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Static when no sound is playing

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July 4, 2010 4:26:23 AM

I recently built a new PC and transferred my Sound Blaster X-FI Fatal1ty sound card from my old pc to this new one. Since the build I have noticed that unless I have music or sound playing, my speakers will emit a static noise. It goes away completely if I play music or movie or even start a game (or any application with sound). I did install the I/O Sound Blaster Dock that fits in a external 5.25" bay (I didnt have it installed on previous PC) but I dont have anything plugged into it. I am running Win7 64bit, my MOBO is ASUS M4A89GTD Pro/USB3, GPU- 2 HD 4850 Crossfire (the 2nd 4850 is pretty close to the Sound Blaser on the MOBO, but that was the case in my old PC and never had this issue..just figured I'd mention it) and I have a 5.1 Sony A/V Receiver hooked up to my PC via multi-channel to the Sound Blaster. I didn't have this issue with my old PC, and while it's not too annoying, I would like to see if there's a way to eliminate it. Thanks.

More about : static sound playing

July 4, 2010 4:44:47 PM

Could you list out the specs of your old pc?
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July 4, 2010 6:04:22 PM

Old PC was a Sony Vaio (Model #:vgc-rb34g) CPU was Pentium 4 3.2ghz, not sure about the MOBO, GPU: ATI HD4850 (only 1), same sound card, 3gb RAM, Win XP Media Center Edition. Sorry I don't have more details. Thanks for the reply.
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July 5, 2010 6:18:00 AM

Here's the thing - due to insufficient PCI bandwidth, the soundcard might be experiencing problems. Since you have populated both the PCIe slots with the twin 4850s, maybe the soundcard, which is on PCI x1, slot is having trouble. Now I can't say why you experience static only when there is no sound.
But try this: remove the second 4850 from the secondary PCIe slot (refer to the manual which one), & then run with only a single 4850 & the soundcard. Post back the results.

*since you don't have anything plugged into the sound blaster dock, why don't you unplug it from the system?
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July 6, 2010 3:26:55 AM

Thanks for the reply ksam. Instead of removing the video card, I decided to take out the I/O Drive to see if that would have any effect. I only plugged it in because I wanted to test the optical signal it offered vs. the multi-channel out that I had been using, and also because I had it sitting in the box for a few years and just wanted to see what it looked like installed ;) . Since the multi-channel sounds better than the optical, there really was no reason for me to keep it installed, so I got rid of it, hoping it would also get rid of my static problem. So far I have yet to hear the noise, though it was somewhat sporadic to begin with. If it comes back, I'll go ahead and try your method of removing the gpu to see if that makes a difference.

I forgot to mention in my original post that the noise I was hearing was more of a "ticking" noise than static. Considering that static is more of a sustained noise, this differs as it had a distinct tick-tick-tick pattern to it.

Thanks again, I sincerely appreciate your input.
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July 6, 2010 6:38:08 AM

y dont u check ur speakers on another pc?
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July 6, 2010 5:24:30 PM

I would, but my PC is hooked up to a 5.1 home theater receiver, so it would be a pain to disconnect everything and move it to another room. I also use this receiver for my TV sound (consoled, DVD's etc..) and have never had the noise issue with any of those components.

I still havent had the issue since removing the IO dock..so far so good.

Thanks for the thought p4nz, I appreciate it.
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July 18, 2010 9:19:52 PM

Update:
I have yet to have the static issue since removing the Sound Blaster IO Dock, so I'm assuming that was the culprit. It's been about two weeks and when i had the issue in the past, I'd usually hear it on a daily basis. I'm not sure why the dock would cause that problem, but since it disappeared once I removed it, I can only assume that was the reason. Thanks again to all who offered their help and advice with this problem.
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