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Question Audio latency issues

May 31, 2020
For a few months now, my PC has been experiencing latency spikes. These initially manifested as no more than audio dropouts, but eventually have begun to escalate into visual dragging, as well. Audio popping is very common now, and the mouse dragging when I try to move it is slightly less so.
This all started when I installed a new HDD, a WD Blue. Of note is that it spun at 5400rpm, which I initially deduced to be the source of my problem. I have since replaced the WD Blue with a WD Black that spins at 7200rpm, yet the problem persists.
This problem is very inconsistent. Normally, my computer's latency is fine when I boot it up in the morning. The longer it stays on, the worse the spikes get. Sometimes, restarting the system provides a temporary fix. But it always comes back, especially at night.
Here is a LatencyMon report:

and in text: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xUaxGbnqrUXZt6pCWt2_HgTmm7HBnMWj/view?usp=sharing
Here's a spec summary from Speccy: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QaqmZqORD7blnAI0-HFTwu7fTmFd8jSu/view?usp=sharing
And here's a WhySoSlow report for good measure: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lt3PdZKDWLh7nhyxBYDHS4nZOFmrwlOD/view?usp=sharing (You'll have to download this one since it's an html file.)
Note that disabling my network drivers obviously gets rid of the ndis.sys problem, but this issue is even more inconsistent than my general latency spikes.
Here are things that I've already tried:
  • Defragmenting my HDD with Defraggler.
  • Installing and routinely using CCleaner.
  • Lowering the number of startup programs.
  • Updating all my drivers.
  • Updating my BIOS (currently American Megatrends Inc. R01-A4, 5/19/2016).
  • Installing exhaust fans in my tower. These definitely do their job when it comes to cooling the system.
  • Disabling CPU throttling for all programs.
  • Moving the system pagefile to my SSD boot drive, as opposed to my HDD data drive.
Recently, I replaced my Realtek HD Audio Driver with the generic High Definition Audio Driver. Doing this has actually helped rather substantially, but not completely. Overall, the problem is much less consistent and severe, but still there.
Any help is appreciated. Please tell me if you need more info.
Last edited:
May 31, 2020
Update: After continuous failed attempts to properly diagnose the problem, I've reset my PC by wiping my boot drive and reinstalling Windows. Whatever the issue was, it seems to be gone (for now, at least).