Audio driver conflict causing stuttering?

Hi All,

I've been having an issue for months now, appreciate if anyone could help me out.

My PC tends to stutter at random. FPS in games remain constant 60-40 but audio crackles and the display lags. As far as I can tell, the stuttering is random as CPU/GPU/Memory never hit 100% for the stuttering to trigger. I've checked hard pagefaults as well and my counts seem normal. Temp are normal as well. 

This is a fresh install of Windows 10. The problem was persistent before, I had though that upgrading to an SSD whilst migrating to a fresh install would get rid of the problem.  The drivers for each were the latest I could get from their respective websites as far as I can tell. 

Specs:
http://speccy.piriform.com/results/zGtXekwbo2KrLjjKzSt85yj

Some clues:
LatencyMon tells me that the highest DPC is coming from storport.sys.

"REPORTED DPCs

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): 101246.827802 Driver with highest DPC routine execution time: storport.sys - Microsoft Storage Port Driver, Microsoft Corporation

Highest reported total DPC routine time (%): 0.006552 Driver with highest DPC total execution time: dxgkrnl.sys - DirectX Graphics Kernel, Microsoft Corporation

Total time spent in DPCs (%) 0.016620

DPC count (execution time <250 µs): 4966232 DPC count (execution time 250-500 µs): 0 DPC count (execution time 500-999 µs): 350 DPC count (execution time 1000-1999 µs): 4 DPC count (execution time 2000-3999 µs): 7 DPC count (execution time >=4000 µs): 0"


I have a strong hunch that there's some conflict between Nvidia HD Audio and Realtek HD Audio drivers. Disabling one or both of the drivers tends to get rid of the stuttering. Nvidia HD Audio driver reinstalls itself though. I've reinstalled my Nvidia drivers, cleaning out using the DDU and deselecting the audio drivers on installation. Appreciate any advice on this, thanks!

Sample videos of the stuttering, posted at Youtube:
https://youtu.be/eViELhVYAIw
https://youtu.be/XxGHEZUwXFA

Update: I have rolled back both GPU and Audio drivers to the earliest version that I could get them on their respective websites to no effect. 

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Hi BENuggets,

Does this issue happen only when you are playing certain games or all games?

Please let me know.

Thanks.

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Hi Techhelper89,

No, stuttering seems to occur anytime. Leaving the system on idle might trigger stuttering or some light web browsing. 

Cheers,
Ben

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Hi BENuggets,

Thank you for your reply. Upon reading your post, I see that the Nvidia driver reinstalls itself. Did you make any changes to your system, install any apps, etc. before this issue occurred?

This will help me to pinpoint the problem or where it may be originating from.

Thanks.

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Hi Techhelper89,

Thanks for looking into this. Post installation of Windows 10 nothing to my memory stands out. I had installed an SSD and an HDD if that counts and had upgraded my RAM from 8 to 16.  My system used to only run on one HDD. Software wise, I installed Steam, Office, Malwarebytes, Chrome -- I can't recall exactly when the stuttering started but after I had begun installing some utility software as well. 

Also, originally I let Driver Booster install my drivers for me but have stopped after reading online. I've cleaned up the audio and graphics drivers and installed this manually. 

Then I've also turned off most boot processes so Driver Booster, Malwarebytes, Steam, etc shouldn't turn on or have any scheduled activities without me turning it on.

I hope this helps.

Cheers,
Ben

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Hi BENuggets,

Have you tried running Disk Cleanup or Disk Defragment and Optimize Drives?

Thanks.

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Hi Techhelper89,

Yes, I've run the Windows tool is showing 0% fragmentation for all drives. Hard Disk Sentinel tells me all four disks should be healthy.

Cheers,
Ben 

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Hi BENuggets,

Have you specifically ran the Disk Cleanup utility?

Thanks.

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Hi Techhelper89,

Alright, I've just run the utility on the boot drive with the default boxes checked - the other drives didn't show anything to cleanup. 

I'll reboot my system and see if I can get it to stutter.

Cheers,
Ben


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Hi Techhelper89,

Played some games on Steam and the stuttering is back. I also left Device Manager on my second monitor. On boot-up, only Realtek High Definition Audio was there; noticed that as it began to stutter, mid-play, Device Manager refreshed to show High Definition Audio Device. 

Cheers,
Ben

Edit:
I'm not sure if this is useful but checking the logs for the High Definition Audio Device tells me that it first installed a close time after I had installed the OS.

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Hi BENuggets,

Please check the link below. The link has some troubleshooting steps that may fix your issue.

Link: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/19416-63-realtek-high-definition-audio-causing-video-audio-stuttering (This is not a Microsoft link.)

Please reply back if you need any further assistance.

Thanks.

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Last updated June 23, 2020 Views 3,832 Applies to: