TechSpot

Sound Card picking up static

By Duohimura
Nov 15, 2009
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  1. Hey all. So I got a new computer a few months ago, a custom build, and it's basically been awesome thus far, except that there's sort of a constant low-level of audio static being produced. The little display on the volume control picks it up, so it's definitely something that the sound card is detecting rather than a connection problem, and anyway it affects both front and rear audio jacks. The sound seems to change and grow louder when my computer is doing something display-wise or even just something intensive (I've noticed it "blink" with a flashing IM window). It's not normally a problem because it's very low volume--however I have some rather low volume music, and this makes listening to it a pain.

    Now, from some preliminary research I'm fairly certain that this is my sound card picking up nearby noise or electrical signals passing around it or something of that nature. The relevant computer specs are as follows:

    Intel Core i7 Quad Processor i7-920 8MB 1366 CPU
    Asus P6TSE X58 Core i7 Motherboard
    TRIPLE CHANNEL 12GB (6x2GB) DDR-3 1333MHZ PC3-10600
    1TB 1000GB SATA2 7200rpm 16MB CACHE
    nVidia GeForce 9400GT 1GB DVI/HDTV PCI-Express Video Card
    REALTEK 8-CHANNEL DIGITAL SOUND ONBOARD

    I also had them do professional "round" wiring which supposedly helps airflow and keeps the inside of the machine neater, if that's relevant.

    I spoke with the tech support of the people I bought the computer from, and was told that my diagnosis about the sound card picking up noise was more or less correct--but because it's an onboard sound card the only options are buy a separate sound card or replace the whole motherboard (which is covered by the warranty, but is kind of a lot of trouble and I'm not sure if they'd cover shipping costs). So what I'd like to ask all of you is:

    1) -Are- those the only two options? Since the sound card is onboard, it can't just be swapped into another slot away from what's making noise, I know, but is it possible that whatever's making noise can be stopped some other way?

    2) Should I be concerned about the motherboard anyway, assuming that this is an unusual occurrence? Does this suggest that there's something amiss with the hardware in general, or is it not uncommon for onboard sound cards to have static?

    3) Is a separate sound card just a good idea in general, as someone who dabbles in fan-dubbing and whatnot?

    Thanks for any advice you may be able to offer.
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,845   +165

    Yes,
    installing a good shielded sound card would be better than your on-board sound in dealing with electrical interference
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