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Sound interference with graphics use

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August 7, 2012 8:12:32 PM

Just upgraded my system with a MSI Z77A-GD55 motherboard with an Intel i5 3570k. I am now getting audio interference through both my front and back audio panels. This is seemingly linked with the graphics use as the buzzing sound occurs when I move the mouse or scroll in an internet browser. This also gives off an increased buzzing for a little bit after first launching to the Guild Wars log-in page. It then goes away however will return every now and then. I want to say this isn't directly caused by my graphics card because I swapped in my old 9800 that I did not have trouble with before however this is the largest lead that I have on this problem at the moment.

Edit: Forgot to add that I am running an EVGA GTX 560 Ti
a b Î Nvidia
August 7, 2012 8:31:37 PM

I occasionally get that sometimes. I think it lies more within the cable as my computer reacts differently when I unplug then replug the audio cable. There's essentially something interfering with the data in the cable.(at least in my case)
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August 7, 2012 8:37:13 PM

Mr Erik said:
Just upgraded my system with a MSI Z77A-GD55 motherboard with an Intel i5 3570k. I am now getting audio interference through both my front and back audio panels. This is seemingly linked with the graphics use as the buzzing sound occurs when I move the mouse or scroll in an internet browser. This also gives off an increased buzzing for a little bit after first launching to the Guild Wars log-in page. It then goes away however will return every now and then. I want to say this isn't directly caused by my graphics card because I swapped in my old 9800 that I did not have trouble with before however this is the largest lead that I have on this problem at the moment.

Edit: Forgot to add that I am running an EVGA GTX 560 Ti


This seems like a pretty classic problem with interference of the peripherals with the sound subsystem. Try plugging the mouse/keyboard into a different port on the back of the computer. If you are getting interference on both front and back audio panels like you said, the source is likely very close to the audio chipset and output pathways and it is contaminating the ground (usually the case).

Usually if you use a well filtered USB device (one that has a ferrite core at the end of the cable near the plug in), this is lessened or goes away.

Is your computer case metallic ? Overly plastic or acrylic cases does nothing to stop EMI/RF interference.

I would advise you to TRY to isolate the device or USB port that is causing the interference. Try unplugging the mouse, keyboard, etc. Find out which one (if ANY) is causing the problem, and see if plugging it into a different USB port lessens the problem.
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August 7, 2012 8:38:25 PM

Also forgot to mention that the interference lessened when I moved the card down 1 slot.
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August 7, 2012 8:46:57 PM

Mr Erik said:
Also forgot to mention that the interference lessened when I moved the card down 1 slot.


Okay, so the video card is probably contributing to the interference. If you remove the power supply and use ONLY the onboard, does the problem completely go away ?
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August 7, 2012 9:02:05 PM

Using my onboard, it still looks/sounds like I can hear the interference. Which somewhat puts my mind at ease as it doesn't look like it's directly linked to the graphics card. I've been thinking that it has to do with a grounding loop perhaps. I have no idea how to go about checking if that is the case however.
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August 7, 2012 9:16:08 PM

I suppose some updates are in order;

The case I use is the Cooler Master Atcs 840 Full Tower. I didn't have any noticeable interference with my old motherboard setup in this case. The only change that I can recall to the case is that when I had the case completely empty I used the hose from my vacuum and removed some of the dust. I don't think this would have caused any damage (I hope) via static electricity to any wires from the case but I figured this event is worth mentioning.

Edit: small grammatical error
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August 7, 2012 9:47:03 PM

I've re-replaced all the parts at separate times (power supply, graphics card, ram, got a new motherboard) to try and isolate the problem. I get the interference using both my old 5.1 speakers and my Turtle beach headphones. I have tried plugging my mouse and keyboard into a different USB (I also just unplugged them again to make sure) to no avail.
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August 7, 2012 10:22:49 PM

Mr Erik said:
I've re-replaced all the parts (power supply, graphics card, ram, got a new motherboard) to try and isolate the problem. I get the interference using both my old 5.1 speakers and my Turtle beach headphones. I have tried plugging my mouse and keyboard into a different USB (I also just unplugged them again to make sure) to no avail.


Okay, then it could be a motherboard design issue. Try disabling front panel audio by going into the BIOS and if you have the option, disable front panel audio port. Then UNPLUG the front panel audio cable from the motherboard. A lot of times, the poor design of the front panel allows crosstalk between the digital and analog cables, and some are not even shielded.

If that still doesn't help, do you have a USB hub ? or a monitor or keyboard with a USB hub ? Try routing the mouse/keyboard (if the keyboard doesn't have a hub) through the external hub.

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August 8, 2012 12:43:53 AM

Tried moving the keyboard and mouse around, still nothing. I disconnected my front panel and nothing changed either. I wasn't able to find something in the BIOS to specifically disable the front audio panel however something to note is that disabling the on board audio altogether still has the speakers (back panel) and headphones (front panel) getting this interference (buzzing) seemingly during graphical stress times.
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August 8, 2012 1:02:56 AM

Mr Erik said:
Tried moving the keyboard and mouse around, still nothing. I disconnected my front panel and nothing changed either. I wasn't able to find something in the BIOS to specifically disable the front audio panel however something to note is that disabling the on board audio altogether still has the speakers (back panel) and headphones (front panel) getting this interference (buzzing) seemingly during graphical stress times.


Okay, that puts the interference most likely on the ground (channel). With your speakers, you can try putting a ferrite on the audio cable.

Also one last thing you can try is to use the same speakers, but use an external sound card of some type, if you have one. See if the problem goes away. There is a chance that the interference is being picked up inside the speaker unit via modulation of EMI/RF signals.
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August 8, 2012 1:31:01 AM

I do not have an external sound card. I was saving getting one as a last line for trying to fix this problem. With the interference being heard through my headphones on the front panel, even while the speakers at the back are turned off or unplugged, this couldn't be just a speaker problem, am I right?
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August 8, 2012 2:24:36 PM

Mr Erik said:
I do not have an external sound card. I was saving getting one as a last line for trying to fix this problem. With the interference being heard through my headphones on the front panel, even while the speakers at the back are turned off or unplugged, this couldn't be just a speaker problem, am I right?


You are probably right. Just to be safe, unplug the speakers from the back and try just the front panel jack for audio, if the interference is being picked up at the rear of the case, with the audio cable OUTSIDE of the case, this would kill that interference.


Also as another suggestion to try if the above isn't true. Try unplugging ALL FRONT PANEL headers (usually USB/Firewire/AudioINOUT), and see if this helps the rear jacks.

These are the last things I can think of.
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August 8, 2012 3:54:11 PM

Unplugging the rear audio speakers and plugging some of them into the front audio has still yielded the same results (I have a 5.1 setup so I was dealing with 3 input cables) Going to try unplugging the front panel devices and report back.
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August 8, 2012 4:00:57 PM

As of right now, unplugging everything going to the front panel had made the interference more noticeable.
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August 8, 2012 5:27:41 PM

I'm just confusing myself now. Some tests I've run in this order

1. Took another computer and plugged it in to the place where I've had my tower (can hear the interference on the headphones)
2. Hooked my tower up to my TV via HDMI (no sound problems through the TV but I can hear interference on my headphones)
3. Hooked the headphones up to the other computer I tested (Yep, interference after I close a game and turn up the volume on the headphones)
4. Hoping that I isolated the problem to be my headphones, I set my tower back up and don't plug them in (speakers still give off interference when I start a couple of games)

The largest lead I have again is that when I start Audio Surf from Steam, I can get a high pitched buzzing or even what you would call a whine coming from the speakers. However this same whine can be heard from what seems to be the graphics card (I took a paper towel roll to try and isolate the sound and it seems to be the 560ti that is making this noise.
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Best solution

August 8, 2012 6:57:49 PM

Mr Erik said:
I'm just confusing myself now. Some tests I've run in this order

1. Took another computer and plugged it in to the place where I've had my tower (can hear the interference on the headphones)
2. Hooked my tower up to my TV via HDMI (no sound problems through the TV but I can hear interference on my headphones)
3. Hooked the headphones up to the other computer I tested (Yep, interference after I close a game and turn up the volume on the headphones)
4. Hoping that I isolated the problem to be my headphones, I set my tower back up and don't plug them in (speakers still give off interference when I start a couple of games)

The largest lead I have again is that when I start Audio Surf from Steam, I can get a high pitched buzzing or even what you would call a whine coming from the speakers. However this same whine can be heard from what seems to be the graphics card (I took a paper towel roll to try and isolate the sound and it seems to be the 560ti that is making this noise.


1) It is possible that your other computer also has some interference issues. A LOT of onboard audio devices exhibit this interference pattern. Newer boards have a lot less of this, but all my older boards when combined with headphones leaks some form of interference.

2) Your TV probably has a low resolution sound system, so you can't hear it, or the sound is internally filtered (as in not full range coming from the speakers).

3) When you close a game, I suspect the GPU is clocking down, and this introduces high frequency harmonics in the power lines and on the GPU (spikes) when the GPU suddenly reduces its power consumption. But with proper motherboard design and layout, this shouldn't be an issue, at least not anymore...

4) That whine you hear on the graphics card is likely just fan or inductor coil whine.

It seems, at this point, if you want to get rid of the interference, you should use an external sound card of some sort... The internal looks like it has the ground channel heavily contaminated.

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August 8, 2012 7:11:14 PM

That's what it seems like at this point. Could the PSU be the problem? I'm running an Antec 25 Earthwatts 650w power supply.

It's interesting because I didn't have this problem on my 2+ year old motherboard and now the interference arises with the newer board purchase.
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August 8, 2012 7:13:54 PM

Also, a quick search earlier about external sound cards yielded a concern about latency issues. I didn't check to see when the article was written, is that still an issue in today's external sound cards?

Also with the coil whine, the pitch sounds identical to the one I'm able to hear over my speakers and headphones (Just pointing that out).

Edit: In a last ditch effort, swapping out my PSU again to my old one just to see. Last time I did it I was sure I still heard the noise.
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August 8, 2012 7:33:55 PM

And yes the noise is still there. Looks like the on board sound card on my motherboard just isn't shielded or grounded like my old one. Now it looks like I have to do some research on a sound card to buy and install.
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August 8, 2012 8:56:12 PM

Mr Erik said:
And yes the noise is still there. Looks like the on board sound card on my motherboard just isn't shielded or grounded like my old one. Now it looks like I have to do some research on a sound card to buy and install.


As for external ones, there is no latency issues for gaming or recording if you get the proper card. For reference, I have used the EMU 0404 USB and 0202 USB for mostly playback without an issue, and that includes gaming.

What is your budget ?
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August 8, 2012 9:03:49 PM

My speakers aren't the best and I'm using the Turtle Beach x12 when I play games and use Skype so I'm not sure I need to go all out and buy an amazing sound card unless it's a real solid choice. I'd say ideally I don't want to spend over $150 but if there is a choice that stands out, I will consider it.
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August 8, 2012 9:40:03 PM

Mr Erik said:
My speakers aren't the best and I'm using the Turtle Beach x12 when I play games and use Skype so I'm not sure I need to go all out and buy an amazing sound card unless it's a real solid choice. I'd say ideally I don't want to spend over $150 but if there is a choice that stands out, I will consider it.


something like this would work:

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=4...

That's the cheapest one I can find that is decent.
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August 9, 2012 3:37:30 AM

Best answer selected by Mr Erik.
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May 16, 2014 5:25:58 AM

Hello! I know this thread its old but i have a similar problem. Did the new audio card solved your problem?

Thanks
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