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Windows 7 and IRQ's
Old 11th August 2012
Gear Head
davros303's Avatar
🎧 10 years
I've been suffering from an IRQ conflict issue for months now and tried everything to troubleshoot it. I have a dual boot system (Win XP & Win 7 64bit) and the problem occurs on both operating systems, although it behaves slightly differently.

The conflict arises between the GFX card (NVidia GTX560) and my audio device (Focusrite Saffire Pro24). The Focusrite guys have been great with support and directed me to use the DPC latency checker, but they haven't actually offered a solution. When I suggested changing GFX cards they said it wouldn't necessarily resolve the IRQ conflict. I tried moving the firewire PCI-E card to different slots but it didn't fix the issue, so now I'm looking for ways to force the O/S to use different IRQ numbers / channels. Focusrite told me you can't change IRQ assignments under Windows 7 but you can under XP, however from this thread that would appear to be incorrect. There are plenty of ideas for me to try here so will give them all a go, but I can't tell you how tired I am of troubleshooting audio issues instead of making music.

Anyway - hopefully there's a potential solution here. Cheers.
Old 11th February 2014
Here for the gear
perrectum's Avatar
🎧 5 years
How i went form 12ms RTL to 6ms with IRQ change

Just registered to tell you my story how i reduced my RTL by half.

AMD Phenom II 995 (4x3,4 ghz)
MSI 870A-G54 FX motherboard
16 GB Ram
64 GB SSD OCZ SOLID for OS Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
2x1TB HDD for recording
128GB SSD OCZ Vertex4 for VSTi (superior drummer etc)
E-MU 1010 PCI soundcard + 1820m audio dock + Presonous DigiMax 8 via ADAT
Cubase 5 DAW

As everyone knows E-MU is not supporting their products anymore (those old good ones like 1820m), so i have to use some beta win 7 driver.

It works ok, I had to use 5ms ASIO latency (driver has selection from 2ms upwards with 1ms increments). With such settings i got 12ms RTL. Not that bad, i could stay with that on some complex mixes and still play guitar in real time. Not poping, crackling at all. 2-3ms was unusable at all.

After reading this post, and doing some research on internet i checked what IRQ my emu card is sharing. And it was sharing IRQ7 with most of my USB controllers, PCIE etc. So very sensitive IRQ i would say.

Windows 7 dont allow to change IRQ of device so i went to bios to find solution there. But there is no IRQ settings for PCI. So what to do?

In my case i disabled onboard audio, onboard ide masterbus controller (i got cd rom connected there, never used it, so disabled it), disabled every COM ports, parallel ports, not used RAID controllers.

After restarting computer i checked in POST how IRQs looking now, and I found that PCI slot with EMU installed got its own IRQ 4, not shared with anything else.

Effect is that I can lower my buffer to 2ms (lowest possible in driver) and I can work with same mixes without crackling or poping at all!!! My round trip latency changed from 12 ms to 6,02ms!!! It is working very stable - and it makes me a happy panda!

Try to disable different controllers, and devices in BIOS, so your motherboard will assign proper IRQ to your soundcard PCI slot - i know its some kind of luck, and i dont had control over what irq mobo assigned to pci but It worked for me
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