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Reddit: Pulseaudio with two audio devices at 100% CPU. Driving either device alone needs only 3-5% CPU.
Hello. I have an older i3-540 machine with two audio devices: Device #0 is HDA Intel played through HDMI. Device #1 is a CS46xx (old Turtle Beach sound card). The HDMI audio is used by Kodi. The other audio device is used by a separate audio player and goes to other rooms. I'm seeing normal CPU usage when either of the audio devices is in use but unusually high CPU usage when both are in use.
At first, I thought Kodi might be the culprit since it recently upgraded to v17. But I can reproduce the problem with two instances of mpg123 (Kodi not running) which perhaps suggests that it doesn't matter which audio client is used. Here's a quick rundown of what I'm seeing:
- one mpg123 process targeting either device -- 'pulseaudio' process sits at 3-5% CPU
- two mpg123 processes, both targeting device #0 or #1 (using pulse's muxer) -- 'pulseaudio' process sits at ~5% CPU
- two mpg123 processes, each targeting a different device -- 'pulseaudio' process sits at 100% CPU until I kill one of the mpg123 processes.
Since I can play audio through each individual device fine it suggests that it's not a problem with the low-level audio drivers. The only time things go sideways is when both audio devices are active. I've tried the "tsched=0" trick with no noticeable improvement.
Is there a known problem getting pulseaudio to play nicely with two or more audio devices?
System details: Ubuntu 16.04 4.4.0-64-generic x86-64 kernel i3-540 CPUsubmitted by /u/imakesawdust