Windows 10: After updating to the FCU I am experiencing sound popping issues

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  1.    24 Oct 2017 #1

    After updating to the FCU I am experiencing sound popping issues

    Since updating to the FCU I have been experiencing a sound popping issue that happens only when the playback starts, it's almost as if the driver cannot wake up in time from idle. After the initial popping the playback can continue for hours without issues.
    I tried different speakers and my HD 598s in both the front and back panel.
    This is what it sounds like, recorded with my phone:
    Normal: Vocaroo | Voice message
    Popping: Vocaroo | Voice message

    The driver versions I tried so far are: from my motherboard's support page I guess this is what realtek considers FCU compatible still no luck.

    After the initial in place update, I thought something must have gone wrong during the update process so I formatted my HDD and I reinstalled Windows, after installing the driver the issue was still there.
    Sound enhancements in the Windows sound panel are disabled, the popping happens with any sound quality, I tried from 16bit 48000Hz to 32bit 192000Hz.
    The DPC latency, monitored in both Latency mon and Windows performance monitor, ranges between 40u and 150u, with the 150u spikes being caused by the Nvidia drivers.
    I opened a ticket on the MSI support site but they can't replicate the issue.
    I also sent an email to Realtek but they didn't even reply.

    The generic Windows driver works without issues, sound quality is not the same though and I lose the impedance sensor and amp mode selection functions available in the Realtek control panel.

    Is there anything I can do solve this issue? I am running out of ideas to troubleshoot this further.

    My system specs:
    X299 SLI PLUS
    i7 7820x
    2x8GB DDR4 3200
    GTX 970
    Last edited by artins90; 24 Oct 2017 at 07:31.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    24 Oct 2017 #2

    I'm going to guess this is something to do with Idle power down.
    Supporting Idle Power-Down in UMDF Drivers | Microsoft Docs
    Supporting Idle Power-Down on Multiple-Component Devices | Microsoft Docs

    Since a time-out applies, it might be interesting to see what happens if you repeatedly played a tone at different intervals. At short enough intervals, presumably you would find there was no problem, and increasing the interval beyond the time-out would cause the symptom to recur.

    Other aspects of power management might apply:
    Are hardware power management features causing latency spikes in my application? - Red Hat Customer Portal

    You might try changing your power plan to high power to see if there's any effect.

    If so, you could consider playing with various settings here:
    Click image for larger version. 

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  3.    24 Oct 2017 #3

    dalchina said: View Post
    I'm going to guess this is something to do with Idle power down.
    Since a time-out applies, it might be interesting to see what happens if you repeatedly played a tone at different intervals. At short enough intervals, presumably you would find there was no problem, and increasing the interval beyond the time-out would cause the symptom to recur.
    Yes this is the case, after the initial popping there are no issues, I can play clips in quick succession and the all they play fine.
    I tested different times and the interval seems to be around 10 seconds.
    Is there anything I can do to overdrive this behavior?
    Currently I am using the high performance power profile with the CPU set at 30% min 100% max, setting it to 100% min does not solve the audio issue.

    With the previous Windows version (CU) and the same audio driver version I am using, I had no issues and I don't know if the driver used to power down or if it was kept active all the time in Windows 10 CU.

    I don't know if the popping it's a driver bug or a "feature" that never worked on my system in the past but to me it's very annoying, I lose the first 2-3 seconds of anything I play. Windows sound notifications like warning sounds or emptying the recycle bin don't play at all because they are so short.

    I'd rather get rid of this power saving feature than having bugged sound at the beginning of anything I play.
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  4.    24 Oct 2017 #4

    I have no idea- I just suddenly had a flash of inspiration as to what it might be.

    Now, you would expect that it would not take long to restore full power functionality- what worries me about the idea is the timescale for which you are perceiving the effect.

    My further guess might be is that there's some snag or bug where normal operation is not being resumed quickly enough.

    You could have a look through those settings to see if there's anything specific you could adjust.

    Also check your manufacturer's forums- do a search for people with similar hardware.

    Which Windows build were you previously using?
    The problem you face is whether the driver or Windows is at fault here.

    E..g There was a case (graphics) where the user had to revert to the CU, extract the driver, back to the FCU,and use that driver, as the particular driver version wasn't downloadable.

    For interest:
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  5.    24 Oct 2017 #5

    To answer your question, I was using 1703, now I am on 1709.
    The driver I was using on 1703 is still available on my motherboard's support page and I tried it twice after the update to 1709.
    The generic Windows driver works fine, the Realtek driver has this power management issue.

    I opened a thread about this issue on the MSI forum last week and nobody has replied yet, their forum is not very active and probably not many users have updated yet.
    What worries me is that their support team cannot replicate the issue, they asked me to provide screenshots of all the audio settings and I did so, we should have the same setup.

    I didn't know there was a power panel in the device manager.
    The device goes from D0 to D3 state after just 3 seconds after playing sound, so it's definitely sleeping.

    These are the values reported:
    Current power state:

    Power capabilities:

    Power state mappings:
    S0 -> D0
    S1 -> Unspecified
    S2 -> Unspecified
    S3 -> D3
    S4 -> D3
    S5 -> D3
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    24 Oct 2017 #6

    Have you tried different players? (Though somehow I doubt it will make a difference- probably too low-level).

    And try the settings for the power plan where possibly appropriate.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    24 Oct 2017 #7

    Try this:
    I've solved the pops and crackles from Realtek chips, and others, by going to Control Panel Power Settings and setting 'Minimum processor state' to 100%.

    Not ideal, but serves as a workaround until they release better drivers.
    Windows 10 popping sound in speakers Solved - Windows 10 Forums

    Fix Clicking and Popping Sound Issue in Windows 10

    There's a possible clue here- but not clear. Idle power timeout or similar in the registry..
    Audio driver quickly fading in whenever a new sound starts - Windows 10 Forums
    Last edited by dalchina; 24 Oct 2017 at 12:09.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    24 Oct 2017 #8

    Dalchina, I managed to come up with a workaround.

    You were right on the money.
    I found the 3 registry keys mentioned in your own post you linked above.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    ConservationIdletime can be ignored because it comes into play only when running low on battery.

    IdlePowerState defines the power mode the sound card should switch to when the power saving is triggered.
    I tried with 00 00 00 00 first but basically it did nothing, the sound card went to sleep and when I resumed the playback, the usual popping was still there.
    I then tried 02 00 00 00 which is supposed to be a less conservative power state, hoping it would allow the driver to wake up on time. Sadly this was even worse than the default 03 00 00 00 because with this setting the sound would not come back, no matter what, after the sound card went to sleep.
    So I decided to leave this one on the default 03 00 00 00

    PerformanceIdleTime is used when running the pc from the wall and it is the one I am interested in.
    I tried to set it to zero at first but upon rebooting, the value got overwritten automatically and was reset back to the default 05 00 00 00, probably the driver doesn't like 0 as an option or it's just my fault for not knowing how to deal with hexadecimal values.
    I almost gave up hope but then I thought, what if I set it to ff ff ff ff?

    After setting it to ff and a reboot, there has been no more popping so far.
    I am not sure how many minutes ff ff ff ff equals to but it's better than getting popping every time there are 5 seconds of inactive sound.

    I wish I didn't have to resort to this workaround, the issue itself is still there, the driver cannot wake up on time.
    What's even worse, is that I still don't get why this driver was working on Windows 1703 and suddenly stopped working properly on 1709.

    There are 2 hypothesis I think:
    A: In my installation of Windows 1703 there was something that prevented the system from entering the S1-S3 Windows sleeping states.
    B: The current Windows 1709 uses a more aggressive power management system that sends the PC in sleep state unless there is significant load on the PC.

    Thank you so much for your suggestions!
    Last edited by artins90; 24 Oct 2017 at 13:36.
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  9.    24 Oct 2017 #9

    Great- and should be useful to others. I recall other threads reporting something a bit similar.

    One might surmise that MS has made a change that has simply not been tested on a representative sample. This deserves feedback to MS. (E.g. Feedback Hub app).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10. Posts : 3
    Windows 10 x64 (1709)
       19 Nov 2017 #10

    I recently started noticing this issue as well.

    It was quite difficult to diagnose because the problem seemed intermittent - it would be fine for awhile and then go away.

    • Realtek ALC S1220A on an Asus Z270-A motherboard.
    • Windows 10 FCU x64
    • Both the stock Microsoft HD Audio Driver (included in FCU - I have not downloaded any later versions) and the latest Asus-provided drivers gave me the issue.
    • Today, I installed the Realtek R282 drivers from Realtek's website (v6.0.1.8186) and the problem seems to be gone

    I'm cautiously optimistic because I'm not sure if something will trigger the problem to come back.

    Whenever the popping issue was present I would also get a pop whenever I adjusted the master volume slider on the taskbar (even when not playing anything) so that was a quick way to tell if the problem is there or not.

    However, to relate this back to the other information in the thread, PowerSettings > PerformanceIdleTime is set to "00 00 00 00" with these drivers. I didn't set it that way - that's how it came. Unfortunately, I don't know what previous drivers had set this value to.

    EDIT: Forget it - the issue came back. But the above may still be of interest. I've now tried updating my Intel LAN drivers as they were from 2015 and there are known issues with interrupt latency with older drivers. The issue went away after installing the drivers (no reboot required) but given my history with this issue that doesn't mean very much. Will report back if this improves anything.
    Last edited by mattbg; 19 Nov 2017 at 13:55.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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