1 2 Previous Next 20 Replies Latest reply on Sep 18, 2018 11:05 AM by Gabriela_Intel

    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.

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

                      Hi Diego,

                       

                      Here is another report of same issue but with Intel Core i5-8400 8th generation desktop CPU and 4K monitor: Babyface Pro crackling (Intel integrated graphics) (Page 1) — FireWire & USB series — RME User Forum

                       

                      It seems the issue becomes worse with higher screen resolutions and/or multiple monitors - I guess because it has to transfer more data between the Intel graphics and system RAM.

                       

                      I checked on a desktop with Intel Core i7-7700K with 8GB of single channel memory. It has the same issue. Interestingly if I install a dedicated graphics card like an old NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT in PCI express slot, the issue disappears.

                       

                      Also, it seems changing the Intel(R) Graphics Plan setting in the power plan options (Control Panel > Power Options) to Maximum Battery Life helps a lot with reducing audio dropouts while setting it to Maximum Performance increases audio dropouts. I guess since the graphics clock frequency is reduced with the "Maximum Battery Life" setting it is reducing the load on the system memory.

                       

                      Do you have any update on this issue?

                       

                      Regards,

                      Jonathan

                      • 8. 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 response.

                        Based on the detailed description of your issue, the best troubleshooting step will be deleting all your graphic drivers (with no internet access so Windows* will not update them automatically) in order to isolate the issue

                        Please uninstall manually all the graphic drivers from device manager. Once that you delete them and the basic display driver is exposed, please reboot the computer and check again device manager to make sure that you got rid of them. You may want to turn off the updates from the OS as well for this step.

                        Once that your machine is working with the basic display driver, please go ahead and try to replicate your issue (causing the audio drops on purpose).

                        If that does not end with positive results please go ahead and try our latest Intel® Graphics Driver for Windows® 10:

                        https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/27680

                        Update the drivers through a manual installation. You will find all the steps here:

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1KzoQDjMMY

                        The content on the above site is not controlled by Intel. This information is offered for your convenience and should not be viewed as an endorsement by Intel for the merchants or services offered there.

                        Please let us know the behavior of the machine after the update so we can determine what is going to be the next step

                        I hope this helps.

                        Best Regards,

                        Diego S.

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

                          Hi Diego,

                           

                          Just a note that my laptop is running Windows 10 Version 1803 (OS Build 17134.48) as of a week or so ago.

                          I have modified step 15 in steps to reproduce as the new version of Windows 10 is much slower at switching 50 open explorer Windows with win+tab. Instead of opening 50 explorer windows, I open task manager window by right-clicking the taskbar and clicking Task Manager, then change to the Performance tab.

                           

                          1. Checking the Intel(R) HD Graphics 630 driver version in Device Manager, it shows 23.20.16.4944 (driver date 4/02/2018)

                          2. Do steps to reproduce issue. Pressing win+tab repeatedly gives noticeable audio dropouts.

                          3. Uninstall driver for Intel(R) HD Graphics 630 in Device Manager (checked the box to delete the driver software) and restart (I had to uninstall and restart twice). It now shows as Microsoft Basic Display Adapter, driver version 10.0.17134.1 (driver date: 21/06/2006).

                          4. Do steps to reproduce issue. Pressing win+tab repeatedly does not give noticeable audio dropouts. The CPU usage does hit 100% sometimes as it is now doing the graphics animations using software rendering.

                          5. Install latest Intel Graphics Driver 24.20.100.6025. Restart.

                          6. Check Intel(R) HD Graphics 630 in Device Manager, it shows driver version 24.20.100.6025 (driver date: 25/04/2018)

                          7. Do steps to reproduce issue. Pressing win+tab repeatedly gives noticeable audio dropouts.

                          8. Open Device Manager, right-click Intel(R) HD Graphics 630 and click Disable device. Note this seems to do the same thing as uninstalling the graphics driver. If I run dxdiag and check the Display tab, it shows "Microsoft Basic Display Driver" when the Intel(R) HD Graphics 630 is disabled and "Intel(R) HD Graphics 630" when it is enabled.

                          9. Do steps to reproduce issue. Pressing win+tab repeatedly does not give noticeable audio dropouts. The CPU usage does hit 100% sometimes as it is now doing the graphics animations using software rendering.

                          10. Open Device Manager, right-click Intel(R) HD Graphics 630 and click Enable device.

                          11. Do steps to reproduce issue. Pressing win+tab repeatedly gives noticeable audio dropouts.

                           

                          So disabling the Intel graphics driver fixes the issue, but then the system has no graphics acceleration (even if I enable my NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti display adapter in Device Manager) so rendering graphics is done in software which uses more CPU so there is less CPU resources for audio processing - which can eventually result in audio dropout if CPU is at 100% for too long due to too much time spent doing software graphics rendering instead of audio processing. Also it means I can't use the HDMI output for dual monitor.

                           

                          I find it disappointing that I can't delegate all graphics rendering to my NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and have the operating system just copy the rendered graphics output to the Intel display outputs (built-in LCD panel and HDMI port) considering my laptop is always plugged in and I don't care about battery life. Windows always seems to run desktop compositing and a few other processes on the first GPU regardless of whatever I try to set in NVIDIA Control Panel or Windows preferred graphics settings. Can something be done about this?

                           

                          Ideally the Intel graphics should just work and not use so much memory bandwidth. I am willing to run diagnostics and tests you need to aid in resolving this.

                          Is there something we can do about this?

                           

                          Is there any memory bandwidth utilization monitor software that you can provide so I can monitor/graph the memory bandwidth utilization during my testing?

                           

                          Thanks.

                           

                          Regards,

                          Jonathan

                          • 10. 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 your patience during this troubleshooting process.
                            Now that we have concrete facts regarding the behavior of your machine with the "Microsoft Basic Display Driver",  I will escalate the case again to our team so they can provide us with an answer to your questions and with the next step to follow.
                            I will reach you back again as soon as we have news.
                            Best Regards,
                            Diego S.

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

                              Hi Diego,

                               

                              Here is related report indicating that the Intel graphics driver causes USB latency:

                              https://software.intel.com/en-us/forums/graphics-driver-bug-reporting/topic/776780

                               

                              And another report of audio dropouts with Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd Gen USB audio interface:

                              Intel Graphics 630: Audio drop outs because of slow dxgkrnl.sys?

                               

                              Regards,

                              Jonathan

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

                                Hi net147,

                                 

                                Thank you for your patience, we are still investigating this issue.

                                So far we have been collecting information that can help us build a reproducible case, however there are a couple of details we could use your help in clarifying.

                                 

                                1. Both in this thread and in Intel Graphics 630: Audio drop outs because of slow dxgkrnl.sys? the driver 24.20.100.6025 was tested but with mixed results. In your case, switching to a dual-channel memory configuration corrects the issue (please correct me if I am wrong here), but in the other thread the author still has the problem even when using dual-channel memory. This might suggest other software/hardware requirements needed to trigger the issue.

                                2. Is it strictly necessary for us to use a USB Audio Interface device to see the issue? Have you encounter audio drop outs with a regular HDMI-to-HDMI connection (e.g. PC connected to a TV/Monitor)?

                                 

                                We really appreciate all the information you have provided so far, and we're also thankful for your cooperation and patience while we investigate.

                                 

                                Best Regards,

                                Ronald M.

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

                                  Hi Ronald,

                                   

                                  1. Switching to dual channel memory does solve it for me, but it is difficult as other background processes can put additional load on integrated graphics, CPU and memory which cause the latency issues you see in LatencyMon with dxgkrnl.sys in the other thread even with dual channel memory.

                                  I had to do the additional optimization steps to get LatencyMon to run for 24-48 hours without issue:

                                  - Change power plan to Bitsum Highest Performance power plan after installing and running ParkControl – Tweak CPU Core Parking and More – Bitsum . This disables frequency scaling and CPU core parking which can cause latency spike.

                                  - In power plan options > Intel(R) Graphics Settings > Intel(R) Graphics Power Plan, change to "Maximum Battery Life" for both "On battery" and "Plugged in". This reduces the maximum graphics clock speed which reduces the memory bandwidth used by the integrated graphics while rendering graphics. This leaves more memory bandwidth free for processing audio and USB traffic.

                                  - Disable NVIDIA graphics adapter in Device Manager. Powering this adapter on/off on-demand can cause latency spike.

                                  - Settings > Privacy > Background apps. Switch Photos to Off. I actually switched them all individually to Off (don't switch the global toggle to Off as it breaks Windows start menu search) but I found that every 10-15 mins Windows starts up the Photos app process in the background to do some processing which causes a latency spike. Launching the Photos app normally does not cause a latency spike.

                                  - Disable running full memory diagnostic when application crash occurs. It puts a lot of load on the CPU and memory when doing diagnostic which can cause latency spike.

                                  -- Open "Task Scheduler", go to Task Scheduler (Local) > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > MemoryDiagnostic > ProcessMemoryDiagnosticEvents

                                    Click Disable. By default it is Enabled.

                                  -- Open "Task Scheduler", go to Task Scheduler (Local) > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > MemoryDiagnostic > RunFullMemoryDiagnostic

                                    Click Disable. By default it is Enabled.

                                  - Open "Task Scheduler", go to Task Scheduler (Local) > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > Maintenance > WinSAT. Click Disable. By default is it Enabled. WinSAT does benchmarking of system performance and can cause latency spike.

                                  - Open "Task Scheduler", go to Task Scheduler (Local) > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > .NET Framework > .NET Framework NGEN v4.0.30319. Click Disable. By default is it Enabled. This process precompiles libraries for .NET Framework which is CPU intensive.

                                  - Open "Task Scheduler", go to Task Scheduler (Local) > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > .NET Framework > .NET Framework NGEN v4.0.30319 64. Click Disable. By default is it Enabled. This process precompiles libraries for .NET Framework which is CPU intensive.

                                  - Disable wireless adapter (Intel 8265 AC in my case). It hasn't been causing issue for me but I toggle it off when I am not using it as I usually use gigabit ethernet cable. Connecting/disconnecting wireless network may cause small latency spike.

                                   

                                  You may want to disconnect from the internet while doing LatencyMon testing as Windows Update may cause interruptions.

                                   

                                  2. It does not occur with HDMI-to-HDMI connected to TV. Easiest way to reproduce the issue is with Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd. Generation) and single channel memory. It does however seem to affect other low latency timing critical USB devices, not just USB audio - see https://software.intel.com/en-us/forums/graphics-driver-bug-reporting/topic/776780

                                   

                                  Regards,

                                  Jonathan

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

                                    Hi net147 ,

                                     

                                    I would like to thank you for taking your time for reporting this issue and all the additional information.

                                    So far we have been unable to reproduce. Would you mind reviewing the replication details below to determine if any of the information differs from yours?

                                     

                                    Steps to Reproduce:

                                    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 (microphone + headphones)
                                    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 (already set)
                                    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.

                                     

                                    Regards,

                                    Gabriela M.

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