Frakatchoo
1 Nickel

AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

I encounter a very annoying problem with my new AREA 51 R2. If I connect an external USB sound card (I have tested it with several cards). I have a huge problem with the audio, when I move the mouse, the sound crackles (music, video, etc ...). No problem with the onboard sound card.

I tried everything:
- Connect the sound card on different ports (Front / Rear, USB2 / USB3)
- Unplug all unnecessary USB devices
- Use a powered HUB for connected devices
- Connect the PC to other power outlets
- I have tested it on a clean installation
- Drivers are up to date
- The problem persists with different sound cards
- Change the mouse / keyboard does not remove the problem

For me there is a problem of interference with USB ports (no problem on my previous PC), and I invite you to connect an external sound card on the AREA 51 (R2) to see if the problem persists. I hope an BIOS update can resolve this issue !

THX

49 Replies
Tesla1856
6 Gallium

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

What version of Windows did you get on it?

What USB sound devices exactly? Not sure what to even think of this issue.

As you know, whether it's a USB sound-card or USB Headset ... it's only using the "sound-card" circuit (and matching drivers) for that particular USB device. It's mostly all digital.

Rear ports are best bet, and if it's not specifically a USB-3 device, I would use USB-2 port (if there are any).

Have you tried testing data through-put rate of USB-ports with USB storage devices?

If you only use internal sound card, and connect analog headset to analog ports in back ... do you get any EMI/EMF static on them?

Does it sound like it's dropping packets (skipping) or is it interference like static on the radio?


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
0 Kudos
markshaheen
3 Silver

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

I have a $2500 DAC hooked up via USB.  Make sure you remove in the sound properties anything other than what you have hooked up. I had issues till I did that.

Mark
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Area 51 R2

Alienware 17 R3

Alienware - Area 51 R4

0 Kudos
Frakatchoo
1 Nickel

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

I'm using Windows 8.1 (64 Bits).

I've try 3 sound cards :

- Propellerhead Balance
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
- Roland TB-3 audio output

Drivers up to date of course, no problem with my old PC. I've try USB Strorage devices on the AREA 51 and it seem to be OK. Also no problem with the internal sound card (no EMI/EMF static). But I want to use an external sound card (better ASIO, Digital-to-Analog Converters) coz I'm a musician too.

When I move my mouse, each time the cursor move over an icon for example (or a window border), the sound dropping & crackling (it's numeric, and not static like a radio).

I'm wondering if the problems don't come from Windows 8.1 interface, because moving the mouse over the background doesn't affect the audio. Really strange (my old PC is on Windows 8.1 too).
Maybe the graphic card can cause this issue ? (I'm on 3-WAY SLI GTX 980).

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Frakatchoo
1 Nickel

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

I found the cause, but not the solution.
As I thought, the problem comes from the NVIDIA GTX 980 cards:

Uninstalling drivers / Disabling GTX 980 cards :
No more problem with my USB sound cards!

Use of GTX 980 cards (SLI mode OFF) :
Got sound dropping & crackling when the cursor move over icons / texts / border window...

Use of GTX 980 cards in SLI mode (x3) :
Same problem, but even more now!

I tested all the latest WHQL drivers, the problem persists.

So I see only these solutions:
- BIOS update (which will correct USB Droppout)
- Updating NVIDIA drivers with a good one.
- A Windows 8.1 patch

0 Kudos
Tesla1856
6 Gallium

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

I found the cause, but not the solution.
As I thought, the problem comes from the NVIDIA GTX 980 cards:

 

Uninstalling drivers / Disabling GTX 980 cards :
No more problem with my USB sound cards!

 

Use of GTX 980 cards (SLI mode OFF) :
Got sound dropping & crackling when the cursor move over icons / texts / border window...

 

Use of GTX 980 cards in SLI mode (x3) :
Same problem, but even more now!

 

I tested all the latest WHQL drivers, the problem persists.

 

So I see only these solutions:
- BIOS update (which will correct USB Droppout)
- Updating NVIDIA drivers with a good one.
- A Windows 8.1 patch

Good work on troubleshooting.
Your problem has been reported to Alienware Engineering.
Were these 3 NVidia GTX-980 cards supplied with machine from Dell?
If you have them handy, it might be helpful to know version number of drivers you have tried.
How exactly is this working ... ?
Uninstalling drivers / Disabling GTX 980 cards :
No more problem with my USB sound cards!
... with no drivers? I assume it's just the Primary card working, but what Microsoft driver is loaded?


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
Frakatchoo
1 Nickel

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

Thank you, hope this can help !

To answer your questions, yes ! These are the three 3 GTX 980 cards shipped with the AREA 51.

I have test these drivers from NVIDIA: 344.75, 344.65, 344.60, 344.48.
But the problem persist, the only way I have found is to uninstalling or disabling the GTX 980 cards.

And yes, the generic windows drivers are used: Microsoft Basic Display Driver (Version 6.3.9600.16384)
And there, no problem with the external USB sound cards...

0 Kudos
Mykv
1 Nickel

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

Thanks so much Frakatchoo for posting this!!! 

I just got my Area 51 (R2) last week and hooked up my Audio Interface this past Sunday (Dec. 14).  I am trying to run a brand new Roland Studio Capture (UA-1610).  I am having the exact same problem, mainly when moving over icons and between my two monitors.  My set up has a single GTX 980 and my processor is the Intel® Core™ i7-5820K Processor (6-cores, 15MB Cache, Overclocked up to 3.8 GHz w/ Turbo Boost) and 16GB of RAM and Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit. All the components came from Dell with the exception of my audio interface(s).  I was going to try my older interface which is an Edirol (now Roland) USB 2.0  UA-101 tonight to see if there was a difference in the drivers. 

I made sure all my drivers were up to date.  I obtained and checked the drivers from the dell support list. I noticed the problem when I started listening to Slacker Radio.  Everytime I moved the mouse between my two monitors or over an icon the audio would stutter.  It does not happen in the Windows tile/metro area.  Also when I ran a search on the SSD C: Drive the audio stuttering was terrible. As far as my DAW, I am using Ableton Live 9 and Sonar X3 Producer Edition.  The stuttering issue froze up Ableton.  I have not tested it on Sonar but I expect that I will have the same issues. 

If you find a solution please share it!  I am going to run Latencymon tonight but it appears you have already found the problem. 

I have a Toshiba laptop running the same OS, Window 8.1 Pro 64 bit, that has no problem running either my UA-1610 or UA-101.

I have a lot of experience using audio interfaces for recording and have done the usual power management tips and disabling other audio devices etc.  As I mentioned I just started to look for the problem so I appreciate the info!

Thanks again and please keep me posted!

 

 

0 Kudos
Frakatchoo
1 Nickel

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

Thanks for your feedback !

As I imagine, the problem affects all USB audio cards. Apparently there is a conflict somewhere that causes USB droppout (causing by mouse, keyboard, SSD, graphic cards...). This necessarily related to the motherboard, I hope Dell will fix this issue quickly via a bios update.

CaliforniaDude
1 Nickel

RE: AREA 51 R2 & USB Audio Device Issue

Did you install the updated USB driver from the dell site?   My USB ports for my Area 51 R2 where only running at low speed (not superspeed ) until I got the driver updated.  One would have thought that these drivers would already be installed on my PC which was delivered this week ( December) given the driver date  was Oct 27.

0 Kudos