6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 23, 2018 9:00 AM by Intel Corporation

    Intel HD Graphics 630: ASIO audio dropouts with single-channel memory

    net147

      I have been having issues with audio dropouts when using USB audio interfaces such as Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd Gen with Ableton Live 10 on my laptop.

       

      Audio configuration in Ableton Live 10 as follows.

      Driver Type: ASIO

      Sample Rate: 44100 Hz

      Buffer Size: 64 samples

       

      System configuration as follows.

      Operating System: Windows 10 Version 1709 (OS Build 16299.125)

      Intel Graphics Driver Version: 22.20.16.4815

      CPU: Intel Core i7-7700HQ

      Memory: 1 x 16 GB DDR4-2400

       

      If I start playing audio in Ableton Live, open some explorer windows by pressing Win+E a few times and then quickly press Win+Tab repeatedly I will get audio dropouts.

      This occurs if I have a single memory module (1 x 16 GB DDR4-2400) installed in single-channel configuration.

      If I have two of the same memory module (2 x 16 GB DDR4-2400) installed in dual-channel configuration, the memory bandwidth is doubled and the issue disappears.

       

      So it seems the Intel HD Graphics 630 is bottlenecked by the memory bandwidth available in single channel configuration and that is adding latency to memory operations related to audio processing resulting in audio dropouts. Note that hybrid graphics systems are also affected even when the preferred graphics processor is set to the discrete GPU because the Desktop Window Manager always runs on the Intel GPU and there is currently no way to change this either in the discrete graphic card's control software or in Windows 10 (Insider Preview Build which adds settings to control preferred graphics for certain programs).

       

      Could this issue be mitigated somehow for systems with single-channel memory configuration so the audio dropouts don't occur?

       

      There should be a way to throttle the maximum speed of data being transferred between the Intel GPU and the system RAM according to the memory bandwidth available so there is enough memory bandwidth free to be able to process audio at low latency without dropouts. Unfortunately there are many systems that either have memory soldered on in single channel configuration or only a single memory slot in single-channel configuration so there is no ability to change them to dual-channel configuration.

       

      Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Intel HD Graphics 630: ASIO audio dropouts with single-channel memory
          net147

          Category

          Questions

          Answers (N/A if not applicable)

          Description

          Provide a detailed description of the issue

          Audio dropout in Ableton Live 10 when switching windows using Win+Tab in single channel memory configuration

          Please place an X to the right of the option showing how often you see this issue using specific steps. (Ex: 'Every few times a game is started it flickers.' <- This would be "Often")

          Always (100%): X

          Often (51-99%):

          Sporadic (20-50%):

          Very Sporadic (<20%):

          Hardware (HW)

          Brand and Model of the system.

          Lenovo ThinkPad E570p

          Hybrid or switchable graphics system?
          ie Does it have AMD or NV graphics too?

          NVIDIA Optimus

          Make and model of any Displays that are used to see the issue (see note2 below).
          LFP
          = Local Flat Panel (Laptop panel)
          EFP = External Flat Panel (Monitor you plug in)

          1920x1080 IPS Laptop Panel

          How much memory [RAM] in the system (see note2 below).

          2 x 16 GB memory modules. To reproduce issue, remove one memory module so that Intel graphics is bottlenecked by reduced memory bandwidth in single channel configuration.

          Provide any other hardware needed to replicate the issue.
          ie: Cables&brand, cable type [vga, hdmi, DP, etc], dock, dongles/adapters, etc

          Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd Gen

          Hardware Stepping (see note1 below).

          9

          Software (SW)

          Operating System version (see note2 below).

          10.0.16299 Build 16299

          VBIOS (video BIOS) version. This can be found in “information page” of CUI (right click on Desktop and select “Graphics Properties”.

          9.0.1053

          Graphics Driver version; for both integrated Intel and 3rd party vendors (see note2 below).

          22.20.16.4815

          SW or Apps version used to replicate the issue.

           

          Configurations

          Single display, clone, or extended (see note2 below).

          Single

          Display resolution & refresh rate setting of each display (see note2 below).

          1920x1080 60 Hz

          AC or DC mode, i.e. is power cable plugged in or not?

          AC

          How to repro

          Please provide steps to replicate the issue.  These steps are very crucial to finding the root cause and fix.
          A screenshot to illustrate the issue is a huge plus. A video of the failure is even better! Attach to the post or provide the YouTube link.

          1. Remove one 16 GB memory modules so memory is changed from dual-channel to single-channel
          2. Install Focusrite USB ASIO Driver 4.36.5 from focusrite.com
          3. Connect Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd Gen interface
          4. Install Ableton Live 10 trial from www.ableton.com
          5. Start Ableton Live 10
          6. Click Options > Preferences > Audio tab
          7. Set Driver Type to ASIO
          8. Set Audio Device to Focusrite USB ASIO
          9. Set In/Out Sample Rate to 44100
          10. Click Hardware Setup, set Buffer Size to 64 and Close
          11. Close Preferences
          12. Open C:\ProgramData\Ableton\Live 10 Trial\Resources\Core Library\Lessons\Demo Songs\Live 10 Suite Demo Song.als
          13. Activate Loop Switch icon at top of window
          14. Click Play button
          15. Press win+e 50 times to open 50 explorer windows
          16. Repeatedly press win+tab quickly until audio dropout occurs (you will hear the audio skip)
          17. Power off the system, reinstall second 16 GB memory module, repeat steps 5-16. Notice the issue no longer occurs.

          ...

          • 2. Re: Intel HD Graphics 630: ASIO audio dropouts with single-channel memory
            net147

            The issue also occurs with latest 15.65.4.4944 driver.

            • 3. Re: Intel HD Graphics 630: ASIO audio dropouts with single-channel memory
              Intel Corporation
              This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

              Hello net147

              Thank you so much for contacting us regarding the issue that you are experiencing with your system, it will be more than a pleasure to assist you.
              I really appreciate all the information provided; it is extremely helpful in order to find a solution/fix to your problem.
              I am currently verifying your case in order to try to replicate the issue and to provide an accurate answer since it is something totally out of our regular basis support.
              This may cause a brief delay between our answers so I really appreciate your patience in advance.
              I will reach you out as soon as we have any update on the case.

              Best Regards,
              Diego S.
               

              • 4. Re: Intel HD Graphics 630: ASIO audio dropouts with single-channel memory
                Intel Corporation
                This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                               
                Hello net147,
                Thank you for your patience, I really appreciate it.
                We determined that this issue requires specialized and proprietary equipment, thus the best approach is reporting this issue to the component manufacturer (that way they can reproduce and debug, if it is determined to be Intel issue they can report it directly to us with debug results)
                Checking the product site, it appears the manufacturer does recommend several things in order to optimize the performance (i.e. single-channel vs dual-channel memory mode):
                https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/207355205-Optimising-your-PC-for-Audio-on-Windows-10
                We strongly recommend you to get in touch with the system manufacturer for assistance on this matter.
                I hope this helps,
                Best regards,
                Diego S.
                 

                • 5. Re: Intel HD Graphics 630: ASIO audio dropouts with single-channel memory
                  net147

                  Hi Diego,

                   

                  It occurs with USB audio interfaces from several manufacturers.

                  All of them have this issue with ASIO audio dropouts caused by Intel graphics load.

                   

                  The ones I tested were:

                  - Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd Gen (Driver Version: 4.36.5)

                  - Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 (Driver Version: 4.2.0)

                  - Propellerhead Balance (Driver Version: 1.1.0)

                  - RME Babyface Pro (Driver Version: 1.0.99)

                   

                  Regards,

                  Jonathan

                  • 6. Re: Intel HD Graphics 630: ASIO audio dropouts with single-channel memory
                    Intel Corporation
                    This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                    Hello net147,
                    I totally understand.
                    I will go ahead an escalate your case to higher management to face further review, I cannot promise any resolution or ET but I will make sure that it will be reviewed.
                    As soon as I have news, I will reach you out.
                    Best Regards, 
                    Diego S.