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Windows 7: Audio-related lag while playing games

18 Aug 2013   #1
ashowen

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Audio-related lag while playing games

I have recently been having pretty severe audio-related lag in most games. This issue appeared seemingly out of nowhere a few months ago, and nothing I have tried so far has been able to pinpoint its source. The error manifests differently from game to game, but it usually involves the audio freezing while animations continue, or a small section of audio looping several times before continuing. This is especially noticeable in cutscenes/dialogue, since the characters' mouths typically continue moving normally when the error occurs. Certain sound effects also have a noticeable delay: gunshots often sound a second or two after the gun is fired, for example. Other times, I notice the music looping or freezing, but this doesn't tend to impede gameplay.

I've noticed that the error is especially pronounced in Bioshock Infinite and The Walking Dead (which is not very GPU- or CPU-intensive), but not too bad in some others such as Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Saints Row: The Third. So, as far as I can tell, there's not much of a pattern to the issue.

System specs:
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Intel i5-2450M
NVIDIA Geforce GTX 560m
6 GB RAM

Things I have tried:
Various configurations of video and audio drivers - Some combinations were better than others, but the issue persists in every one.
Cleaning/reapplying thermal paste - Temperatures dropped significantly, but this did not seem to change anything. Even before the cleaning, the CPU and GPU didn't get very hot in some games (like The Walking Dead), but it was worth a shot.
Running chkdsk /f - Windows detected no hard disk errors.
Running memory diagnostics - Again, Windows found no errors.
Changing game settings - No effect.
Reducing audio quality - There may have been a slight improvement, but it was hardly noticeable.

Other info - My laptop has NVIDIA Optimus - it uses an Intel graphics card when the NVIDIA isn't needed. The issue persists regardless of which graphics card is in use. Similarly, my computer uses Realtek HD Audio drivers normally, and Intel Display Audio when hooked up to another monitor via HDMI. Both audio drivers are equally problematic.

Additionally, I have run through the steps in the "Tips on Troubleshooting Game Issues" sticky, and none of those options helped either.

Any ideas or assistance will be greatly appreciated. I can provide additional information if necessary, and I'm willing to test out pretty much any potential fix. Thank you in advance!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Aug 2013   #2
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 8 Pro / Desk2 7 Home Prem / Main lap Asus ROG 7 Pro
 
 

Hello and welcome ashowen mate try running these

http://www.superantispyware.com/

http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free/

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/adwcleaner/download from bleeping computer

Plus I am wondering if you downloaded the drivers from the Windows Control Panel > Device manager or use the manufacturers site I prefer the latter way of updating them myself
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2013   #3
AstaLaVista

Windows 7 x64 (Ultimate)
 
 

+ 1 on the way of downloading drivers... nothing but problems arise when I got them from windows update.

I have also find that some ways or uninstalling and installing audio and video drivers create future problems as well... how did you do this? I am not saying you did it wrong.

Sometimes Nvidia control panel creates problems as well, even though, for me this does not happen often... perhaps having two different audio sources creates some sort of problem that does not show right away? personally, when installing drivers I don't use anything I don't know or know I will not need... second audio source, 3D stuff that I know I don't have or will use anytime soon.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Aug 2013   #4
ashowen

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Thanks for your responses so far.

I have already run full scans with MSE, Malwarebytes, and SuperAntiSpyware, and none of them found anything of consequence. I hadn't heard of AdwCleaner before, and it did detect a couple pieces of malware, but again, nothing of consequence.

As for the drivers, I've always downloaded them from the manufacturers - I don't trust the device manager either. I have just used the NVIDIA/Realtek installers to remove the old drivers as I update to new ones. Is there a different way I should have done this?

I've also attempted disabling and uninstalling the Intel audio drivers, but this seemed to have no effect. Since I don't have 3D capabilities, is there any reason to keep the NVIDIA 3D Vision Controller driver?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2013   #5
AstaLaVista

Windows 7 x64 (Ultimate)
 
 

I usually uninstall from Control Panel (including PhysX), I also use the driver sweeper from Nvidia... I then go to Safe Mode and run Ccleaner, I use the cleaner and the Registry cleaner... I restart once more and I go to the temp folder I downloaded the newer drivers... I right click on the file and use Run as Administrator... I also use CUSTOM install so I have access/options to what I want and don't want to install

Like I said, if you don't have or use any 3D stuff you don't have to install them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2013   #6
ashowen

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I followed your driver installation instructions, and there seem to have been lots of leftover NVIDIA files that needed to be cleared out. I now have only the most recent NVIDIA and Realtek drivers installed. I don't want to jinx it, but based on some brief testing, I'm pretty sure that this has solved the problem! Thank you very much for your help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2013   #7
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 8 Pro / Desk2 7 Home Prem / Main lap Asus ROG 7 Pro
 
 

Sounding a bit more promising and I am with AstaLaVista on the CCleaner stuff too another you might keep in mind for future use for uninstalling is Revo it is good at rooting out reg entries and is a bit more thorough with of the stubborn stuff

The free version is pretty good of course the paid for better but nonetheless a good all rounder.

Download Revo Uninstaller Freeware - Free and Full Download - Uninstall software, remove programs, solve uninstall problems
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2013   #8
AstaLaVista

Windows 7 x64 (Ultimate)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ashowen View Post
I followed your driver installation instructions, and there seem to have been lots of leftover NVIDIA files that needed to be cleared out. I now have only the most recent NVIDIA and Realtek drivers installed. I don't want to jinx it, but based on some brief testing, I'm pretty sure that this has solved the problem! Thank you very much for your help!
WOW, I may have finally helped someone... I feel sheepish!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2013   #9
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 8 Pro / Desk2 7 Home Prem / Main lap Asus ROG 7 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AstaLaVista View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ashowen View Post
I followed your driver installation instructions, and there seem to have been lots of leftover NVIDIA files that needed to be cleared out. I now have only the most recent NVIDIA and Realtek drivers installed. I don't want to jinx it, but based on some brief testing, I'm pretty sure that this has solved the problem! Thank you very much for your help!
WOW, I may have finally helped someone... I feel sheepish!
Yes mate it is a nice feeling eh when something goes ok
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2013   #10
ashowen

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

As much as I hate to interrupt your celebration... I guess I was a bit too excited to call this problem solved. My computer was working just as it was supposed to last night, but now that I've tested it again today, the issue is just as bad as it was before. I don't know what could have made the problem reappear overnight, but that's what seems to have happened.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Audio-related lag while playing games




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