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Pops and Clicks on Windows 10 with Quantum and StudioLive Series III

Article Published May 29, 2019

Updated Nov 2, 2020

 

Windows 10 1809 (OS Build 17763.437) released Nov 13, 2018 introduced an update for Intel I-Series CPU systems that alters Processor Idle Policy Settings / Processor C-States. This power management feature can introduce latency between processor cores that has can have an impact on system audio and real-time audio functions to manifest with an audible pops and clicks.

Systems using i7 or i9 CPU's from the Intel family of 7th Generation (from 2016) to current versions are subject to this. The processor cores are put to sleep to conserve power, yet when they wake up to be used, you'll hear this in your audio as a click. This happens so fast, it happens like crackling as the cores sleep and wake in microseconds (or faster). 

C-States are designed to be disabled if needed. If this is happening in your system we recommend disabling them. By using a free utility from RightMark to disable / re-enable C-States, you can access power profile options not found in the standard Windows interface to create a custom power management profile in your Windows system. 

We have tested this on Windows 10 1809, 1903, 1909, 2004, 20H2 (latest insider builds) and found this to be effective with all Quantum Series interfaces. (Article Update Nov 2020) This article was originally posted for Quantum Series, however we have found this affects StudioLive Series and can manifest with any pro-audio interface using ASIO or WDM at any sample rate and/or buffer size. 

This does not appear to be a problem on Mac OS X systems and is specific to Windows 10 systems only. 

Step 1 - Install RightMark Power Panel - https://sourceforge.net/projects/rightmark/

Step 2 - Run Program and Select Setting Tab

PPM-1.png

Step 3 - On the Settings Tab, Click "Elevate" option in the lower left corner, and click Yes when Windows prompts you.

PPM-1-5_Elevate.PNG

Step 4: -  On the Settings Tab

Scroll down to the 3rd Category "Processor Idle Policy Settings"

Under the "AC Value" column select the drop down and toggle it from "Enable Idle" to "Disable Idle"

PPM-3.png 

Under the "DC Value" column, select the drop down and toggle it from "Enable Idle " to "Disable Idle"

PPM-4.png

Step 5: Click Apply when done. 

Step 6: Close Program

C-States are now disabled and Right Mark is now controlling the Power Management Policy on the system even after the program closes, no need to reboot.

A couple of side effects include that your fans will run more frequently and you may not be able to sleep your system. 

To restore C-States (if ever needed), open application and toggle settings back to "Enable idle" and click Apply.  

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In course of our testing, we found that the Dell XPS-13 (9360) Laptop that has the ability to turn off the C-States in the system BIOS, not all systems have this feature, if you have a Dell XPS Laptop then you can use this option as an alternative method of disabling / enabling C-States. 

 

DellXPS-9360-BIOS-C-States.jpg

 

Learn more about C-States:

https://lenovopress.com/lp0632-uefi-settings-and-hardware-c-states

https://www.hardwaresecrets.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-cpu-c-states-power-saving-modes/

 

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