ROG Zephyrus G14 2020 (GA401IV) Random Audio Crackle Issue

OnAironautOnAironaut Level 1
edited December 3 in Others

System: Windows 11 Home 64 bit 22H2 build 22621.755 / BIOS 220

Battery or AC: Battery and AC

Model: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 2020 (GA401IV)

Frequency of occurrence: Random, variable

Reset OS: Several times, doesn't help

Screenshot or video:

I don't seem to be allowed to post links in this forum, and the file is too big for attachment, so just add these strings to the YouTube URL in your address bar:

Using external sound card (at about 7 seconds into the video): /watch?v=PqjiW6Pi6WU

Using internal sound card (at about 26 seconds into the video): /watch?v=aKJD5rrhAcs

========================


Hello!

When listening to music, watching movies or doing anything else with sound, my computer audio suffers from micro stutters at random times. It sounds like little clicks, pops or crackles every once in a while.

This is terribly disrupting for me as I work with audio production.

This is not a sound card issue, as it occurs regardless of whether I am using the internal soundcard with Realtek drivers, or the external sound card with RME drivers. This suggests that in the signal chain stuttering takes place before the sound card.

I have been having this problem for a long time and have been looking for a solution everywhere to no avail. I have tried different versions of different drivers, I have even completely reset and reinstalled my computer several times.

I have also contacted ASUS support via MyASUS app, but I only get generic and useless answers like "check if your Windows is licensed" and "update your audio drivers".


My current findings and suspects are the following:

First, I have noticed that the microstutter seemingly disappears after disabling AMD display driver in Windows Device Manager --> Display Adapters ---> AMD Radeon(TM) Graphics ---> DISABLE

Second, I have read about the AMD fTPM issue that can cause microstutters, but there is no option in my BIOS version 220 to disable the fTPM and check if it is indeed the culprit.

Apparently the fTPM issue can be fixed by the new AMD AGESA V2 1.2.0.7 Microcode available to motherboard vendors and OEMs (ASUS in this case), and implementing this microcode into the BIOS. Is this BIOS update to be expected soon and for all machines suffering from the stutters?


I just updated Windows 11 to the latest 22H2 version, and it didn't fix the issue.

Then I did a full system reset as asked in the previous thread, and it didn't fix the problem either.

The AMD Graphics driver version is 30.0.13002.1001


Could anybody please help me solve this issue?

Thank you very much in advance,

JS


P.S. My original thread that was autolocked can be found by appending the following string to the URL of these forums: /en/discussion/63248/rog-zephyrus-g14-ga401iv-random-audio-crackle-issue

Comments

  • @OnAironaut

    Could you please provide an easy-to-replicate technique and sound files that can be provided together for internal testing.

  • Hello!

    First step is to turn on some kind of audio. Any kind of audio will do. For example, play a song in YouTube or music player (I play FLAC files in foobar2000). I'd recommend choosing a quieter ambient track, so it is easier to hear and identify the stutter when it happens. I used a track called "6Equj5" by Carbon Based Lifeforms, but it doesn't matter.

    While the music is playing, you can just sit and wait until a stutter happens, but this is not optimal, as the stutters are unpredictable, and happen randomly and in irregular intervals, so you might have to wait one minute or thirty minutes or two hours.

    One way I have found to provoke a stutter at will is to start up an app (Armoury Crate, for example) or to run a check for Windows update (Settings --> Windows Update --> Check for Updates) while the audio is playing. Not always, but most of the time I will hear a stutter during the app startup process or while the check for updates takes place.

    Best regards,

    JS

  • @OnAironaut

    I have sent you a message, maybe you can provide the youtube link through the message to let us confirm.

    Thank you.

  • Hello!


    I sent you a PM with YouTube links to the music I used in my stutter demo videos.


    /watch?v=PDwPG6e4LMM

    /watch?v=a6YU4O3zq_M


    Best regards,

    JS

  • @OnAironaut

    I will forward the information to the relevant department. We will keep you updated and your consideration will be very much appreciated.

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