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HDMI Audio on HD4870 stutters

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 27, 2009 12:48:14 AM

Hello,

I've recently bought a new pc and I have a big problem with trying to get to audio to work.

Specifications:
AMD Phenom II 810 X4
GA-MA790XT-UD4P (Gigabyte with the Realtek ALC889A onboard)
2x2GB DDR3 OCZ Reaper
HIS Radeon HD4870 1GB DDR5 with the HD Audio Codec on the PCI-E x16 card

Samsung LE32A552 FullHD LCD with HDMI in from PC (audio + video) with DVI to HDMI adapter from video card and HDMI 1.3 cable.

Windows Vista 32bit SP1
ATI Control Center and drivers 9.4
Realtek Vista Driver 32bit R2.22

All updates for drivers and bios are made.

Problem description:
When a sound is being played (fe. a click, a beep, any windows sound), the sound stutters. It sounds like it plays the first 100ms ok, then pauzes for 100ms and then continues with the complete rest of the sound.
When I start WinAmp and let it play some song, even when winamp is muted, and I play a systems sound again, it works perfectly.

My thoughts about this:
-Is it possible that there is going something wrong when the system goes from no sound buffer (no sound) to a sound buffer (one or more sounds playing). It's odd that when the buffer is allocated for fe. Winamp, this error doesn't occur anymore?


Does anyone experience the same problems or can anyone help me with this?
April 27, 2009 3:35:36 AM

I haven't experienced this via HDMI. Does this happen only when you rely on HDMI's audio stream? Have you tried playing sound through more "conventional" methods like your audio-out jack?
April 27, 2009 10:25:19 AM

Yes I have. There is also an on-board soundcard. This one works perfect. But of course, I would prefer to use the sound through HDMI.

While searching for a solution, I've also tried completly diasabling this on-board soundcard in the BIOS, but this didn't help.

I find it very strange that as soon WinAmp or some other program that continously produces sound is running in the background, that this problem is solved.
Related resources
April 27, 2009 12:34:21 PM

Question: What spec is your PCI-E slot? (1.0, 1.1, 2.0) Could be a bandwith issue if you are running at a high resolution...
April 27, 2009 1:35:40 PM

gamerk316 said:
Question: What spec is your PCI-E slot? (1.0, 1.1, 2.0) Could be a bandwith issue if you are running at a high resolution...


Not true what so ever. You keep giving advices that have absolutely nothing to do with people's problems. Do you even know how the PCI Bus Interface works.... Anyhow I wont go there now...

I am using the same onboard sound and have no problems. Dont disable the onboard sound in bios cause that will not give you any sound :) 
Uninstall the Realtek drivers and then install the ATI HDMI Sound driver which is included in the CAT 9.4 drivers.
I think that you have a driver issue, rather than a hardware.... Do not install the sound drivers that came on a CD with your motherboard.

You have a good mobo, so you just need to fix the drivers.

Cheers
April 27, 2009 4:01:08 PM

Hi,

I've tried Euphoria's advice, but this did not made any difference.

I must stress that I'm not trying to use the motherboards onboard audio chip. This one works correctly. I'm trying to use the audiochip from the HD4870 which sends it's audio signal directly through the HDMI cable.

I've tried the CAT9.4 driver and the realtek HD driver 2.22. Both give the same problem.
April 27, 2009 4:32:31 PM

It wouldn't be the realtek driver if using the 4870 audio output.

My point, Euphoria, is that its already been shown that a PCI-E 1.0 bus does get taxed by current cards, and its worth checking to see if the extra bandwith of having to carry an audio signal could be an issue. Its probably not the problem, but its easy enough to check into.

This doesn't sound like a driver issue to me. From what I'm seeing, the onboard works fine, but the output from the 4870 is not. The issue seems to be squarly at the 4870, hence why its worth asking if his slot is PCI-E 1.0, just so I can rule out the easiest to rule out factor. At the very least, my theory would explain the audio lag...
April 27, 2009 4:39:22 PM

The motherboard has a PCI-E v2.0. The throughput of the card is also no problem. It's only the start of the sound signal that is disturbed. If the signal lasts 10min, then there isn't any problem during these 10mins.

It seems like some HDMI audio format issue.
April 27, 2009 6:08:24 PM

If you read his first post you'll see that his mobo has the 790 chipset and no motherboards with this chipset have the primary PCI-e as ver 1.0

Anyhow, if you read the white pages from ATI you will see that the HDMI Audio that comes with the ATI Cards does not have teh standalone audio capabilities. It works together with the Realtek On-board Audio chip to deliver sound through the HDMI (DVI) interface.
So if your Realtek drivers are not properly installed you will have no sound on the HDMI, or you might experience sound problems.
Realtek use to issue the HDMI driver by themselves until ATI Cat 9.3 when Terry Makedon (Catalyst Maker) decided with his group to include the HDMI driver as a part of the Catalyst Drivers, since this Sound over HDMI is unic for the ATI brand of Video cards.

You can get the specifics from Terry's blog on twitter or from some of the AMD forums.

Cheers
April 27, 2009 7:58:34 PM

Thanx Euphoria,

this seemed to do the trick. I've enabled my onboard soundcard in the BIOS, reinstalled CAT9.4, installed the Realtek HD audio drivers for my motherboard and (but I don't know if this is essential) installed ATI HDMI Drivers v2.18 from the Realtek site.

So thanx dude.
April 27, 2009 8:02:26 PM

dingelen said:
Thanx Euphoria,

this seemed to do the trick. I've enabled my onboard soundcard in the BIOS, reinstalled CAT9.4, installed the Realtek HD audio drivers for my motherboard and (but I don't know if this is essential) installed ATI HDMI Drivers v2.18 from the Realtek site.

So thanx dude.



Yeah no problem.

Have fun!

Cheers
!