Question about Dell Dimension 5150 (DIM515MIN) PC Desktop

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Computer has a problem which causes a 'hiss' through speakers.

I've swapped out the sound card for a new one - no effect.
I've tried different speakers - no effect.
I've replaced all the cabling and checked the power cables and their arrangement - no effect.

I plugged the speakers into a seperated output (my ipod) and the sound was great! No Hiss!

So what do you guys think it could be?

Posted by on

  • fogarin Dec 03, 2008

    Thanks, but its a hardware problem as described above - software doesn't cause electrical noise.



    Anyone else?

  • fogarin Dec 20, 2008

    Yeh it appears to have fixed the hiss completely!



    Always the last thing you try!



    fricken eh'



    Cheers anyways,



    fogarin

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First uninstall your audio manager . install it after system restarting

Posted on Dec 03, 2008

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"Noise", as used in this document, is a general term referring to any sound a speaker system makes that is not part of the original source material. There are many different types and sources of noise, each with its own solution. Below is an explanation of the common types of noise, what causes them, and how to minimize their occurrence.
Hum or Buzz
There are four common causes of humming and buzzing:
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  3. High-power devices If you are using other high powered devices on the same electrical circuit, they may be causing hum or buzz. If so, discontinue their use while you are using your speaker system. Examples of such devices include microwave ovens, halogen lamps, power tools, etc. Also note that high-power devices with dimmer switches (such as halogen torchiere lamps) will cause an especially pronounced buzzing effect. To minimize hum or buzz, make sure that the dimmer switch on these products is either all the way on or off.
  4. Electric Polarity In many countries, the US being one, the electrical power grid is polarized. In these countries, the power plugs are designed so they can only be inserted into the wall socket in a single direction. For example, in the US one of the plug blades is larger than the other. To avoid humming and buzzing, both your computer and speaker system must be properly plugged into polarized outlets. If your wall outlets do not have polarized plugs, as in the case of many older homes, and you are using adapters to plug these power cords into the wall, it is possible that the polarity of either your computer or your speaker system is reversed. In many other countries, such as most of the European continent, wall sockets are not polarized at all - making it even more difficult to properly match the computer and speaker system. To solve the problem you will need to remove the power plug from the wall outlet, rotate the plug 180°, and re-insert it into the wall. Try this for your speaker system power cord, your computer power cord, or both. You should be able to find a combination that will eliminate the humming and buzzing.
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There are three main causes of pops and clicks:
  1. Sound Card Many pops and clicks are created by the sound card. There are two common causes: sound card quality and older or mismatched drivers. If the overall volume level of the pops and clicks goes up and down as you change the volume on the speaker system, the noise is being generated by your sound card. Lower quality sound cards don't include the necessary circuitry to cleanly remove noise from the sound output. Logitech's higher-powered systems, such as the Z-560 and Z-680, are also sensitive to the overall quality level of the sound card. If you are using an older or lower quality sound card, we suggest upgrading your sound card. The other primary cause is older or mismatched drivers. Make sure you are using the latest drivers for your sound card.
  2. Multi-tasking If you are running more than one program on your computer that accesses the sound system at the same time, small pops and clicks can be common. This is a function of your computer and/or sound card. A common example is using a program that generates occasional audio feedback (such as beeps or other sound effects) while listening to an MP3 track in the background. The solution is to turn off audio feedback in the first application so that the background MP3 track is uninterrupted.
  3. Interrupts in the Digital Bitstream On digital systems, such as the Z-680, it is normal to hear a very faint "tick" when you switch between inputs (by pressing the input button). You may also hear louder 'clicks' or 'pops' on a device such as a standalone DVD player or a sound card if it is plugged into one of the digital inputs. On some systems, this noise may occur when skipping tracks, switching audio streams (for example, from Dolby Digital to DTS), or navigating a DVD menu. The clicks and pops occur because the device is sending out an interrupted digital data stream. This behavior generally occurs with older software and older players, but is uncommon on most modern equipment. The Z-680 has been extensively tested with the latest sound cards, software DVD players, and standalone DVD and CD players. If you experience extensive popping and clicking, we suggest upgrading to the latest version of your software DVD player or, if using a stand alone device, trying a different speaker model. If you need more assistance with this issue, please contact Customer Support.
Stutter
A stuttering sound track is an indication of either insufficient or conflicting computer resources. Check to make sure that your computer has sufficient processor power and memory to handle the applications you are running, especially if you are using a software DVD player. Defragmenting your hard drive may also help. If you are sure you have sufficient resources, check to make sure that you don't have any conflicting IRQ or DMA channels.
We have also seen some software DVD player/sound card combinations that cannot properly output a Dolby Digital or DTS signal through the sound card's S/PDIF digital connector. (S/PDIF is a generic term for either coax or optical digital connections.) The result, when using a Z-680 hooked up to a S/PDIF connector, is a stuttering soundtrack. As mentioned, this stuttering is caused by the computer, not the Z-680 speakers. Switching the software DVD player's sound output to the 5.1 analog outputs will generally solve this problem.
Hiss
All high-powered amplification devices - everything from multimedia systems to home theater systems to movie theater sound systems -- generate some level of background noise, or hiss. In addition, low quality sound cards with poor signal-to-noise ratios can generate a significant amount of steady hiss that is reproduced on the speakers. Under normal conditions at a normal listening distance, the hiss coming from the sound system should not be noticeable. In a very quiet room, or if you place your ear very close to the speaker, you may hear a very low level hiss. This is normal, but should be completely masked by normal music and game sounds.
If you find that hiss is noticeable, it is likely that the speakers are too close to your listening position. If the speakers are too close, you will not obtain the best imaging of the sound and you risk damage to your hearing when the system is playing at full power levels. Try moving the speakers further away from your normal listening position. We recommend at least 18" for the moderately-powered systems (such as Z-340, Z-540, and Z-640) and at least 30" for higher-powered systems (such as the Z-560 and Z-680).
Also, note that the satellites in most Logitech speaker products are designed to be wall-mounted. Wall mounting the speakers provides two benefits: 1) it moves the of the satellites further away from your listening position, making any hiss less noticeable and 2) it moves all of the satellites further away from each other, providing better channel separation and surround sound spatialization.

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