Newsletter Archives

  • Win10 version 1903 cumulative update bug and stuttering ASUS sound cards

    This one’s been brewing under my radar for quite some time, it seems. I remember the “Audio in games is quiet or different than expected” bug introduced by one of the September cumulative updates (and since, apparently, fixed). But this one’s different.

    btarunr at TechPowerUp has a refreshingly direct take on the problem:

    Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903) is the pinnacle of neglect and contempt Microsoft has shown towards the all-important audio subsystem of the modern PC. With it, Redmond has one-upped its last big move against audio, by killing the DirectSound hardware pipeline and mongrelizing PC audio under Intel’s lousy and fundamentally anti-competitive Azalia specification that solves common audio compatibility problems under a scorched-earth guiding principle – “kill any feature that could possibly lick our aftersales support budget, by dumping every aspect of audio onto a very restrictive host-signal processing (HSP) architecture, let people come up with their own soft DSPs, because CPUs can handle them.” Windows 1903 proves how this approach wasn’t a silver bullet against PC audio problems, and is fallible…

    He goes on to explain in give-em-both-barrels style how Win10 1903 had a stuttering problem (likely with ASUS cards) that was supposed to be fixed in the second July cumulative update, KB 4505903. But it wasn’t. Those of you who have been hanging out here for a while certainly know that tune.

    I just received an anonymous email from a reader who has an interesting take:

    I’m writing this email because i might have possibly found a workaround solution for those with asus sound cards running under windows 10 v1903. (mine specifially is Xonar AE but as far as i can tell this problem affects many more sound cards from asus).

    Basically the whole thing started with this.  If you dig around, there are many more threads on both asus forums and other places that discuss this problem. I’ve posted my finding on some forums, mailed both asus and microsoft about this, don’t know if they will care enough to fix this.

    Would be great if this was published on your website because you cover a much bigger audience and perhaps posting it would force either microsoft or asus to take action.

    So here’s the solution that works for me:

    Thinking that it might have something to do with latency (as per having read numerous threads about it), i’ve fired up LatencyMon in the hopes of finding what is causing the audio stuttering issue. For some bizarre reason while LatencyMon is running and monitoring latency i’ve had zero audio stuttering for over 5 hours of non stop music listening.

    I’m really not sure how or why running LatencyMon fixes the audio stuttering issue.

    Anybody else in the crowd have the problem? Any idea why running a monitor fixes the stuttering?