14 Replies Latest reply on Mar 30, 2011 12:09 PM by parsec

    Weird sound problem > SSD?


      - when I use a simple speaker set or the T20 from Creative > the sound is ok.
      - when I use highend speakers I get problems: ticks, noise etc.

      A solution could be this.
      It's about Speedstep and energy-saving options of the CPU. 
      I have to disable them... (there is more)
      For some reason and if these options are not disabled you hear interferences.
      (cracks, ticks, noise etc.)
      It seems the SSD get's not enough power....

      There is more.
      When you disable Speedstep and energy-saving that's not so good for de cpu.
      The CPU is getting a bit too hot... and will not last long as he sould be.

      My SSD is connected with a led and that led is flashing every second.
      Each flash is a tick you hear in the speakers.


      What can I do?


      Theo (Belgium)

        • 1. Re: Weird sound problem > SSD?

          SSD power is independent and only needs a few watts...



          Are you using onboard audio?  If so, what motherboard?  It sounds like EMI... electical signal "bleed" is causing the noise.  Try disabling any intergrated devices not in use (IDE, serial, 2nd SATA controllers, etc) to see if helps.

          • 2. Re: Weird sound problem > SSD?

            Hi and thanks!


            Asus P6T DeLuxe V2

            Windows 7, 64 bit.

            Case is a Cooler Master Sileo 500


            I did disable the onboard sound > did not work > noise still there.


            IDE is not in use. (how can I disable it?)


            Serial is not in use. (how can I disable it?)


            3 Sata ports (intern) are in use > SSD + DVD + harddisk.


            The sales man, a good friend, told me what I did say in the first posting

            He solved the problem with those settings.

            But I tell you that I am affraid...to do that


            The speakers are active speakers, each with his own power he.

            (no probs or what so ever with the T20 "cheapo" Creative set)


            A other friend (from the music store) told me to get an external sound card...

            HE was 200% certain, he told me.

            I am not.... but he remains a good friend he


            But I guess you could be right.

            With my "older" computer I had only "hum" in the speakers.

            Can be solved with a "ground loop" filter.


            I do hear ticks in the speakers comming form de SSD.

            I can see this from the flashing led connected to the SSD. (is in perfect sync)


            I use a Creative Soundblaster Audigy ZS 2.

            IF I ONLY use the onboard sound > I have more or less the problems.

            (Audigy NOT in the pc)



            Theo form Belgium and..... almost 62 of age

            • 3. Re: Weird sound problem > SSD?

              Interesting since that is considered a high-end board and Asus has been around long enough to design around EMI.



              You can disable the IDE and Serial ports in the BIOS.  It is usually under "Advanced Chipset Features" or "Intergrated" but varies from BIOSes.


              Can you borrow a sound card?  Even an internal sound card should resolve the issue.

              • 4. Re: Weird sound problem > SSD?



                I've the exact problem. I have Behringer Active speakers. I had no problem until I upgraded my PC. I started this noise since one year. During this time I changed my mother board, cpu and RAM (Original was was an Intel system, now it is AMD). Noise is still there. I had M-Audio USB, now I have M-Audio PRO (both of them External Sound cards). And I finally bought a UPS because I thought it was an PSU or ground loop issue.Guess!!! Noise is still there!!!


                The only original part remained is my Corsair 128GB SSD!!!! I tried everything with bios (Speed Step, C1, disabling ide etc...) but no is still there.


                Please Please help me....

                • 5. Re: Weird sound problem > SSD?



                  It's more wors then I tought...and a external sound card is of no use.

                  (reading your post)


                  I guess we have to make a kind of a dual boot systeem.

                  One with the SSD and one with a normal harddisk.

                  And one can use a hot swap systeem (Sharkoon).

                  So you can choose to start the OS from de SSD or the harddisk.


                  It's a kind of stupid, I understand but I do not know the right answer.

                  • 6. Re: Weird sound problem > SSD?

                    When you unplug the SSD... the noise goes away?  Try unplugging SATA only and then try the power.

                    Very odd... I haven't heard this issue at all.  I still do not quite understand how this is occurring since the digital signals are isolated from each other.  That means it probably is noise on the power line?

                    What PSU is being used in your cases?

                    • 7. Re: Weird sound problem > SSD?

                      I have had some type of interference and noise in the analog audio outputs on about 50% of the mother boards I have owned.  I could hear the interference change when I used a USB mouse (moved it or the track ball or used the scroll wheel). This noise is so pervasive that it is completely unchanged when the audio outputs are muted!  That tells me that this noise is simply a poor design or flaw of the mother board since it occurs on the analog audio jacks on the rear I/O panel.  I am also an audio/electronics enthusiast, but I could not solve the noise problem on those boards.  I had to use the SPDIF digital output for audio on the noisy boards, as that was the only noise-free signal I could get.  Curiously, the noise does not harm the digital signal at all on the RCA jack/coaxial cable output, or TOSLINK, of course..


                      IMO, I never thought my SSDs were causing the noise, since other PCs I have that contain SSDs do not have the noise problem.  It is possible that an SSD contributes to the noise picked up by the mother board, but it is not the only source of noise, as my USB mouse clearly demonstrates.


                      I don't understand why theokus thinks the SSD is the cause of his noise, since he said the noise stopped after disabling Speedstep (EIST I assume) which is a CPU setting and has nothing to do with I/O, SATA devices, or SSDs.  Also, while the "ticks" may coincide with the drive LED flashing, at that moment the SSD is not the only thing active in the PC, the CPU is likely active as is the memory and many other things.


                      I've given up using the analog outputs on the boards that are noisy, since even separate sound cards are not immune to the noise.  I have never found a solution beyond using the SPDIF digital outputs into an audio device with a D to A convertor.

                      • 8. Re: Weird sound problem > SSD?

                        A solution could be this.
                        It's about Speedstep and energy-saving options of the CPU. 
                        I have to disable them... (there is more)
                        For some reason and if these options are not disabled you hear interferences.
                        (cracks, ticks, noise etc.)
                        It seems the SSD get's not enough power....


                        This was a solution from the man, a good friend, who made my new pc.

                        It worked on a other pc-system with a SSD.


                        I did not change anything till now on my pc.

                        An external sound card, I read here, is of no use.


                        SPDIF could be indeed an answer.

                        In that case I need a device between the pc and my active speakers.

                        My speakers have not a spdif input....

                        So I need a device with a spdif input en RCA output.

                        • 9. Re: Weird sound problem > SSD?

                          Till now I did not change anything

                          The power is a Be-Quiet Dark Power PRO 900W.


                          • 10. Re: Weird sound problem > SSD?

                            It is quite an interesing issue.


                            However, I can assure you the issue is definitely NOT due to the SSD not getting enough power.  SSDs draw less than 5w on the +5v rail... any PSU can provide this without issue.

                            • 11. Re: Weird sound problem > SSD?

                              It's about Speedstep and energy-saving options of the CPU.

                              My friend did this in an other pc-system and it worked.


                              But, as I told before I did not change this in my pc.


                              My new option > S/PDIF he.

                              But I need a connection to my speakers.

                              My speakers have only rca.

                              I could try with an adapter: S/PDIF to RCA output.

                              What do you think?

                              • 12. Re: Weird sound problem > SSD?

                                theokus, Unfortunately, it is not possible to change the SPDIF signal, which is a purely digital signal (the digital data stream from a CD or DVD) into an analog signal from an RCA jack with a simple adaptor, that part does not exist.  To use the digital SPDIF signal, you must use a Digital to Analog Convertor (DAC.)  A DAC takes the SPDIF signal as it's input, and it's output is an analog stereo or 5.1 channel surround sound signal on RCA jacks.  A DAC can also be built into a receiver or amplifier, and you only need to connect your speakers to the amplifier.


                                Where can you find a DAC?  Any modern Home Theater Receiver (Surround Sound Receiver) has a DAC built into it.  The receiver will have SPDIF inputs, either on TOSLINK fiber optic cable connections or a single coaxial cable with RCA plugs (not to be confused with analog RCA cables, which will be two for stereo.)  If you have a receiver like this, you simply connect the SPDIF output from your PC to the receiver's SPDIF input, and your speakers to the receivers amplifier outputs.


                                You can also get separate DAC components.  They are not a common as Home Theater Receivers and many of them are expensive, as they are found in the High End audio world.  A separate DAC has the digital SPDIF inputs and analog outputs like the ones on a CD or DVD player (of course a CD and DVD player has a DAC in it, but most of those do not have digital inputs, unfortunately.)  You must connect the analog outputs of a DAC to a receiver or amplifier or amplified speaker, which you seem to have.  Separate DACs do not have volume controls (or most don't) so you must have a volume control somewhere in your system.


                                The link below will take you to a retailer that has many DACs, so you get some idea what they are all about.  You'll find some are meant to be used with PCs or iPods, etc.  This is a retailer in the US, and I believe you are not from the US, but this will at least give you some examples of what products exist.  I am not aware of any PC hardware companies that make DACs.




                                This is an example of self-powered speakers that have digital SPDIF inputs for it's built in DAC.  You would just connect the digital output of the PC to these speakers:




                                So does this make sense?  Any questions?  Good luck!!

                                • 13. Re: Weird sound problem > SSD?

                                  Thank you parsec!

                                  I do understand and it makes sense indeed.


                                  It was too good to be true he


                                  I have 2 active speakers from Quad.

                                  (but no spdif in those speakers)


                                  I have 2 options then he: an AMP or a stand alone DAC.


                                  Thanks again!

                                  • 14. Re: Weird sound problem > SSD?

                                    You are very welcome theokus.


                                    I want to mention one more thing about using the SPDIF output of a PC.  You will find that you can use the volume controls on your PC with the SPDIF output.  Those range from the volume controls of the audio software, or Windows Sound options, to the volume slider on the Task Bar.  But there is a problem with them, or I should say a shortcoming or a compromise, which needs some explanation.


                                    Analog volume controls work by simply reducing the voltage of the analog signal going to the amplifier.  When you "turn up" an analog volume control, more voltage is allowed to go to the amplifier.  Digital signals allow no change in their voltage, it is constant at about 0.5 Volts.  A digital audio signal is really just data, the audio signal is encoded into numbers and all differences in volume are a part of those numbers.  So how do digital volume controls work?  By changing the digital data numbers.  That is usually done by "bit shifting" (if you are familiar with binary numbers) or "right or left shifting" of the bits in a digital data word.


                                    A simple example of this is a byte of binary digital data set to all one's, looks like this, 11111111 and is equal to 255 in decimal.  If you "right shift" the bits in this byte over one bit, the result is, 0111111 which is equal to 127 in decimal.  If you "left shift" our original example we get 11111110, or 254 in decimal.


                                    When the digital data is interpreted by the DAC, using my simplified example, 255 is louder than 127 by a large amount, while 254 is a tiny bit less loud than 255.


                                    But notice what happens when you shift bits around, the data changes, of course.  Since the audio signal is translated into numbers, when the volume level is changed (always lowered actually with digital signals) by changing bits, you also "throw away" some of the musical information.  The more you lower the volume of a digital signal, the more musical data disappears.  That is just the nature of digital volume controls.


                                    So my point is (finally), always set the volume controls on your PC to 100% when using the SPDIF output, and use the analog volume controls on your amplifier (if you can, that is.)  That way you won't lose any of the music's information.  Some people may argue that the loss of data is not audible and insignificant, and my example is highly simplified, but digital volume controls function by bit manipulation and inevitably change the musical signal, and not for the better.


                                    Of course feel free to experiment and use whatever you like or need to get the results you want.