Category Archives: Hardware

Audio staggering in Windows 10

Update:

There are two better solutions (source):

1. Disable dynamic tick

  1. Open Command prompt (Admin) to bring up elevated command prompt.
  2. Type BCDEDIT /SET DISABLEDYNAMICTICK YES command and press Enter to fix the high DPC latency
  3. restart the computer

2. Install and use TCP optimizer:

  1. Download TCP optimizer
  2. Set settings to optimal
  3. restart the computer

If the above does not work, you can try the older solutions mentioned below.


Older solution (Jul 2017)

Before upgrading to Windows 10, check if there are drivers written for your hardware specifically for Windows 10. You should definitely check that drivers exists for your network card and your audio card.

One reason is that Windows 10 suffer from the same (and important) problem Windows 8 suffer: High DPC (deferred procedure call) latency. If the drivers do not work properly you may have high DPC latency, which may result to audio staggering, lag, clicks, drop outs even if your CPU does not reach 100%. This means that there is a high chance you won’t be able to playback movies flawlessly while using the network card! What a break dealer!!!

You can verify if your system suffers from high DPC latency by using LatencyMon. To learn what DPC latency is read this article.

If there is no Windows 10 driver for your network card, the easiest thing to do is not to upgrade to Windows 10 !!!

Now, what do we do if we have upgraded to Windows 10 and do suffer from undesired DPC latency? There are numerous solutions in the net. Most of which do not work.

Imho, you should complete the following steps by order referenced. If the problem is solved at any point, you don’t have to (and better not to) complete the rest of the steps.

Step 1: Update your system completely.

Step 2: If possible, remove 3rd party antivirus and firewall software.

Step 3: Remove any software you don’t need (you should do that anyway)

Step 4: Update all drivers to latest version.

At this point, if the problem persists then most probably one of your drivers is faulty or not completely compatible with Windows 10. There is also a slight chance that Windows 10 install an invalid version of the driver. You can find which process causes the problem by using LatencyMon but you can bet it is the network/wireless driver.

The only thing you can do is rollback to an older version of the driver or install another one of the same family. So there are two more steps to do:

Step 5: Verify that the driver installed is for the correct hardware model and not just for the correct hardware family. If your card is named 6200 then your driver should be for 6200. Anything else like 6201, 6205, 6300 is not acceptable.

Step 6: Find the proper driver for Windows 7 and install it

If the last step does not work, then you can try other drivers from the same family but you should be careful because this could lead to BSOD screens (so it is not recommended if you are a newbie).

Lastly, if the problem still persists after the last step then there are two more steps but they are both long shots and should definitely not apply them if your problem does not persist:

Step 7: Optimize BIOS:

Read this link.

Important settings to disable (and potentially help provided you do not need them enabled) are:

  • Virtualization
  • High precision timer

Step 8: Update the BIOS

Personally, I don’t think the last step helps. But many people claim it does, so you have nothing to lose.

At this point, if the problem persists you are unlucky. You may have to rollback to Windows 7 or install a version of Ubuntu. There are plenty that are fast and user friendly.

 

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80 bronze vs 80 gold

 

How to choose between a 80+ bronze and a 80+ gold power supply?

  1. Calculate approximately how many hours you are using you computer per week
  2. Find how much a kWh costs at your area
  3. Use the tables below to find how many weeks it would take an 80+ Gold power supply to pay for the cost difference over an 80+ Bronze power supply
Example 1:

Let’s say you are using a 450W power supply and each kWh costs you $0.1. You are using your computer approximately 8h per day (56h per week).

It will take approximately 333 weeks (6.5 years) for the 80+ Gold power supply to pay for the cost difference over an 80+ Bronze power supply.

Example 2:

Let’s say you are using a 450W power supply and each kWh costs you $0.1. You are using your computer approximately 24h per day (168h per week).

It will take approximately 111 weeks (2.15 years) for the 80+ Gold power supply to pay for the cost difference over an 80+ Bronze power supply.

So, should you always prefer bronze over gold?

The answer is NO. You have to taken into account some other factors like:

  1. More efficient power supplies emit less heat. As a result they produce less noise. If you are interested in building a silent PC a more efficient (and expensive) power supply may be what you need.
  2. Assuming we are comparing two models of the same manufacturer, more efficient power supplies tend to have components of higher quality. Which makes them a better choice for your expensive (?) computer.

 

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References:

  1. ExtremeTech analysis
  2. Reddit discussion

Monitor color calibration

  • Photo Friday — Photo Friday is a simple web page that is designed to help you calibrate the brightness and contrast of your screen. Just adjust the monitor settings until the transition of tones from black to white is clearly distinguishable on the screen.
  • Online Monitor Test — Online Monitor Test is one of the better calibration websites out there. It is lined with a slew of interactive tests to help you adjust your monitor’s screen colors and to see if your monitor can produce smooth gradients. There are also tools for pinpointing damaged pixels and backlight bleeding, rendering the website one of the more robust web-based calibration tools to date.
  • The Lagom LCD Monitor Test Pages — The Lagom LCD Monitor Test Pages are handy, both online and offline. The website not only allows you to adjust various things such as contrast and response time, but it also allows you to download the images as a 120KB zip file, so you can check any monitor in-store that you are thinking about purchasing.

Multiboot: BIOS+MBR vs UEFI + GTP

Acronyms:

  • BIOS: Basic Input Output System
  • UEFI: Unified Extensible Firmware Interface
  • MBR: Master boot record
  • GPT: Globally Unique Identifier Partition Table = GUID Partition Table

Multiboot configuration

The most effective combinations are either BIOS+MBR or UEFI+GPT. You could go around that, but it is not recommended at all.

The most compatible combination is

UEFI + GPT + Fast startup disabled + Secure boot disabled

If manufacturers stay sound, Secure boot will keep working with most Linux distributions but the future is unknown.

The steps are:

  1. Install any windows version you want as usual and install in UEFI mode
  2. disable Secure boot
  3. disable Fast startup
  4. download rufus and create a bootable USB drive (links: #1 #2)
  5. boot with the USB drive.
  6. make sure that Ubuntu installer can detect that Windows OS is already installed
  7. install Ubuntu (or any other linux version)

If the linux installer is unable to detect windows, you should NOT proceed. You should make sure that if Windows are installed in UEFI mode the linux installer boots in UEFI mode and if Windows are installed in BIOS mode the linux installer boots in BIOS mode.

A detailed guide for multibooting is here:

Other questions …

BIOS vs UEFI FAQ:

  1. Official UEFI FAQ
  2. UEFI vs BIOS

MBR vs GPT FAQ:

  1. Check to see if you have MBR or GTP (Windows OS)
  2. Convert MBR to GTP (Windows OS)
  3. How EUFI works
  4. Basic disks vs Dynamic disks

 

Recommended settings for 802.11n

Here are the official recommended settings for Wifi 802.11n from Intel:

Property Value
802.11n channel width for band 2.4 Auto (not in 20 MHz only)
802.11n channel width for band 5.2 Auto (not in 20 MHz only)
802.11n mode Enabled
Fat channel intolerant Disabled
Roaming aggressiveness Medium (or less)
Throughput enhancement Disabled
Transmit power Highest
Wireless mode 802.11a/b/g
HT mode VHT mode

On the wireless router, check the following options:

Property Value
Auto channel scan Enable
802.11 mode Use 802.11n only
Channel width 40 MHz

References:

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/network-and-i-o/wireless-networking/000005544.html