Question How do I fix audio stuttering and distortion while playing games on my laptop?

Jul 12, 2021
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Hello all, I'm experiencing some extreme audio issues and I'm not sure what to do. Every time I launch a game and play for longer than 5-10 minutes, my game lags briefly then suddenly has extreme audio distortion and lag. It sounds like my speakers are blown out. When I close the game, other audio like music is still distorted, but then fixes itself after a moment. I haven't tested it long enough, but this only seems to happen when I'm using my headset or Realtek HD audio. It doesn't seem to happen when I'm using NVIDIA audio on my monitor speakers. I'm stumped because at first I thought it was a driver issue, but after uninstalling both my audio and GPU drivers (using DDU) and doing a fresh install, I still have issues. I then assumed it might be thermal throttling, but even setting my fan curve to 100% I still get audio lag and distortion. I honestly have no idea what it could be and its driving me insane. The only other pertinent information is that I recently installed an additional SSD in my laptop and have been having these issues since. Please, help!
 
Jul 12, 2021
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Hey, rocktalkrock! Thanks for sending this over. I ran the program and it appears that I do indeed have latency issues. Here is what LatencyMon says:

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CONCLUSION
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Your system appears to be having trouble handling real-time audio and other tasks. You are likely to experience buffer underruns appearing as drop outs, clicks or pops. One or more DPC routines that belong to a driver running in your system appear to be executing for too long. One problem may be related to power management, disable CPU throttling settings in Control Panel and BIOS setup. Check for BIOS updates.
LatencyMon has been analyzing your system for 0:24:10 (h🇲🇲ss) on all processors.


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SYSTEM INFORMATION
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Computer name: DESKTOP
OS version: Windows 10, 10.0, version 2009, build: 19043 (x64)
Hardware: AORUS 15G YC, GIGABYTE
CPU: GenuineIntel Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-10870H CPU @ 2.20GHz
Logical processors: 16
Processor groups: 1
RAM: 32681 MB total


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CPU SPEED
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Reported CPU speed: 2208 MHz

Note: reported execution times may be calculated based on a fixed reported CPU speed. Disable variable speed settings like Intel Speed Step and AMD Cool N Quiet in the BIOS setup for more accurate results.


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MEASURED INTERRUPT TO USER PROCESS LATENCIES
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The interrupt to process latency reflects the measured interval that a usermode process needed to respond to a hardware request from the moment the interrupt service routine started execution. This includes the scheduling and execution of a DPC routine, the signaling of an event and the waking up of a usermode thread from an idle wait state in response to that event.

Highest measured interrupt to process latency (µs): 6393.30
Average measured interrupt to process latency (µs): 4.713245

Highest measured interrupt to DPC latency (µs): 6390.60
Average measured interrupt to DPC latency (µs): 2.397563


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REPORTED ISRs
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Interrupt service routines are routines installed by the OS and device drivers that execute in response to a hardware interrupt signal.

Highest ISR routine execution time (µs): 321.961051
Driver with highest ISR routine execution time: ACPI.sys - ACPI Driver for NT, Microsoft Corporation

Highest reported total ISR routine time (%): 0.003459
Driver with highest ISR total time: ACPI.sys - ACPI Driver for NT, Microsoft Corporation

Total time spent in ISRs (%) 0.003664

ISR count (execution time <250 µs): 16879
ISR count (execution time 250-500 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time 500-1000 µs): 5
ISR count (execution time 1000-2000 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time 2000-4000 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time >=4000 µs): 0


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REPORTED DPCs
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DPC routines are part of the interrupt servicing dispatch mechanism and disable the possibility for a process to utilize the CPU while it is interrupted until the DPC has finished execution.

Highest DPC routine execution time (µs): 23314.197464
Driver with highest DPC routine execution time: nvlddmkm.sys - NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 471.11 , NVIDIA Corporation

Highest reported total DPC routine time (%): 0.034322
Driver with highest DPC total execution time: storport.sys - Microsoft Storage Port Driver, Microsoft Corporation

Total time spent in DPCs (%) 0.074901

DPC count (execution time <250 µs): 5872416
DPC count (execution time 250-500 µs): 0
DPC count (execution time 500-10000 µs): 7513
DPC count (execution time 1000-2000 µs): 39
DPC count (execution time 2000-4000 µs): 0
DPC count (execution time >=4000 µs): 4


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REPORTED HARD PAGEFAULTS
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Hard pagefaults are events that get triggered by making use of virtual memory that is not resident in RAM but backed by a memory mapped file on disk. The process of resolving the hard pagefault requires reading in the memory from disk while the process is interrupted and blocked from execution.

NOTE: some processes were hit by hard pagefaults. If these were programs producing audio, they are likely to interrupt the audio stream resulting in dropouts, clicks and pops. Check the Processes tab to see which programs were hit.

Process with highest pagefault count: mbamservice.exe

Total number of hard pagefaults 16079
Hard pagefault count of hardest hit process: 3637
Number of processes hit: 72


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PER CPU DATA
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CPU 0 Interrupt cycle time (s): 47.195144
CPU 0 ISR highest execution time (µs): 321.961051
CPU 0 ISR total execution time (s): 0.827741
CPU 0 ISR count: 15927
CPU 0 DPC highest execution time (µs): 23314.197464
CPU 0 DPC total execution time (s): 6.641899
CPU 0 DPC count: 380209
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CPU 1 Interrupt cycle time (s): 18.412402
CPU 1 ISR highest execution time (µs): 254.359601
CPU 1 ISR total execution time (s): 0.021535
CPU 1 ISR count: 633
CPU 1 DPC highest execution time (µs): 1014.860507
CPU 1 DPC total execution time (s): 1.990247
CPU 1 DPC count: 959825
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CPU 2 Interrupt cycle time (s): 15.953931
CPU 2 ISR highest execution time (µs): 159.307971
CPU 2 ISR total execution time (s): 0.001204
CPU 2 ISR count: 324
CPU 2 DPC highest execution time (µs): 826.363225
CPU 2 DPC total execution time (s): 2.196459
CPU 2 DPC count: 1197945
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CPU 3 Interrupt cycle time (s): 11.633734
CPU 3 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 3 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 3 ISR count: 0
CPU 3 DPC highest execution time (µs): 261.065217
CPU 3 DPC total execution time (s): 0.035152
CPU 3 DPC count: 7710
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CPU 4 Interrupt cycle time (s): 15.634012
CPU 4 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 4 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 4 ISR count: 0
CPU 4 DPC highest execution time (µs): 337.858696
CPU 4 DPC total execution time (s): 1.942513
CPU 4 DPC count: 1032008
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CPU 5 Interrupt cycle time (s): 11.038686
CPU 5 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 5 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 5 ISR count: 0
CPU 5 DPC highest execution time (µs): 336.777174
CPU 5 DPC total execution time (s): 0.092336
CPU 5 DPC count: 32209
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CPU 6 Interrupt cycle time (s): 13.185012
CPU 6 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 6 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 6 ISR count: 0
CPU 6 DPC highest execution time (µs): 336.8750
CPU 6 DPC total execution time (s): 1.124160
CPU 6 DPC count: 620514
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CPU 7 Interrupt cycle time (s): 10.176601
CPU 7 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 7 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 7 ISR count: 0
CPU 7 DPC highest execution time (µs): 178.488225
CPU 7 DPC total execution time (s): 0.020282
CPU 7 DPC count: 5684
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CPU 8 Interrupt cycle time (s): 11.885434
CPU 8 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 8 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 8 ISR count: 0
CPU 8 DPC highest execution time (µs): 300.241848
CPU 8 DPC total execution time (s): 0.746130
CPU 8 DPC count: 397212
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CPU 9 Interrupt cycle time (s): 9.880650
CPU 9 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 9 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 9 ISR count: 0
CPU 9 DPC highest execution time (µs): 455.059783
CPU 9 DPC total execution time (s): 0.063329
CPU 9 DPC count: 15714
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CPU 10 Interrupt cycle time (s): 11.234304
CPU 10 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 10 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 10 ISR count: 0
CPU 10 DPC highest execution time (µs): 328.829710
CPU 10 DPC total execution time (s): 0.689045
CPU 10 DPC count: 362611
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CPU 11 Interrupt cycle time (s): 9.125529
CPU 11 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 11 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 11 ISR count: 0
CPU 11 DPC highest execution time (µs): 120.567029
CPU 11 DPC total execution time (s): 0.017641
CPU 11 DPC count: 5804
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CPU 12 Interrupt cycle time (s): 11.367550
CPU 12 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 12 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 12 ISR count: 0
CPU 12 DPC highest execution time (µs): 354.813406
CPU 12 DPC total execution time (s): 0.736793
CPU 12 DPC count: 386206
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CPU 13 Interrupt cycle time (s): 8.935883
CPU 13 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 13 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 13 ISR count: 0
CPU 13 DPC highest execution time (µs): 335.311594
CPU 13 DPC total execution time (s): 0.013999
CPU 13 DPC count: 1747
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CPU 14 Interrupt cycle time (s): 11.941853
CPU 14 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 14 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 14 ISR count: 0
CPU 14 DPC highest execution time (µs): 250.367754
CPU 14 DPC total execution time (s): 0.917739
CPU 14 DPC count: 439344
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CPU 15 Interrupt cycle time (s): 10.068344
CPU 15 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 15 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 15 ISR count: 0
CPU 15 DPC highest execution time (µs): 433.131341
CPU 15 DPC total execution time (s): 0.155821
CPU 15 DPC count: 35230
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To be honest, I'm not sure what that means. What should I do from here?
 
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