• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Audio issue with HTPC - Bet you can't fix it!

obotheantibob

Novice Member
I recently built a new HTPC and I'm having an audio issue that I cannot seem to fix. I've wasted so much time troubleshooting that it's getting to the point that I just want to HULK SMASH the entire thing, but my wallet would be pissed. I resign to this forum instead.

The issue:
Every few seconds the audio briefly skips/stutters... it's not a major disturbance, but it's bad enough that music is not listenable. It doesn't matter if I output through hdmi, optical, or headphone jack... the issue is present. That rules out all additional electronics like my receiver or TV... and pretty much isolates the issue to the onboard audio processing since the same jacked up audio signal is being passed through each output.

I've tried every audio driver known to man, to no avail. I've tried disabling settings like hardware acceleration and the such...

The motherboard in question is an ASRock Z87 Extreme4 LGA 1150. It touts "purity sound" which in my case is complete and utter BS. The onboard audio is handled by the Realtek ALC1150

Additional specs:
i5-4670
8gb RAM
180GB Intel SSD.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!! I'm not opposed to trying things I've already tried.... so give me your best shot. Returning is not an option now that I've waited too long and returning a motherboard that you've already deployed is a royal PITA.
 

cjed

Well-known Member
OK, a few questions. What OS are you running, and which application is playing back the audio ? Difficult to see it as a driver or hardware issue if you get the same behaviour from HDMI and 3.5mm audio jack.

Do you get the same behaviour from different media sources (i.e. MP3 audio file, MKV video etc.) ? If you capture the audio output to file (some software allows you to do this) and playback on a different PC do you still hear the problem ?
 

obotheantibob

Novice Member
Win7 Ultimate SP1 64bit

Same behavior from different media sources. Doesn't matter the application. IE, chrome, VLC, media player, etc...

As to the source.. it doesn't matter if I'm playing mp3s, wavs, streaming music from google play or if I'm playing test audio samples directly from the realtek properties window...
 

MadScientist

Active Member
Very strange. Given the diversity of the issue, it suggests that an another application is taking priority of the system resources. What else have you got running on your HTPC? Any antivirus?

Under the sound device properties (advanced tab) have you got the 'exclusive mode' boxes ticked?

EDIT: another option is to download an application with the capacity to use WASAPI audio which bypassess Windows DirectSound (and which gives higher audio quality). Such applications are Foobar2000 with the WASAPI plugin or XBMC.

I have the same processor and very similar ASRock MB have such no issues.
 
Last edited:

duffbeerdrinker

Distinguished Member
Personally, I would suspect the RAM or power supply. I've had far too many similar problems myself and it almost always leads back to one of these two.
 

MonkeyJug

Active Member
Sounds familiar. I had a similar issue a few years ago. Turned out I just had to uninstall the Realtek software.

Also, what sound quality are you using? Set it to 24-bit, 48000hz in sound properties.
 

obotheantibob

Novice Member
Very strange. Given the diversity of the issue, it suggests that an another application is taking priority of the system resources. What else have you got running on your HTPC? Any antivirus?

Under the sound device properties (advanced tab) have you got the 'exclusive mode' boxes ticked?

EDIT: another option is to download an application with the capacity to use WASAPI audio which bypassess Windows DirectSound (and which gives higher audio quality). Such applications are Foobar2000 with the WASAPI plugin or XBMC.

I have the same processor and very similar ASRock MB have such no issues.

Fresh OS Install with only system drivers installed. No 3rd party software.

Exclusive mode: No change either way.

Just tried foobar2000 - same issue while playing an MP3. :(
 

obotheantibob

Novice Member
Personally, I would suspect the RAM or power supply. I've had far too many similar problems myself and it almost always leads back to one of these two.

These are real possibilities. I'll keep trying software fixes, maybe even try installing win8.1. If I install a different version of windows and the problem remains... I'll play the memory dance and hope I can isolate it to a single stick. I really hope I don't have to swap with a known good PSU.
 

obotheantibob

Novice Member
Sounds familiar. I had a similar issue a few years ago. Turned out I just had to uninstall the Realtek software.

Also, what sound quality are you using? Set it to 24-bit, 48000hz in sound properties.

I've tried that a million times. uninstalling, reinstalling, installing just the driver (every version of it I could find).

In the sound properties... all of the options produce crackles/skips when testing.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
Sounds like a driver issue before then.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Fidelity in Motion's David Mackenzie talks about his work on disc encoding & the future of Blu-ray
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom