USB issues when connected to eGPU (Audio clicking, sticky keys, mouse stutter)
Last week I finally got a RTX 3080 and a Mantiz Saturn Pro, but I've had some issues with USB performance on my system while the eGPU is connected. After a week of various troubleshooting, I think I'm one step closer to figuring it out. Though right now I'm kind of stuck figuring out how to remedy the issue. So here's hoping someone might have an idea of what to do.
I've got a rather simple setup, consisting of my laptop, eGPU and some peripherals:
- Dell XPS 9500
- i7-10750H, 32GB RAM, GTX 1650 Ti
- Windows 10 Pro (version 20H2, build 19042.630)
- Mantiz Saturn Pro
- ASUS TUF RTX 3080
- Keyboard - connected via USB
- Gaming mouse - connected via USB
- Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Soundcard - connected via USB
Whenever I've got my eGPU connected, I randomly get stuttering on all USB connections. This is mostly noticed with my USB audio device, which creates clicking sounds. This clicking sounded awfully lot like the buffer wasn't getting enough data in time. As for the rest of the devices: the mouse randomly stops responding for a few ms, and the keyboard sometimes get a sticky key (i.e. the release of the key wasn't registered)
However, the issue hasn't been as pronounced while ingame, which I thought was strange. But when loading levels (i.e. a map in CoD Cold War) the issue gets a real spike (loads of audio clicking).
What I think the issue is
While checking various metrics, I noticed that the GPU often was operating at PCIe 1.1 4x while on the desktop (which is where the issue is most pronounced, outside of loading screens). I found that while moving my mouse over UI elements that use the GPU for rendering, the issue happened. Seeing that I've seen that downgrading the PCIe link is a power saving measure, I tried to force it to use 3.0 by using the "render test" in GPU-Z. And amazingly, this caused the issues to disappear while on the desktop. The issue did however persist while loading levels in game, but I'm thinking that this is due to the render being suspended to the background (I might be wrong here tho).
So, with that being said: My current theory is that the switching between PCIe versions for the GPU is causing the issue
My current problem
Now, this is where I've become stuck and need some help: I have no idea how I could try to force the GPU to stay on PCIe 3.0 outside of games to properly test this theory.
I've tried setting the PCI Express power saving options in advanced power settings to off, but that didn't seem to do anything. I've also looked through various settings in the BIOS, but haven't seen anything there either.
Other things I've tried
These are the things, not related to my current theory, that I've tried without any luck. These are tips scattered around here, and on reddit. This includes:
- Plugging the USB devices directly to the laptop (tried every available port)
- Disabled both the iGPU and dGPU
- Update all drivers
I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction! Thanks for any answer 😀
Have you tried going into nvidia control panel under "Manage 3d Setting" and adjusting "Power Management Mode" to max? I was getting some stability issues before doing this on my RTX 2060 Super and from my readings the 30 series also experience issues with this set to anything but max as well.
Thanks! I've now set the power management mode to "Prefeer maximum power", which seems to have fixed the places where it happened in some programs (i.e. hovering over clickable elements in HWInfo64), and is keeping the bus consistently at PCIe 3.0 4x. But it is still happening elsewhere :/
A few more cases where it happens, to give some more info:
- It happens when playing back 50 FPS video on YouTube with the AV1 codec (it's really bad here). Once I scroll away from the video (but it is still playing), the issue is gone again. It does however not have any problems with VP9 at the same framerate.
- It happens when mousing over elements in Spotify when hardware acceleration is turned on, but not when it is turned off.
- Loading levels in Call of Duty Cold War
EDIT: It seems like the YouTube issue is a general issue for AV1 on high quality.
so I encountered the same issue in last CODMW. In game, it'd just stop, and turns out keyboard is typing the same key over and over...so I removed the keyboard, the game ran smoothly. But now in CODCW, same as you. the loading screen will just 'reset' my mouse to center of the screen, and it won't move until I unplug&plug back in the mouse...
Sounds like your issue is worse than mine :/ I've read in a few threads that there is a issue when connecting USB devices directly to some previous gen enclosures (like the Venus and Razer Core X 1st gen), maybe that is your issue?
I've tried to do some more diagnostics and tried to see if anyone else were having the same problem on other forums, but no luck so far.
With 60 FPS on higher than 1080p resolution on YouTube I've been experiencing a lot of stutter and the video stats is showing a lot of dropped frames, so I'm starting to wonder if there is some driver problem or if it's related to the 30XX series of GPUS. The higher bitrate video shouldn't be a problem for the PCIe 3.0 4x link as far as I know (?). I'll try to test with my old GTX 970 to see if there is any problems there during the weekend.
This is my third post on this forum, and I would like to share my experience with my fresh build and its USB issues.
I have got a lenovo m710q with i7 6700T, 16Go RAM, internal 250Go SSD sata booting windows 10 or grub2win, usb HDD booting libreelec by grub2win chainloading, usb wireless keyboard, usb wireless remote, usb BD writer and m.2 PCIE AX200 wifi;BT card and an original lenovo 20V 65W PSU
=> with all this stuff, the computer runs fine
=>just for windows, internet browsing, libreelec playing, the computer seems to run fine, but 1st strange thing, when I unrar (or unzip) a file from the USB HDD to the same destination, I lose my wireless keyboard during all the unraring operation
=>when I have launched Flight Simulator 2020, It was the beginning of a big mess... Randomly lost of internet and/or bluetooth and/or keyboard connections or reducing the transmission range to 1meter (3feet), but in device manager, this devices don't disconnect, no yellow warning. I first try to replace the m.2 AX200 (maybe the pcie bandwith??) by a usb wireless stick=> same problem
=>I have replaced the original 20V 65W PSU of the computer by a noname 20V 90W PSU with a lenovo yellow plug for 20euros => all is now OK, I can fly in 1080p, 60fps and intermediate settings with my plane and my realtime photogrammetry can be updated by internet during the flight
So try to adjust your voltage in your bios if it's possible, or like me, upgrade your computer PSU with a little more of wattage (25Watts were enough for me)
I hope that it could help you (and sorry for my english)
So here I am a few months later, and the problem seems to be gone. Through the past months, I've gone through a few rabbit-holes of settings, and actively updated my XPS 9500.
I don't quite know what fixed it, but I have a strong feeling it might have been a firmware or driver update that did the trick. Especially since I had strange framedrops when decoding video on YouTube (especially videos that used high framerate VP9), that now seem to be gone.
Anyways, here is a list of what I've tried in case any of these things might help anyone else:
- Updating GPU drivers through GeForce Experience
- Updated drivers and firmware of the device with Dell Update
- Set the Power management mode in Manage 3D Settings in Nvidia Control Panel to Prefer Maximum Performance (I'm quite sure that this didn't fix the problem, but might be worth a shot)
- Force PCIe 3.0 through setting RMPcieLinkSpeed in video controls registry.
- Set "Allow Computer to turn of device to save power" in USB Power Management in Device Settings to off
- Turn on Hardware-accelerated GPU Scheduling in Windows
In addition to this, here are some threads that are similar to my issue: