5.1 surround question?

By Snuffy09 ·
I am running windows 7 and have 5.1 speakers configured and working

the problem i am having is during watching DVDs the sound will crackle randomly but not offten. high and low power usages dont seem to make a difference either.

also when i play games - especially fallout new Vegas when there is a lot of stuff happening on the screen the game lags and i get a lot of the crackling sound its VERY annoying!!!!

Anybody familiar with this issue or if you think you have a solution please let me know


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On Board Sound?

by TheChas In reply to 5.1 surround question?

Sounds like the normal issues that come up with AC97 CODEC type on-board sound and inexpensive sound cards.

As the AC97 style systems do almost all the sound processing in software, when any device or service uses a lot of processor time, the sound suffers.

More RAM is the cheapest quick fix.

The best fix is a quality sound card. To some extent, the more parts on the sound card, the more of the sound processing is performed on the card and the less impact other processes will have on the sound.

Asus, Turtle Beach, SIIG and Creative all offer sound cards that will provide significant performance increases over the AC97 style sound you have.


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Reponse To Answer

by Snuffy09 In reply to On Board Sound?

Thanks Chas

You are correct - i am using the onboard audio(realtek) on my motherboard

I purchased the board about a year ago it is/was a mid/high quality board.

I have 4GB ram and 6core AMD cpu. I dont really have any performance issues besides the audio. I am going to look for a dedicated sound card.


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by RayFoxxe In reply to 5.1 surround question?

You might just have some crappy speakers. Try changing to normal speakers and see if there's still that crackling noise. Are you using a laptop or a desktop? If it's a laptop and you mean that the built-in speakers are making the noises. Update your sound driver and try again. If it still persists, then it is a hardware issue with the built-in speakers, you may have to get it repaired. If you're using a desktop and external speakers, try as I said before, change to regular speakers and try again. If the problem still persists, try updating the sound driver. If it still persists, then you may have to buy a sound card.

As for the lag, upgrade your RAM and maybe set the game graphics to medium or low.

I suggest upgrading your system with more memory, a better and faster video card, and a powerful sound card that supports surround system for a maximum gaming and movie experience.

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Reponse To Answer

by Snuffy09 In reply to Or....


I am using a desktop PC (HTPC)

My speakers are 540W logitech. I dont know where they rank on the grand scheme of things but they seem to do the job and havent really read any bad reviews on them.

I have updated my audio drivers.

The lag i think is mostly the coding of the game but it makes sence what Chas says, thet when the onboard resourses are busy that you lose sound quality on some onboard audio devices.

I am running a 6core AMD 4 GB RAM and 5750 GFX card, im not really having performance issues other than the audio.

Thank you for your post

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It sounds like sound card to me

by Slayer_ In reply to 5.1 surround question?

I had an old AC97 as well, it was awful, I installed a Sound blaster live 24 bit and saw about a 15fps improvement in games and far better sound.
I am still using it even though now my onboard sound is pretty good, it still doesn't compare to the sound card.
According to my SNES emulators, it takes less than 10ms to process sound on the sound card, but on the onboard sound, it takes 50ms, on that old AC97 is 200ms.

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Software versus Hardware decoding

by Charles Bundy In reply to 5.1 surround question?

Your lag in games is due the onboard realtek chip not having dedicated hardware to do positional audio. From the sound of it you might also be doing a fair amount of 3D processing in software on the video side as well, (what kind of GPU are you running?)

Crackle could be from an electrical source or you might actually be hearing a misplaced interrupt from your sound driver interacting with either codec (DVD) or game engine. If that is the case try a 2D stream rather than 3D (Dolby/EAX) and see if there is a crackle. If no crackle then you need to bump up audio/video hardware...

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