover it.

5 hours ago, phaolo said:

In theory I'd like to separate the HD Audio Controller, but I'm not sure it can be switched.

You can try switching this one without rebooting, instead of a reboot, you can simply disable it and re-enable it Device Manager.

5 hours ago, phaolo said:

Could I maybe just increase the Interrupt Priority of the GPU and audio to High?

No idea, you don't have any option but to try and see. Before you make any changes, monitor the latencies with LatencyMon while using computer normally so you'll have some numbers to compare.

You have newer hardware than I do so theoretically, you should have better chances of not encountering problems with MSI. I haven't found official word about NVIDIA and MSI, but they supposedly default to the old mode on consumer/gamer GPUs for compatibility with their old chipsets. Their professional cards (Quadro), as well as AMD cards, have MSI enabled by default.

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For now I tried a config like this.
It feels better, but I'll need way more testing.

Btw Latencymon doesn't show problems about Nvidia and HDaudio anymore (with high Interrupt Priority), but it still reports problems from other system drivers :}

IRQs_test.jpg

Can I put something to low, for example Intel Management Engine?

Edited by phaolo
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Seems you're getting somewhere. Are system drivers you're referring to from Microsoft? Those that aren't, maybe they could be updated.

6 hours ago, phaolo said:

Can I put something to low, for example Intel Management Engine?

Good question since we apparently don't even know what it does in the first place. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Management_Engine

Shifting priorities is making a compromise by making something else slower. I'm not sure where I'd go from here as far as further tweaking is concerned, but would definitely leave it be for a while.

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Latencymon reports:
- current latency: 100-900μs
- highest latency: 3480μs
- IRL: hal.dll - 21μs
- DPC: ndis.sys - 888μs

Btw the program always suggests to disable power throttling, but, for what I undestood, in win7 it means to change the min processor power from 5% to 100%.
The problem is that 1) it didn't do anything and 2) I wouldn't want a CPU always at max anyway, when not necessary.

Anyway, the testing continues.

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