Popcorn in my PC

Discussion in 'Computers' started by PatH, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. PatH

    PatH Second Unit

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    Not literally, but here's my problem: Over the past several months, I've had an intermittent popping sound coming from my PC. This sounds like the odd bit of static, or, perhaps, like popping corn in a microwave, not at the beginning of the cycle, but at the end, where there is a second or two of silence between pops. I've now noticed that the sound files in some of my apps are scratchy as well. I've plugged in a set of headphones that I know to be good and noticed the same thing. When I disconnect all speakers, I don't get the popping sound, but neither do I get any other sound (of course!)

    I believe this to be coming from my sound card (I've had a hard drive crater on me before and those sounds were clearly from the CPU) through my speakers. I was getting ready to replace my sound card, but a tech literate friend of mine has advised me to back up my data and reinstall my XP Home first. Any ideas?
     
  2. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    What sound card do you have, and oddly, what video card do you have? You can sometimes find that power inadequacies if you have a higher end video card can create an odd feedback in soundcard output (most noticable on SBLive5.1 and earlier cards) It could be the OS, but I tend to doubt that.
     
  3. PatH

    PatH Second Unit

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    Chris:

    NVidia GEForce2 and SBLive 4.1 XGamer. The PC is a 4 year old P3 933 MHz running XP Home. Looks like you nailed it, by why would this be showing up now? Power inadequacies? How do I fix it? If I replace the sound card, will I then run into the reverse problem because the video card is older? I'd planned to replace the PC, but an error on my part, called to my attention by everyone's friends at the IRS, ate my PC fund.

    PatH
     
  4. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Well, with a Geforce2, I don't often see it.. have seen this problem occur with Geforce4s and older boxes with Soundblaster Live5.1 and older; it's just the way those boards manage IRQs, etc. as well as poor planning in their management of AGP power needs.

    I'd try this (cheap) solution (as long as this machine isn't a dell, if it is, I'll give you different advice)

    1. See if there is a new BIOS for the motherboard. Use it.
    [​IMG]

    2. Get a 350W PS, you can find ones that are passable for less then $30.
     
  5. PatH

    PatH Second Unit

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    Chris:

    It's an Alienware PC a year out of warranty with an Intel D815EEAA motherboard and a 300 watt power supply. Does the advice still hold? If do, I'll either go to Intel or Google their motherboards.

    PatH
     
  6. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    Maybe you can answer my question too Chris [​IMG]

    I have a dell 2 ghz 512 ram with a turtle beach santa cruz soundcard and used to have a GeForce 4 Ti4600, which was nvidia's top card at the time of purchase of the pc in summer 2002. Everything ran perfect.

    Last spring I upgraded to a Radeon 9800 pro and notice a slight hissing noise now through my headphones. Its very subtle but there, and it seems to change pitch slightly when the cpu is getting a bit hammered. There usually isn't any noise most of the time, but when in the menu screen of the videogame Battlefield 1942 or Battlefield Vietnam thats when it usually rears its ugly head. Like I said, its very faint but was noticable as soon as I installed this new card. Same idea as what Pat is experiencing perhaps?


    And Pat, SB live cards are known to be plagued by some little bugs and problems. A lot of gamers *try* to stay away from them...
     
  7. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Does your 9800 Pro have an external power connector? Most do. The thing that hit most higher end Geforce cards was that they drew more power then the AGP slot was originally designed to yield; they somewhat "bent the rules" without going full out AGP Pro.

    The bitch with the dell is that some of them (not all, some) use a non-standard f'ing power supply and they are -way- underrated for what they are designed to yield.

    Dependant on the chipset of the motherboard (if this is a RAMBUS board, get drivers -NOW- from Intel; and seek BIOS update).. being that Dell is big in using Intel chipsets, and there is no way that machine could have an 865/875 chipset, it most likely has a 845D/E/PE chipset. (right?) So, the drivers for the motherboard should be OK from Dell and shouldn't be a problem. If it is a D chipset, then there are a few tricks you'll have to go through because AGP8X cards don't always work quite right in those boards [​IMG] [​IMG] There are ways to get around it, so if that's the case, let me know.

    IF your motherboard -IS- a RAMBUS board (Intel i850 chipset) then you need to have FASTWRITES off in BIOS; some Dell BIOS don't support this, if yours doesn't you need to download the newest BIOS. Fastwrites on with an AGP 8X card etc. on a RAMBUS I850 board causes all sorts of IRQ sharing issues [​IMG]

    The bug is closely linked to this one:

    http://www.axiontech.com/news_detail.php?no=53

    This problem was solved in the 845PE and up chipsets. The problem is, the I850 does the AGP slightly wrong, and cards that really push the limit create tons of hitches [​IMG]
     
  8. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the great response Chris.

    I do have a rambus board, call it lucky timing when I bought the pc and 4 months later Intel quit supporting RD. My fault - as I was new to the whole pc thing I just went out and bought a modest system. Trust me, I'm paying for it dearly now.

    I have an i850E chipset and my BIOS type is Phoenix (07/18/02) version A7.

    I was a year ago looking at flashing my bios but after reading various forums and stuff I decided against it. I actually wanted to overclock this thing a little bit but after reading what I did (and since its a dell) figured it was going to be more hassle than its worth. Actually IIRC, I can't overclock it because it IS a dell. [​IMG]

    I realize my drivers for the MB are old and will upgrade if absolutly needed. But like I said, my games do seem to run fine although I have questioned it seems like I might not be getting the most from my video card for some reason. I can tolerate the low level hissing that makes its appearence sometimes, my motto regarding computers is "if its not broke, why fix), since I just end up screwing more things up. The 9800 pro I have needs a second power supply to it, following the instructions I had to connect it to the Hard Drive Power hook up.

    Perhaps you can shed more light with this new info. I'll check intels website and see what they say about the 850E chipset.

    Thanks again [​IMG]
     
  9. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Glomming on to this soundcard discussion for my own selfish needs: My Sony Vaio RZ44G has a soundcard (I guess it's a Soundblaster Audigy B800) with a digital audio out. I don't think this particular sound card exists at retail, it is a special one made for Sony. Here's the situation:

    A high pitched tone is being outputted through this digital audio output, always in the background, regardless of whether I'm playing a DVD, of a sound file, or anything else. It's always there in the background.

    Even though I have the digital audio set to output at 48, which is exactly what my receiver wants, I still hear a very slight high pitch whine as if something in the computer is still outputting at 44.1. That's what it sounds like -- the kind of high pitched (almost dog-hearing level) whine that is associated with the wrong sampling rate being sent.

    I can't find what is causing this nearly ultrasonic whine. But it is definately there, gnawing at my ears during quiet passages.

    Hey... writing this just gave me the idea to look to see if there may be something wrong with my receiver rather than the computer...hm...
     
  10. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Yeah, in the case of the I850E chipset, this is probably not curable with your video card of choice in an easy way. [​IMG] I'd check and see if your BIOS allows you to turn off fastwrites, a lot of the pheonix BIOS don't ;( If that's the case, it's going to be that way for a while..
     

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