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Crackling sound in games, pulseaudio CPU usage high (F10)

Couldn't find info about this anywhere, but I have this really annoying 
problem, whereby in games, be they ETQW (full version) or games included 
in the stock Fedora distrib, have very bad sound quality. Lots of 
crackling. The CPU usage of pulseaudio shoots up to 20% (that's on a dual 
core Pentium D).

I can get normal perf. with ETQW by using pasuspend and forcing output to 
hw:0, but there's got to be a better solution.

This is my sound card:

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio 
Controller (rev 02)

[root ws log]# grep -i hda dmesg
HDA Intel 0000:00:1b.0: PCI INT A -> GSI 22 (level, low) -> IRQ 22
HDA Intel 0000:00:1b.0: setting latency timer to 64
hda_codec: Unknown model for ALC883, trying auto-probe from BIOS...
ALSA sound/pci/hda/hda_codec.c:3021: autoconfig: line_outs=4 
ALSA sound/pci/hda/hda_codec.c:3025:    speaker_outs=0 
ALSA sound/pci/hda/hda_codec.c:3029:    hp_outs=1 (0x1b/0x0/0x0/0x0/0x0)
ALSA sound/pci/hda/hda_codec.c:3030:    mono: mono_out=0x0
ALSA sound/pci/hda/hda_codec.c:3038:    inputs: mic=0x18, fmic=0x19, 
line=0x1a, fline=0x0, cd=0x0, aux=0x0

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