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 Post subject: I can hear my mouse... thru my speakers!!! WTF
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:14 pm 
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I have living with this for some time. When the Windows volume is all the way up and the powered speakers are also high, the noise is downright silly. I can even "hear" my mouse and other electrical noises coming from the speakers. I have tried to single out the component causing the noise and no luck. The only thing I haven't tried is swapping the PSU but its a god one (Antec NeoPower 480) so I don't think its the source.

I use a Realtek AC 97 HD integrated audio chip and Logitech x530 5.1 speakers. If I disconnect the mini plugs from the computer, only a very slight hiss is notable (normal). If I connect an iPod to the speakers, no noise so its definitely the PC.

This is not the main problem. I bought myself some nice noise canceling headphones... and NOW I CANT STAND IT!!! They are literally unusable, I get more noise than anything else!! Again, I plug in the iPod, pure bliss and no noise...

A friend suggested USB headphones (but BOSE doesn't make any LOL).

Since Ive heard so much bad things about Creative's X-FI noise and problems in Vista... is UBS really the best way to go? What other PCI solutions are there besides a $200 Barracuda card?

Is there an external USB sound adapter than can be used in Vista and at least downmixes multichannel signals?

I'm open to any other suggestions!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:35 pm 
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It's all your integrated audios fault. Most (if not all) have the same problem when they are integrated into the Northbridge.

The chip is to "close" to the main buss so the noise comes from the USB interface (emi noise). A PCI/PCIe soundcard is the way to go, cheap ones work as good as expensive ones. I got myself a Xi-fi audio just for this same reason. I got so irritated by the bussing sound from my usb mouse, intergrated network chip and all other stuff.

So go get yourself a cheap card and it should work 100 times better.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 4:26 am 
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I second that, it isn't going to get any better as long as you keep on using integrated.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6829120103

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 6:02 am 
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Second. Integrated audio blows chunks, any way you look at it. I stopped using it when the X-Fi came. Perfect price match at a time when I was really getting fed up of having speaker interference and sore ears from poor quality sound in games.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:10 am 
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So I don't have to get a $150 - $200 card, a POS $22 will solve it?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:18 am 
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It's not a P.O.S.... it just isn't a gaming card, so you don't pay the stupid tax.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:34 am 
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"Gaming cards" and "stupid tax" aside, yes, a separate audio processing unit should solve your troubles by providing a less interference-prone environment. I suggest you do get a good one though, at least consider the features you want from it(what sort of I/O, do you need EAX or specific Dolby).

I liked how BF2142 instantly bonded with the X-Fi I have, even though it's "just" the 50€ XtremeMusic(cheapest at the time). It's also got a nice array of features, few of which I actually benefit from(don't use their "sound-enhancing" solutions). Integrated used to act up(environmental audio issues and 5.1 trouble mostly) with Nforce drivers, think I got some Realtek ones that worked.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:06 am 
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I do not play games, well not any new games, LOL look at my system specs!!

I do however play DVDs and lossy audio formats at a regular basis so a good soundcard is a must I guess.

What about all the newer MBs with audio riser cards etc? They any better than "normal" integrated sound?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:11 am 
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You got a good rig there, 2GB of RAM and a reasonably recent VGA. CPU isn't half bad either. I play recent games with what I have and in my mind we aren't that far apart, mainly on the CPU if anything. Since you're overclocking you've even got the advantage, as I don't do that. Less shame, more respect to the elderly! :D

The risers I don't know about... but seriously, for a man with dual displays I doubt the $50-70 investment would be that much! :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:30 am 
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See if you can find any used pro and semi-pro cards. Years ago, I paid a decent amount of money for a Terratec EWX 24/96, and I never regretted it. Awesome card which outputs exactly what you give it, unlike the myriad of Audigies which badly resample everything and ruin the sound. Terratec even issued Vista drivers for it, despite the card being out of production for half a decade! The only problem with the card is that it's so good that mp3s sound like crap ;)

So, look around, you might be able to find a cheap used Terratec, Turtle Beach, Midiman, Digidesign, Echo Audio, or something else. Alternatively, you can get the most expensive Creative X-Fi (Elite Pro, I think), they are supposed to be quite nice (but still not something I'd replace my Terratec with).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:50 pm 
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sorry


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:04 pm 
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**UPDATE**

I had an old... OLD PCI Creative Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 card SB0200 (PCB reads (R) 2002!!!)

Popped it in, found drivers on the net and got it working both on Vista and XP.

Success, no noise! For some reason, although its a 5.1 card, Windows recognizes it as being a stereo only card. Must be a software issue somewhere. Since the headphones are stereo only... no problem.

I will continue to use the integrated solution for the 5.1 desktop speakers and the Sound Blaster card for the headphones. Both controllers seem to work fine together.

I'm looking into the Audigy 4 cards on eBay. When Creative decides to make something for PCI-E 1x then I will consider a newer card.

Can I make the same souce sound on both adapters? Now I have to choose a default device in order to toggle from one to the other.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:32 am 
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I'm just guessing here, but could it be a conflict with the integrated or headphone autodetection forcing stereo?

Also, what's the benefit of PCIE x1? The card will have a smaller connector but the board size and performance will stay pretty much the same.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:40 am 
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Das_Saunamies wrote:
I'm just guessing here, but could it be a conflict with the integrated or headphone autodetection forcing stereo?

Also, what's the benefit of PCIE x1? The card will have a smaller connector but the board size and performance will stay pretty much the same.


Because current i680 boards have only one free PCI slot when using dual GPUs and I need one slot for my current MCE tuner card. PCI-E tuner cards are slowly appearing now but are still flaky. Maybe by the time I finally get everything that I want the PCI-e tuner cards have matured.

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 Post subject: Another suggestion
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:49 pm 
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Go to your control panel, go to sounds and audio devices. Under device volume, click the advanced tab and make sure your line out is turned down. I used to have the same problem and i found out my line in volume was way up. Turning it down or off helped me out with the same problem. ..still, a cheap audio card is a plus. I use a regular Sound Blaster Live! 24 bit. bought it for 20 bucks on newegg . Either way, hope your problem gets fixed, and keep blastin that music!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:44 pm 
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I have a SB Live! 1024 (4 channel card) for my MCE. But im looking for a new one, still cheap, card around 30$ that has digial out (optical and coaxial), and it has none of the problem the integrated 7.1 card has.

Pci/pcie is the way to go for better sound.

note. most cheap soundcards on PCI are acctualy the same chipsets as integrated cards so you are not downgrading yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: Another suggestion
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:52 am 
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Try muting all unused channels in your windows mixer (first, open the properties dialog and check everything...). You propably have some unused mobo headers (AUX, CD IN, ...). Muting this could very well solve your problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Another suggestion
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:53 am 
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- sorry, doublepost -


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:27 pm 
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Location: Santa Cruz
Xcapepr wrote:
So I don't have to get a $150 - $200 card, a POS $22 will solve it?



Maybe. It could still be sharing some path or an interupt with the mouse. Is the mouse Ps2 or USB? Adding an adaptor to go the alternative may help.

Chaintech makes a real good $25 soundcard using the same Envy 24 chip in my M-Audio.

The cheap little amps in powered computer speakers don't always have good grounding or sheilding and can pick up hum. I use a very quiet stereo amp and regular speakers. Even so I recall having Mouse moves create some sound-but I think that was the older Puter that had to use USB mouse.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:46 pm 
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The Chaintech is the 710,is now $23 at New Egg...read some reviews...there are over 300 reviews and often people used this to replace an Audigy or X Fi that cost $100 plus. The Wolfson DAC is a special plus. You need to dl Drivers from Via Arena. Chaintech sold out and their support barely exists now.

It won't RECORD as well as my M Audio (3x the price) It excells at Stereo Playback.

Audiophiles upgrade these with better capacitors,op amps and make super quality cards from them. Kids...don't try that at home.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 9:46 pm 
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ronrem wrote:
Audiophiles upgrade these with better capacitors,op amps and make super quality cards from them. Kids...don't try that at home.


i did that to my x-fi =D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:29 pm 
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If you are a real audiophile you will already have figured out that having any DAC's inside the pc is outright STUPID.

Get the DAC's out of the pc and into something with its own powersupply.

I, for one, use a Pioneer VSX-1015 for this purpose .. DAC with abit "extra" ;)

Image

.. Actually I have a complete 5.1 system to the tune of $4500 hooked up to the pc. BF2 is.. entertaining ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 5:17 am 
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Well sure - but you can get reasonable results from just about any external receiver coupled with decent speakers.
Come to think of it, a couple of weekends ago I picked up a set of SPDF-only (no analog in) Boston speakers at a local fair for $2. They sound pretty good. AFAICT, these originally came with a Gateway PC. They had a 3.5mm audio plug to RCA plug cable (I'm guessing that Gateway had SPDIF out on a 3.5mm jack), so if you didn't know about SPDIF these speakers would only work with that (now obsolete) Gateway - but with a simple digital audio cable (RCA to RCA) they'll work with any PC with coax SPDIF.
I'd guess that these would show up on ebay from time to time for cheap, which is why all the details.

Of course, using an external playback processor does nothing for that hum that'll be on the line when you're using a microphone. USB mics are pretty cheap, though...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:10 am 
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Posts: 532
Just to correct some misinformation.
-DACs inside the PC can be very good. Many professional PCI cards have very good analog out. Measurements don't put external cards at a significant advantage.
-Newer integrated audio is decent. Vista Premium certification requires a reasonable level of specs and isolation from electrical noise. Definitly not for an audiophile set-up. But proper speakers/headphones and speaker/headphone amplification should come first. Of course a lot of integrated audio is unacceptable even for uncritical lo-fi use but not all.


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