Alienware x51 Sound issue

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Alienware x51 Sound issue

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I'm currently using the gtx 660 hdmi connection to my display for both video and audio.  During some more demanding games the audio will start to crack and get fuzzier.  This increases in intensity until the sound goes out entirely.  I've used headphones via the onboard intel audio output and the realtek card with no issues.

I started using afterburner to keep the fan speed up and it seems to help.  Still running into issues at times.  I should also note that I have never had issues with my framerate. (play skyrim, diablo, planetside, C&C4 all on high)

Is there an easy fix for this?  Is my card faulty?

Thanks in advance

All Replies
  • The sound goes out ... but the game keeps running?

    If so, sounds like a bad cable or the HDMI digital-to-analog audio circuit in the monitor itself.

    But, of course ... could be anything in the HDMI and audio/video chain. Is that important for the fix to be "easy"?


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

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  • lol, no it doesn't have to be easy.  Just wishful thinking.  

    Anyways I've tried 3 cables on 2 different screens and run into the same issues.  With the fan speed bumped up the sound is stable for about 30 minutes or so.  However after that it will start popping and making fuzzy sounds.  I know Diablo 3 isnt the most demanding game but I have all settings on high with anti aliasing and I'm getting at least ~100 fps.  Video card temperature is around 50-55.  With those results I cant imagine the graphics cards is overwhelmed or anything.  But somehow the audio portion of it is?

    Very confusing.

  • Intrep1d

    Anyways I've tried 3 cables on 2 different screens and run into the same issues.  

    Interesting. So, it's definitely in the x51 itself (problem follows x51 ... not LCD screens).

    Phone Support will decide how to proceed. Since HDMI sound is handled by the video card, I would guess video card would be first thing to try.

    Have you tried clean installing the latest WHQL drivers?


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • Sounds like this problem (sound static over HDMI):

    en.community.dell.com/.../19480895.aspx


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • I appreciate your replies Tesla.  Its nice to see my thread not get buried haha

    I attempted to run the game without running msi afterburner and the audio crashed within 5 minutes.  The frame rate and overall graphic quality was completely unhindered though.  I watched the meter the whole time as the audio started freaking out.

    Is there a separate function of the gtx 660 that just performs audio processing?  Seems as though whatever portion of the card that handles audio is being overwhelmed/overheating.  Every game I've played so far I have on highest settings and frame rate is amazing.

    Discovered that plugging and unplugging a headset is an immediate reset to the problem, not a fix however.  Im guessing this is because the dell audio takes over for a second causing the nvidia audio to reset.

    At this point I'm just assuming I have a defective card.  Although even though my problem is different from others, I feel as though that massive thread about gtx 660 problems is an omen that a card swap wont actually help...

    Im open to any ideas at this point though.  And yes, all my drivers have been updated, 660 is on 310.90

  • I'm getting the same issue. When the GPU is under load the sound starts distorting, like someone is blowing into a microphone. If I pause the game and go back in again it disappears completely. It's very odd. I'm thinking about disabling the mic to see if that fixes it...

  • If you don't pause the game will the audio crash?  Was hoping to call Dell today but I imagine they have the holiday off.  I've only found one other person with the same issue after doing a bunch of searches and he ended up just returning his system.  Ill find out when Dell gets involved but I'm hopeful this can just be shuffled into the group of troublesome gtx660s.

  • Mine has never crashed, just get distorted audio. I disabled the realtek sound in the alienware audio settings (in the taskbar) as I'm using audio via the HDMI and I've not seen it since.

  • Where exactly is the alienware audio setting you disabled?  Mine only shows Realtek HD audio manager.  Thanks for your help

  • Oh really? In my taskbar (bottom right on desktop) I have "Alienware Audio Manager".

  • It's not fixed it. Issue appeared playing Witcher 2 earlier. PC was only on for about five minutes. I think it's a GPU issue.

  • I'm having a very similar problem that I just posted about yesterday. I have the GTX 690 and my HDMI audio has popping/clicking when the GPU is under load... Please see my post here and see if it's what you're talking about, maybe one of us can find a solution somewhere...

    http://www.overclock.net/t/1353214/gtx-690-hdmi-audio-clicking-popping-when-gpu-under-load

  • Mine seems to become more infrequent with use.  Used to occur every time I played.  Now it seems to happen after several hours or during very loud/intense events.  I'm assuming this has to be specific to the gpu or potentially the MB.  Either a faulty GPU, or a miscommunication between the MB and GPU.  Ive only found 3 other user amongst forums with this problem and they all have gtx 600 series cards.  

    Its almost safe to assume at this point.....

  • Mine has totally gone now I'm using MSI afterburner with a user curve to keep temp under 80. Under heavy load it's not getting over 74 now and it doesn't distort. I think it's MB to GPU getting out of sync, as if you alt-tab in and out of the game it fixes it.

  • Same issue for me. I'm thinking about buying a Soundblaster X-Fi?

    What do you think?