Regards: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 deferred procedure call spikes.
* Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 revision 2.1, BIOS version F12
* Intel Q9450 2.66GHz quad w/ Zalman CNPS9700 HS & fan
* 2x1GB Corsair DDR2 PC6400 CAS4 RAM
* 512MB MSI NX8800GT graphics
* 2x500GB WD Caviar RE2 SATA-II HDs
* Mitusmi FDD & 7-in-1 card reader
* Samsung SH-S203P DVD+/-RW
* Corsair 520W HX PSU
I bought the above mobo, RAM, hard-drives, CPU HS and fan, DVD-rewriter, and FDD from Scan last week. (The graphics card, PSU, and CPU were purchased elsewhere).
I'm a musician/engineer attempting to use the above computer configuration for high performance low-latency music studio recording, but I'm suffering from unduly large and regular Deferred Procedure Call spikes on the machine.
I am using the free DPC monitor utility from Thesycon to monitor the system, which anyone can download here: DPC Latency Checker
Below is an average screengrab of the system merely idling, which clearly displays the spikes. The DPC latencies oscillate wildly between 5 microseconds up to 1500 microseconds.
In comparison here's an associate's P5K motherboard made by ASUS, which shows what it should be like:
I have attempted to narrow the suspect down by disabling all non-critical devices on the motherboard such as ethernet/LAN, CD/DVD and Floppy Disk components from within Device Manager, and every non-critical Service, as well as even disabling System.ini and Win.ini at startup, to no avail. I've even gone as far as disabling all USB and IEEE1394 (firewire) devices, and using a PS/2 mouse and keyboard instead, again to no avail.
It occurs even right after a completely clean installation of Windows, before even installing chipset drivers, graphics, etc.
Looking at other public forums, such as Tom's Hardware and the Cakewalk Sonar music sequencer forums it appears I'm not alone with the Gigabyte motherboard issue:
Audio latency problem with P35-DS3R
Gigabyte P35 motherboards and DPC
... shows many others with the identical problem (even with the same off-beat, 'staircase' type pattern in the DPC monitor window) with BIOS versions F6 and thereafter.
Apparently BIOS versions before F6 worked well, without any DPC spikes. However, my Intel Q9450 Yorkfield CPU requires BIOS version F9 or above, so downgrading to BIOS version F5 or below is NOT an option for me.
I received the motherboard last thursday, so the 7-working-day RMA period is almost up (this Friday). I have contacted Gigabyte but haven't received anything back from them yet.
Not sure what to do. I hope Gigabyte acknowledge the problem and work to fix the BIOS issue that's creating the DPC spikes, but at the same time I have only 2 days left of the 7-day RMA period.
The main reason I picked the Gigabyte board is because, unlike the ASUS boards, it has native onboard Texas Instruments firewire chipset (for maximum compatibility with my Motu Traveler 20-in 22-out firewire soundcard), great clocking features, excellent connectivity (12 USB, 3 firewire), and good expansion options (PCI-E slots, Sata channels, etc.).
My original Sound-On-Sound forum post