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Old 11-02-2012, 07:18 AM   #1
diejengent
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conflict between sata hdd and soundcard


Hi all,

I installed a new internal sata hdd into my 6 year old laptop.
It works fine and fast, but there is a problem as soon as I play sound (any sound; from Audacious to sound from a youtube movie in the browser).

Playing a mp3 uses about 4% cpu. The memory isnt't the problem either. There is still enough free memory and the swap-partition is not even being used.
So a cpu and/or memory overload is not causing the problem.

I used hdparm benchmarks to compare...

benchmark result while NOT playing sound:

/dev/sda:
Timing cached reads: 2498 MB in 2.00 seconds = 1249.54 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 236 MB in 3.01 seconds = 78.41 MB/sec

benchmark result while playing sound in Audacious:

/dev/sda:
Timing cached reads: 2438 MB in 2.00 seconds = 1219.55 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 48 MB in 3.03 seconds = 15.83 MB/sec

The 6 year old secondary internal hdd also suffers from the playing of sound, but relatively less...

benchmark result while NOT playing sound:

/dev/sdb:
Timing cached reads: 2514 MB in 2.00 seconds = 1258.27 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 98 MB in 3.01 seconds = 32.61 MB/sec

benchmark result while playing sound in Audacious:

/dev/sdb:
Timing cached reads: 2440 MB in 2.00 seconds = 1220.39 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 56 MB in 3.16 seconds = 17.74 MB/sec

My guess is that the soundcard and the SATA-channel are somehow conflicting.

cat /proc/interrupts is giving the following result:

CPU0 CPU1
0: 1787997 5 IO-APIC-edge timer
1: 8125 0 IO-APIC-edge i8042
8: 37 0 IO-APIC-edge rtc0
9: 2710 0 IO-APIC-fasteoi acpi
12: 26809 0 IO-APIC-edge i8042
14: 8 0 IO-APIC-edge ata_piix
15: 0 0 IO-APIC-edge ata_piix
16: 21437 0 IO-APIC-fasteoi uhci_hcd:usb5, nvidia
18: 108958 0 IO-APIC-fasteoi uhci_hcd:usb4
19: 0 0 IO-APIC-fasteoi uhci_hcd:usb3
20: 60087 0 IO-APIC-fasteoi eth0
23: 1039861 0 IO-APIC-fasteoi ehci_hcd:usb1, uhci_hcd:usb2
44: 193107 0 PCI-MSI-edge ahci
45: 59654 0 PCI-MSI-edge snd_hda_intel

I am a complete noob at these values. But since ahci and the soundcard are the only ones using PCI-MSI-edge, maybe the problem is lying there?

Please help
 
Old 11-02-2012, 06:44 PM   #2
diejengent
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I solved the problem myself...

At some point I came to discover that the slow-down of my internal hdd was different per song; how strange is that huh?

It had to do with the volume. The internal speakers of the laptop are sitting right next to the drive bays and the vibrations of the hard sound are making the hdd slow. As soon as I plugged in headphones the speed of the internal hdd was super fast again.

The reason I had not discovered this in the 6 years before is probably because I copied mostly from external drive to external drive via usb.
The new drive had a lot of free space, so I began storing large files there too, so thus I noticed the slow down while playing music.

Still I find it a bit weird. Aren't laptops meant to stand some vibrations?
 
Old 11-03-2012, 05:07 AM   #3
H_TeXMeX_H
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It is strange and something I have not considered. It certainly is plausible.

Laptop HDDs usually have an internal drop sensor or weightlessness sensor that retracts the heads when it is in free-fall. This prevents HDD damage when you drop it. Other than that it works like a regular HDD and would be susceptible to intense vibration especially if the speakers are right next to it.
 
Old 11-04-2012, 05:35 AM   #4
diejengent
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Although I marked this thread as solved, there is still one thing that puzzles me...

Why is the new hdd (500 GB) influenced more by the vibrations than the older hdd (80 GB).

Using my common sense I would say that on the newer hdd there is much more data on the same surface, thus making it more sensetive to outside influences. Am I right?
 
Old 11-04-2012, 11:19 AM   #5
H_TeXMeX_H
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Yeah, I think the data density is higher, so it would be more sensitive.
 
Old 11-08-2012, 02:43 AM   #6
diejengent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
Yeah, I think the data density is higher, so it would be more sensitive.
Thanks for your replies

I connected external speakers, which also are trembling enormously on my desk, but yet the hdd speed remains very fast.
At least I can enjoy my laptop at full speed now.
 
  


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