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Tekker

Computer Gurus Needed - Sound Card Problem

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Tekker    1

Thanks for the replies everyone.

I stayed home sick from school today (and yes, I actually was sick ;)) but I spent some time playing with this earlier today and here's where I am at the moment.

I installed a fresh copy of XP SP2 on my music partition and I have nothing on it other than the motherboard drivers, Samplitude v10.21, and the M-Audio driver.

When using the MME driver everything works fine and I can play the full project will all effects (which it didn't play at all on my other XP installation for normal use), but when I switch over to ASIO drivers, it's a very different story. If I play just one track with effects in economy mode (a high latency and less CPU hungry playback mode in Samplitude) it will sometimes play fine and other times it will be heavily distorted (seems to happen at random) and in hybrid mode (a low latency/more CPU playback mode) it always has a small amount of popping even though the CPU is low. When I add a second track with effects, it takes a very long time to load before it starts playing and when the playback cursor starts moving, there is no sound (in both economy and hybrid modes). Muting the second track and trying to play just the first track also results in no sound. If I switch to MME drivers and switch back to ASIO then the single track will have sound again.

OldG,

I don't have any SATA drives.

I actually do have an extra ASUS video card I can put in (don't know the model). I'll try putting it in tomorrow and I'll let you know how it turns out. :)

-tkr

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Tekker    1

I tried uninstalling the previous video driver and installing the video card and there's no improvement. In fact, the MME driver (which used to work fine) now has a little bit of popping in it, so there is actually a decrease in performance after putting in the video card.

Once I put the video card in, I used SIW to find out the model of the card and this is the video card that I put in.

ASUS Extreme AX300/TD (128 MB) Graphics Card reviews - CNET Reviews

Also, I'm going to be going out of town tomorrow and will be back Saturday evening so I won't be able to respond for the next couple days.

-tkr

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carol m    64

I just noticed Tekker that you have similar specs to my own (and troublesome) beast. Are you sure your CPU chip is ok???????? :D

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Tekker    1
I just noticed Tekker that you have similar specs to my own (and troublesome) beast. Are you sure your CPU chip is ok???????? :D

No, I'm not sure of anything being ok on my system. But short of buying a new processor I don't know how to verify that it is the problem.

-tkr

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carol m    64

Can you 'borrow' one for testing? Or swap yours into a different machine and test it? I think that's how my computer guy worked out that my chip was the problem.

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Tekker    1

Hi Carol,

I've thought about swapping processors with the family computer, but I've only done one processor installation before and I cracked the thermal pad trying to get the processor on and had to take it down to a computer store so someone who knows what they are doing could install it. But I watched him do it, so I think I could probably get it this time. :D I'm just a little paranoid about playing with the processor, since if you mess up the thermal goopy stuff (highly technical term) you can burn up the processor.

The family computer has problems with the memory (when both memory sticks are in the computer won't boot up, so we only have one in right now) so I could troubleshoot both computers by seeing if the memory problem happens over here after switching processors.

-tkr

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carol m    64

That sounds like a plan. Skinnybloke says the 6000 processor costs $130 retail here, so it would be about half in USA so that's not a big investment if you broke one.

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karcey    42

G'day Tekker,

You've got me interested with your "thermal goopy stuff" comment.

I install processors regularly in my job. I carry a tube of heat zinc in my kit (a dollar or three at Tandy). When I fit or refit a processor, I make sure the top is clean and put a dob of the zinc paste on it so the metal heat sink squashes it over the surface when it gets clipped on. Sometimes this means cleaning off the old heat paste first. No big deal ... just make sure you don't bend the pins. Best to have it secured in the socket while you clean it. Each time a processor gets moved it gets new paste.

Without the paste the processor will overheat and shut down the computer. Only ever saw one burn.

Just be careful, as I'm sure you will be.

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OldG    3

Ok,Tekker,

Did you install the latest catalyst drivers for the new vid card?

Have you the latest drivers for everything in the device manager?

Did you disable the onboard graphics in the BIOS?

Are you running your machine on minimal power management instead of always on? (needs to be always on)

Have you set processor scheduling to background services instead of programs?(very important)

Does Reaper give way under a large project, could it be that Samplitude needs updating to run happily on dual core?

A few things to look at for now.... by all means try a processor swap if you can (scrape the old thermal pad completely off with an old credit card and apply new arctic silver quality paste to the refit)

lots of step by steps for this if you google....

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Tekker    1

Hey OldG,

Sorry I haven't responded in a few days, I haven't been feeling good (missed another day of school Friday) and just something happened to my hard drive and messed up windows. Grrrr... When it rains it pours, I guess. I ran chkdisk on it and it fixed several bad clusters. I just got windows reloaded and I'm still in the process of reloading my applications.

I don't know if I'll be able to get to troubleshooting my sound setup this weekend because I have two labs due next week for school and since I've been sick I haven't done much of anything with them. I'll try to get to it next week.

To answer your questions:

Did you install the latest catalyst drivers for the new vid card?

I just installed the one from the CD, so I kind of doubt it is the newest driver.

Have you the latest drivers for everything in the device manager?

I haven't manually updated all the drivers. I remember hearing a while back about a program that would check your system and let you update all of the drivers, but I don't remember the name of the program.

Did you disable the onboard graphics in the BIOS?

Not in the BIOS, no, I just uninstalled the video driver.

Are you running your machine on minimal power management instead of always on? (needs to be always on)

It was running on the default Home/Office setting, but I manually disabled the screen saver and the options to turn off the monitor.

Have you set processor scheduling to background services instead of programs?(very important)

No, I haven't messed with those settings.

Does Reaper give way under a large project, could it be that Samplitude needs updating to run happily on dual core?

Yes, I tried it in Reaper and it had the same problems.

I think I'll wait to try the processor as a last resort.

-tkr

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OldG    3

Bad Clusters... time for a new Hard drive - you just found the problem, I reckon.

Get a nice new high capacity drive, partition so you can put XP in C: and your programs,windows swapfile and recordings into the other.

I think your board will run a SATA drive, so you'll get a perfomance boost too.

Make sure your firewire card sits on an IRQ below 18 if you can - then tweak XP as suggested in my last post (or install DuX audio optimized XP, as you have a copy)

With a new,fast,reliable drive you should have a great audio system.

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Tekker    1
Bad Clusters... time for a new Hard drive - you just found the problem, I reckon.

Yeah, for now I just reloaded it until I can get another one, but I'm not keeping anything critical on it in case it goes out completely. Now that solid state drives are getting to be more affordable, I've been thinking about getting one for the OS drive.

I'm not sure if this drive is related to my audio problems though as it was in my old computer and everything worked fine then. It wasn't until I got my new PC that I started having the audio problems. I could try removing all of my current drives and put in an old drive for testing.

-tkr

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