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There is high CPU usage when using a USB audio device connected to a USB 2.0 EHCI...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
...host controller

What was happening was I was getting CPU usage spikes on a single CPU core. Every 40 seconds or so it would spike to 100% on my 4th CPU core (using xperf I could see this was only about 4 to 6 tenths of a second from start to finish, but still not right). I finally narrowed it down to an audio issue, then finally down to a USB only audio issue. This happens with any USB audio device. I have two different headsets, one uses Microsoft Generic USB audio drivers and the other uses Logitech G930 drivers.

Then I found this hotfix: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/981214

I thought my prayers were answered. Turns out this hotfix only helped it by ~50%. This hotfix has made my 4th CPU core spike to about 50% instead of 100%, it is better than nothing, but I am still not satisfied.

I have tried everything that I can think of but a fresh Win7 install at this point (which I would like to avoid, and I think the problem would remain anyway). This includes disabling all enhancements in audio properties, reinstalling drivers, updated firmware, BIOS, "clean boots", disabling any and all anti virus/anti malware/antispam/anti-whatevers, disable firewalls, using no other USB devices, removing ghosted devices, checked event viewer for problems, used Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware in safemode to search for problems, etc...

Also, if it helps, this problem does NOT happen if I am not playing any audio. Also I have noticed when playing audio alone, it will only spike to about 25%, but when using input from a USB mic as well, it will go to 50%. Seems that its doubled when using input and output. Ventrilo is very good at aggravating this problem, when connected to a Ventrilo server I will get a spike almost exactly every ~40 seconds. Please note that the spikes do not coincide with audio input/output usage, they are almost like clock work every 40 or so seconds regardless of how much audio traffic is going on.

One more thing to note is that when I change the USB headset to different USB root hubs, the same problem happens, BUT it will spike my second CPU core instead of the fourth. I don't think this has any thing to do with it, just putting it out there. The problem also exists when I plug into a USB 3.0 port.

I believe the parent file causing the spikes is audiodg.exe, and specifically audioeng.dll and audiokse.dll.

Here is a screen shot of Process Manager, this shot is at the tail end of a spike. It's very hard to get a screen shot of it using more CPU because it happens so fast:


Can anyone help? I am at my wits end with this.
Edited by SvB4EvA - 2/13/11 at 2:12am
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post #2 of 11
i guess what i'm trying to understand, is it causing problems? stuttering sound, slow downs, anything that would require a solution?

you are bound to run into process's and events that spike your cpu usage here and there, maybe not a 100% usage, but if it is just a few nano-seconds while in use, i don't see what the ultimate problem is, you don't mention if it is causing problems, other than "bothering" you while you watch a cpu usage program.
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by transhour View Post
i guess what i'm trying to understand, is it causing problems? stuttering sound, slow downs, anything that would require a solution?

you are bound to run into process's and events that spike your cpu usage here and there, maybe not a 100% usage, but if it is just a few nano-seconds while in use, i don't see what the ultimate problem is, you don't mention if it is causing problems, other than "bothering" you while you watch a cpu usage program.
lol... yes you got me. It does not cause any problems with my system what so ever. At least I dont think it does. I do have the occasional hiccup for a quarter of a second while web browsing or playing a game, not sure if it is caused by this problem or just normal system lag. Seems like every system I have ever had in the past ~20 years does have a little hiccup on a rare occasion. Maybe a little bit more with this new system tho... Hard to tell.

I know im bound to have processes and events cause CPU usage spikes, but this is abnormal and like clock work every ~30 seconds.

It is just annoying to see a core spiking every ~30 seconds to 50%. It shouldn't be happening. Granted, this is only about ~12% of total CPU usage for literally .5 seconds, but it just should not be happening.

It's kinda like that little scratch on your car that no one ever notices but YOU know its there. I guess that doesnt apply to everyone, but I guess I am super anal.

It is also making me make sure that any program that plays audio is closed before walking away from my computer, just cause I dont want the spikes happening when I am not using it, which is also annoying.

Here is a shot of a gadget on my desktop that is a CONSTANT reminder. Also oddly enough its doing double spikes now that you can see by looking at the orange lines:

Edited by SvB4EvA - 2/13/11 at 2:57am
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post #4 of 11
is it only with the usb headsets, or any audio usage (without the usb headsets hooked up?)

i don't think reinstalling windows will solve the problem, i've read the hotfix description, and did a bit of googling, according to the hotfix, it is a usbport.sys, googling that, turns up a whole world of information, seems to be an ongoing problem since windows xp sp2...
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by transhour View Post
is it only with the usb headsets, or any audio usage (without the usb headsets hooked up?)

i don't think reinstalling windows will solve the problem, i've read the hotfix description, and did a bit of googling, according to the hotfix, it is a usbport.sys, googling that, turns up a whole world of information, seems to be an ongoing problem since windows xp sp2...
ONLY USB AUDIO! For example, when I play audio via my video cards HDMI output my CPU usage is a flat line, no spikes at all. I can have the USB headset(s) plugged in and installed, it's only when I PLAY audio or I am connected to a Ventrilo server and the USB audio device is used (selected as default device), that the spikes occur.

usbport.sys is the devil. I have been reading and googling about this problem for weeks.
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Also, going back to it not being a performance issue... I was just thinking, If I didnt have a i5 760 running a 4Ghz this problem might be a lot worse. Someone with a dual core CPU having a core spike to 100% would be 50% of their total processing power and that could be a huge problem.

I also dont think a lot of people know they even have this problem. I told a friend to look at this CPU usage and he was totally confident that he didnt have this issue. Turns out he checked for me anyway and he DID have the problem. He was even saying how when you are checking out a system, especially when new, that you dont usually have audio playing checking out CPU usage or doing benchmarks. Tho for him the spikes were not as high to begin with (about 70% on one of his cores) and the hotfix totally solved the problem for him. Some reason for me, this hot fix only reduced my problem by 50%.

EDIT: I am also really hoping when SP1 for Win7 comes later this month the problem is fixed. I'm not getting my hopes too high tho.
Edited by SvB4EvA - 2/13/11 at 3:22am
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post #7 of 11
Have you tried other USB ports? I assume you're only using the front panel.

My brother's computer had a issue like this hitching/sound cutting out briefly every little while when his headset was plugged in the front panel. It was just a loose/damaged connector in the front panel wiring causing the usb hub to re-detect repeatly.
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nugu View Post
Have you tried other USB ports? I assume you're only using the front panel.

My brother's computer had a issue like this hitching/sound cutting out briefly every little while when his headset was plugged in the front panel. It was just a loose/damaged connector in the front panel wiring causing the usb hub to re-detect repeatly.
I have used every USB port on my system, all six connected to the front panel headers, all six 2.0 ports in the rear and both USB 3.0 ports in the rear. All do the same spikes, only thing that changes is the CPU core that spikes. Front panel headers cause core 4 to spike, rear 2.0 and 3.0 ports cause core 2 to spike.
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post #9 of 11
i know you have said you reinstalled drivers, which drivers have you reinstalled?

does this include chipset drivers?

have you also manually removed the usb drivers from the device manager, and then restarted your computer for them to be redetected?

the only reason i can think of why you exp the problem after the hotfix and your friend does not, is simply motherboard differences. i'm sure the problem is rampant, and has been going on for a long time from searches on google for usbport.sys, some of the post go back as far as 2003, i'm sure with the introduction of multi-core cpu solutions, this problem has all but "vanished".

i can honestly see someone with a single core having this problem, and it causing microstutters in audio playback and system performance, maybe even someone with a low end dual core. i know the solution is not to "ignore" it, but if the only company that can fix it, is MS, then you are at their mercy to fix it. (not trying to talk smack about MS here, found a forum post that also suggest this happens in Mac OSX, so i'm a bit curious if it is just a usb problem in general and expands even into Linux too?)

if you have already done what i've suggested, then just ignore me, cause i can deduce the outcome as not having worked and if that is the case, then i'm with you, at wits end on the cause and solution.
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post #10 of 11
Linux goes through this about every year. The pulse audio driver goes on a mem leak or cpu rampage. Windows has the same problems they just fix it slower.
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