headphone EMI noise with gigabyte mobo

QuantumPion

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2005
6,017
0
76
#1
Hi, I just got and installed a GA-Z170XP-SLI in my rig last night. I'm getting rather severe EMI noise or interference in my headphones using the green jack on the rear panel. The noise seems to coincide with video card usage, moving the mouse causes audible static noise, and playing a 3d game causes tons of static. The front panel jack connector seems to work better although it does have a little bit of noise, more than my old motherboard. The EMI noise persists when the volume is muted, and I tested two different audio cables to make sure that wasn't the issue. I also tried using 3 different sets of drivers, with no difference.

Does anyone know what is going on here? Gigabyte makes a big deal of advertising how their audio components are separated by a wall (complete with yellow LED's) to show how they are separated to prevent EMI noise but this is clearly not the case. Is my motherboard defective? Do I have an electrical problem of some sort? My last motherboard's onboard audio had no such problems of any kind, no noise whatsoever. Using the same power supply, case, and video card. And it did not have any sort of fancy shielding or trace separation like the gigabyte board claims to have.
 
Apr 28, 2015
62
0
0
#2
I can tell you that the audio setup on that board is pretty good because I have the same setup on my GA-Z170X-UD5. I don't have this issue.

My first guess, assuming you don't have a bad board, is something is causing interference in your case.
 
Apr 28, 2015
62
0
0
#3
How many GPU's are you running? You might try removing one if you're doing SLI or swapping them; see if the problem follows the GPU or a specific PCI-E slot.

Might also try removing all the GPUs and testing with just the Intel iGPU.
 

QuantumPion

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2005
6,017
0
76
#4
As stated above, I am using the same case, power supply, and video card from my previous setup, which had no EMI issues. The z170x-ud5 is a different board, so maybe it doesn't have the same problem. There is one bad review on newegg that mentions the same audio problem I am having, so maybe its an isolated issue, but it could be a design defect.
 
Last edited:
Apr 28, 2015
62
0
0
#5
As stated above, I am using the same case, power supply, and video card from my previous setup, which had no EMI issues.
That doesn't mean anything, necessarily. An issue could have been introduced when you were working inside the case.

Anyway, hope you get it worked out.
 

QuantumPion

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2005
6,017
0
76
#6
That doesn't mean anything, necessarily. An issue could have been introduced when you were working inside the case.

Anyway, hope you get it worked out.
True, maybe if I disassemble everything and put it back together, that could fix it, if it was caused by a faulty ground or some such. But if I am going to take everything apart and put it back together again I might as well save the trouble and do it with a replacement board.
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,462
361
136
#7
I've read some users talking about this issue, and some of the causes were drivers, power supply, headphones were just not a good match, or video card interference.

Since you have tried different drivers, what PSU are you using and what video card? Do you have any other speakers or headphones to try? What model of headphone do you have? Are you 100% sure the motherboard is properly grounded on all your motherboard stand-offs when you installed it?

If you have something that is causing interference on the board, you could have the same issue on the replacement.

That's all I could think of that would cause that type of issue.
 

QuantumPion

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2005
6,017
0
76
#8
what PSU are you using - seasonic platinum 860
and what video card? - evga gtx 980
Do you have any other speakers or headphones to try? - yes, all have same issue
What model of headphone do you have? - denon ahd-1100
Are you 100% sure the motherboard is properly grounded on all your motherboard stand-offs when you installed it? - no, how would this occur and how would I fix it?
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,462
361
136
#9
Make sure all the stand-offs on your case that you put screws in to install your motherboard are in all the holes on your motherboard.

If any of the stand-offs were in different places from your old motherboard, make sure they are not touching your motherboard outside of the mounting holes. If the holes were different, you removed the stand-offs that weren't used?

Also, did you use any rubber washers on the screws or stand-offs when installing your motherboard?

Lastly, I forgot to ask this in my first post: When you got your new motherboard, did you do a clean Windows install or did you put it in and boot into an existing install (eg. Old drivers still installed from previous build)?
 

QuantumPion

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2005
6,017
0
76
#10
Make sure all the stand-offs on your case that you put screws in to install your motherboard are in all the holes on your motherboard.

If any of the stand-offs were in different places from your old motherboard, make sure they are not touching your motherboard outside of the mounting holes. If the holes were different, you removed the stand-offs that weren't used?

Also, did you use any rubber washers on the screws or stand-offs when installing your motherboard?

Lastly, I forgot to ask this in my first post: When you got your new motherboard, did you do a clean Windows install or did you put it in and boot into an existing install (eg. Old drivers still installed from previous build)?
All the standoffs are installed correctly. It is a clean install of Win 10.
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,462
361
136
#11
All the standoffs are installed correctly. It is a clean install of Win 10.
Maybe you have a bad board then. I searched for sound issues on that board, and there are next to none. I saw one review on Newegg about it (probably yours).

You could try another board, but if you get the same issues, something else is going on in your set-up.

Most remaining motherboard manufacturers have roughly a 1.5% - 2% true defect rate, so as unlikely as is, you could have a defective sound chip since you say the problem exists on the back input as well as the front.
 

TheRyuu

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2005
5,479
0
76
#12
If you don't want to deal with replacing the motherboard you could also invest in a USB DAC[1]. The one I linked to is one of the best bang for your buck DAC's. Sure it may be solving the problem in a non-ideal and slightly expensive way but it'll be usable through any future hardware upgrades you do (will also probably sound better than any on board sound setup). Requires no drivers, just plug it in and it works.

This post doesn't really answer your original question I suppose but it should solve the issue albeit in a roundabout way. Also you're sure it's not the headphones right?

[1] http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2
 

nerp

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 2005
9,805
1
91
#13
That is a nice USB DAC but if the mobo is new he really should get it RMAd for a replacement that doesn't have interference. It's shame because it's one of the nagging problems that will ruin the whole experience. The USB DAC is a nice idea in general, though. You never know when you want high quality audio.
 
Apr 28, 2015
62
0
0
#14
Just keep in mind that ignoring the problem or working around it (with a USB DAC) means you won't know the source, and leaving it this way could cause other kinds of failures to creep up down the line.
 

QuantumPion

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2005
6,017
0
76
#15
Yeah I was going to return my board and get the gigabyte gaming 6 instead, however looking at the newegg reviews, there are a few people mentioning the audio EMI in the reviews for the gaming 7 board. This leads me to believe it is a design deficiency and I worry about having the same problem on a different gigabyte board. I guess most people either don't notice it or don't care for it to be a problem?
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,462
361
136
#16
Yeah I was going to return my board and get the gigabyte gaming 6 instead, however looking at the newegg reviews, there are a few people mentioning the audio EMI in the reviews for the gaming 7 board. This leads me to believe it is a design deficiency and I worry about having the same problem on a different gigabyte board. I guess most people either don't notice it or don't care for it to be a problem?
I have the GA-z170x-UD5 and I would have defintely noticed the issues you are experiencing with your front and back ports. I have had zero issues with my audio.

If you are concerned this is a wide-spread Gigabyte issue, go with another manufacturer.

You might truly have a bad motherboard. You could also have an issue that will cause the same thing on another motherboard.

You could hook up your components outside of your case to see if you are experiencing a weird grounding issue in your case.
 
Last edited:

QuantumPion

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2005
6,017
0
76
#17
What video card do you have?

I just finished installing my replacement board, I got a UD5. It has the same EMI/buzzing/noise/static problem as the first board. It is not as bad, but still quite apparent. And I'll reiterate I did not have any problems with my current video card with my old motherboard (Asus Z77-pro). So are all gigabyte boards just junk when it comes to onboard audio, despite all the fancy marketing mumbo jumbo? Or is this some problem with z170 boards in general? I guess my next board to try will be the Asus z170-pro-gaming.
 

nerp

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 2005
9,805
1
91
#18
My H170 board (ASUS) not the z170, mind you, has crystal clear sound. No interference at all.
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,462
361
136
#19
QuantumPion,

You have an issue with something else causing that static.

The newer chipsets are much more sensitive to power than the older z77 chipset. I wouldn't be surprised if your psu might be the issue.

I know you said you had a Seasonic, but how old is it and do you have another power supply to try? Are you sure you have the internal audio connections from your front case header installed correctly? Is your system on a UPS?

You are going to have to start troubleshooting to see what is causing your issue, or you are going to be returning a lot of boards.

There are just not many complaints out there on the z170 motherboard audio. I have zero interference on my board.

EDIT:

I decided to take a look to see if there was anyone else talking about this EMI issue with Gigabyte, and I found a thread you posted at Overclock.net. In it you stated you tried two different cables with your headphones to make sure it wasn't the cable. However, in this thread after I asked, you said you also tried it with different headphones and computer speakers.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1571741/...rs-club-ultra-durable-and-gaming-editions/730

So have you actually tried it with just speakers plugged into your back-bottom-middle green jack? You didn't mention it at that site at all. Another user there mentioned it could be your psu, video card, etc. and you replied that " I have a hard time believing this is just normal interference due to the impedance of typical high efficiency headphones."

Maybe your Denon headphones aren't a good match for Gigabyte. I don't know for sure. I have my Logitech speakers connected to the back of my board, and I use my Philips Fidelio X1 headphones plugged into the front of my case. No issues at all, and my headphone impedance is about the same as yours.

If you believe Gigabyte boards have bad audio, you have Asrock, MSI, and Asus you can try to see if one will work with your Denons.

EDIT 2:

Here is a thread I found where someone was having audio issues on four different z170 motherboards showing how many issues there can be and that you might want to look into:

http://www.tomshardware.com/answers...rds-sets-components-100-working-speakers.html
 
Last edited:

QuantumPion

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2005
6,017
0
76
#20
On the reviews for the ga-z170x-gaming 7 on newegg, if you search for "emi" or "buzz" you can find several reviews describing the same problem. This post from december on the same overclock.net thread also describes the same problem.

Your tomshardware link likewise describes the same problem. That user seems to indicate that he did not have the EMI problem with the Asus board, although he had a different problem. Also someone made a necro post at the very end of that thread complaining about the EMI issue, on a gigabyte gaming-5.

It's hard to gauge how widespread the problem is since many people don't notice it, don't care, or don't use the headphone jack. I will say that the EMI noise on the UD5 I have now is not nearly as bad as on the XP-SLI. The character of the noise is identical, although the volume is perhaps only half or one quarter as loud. Still unacceptable, but I can see how many people might have even less noise or have a different graphics card and therefore not notice the issue at all.

I don't discount the possibility that the problem is related to some combination of my power supply, or the z170 chipset in general, etc. But I'm not about to buy a replacement power supply in the hope that it will fix the problem when there is no reason to expect it will. The current evidence seems to suggest it is a problem with gigabyte boards in particular.

I have ordered an Asus z170x-pro-gaming board to replace my gigabyte. If this board also has EMI, then that would point to the problem being with something else. And if that is the case, I will probably give up at that point and get an external DAC. If it does not have any EMI problems, well that would point to the problem lying with gigabyte's boards.
 
Apr 28, 2015
62
0
0
#21
I don't discount the possibility that the problem is related to some combination of my power supply, or the z170 chipset in general, etc. But I'm not about to buy a replacement power supply in the hope that it will fix the problem when there is no reason to expect it will.
I don't know if you have access to any good computer stores nearby, but in my experience shopping at the local MicroCenter is invaluable when building a new PC. They have a no-fuss return policy and I can usually exchange parts to try out with no risk (and most importantly, no RMAs or shipping costs & delays).
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,462
361
136
#22
I don't know if you have access to any good computer stores nearby, but in my experience shopping at the local MicroCenter is invaluable when building a new PC. They have a no-fuss return policy and I can usually exchange parts to try out with no risk (and most importantly, no RMAs or shipping costs & delays).
That's probably a good idea in this case. There are a lot more out there when Googling that power supply and static noise. It seems it was from 2011, pre-Haswell and Seasonic has only deemed it Haswell-ready instead of certified.

There has been some big changes in CPUs and Intel chipsets since that power supply was released. I almost picked up a Seasonic S12II 520w about two months ago when I came across a release that stated it wasn't even Haswell-ready or certified, and it was released in the same time period.


I don't discount the possibility that the problem is related to some combination of my power supply, or the z170 chipset in general, etc. But I'm not about to buy a replacement power supply in the hope that it will fix the problem when there is no reason to expect it will. The current evidence seems to suggest it is a problem with gigabyte boards in particular.

I have ordered an Asus z170x-pro-gaming board to replace my gigabyte. If this board also has EMI, then that would point to the problem being with something else. And if that is the case, I will probably give up at that point and get an external DAC. If it does not have any EMI problems, well that would point to the problem lying with gigabyte's boards.
I don't think one particular pair of headphones having static or noise is evidence of Gigabyte shipping boards with defective audio. The first board you bought could have had an issue. You didn't try to trouble shoot it by removing hardware that could have caused the issue. You ordered a different board, the UD5 which has pretty solid reviews on all sites, and have the same issue.

If it were me, after I realized I had the same issue on a different board, I would have pulled my video card, tried a different power supply, try it on another outlet, put in an old audio card, and tested different headphones and speakers. If I still had an issue after trying all of that, then I might suspect Gigabyte was doing something wrong. You can't assume just because something worked on an older system it should work on a system that is 3 generations newer than the z77 chipset.

Well good luck to you on your next board.
 
Last edited:

QuantumPion

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2005
6,017
0
76
#23
This is my power supply, it is listed as Haswell Certified: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151111

I don't think one particular pair of headphones having static or noise is evidence of Gigabyte shipping boards with defective audio.
I don't know how to explain this any more plainly. It's not the headphones. I've tested 3 completely different types of headphones, all have the same problem, and all worked fine on my previous motherboard, as well as with other sources such as an mp3 player.

If it were me, after I realized I had the same issue on a different board, I would have pulled my video card, tried a different power supply, try it on another outlet, put in an old audio card, and tested different headphones and speakers. If I still had an issue after trying all of that, then I might suspect Gigabyte was doing something wrong. You can't assume just because something worked on an older system it should work on a system that is 3 generations newer than the z77 chipset.
I don't have a spare video card or power supply to test, that is unfortunately completely unpractical unless I had a strong reason to believe they were the culprits. Which I do not, seeing as how they worked perfectly fine with my previous motherboard, and there are several other people with gigabyte motherboards who have the same problem (I have not been able to find mention of EMI problems with any other mobo brand). They are not ruled out completely of course, it's just too expensive and inconvenient to try out without probable cause. If the ASUS board I ordered also has the same EMI problem, then I'd have more reason to believe the problem wasn't specifically with the motherboard, and that something else was going on.
 
Last edited:

nerp

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 2005
9,805
1
91
#24
Have you screwed around in the BIOS? Spread spectrum sorta stuff?
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,462
361
136
#25
So have you received your new Asus board and verified the Gigabyte boards have defective audio yet?
 


ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS