(full explanation in case newbies are reading)
When I first installed the Realtek drivers
I also had pops, skips...etc.
Granted I'm only using stereo and this may be particular to my system only.
Here's the steps I took:
Go to the Realtek control panel.... right click on on all of the graphic input jack representations, select "Connector Retasking" uncheck the "Enable auto popup dialog" selection then setup the audio configuration the way you want it.
Next go to into the registry and remark OUT the Realtek cpl.
I do not want something that invasive running in the background, besides, you only need to to setup/change the initial configuration, a semicolon will prevent it from loading.
;C:\Program Files\Realtek\Audio\HDA\RtHDVCpl.exe -s
Find it here...
Reboot, make sure RtHDVCpl.exe isn't running in the background.
If DPC latency checks out check that you're not getting processor spiking which coincides with the cracking, pops, sputters....etc.
Make sure your motherboard's inf drivers are up to date.
Check MS updates for more recent hardware drivers...etc.