Question Windows 10 Persistent Audio Clicks


Oct 31, 2013

I built a new PC last November and moved to Windows 10 and al lwas well.
Then at some point around January I started to notice additional clicks and pops in my audio.
After a while it became persistent and infuriating.

The clicks and pops occur every few seconds, or sometimes constantly, whenever I play audio.
It seems worse with actual music from Spotify or Youtube, but occurs against all audio output including Teams/Skype/Discord.
The clicks appear via my headset and my speakers and the headset is fine when plugged into my phone, and also the whole setup was fine back in 2020.
I have recorded a sample to show you how annoying it is: View:

I have taken to using my phone for audio which is ridiculous when I have a new powerful pc sat in front of me, and the whole thing is driving me mad as I use the PC all day every day for work.
I have tried a LOT of things to fix it but nothing has worked. This has included re-installing windows 10 twice.
The last time I reinstalled windows 10 I fired up youtube as soon as it was loaded and listed to something and heard the clicks, so they are present as soon as the current version of Win10 installs.
I would happily move back to windows7 but it does not seem possible with my new NVME drives.
I also wonder if there is a way of trying a prior build of Windows10.

I have tried LatencyMon which shows high latency, but it does not appear to register for a while even when I have audio clicking away so I am not sure if it is really related.
The LatencyMon output is below in a spoiler to at least give you some specs.

If anyone can help I would be extremely grateful. I would dearly love to understand what the actual issue is.

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 0:03:45 (h🇲🇲ss) on all processors.

Computer name: DESKTOP-6O0EMGP
OS version: Windows 10, 10.0, version 2004, build: 19041 (x64)
Hardware: B550 AORUS PRO, Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
CPU: AuthenticAMD AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core Processor
Logical processors: 12
Processor groups: 1
RAM: 32711 MB total

Reported CPU speed: 3693 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.

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): 2750.30
Average measured interrupt to process latency (µs): 4.103364

Highest measured interrupt to DPC latency (µs): 2685.30
Average measured interrupt to DPC latency (µs): 1.449475

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): 65.213377
Driver with highest ISR routine execution time: Wdf01000.sys - Kernel Mode Driver Framework Runtime, Microsoft Corporation

Highest reported total ISR routine time (%): 0.000205
Driver with highest ISR total time: Wdf01000.sys - Kernel Mode Driver Framework Runtime, Microsoft Corporation

Total time spent in ISRs (%) 0.000205

ISR count (execution time <250 µs): 14323
ISR count (execution time 250-500 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time 500-1000 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time 1000-2000 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time 2000-4000 µs): 0
ISR count (execution time >=4000 µs): 0

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): 2755.623341
Driver with highest DPC routine execution time: dxgkrnl.sys - DirectX Graphics Kernel, Microsoft Corporation

Highest reported total DPC routine time (%): 0.005647
Driver with highest DPC total execution time: dxgkrnl.sys - DirectX Graphics Kernel, Microsoft Corporation

Total time spent in DPCs (%) 0.011807

DPC count (execution time <250 µs): 83592
DPC count (execution time 250-500 µs): 0
DPC count (execution time 500-10000 µs): 4
DPC count (execution time 1000-2000 µs): 0
DPC count (execution time 2000-4000 µs): 4
DPC count (execution time >=4000 µs): 0

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: chrome.exe

Total number of hard pagefaults 11
Hard pagefault count of hardest hit process: 6
Number of processes hit: 4

CPU 0 Interrupt cycle time (s): 1.663513
CPU 0 ISR highest execution time (µs): 65.213377
CPU 0 ISR total execution time (s): 0.003917
CPU 0 ISR count: 9532
CPU 0 DPC highest execution time (µs): 2755.623341
CPU 0 DPC total execution time (s): 0.251476
CPU 0 DPC count: 68719
CPU 1 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.466199
CPU 1 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 1 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 1 ISR count: 0
CPU 1 DPC highest execution time (µs): 13.926347
CPU 1 DPC total execution time (s): 0.000037
CPU 1 DPC count: 14
CPU 2 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.727067
CPU 2 ISR highest execution time (µs): 0.0
CPU 2 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 2 ISR count: 0
CPU 2 DPC highest execution time (µs): 2685.681018
CPU 2 DPC total execution time (s): 0.016087
CPU 2 DPC count: 4643
CPU 3 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.594913
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): 8.205524
CPU 3 DPC total execution time (s): 0.000187
CPU 3 DPC count: 124
CPU 4 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.288818
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): 21.490658
CPU 4 DPC total execution time (s): 0.000251
CPU 4 DPC count: 108
CPU 5 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.292428
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): 9.277552
CPU 5 DPC total execution time (s): 0.000073
CPU 5 DPC count: 37
CPU 6 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.367890
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): 15.459247
CPU 6 DPC total execution time (s): 0.000251
CPU 6 DPC count: 92
CPU 7 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.380416
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): 170.813160
CPU 7 DPC total execution time (s): 0.000595
CPU 7 DPC count: 104
CPU 8 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.784251
CPU 8 ISR highest execution time (µs): 4.59870
CPU 8 ISR total execution time (s): 0.001233
CPU 8 ISR count: 3656
CPU 8 DPC highest execution time (µs): 358.738695
CPU 8 DPC total execution time (s): 0.023473
CPU 8 DPC count: 4137
CPU 9 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.745633
CPU 9 ISR highest execution time (µs): 1.272407
CPU 9 ISR total execution time (s): 0.000130
CPU 9 ISR count: 329
CPU 9 DPC highest execution time (µs): 217.681830
CPU 9 DPC total execution time (s): 0.022962
CPU 9 DPC count: 4894
CPU 10 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.550677
CPU 10 ISR highest execution time (µs): 3.957487
CPU 10 ISR total execution time (s): 0.00010
CPU 10 ISR count: 291
CPU 10 DPC highest execution time (µs): 286.892770
CPU 10 DPC total execution time (s): 0.002466
CPU 10 DPC count: 471
CPU 11 Interrupt cycle time (s): 0.425750
CPU 11 ISR highest execution time (µs): 1.623071
CPU 11 ISR total execution time (s): 0.000162
CPU 11 ISR count: 515
CPU 11 DPC highest execution time (µs): 165.152451
CPU 11 DPC total execution time (s): 0.001197
CPU 11 DPC count: 257
Last edited by a moderator:


Power down, unplug, open the case.

Clean out dust and debris.

Check, by sight and feel, that all cards, connectors, RAM, and jumpers are fully and firmly in place.

Premise being that something has worked its way loose due to expansion contraction. Not loose enough to completely disconnect but loose enough to cause minor disconnects/reconnects that cause the clicking.

Inspect all audio connections, plugs, ports, cables for signs of damage. Try wiggling the various connections to see if a click will result.

Likewise check all other cables: audio, video, power, and network serving your build.

Any changes or happenings in the January time frame?

Take a look in Reliability History and Event Viewer. File History may reveal something as well.


Oct 31, 2013

Thanks a lot for your reply. I was so confident that it is not a physical issue of any kind that I installed a Linux distribution alongside Win10 to check.
Lo and behold the sound coming out of the Linux OS is absolutely perfect, so I am very convinced that this is a software/driver/win10 issue.

Sadly because i have reinstalled Win10 twice since the issue occurred I cannot look back and check what changed since December.
I am using the exact same audio driver that I was back in November, the one that was bundled with my mainboard, and I have tried using a default/generic audio driver and various other things and the problem is very consistent.
So really it must be a windows update that has caused the issue.
What I do not understand though is how something can interfere with Audio so severely and not affect general speed/responsiveness or graphical output.