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PC sound lags/stutters in game Follow

#1 Sep 05 2013 at 1:09 PM Rating: Good
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OK, let me start by saying that I know just about nothing when it comes to sound issues (this will become evident fast..).

When playing FFXIV, the sounds skips and stutters A LOT while running around the world. I generally play the game on max settings, may turn it down if I'm going to be doing a lot of fate grinding (crapload of players/NPCS involved for those not familiar with the game). All is fine on the visual side, but the music/sounds stutter a lot regardless of which setting I am currently using.

I've never been too fussed over having top-notch sound, so when I built my computer I just stuck with the built-in sound card on the MB. Will buying a dedicated sound card take care of this issue? Are there other components involved here that I should be looking into? If buying a card will be a quick fix, are there any specs that I should look out for specifically?

Drivers say they are current, although these would just be whatever is installed from the Windows automatic updates.

Any insight would be lovely, and let me know if you need more info on the computer itself. Thank you :)

Edited, Sep 5th 2013 3:13pm by mabiche
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#2 Sep 05 2013 at 3:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sound issues can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from lack of hardware horsepower, to viruses, to driver issues. Most motherboard sound cards these days are actually pretty good and are generally able to keep up with just about anythign with minimal issues. If your system is low on resources though, it might be bogging down, especially if you are on a 32 bit OS by any chance. built in motherboard sound cards are basically a software codec running with essentially a modified USB audio output interface built into the board. They are system resource dependant. Shared IRQ's under windows XP used to sometimes give them fits, but thats very rarely the issue under windows 7 or even vista anymore.

To be able to help you, we're going to need to know you basic system specifications. What CPU. How much Ram, what OS, what motherboard, what video card, etc. You can get that information by downloading and installing CPUz http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html and GPUz http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/ if you don't already know it.

A dedicated soundcard will most likely work as a quick fix, unless you are dealing with a different root cause. if you have one of those new Audio related viruses (which are incredably annoying to remove for what it's worth) you might see problems with the new one too. If on the other hand your issues are hardware chokeing due to ram or driver issues, this might fix it instantly.

Current state of the art in sound cards is the Sound Blaster Z series. I'll be upgrading to one of these from my older X-fi Fatality edition later on.
http://us.creative.com/promos/SoundBlasterZSeries/?eventcategory=MHL&eventaction=CatPage_SB&eventlabel=SoundBlasterZSeries
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#3 Sep 05 2013 at 3:54 PM Rating: Good
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Thank you for such an in-depth reply! I'm at work right now, so I'm hoping the information below will suffice for now. If you need anything additional, I should be able to pull it later tonight.

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16 Ghz
Ram: Corsair 4 GB
Graphics: GeForce GTW 560 Ti
OS: WIndows 7 64-bit
MB: Gigabyte EP45-UD3P (not sure what the relevant information is here..sorry!)

This is the first time I've noticed issues with the sound, but with that said, the most action that this computer has seen in recent years has been FFXI, GW2 and The Sims (LOL). As far as viruses go, I haven't run across any as of late, but I'll do a few scans just to make sure.

Again, I do appreciate your help on this.





Edited, Sep 5th 2013 6:13pm by mabiche
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#4 Sep 05 2013 at 4:22 PM Rating: Excellent
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That works. There's actually apperently a known issue with the EMU sound card on that motherboard and two of the SATA ports. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/268937-30-ep45-ud3p-sound-stutter-solved

More ram certanly also wouldn't hurt. Ram is dirt cheap, and windows 7 64 bit alone will use more than 4GB if it's available. Aim for 16GB if possible, though that board will use DDR2 so prices might be higher and it might be hard to find 4GB sticks. 8GB though should be adequate until you upgrade.
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#5 Sep 05 2013 at 4:32 PM Rating: Good
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Thank you for the link. I'll have to poke around with that once I get home. And I agree the ram is a bit low..it's just never been an issue before, but hey, more memory never hurts!

ETA: One more question if you're still reading. Assuming poking around with ports/bios doesn't fix things, do you think I'd be better off increasing memory or just getting a card (I could probably find a decent card for less than the RAM) or would it be about the same? I would imagine increasing ram is a better long-term solution since that helps out everything, but I do have to keep pricing in mind at this time.


Edited, Sep 5th 2013 7:21pm by mabiche
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