3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 8, 2016 8:09 PM by ajax

    R9 290X HDMI Audio randomly stops working


      Ever since I started using audio over HDMI on my R9 290X (So since early February this year), the audio just cuts out at seemingly random intervals.

      Is this a known issue, are there any workarounds? Is this just a hardware fault on my R9 290X and I should have reported this at once and not just "lived with it" until I know find my self 4 months outside of the warranty?


      My setup:
      ASUS Z87-Deluxei7 4770k

      MSI R9 290X Lightning

      2 Monitors (1xDP 1xHDMI) + Denon AVR-X2200W (HDMI) <- This is where I'm using audio over HDMI

      Windows 10, with all updates from February until this day.

      All AMD drivers released this year.


      When ever I am playing audio, that outputs over the HDMI (to my Denon), the audio, at seemingly random times, cuts out.
      It has happend when playing music in Spotify, watching YouTube videos in Chrome, playing games and watching movies in Kodi. It happens using both passthrough, and not, WASAPI or Direct Sound.


      When using Kodi, the workaround was to just pause and resume the movie, now I have to stop (this could be a behaviour change in Kodi) and then start playback again, for playing games/Spotify/YouTube etc. the workaround will be disabling/enabling audio device, rebooting PC or switching source back and forth on my Denon.



      So, what triggers it?
      I'm not sure, the only scenario I do frequently is watching movies/TV-shows in Kodi, and I can't see any pattern. I can watch a whole 2.5 hour movie, without it happening once. I can watch the same movie again another day, and have it happen 5 times within the first half hour (making myself going quite crazy).
      I can watch a TV show, several episode in a row, where during one episode it can happen 10-20 times (yes, that often), and the next one just happen 1 or 2 times (maybe not at all).


      Sometimes it seems like a reboot can "calm it down" a bit, if it's happening really often, but it won't completely stop, ever.


      When it first happened I didn't care that much about it, it was just once in a while, and since a pause/resume fixed it when using Kodi, it was quick to fix as well.
      I also thought a new HDMI could fix it, which it didn't. Then I just put it off as I was planing to buy a new graphicscard soon anyway, but the wait for Vega has been long, and I've started to go really crazy with this issue.

        • Re: R9 290X HDMI Audio randomly stops working

          This might actually in the end just be a cable issue. I did throw that theory away months ago when I bought a completely new cable, and the issue persistet. But when trying to use this cable last night for my laptop, I had problem getting any picture at all, and what I observed on my AVR is that the signal dropped frequently.
          So, the audio issue might've been caused by short signal losses, caused by damaged cable. I will not be able to verify this for a while yet, for now I have my laptop connected with an other cable (which is way to short to reach my desktop), and that seems to be working fine, using the same port on the AVR. But needs more testing through the weekend, then I'll probably move my desktop into the living room just to with the short cable.

            • Re: R9 290X HDMI Audio randomly stops working

              That's the first thing that popped into my head when reading your post headline: cable. Hope it does turn out to be a simple fix like that.

              • Re: R9 290X HDMI Audio randomly stops working

                99% sure it's NOT your cable. it's an issue with AMD drivers that haven't been address from some years already. AMD has been so incompetent on solving this simple issue for at least a year (probably many more) that just for that my next card will be an NVIDIA (too bad I haven't got the money).

                The problem seems to be with the varying clock speeds of your gpu. Some people have been able to get their cards to never go below 500 Mhz and claim to have solved the issue, but I haven't been able to set a minimum clock speed on mine (see link).


                So I will give you 2 painful workarounds so you can at least make sure I'm right and also be able to reliably listen to music on that great sound system:

                1. download and install gpuz software, open it and start a rendering test (a question mark next to "Bus Interface". That will max out your card and it will also keep the clock speeds at a constant maximum.

                Drawback: will consume a lot of energy and make the fans go full speed because of gpu heating a lot.

                2. Download and install MSI Afterburner, open it and lower core clock speed to minimum (around 525 Mhz in my case), apply settings, close program and open again. This time it should let you lower the clock speed even further, I set it to the minimum again (around 265 Mhz), apply settings. Now you will have your maximum clock speed set to the graphics card minimum which should be 300 Mhz. Meaning if in idle state, gpu will be at min setting of 300, if you max out the gpu, it will go to the max setting of (the same) 300 Mhz.

                Pros: Won't let your gpu heat or consume a lot of energy.

                Will let you listen to music or watch non demanding videos like youtube, anime and similar.

                Cons: More demanding (high bitrate) HD 1080p videos will stutter.

                You have to do this very annoying steps every time you start your computer and want to listen to music.


                This issue has been around for a very long while, and it's very difficult to find information online since not many people use audio over HDMI from their PCs, but still I am sure AMD is aware and has been aware of this issue for many years and still haven't solved this simple issue. BTW I lost the forum thread that lead me to the real cause I'm telling you, but it was at least 1 year old, the guy explained very well the issue (something to do with audio on 2D) and he also wrote he had contacted AMD custumer service, tell them about this issue and ask for a fix. As you can see, so far, nothing.


                Hope this answer your question, and if you find a way to permanently fix this, please, please, pretty please, let me know (leoajax at yahoo.com)

                Also, you can take a look at this (link)