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Very odd problem... I have two sound devices

  1. Built in Sound adapter on Asus P5Q mainboard
  2. Creative Sound Blaster Xi-Fi Xtreme Audio on PCI-E

Default output device is number 2. Sometimes, when watching youtube or playing games or anything related to sound output, the sound output is switching from #2 to #1 and then back. During that time PC experiencing slowdowns, some freezing. It appears that the switching is happening on high peaks of sound.

The latest drivers are installed for both. The other way switching(from #1 to #2, if I set default to #1) never happens.

I'm pulling hair out slowly...

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I'm thinking it's when one of the sound drivers is output is blocking or something. The only way I think you might be able to stop the toggling is increasing sound buffer size. As to how to do that on your hardware? no idea whatsoever. – RobotHumans Sep 20 '11 at 15:06
up vote 0 down vote accepted

This screams of a driver issue, and I'd guess it's actually a problem with Creative's driver. That said, I've had miserable experiences with the onboard audio on the P5Q series, though never anything similar to this.

Do you have a compelling reason to use your onboard sound? With a dedicated sound card, I'd recommend you disable the onboard audio in your system BIOS (hit DEL while the system is POSTing - if memory serves, you can toggle the onboard devices from an ONBOARD DEVICES tab in BIOS).

With the onboard audio disabled, it should disappear from your Control Panel.

Now try playing the same audio sample again... I'd be interested to see if it fails in a new way (such as an ugly blue screen) or just works correctly.

If that doesn't help (or hitting a peak causes worse problems than before), I'd recommend looking for an older version of the Creative driver (maybe you have the CD that came with it?) and see if the problem persists.

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Fixed! The problem was in the way #2 was connected to speakers! There is a connector for PC case front panel. So when it is connected to Xi-Fi, then the problem occurs. When I connect cable to speaker out of Xi-Fi directly - there is no problem. When I connect front panel to #1, problem is gone again. So I guess there is some incompatibility between front panel chip and Xi-Fi. I choose last option, which is perfect for me afterall! Thanks, will accept your answer since it was very prompt ;) – Pablo Sep 21 '11 at 13:35

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