• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

How to detect IRQ conflicts

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

Mad Butter

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2001
Location
CT
Hi guys. This problem I have been having has been driving me absolutely nuts for the past month or so. I have tried almost everything i could possibly think of to fix it. Here's whats happening. I have an audigy x-fi platnium sound card and whenever i play any sort of music, it crackles and pops and skips. I have checked the drivers, sampling rate, digital output mode, etc. The only thing I can think of is a possible IRQ conflict. All of my PCI slots in my mobo are filled and I recently installed a PCI SATA controller. I can't remember if the problem started before installing that or not. When I look at my system information, i can see that the card and the audigy sound card are sharing the same IRQ channel 16. The system doesn't report any conflicts. Should I try switching the audigy to an open IRQ channel all by itself and see if that helps. Any expert advice would be great. Thanks! :)
 

Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
Hi guys. This problem I have been having has been driving me absolutely nuts for the past month or so. I have tried almost everything i could possibly think of to fix it. Here's whats happening. I have an audigy x-fi platnium sound card and whenever i play any sort of music, it crackles and pops and skips. I have checked the drivers, sampling rate, digital output mode, etc. The only thing I can think of is a possible IRQ conflict. All of my PCI slots in my mobo are filled and I recently installed a PCI SATA controller. I can't remember if the problem started before installing that or not. When I look at my system information, i can see that the card and the audigy sound card are sharing the same IRQ channel 16. The system doesn't report any conflicts. Should I try switching the audigy to an open IRQ channel all by itself and see if that helps. Any expert advice would be great. Thanks! :)

Before you do that try to find a happy place with your MOBOs default IRQ's. That way if you ever reinstall or whatever you're good.

Most motherboard manuals-- all the ones I've ever seen, have a default resource table in them, which gives the default IRQ conflicts for every device and open expansion slot on the board. There alwasy seems to be atleast one PCI slot that has it's own IRQ

I find using discrete IRQ for a soundcard makes for cleaner sound. People tend to disagree. I have no proof of this, but it makes sense in my head.

Any other changes?

Do you have a wireless router like right up against the PC?

Is it really close to a CRT?
 
OP
Mad Butter

Mad Butter

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2001
Location
CT
ASUS A8N-SLI IRQ Assignments

Okay, so I found my IRQ assignments for my mobo. Can anyone make any sense of this? To me, it sounds like all 3 PCI slots are shared but i could be wrong. I have a PCI wireless card (which i never use and could take out), a PCI SATA controller which i use and my audigy sound card. Any suggestions on where I should put what? Thanks!
 

Attachments

  • Asus A8N-SLI IRQ Assignments.JPG
    Asus A8N-SLI IRQ Assignments.JPG
    83 KB · Views: 1,507
OP
Mad Butter

Mad Butter

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2001
Location
CT
Tested with onboard sound

I had a hunch it was my sound system since it is getting old and has been moved and dropped a few times I'm sure. I disabled my audigy card and enabled the on-board sound and the same symptoms started happening which leads me to believe its not the card. Thanks for everyone's input and help. Also, i have respected this forum as a great place of knowledge and I have been using it for years. However, when i get 3 word post replies from people saying your card is dead or buy this, its not at all accurate or a good way of troubleshooting a problem. If your not going to take the time to help someone, then you shouldn't post at all but that's just my 2 cents. thanks again everyone.
 

Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
Try to get it in IRQ 10 if you can. That's the highest priority available on that table at a glance. There's 4 reserves for IRQ steering you should be able to macguiver it onto its own IRQ
 

Old Thrashbarg

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2007
I'm assuming you're talking about the board in your sig. The A8N-SLI uses an Nforce4 chipset, which absolutely will not work properly with a PCI sound card... there's a hardware bug in the chipset, where the PCIe traffic basically shoves aside PCI traffic, causing intermittent and large jumps in latency... which is not good since audio streams need fairly low latency.

I think there was some firmware or driver update for the X-Fi that mitigated the problem to a certain extent, but aside from getting a motherboard with a different chipset, there's no way to solve the issue completely. I fought with it for quite awhile, with several different sound cards, and I finally just gave up and replaced the motherboard with that Asrock one with a ULi chipset.
 

ratbuddy

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
I'm assuming you're talking about the board in your sig. The A8N-SLI uses an Nforce4 chipset, which absolutely will not work properly with a PCI sound card... there's a hardware bug in the chipset, where the PCIe traffic basically shoves aside PCI traffic, causing intermittent and large jumps in latency... which is not good since audio streams need fairly low latency.

I think there was some firmware or driver update for the X-Fi that mitigated the problem to a certain extent, but aside from getting a motherboard with a different chipset, there's no way to solve the issue completely. I fought with it for quite awhile, with several different sound cards, and I finally just gave up and replaced the motherboard with that Asrock one with a ULi chipset.

Right you are, Ken.

Wiki on Nforce 4 said:
The nForce4 chipset has also been blamed for issues with PCI cards, relating to Nvidia's implementation of the PCI bus. RME Audio, a maker of professional audio equipment, has stated that the latency of the PCI bus is unreliable and that the chipset's PCI Express interface can "hog" system data transfer resources when intense video card usage is occurring. This has the effect of causing audible pops and clicks with PCI sound cards.[7] Gamers have noticed this effect, especially with Creative's Sound Blaster X-Fi and Sound Blaster Audigy 2 sound cards. Compatibility issues between these sound cards and nForce4 motherboards have been ongoing, even following driver updates.[8] Latency issues are more readily apparent with sound cards than other addon cards because of the direct user feedback the audio problems bring forward.
 

Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
The above information is highly unfortunate..

OP-- what will you do now? Are you ok with having a bricked soundcard due to your motherboard? Will you replace your motherboard? Sell the card?
 

Massive

Registered
Joined
Jan 21, 2007
Hi guys. This problem I have been having has been driving me absolutely nuts for the past month or so. I have tried almost everything i could possibly think of to fix it. Here's whats happening. I have an audigy x-fi platnium sound card and whenever i play any sort of music, it crackles and pops and skips. I have checked the drivers, sampling rate, digital output mode, etc. The only thing I can think of is a possible IRQ conflict. All of my PCI slots in my mobo are filled and I recently installed a PCI SATA controller. I can't remember if the problem started before installing that or not. When I look at my system information, i can see that the card and the audigy sound card are sharing the same IRQ channel 16. The system doesn't report any conflicts. Should I try switching the audigy to an open IRQ channel all by itself and see if that helps. Any expert advice would be great. Thanks! :)

I believe its about the driver, I've experience the same problem before with my x-fi music.

Trying to clean the driver first with driver cleaner, restart your PC, and don;t forget to disable your onboard sound, installing the latest driver again.

btw do u use 2 SC at the same time?
 
OP
Mad Butter

Mad Butter

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2001
Location
CT
Grrr

thank you everyone for your responses. I believe I have updated to the latest and greatest driver for the x-fi. I have the auto-update utility from creative that checks for updates for drivers, applications, etc. I have gone ahead and disabled my onboard sound and am back to using my creative x-fi. The only thing that seems weird to me is i have not always had this problem and if it was a problem with the PCI slots on the mobo, then why would the same symptoms happen when i disable the creative x-fi and just use onboard sound? Also, I have the x-fi platnium which has the front panel and when i plug in headphones and use that, the music that comes through the headphones is perfect with no skipping and crackling, etc. So idk, im pretty stumped on this one. I think i need an extra pair of speakers to test with to really put this myth to the test. thanks again everyone.
 

Old Thrashbarg

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2007
The only thing that seems weird to me is i have not always had this problem and if it was a problem with the PCI slots on the mobo, then why would the same symptoms happen when i disable the creative x-fi and just use onboard sound?

The onboard sound isn't technically on the PCI bus. It's an extension of a function built directly into the chipset.

I'm not sure what makes the difference that it works fine through the front headphones. Is there possibly a difference in what tasks you're doing when you use headphones? Like, if you're just browsing the internet and listening to music, the problem doesn't show up very often. If you're playing a game and there's a big load on the graphics card (or anything else where there's lots of PCIe traffic), then it's going to show up quite a bit.