Sound Issues on Mac 10.8.2

90 Orc Death Knight
4230
Greetings!

So I have an iMac 21.5" 3.06Ghz Intel Core i3 with 4GB of RAM and an ATI Radeon HD 4670 (that's 256MB). Just laying the basics. Anyway, after I play the game for an extended amount of time, the sound will get really choppy. It sounds like someone is constantly turning the mute button on and off rapidly. And when I say extended amount of time, I mean it can happen as soon as 30 minutes of game time.

I've tried doing everything on the Support page that includes issues with the sound on Mac's - doesn't work

I've tried quitting the game and reloading it - doesn't work.

I've tried adjusting the sound quality (currently on low) - doesn't work.

I've tried adjusting graphics settings (currently on low) - doesn't work

Edit: And no, my iMac works perfectly fine outside of WoW. The sound doesn't have any issues while playing iTunes or playing another game, for that matter. Also, my iMac does not heat up. I've monitored the CPU and GPU temperature before, during, and after gameplay and everything is working at optimal level.

The only thing that seems to work, albeit only temporarily, is restarting my iMac. Now, to be forced to restart my computer every 30 minutes can be a hassle, and I don't want to do that. I shouldn't be forced to do that, actually.

I was wondering if anyone else is having this issue and if you were able to get it resolved. If so, please let me know what you did so I can stop having sound issues. It's not a game breaker, but it definitely is annoying.

Thanks in advance!

Edit for additional information.
Edited by Gurggz on 2/11/2013 1:55 PM PST
Reply Quote
- Technical Support
90 Human Priest
6220
Gurggz, do you have any USB audio peripherals connected and/or are you sleeping the computer at any point?

________________________________________________
Official Mac Tech Support Forum Cookie™ (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Guaranteed tasty; Potentially volatile when dipped in General Forums Syrup®
Caution: This cookie bites back.
Reply Quote
90 Orc Death Knight
4230
Gurggz, do you have any USB audio peripherals connected and/or are you sleeping the computer at any point?

________________________________________________
Official Mac Tech Support Forum Cookie™ (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Guaranteed tasty; Potentially volatile when dipped in General Forums Syrup®
Caution: This cookie bites back.


Not at all. I have the sound coming directly from the built-in speakers. The only thing I have connected to the USB is a wireless mouse. I've tried unplugging the mouse to see if that was the cause of the sound getting choppy, but sadly it didn't solve anything.

Also, I take real good care of my iMac. I never let it sleep because when I'm done using it, I shut it down.

Edit for typo
Edited by Gurggz on 2/11/2013 8:44 PM PST
Reply Quote
- Technical Support
90 Human Priest
6220
Since the problem exists only in WoW, you may have corrupt files. Could you try the following troubleshooting steps and see if it clears things up? It will take some time, but it is worth a shot.

Delete the following files/folders:

/Users/Shared/Battle.net/Agent/Agent.db
/Users/Shared/Blizzard/Battle.net
/Users/Shared/Blizzard/Battle.net.temp (if present)
/World of Warcraft/WoW.mfil
/World of Warcraft/Data/Cache

Once done deleting those files, make sure all permissions are set properly in World of Warcraft's main folder by doing the following:

1) Get Info (in the Finder) on the World of Warcraft folder.

2) Click the padlock icon and enter your password to authenticate yourself.

3) For the Everyone group, set it to Read and Write.

4) Click the cogwheel icon and select Apply to enclosed items. Select OK to confirm your action.

5) Close the Get Info Window.

6) Repeat steps #1-5 on the /Users/Shared/Battle.net folder.

Now run the WoW Launcher. Let WoW rebuild its cache. It can take between 15-60 minutes depending on the computer and drive being used. Do not click Play until the Launcher window shows the message "Game is up to date", indicating that WoW has fully patched and/or rebuilt its cache.

The cache is made up primarily of audio and video files, mostly audio, so this is the first thing I'd try when having audio problems like the one you're having now.

________________________________________________
Official Mac Tech Support Forum Cookie™ (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Guaranteed tasty; Potentially volatile when dipped in General Forums Syrup®
Caution: This cookie bites back.
Reply Quote
90 Undead Warlock
4200
i thought it was only mine with the choppy audio. Not always but it happens now and then...
Reply Quote
90 Orc Death Knight
4230
Since the problem exists only in WoW, you may have corrupt files. Could you try the following troubleshooting steps and see if it clears things up? It will take some time, but it is worth a shot.

Delete the following files/folders:

/Users/Shared/Battle.net/Agent/Agent.db
/Users/Shared/Blizzard/Battle.net
/Users/Shared/Blizzard/Battle.net.temp (if present)
/World of Warcraft/WoW.mfil
/World of Warcraft/Data/Cache

Once done deleting those files, make sure all permissions are set properly in World of Warcraft's main folder by doing the following:

1) Get Info (in the Finder) on the World of Warcraft folder.

2) Click the padlock icon and enter your password to authenticate yourself.

3) For the Everyone group, set it to Read and Write.

4) Click the cogwheel icon and select Apply to enclosed items. Select OK to confirm your action.

5) Close the Get Info Window.

6) Repeat steps #1-5 on the /Users/Shared/Battle.net folder.

Now run the WoW Launcher. Let WoW rebuild its cache. It can take between 15-60 minutes depending on the computer and drive being used. Do not click Play until the Launcher window shows the message "Game is up to date", indicating that WoW has fully patched and/or rebuilt its cache.

The cache is made up primarily of audio and video files, mostly audio, so this is the first thing I'd try when having audio problems like the one you're having now.

________________________________________________
Official Mac Tech Support Forum Cookie™ (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Guaranteed tasty; Potentially volatile when dipped in General Forums Syrup®
Caution: This cookie bites back.


I'm in the process of doing everything you've stated. I'll let you know how it goes once I'm done.
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Paladin
4250
Since the problem exists only in WoW, you may have corrupt files. Could you try the following troubleshooting steps and see if it clears things up? It will take some time, but it is worth a shot.

Delete the following files/folders:

/Users/Shared/Battle.net/Agent/Agent.db
/Users/Shared/Blizzard/Battle.net
/Users/Shared/Blizzard/Battle.net.temp (if present)
/World of Warcraft/WoW.mfil
/World of Warcraft/Data/Cache

Once done deleting those files, make sure all permissions are set properly in World of Warcraft's main folder by doing the following:

1) Get Info (in the Finder) on the World of Warcraft folder.

2) Click the padlock icon and enter your password to authenticate yourself.

3) For the Everyone group, set it to Read and Write.

4) Click the cogwheel icon and select Apply to enclosed items. Select OK to confirm your action.

5) Close the Get Info Window.

6) Repeat steps #1-5 on the /Users/Shared/Battle.net folder.

Now run the WoW Launcher. Let WoW rebuild its cache. It can take between 15-60 minutes depending on the computer and drive being used. Do not click Play until the Launcher window shows the message "Game is up to date", indicating that WoW has fully patched and/or rebuilt its cache.

The cache is made up primarily of audio and video files, mostly audio, so this is the first thing I'd try when having audio problems like the one you're having now.

________________________________________________
Official Mac Tech Support Forum Cookie™ (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Guaranteed tasty; Potentially volatile when dipped in General Forums Syrup®
Caution: This cookie bites back.


Thanks for this post Tiapriestess.

I did everything you've listed and I'm afraid to report that the sound skipping issue is still there. I also tried restarting in recovery mode to fix permissions, but it didn't help either.

My disc is encrypted with Firevault. Would that make a difference?
Reply Quote
90 Orc Death Knight
4230
Since the problem exists only in WoW, you may have corrupt files. Could you try the following troubleshooting steps and see if it clears things up? It will take some time, but it is worth a shot.

Delete the following files/folders:

/Users/Shared/Battle.net/Agent/Agent.db
/Users/Shared/Blizzard/Battle.net
/Users/Shared/Blizzard/Battle.net.temp (if present)
/World of Warcraft/WoW.mfil
/World of Warcraft/Data/Cache

Once done deleting those files, make sure all permissions are set properly in World of Warcraft's main folder by doing the following:

1) Get Info (in the Finder) on the World of Warcraft folder.

2) Click the padlock icon and enter your password to authenticate yourself.

3) For the Everyone group, set it to Read and Write.

4) Click the cogwheel icon and select Apply to enclosed items. Select OK to confirm your action.

5) Close the Get Info Window.

6) Repeat steps #1-5 on the /Users/Shared/Battle.net folder.

Now run the WoW Launcher. Let WoW rebuild its cache. It can take between 15-60 minutes depending on the computer and drive being used. Do not click Play until the Launcher window shows the message "Game is up to date", indicating that WoW has fully patched and/or rebuilt its cache.

The cache is made up primarily of audio and video files, mostly audio, so this is the first thing I'd try when having audio problems like the one you're having now.

________________________________________________
Official Mac Tech Support Forum Cookie™ (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Guaranteed tasty; Potentially volatile when dipped in General Forums Syrup®
Caution: This cookie bites back.


So I did everything you instructed, and the problem persists. Can you think of anything else that could cause the sound to do that?
Reply Quote
- Technical Support
90 Human Priest
6220
Hrm. It is definitely recommended not to use FireVault encryption for Blizzard games. They've already got enough permissions issues that crop up from time to time. Ideally you could run your system from FileVault and have a separate partition for your games. It is possible that FV is the cause of the problem, but as I do not run it (nor will I ever after being burned by it three times in a row), I cannot verify that it is the problem.

Gurggz, I don't suppose you could list your full system specs could you? I know you laid out the basics in the first post, but I'm looking to try to glean all the info I can in order to find a cause for your problem.

________________________________________________
Official Mac Tech Support Forum Cookie™ (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Guaranteed tasty; Potentially volatile when dipped in General Forums Syrup®
Caution: This cookie bites back.
Reply Quote
90 Orc Death Knight
4230
Hrm. It is definitely recommended not to use FireVault encryption for Blizzard games. They've already got enough permissions issues that crop up from time to time. Ideally you could run your system from FileVault and have a separate partition for your games. It is possible that FV is the cause of the problem, but as I do not run it (nor will I ever after being burned by it three times in a row), I cannot verify that it is the problem.

Gurggz, I don't suppose you could list your full system specs could you? I know you laid out the basics in the first post, but I'm looking to try to glean all the info I can in order to find a cause for your problem.

________________________________________________
Official Mac Tech Support Forum Cookie™ (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Guaranteed tasty; Potentially volatile when dipped in General Forums Syrup®
Caution: This cookie bites back.


Sure thing. Let me know if you need additional information.

Hardware

Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier: iMac11,2
Processor Name: Intel Core i3
Processor Speed: 3.06 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 2
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 4 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Processor Interconnect Speed: 5.86 GT/s
Boot ROM Version: IM112.0057.B01
SMC Version (system): 1.64f5
Serial Number (system):
Hardware UUID:

Audio

Devices:

Built-in Microphone:

Default Input Device: Yes
Input Channels: 2
Manufacturer: Apple Inc.
Current SampleRate: 44100
Transport: Built-in

Built-in Input:

Input Channels: 2
Manufacturer: Apple Inc.
Current SampleRate: 44100
Transport: Built-in

Built-in Output:

Default Output Device: Yes
Default System Output Device: Yes
Manufacturer: Apple Inc.
Output Channels: 2
Current SampleRate: 44100
Transport: Built-in

Graphics/Displays

ATI Radeon HD 4670:

Chipset Model: ATI Radeon HD 4670
Type: GPU
Bus: PCIe
PCIe Lane Width: x16
VRAM (Total): 256 MB
Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
Device ID: 0x9488
Revision ID: 0x0000
ROM Revision: 113-B8030H-114
EFI Driver Version: 01.00.403
Displays:
iMac:
Display Type: LCD
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Built-In: Yes
Connection Type: DisplayPort
Reply Quote
- Technical Support
90 Human Priest
6220
Hrm. I kind of suspected your RAM was just barely at the minimum.

Are you using the 32-bit client or the 64-bit client? The 32-bit client can function for relatively long periods in 4 GB RAM, but the 64-bit client cannot. That client needs a minimum of 6 GB RAM to run in a stable manner without hitting pageouts (swap).

The next time you try to run WoW and encounter the sound issue, could you pop out and open Activity Monitor and check the Page Outs and Swap Used fields in the System Memory tab? I suspect you're getting hits during your play, which would most definitely account for sound skips (and also any stop and go FPS issues you may or may not be having).

________________________________________________
Official Mac Tech Support Forum Cookie™ (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Guaranteed tasty; Potentially volatile when dipped in General Forums Syrup®
Caution: This cookie bites back.
Reply Quote
90 Orc Death Knight
4230
Hrm. I kind of suspected your RAM was just barely at the minimum.

Are you using the 32-bit client or the 64-bit client? The 32-bit client can function for relatively long periods in 4 GB RAM, but the 64-bit client cannot. That client needs a minimum of 6 GB RAM to run in a stable manner without hitting pageouts (swap).

The next time you try to run WoW and encounter the sound issue, could you pop out and open Activity Monitor and check the Page Outs and Swap Used fields in the System Memory tab? I suspect you're getting hits during your play, which would most definitely account for sound skips (and also any stop and go FPS issues you may or may not be having).

________________________________________________
Official Mac Tech Support Forum Cookie™ (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Guaranteed tasty; Potentially volatile when dipped in General Forums Syrup®
Caution: This cookie bites back.


Tiapriestess,

Thanks for the quick reply! I'll definitely check it out tomorrow, seeing as how it's late and I work early tomorrow. Once I encounter the issue, I will perform the steps you've noted and reply ASAP.

Thanks again! You're help and commitment is truly appreciated!

Edit: I just checked. I am running the WoW 32-bit client. Again, I will check the Page Outs and Swap Used tomorrow.

Edit for additional information.
Edited by Gurggz on 2/13/2013 8:28 PM PST
Reply Quote
90 Orc Death Knight
4230
Hrm. I kind of suspected your RAM was just barely at the minimum.

Are you using the 32-bit client or the 64-bit client? The 32-bit client can function for relatively long periods in 4 GB RAM, but the 64-bit client cannot. That client needs a minimum of 6 GB RAM to run in a stable manner without hitting pageouts (swap).

The next time you try to run WoW and encounter the sound issue, could you pop out and open Activity Monitor and check the Page Outs and Swap Used fields in the System Memory tab? I suspect you're getting hits during your play, which would most definitely account for sound skips (and also any stop and go FPS issues you may or may not be having).

________________________________________________
Official Mac Tech Support Forum Cookie™ (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Guaranteed tasty; Potentially volatile when dipped in General Forums Syrup®
Caution: This cookie bites back.


Okay so I checked the Activity Monitor as soon as the problem occurred, and here's what it says under System Memory:

Free: 790 MB +/-
Wired: 487 MB +/-
Active: 1.7 GB +/-
Inactive: 1.04 GB +/-
Used: 3.22 GB +/-

VM Size: 216.03 GB +/-
Page ins: 284.6 MB +/- (0 bytes/sec) (sometimes it's at 4 kilobytes/sec)
Page outs: 0 bytes (0 bytes/sec)
Swap used: 2.8 MB

If you need additional information, please let me know. Thanks again!

Edit: So after playing the game for over two hours, here's what happens.

Free: 50.1 MB +/-
Wired: 480 MB +/-
Active: 1.75 GB +/-
Inactive: 1.71 GB +/-
Used: 3.93 GB +/-

VM Size: 199.95 GB +/-
Page ins: 313.6 MB (0 bytes/sec) (sometimes hits 10 kilobytes/sec)
Page outs: 2.3 MB (0 bytes/sec)
Swap used: 14.6 MB

Edit for additional information.
Edited by Gurggz on 2/14/2013 3:50 PM PST
Reply Quote
- Technical Support
90 Human Priest
6220
OK, so it looks like you're hitting swap, but only very rarely, which is actually quite good for bare minimum RAM specs.

So now I have to see what else might be causing the skipping. Usually a cache wipe and rebuild (which you did already) fixes those. Does your video stutter during the sound skips, or is it just the sound skipping while the video stays fine?

________________________________________________
Official Mac Tech Support Forum Cookie™ (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Guaranteed tasty; Potentially volatile when dipped in General Forums Syrup®
Caution: This cookie bites back.
Reply Quote
90 Orc Death Knight
4230
OK, so it looks like you're hitting swap, but only very rarely, which is actually quite good for bare minimum RAM specs.

So now I have to see what else might be causing the skipping. Usually a cache wipe and rebuild (which you did already) fixes those. Does your video stutter during the sound skips, or is it just the sound skipping while the video stays fine?

________________________________________________
Official Mac Tech Support Forum Cookie™ (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Guaranteed tasty; Potentially volatile when dipped in General Forums Syrup®
Caution: This cookie bites back.


It's just the sound that skips/stutters. The video is completely fine. Usually what I'll do is I'll /cheer and I can hear my char stuttering.
Reply Quote
- Technical Support
90 Human Priest
6220
OK. Can you open Audio MIDI Setup and tell me what your internal speakers and output jacks are set to in terms of frequency (44.1 KHz, 48.0 KHz, 96 Khz, etc)? Also try lowering, if you haven't already, the number of channels for the sound. Your iMac should be able to handle 64 easily, but there may be an issue going on somewhere in there. You can safely uncheck the "Use Hardware" checkbox - it does nothing on Macs as none of the Macs made have hardware DSPs.

________________________________________________
Official Mac Tech Support Forum Cookie™ (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Guaranteed tasty; Potentially volatile when dipped in General Forums Syrup®
Caution: This cookie bites back.
Reply Quote
90 Orc Death Knight
4230
OK. Can you open Audio MIDI Setup and tell me what your internal speakers and output jacks are set to in terms of frequency (44.1 KHz, 48.0 KHz, 96 Khz, etc)? Also try lowering, if you haven't already, the number of channels for the sound. Your iMac should be able to handle 64 easily, but there may be an issue going on somewhere in there. You can safely uncheck the "Use Hardware" checkbox - it does nothing on Macs as none of the Macs made have hardware DSPs.

________________________________________________
Official Mac Tech Support Forum Cookie™ (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Guaranteed tasty; Potentially volatile when dipped in General Forums Syrup®
Caution: This cookie bites back.


In the Audio MIDI Setup, the format is currently at 44.1 KHz, and the tab next to it is at 2ch-24-bit integer.

In WoW, I currently have the Sound Channels at Low and Use Hardware was already unchecked.
Reply Quote
MVP - Technical Support
90 Human Warrior
18100
You may also want to exclude entire wow folder from time machine backups, as well as spotlight indexing. Wow thrashes and caches considerably and any kind of function that has a compulsive need to update files when they are modified will burden itself heavily on wow folder

Do systems reduce when you up number of sound channels? I know there was a similar bug with wow during 4.x where lava or other very particular sound clips caused a leak and eventually very much lead to this bug. It was VERY common on nefarian or ragnaros after enough wipes (the lava effect sound would have to loop for about 1-2 hours before the effect became very apparent).

Do you hear any looping sounds prior to issue? maybe the made portal/nether tempest bug looping or the dragon turtle mount sound looping? I'm not even confident the lava loop bug was ever fixed, just stopped being an issue as that content became irrelevant.
Reply Quote
- Technical Support
90 Human Priest
6220
Well, this is starting to suck (for both of us). I'm running out of ideas to solve this. Even with severe fragmentation on a platter based HD, the sound shouldn't suffer like this.

Hrm....it just dawned on me that the WoW game expands its cache as files are needed, meaning you won't see cache increase in size until you hit a file that the game needs and it converts it into the cache (this is something I wish they'd preconfigure so "cache" wasn't even needed). However, Spotlight might be causing some issues for you.

Could you try moving the disk WoW is on, or at least the World of Warcraft folder to the Privacy window in Spotlight's preference pane? It's a longshot, but it could be that every time WoW does a write to the disk Spotlight is indexing it causing some serious thrashing and thus problems with file reads (skipping sound).

________________________________________________
Official Mac Tech Support Forum Cookie™ (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Guaranteed tasty; Potentially volatile when dipped in General Forums Syrup®
Caution: This cookie bites back.
Reply Quote
90 Orc Death Knight
4230
You may also want to exclude entire wow folder from time machine backups, as well as spotlight indexing. Wow thrashes and caches considerably and any kind of function that has a compulsive need to update files when they are modified will burden itself heavily on wow folder

Do systems reduce when you up number of sound channels? I know there was a similar bug with wow during 4.x where lava or other very particular sound clips caused a leak and eventually very much lead to this bug. It was VERY common on nefarian or ragnaros after enough wipes (the lava effect sound would have to loop for about 1-2 hours before the effect became very apparent).

Do you hear any looping sounds prior to issue? maybe the made portal/nether tempest bug looping or the dragon turtle mount sound looping? I'm not even confident the lava loop bug was ever fixed, just stopped being an issue as that content became irrelevant.


That's something I'll definitely look out for. I do notice, however, that the sound usually gets choppy pretty quickly (maybe within 15 minutes) when I enter Random Battlegrounds. But then again, even when I don't join a Random Battleground, it'll still happen but it perhaps not as fast. I will be on the look out to see if I hear anything looping before the sound gets choppy again.

Well, this is starting to suck (for both of us). I'm running out of ideas to solve this. Even with severe fragmentation on a platter based HD, the sound shouldn't suffer like this.

Hrm....it just dawned on me that the WoW game expands its cache as files are needed, meaning you won't see cache increase in size until you hit a file that the game needs and it converts it into the cache (this is something I wish they'd preconfigure so "cache" wasn't even needed). However, Spotlight might be causing some issues for you.

Could you try moving the disk WoW is on, or at least the World of Warcraft folder to the Privacy window in Spotlight's preference pane? It's a longshot, but it could be that every time WoW does a write to the disk Spotlight is indexing it causing some serious thrashing and thus problems with file reads (skipping sound).

________________________________________________
Official Mac Tech Support Forum Cookie™ (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Guaranteed tasty; Potentially volatile when dipped in General Forums Syrup®
Caution: This cookie bites back.


I've never noticed Spotlight indexing my HDD. I'm not 100% sure if it's even on. I've never seen my Mac index anything, as a matter of fact. I'm sure it does, but I just never seem to catch it. I know it can sometimes take hours or even days to index my HDD, but I have never seen it.

However, I did move the entire World of Warcraft folder into the Privacy tab in the Spotlight Index preferences. I'll give it another go tomorrow and see if the issue persists.
Reply Quote

Please report any Code of Conduct violations, including:

Threats of violence. We take these seriously and will alert the proper authorities.

Posts containing personal information about other players. This includes physical addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and inappropriate photos and/or videos.

Harassing or discriminatory language. This will not be tolerated.

Forums Code of Conduct

Report Post # written by

Reason
Explain (256 characters max)
Submit Cancel

Reported!

[Close]