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Game performance drop + sound pops in WIN7 + VISTA

  • Performance
  • Games
  • Windows Vista
  • Components
Last response: in Components
March 22, 2009 1:10:53 PM

Iv been having an issue thats been driving my litterally insane. My pride driven PC has betrayed me once again.

Whats been happaning is that after a fresh install of Vista H-PREMIUM or Windows 7 Beta (all builds) everything seems fine...for a few days.

My M-Audio Delta 44 sound card and my Onboard Realtek HD working together perfectly...switching seamless between the 2 sound outputs (differenet sound setups)

But then a few days later, out of knowhere I will launch a game such as Empire Total War, and the sound will be all poppy and crackly...and the performance will drop to unplayable.

I have no choice but to restart the PC...and then if im lucky the next time I lauch a game the sound and performance will be back to knowwere.

If I try swapping sound devices while im having the sound issue the problem will be present running through either sound card. Also sound in windows does not apear to be effected, although it does pop slighty when I re size windows or drag windows media player with Visualization rendering which doesn tusualy cause sound pops and crackles. (suggesting directx related or vcard?)

But heres the thing. Even if i disable the M-Audio card apon next boot up the problem will still just as frequently return.

Even if I go ahead and uninstall the M-Audio card completly

....and the cherry on top is the fact that randomly the MOUSE will cut out in windows 7(sometimes days between incidents), I can still move the mouse around the screen and click on things however the mouse POINTER stays staionary while I fumble to exit the game / application I happaned to be running at the time, and restart the PC.

So I decide Windows 7 wasnt for me after many re installs / driver changes / hardware removals.

A few days later I was happily back on VISTA....thinking my issue were formatted away into oblivion...when all of a sudden....I launched Empire Total War for the 10th or 11th time since I installed Vista when I noticed the poping and crackling while in the game menu.

And as suspected, performance in game was horrid at best.

So here I am, pulling my hair....desperatly craving a good o'l fasion Line vs Line musket slog fest, unable to compromise my ever so attracive Areo theme in return for Windows XP's uggly interface...a bitter stale reminder of early 2000's distastful Windows GUI.

I have tried MANY MANY things inlcuding differnt sound and video drivers.

Is anyone one able to dicktake some kind of logical hypothesis for me start hitting this from a different angle???

Systems Specs
Q6600@3.6 (1.45)
GA-P34 DS4
M-Audio Delta

Windows Vista : Windows 7 7000 : Windows 7 7057

More about : game performance drop sound pops win7 vista

March 23, 2009 12:10:24 AM

welcome to sound card world of bad drivers - loading curpt drives and requiring a reboot seems pretty common

dual sound is going to be an issue
March 23, 2009 4:39:20 AM

I just dont get why the system is fine for a few days / reboots after a fresh install of win7 / vista.

AT least Vista doesnt cause my mouse to cut out randomly.

I honesty thought WIN7 was perfect...and it s for the first few days of use.

Is there anyway to unload a device driver while windows is running, and then reloading it?

I am going to install Vista SP1 tonight and see if that fixes the issue.

As of today even after multiple reboots, when I fire up a game the sound will be popping and Empire will run @ 10fps, regardless of 800x600 low detail or 1680 x 1050 High detail.

An install of windows is lasting me a few days at best now....
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March 23, 2009 4:58:42 AM

How close is your sound card to your video card? I had a similar experience with an X-fi + Vista setup, and after moving the sound card away from the video card the issue ceaced. I was getting no temp warnings from anywhere in the system.

Frank M
March 23, 2009 1:10:14 PM

Ok I seem to have solved the issue...but I have known this to go away for few days before only to re occur (the sound poping / low performance in games)

Decide I would use my powers of deduction to figure this one out so i started from the top.

- Disabled M-audio sound card and ran game using onboard realtek: FAIL
- Disabled onboard realtek and ran using M-Audi0: FAIL
- Uninstalled M-Audio sound drivers: FAIl
- Remove M-Audio card: FAIL
- insall new chipset, Reatek HD Audio and SATA Drivers: FAIL
- Install latest Forcewear Video drivers: FAIL

OK so it seems to be non driver related...lets try my overclocking settings....
- Drop from 3.6 > 2.4 leaving volts the same: FAIL
- Remove 2g of ram leaving 2g in total: FAIL
- Drop Chipset voltage down by around 20%: SUCESSS

WOW, to many chipset volts was causing my system to play up like this???

Who would have thought :D 

I then ran prime 95 for 2 hours to make sure system still stable: PASS

An fired up a game of Empire Total War and continued to eraticate the french as a people....but then after 30minutes .... kicked to desktop "EMPIRE HAS STOPPED RESPONDING"

Looks like all ma driver figeting has de stabalised my system somewhat.

I will by a new Hard Disk tommorow and give Windows 7 another try :) 

Lets just hope my mouse cut outs were also caused my overvolting my chipset

March 23, 2009 4:01:43 PM

The last crash sounds more like a game issue then your PC itself. Could be the Chipset voltage needs to be raised a bit though.
March 24, 2009 3:38:08 AM

Well I primed for 2 or 3 hours after reducing chipset voltage....Empire uses no where near 100% 4 core load....more like 50 > 50 > 5> 5 if that.

Ill re install 7 tongiht and see if thats usuable now.

Iv just had the worse run of luck with PC lately...around 8 clean installs in 2, win7 7000, 70057, bak to vista....when will it end

March 24, 2009 11:29:42 AM

When you instal XP?