Sounds breaks up with 5.2-STABLE

Gerard Seibert gerard-seibert at
Tue May 25 02:42:20 PDT 2004

On Monday, May 24, 2004 10:59:45 PM freebsd-questions-request at wrote:

|>Date: Mon, 24 May 2004 16:16:52 -0400
|>From: Andrew Kilpatrick <andrew at>
|>Subject: Sounds breaks up with 5.2-STABLE
|>To: freebsd-questions at
|>Message-ID: <200405241615.51890.andrew at>
|>Content-Type: text/plain;  charset="us-ascii"
|>I'm using FreeBSD 5.2-STABLE on my workstation and have just installed
|>a CMedia CMI8738-based sound card. The card has worked well under
|>OpenBSD in the past (even 3 in the same machine!) but with FreeBSD
|>the sound breaks up and is choppy if I do specific things in X like:
|>- opening new windows
|>- dragging a window
|>- scrolling in my browser
|>- holding down a key (like space)
|>It sounds like the buffers are underrunning. Looking at /dev/sndstat with
|>verbose set to 3 reveals a lot of buffer underruns, but it doesn't seem to
|>notice them all. I've tried unsuccessfully setting the hw.snd.pcm0.buffersize
|>variable higher than 16384, but to no avail.
|>My system is a Mini-ITX EPIA 533MHz board with a CMI8738-based
|>card. Top shows lots of CPU idling. I wrote a little program in C to open
|>the sound card and dump stdin to it, so I can see how fast it's consuming
|>buffers and fiddle with the ioctls and stuff, but nothing I do seems to make
|>it work, and writing buffers larger than 16384 makes it play with gaps
|>between buffers.
|>That's what I've tried so far... any help would be greatly appreciated!

********** Reply Separator **********
Tuesday, May 25, 2004 5:33:09 AM

I have been experiencing the same sort of problem using an old Compaq
5140 with an ESS ES1869 (Compag OEM) sound card. It rarely works while
using KDE.

Gerard E. Seibert
gerard-seibert at

The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of
any use to oneself. - Oscar Wilde

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