Pop-pop / crackle on audio, but only on rear audio-out socket | PCSPECIALIST

Pop-pop / crackle on audio, but only on rear audio-out socket

Hello Paul

Bronze Level Poster
I recently received my PCS PC, and have noticed a weird audio defect. The motherboard is an ASUS® ROG STRIX X570-F GAMING (USB 3.2 Gen 2, PCIe 4.0) and I'm using the standard audio-out (stereo) on the rear, going into my powered M-Audio speakers (which work perfectly with my older PC). I've noticed when playing audio that there is some crackling/popping - not loud, but very annoying. The crackling isn't just random, like you'd expect from dirt in the port or a dodgy connection, but it's not a regular-beat kind of noise while audio is playing.

If I'm playing some audio (anything - YouTube, Adobe Premiere, Spotify) then stop the audio, after about half a second I get two clicks - first from the left channel, then, another half-second later, from the right channel. It's the same thing each time, so not random. It's as if something is being 'switched' in the circuitry.

I've tried changing the audio settings (e.g. changing the sampling frequency and bit depth) in Windows audio setting, but it made no difference. I've checked my audio drivers are up to date, and they are.

If instead of using the rear port, I plug the cable into the top headphone socket, the audio is perfect.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or help!
 

NoddyPirate

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Actually - I see your specs in your other posts - please post them again here for completeness anyway.

Crackling to my ear would normally indicate either a poor/dirty connection at the plug, or a failing capacitor in a powered speaker system. I know it works fine with your other PC, but different systems can interact differently with eachother - so it might not tell as much as we'd like. Anyway, the basic troubleshooting on your system I'd suggest for starters would be:

The obvious stuff - make sure your audio drivers are up to date. Check and see if there are any optional updates available too that might be relevant.

Next you can try adjusting the audio quality and see if that makes any difference. Type 'Sound' into the Windows search bar at the bottom left of your screen, then open 'Sound Settings' then open 'Sound Control Panel'. Double click on the icon for your speakers and go to the 'Advanced' tab. Change the audio quality and see if anything changes. I would start with the lowest setting first maybe - which will be the CD quality one most likely.

There is a feature on ASUS motherboards which adjusts the motherboards communications clock speed to comply with FCC rules - on very rare occasions this can cause some audio interference issues on the line out. I don't see that setting in your motherboards BIOS manual, but let us know how you get on with the above first and then we look into that a bit further perhaps.....
 

Hello Paul

Bronze Level Poster
Thanks for your suggestions, @NoddyPirate .

I previously tried tweaking those sound settings you suggested and it made no difference. As I mentioned, it's not a 'dirty connection' crackle because the system is perfectly silent when there's no audio playing and the 'pop....pop' about half a second after I stop playing audio is not a random thing - it happens exactly the same each time, e.g:
I'm playing an audio track in Adobe Premiere. There are some faint crackling/pops along with the audio.
I stop the track playing, then after ~half a second I hear one of the same pops from the left channel, then after another ~half second, another pop from the right channel. This behaviour happens every time, exactly the same, whenever I stop any audio playing, whether it's YouTube, Spotify, Adobe Audition - whatever the source makes no difference.

I'm now using the audio out (combined headphone/mic socket) on the top of the case, and the audio is perfect, which points to a fault with the PC's rear connector/circuitry rather than anything with my powered speakers.

My specs:
Case
CORSAIR 5000D AIRFLOW TEMPERED GLASS GAMING CASE
Processor (CPU)
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16 Core CPU (3.4GHz-4.9GHz/72MB CACHE/AM4)
Motherboard
ASUS® ROG STRIX X570-F GAMING (USB 3.2 Gen 2, PCIe 4.0) - ARGB Ready!
Memory (RAM)
128GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3000MHz (4 x 32GB)
Graphics Card
24GB NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3090
1st Storage Drive
8TB Samsung 870 QVO 2.5" SSD, SATA 6Gb/s (up to 560MB/sR | 530MB/sW)
1st M.2 SSD Drive
1TB SAMSUNG 980 PRO M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 7000MB/R, 5000MB/W)
1st M.2 SSD Drive
2TB SAMSUNG 980 PRO M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 7000MB/R, 5000MB/W)
Power Supply
CORSAIR 1000W RMx SERIES™ MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
Corsair H115i ELITE CAPELLIX RGB Hydro Series High Performance CPU Cooler
Thermal Paste
STANDARD THERMAL PASTE FOR SUFFICIENT COOLING
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Network Card
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT
Wireless Network Card
WIRELESS INTEL® Wi-Fi 6 AX200 2,400Mbps/5GHz, 300Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD + BT 5.0
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence [KUK-00001]
 

NoddyPirate

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
@Hello Paul - I do apologise - I think most of my suggestions were actually covered by your first post if I’d only read it properly.

With all your troubleshooting in mind, my gut says that it may actually be BIOS firmware related - many reports of crackling do seem to be linked to that possibility.

With the important note that you MUST seek permission from PCS before you update your BIOS version - it would worth checking to see what version your currently have. The latest full release for your mobo is Version 3604 issued a week or two ago.

If yours is older than that you could ask PCS for permission to update and see if that helps. Worth a shot I think?
 

Hello Paul

Bronze Level Poster
With all your troubleshooting in mind, my gut says that it may actually be BIOS firmware related - many reports of crackling do seem to be linked to that possibility.

With the important note that you MUST seek permission from PCS before you update your BIOS version - it would worth checking to see what version your currently have. The latest full release for your mobo is Version 3604 issued a week or two ago.
I wonder if updating the BIOS might also fix my memory speed issues? (I purchased 3600MHz RAM but it won't run reliably any faster than 3200MHz, as I've been going on about here: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/forums/threads/four-ram-cards-in-amd-build-worries.80749/).
 

NoddyPirate

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
I wonder if updating the BIOS might also fix my memory speed issues? (I purchased 3600MHz RAM but it won't run reliably any faster than 3200MHz, as I've been going on about here: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/forums/threads/four-ram-cards-in-amd-build-worries.80749/).
I'm not sure if they've gotten to the bottom of that one yet. I would imagine it would be an AGESA update that would solve the RAM problems - there is a new AGESA coming but it's in Beta at the moment.

The last AGESA patch for your board was in BIOS version 3603 back in March - again it would be interesting to see which version you are running now.

When it comes to your audio problems, the only other possible thing I can think of is some sort of a grounding problem at the motherboard socket. Out of interest have you tried any other speakers or audio device in that same socket and does it cause the same problems?
 

Hello Paul

Bronze Level Poster
My BIOS is currently on: version 3403 x64, build date 01/14/2021
AGESA: Version ComboV2_1200

And I'm currently waiting for a Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool to run - evidently it takes a long time to test 128GB! I've (probably foolishly) cranked it up (today) from 3200MHz to 3333MHz.
 

NoddyPirate

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
My BIOS is currently on: version 3403 x64, build date 01/14/2021
AGESA: Version ComboV2_1200

And I'm currently waiting for a Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool to run - evidently it takes a long time to test 128GB! I've (probably foolishly) cranked it up (today) from 3200MHz to 3333MHz.
Hmmmm- might be worth getting on to PCS I think and seeing what BIOS they say is the latest. What you have doesn't quite match the ASUS info which seems a bit weird to me.

ASUS Rog STRIX X570-F Gaming BIOS Version
 

Hello Paul

Bronze Level Poster
Ha! No such luck on the memory front...I turned it up to 3400MHz, and immediately noticed the old window-redraw glitches were back. I tried to run an After Effects test anyway, but as soon as I set it rendering, I got a BSOD with the stopcode: MEMORY_MANAGEMENT. Guess that must be something to do with memory management then! :ROFLMAO: Back to crappy old 3200MHz for now.
 

NoddyPirate

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
I've just done a BIOS update (to 3604) and the popping seems to have gone!! I'll keep my ears open and update this if it comes back. Next thing to try is pushing the memory speed towards the magic 3600MHz!
Fantastic news! Seemed an unlikely fix but I had read of a few related issues. Delighted for you. 👍

Did you get permission from PCS to do the update? If not, then as all is well I wouldn’t worry - but make sure you check with them before any future updates.
 

NoddyPirate

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Ha! No such luck on the memory front...I turned it up to 3400MHz, and immediately noticed the old window-redraw glitches were back. I tried to run an After Effects test anyway, but as soon as I set it rendering, I got a BSOD with the stopcode: MEMORY_MANAGEMENT. Guess that must be something to do with memory management then! :ROFLMAO: Back to crappy old 3200MHz for now.
Did you try to adjust any timings or voltage alongside the speed change? Sometimes just pushing up the speed won’t be enough on its own....
 

Hello Paul

Bronze Level Poster
Did you try to adjust any timings or voltage alongside the speed change? Sometimes just pushing up the speed won’t be enough on its own....
I assumed that giving the RAM some more juice might be the issue. I've previously overclocked a system, balancing the voltage/speed etc, so assume it's a similar process with RAM, but I've never tweaked RAM speed before I got this system. As you know, @NoddyPirate , I've gone on about this RAM issue in this thread in more detail: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/foru...in-amd-build-worries.80749/page-3#post-598887

And yes, as suggested, I did get permission from PCS to update the BIOS. They said as long as it's not a beta version, and it's from the manufacturer's website, it won't affect the warranty.
 
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