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Thread: Does the GA-73PVM-S2H have DPC latency problems?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Does the GA-73PVM-S2H have DPC latency problems?

    I bought the GA-73PVM-S2H mobo nine months ago to use as the basis for a DAW. The DPC latency problems with it are so bad that it is practically unusable with Cubase 4.x and 5.0. After a lot of research on net forums and on my own, I've come to the conclusion that this particular mobo is the root of the problem.

    Here is my system: Gigabyte GA-73PVM-S2H, Award BIOS F8, Intel Core2 Duo E8500 @ 3.16GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 4GB DDR2 800 RAM, 2x Samsung 500GB SATA drives, TC Electronic Konnekt 24D, Windows XP Home SP3.

    I've tweaked the BIOS and Windows in all the ways suggested by various sources. I've changed the ASIO driver (TC Near and ASIO4ALL) to no effect. The BIOS and all other drivers are up-to-date

    Would appreciate some insight/confirmation/fix from Gigabyte.

  2. #2
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    PCB Island

    Default Re: Does the GA-73PVM-S2H have DPC latency problems?

    I am not sure, as many users do not purchase this model I have not noticed any complaints.

    Have you tested a clean install, with minimal hardware? Are you using the latest BIOS?

    There are MANY Factors (Hardware, Drivers of all sorts, Programs, Services, Ect.) that cause DPC latency, in this post I outline several of them >>>

    Have you contacted Gigabyte Tech support to see if this is a known issue for this board? If not, please do and let me know what they tell you >>>
    GIGABYTE - Support&Download - Technical Service Zone

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Re: Does the GA-73PVM-S2H have DPC latency problems?

    I have fixed my DPC latency problem. At least it looks that way so far. Performance is excellent for my needs. The before/after difference is simply stunning. And I've saved myself the hassle and expense of building a new system.

    I'll give a summary of what I did. To save readers having to go back to my OP for hardware details, here they are again: Gigabyte GA-73PVM-S2H v1.0, Award BIOS F8, Intel Core2 Duo E8500 @ 3.16GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 4GB DDR2 800 RAM, 2x Samsung 500GB SATA drives, TC Electronic Konnekt 24D. My MIDI keyboard controller is an ancient Roland A-80.

    Clean Windows XP Pro SP3 Installation

    1. Flashed mobo BIOS (again) with latest version (F8), and loaded all optimized defaults.
    2. Installed WinXP Pro. During the installation I did not load the SATA RAID and AHCI drivers (with the F6 key). There have been suggestions that enabling SATA RAID (and therefore AHCI by default) can contribute to DPC latency, and that native IDE emulation should be used instead. I don't know if this is true or not, but the less code demanding bus time the better.
    3. Installed the Gigabyte chipset and VGA drivers. I did not install the driver for the on-board Realtek HD audio device because I immediately disabled the mobo's onboard audio device (a Realtek HD audio chip).
    4. I did not install Gigabyte's mobo utilities for things like system monitoring and overclocking.
    5. I did not turn on Window's automatic update feature.
    6. I went to Microsoft's web site and brought the OS up-to-date. There was also a new driver for the on-board nVidia 7100 chipset -- I installed this too.
    7. Installed TC Near and Cubase 5.0.

    At this point I had what is a stock standard WinXP PC, with the exception of the the omissions mentioned above. I hadn't yet done any BIOS or Windows tweaking. What amazed me was that DPC Latency Checker showed that my steady-state latency was in the low-30 microsecond range. There were occasional bumps up to 50-70 microseconds. When the Konnekt 24D is turned on and detected, steady-state DPC latency increases to the mid-40 microsecond range, with occasional bumps to 50-70 microseconds. Awesome!

    Launching IE 8.0 caused no spikes. Launching Cubase 5 caused a single spike to about 1100 microseconds. Before the system rebuild, launching any application would result in a flurry of huge spikes to between 4000 to 8000 microseconds.

    At this stage, with no further tweaking, I could play back the Cubase 5 demo project with zero artifacts -- the sample buffer size was set at 128 and DPC buffer mode was set to 'Normal'. Sample buffer sizes less than 128 were not usable. And here's the thing -- DPC latency stayed with the 40 - 100+ microsecond range, and with NO peaks whatsoever!! CPU load was around 20% and evenly balanced across the two cores.

    BIOS & Windows Tweaks

    I won't detail them other than to say that I applied the ones mentioned in other threads in this and other forums and how-to's about building and optimizing a PC for digital audio purposes.

    The surprising thing is that the tweaks had practically no effect on the steady-state DPC latency numbers. They also did not allow me to drop the sample buffer size below 128/Normal. Maybe things may be different under load. But I don't care right now, because I now have a DAW with performance that more than meets my current requirements. If I have the time and curiosity later I might run DAWBench on my system.

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