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Topic Title: Problems with the AM3+ platform (serious motherboard design flaws MSI / AsRock)
Topic Summary: An ongoing problem in being able to confidently sell Amd chips (we have only sold Amd since 1997)
Created On: 02/01/2012 12:14 AM
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 02/01/2012 12:14 AM
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PerryCS
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My name is David Perry, I run a small business in Canada. I have loved AMD chips, company ethics (vs Intels ethics), their great design of CPU's (K5 is the exception) for over a decade. Our website has NO intel parts or systems on it. We have sold thousands of AMD only systems since 1997 and I am sadly at my limit. I will explain in detail... the following motherboards are faulty and I will explain why...

MSI 890GXM-G65 (sold 9 of them and stopped) then tried
MSI 890FXA-GD65 (sold 3 of them and stopped) then tried
AsRock 990FX Extreme 4 (sold 1 and am stopping sales of all high end Amd products for the first time since going into business)

WHY are these boards defective? Upon shutdown they will HISS loudly in the speakers approx 20-30% of the time.

I contacted MSI since we sold exclusively MSI products since ~1999 and they said.. update to newest BIOS - we fix we fix. I wrote back saying I already did that and the hissing went from 70% of the time down to 20-30%. No fixes since.

We switched boards. Same thing.

We sold a few of the A75A-G35 motherboards and these ones did NOT hiss upon shutdown.

We build ALL our systems exactly the same depending on a few factors so we know exactly how everything runs together and to this day we have a 99.5% happiness rating amongst our customers and over thousands of PC's (all AMD) only 2 lemons since 1997 (motherboard related). Most of our systems run over the 7-9 year mark before they die. People replace them because they are so slow. With a track record like that we were very supportive of MSI in taking time to fix this HISSING issue but the last few years MSI has been getting a lot worse (Liveupdate barely works, and more flakey'ish motherboards, and horrible Canadian Depot Repair (they finally closed down the Canadian office in Markham [thats a good thing]).

SO... what are we to do? As a last resort we finally started selling AsRock motherboards and the reason for this was...

MSI LIED on their website regarding which AMD cpu's were supported. I was suspicious when their website said.. "Do NOT stress these CPU's out to full". I was like WHAT?!?!!? Whats going on here? So, after some digging and reading on newegg I found out that some of the boards were frying because they lied about being able to handle a 125+ watt CPU in a 95 watt motherboard. Although this has nothing to do with the hissing... I was getting more and more upset and all this crap in trying to build QUALITY systems.

Coolermaster has also been downgraded and stopped being sold from us as well due to lies about their PSU's. Reading some torture tests on their PSU's was very dissapointing. We opted to sell ThermalTake and while not 100% sqeeky clean in labeling their products they did far better than Coolermasters lies.

Why should I as a small business owner have to sift through lies and find out companies are mis-representing their products and you know WHO gets hurt?

AMD and ME!

AMD because I am now fed up with all this. I want a STABLE system that doesn't HISS and embarrass me when I take a computer to a new customer and have to explain to them that...


*heard the hiss on shutdown and thought to myself... NOOOO!* To the customer I said... "

"Ok, I didn't know THIS newer platform did that. I warned the other customers who bought the 890FX and 890GX chipsets. I had no idea that the 990 chipsets would be flawed as well. It's only a hiss for a few seconds on shutdown. If you turn your speakers off before shutting down the computer then it won't be heard. Oh wait... the MSI ones hissed endlessly in SLEEP mode. Hmmm... let me test yours. (25 min later of going into and out of sleep mode, rebooting, shutting down.) - WHEW... ok, it seems the AsRock motherboards don't hiss in SLEEP mode. Keep an eye on it. If it starts hissing in SLEEP mode then please contact me if it annoys you. My computer at home does it - I bought a 1100T and a MSI 890GXM-G65 for my high end gaming system and it runs amazing but the hissing is annoying." *customer doesnt know what to say...*

SO... what is wrong with this picture? Giving a computer to a new customer and saying "keep an eye on it", "hissing", "testing", "I didnt know this model did this"... are NOT good ways to keep customers.

After this last customer I have decided that unless a resolution is found from AsRock for this in a month I have no choice but to stop selling AMD and sadly give the gorrilla (Intel) yet another banana.

Why do we sell exclusively AMD? Without AMD your computer would cost ~$3k more. If you think Intel wouldn't triple their prices with no competition you are dreaming. AMD makes decent CPU's. Up untill the 1100T Thuban I was totally happy with AMD's chips for decades.

With the slower FX series chips performing very poorly AND to top it off motherboard woes I CAN'T AFFORD TO SELL AMD ANYMORE!

I resisted as long as I could supporting a company I do NOT like. Intel has some very poor business practices in squashing out competition but what can I do? My customers want chips and computers that don't come with EXCUSES!

Maybe it's the ThermalTake's power supplies causing it? Maybe it's the brand of video cards we exclusively sell (Sapphire). Maybe it's a combination of ThermalTake and 890FX/990FX motherboards. WHO KNOWS?!?!?!

Very distraught VAR and System Builder.

In the following post will be the contacts I have made with MSI and AsRock.
 02/01/2012 12:35 AM
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PerryCS
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Well, I tried posting my MSI communications in here which ended up in a very very long email... and I hit preview... ERROR 500 NXIXC or something. Tried posting... same error. Does anyone know how to program anymore? *sigh*
 02/01/2012 12:45 AM
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PerryCS
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Well, since I can't post a large letter in here without breaking someone's poor programming job I'll post a link to my website that is the exact stuff I was going to paste into here.

http://www.perrycomputerservic...amdforumcomplaints.htm
 02/01/2012 09:34 AM
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QB the Slayer
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I am curious what the system specs are of the afflicted rigs. Exact details. This seems rather odd and something I have never come across...

QB

-------------------------

The MONSTER HTPC

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 C2 (140W).||.Cooler: Corsair H80i
MB: Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7.||.RAM: 8 GB Mushkin Blackline DDR3 2000MHz (7-10-8-27-1T)
Case: CoolerMaster HAF 932.||.PSU: Corsair HX750
GPU:HIS IceQ 5 Radeon HD 5770 Turbo 1GB.||.Audio: Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro w/ Logitech Z-5300e (5.1, 280W-RMS)
Drive: 2xKingston SSD 40GB RAID0.||.Storage: 6TB (4x500GB Caviar Black RAID0, 2TB Hitachi & 2TB Caviar Green)
 02/01/2012 09:42 AM
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Canis-X
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I have not experienced anything along these lines either, although I never use the on-board audio.

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The opinions expressed above do not represent those of Advanced Micro Devices or any of their affiliates.
 02/01/2012 06:32 PM
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PerryCS
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As for onboard audio - I would be happy to use a dedicated card for audio but with most boards only having 1 PCI slot - I didn't want to take that up with an audio card. I looked into Pcix 1x? cards and they seem to have a LOT of stability issues which is odd. I know many boards come with 2 of these and I have checked into NIC's and found the failure of BSOD rates to be insanely high on newegg except for a couple of brands which I have not used (Rosewill?).

After the last system I have some things I am planning on trying since 3 of my systems hiss randomly. My own systems can be guini pigs Now that its cross platform and cross brand I'm hoping that some of the things I am going to try can finally shed some light on this problem.

All systems use Sapphire Video Cards (6450 up to 6950 Toxic) with 650 watt ThermalTake PSU. I have plugged both 4 pin connectors in side by side and also plugged in connectors to those video cards that need extra power.

One thought I have is... maybe I should only plug the main 4 pin connector into the MB but I personally don't see how that can be causing problems because some systems have dedicated video and hiss, some have low powered cards that don't need that extra connector (or the extra 4 pin to the board) and some have high end cards like mine (I own the 6950 Toxic 2gb) and on that system I use a 750 Watt Thermal Take PSU. I use exclusively Seagate Hard Drives and LG Dvd Burners all SATA. I use Coolermaster Centurion 534+ cases.

All my systems are the same. Same cases, same PSU, same vid cards, same drives, same dvd drives, same company (MSI), and same CPU (Amd).

The systems hiss at my home and at customers homes. After the MSI bios update the hissing was greatly reduced although if the computer is put into sleep mode it hisses endlessly until turned back on or yank the power out of the PSU (or flick the back switch). Come to think of it... some of the lower powered CPU's I sold recently that hiss had Apevia 500 watt PSU in them (low end dual core Amd's).

So, with a mix like that I don't know what to think. The A75 socket doesn't hiss at all. Maybe it's a bad batch of audio chips? Caps? Who knows. I have 17 pc's here with 28 TB (28,000 GB) of storage here at work and they all run wonderfully (all AMD). Even the ones that hiss and the older ones that don't hiss.

If it was the PSU... it wouldn't be the same when I used a Coolermaster PSU vs a Thermal Take PSU vs Apevia for the lower consumption PC's. If it was the video cards then it would show up on the ones that have certain cards. The problem is... the only constant thing is the MB's but now 3 types hiss and 2 brands.

*sigh*

The only thing I can think of is to change my high end systems confiuguation that hisses from (both 4 pin connectors going to the MB, remove 1 and see if that changes it). I have dual 6 pin slots for my video card so technically from what I read the extra 4 pin connector isn't needed anyways (I read it's there to offset the need to plug in your video cards but that didn't make sense to me... 1 4 pin 12v connector vs 2 6 pin PCIx 12v? connectors. It doesn't match up. If you could get away with 1 12v 4 pin connector into the back of your card they wouldn't need to put 2 x 6 pin connectors there! Thats my reasoning anyways. I would assume the extra 4 pin 12v plug right beside the normal 4 pin 12v connector would be to power more fan plugs and stuff crammed onto the higher end boards and not power all the PCI slots from it solely.

I guess I could stick a sound card in every system but taking up the only PCI slot on most of these boards is a crime. I'll have to lookup if there is any decent low cost sound cards for PCIx 1x slots.

My customers want low cost high reliability so if the sound cards are too pricey they will probably go elsewhere. An extra cost of $49 into a system is huge these days when "crap" systems are $329 (Intel/Amd) low end ones.

Edited: 02/01/2012 at 06:56 PM by PerryCS
 02/02/2012 07:33 AM
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go_for
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A couple of things to try :

-Enable Spread Spectrum in BIOS (default disabled), in case the hiss is caused by excessive EMI.
-CPU Phase Control.
-C1E.
-EuP2013

-------------------------
 02/06/2012 05:42 PM
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PerryCS
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I will try those in the next week (its been very busy at work). Thank you.
 02/21/2012 02:07 PM
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PerryCS
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After building the AsRock system and having it too mess up I decided to try some things to see if I could eliminate the problem. Firstly...

The HISS comes OUT of the SPEAKERS not from the board.

I found that on my system I could disable the AMD HDMI Audio component and it would rarely do it. After 20 shutdowns it would maybe do it once. Other times it never did it on other machines but I was tired of shutting down. It as far as remember NEVER does it on REBOOTS, only shutdowns.

I did check into spread spectrum etc. I downloaded all the newest drivers... and last week I tried building a FM1 system which hissed about 80% of the time on shutdown so I have to retract my statement that the FM1 platform doesn't hiss.

It hissed with and without EuP2013 turned on.
Spread spectrum was turned on.
I always have phase control turned on.
I havnt checked the C1E value - I forgot to check that.

I'll try posting a small video on my website with the sound this makes. Just time is very limited outside running the business for extra fun stuff like this lol.

If I remove the software for the ATI AMD HDMI Audio device it never does the hissing or it does it so INfequently that I didnt notice. But, I hate leaving a yellow caution mark in the device manager. Very unprofessional.

On the last build I downloaded the newest Realtek software and installed only that letting windows 7 detect and install the software for the HDMI Audio portion. Seems to have reduced it. I then disabled the AMD HDMI Audio and gave the system to the customer.

Not sure whats the problem. All I know... it is happening on ALL systems now. It's not my area where I build computers as I have a massive network of perfectly working pc''s with no sound issues. I'm kinda stumped.

It seems only the AM3/AM3+ boards are doing this. I'll try and get that video done today somehow.
 02/21/2012 03:44 PM
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PerryCS
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I finally put up a video of my system hissing. I missed the "bling" as windows shuts down but the hissing occurs around the 12 second mark for about a second. It's not overly loud but I wouldn't have your speakers really loud for this. lol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqDwCMT8wLs

I was going to stick this up on my website but the file was 30 megs so I said, I'll youtube it.
 02/21/2012 05:59 PM
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QB the Slayer
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Is there a microphone attacked to these systems? Do you use any software on these machines relating to audio? What speakers are you using? Are these systems all in the same enclosure? Are the front panel audio connections setup properly? There is clearly some sort of electrical feedback happeneing that I have never heard before.

QB

-------------------------

The MONSTER HTPC

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 C2 (140W).||.Cooler: Corsair H80i
MB: Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7.||.RAM: 8 GB Mushkin Blackline DDR3 2000MHz (7-10-8-27-1T)
Case: CoolerMaster HAF 932.||.PSU: Corsair HX750
GPU:HIS IceQ 5 Radeon HD 5770 Turbo 1GB.||.Audio: Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro w/ Logitech Z-5300e (5.1, 280W-RMS)
Drive: 2xKingston SSD 40GB RAID0.||.Storage: 6TB (4x500GB Caviar Black RAID0, 2TB Hitachi & 2TB Caviar Green)
 02/21/2012 08:54 PM
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PerryCS
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Hi there,

No microphones on any of the pc's. On my system here I have the ability to play around more than customer machines and have even unplugged the front ports (as a test) to see if it was something wrong with those. All speakers are plugged into the rear ports (the green out, the standard out port). Nothing is special with any of these systems. 98% of my customers surf the internet, and email. Thats it. A few do photography and real estate. The noise happens on my really nice altec lansing speakers, a cheap pair of EP-380's (at my work desk area), and at the customers homes on their hydro, their speakers, etc.

It's very odd because...

Different brands of MB (AsRock and MSI)
Different parts (4 different motherboards confirmed).
I use Coolermaster Centurion 534+ cases in 99% of all systems except the system I just built last week it was a gift for his sister and needed to keep the cost as low as possible so I re-used their old 522 Cases from some company I used to buy exclusively from many years ago) and it still hissed on shutdown. Disabling of the AMD HDMI Audio helped fix it by reducing it to rarely ever happening.
Same memory in all systems (Kingston standard 1333 Mhz)
Seagate Hard Drives in Every Computer.
LG Dvd Burners on every pc.
I have used stock dvd's (that came with the motherboard) and over the past few months downloaded the newest software.
With and without a BIOS flash to newest I have tested - sometimes newer BIOS cause it to happen less.
Different keyboards and mice. (always Logitech)
Different outlets in the work area (just never know...)
Running off a UPS or not running of a UPS.

I'm at a total loss. All parts bought from Supercom, Eprom, and Daiwa. (I thought maybe it was a bad batch at first).

I am out of ideas.

Since I posted that video on youtube I did something else to my home computer and that was turn sleep mode from S1 to S3 as a test. Still hissed on shutdown.

My older Athlon Dual Core 6000 (3.0Ghz x 2) that was sitting in the same spot as my 1100T Thuban doesn't hiss on shutdown but it's an AM2 board which I never had any problems with.

I'm totally stumped. This is a very annoying problem... and very frustrating.

The order of installation..
Chipset, Video, Sound, USB 3.0.

Sound hisses with or without anything plugged into the USB ports.
 02/23/2012 01:57 AM
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go_for
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I do not know if you already tried this.
Minimum build, cardboard style, no case.

Motherboard, processor, RAM, PSU, HD, speakers and on board VGA, if such exist.

If no hiss is present, then that would be the reference point to start from.
If hiss is present, well then it is probably a fault or caused by some of the above component/combination in some of the above.

Add any 1 component(VGA, DVD, etc) and redo test.

I might suspect something with any of the motherboard GND pins wiring vs. case connector (need be added or removed) ?

-------------------------
 02/24/2012 02:31 AM
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unclefester1
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I noticed the 3 MoBos you have listed in your OP are all sporting Realtek on-board audio chips.

MSI 890GXM-G65: Lossless 24-bit/192KHz HD Audio (Realtek® ALC889)
MSI 890FXA-GD65: Lossless 24-bit/192KHz HD Audio (Realtek® ALC892)
AsRock 990FX Extreme 4: THX TruStudio (Realtek® ALC892)

Have you tried any PCI Sound Cards to see if the Hissing goes away?

Updating or possibly even rolling-back to a previous version of the Realtek Audio Drivers?

-------------------------
Antec 1650B
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 910w
ASUS M3A79-T DeLuxe
1090T x6 @Boiling in the La-Boratory
Corsair H70
OCZ Reaper 8500 2x2 *Pending
ASUS 5970 (under OC investigation)
EVGA 260 55nm (holding pattern)
SeaGate 320x2 16GB Sata
Creative X-Fi Elite Pro
Logitech Z-5500
XP Pro SP2
 02/24/2012 04:22 PM
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PerryCS
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The other day I actually went onto newegg to checkout reviews of some of the newer PCIx mini adapter sound cards (sound cards on the PCIx not PCI).

Seems there is more than I thought. I don't want to put any expensive sound cards into customer machines (just makes me even more un-competitive) BUT I saw some cheaper sound cards there with decent enough reviews so I'm going to check my supplier and see if that solves the problem.

The last system I gave to a customer was the FM1 platform and I uninstalled the Realtek software and let windows 7 detect it itself off their website and as far as I remember it didn't do the hiss at all but I didn't have time to turn it on and off many times due to having to rush out and give it to them or end up waiting another day. In about 10 power cycles it didn't hiss but that's not enough to say it never will. Although, with the Realtek software installed it was approx 70% of the time it hisses.

The problem with that solution is.... horrible control over the onboard sound card.

You are correct - they all use Realtek. I may uninstall the Realtek software on my gaming system the next time I get time to play some games lol and see if that solves the problem for me.

I'm happy I tried a different company (AsRock) because it really made me think it is either a flaw on a chip that they all share, some bad cap or something leading to the audio chip... but, I'm wondering if it's software more and more. Once I started disabling the HDMI Audio and it almost made it go away I thought maybe there was digital noise during shutdown that.... as windows was unloading drivers it didnt turn the sound off first, or it changed a pointer the wrong way (in the old days, if you didn't turn off interupts you could change the high byte or low byte of a non maskable interupt and cause a crash or weird behavior). Still lots of things to try. I don't sell very many systems (service is 90+% of our business) compared to other companies but I want to support AMD - it's just, this is a time consuming problem.

I'll keep you updated on going back to older RealTek versions and I'll also see if not having Realtek installed at all fixes my gaming system.
 02/24/2012 05:27 PM
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Canis-X
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First off, I admit that I haven't read the entire thread, quiet wordy. Nothing wrong with that but as I am at work I don't have the time to read through it all so I'll just post my 2 bits here and let you guys run with it if you would like.

If the speakers are self-powered there may be a difference in connection quality that we in the car audio industry call a "ground loop". The cause is when one piece of equipment is grounded better than the other and the result is that the equipment tries to equalize themselves through the speaker cable/RCA cables/microphone cable. Maybe try running a ground wire from the chassis (has to connect to bare metal) to a grounding source to see if that helps?

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The opinions expressed above do not represent those of Advanced Micro Devices or any of their affiliates.
 02/25/2012 04:53 AM
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unclefester1
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Hmmm..... Me running with it...



@Canis, (**shakes head**) this sounds a lot like @Orn's Avitar with sissors agian!! LMAO

Sorry @David, a little on-sight humor

************************************************************************

Interesting... that would mean the on-board audio chip and/or speakers are picking up the stored energy being discharged from the Capacitors 8 to 12 Secs. after Shut-down (normal).

Much like hitting the Power-Button to discharge any Stored Energy after One cuts the to power to the PS to prevent Static-discharge when working inside the Case or changing Peripherals.

-------------------------
Antec 1650B
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 910w
ASUS M3A79-T DeLuxe
1090T x6 @Boiling in the La-Boratory
Corsair H70
OCZ Reaper 8500 2x2 *Pending
ASUS 5970 (under OC investigation)
EVGA 260 55nm (holding pattern)
SeaGate 320x2 16GB Sata
Creative X-Fi Elite Pro
Logitech Z-5500
XP Pro SP2

Edited: 02/25/2012 at 05:01 AM by unclefester1
 03/28/2012 08:12 PM
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PerryCS
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Hi there,

Sorry I havnt been on lately, work, world of warcraft, and programming tie up 95% of my spare time. I have been playing around with my home machine that hisses and it's actually a lot worse after playing with the sound drivers. I still need to find some time to uninstall the sound drivers, reinstall an older version of the Altec drivers and see if that helps. I'm leaning towards drivers because, when I let Win 7 auto detect the sound it seems to almost make it go away (on the newer customer machines anyways). I havnt noticed it on the last couple of rigs I built.

It's very frustrating since none of the older generation systems do this (AM3, AM2, etc) but AM3+, FX or whatever it's called.

The person who mentioned the sound the sound going into the speakers from the caps - it's prob close. ONce the computer does power off, it's off. No sounds once it powers off. Its in that last final second as it's giving up it's last breath of hydro (so to speak) that it hisses.

I just warn people now. I'm looking into building building both Intel and Amd. Let people chose instead of only offering Amd like I have in the past. I still have to buy a sound card. Last time I checked my supplier they were out of the cheap cards. I'm not sticking in a $50 sound card - it's just not feasable for being price competitive. I'm already over the cost of the local stores by $70+ (but I do more, bring the computer to their home etc).

I'll keep you updated. Business has been slow at this time of year so money for extra parts is limited. I'm just a small guy with thousands of customers. Small potatoes compared to most. I will try a PCIx sound card in mine - I have a feeling it's the Realtek.
 05/06/2012 06:17 PM
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RollerG
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I had this problem with my ASUS 990fx Sabertooth for the first couple days.I updated the HD audio driver and it did it 2 more times and then just went away.Kinda wierd cause if it was the driver it should have stopped right away.

-------------------------
Antec 902 v3 Case,Phenom II x 4 975 3.9 Ghz,Antec Kuhler 620 h20,ASUS Sabertooth 990FX,8 gig Mushkin Blackline 1733Mhz,Sapphire HD 5850 Extreme,150 Gb SATA III velociraptor hdd w/Win 7 pro 64 Primary,500 gb SATA II Samsung SpinPoint T166 storage,Ultra LSP750,LG GH22NS50 DL Super-multi SATA Drive.Cyborg v5 keyboard & CM Storm,Spawn 3500 DPI mouse.
 05/09/2012 04:15 AM
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PerryCS
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Well, I finally had time to fiddle with my main gaming rig and to my surprise... UNinstalling the Realtek software and allowing Windows to auto detect it fixes the problem. I have rebooted this machine (the one in the video above with the hissing) approx 30 times and it doesn't do it anymore.

The problem with this solution is - lousy control over the speakers... or should I say.. almost none. Default Windows drivers are usually pretty boring. However - right now my needs don't require playing with the speakers.

I guess I can say "Its solved" BUT... I'm going to install some of the newer drivers since they seem to get updated from time to time. I also sent an email to Realtek but as with most companies... they won't care.

I was at the AMD conference a couple of weeks back in Markham (ATI building) and mentioned it to the head guy there - and he didn't even really care that I found a repeatable, reproducable, problem on all Am3 boards. Ah well. What can you do.

If it was me in a position of power and someone came to me... I would try and determine after the conference if they actually knew what they were talking about (some techs just absolutely suck and as far as he knows - I could be one of them. lol) - so, step 1 - determine if this guy is good or bad tech. If good - start asking questions. They didn't care.

Typical reaction to someone who isn't in a "higher class bracket" I guess. I'm a nobody to them - small business. I guess if Dell, Compaq and all the other tier OEM's aren't complaining about it - then I guess the problem doesn't exist!

Ah well!. I'm a tad bitter towards Amd but I kinda hate all companies because to me, they are run by monkeys with hammers.

I'll update on here once I test newer Realtek drivers. Also.. I want to try some old drivers... this problem never happened on the older platforms. Hmmm... wonder how far back I can go
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